Thursday, January 31, 2008

Review: A Gentle Rain by Deborah Smith

So here's the review for the day :P

A Gentle Rain by Deborah Smith
published by Belle Books in November 2007

Kara Whittenbrook is an unlikely heiress. Down-to-earth and lovably quirky, she's never fit in with the stodgy Whittenbrook clan of Connecticut. Growing up at her parents' rainforest preserve in Brazil, she has a quaintly off-beat view of life. Now her beloved parents have died in a plane crash, and Kara's learned a stunning truth.

She was adopted. Her birth parents are Mac and Lily Tolbert, and they're mentally handicapped. They live and work on a backwater cattle ranch in northern Florida. The ranch owner is a handsome, part-Seminole cowboy named Ben Thocco. He's running out of time and money to save the ranch and care for the likable bunch of handicapped ranch hands he employs, including his own baby brother, Joey.

Kara, using a fake identity on the advice of her lawyer, gets a job at Ben's ranch in Fountain Springs, Florida, where her adventures include entering an unpredictable mare in a local horse show.

Genre: contemporary fiction (romance)
Series: none

The Story: There’s a lot that happened in the book and I found it hard to write a better synopsis than what was written on the back of the book, so I won’t attempt it. Basically, Kara wants to meet her birth parents and know why they didn’t want her. She finds her parents working at Ben Thocco’s ranch. Ben is an intriguing man. He is totally devoted to his little brother Joey who suffers from heart conditions and Down Syndrome; his ranch hands are mostly people with mental problems… and to top it all, Ben has a past in Mexico that he doesn’t want to talk about.

My Opinion: I love Ms Deborah Smith’s books. They’re all so emotional. However, I wish she wouldn’t have switched to first person narration in addition of alternating between the hero and heroine pov. I’m not sure if first person narration makes the book more emotional, but I preferred it when she had third person narration.

Anyway, onto A Gentle Rain. When I first read the synopsis and an excerpt, I thought the idea was very good and that Ms Smith would surely pull it off. It took me a while to get my hand on the book because I could only order it by amazon… but once I got it, I devoured it. Although the book was good, it didn’t meet my expectations and I was a bit disappointed.

Character-wise, Ms Smith did a very good job. Kara is a nice heroine to read about. She’s always felt like she didn’t fit the prestigious Whittenbrook clan with her unruly hair, her stutter and lack of achievement. So it’s only normal she wants to learn about her roots, see if she belongs somewhere, when she learns that she was adopted. Ben is also a good hero… very devoted to Joey, protective of his employees, soft-hearted with an iron will. He can deal with whatever people throws at him, but I think it made him tired… older before his age. So he’s the kind of hero you admire without wanting him for yourself because he has too much baggage. There were many secondary characters and all were very interesting and entertaining. However, I liked Kara’s parents the most – Mac is simple-minded because his mother drank too much alcohol during the pregnancy and Lily, because she was shaken by her mother’s boyfriend when she was a baby… and despite their simple nature, you can see how they love each other, how much they are devoted to each other and that was very sweet.

Plot-wise, it could have been better. I thought that it dragged on a little and instead of focusing on Kara, Ben, their relationship, Kara and her parents’ relationship… the book contained many elements that I thought unnecessary – like the horse and the barrel race – and it took away from the story. One thing that I disliked was that Kara was an heiress and she had sooo much money. I think the money smoothed out way to many obstacles. I mean, why put obstacles if Kara can just take her money and solve them? I know the money is part of Kara, but I thought that with an idea like this one: young woman discovering that she was adopted and that her parents here mentally handicapped, the book could have been much more. I was expecting a lot more of emotional baggage and obstacles and there weren’t many.

My Grade
: B.

Books and weather...

Argh!! What should I do? LOL :P great way to start the post right? So here's my dilemma... I pre-ordered Mine to Possess and Demon Night, along with a couple of other books... My purpose was to get them as early as possible... preferably, before they showed up in the bookstore.

So apparently, Mine to Possess and Demon Night have been shipped.... however, the bookstores also have received their shipment? So what should I do? Should I rush to the bookstore and try to get my hand on it? Should I wait for the shipment to arrive? By the way, I don't mind having 2 copies of the books :P Cos if they're good, I need a keepsafe copy anyway. My problem with rushing to the bookstores is that sometimes, the clerks aren't that nice... and they'll stick to the release date :( I don't want to waste a trip to the bookstore and have them tell me that they can't give me the books... However, it's not a 100% sure I'll get that answer right? To me, as long as I get my books before the week-end, I think I would be fine... ^_^; yeah... I think.

I just checked Canada Post website and I should received the packages today. The problem is that lately, my orders have taken more time to arrive than predicted. So although they say today, it could really be next week. Arghhh!! Hmmm... I guess I'll be calling my mom and see if I've gotten anything in the mail today... and if not, then I'll swing by the bookstore when I pick up my sister?

My name is Nath and I suffer from the "I want this book now, I need to have it NOW" syndrome. LOL.

In other news, guess what? We're having 30 to 40cm of snow tomorrow! I'm sooo sick of having snowstorms this year... what will that be, our 4th big snowstorms? It always takes forever for the city to clear the roads and etc. Traffic jams and crazy drivers... I'm going to cry :( Especially after the weather we got this week!!! We got rain, freezing rain and 40 to 50km/h winds! Living in Quebec sucks weather-wise :(

ps- I'm going to try to have a review up :P

EDIT: I went out around lunch time and got Mine to Possess by Nalini Singh :P Luckily, it was on the shelves! I'm going to try to hold off for Demon Night. The packages were supposed to arrive today,b ut as expected, they didn't. I'm crossing my fingers for tomorrow.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Great news!!

Okay, first of all... so how does it look? I think that's it for now for the template/layout. I actually had to start over again, because I upgraded the template to layout with the new blogger... but it was okay, cos turns out the code I took last time was for the layout. Confused? Then just remember: if you still see "template" in your dashbort instead of "layout" then just upgrade it... Go to template and then, Customize template tab... and it'll ask you right away if you want to upgrade or not. It's way easier to make a new template :P So again, if anything is odd or not working properly, please let me know :)

What else is new... Next week is the Chinese New Year. This year it's on February 7th. I'm kind of looking forward to it... mostly for the good food... although we'll probably not be doing much. Anyway, at least, not me since I'm going to be working. My dad has taken Thursday and Friday off... Lucky him.

Finally... LOL, I'm sooo excited about it, I don't know how to say it... It's been official since last week... Ames and I are going to Holly's wedding in March!!!!!!! Isn't that cool?!?!? Ames and I have been discussing it for a while... I finally got the days off and bought my plane tickets two weeks ago. Ames bought hers last week, so that makes it official :) We're going to be flying in Las Vegas where we'll stay a night and visit. Then, the next day, we'll drive down to Laughlin where Holly is holding the wedding. After the wedding, we'll go to Los Angeles with Rowena and Daphne and we'll be catching our flight home from there. I'm like sooo excited. Question though for those who went to Las Vegas. Ames and I want to go see a show. Any suggestion? I'm leaning towards "O" by Cirque du Soleil, but I was wondering if you guys had any recommendation?

Anyway, you will definitively be hearing about our trip again LOL :)

Review: Unlucky by Jana DeLeon

Unlucky by Jana DeLeon
published by LoveSpell (Dorchester) in October 2007

Her luck's so bad it's a crime.

Everyone in Royal Flush, Louisiana, knows Mallory Devereaux is a walking disaster. At least now she's found a way to take advantage of her chronic bad luck: by "cooling" cards on her uncle's casino boat. As long as the crooks invited to his special poker tournament don't win their money back, she'll get a cut of the profit.

But Mal isn't the only one working some major mojo. There's a dark-eyed dealer sending her looks steamier than the bayou in August. Turns out he's an undercover agent named Jake Randoll, and for a Yank, he’s pretty darn smart. Smart enough to enlist her help to catch a money launderer. As they race to untangle a web of decades-old lies and secrets amid a gathering of criminals, Mallory can't help hoping her luck's about to change...

Genre: contemporary romance
Series: none

The Story: Mallory Devereaux is cursed with bad luck; it’s so bad that the barman will serve her beers in plastic mugs, her friend will screw her stilettos to her shows and she cannot touch anyone. That’s why even if she has a degree in civil engineering, all she can do is demolition… but not for long. Unless Mallory can come up with 10,000$ in order to buy Harry’s, her boss and good friend, business as she’s always dreamed; Walter Flush, King of the portable toilet, will beat her to it and she’ll be out of job. Her only option: to “cool” cards at her uncle’s poker tournament on his casino’s boat. She’s done it before, so why not this time…

Jake Randoll is a FBI Special Agent investigation Silas Hebert for embezzlement and money laundering. This is his last chance to catch the man and find out what happened to Jake’s partner who was working undercover and suddenly disappeared a few months ago. Thus, Jake enrolls himself in the tournament as a dealer; however, Mallory and her “cooling” card ability could ruin all his plans… and so, Mallory and Jake have little choice than to work together in order to attain their goals.

My Opinion: Loved the book. It was a fun, light and quick read. I really enjoyed Mallory’s character. She and her friends have learnt how to deal with her bad luck… she’s also funny and smart, without being too nerdy or snobbish. Jake was a good hero too… a balanced one. He’s a bit obsessed with Silas Hebert, but at least, he’s not close to burn out. He can still think clearly, he’s smart too and flexible. I thought they made a cute couple and I enjoyed their romance. It was a bit too quick perhaps, but they really bonded and I did feel the connection between them.

In addition to a great H/H couple, you had a good plot. The idea was original and entertaining and the plot, well constructed. I liked the few twists in the storyline and the characters… it made the book less predictable and more enjoyable. It proved that Ms DeLeon put more thoughts and efforts than many other authors out there at the moment. Surprisingly, even the secondary characters got a lot of depth in addition of providing some good laughs.

Finally, I think that why the whole book works in addition of a great H/H and good plot is Ms DeLeon’s writing. It was simple, not too casual and funny, but without trying too much. I don’t know if you understand what I mean. Like Ms Jennifer Crusie. Her books are hilarious, but sometimes in a very exaggerated way. It’s not only in the situations and the characters, but it’s they way she writes the book. Well while reading this book, I’d laugh out loud just because of the way a sentence was written… and that’s what I mean when I say Ms DeLeon’s writing is funny… but it’s not overly funny.

Anyway, a great and fun book :P Read it if you have the chance to.

My Grade: B+

Friday, January 25, 2008

Change of look...

So as you can see, I got tired of my old layout and found this one :D It's still is not perfect :( but I'm tired for now and it does look decent/presentable.

If you find anything odd or not working or it got changed when I chanted the layout, please let me know. For those who are good with codes and layout, I have a few questions...

1) I'd like for my archives to be like the ones at Ames and Book Binge blogs. With the little arrows and you can select the month and then the posts will appear when you click on the little arrow. I have the code I think, but do I have to add something to it? because when I simply copy paste, it doesn't work.

2) I'd like for my sidebar to be continuous ^_^; right now, it's cut into some sections... it's not really important though... I can probably figure it out.

3) I'd like that when you click on the title of the post, you get the post only... and same thing with the banner... I don't know if I'm explaining it well...

so if you can help me, I'd be very grateful :)

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Review: Blood Dreams by Kay Hooper

Blood Dreams by Kay Hooper
published by Bantam Books in December 2007

He's the kind of killer we instinctively fear the most. A killer without boundaries, without conscience, without any fear of being caught. And his latest victim is terrifying proof that no one is safe: the daughter of a powerful U.S. senator.

Now, with the national media calling for justice and a grief-stricken father seeking vengeance, Bishop and his FBI Special Crimes Unit find themselves in a unique situation. This time even psychic cops aren't enough to stop evil. Aid comes in the form of a fledgling civilian organization of unorthodox crime stoppers. Operating outside of any government oversight, without sanction or official authority, they are comprised of a membership every bit as talented and eccentric as Bishop's SCU — if not more so. And that is no coincidence. For Bishop helped launch this organization barely two years before.

Dani Justice knows all about monsters. They haunt her nightmares — and her life. But she never expected to find herself doggedly on the trail of a real flesh-and-blood predator so cunning, he's eluded the best law enforcement could send up against him; so deadly, he doesn't hesitate to kill even a senator's daughter. Or a cop.
Dani doesn't want to hunt this killer. She doesn't want to risk the life she's made for herself, or her hard-won peace. But she doesn't have a choice. Because his bloody rampage has hit far too close to home. Because Dani alone commands a weapon powerful enough to destroy him. And because Dani knows something even Bishop doesn't. Dani knows how the hunt ends. It ends in fire. And blood. And death.

What she doesn't know is who will survive.

Genre: thriller, psychics
Series: FBI SCU, book 9 - Blood trilogy (4th trilogy), book 1

The Story: Dani and Paris Justice are twins and psychics. Like many, they wanted to put their abilities to use and thus, have been recruited by Haven. Haven is like the FBI Special Crime Unit (SCU)’s little sister. The organization was Noah Bishop’s idea, because he knew that not all psychics have the mental strength to be a FBI Special Agent. It is led by John Garrett and Maggie Barnes (from Touching Evil) and its purpose is to support the FBI SCU, either psychically or by investigating cases that the FBI SCU cannot… just like this one.

Dani’s dreams are not simple dreams, but visions… and she has the ability to walk in them as well as bringing others with her. However, what she sees often have tragic or sad endings and this has caused Dani to run away from Ventura instead of committing to her long-time friend and lover, Marcus Purcell, now sheriff of Ventura. After years of running, Dani is back in Ventura. On the surface, she is back to support Paris who is going through a painful divorce…In reality, she is back because of a recurring vision – a rare occurrence which emphasizes its significance and importance.

A serial killer has been striking a city (sorry, can’t remember which one, Boston?); however, when his latest victim is a senator’s daughter, the case gets more media attention and becomes very high profile. As a result, all of FBI SCU’s high profile agents are assigned to the case. Although Bishop believes that the hunting ground of the killer has changed to Ventura, the new FBI director is not convinced of the FBI SCU’s reputation and instincts and does not want to risk his career and so insisted that Bishop and his agents remain in the city. Bishop has no other choice than to rely on Haven and Dani’s visions… the problem is that details in Dani’s vision keep changing as the investigation goes further… and Dani is not sure if they’ll be there in time and who’s going to make it.

My Opinion: If you’ve been reading my blog for awhile, you’ll know that I’m a huge fan of Kay Hooper and especially, her FBI SCU series. The last book in the series, Sleeping with Fear, was interesting but not as enjoyable as the previous ones. So, I’ve really been looking forward to the start of this new trilogy, especially after reading that Ms Hooper was going for something a bit different. In the previous trilogies, the books were stand alone and all that connected them really was the theme/titles. In this new trilogy, each book has a case that is solved, but there is also a storyline taking place throughout the three books. Add in the fact that the release date of Blood Dreams was pushed from July to December and you had a reader in need of her FBI SCU fix with quite high expectations.

Okay, so what did I think of this book? I liked and enjoyed it, but it wasn’t the best of the series. A warning, the case was extremely gory and chilling so you better read this book with all the lights on and preferably when it’s not storming outside :P A large part of the book consists of the characters investigating the case, coming up with theories, possibilities and profiles, which were all interesting, but as usual the tension builds in, they are time-pressured, etc. and the whole storyline pretty much culminates in the capture of the killer with little clues of his identity throughout the book. I personally don’t mind as I still enjoy the book, but I know it is an issue for some readers. Remember, the FBI SCU deals mostly with serial killers and are called in when there’s little to go on… so I guess it’s become the natural course. So you get fair warning J The book was also a nice balance between the introduction of Haven, the setting for the trilogy and the case itself. In short, there wasn’t a dull moment, but at the same time, I didn’t feel like it was too much (you know what I mean?).

What was unfortunate in Blood Drams however is that I didn’t get to know Dani and Marcus as well as I’d wish to. They are the main characters and do have their story; however, they clearly weren’t the focus. Perhaps it would have been better if there has been less characters; however, they all seemed necessary. Of course, I also have to keep in mind that Blood Dreams is not a romance novel; it’s more like a mystery or thriller and although part of a series, the main characters change from novel to novel. Therefore, it’s understandable that the characters aren’t as “fleshed” out as I’d wished.

Another thing I had difficulty to deal with is how Bishop is viewed in this book. Bishop and Miranda are the pillars of the FBI SCU and often have to take difficult decisions. The agents in the FBI SCU are very loyal to Bishop and although they often wonder, they never really questions Bishop’s authority and decision. It’s another story with Haven, some people do question Bishop’s authority. Why should he be the one pulling the strings… Is it really better to sacrifice one person and save a hundred? I love Bishop and so, it makes me feel uncomfortable that this is brought up… but I guess it only makes the book even more realistic… because it was bound to happen.

For those who wonder, recurring characters in this book include John Garrett, Noah Bishop and Hollis Templeton. There’s also mention of Miranda, Quentin and Maggie Barnes. I wonder when Hollis will have her own book… although I wasn’t a fan of hers at first, I’m starting to really like her and look forward to her own book.

So my verdict? I think it was a good addition to the series and a good start for the trilogy. I enjoyed it; however, I will hope for more in the next book. This is not a romance however, therefore, some of you might want to skip it.

Grade: B

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

7 things meme

So I’ve been tagged by Devonna for this meme. I don’t think there are any rules except that to say 7 things about you.

1 – I’m messy. It’s not that I don’t like it when my room is clean, but it just gets messy and dirty so quick!! Also, you should see my lab bench. For some reasons, I always end up working on two or even three benches, because things just pile up. Luckily, cleaning my bench is not as bad as my room ^_^; I might be messy, but I’m organized too… so go figure LOL J

2 – I’m an extreme worrier, border-line paranoid. I worry about everything… every single things… if there’s nothing to worry about, my imagination will take care of it. For example, I couldn’t find my cellphone charger the other day and I thought perhaps it was a work. So I came in yesterday and couldn’t find it and I started to worry. Did I really forget it at work? If yes, perhaps I left it still plugged or on my desk in plain view and someone took it off… as proof that I was charging my cellphone at work… aka stealing electricity? See what I mean? And that was just a minor case. Luckily for my peace of mind, I found my charger… remember that messy room I mentioned above… yeah…

3 – I need to lose weight. Serious. I know some people will say I don’t need to, that it doesn’t show and all… but I gained about 20lbs in the past few years… My face is much rounder and my belly… I don’t really want to think about it. So for myself, I should start exercising. However, I’m lazy. To go several times a week to someplace to exercise… doesn’t sound fun… sounds more tiring then anything else. Also, I’d rather not go to the gym or do yoga. I’m more interested in badminton or something I could practice with my sister… It just hasn’t happened yet ^_^;

4 – I love watching sports on tv. Tennis, tracks and field, volleyball, curling, figure skating and the list goes on. I’m in heaven when it’s the Olympics! Which is soon!! This summer is the Beijing Olympics!! You will probably be reading tons of posts about the Olympics at that time.

5 – I’m addicted to internet. I remember a discussion I had with Holly a couple of months ago. She sent me this article about a boot camp in Korea to severe the internet addiction to the youngsters… and I told Holly that I wasn’t addicted to internet. Well I was wrong. I am. Can’t live without it, even for a couple of hours! Need it to check my book orders status, to check the scores of tennis matches, to blog, to talk to friends, etc. Seriously, who was I kidding?

6 – I like to be in charge of things and events… maybe because I don’t trust people enough… or just because I’ll do them faster and better :P

7 – I’m a multi-tasker. I will often be doing many things at the same time. Watching tv and reading, blogging and reading… reading and studying. It’s like my brain is on fast, so everything has to be done fast and one of the best way is to multi-task.

So that’s 7 things about me…

So I’m tagging Ames, Jennie, Holly, Kris and Zeek.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Top 3 of Jennifer Crusie

I started this “feature” a couple of months ago, while I was bored and a bit in a slump… and then, forgot about it ^_^; Can we say, oups? LOL... but I won't anymore and so, the feature is back on! :)

So I have a friend that recently started reading romance novels and she loves it. Well I think she loves it, based on the amount of books she has ordered LOL. Lucky her, she has me to gives suggestions, recommendations, lend books… basically, guided her in the romance novel world. Seriously, I wished I had someone like that when I started off. I would certainly have come in handy and I would discovered all of those great authors faster instead of coming across them by chance. Oh well... So, she has recently discovered Jennifer Crusie and like so many of us, fellin love with Ms Crusie!

Seriously, who reads comtemporary and doesn't adore Jennifer Crusie? Not many! This author just has great ideas, hilarious characters and crazy animals and just enough romance! Definitively the perfect combination. Of course, I'd wished she'd go back at writing solo instead of collaboration, but if her next collaboration with Mayer is as good as Agnes and the Hitman, then I'll take it.

So here are my top 3 books by Jennifer Crusie! Don't be shy and share yours! :)

3 - Crazy For You
Quinn McKenzie has it enough. She's always been the good girl, living a quiet life and going through the motion. However, she thinks her life is too beige and thrives for excitment. When her boyfriend, the guy that everyone in town thinks is perfect and nicest, tells her of their future plan, she blows a fuse. She wants excitment and she wants to be the one in charge, the one to decide and she decides to go after the forbidden fruit, Nick - her ex-brother-in-law and best friend.

I love this book, absolutely love it. What can I say? I think that Quinn was a great heroine and I really enjoyed it, seeing her finally stand on her own. Nick is a great hero as well... takes him a while to realize that Quinn is the woman he's been waiting forever, but when he does and finally goes after her... wowzer! In addition to a great couple, the supporting cast is just hilarious and let's not forget Katie, Quinn's little neurotic dog.

I almost chose Crazy for You as no.2, it was really a close call between this book and no.2; however, there is one little scene - just after they made love the first time, that I'm not fond of. Of course, it works well into the plot and becomes a good reason for Nick to grovel.

2 - Welcome to Temptation
All Sophie Dempsey wants is a normal life and to stay on the right side of the law... not easy though when she comes from a family of crooks and her little brother and sister are very entranched in family traditions. It also might not have been a good idea to come to Temptation to film a movie for her little brother's ex-girlfriend, especially when the movie turns into a porn flick. So how to stay on the right side of the law, hide the fact that she's filming a porn movie to the curious and nosy townpeoples and fight her attraction to Temptation's widowed mayor, Phineas Tucker?

Another great book, but then, it's in the top 3 so what were you expecting. Again, all the elements are there: great H/H, plot, romance and wacky townpeoples. I like how the whole story unfolds. Sophie and Phin being attracted to each other, but not wanting to. Falling in bed and then in love with each other and how at the end, they just get together. Yes, there were some conflicts, but at the end, they got together relatively without fuss and sometimes, you have to appreciate it. Overall the situation is just too hilarious and wacky and the hero and heroine, great... and so, you just enjoys the book. I have to admit that I prefer Quinn and Nick over Sophie and Phin, but the storyline in this one is funnier and wackier.

1 - Getting Rid of Bradley
Lucy Savage is not a happy woman: her bastard, cheating husband, Bradley, stood her up in divorce court. Then, handsome and sexy cop Zach Warren scares the hell out of her - apparently to save her life, but he must be desillusional, because who would shot at her? However, he might be right when Lucy realizes that Bradley is involved in a much bigger scheme than she thought possible... but who cares about Bradley when Zach moves in her nice Victorian house to protect her and her 3 dogs?

This book was a Silouhette book, meaning that it's quite shorter than regular romance novels... however, it doesn't matter. It's everything a romance novel should be and even if it's short, Ms Crusie pulls it out. It was funny, Lucy and Zach's chemistry was good and just so sweet. I don't know what else to say besides: It's a great book - go read it if you haven't!

Honorable mention goes to Stranger Bedpersons - it was my first book by Jennifer Crusie and I think it will always hold a special place in my heart/mind. I heart Tess and Nick sooooo much and I think this book was funny. However, the plot was a bit simple compared to the 3 other books and that's probably the only reason why it didn't make the Top 3.

So what about you? What are your favorites Jennifer Crusie? I'm expecting a lot of ppl to say Bet Me for some reasons... LOL

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Review: Morning Light by Catherine Anderson

Morning Light by Catherine Anderson
published by Avon Romance in January 2008

Born with second sight, Loni MacEwen must warn the handsome rancher Clint Harrigan that his son is in danger-except he doesn't even have a son. Then the drama Loni predicted unfolds on the news: an orphaned boy is lost in the wilderness. As Loni and Clint help in the search for the boy, they begin to form a bond of their own...

Genre: Contemporary romance
Series: The Harrigans, book #2 (slightly related with the Coulters series)

The Story: The back blurb is one again quite accurate for a synopsis, but here’s s0me more details. Loni comes from a family of psychics; however, her gift is stronger than in the previous generations. After a failed and catastrophic attempt at helping the police with her gift, Loni moves closer to her family to start a new life. Unfortunately, her gift is something she can’t ignore and she becomes torn between responsibility and self-protection. In the end, she chooses responsibility and therefore warned Clint Harrigan of her vision. However, Clint doesn’t have a son – not to his knowledge, and therefore write up Loni as a charlatan. This is not a happy situation for Loni, who has “seen” Clint since she was young; the cowboy of her dreams isn’t the prince charming she was expecting. It doesn’t stop her from helping Clint when he asks her to accompany him on their search for the lost boy in the wilderness when Clint learns of the tragedy in the news and quickly realizes that Loni and him are the boy’s only chance to survive.

My Opinion: I’ve enjoyed many of Ms Catherine Anderson’s books in the past few years; my favorites being Sunshine and Blue Skies. True, her books are quite cheesy and she has over-used the “not-perfect” heroines plot, but the characters and storylines were quite enjoyable. It was not the case with Morning Light. I love books with psychics – especially the FBI SCU series by Kay Hooper; so perhaps I’m harder on psychics heroine and that might have contributed to my non-enjoyment… but then, I also had a problem with the hero. Loni, I think, is strong and very determined and I admired her for that. She’s been able to build herself a life, finding ways to work around her gift. One thing that annoyed me though is that her gift wasn’t well defined. I know that psychic powers don’t always fit nicely in a category such as clairvoyance or telepathy…In the case of Loni has visions when she touches people or objects (usually old ones). However, are the visions from the past, present, future or all of the above? How can her mother and grandmother who have the gift too spy on her and her sister using it? Since the gift is an important characteristic in Loni, I wish it’d been more consistent, that the author would have put more thoughts in it. But back to Loni. I thought she was an okay heroine till she jumped into TSTL la-la land. I know that lack of communication is very common in romance, but come on. It wouldn’t have killed to talk to Clint and explains the situation and her fears before running away. I mean, she didn’t even say goodbye… and in the end, it all worked out fine anyway. I thought the conflict at the end was quite unnecessary.

As for Clint, I didn’t like him much. Physically, he looks a lot like the Coulter brothers from Ms Anderson’s previous series… however, personality-wise. He’d be someone that I detest probably. Arrogant and thinks he knows it all. I dislike how he was “I’m Catholic as a result, I don’t believe in psychic.” It’s almost as if he thought himself above Loni. In addition, the no-sex rule before marriage and then, breaking if off… I don’t know, I thought it was pointless.

The story overall wasn’t that good either. Loni and Clint basically fell in love with each other in the space of a few days while they were looking for a lost boy in the wilderness… it kind of rubbed me in the wrong way since it’s supposed to be such an emergency situation. Also, I thought Ms Anderson put the drama at the wrong place. You have Loni that thinks that afraid that she lost all her privacy because reporters know that she’s a psychics and could help missing people and then, you have Clint that discovers he has a son and that his son just lost his mother and adopted father. See, between the two, I think that the situation between Clint and his son would be more delicate and more conflicts would arise from it… but no, it was solved all nice and easy… instead, there’s more drama between Clint and Loni because she runs away… but then, in the end, that too was resolved too easily.

So this book was definitively a miss with me and that’s just too bad, because I was looking forward to it. Ms Anderson’s next book is a historical if I’m not wrong, Comanche Moon… and then, we’ll probably have to wait till next year for the next Harrigan brother book… but I’m not sure anymore if I’ll buy it or not.

My Grade: C-.

Here we go again...

Hey ppl :)

I tried to blog, but things always come up... like work or reading, LOL! (I've just sum up my life in a sentence. A bit pathetic if you ask me.) So nothing special in my life. Well actually, yes, I'm excited for something, but that'll be another post.

So right now, my life is the usual... but I'm so sick of shopping. Glad though my sister is over it too, so she won't be dragging me into stores anymore! The only things we're looking forward to buy are a laptop and a Wii. I really want the Wii, but it's out of stock pretty much everywhere here :( As for the laptop, it'll mostly be for my sister... which reminds me, I should go see the IT guys to ask for advice.

The weather has turned cold again :( and guess what we had on Monday? Yes, snow... again. Not to bad, we got between 5 and 10cm and the snow was really light... but I mean, ugh. We had a lot of snow this year, a bit too much to my tastes. However, I'd like the weather to stick to one season. I mean, it was rainy last week, snowing this week... what is it going to be next? My sister said jokingly that Quebec should add this in their adverstisement campaigh: Come to Quebec where you can experience two seasons in one week! LOL.

Finally, I'm bored. I don't know what to read... which is stupid, since I have a nice TBR pile. But nothing really calls to me :( Isn't it sad? Luckily, I'm supposed to have new books coming by mail today. I hope they're going to make it!! I've been waiting for over a week already... and it's so sad... not to know what to read :( Any suggesions? What good book did you read lately? (If possible, not a historical...)

By the way, in case you haven't noticed, I posted a review over at Book Binge of Karma Girl by Jennifer Estep. After revealing in our Hits and Misses of 2007 post that Ames and I have wanted to open a buddy blog, but didn't at the end... the girls at Book Binge invited us to join them. So I'll be reviewing books for them too... but I'm not giving up reviewing on this blog :D So keep reading this blog please :D

Anyway, that's all for now about my life. I'll try to have more reviews up soon :)

Monday, January 14, 2008

Review: The Wicked Ways of a Duke by Laura Lee Guhrke

The Wicked Ways of a Duke by Laura Lee Guhrke
published by Avon Romance in December 2007

Once upon a time, there was a seamstress named Prudencewho 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?
Genre: historical romance
Series: The Bachelorettes series, book #2

The Story: In addition to being cute, the back blurb, for once, is a good synopsis for the book. One day, Prudence Bosworth is a seamstress who’s working hard and is dreaming of a better life and the next day, she’s an heiress being courted by aristocrats who seemed untouchable just the day before. Indeed, thanks to her scoundrel father who ran to America and made a fortune instead of marrying her mother, Prudence’s life changes overnight. However, there is a condition in order for her to inherit the money: she must marry within the year… and so Prudence’s debut in the aristocrat world and her search for a husband starts. Meanwhile, our hero is Rhys de Winter who has just returned from the continent and has inherited the title of Duke of St. Cyres from his uncle. Problem for him is that he is quite in debt and everything has been heavily mortgaged… and his only solution is, of course, to marry an heiress. Upon discovering that the seamstress he’s been eyeing at one of the ball has become an heiress, Rhys chooses to court and marry Prudence as fast as possible, without letting her know that he knows about her inheritance.

My Opinion: I was really looking forward for this book, because I enjoyed And Then He Kissed Her, the first book in the series, so much and after having read so many of Ms Laura Lee Guhrke’s books the past year, I ended up really liking her writing. Unfortunately, I was a bit disappointed with this one. Maybe I had too high expectations, but I thought the storyline and characters lacked some oomph to make it really stand out.

This book read a little bit like the Cinderella story. I like the idea, but I thought the author didn't personalize it enough and instead, it read like many other historical romances out there. In addition, the characters didn't appeal very much to me. I thought Prudence was a bit naive in her thinking. I expected a stronger heroine, a bit more down to earth... not this dreamer. She reminded me more of those sheltered young girls instead of a woman who came to London to work at the age of 17-18 and who's been catering the spoiled and demanding noble women. She just didn't fit in my opinion. Rhys was okay and his actions were understandable. I mean, what was Prudence really expecting out of this character? In short, typical, broke duke in need of an heiress, but who, for once, does indeed fall in love with an heiress. He was missing the swooning factor however and so is not very attaching.

What didn't disappoint in this book was the writing. I thought the writing was excellent and superior to many other historical romances out there. I have to admit I wasn't really happy about the sequel baiting (i.e. introduction of all those bachelorettes), I think that she could have done without, like in And Then He Kissed Her; however, she did pique my curiosity and I am looking forward to Prudence's friend Maria story.

In short, The Wicked Ways of a Duke wasn't bad, but not on par with what the author has accustomed us to.

My Grade: B-

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Review: Elijah by Jacquelyn Frank

Yay! My first review of the year!! LOL, there was a couple of books I was excited to get at the end of the year 2007... that I've gotten and read :) So I'll try to review them...

So let's get the ball rolling! The first book I'd like to review is Elijah by Jacquelyn Franks. I've reviewed Jacob, but not Gideon... I'm still waiting for Ames to read Gideon so we can buddy review... so blame her LOL :)

Elijah by Jacquelyn Frank
published by Zebra books in December 2007

They are called the Nightwalkers, an ancient race devoted to protecting the world from the darkness of the Necromancers. And their proudest warrior is Elijah, a man who bends for nothing and no one...until one woman brings him to his knees...


He is known as the Warrior Captain—a master of every weapon, a fierce soldier sworn to protect his kind from violence. Powerful, relentless, merciless, Elijah has always won every battle he’s ever taken on—until now. Ambushed by Necromancers, he is left for dead only to be rescued by a woman who could very well deliver the final blow…Siena, the Lycanthrope Queen.

For over a decade, an uneasy peace has existed between the warring Lycanthropes and Elijah’s people, and he’s not about to let his guard down now around their queen.

But Siena’s will is every bit a match for Elijah’s own, her sleek and sensual nature waking a hunger within him that he cannot deny. Now, the Warrior in Elijah is consumed with a different battle—winning Siena’s heart by giving her pleasure beyond all boundaries. What starts as attraction and arousal soon burns into a passion with consequences that will echo through the ages for both their people. And as would-be enemies become inseparable lovers, another threat approaches, one with the power to destroy them all...

Surrender to the night.
Genre: paranormal romance
Series: The Nightwalkers, Book 3

Hmmm, let see. It's been a while since I last wrote a full review, so I don't know from where to start... LOL. Okay, here we go…

The Story: In the previous books, Ms Frank has built a world that's in tumult – after years of wars between the Nightwalkers creatures, they have finally reached a truce and they now have to cooperate in order to fight off new threats. In Jacob, Ms Frank has focused mainly on demons and their ways and how through the centuries, they’ve been modified and changed from what was originally the truth. In short, the whole truth being discovered resulted in the rebellion/treason from two female demons who have created a "sect" composed of humans, necromancers and witches who hunt all Nightwalkers creatures (i.e. demons, vampires, weres, etc.). So at the beginning of this book, we read about Elijah who's been ambushed by this sect and is about to die... luckily for him though, Siena appears in her were-animal shape and rescues him. Both of them are stuck together for a number of days… During that time, they are wildly attracted to each other and both succumbed to their lust, even if they do not entirely accept what the other is. See, demons and were-people have been at war for hundreds of years and have just been living in peace for the past 14 years. Siena is the new Queen of her people and Elijah is the Captain of the demons and it’s been said that he killed a great number of Siena’s people. So being together is not a very good option; however, they don’t have a choice because Siena and Elijah are mates.

My Opinion: To be completely honest and why shouldn’t I, I had several problems with this book. First is the fact that Siena and Elijah got together so fast, especially while Elijah was injured. Why not work out the problems before hopping to bed together? See the problem is not only the fact that Siena is a were and Elijah is a demon, the biggest issue is that Siena will only mate once. This means that whoever she chooses as her first lover will be her mate eternally… and as Queen, she can hardly pick a demon as King, especially not a demon that has killed hundreds of her people. However, she gives in to temptation after holding up for a decade and jump into bed with Elijah. Then, a day or two later, she has to leave… and Elijah barely makes it home due to injuries… I was quite @_@ that he could have sex but not make it home.

By the way, after all the drama of “He’s a demon, I can’t mate with him even though I had sex with him,” the solution in order for them to get their HEA ending was almost too easy, too simple.

My other problem with this book is that it seems to me there are too many restraints to the characters because of the world building. I mean, demons have to be and react a certain way because they are demons, vampires get to be this way because they are vampires. I understand that in order to make the creatures interesting and new to the readers, authors have to come up with some ideas and particular traits; however, it seems to be too much in the Nightwalkers series and it really stifles the characters in my opinion. It might have been better also if there was no “Imprinting” which is how the mate system is called in this series.

Finally, because of the drama between Elijah and Siena, the politics between all the different kind of creatures and the treason/sect story, I have the feeling that I didn’t get to know the characters very well. I was given the major lines, their reactions, but never got to see development.

My Conclusion: Despite my issues with the book, I do like Ms Frank’s writing and I think she has many good ideas. However, all those ideas were a bit too much for one book. I’m not sure how I feel about the world building anymore. I enjoyed it at first when it was only the demons, but I feel it too strict when you factor in the other Nightwalkers. I am still looking forward to the next book which is Damien and features the lord of vampires. I’m hoping that his love interest won’t be a demon as I need a break from them… and I’ll decide after that book whether or not I should continue the series. For people who want to continue the series, you should definitively read Elijah since many events are happening and it’ll impact the future of the series. However, if you simply want to read a romance, then you might want to skip this book and pick up another one.

: C


Hi everyone!!

I hope everyone is doing well :)

So where to start? Hmm, let start from last week... I went back to work last week on the 2nd and everything was soooo quiet. I wish it'd always be like that, but yeah, I can keep on dreaming right? The only thing is that last Thursday, it was soooo cold in the lab! OMG, seriously. My company is so cheap ^^; They turn off the heat at night and that night, it was like -35°C... and so even if they started back the heating in the morning, it took so long to warm up. Actually, it never did... it was like 19°C... which is cold in a lab. Then, guess what? This week, the temperature has been around +10°C!! Yes, positive!! and it's been raining and foggy! The temperature has been soo crazy! Today, winds are blowing at 50km/h... and I think we're supposed to have snow soon. I'm telling you, CRAZY!

Aside from that, my life has been okay. Kind of busy especially at work. I've been switched of projects, so now, I have to learn the new assays and experiments. As a result, I don't have much time on the computer or of my own... and so I can't blog. No fun :( And then, the girl who is training me is now dumping all the work on me :( Sigh. I was going to blog on Monday night, but then I had such a headache.

So I'm catching up now. I'll try to write a review... so far, my will is not very strong... and I'm already having difficulties holding up my resolutions... the more blogging? not very good... and the buying less books? that's not happening either! LOL... you should see the number of times I've been to the bookstore... but at least, it's not just me... I know Ames is having some difficulties too... make me feel better :P

So that's about it for me... I'm trying to see with the HR department of my company if I have any vacation days (because I'm on a short contract... they usually gives 4% of your salary instead). They are sooo slow in getting back to me :( Anyway, wish me luck in getting vacation days :)

Thursday, January 03, 2008

The year 2007 in review

I've been meaning to do write this post for the past few days, but something always came up - laziness, reading, sleepiness, etc. which doesn't bode well for my few New Year resolutions ^^;

So looking back on 2007...

... blogging-wise - it was a very good year. It was the first "complete" year that I blogged and I got to know some of you more closely through chats and emails and I got to meet some of you in real life... and I still believe this is the best way to get reviews and comments about older books and newer books. The thing when you go to a message board is that the message board usually supports someone, so there's a lot of fans and when you say something that they don't agree with, they attack you. With a blog, it's more personal and I think ppl has more respect for the blog owner. Anyway, that's my feeling... so I'm very glad that I started this blog. I have to say, lately, it turned into a more personal blog than a book blog, but I'll try to get a good balance between the two.

When starting 2007, besides this blog, I was also part of 2 groups blogs: Perfect Drug and Twisted Kingdom... Perfect Drug was supposed to be a blog about anime and manga, but it never really took off and died pretty quickly. As for Twisted Kingdom, it was originally started with Mailyn, DC, Kailana and me... However, Mailyn and DC have quitted blogging :( and in the end, I stopped too at Twisted Kingdom. I felt that most books I read didn't fit at Twisted Kingdom. Even paranormal romances were more romance-y than fantasy or sci-fi... So I apologized to Kailana who was left holding the candle alone :( Sorry...

... book-wise - this year was great! LOL :) I discovered a lot of new authors and I ventured out of my fav. genre (contemporary). I also read a lot and bought even more books! I have to admit though, I'm starting to get afraid of my TBR pile... This is what happened when you find people that have similar tastes to yours. They give you suggestions, you ask them for recommendation and you end up with tons of books to buy :) and then, you start keeping tracks of your favorite authors on the net and you want to know why the buzz about this or that book on blogland and in the end, you end up with tons of books LOL :) Anyway, that's what happened to me ^^;

This is also the first year where I kept track of the books I read... and I'm really proud of myself for doing so... and so, drumroll... this year, nath has read...

btw 170 and 180 books!

Well yeah, although I kept track, I'm still not sure of how many books, because I only started keeping track in February... which comes up to 164 books. I read on average 14 books a month, so I guessed that counting January, it'd be somewhere btw 170 and 180 :P And that's without counting re-reads and manga!! :)

I'll spare you the break-down LOL and go straight to my Top lists

Top 10 Best Books of the Year
in no specific order

1) Count to Ten by Karen Rose
2) His Majesty's Dragon by Naomi Novik
3) Demon Angel by Meljean Brook
4) Blue Willow by Deborah Smith
5) Caressed by Ice by Nalini Singh
6) Virgin River by Robyn Carr
7) Warprize by Elizabeth Vaughan
8) Innocent in Death by J.D.Robb
9) Blame It on Paris by Laura Florand
10) No Humans Involved by Kelley Armstrong

Top 3 Heroes
in no specific order

1) Jack Sheridan from Virgin River by Robyn Carr
2) Jeremy from No Humans Involved by Kelley Armstrong
3) Hugh from Demon Angel by Meljean Brook

Top 3 Heroines
in no specific order

1) Lilith from Demon Angel by Meljean Brook
2) Xylara from Warprize by Elizabeth Vaughan
3) Mia Mitchell from Count to Ten by Karen Rose

*LOL, I have to say that choosing heroes and heroines is quite hard!!

Again, this year, I have discovered quite a lot of new authors and so...

Top 10 of new authors
in no specific order

1) Robyn Carr
2) Meljean Brook
3) Deborah Smith
4) Elizabeth Vaughan
5) Laura Florand
6) Jennifer Estep
7) Emilie Richards
8) Kate Angell
9) Jacquelyn Franks
10) Naomi Novik

Hmmm, looking at the lists, I have to say I'm quite consistent right? LOL :) I'm not doing any list of worse books, because I don't really remember... I usually just pushed them out of my mind and making more space for other new books that I'm going to read. As for my DNF books, they usually aren't bad books, but not my taste.

So that's pretty much it for me this year :D I sure hope that next year is going to be as good or even better. Few things that I'd like to correct though and so, I have turned them into New Year resolutions:

1 - to review more often. I don't mean review all the books I read, cos I know I'm not able to keep up... but to at least review twice a week.

2- Buy less books. Please read carefully, I wrote less, not "no more buying books ." LOL, I know the latter is impossible for me and so I'm not even going to try... however, buying less books should be feasable. In order to do so, the first thing I have to do - no more book buying binges... like going to the bookstores because I'm bored or buying on impulse or because it's cheap. Besides my auto-buy list, I wish to buy only on recommendations or if a book has gotten good reviews on blogland. Also, another thing to buy less books - being able to stop a series once it's no longer good. That should help reducing the number of books... and finally, stick to storylines or genres that I prefer. See, I have it all thought out :) Now, hopefully, I can stick to it :)

so there, you have it :) My year 2007 in review!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Hits and Misses of 2007

Nath: One of the greatest thing in 2007 for me, was to get to know Ames better. I've started blogging back in the summer 2006, but at first, I was only lurking. Then, I got more involved and got to meet wonderful people. Then, back in March, I started to email with Ames. It's really great to meet and get to know someone that shares so many things in common with you... Especially reading and book tastes.

Ames: One of the best things for me in 2007 was the Canadian blog trip. I had gotten to know Nath really well through emails and it was such a pleasure to meet her, Kristie, Cindy and Chantal. We all love books so much and for me, there was no awkwardness between any of us. That's just amazing, meeting people you've met online and having a blast with them. It was good fun.

Not so fun, but a blessing in and of itself, was my car accident, which happened right after the trip. And Nath also had a car accident. Not only do we have car accidents in common, but we're both single, live at home, recently graduated from University and spend way too much money on books. Also, we're both sick of our jobs, but are too lazy to do anything about it. It's funny, but it's kind of scary how much we have in common, aside from books. LOL

To tell everyone the truth... Ames and I wanted to start a buddy review blog... But there was a lot more planning than doing. Then, we gave up the idea... the girls at Book Binge had just launched their blog and we thought too many stuff we planned would be similar. Also, both of us was unwilling to give up our blogs or make it less bookish. So instead, we thought we're buddy reviews more... that also never happened ^^;

So as a compensation for your loss (LOL), we'll be reviewing the year together! We'll have our own list on our blogs of Top 10 and all, but for now, here are some books we've both read and want to share with everyone :)

Surprises of the Year

Blame It on Paris by Laura Florand - I'm not one of biography or mémoires, but this book was truly awesome! It was sooo funny and the fact that most of the events were true just made it more incredible. I can't wait for the author's next book... and I can't wait for Ames to read it... and I've been bugging her for a while now!

Count to Ten by Karen Rose - I'm not a fan of romantic suspense, but there was enough blogger buzz to interest me in Karen Rose. I'm so glad I did. This book has quickly become one of my top faves of 2007. The book was made by the two main characters, Mia and Reed. They just fit, and that really struck a chord with me. Woot.

Disappointments of the Year

Lover Unbound by JR Ward - At this point, all I’m going to say is, I’m just going to keep reading this series for John and Blay. I lub them.

Blood Brothers by Nora Roberts - Overall, the book wasn't bad; however, it didn't meet my expectations :( I admit that perhaps, my expectations were high... but I was so excited to read it, hoping that it'd be in the same style as The Chesapeake trilogy... the romance, story-telling, even events and characters weren't balanced in my opinion. I hope that the next one will salvage the trilogy.

Best Book Event of the Year

Ames & Nath: For us, without question, the Canadian Romance Bloggers Meeting. It was just so great to meet bloggers, people that really share your passion.

Disappointing Book Event of the Year

Fire Study by Maria V. Snyder - I was really sad when I learnt that the book date release was pushed back... a YEAR!! One whole year! That was just insane... but March 2008 is coming soon!

Where did Patience by Lisa Valdez go?

Books that met our expectations

Kushiel's Scion by Jacqueline Carey - This was the book most anticipated by me this year, and it was worth the wait. All about forbidden love, this novel had me crying and then banging my fists in frustration for the next installment. I want to make sure my characters get a happy ending! But I won't know that until June, when Kushiel's Mercy comes out. *sigh*

No Humans Involved by Kelley Armstrong - This was the 7th book in the Women of the Otherworld series and the main characters were Jeremy and Jaime. I was anticipating this book greatly and I seriously wondered how Kelley Armstrong was going to deal with Jeremy and Jaime's relationship. All I have to say is Jeremy was hot and Jaime is one lucky woman... and that balcony scene... wow!

Best Come-back Author of the Year

Jennifer Crusie with Agnes and the Hitman - It might have been a collaboration, but I thought there was a lot more of Jennifer Crusie than Bob Mayer in that book... and Agnes and the Hitman felt like a classic Jennifer Crusie. I'm happy that Jennifer Crusie is back at her best and hope that she'll have a book of her own in 2008.

Ames: None

and now... our Top 3!

Her Majesty's Dragon - Naomi Novik

I loved this book! The bond between Temeraire and Laurence was what made this book so enjoyable for me.

I loved this book as well! It truly was awesome!! I love Temeraire and his relationship with Laurence. There's a lot of laughs and Temeraire is soooo cute!

Count to Ten - Karen Rose

This was Ames' surprise of the year and one of the best romantic suspense I've read in a while. The great thing about this book is that it was all well-balanced - the mystery, the romance and the main characters' development. Although it's loosely part of a series, it stands on its own very well... and the Hero and Heroine, Reed and Mia, were just great. Strong ppl with their share of past, but without being incapacitated by it.

Ames: see above

Demon Angel - Meljean Brook

Ahhh, Hugh and Lilith. How were they ever going to come together? It was crazy good how these two meshed.

This book was great!! It was very different than the usual romance novel or even paranormal romance... it's a difficult book to go get through, because there is so much either story-wise, character-wise or even detail-wise... but it's worth the time and concentration required... and Hugh and Lilith!! I just love them!! and Colin and Sir Pup LOL :P

One thing about 2007, there was a large number of new authors for both of us. It made it impossible for us to choose who we enjoyed the most out of the bunch. Let's hope that 2008 is just as enjoyable as 2007. I know March will be another good month for meeting up with bloggers...

I seriously can't wait to see what 2008 has in store for us. I'm sure it'll be another amazing year for us :D

December reads

I have been slacking lately, both in blogging and reviewing... However, one thing that has kept up is me reading... and buying books. LOL :) So here are my reads for December:

1) Sweet Return by Anna Jeffrey: C
2) The Fortune Hunter by Jasmine Haynes: B-
3) 'Scuse Me While I Kill This Guy by Leslie Langtry: DNF
4) Wedding Ring by Emilie Richards: B
5) Hundreds of Years to Reform a Rake by Laurie Brown: B+
6) Never Too Late by Robyn Carr: B
7) Blood Dreams by Kay Hooper: B+
8) The Haunting of Josie by Kay Hooper: B
9) Elijah by Jacquelyn Franks: C
10) The Wicked Ways of a Duke by Laura Lee Guhrke: B-
11) Drive Me Crazy by Kate Angell: B+
12) Some Girls Do by Leanne Banks: B-
13) Morning Light by Catherine Anderson: C-
14) Karma Girl by Jennifer Estep: B
15) Hot Mama by Jennifer Estep: B

So not bad for this month :D Of course, the downside is that I didn't review any of the books I read... and I don't even have an excuse :(

Also, December was a great month book-buying-wise... because most of the books came out early! That always makes me happy! In addition, there was also a lot of promotions in-store... Sure I spent a lot, but I'm sure I saved a lot too ^^;