Sunday, February 27, 2011

Hauling Sunday XXXII

How is everyone's week-end going so far? I've elected not to do anything. I'm just going to relax, read and watch curling... and tonight, I'm meeting friends :) Overall, it should be a very nice week-end :) If only I could sneak some cleaning, but nahhh LOL.

Instead, I'm going to enjoy my new precious :) I didn't get many, but very good ones. LOL, even in books, quality trumps quantity :)

A Lot Like Love by Julie James - Ms James is another author that I don't looove as much as other readers. Still, she writes well and she writes contemporary. I'm hoping this one will hit the right spot for me :)

Blackout by Rob Thurman - The next Cal Leandros book! I'm really looking forward to this... I'm a bit worried about Cal though ^_^;

Welcome to Last Chance by Hope Ramsay - This is Ms Ramsay's debut novel if I'm not wrong. It caught my eyes because it is published by Grand Central Publishing, LOL. It's a contemporary romance taking place in a small town... sounds good to me :)

I couldn't resist and bought more, LOL.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Review: Absolutely, Positively by Heather Webber

Woohoo, it's Friday!! The week has gone by so quickly! Usually this is a good thing, cos that means the week-end comes faster too... But in this case, because there's something for the job that I have to do on Fridays that I don't like it... well  it just seems too quick :( And today was such a long and crappy day... actually, the whole week was, sigh. Let's hope the week-end doesn't go by too quickly ^_^;

However, the good news is I finally got my review for Absolutely, Positively up! Woohoo!! I'm really glad, because I know many of you have recently read a Lucy Valentine book and that was a good source of motivation :) I wanted everyone to know how much I enjoyed this third installment :P So take a look and find out :)

Absolutely, Positively by Heather Webber
published by St. Martin's Press in February 2011

“Exposed” by a Boston Herald reporter, Lucy is suddenly the talk of the town. Long back-story short: Even though the rest of her Valentine ancestors were blessed by Cupid with psychic abilities, Lucy’s only special power lies in her ability to find things. This skill has proven quite a blessing for those who come to her matchmaking agency in search of finding their long-lost loves. Now that Lucy’s secret is out, she has more new clients than she knows what to do with. But soon a certain man of mystery steals Lucy’s spotlight…

No, it’s not Sean Donahue, the sexy fireman-turned-private-eye who’s stolen Lucy’s heart. It’s a masked man in a cowboy hat, dubbed “The Lone Ranger,” who’s been throwing handfuls of cash across the Common. Now all of Beantown’s abuzz. Can Lucy unmask the mysterious money man, track down all her clients’ old flames, and turn up the heat on her love life? Absolutely, positively...
Genre: Contemporary romance, mystery
Series: Lucy Valentine, Book #3

The Story: A lot is happening in Absolutely, Positively. First, there's the Lone Ranger, a masked man who literally throws money in the streets and who has Preston hot on his heels for a scoop. Then there's work as Lucy and Sean investigate for the Lost Loves, a division of Valentines Inc. One is an official case where a young woman is looking for someone she knew while in the foster system, but what is Lucy to do when she discover the young man is not walking the straight line? There's also an elderly man from Lucy's neighborhood who has disappeared and everyone is wondering what happened. If indeed he is dead, then was it fair play? Finally, there is also the personal front... Lucy is debating whether to take a step further in her relationship with Sean and ask him to move in with her; however, she worries because of the Cupid curse. Adds in her parents' new relationship and a brother who doesn't want to take up the succession of a family business and you have Lucy's head spinning in all directions :)

My Opinion: Seriously, I overlooked this series in my Best and Worst of 2010 posts, but it is really a gem of a series. What makes it so awesome is a combination of good writing, interesting storylines, great characters, but most importantly I think, freshness. I don't think there is anything out there close to Ms Webber's style and it just adds more to her books :)

I was quite looking forward to Absolutely, Positively and overall, it pretty much met my expectations :) I enjoyed this book a great deal, although it was less fluffy than the others... I think it had to do with the cases - although in previous books, the cases were quite serious as well, so perhaps it's how busy the book is, which as shown in my recap, very :P Still, it was well-balanced, not confusing and kept me hooked as I just want to find out more about everything LOL. Also, I was quite surprised how everything tied in together and I think Ms Webber did a good job :P

While the cases were interesting, varied and kind of suspenseful, the real strength of the Lucy Valentine series is the characters and that holds true in Absolutely, Positively. Lucy is a great heroine and really make this book :) I think it's because readers enjoy being in her head, seeing things from her POV and her thinking process :) She's very genuine, caring and level-headed. Just a balanced character, especially now that she knows where she's going in life. You can throw a lot at her, which her family often does, and she can deal with it. Then, there is this whole cast of quirky characters surrounding her that just makes this book fun :) Everyone of them is unique and adds a different flavor to Lucy's life.While they are funny, they also have this touch of wisdom and with it, they have Lucy's back. I really enjoyed Lucy's parents in this book LOL. The situation is really interesting and I'm looking forward to see how it'll work out in the future :P Sure to give Lucy a few more eye twitches LOL... and the couch scene! LOL. And then, there are Lucy's best friends Marisol and Emma. I like how they are part of Lucy's family, it really feels like they've been childhood friends :) I also like how everyone is supportive of Emma :) With her relationship with Aiden finally taking off, I'm hoping that the focus will switch a little to Marisol in the next few books :)

Another thing that I'm enjoying in this series is the timing of things :) I like that Lucy and Sean's relationship is not rushed, that they're taking their time to get to know each other and build the trust. I like that Sean is patient with Lucy and also understanding and is willing to wait till Lucy is no longer afraid :) That not everything is happening to Lucy at once and she's overwhelmed. So I feel it's good that Lucy has found her footing in life, being able to use her gift but also be part of the family business. At the same time, she's slowly building her confidence and coming into the life that she's always dreamed :) In many series, I'm pretty sure the heroine would have gotten there too fast and panic or not get there yet and be frustrated - all to create issues, conflicts... and sometimes, you don't need them and Ms Webber understands that :)

With all this being said, Absolutely, Positively was not a perfect read and I had a couple of issues with it. While the romance between Lucy and Sean is progressing very nicely, Sean is still somewhat of an unknown entity. There's no doubts about his feelings, but what about Sean himself? We know the current him, but we have very little about his past and what made the man who he is today. Learning that Sam and Sean are "foster" brothers was a great surprise and not just to the readers... So I really hope that the next book will focus on Sean. Another issue I had was with Lucy and the foster kids case. When Lucy learns that the man is a criminal, she decides to "protect" her client by keeping information from both parties... I know this was a dilemma for Lucy, that she had good intentions and was doing it in her client's best interest... but the choice really bothered me, because ultimately, it wasn't  her choice to make. It's good to care, but at the same time, I felt Lucy was too quick to judge. Okay, Tristan didn't help matters at all ^_^; Still, I wished she was a bit more open-minded. Finally, I was a bit disappointed that there was no more interaction between Lucy and Cutter. I was really looking forward for it and Cutter was just taken out of the equation with business trip... Of course, this won't go happen in every book as the succession issue has to be resolved... so I'm keeping my fingers crossed for the next book :)

My Grade: B+. Another great installment to the series and I'm really looking forward to the next book!!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Review: Scandal of the Year by Laura Lee Guhrke

I'm still playing catch-up on my reviews ^_^; Proof is that I still haven't reviewed a single book read in February. Sigh, I'm going to pay for it in my monthly reads post ^_^; Because of that, I almost reviewed Absolutely, Positively by Heather Webber instead... but I'm afraid if I delay this review again, it'll fall through the cracks and I just won't ever get around to review it ^_^; So Scandal of the Year by Laura Lee Guhrke it is for tonight :)

Scandal of the Year by Laura Lee Guhrke
published by Avon in January 2011
One tryst was all she wanted...

From their very first meeting, Julia knew that Aidan Carr, the oh-so-proper Duke of Trathen, had a bit of the devil in him, a devil who secretly yearned for what he could not have, a devil who harbored a desire for her. So when she needed to be caught in a compromising situation, Aidan was the answer to her prayers.

One tryst just wasn’t enough...

Aidan is supposed to be looking for a bride, yet his scandalous liaison with Julia is all he can think about. Hot, erotic memories of kissing her skin, falling into her bed, pulling her naked body on top of his own continue to torment and tempt him. What is it about this brazen seductress that he finds so hard to resist? And how can he stop himself from falling into her bed a second time?
Genre: Historical romance
Series: Abandoned at the Altar, Book #2

The Story: Scandal of the Year opens up with Aidan Carr, Duke of Trathen, making, for the third time, a foray into the ton and the Season in order to find himself a bride. Being a duke and wealthy should put all odds on his side; however, there's the fact that he has two broken engagements under his belt and let's not forget he was a party in last year's juiciest scandal! Indeed, being found in the aftermath of a tryst with Julia, Lady Yardley, by her husband and then, having his name dragged into the divorce court... The worst is that Aidan doesn't know how it happened as he dislikes Julia and her bold personality. Yet, he cannot forget her and wished he could remember more about their tryst than just flashes of it.

 After years of evading her husband, Julia is finally free! To start her new life on the right foot though, Julia would like to acquit herself from all her debts... Only problem is that she has no funds and does not want to burden her family. However, through some encounters and opportunities, Julia finds herself to be Aidan's social secretary and her job is to steer him to the right social events and finding him a bride. This suits Julia perfectly since she's still feeling guilty for dragging Aidan into her mess and all she wants is for him to be happy...

However, what if she was the only one who could make him happy?

My Opinion: After reading Wedding of the Season, I did something I rarely do... I read the excerpt of Scandal of the Year because I was really looking forward to Julia and Aidan's story. There was just something about Julia that attracted me... Lucky for me I didn't have to wait long to read Scandal of the Year! I don't know what I would have done otherwise :) Scandal of the Year ended up to be a really good read, but not what I expected...

What surprised me the most is that Julia and Aidan have a past together. A chance encounter when both were younger, just before Julia was to marry Lord Yardley. This encounter was innocent enough - two strangers met and struck a conversation, perhaps more casual than it should be; yet, it was special because neither ever forgot each other. It's something that they share and is crucial for this story. To be truthful though, I'm not totally sure how I feel about it. I like it because it links them, it gives them a past... At the same time, I think it's the encounter itself. I know Julia is bold and outspoken, but would she share that much with a stranger? Perhaps given her situation and the fact that she had no one to confide in...

Something else that surprised me was Julia's character. I always thought that Scandal of the Year was a 'happy-go-lucky heroine thawing stuffy hero' kind of storyline, my favorite :) However, Julia is a far cry from being happy-go-lucky. Readers are able to glimpse at some of the darkness surrounding Julia in Wedding of the Season; however, we really get the full story in Scandal of the Year... It goes beyond simple unhappiness because she doesn't love her husband. She entered her marriage to redeem herself for being too rebellious and what she steps in is hell. After knowing everything, I can't help but admiring Julia for her strength. I admire her, because she didn't give up on herself, she didn't let herself be a victim and never lost herself. She was smart, didn't let what society thought of her affect her, didn't let society pressure her and that's commendable when you think of the time period, a time where women were vulnerable because they didn't have much rights. Still she fought for herself. The most admirable is that she kept it from her family and friends, the strong front she had to put for them... Was it the best decision? Not sure, but again, it wasn't simply because she didn't want to hurt there, but also, what could they do? The only thing Julia could do was to get a divorce and she achieved it. I also really liked her love for her family, especially her cousins. When Beatrix and Aidan first met? That must have been heart-breaking to Julia, to step aside, losing the opportunity to free herself so her cousin could be happy. You don't realize it by the way she talks, the way she acts, but there is a selflessness in her that's for a lack of better word, admirable :) And after everything, she was still herself, still going to live and live a good life. I'm telling you, admirable. So in a way, her strength absolutely surprised me, in the best way possible.

Aidan was a good character as well. There was a stuffiness to him, but he was not pompous. He is just acting the way he thinks a duke should: honorably. I really liked the fact that he was there during Julia's divorce to give his testimony and not just sending a written statement. He's someone who takes his responsibilities seriously and assumes his mistakes and errors. Which I really like of him, especially when he admits that his judgement of Julia was wrong. I think honorable is a word that describes him very well. However, as the blurb says, there is a bit of a devil in him, the part of him who wants to act spontaneously, to do what he wants and damn the world. I did see glimpses of him, but I would have liked to see more of it. I would have liked to see more development and transition for his character, especially when he finally admits to himself that he loves Julia. The realization seemed a little too abrupt, especially when he starts to really pursue Julia, to make her admit her feelings. That's my only complaint when it comes to Aidan :)

The romance itself was nice, but I would have liked a little bit more. I mean, it took time for both to realize their feelings and then, it was kind of a cat and mouse chase. I guess I would have liked them to spend more time together being honest with their feelings. I liked how Aidan finally got to know Julia, the real her, and was so protective of her :) I do think it was clumsy though of Aidan to propose when he did, knowing what Julia went through and knowing she was skittish. Yes, Aidan was in no way the same as Lord Yardley, but still... To declare so soon and not give her time to adapt... Luckily, what saved it is that Julia came to him. Again, I do think it was a bit fast and I would have liked to see Julia's thought process, but I guess the book needed to be wrapped up ^_^;

My Grade: B+. For me, Aidan and Julia - especially Julia's character - made the book for me. I enjoyed their characters and liked their story... I do think that the pacing of the whole storyline was a little off and that resulted in the ending being a little bit rushed... and that accounts for the grade :) Once again, I like the period setting and I'm looking forward to the third book!! A pity it only comes out in January 2012, sigh.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Hauling Sunday XXXI

So guess what? I was looking at my stats the other day and apparently, people are finding my blog by searching for XXX. I don't know whether it's hilarious or sad ^_^; I guess that if I was reading more erotica, it could be XXX... LOL.

Nothing special going on with me. I'm on the look-out for a new TV. There was one that I wanted, but by the time I went to the store to check it out and back home - 2 hours - the price went up :( I guess I'll be waiting some more. The Scotties Tournament of Heart, i.e. Canada's women curling championship, has started and that means I have something to watch everyday!! I wished I could switch place with my sister who's on Spring break - I could see all the matches. TSN used to put the matches online afterwards, but not this year :(

Anyway, let see what I got this week :)


What I Did for a Duke by Julie Anne Long - I got this one because of the rave reviews :) Everyone who's read it seemed to have enjoyed it a lot :)

The Heiress by Lynsay Sands - Enjoyed The Countess. Looking forward to Suzette's POV. I really like Suzette's character :) Bold and frank, that's my kind of heroine :)

How to Flirt with a Naked Werewolf by Molly Harper - I've read Ms Harper's Jane Jameson series where a librarian is turned into a vampire :) It was a light and funny series and I'm expecting the same from this one :)

Treachery in Death by J.D. Robb - LOL, there's nothing to say about this book :P

I also got this from the bookstore :) They are bookends. Aren't they cute?!? I'm tempted to go buy more LOL.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Review: Wedding of the Season by Laura Lee Guhrke

Wooohooo, another review!! I'm having difficulty just choosing which books to review these days! Too many books to review and I'm so playing catch up ^_^; I was debating reviewing both Wedding of the Season and Scandal of the Year, but I need to go to bed early and we all know that I can't keep it short LOL. So hopefully, I'll get to Scandal of the Year, especially since I enjoyed it even more!

By the way, a quick reminder that Breezing Through's 4th Blogiversary giveaway is ending tonight at midnight. We haven't really precise which midnight though, so don't forget to comment, you still have time!

Wedding of the Season by Laura Lee Guhrke
published by Avon in December 2010

Abandoned at the altar...

Lady Beatrix Danbury had always known she would marry William Mallory. She'd loved him forever and she'd never doubted he loved her, too. But when she made him choose between their life together or his lifelong dream, Will chose the latter... and left two weeks before their wedding.

Return of the duke...

Will has no illusions that Beatrix would welcome him back with open arms, but six years did not dim his love or desire for her. The only problem is, she's about to marry someone else. Someone safe and predictable... the complete opposite of Will. But can he stop the wedding of the season and win Beatrix back, or is it just too late?
Genre: Historical romance
Series: Abandoned at the Altar trilogy, Book #1

The Story: Beatrix and Will grew up together as neighbors, as friends and as sweethearts. They were about to get married when Will was offered the opportunity to join a dig in Egypt, led by Will's mentor and inspiration. Will tried to convince Beatrix to accompany him, but she couldn't leave her father behind... and the wedding was called off.

Years later, when Will has not returned for his father's funeral or assume his title, when Beatrix' father has passed away, Beatrix finally realizes that Will was not coming back and it was time for her to move on. When she meets Aidan Carr, the duke of Trathen, it seems to be a sign. She has met a good, respectful man who could make her content. So why did Will have to come back on the verge of her wedding to Aidan? Is it to stop her? Or...

My Opinion: I love Ms Guhrke's writing and she's one of my auto-buy historical romance author :)  I was so looking forward to her next release and was overjoyed to discover that she'd have back-to-back releases! I have to say, I've been somewhat disappointed with her latest release and was kind of happy that she was moving on to another series. I also had high hopes, because she seemed to be part of the authors Avon was pushing with their new strategy. Well, let me tell you... it worked :)

In a way, the story of Wedding of the Season was heart-breaking. Two people in love with each other, but who cannot compromise and in the end, have to separate. There's nothing more tragic or sad in my opinion. It was also hard, because neither were at fault... or both were. Will was never going to be happy as a duke and when he had an opportunity to realize his dream, he grabbed it. Can anyone blame him? He tried to convince Beatrix to come with him, but she refused... Was his decision wrong? I don't think so. I think what many of the characters didn't realize is that Will was hurt as well. He did love Beatrix and she didn't choose him. What does that say?

As for Beatrix, she was trapped... by her father and position in society. On one hand, she couldn't leave her father behind. Is it wrong to be filial? No. Both Will and Beatrix' cousin, Julia, made Beatrix' father sounds like an overbearing man... but the man was abandoned by his wife who ran away with her lover... Can you blame him to be protective of Beatrix? Can you blame to be afraid to lose Beatrix? Ideally, he would put his fear aside and let Beatrix spread her wings... but how many can do it? On the other hand, Beatrix was raised to be a duchess. To uproot herself and live in Egypt... was it fair to her? I'm not saying that Beatrix was marrying Will for his title, because she wasn't. However, England, aristocracy and the ton, that is the only way of life that she knew...

Tragic I'm telling you. I do have to say that Beatrix suffered more... and I wished that Will would have shown more feelings about it. I mean, it's clear that neither were able to let go of their feelings for each other. That they still love each other, but also still hurt. However, I thought Will could have done something. Stay in contact, come back earlier... My romantic heart really wished that Will had come back to stop Beatrix' wedding and not because he was in need of funds. It's a bit like being far away, he could tuck his feelings for Beatrix somewhere safe and upon seeing her again, it broke the dam and flooded.

So I did like the characters and I felt for them. I understand why Beatrix was so stubborn as to getting back with Will, even after she broke her engagement with Aidan. What I found unfortunate is that we've gone through all this and the ending didn't live up to the all the drama. It was definitively rushed and I wished Will really had a way to convince Beatrix of his feelings. Yes it's a repeat of the situation and this time, Beatrix took the "right" decision... Still, I wished for a bit more, because it seemed to have been precipitated by events instead of feelings.

One of my favorite element of this book was the time period: early 1900s :) It's an in-between period - on the edge of the old, verge of the new... where old traditions and new conventions collide. I think it really enhanced the storyline and it made Wedding of the Season stand out. Not many authors tackle this time period, but it does seem to be Ms Guhrke's niche. I could imagine Beatrix in her motorcar, with her goggles and driving coat LOL. The women in their bathing suits, the Wimbledon tournaments, the aristocrats playing tennis...

Another element I liked also was the friendship and tight group that Beatrix, Will, Julia, their other cousin Paul,  and the Viscount Marlowe's family formed. These people have grown up together, have spent countless summer together, have a past together. It was heart-warming to see the bonds and links still there, the friendship and camaraderie :) There were also some very interesting secondary characters such as Julia, Aidan and Paul and I'm looking forward to their books :) By the way, I know that Wedding of the Season takes place a few years after the Girl Bachelors series, and there was a mention of Lucy (Daisy's sister) who is now Lady Weston... Does that mean we'll never get her story?

My Grade: B. Overall, I enjoyed Wedding of the Season a lot :) I liked and felt for Beatrix and Will, but I do think their relationship could have taken another turn if only.... Still, a good story with great setting :) Made me really look forward to Scandal of the Year :)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Review: You Belong to Me by Karen Rose

Sometimes, I think reviewing is like biking or jogging. First, it's something that you never forget how to. Second, the first few steps are always the hardest LOL. Seriously, sometimes it's so hard ^_^; but I made it! So enjoy :)

You Belong to Me by Karen Rose
published by Headline Book Publishing in January 2011
When forensic pathologist Lucy Trask stumbles across a mutilated body by the chess tables in her local Baltimore park, its face so badly damaged it is unrecognisable, her sole concern is that it might be her old school teacher Mr. Pugh. When the corpse is identified, Lucy is shocked to discover that the victim is actually another man from her past. Who killed him and why his skin is burnt with the number '1' is unclear but it's evident that someone is demanding Lucy's attention. The discovery of a second branded body raises worrying questions: how many more lives may be at risk before the killer's final message is revealed? And can Lucy solve the killer's gruesome puzzle before their thirst for revenge is complete?
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Series: TBA

The Story: In You Belong to Me, forensic pathologist Lucy Trask discovering a body during her morning jog and mistaking it for Mr. Pugh, her high school teacher and good friend, due to the clothing. Quickly, the police - JD Fitzpatrick and Stevie Mazzetti - figures out that Lucy was meant to find the body and that she is somehow involved into this case. This is only confirmed when the heart is left in her car. How is she involved? Who is the killer? Those are the questions the homicide detectives hope that she will help answering.

JD Fitzpatrick is at a crossroad in his life. He lost his wife a couple of years ago, has just recently changed from Vice to Homicide and has been trying to sell his house for months. He is ready to move on, but is not sure in what direction. When he meets Lucy on the case, JD immediately feels something. They have shared a moment in the past, a connection... and now, attraction. For his future, JD is determined not to let Lucy come to harm, but it is something difficult to accomplish when a killer is after her.

My Opinion: It's no secret that I'm a big fan of Ms Rose... and the love continues :) When I heard that You Belong to Me was coming out in hardcover in the UK 6 months before the US release, I knew right away there was no way I was going to wait. No way. So I did the sensible thing: I pre-ordered the book from LOL, and waited for it to be shipped :) And it was totally worth it!! :)

In You Belong to Me, Ms Rose brings us to Baltimore and introduces us to a new cast of characters. I really like how Ms Rose has different settings and casts of characters and that her books are loosely connected. It definitively gives her room to play, but also keeps everything new and fresh for the readers. There is no sequel baiting feeling and the process/character growth seem more natural as there is no pressure to get their book. At the same time, we get to re-visit and catch glimpse of old characters :) It's really well-balanced and the suspense/police work is what connects all this books rather than relationships.

LOL, but I'm getting side-tracked. The H/H of You Belong to Me are Lucy and JD. By the way, I would have loved to find out what JD stood for! Overall, I liked both characters a lot. Really, you can't help but admire Lucy because she's so strong. I loved her sense of loyalty and it makes sense that she values the people who helped her go through so much. At the same time, she's also a very caring person and that's not easy to be... because it can bring you heartaches, caring for people who do not deserve it, but you can't help it. While reading, Lucy's secrecy about her other life bothered me a bit, because her other passion is nothing to be ashamed of... but then, the more I thought of it, the more I understood why she was doing it. Lucy was definitively a very complex character and very contrasting a the same time. I think it'd be good for her if she could blend her two lives together. I liked JD's character, but I think he could have been developed a tad more, just so I could understand him better. He has a past - being a sniper, losing his best friend, feeling guilty for his wife's death, etc. However, at times, it felt more like a list of things than his own character. I think the main reason I feel this way was because Lucy was really central in You Belong to Me, the whole suspense revolving around her... because of that, we came to learn events that shaped Lucy, made her who she was today. On the other hand, JD's character was very much about the moment, his protectiveness, feelings, attraction to Lucy. I mean, I like that man, he's a great guy, an awesome guy... Who wouldn't crack for a man who buys a little girl a kindergarten's graduation? It's just that I wanted to know him better, understand him a little better.

With romantic suspense novels, the balance between the suspense and romance is pretty crucial... and also very hard to reach. I thought Ms Rose did a great job given the book. Yes, it could have used a little bit more romance, I would have loved more "normal" scenes between Lucy and JD... but at the same time, given the timeline of the book - 2 days - then yes, I'm happy with the romance we got. And it was actually pretty well-written and believable. I loved that Lucy and JD had a connection prior this case and I think that the moment they shared at the morgue, over a little girl's body, is something unforgettable for either of them. They didn't know each other, never really spoke to each other... but that connection made what they had and felt believable :) Plus this time, we got an epilogue that wrapped it up nicely :)

As for the suspense, well it was well done as usual. With such a short timeline, things were happening one after another and that was great for the pacing. The murders, the killer were classic Karen Rose's style which means a complex killer and some gory scenes. The killer was really scary and how he plans thing... Gosh. I really liked how everything came together, was linked. It makes me realize that they are really bad people out there, jerks and people without conscience. Also that everything has two sides, can be good, but can also be bad. Parents, small town, law enforcement... That good intentions can be used for bad purposes... Some really scary stuff when you start thinking about it ^_^;

A reader on Goodreads felt that Ms Rose wasn't bringing anything new with this story and she doesn't. However, I don't think it took away from You Belong to Me. I mean, romantic suspense as a genre is hard to play around with.... especially with Ms Rose's style that focuses on the investigation. As long as she continues the way she is, writing good characters, intense murder investigations and a nice romance, Ms Rose will be the Queen of RS for me and I actually don't want her to change :)

My Grade: A-. Once again, I feel that Ms Rose has delivered :) You Belong to Me was a fast-paced, intense romantic suspense with good and solid characters as well as a nice touch of romance. I hope that she'll return to Baltimore in the future, because I like this cast of characters and they had some interesting dynamics going on :)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Breezing Through's 4th Blogiversary!!

Hey everyone :)

I know I often say it, but it isn't less true: time really goes by fast!! Too fast actually!! LOL. Can you imagine, Breezing Through is celebrating its 4th Blogiversary! For this joyous occasion, we are holding a giveaway! Head over to Breezing Through (or click here :P) for more details!! :)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Hauling Sunday XXX

Ouf, this week was busy and tiring! I fell behind early this week and never managed to catch up. Hopefully, I'll be able to do so this week-end... although so far, it doesn't seem so ^_^; Looks like I'm in a nostalgic phase... I watched some anime and read some manga this morning. Then, this evening, I watched some old TVB series and have been looking for the themesongs. Jeez, it's then that I realize how much time has gone by ^_^; I grew up with the 1980s and 1990s TVB series... some of the actors on whom I used to crush are turning 40!!! Although, you can't really tell LOL.

Julian Cheung Chi Lam

Louis Koo Tin Lok

Left pictures were taken in the 90s and right, 2011. LOL, I guess they both lost baby fat, but seriously, they don't look 40 :P Then again, Andy Lau, Tony Leung and company are 50... Hmmm LOL.

All right, enough of actors :) What you're interested in is what books I bought this week :P So here they are:

Harvest Moon by Robyn Carr - My enthusiasm for this series has been renewed :) I'm not sure about the heroine in this book tough, but I'm crossing my fingers :)

The Perfect Scandal by Delilah Marvelle - Still haven't read her previous book... still, I'm supporting the author because she's an awesome gal :P

Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins - I've been eying this book for a while now, because I read lots of good stuff on this book :) However, I was waiting for the mass market release... and I did!! LOL.

Outside In by Maria V. Snyder - I loved the Study books :P Still having read Inside Out, but so what? LOL. I have faith in Ms Snyder. Plus, they've been getting a good buzz :)

Everyone Loves a Hero by Marie Force - I want to read something contemporary :P

License to Ensorcell by Katharine Kerr - Always on the look out for interesting books :) In this one, the heroine is a psychic... and I'm in withdrawal, since there doesn't seem to be a FBI SCU book this year :(

So 6 books this week. Not too little, but not too much either :P By the way, while I haven't been blogging much, I am reading :) and before I purchased these books, I was down to 4 books bought in 2011 and unread. Not bad no? :) Of course, I should read a bit more from my TBR pile... but oh well :P

What about you? Bought any good books? :P

Thursday, February 10, 2011


Hey everyone? What's up? :P I'm so sorry, this week was totally out of control. It started out well and then, hit a wall on Tuesday. I had some friends over and while it was fun, it screwed up my routine/schedule... and I've been paying for it the whole week ^_^; I hope I'll have time to catch up on the week-end, but it looks very busy as well.

It took me three days to complete my blog-hop... and my mind if blank when it comes to start a post ^_^; At least, I've been reading :) Finished The Countess yesterday and started Unveiled today :) Also went to the bookstore... so stay tuned for my Hauling Sunday :)

What about you? What have you been up to?

Monday, February 07, 2011

Avon Historicals

Today, the topic of discussion is Avon - the romance branch of Harpercollins Publisher. I know that Avon releases both contemporary and historical romance books, but I tend to associate it with historical romance more. It is also towards that publisher that I'll gravitate when I'm in the mood to read historical romance. There is just something about their books that seems to suit me. However, I feel that in the past few years, Avon historical romance books seem to have become a little too generic. Many of my favorite historical authors' past couple of years releases with Avon have been bland books - Suzanne Enoch, Laura Lee Guhrke, Lorraine Heath and Victoria Alexander just to name a few. All of these authors had have amazing books in the past and as a result, readers have high expectations... Unfortunately, their recent books have not met those expectations and I have to wonder if it's due to a lax in Avon's editors. I also remember that Kristie complained about the fact that all the heroes in Avon books tend to be aristocrats and set in regency England in recent years. So there's been a definitive shift somewhere along the years... All of this combined have made me almost give up on Avon historicals. Oh I continued buying my favorite authors, but every time there was a new author or a new series, I was very hesitant to pick it up. 

However, it seems there's been another shift in the past few months... It seems to me Avon has come up with a new release strategy... Did you notice that many authors have had new trilogy with back-to-back releases for their first two books? These are the ones that come to mind: Lorraine Heath's London's Greatest Lover (Nov and Dec), Laura Lee Guhrke's Abandoned at the Altar (Dec and Jan) and Lynsay Sands' Madison Sisters (Jan and Feb). However, we don't really know much about the third book - the title and release date. Is it to build up the anticipation? Why not do release the whole trilogy back-to-back like some other publishers? Still, it seems to be working. Plus, the most important is that the quality of these books has definitively increased, which is good for us readers :)

So kudos to Avon who seemed to realize that they were in trouble and did something to rectify it :)

What are your thoughts? 
Did you notice their new strategy? 
What do you think of it all? 
Is it going to work?

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Review: Marrying Daisy Bellamy by Susan Wiggs

No Hauling Sunday this week :) So instead, I have a review :)

Disclaimer: I've received Marrying Daisy Bellamy as an eARC from NetGalley

*Warning: This review contains spoilers. Read at your own risk*

Marrying Daisy Bellamy by Susan Wiggs
published by Mira (Harlequin) in January 2011

There are days on Willow Lake...
Daisy Bellamy has struggled for years to choose between two men - one honorable and steady, one wild and untethered. And then, one fateful day, the decision is made for her.

When the wind is so still and the water so calm...
Now busy with a thriving business on Willow Lake, Daisy knows she should be happy with the life she's chosen for herself and her son. But she still aches for the one thing she can't have.

You can almost hear your heart beat...
Until the man once lost to her reappears, resurrected by a promise of love. And now the choice Daisy thought was behind her is the hardest one she'll ever face...
Genre: Contemporary romance, Women's fiction
Series: Lakeshore Chronicles, Book #8

The Story: Daisy Bellamy's story has been ongoing since book #1 of the series. Daisy was a teenager when she got pregnant and chose to keep the baby and be a single mother. It's also at that time that she met Julian Gastineaux, her cousin's brother-in-law and also a thrill-seeker who enrolled in the Army to become a pilot one day. There was a definite connection between the two, but something they never explore beyond friendship because of circumstances. Add in Logan O'Donnell, the baby's father who sobered up and who's been a great father to Charlie, and Daisy found herself in a love triangle. As they've all grown and matured, this love triangle intensified and now is time for Daisy to make a choice... Julian.

Unfortunately, few weeks after Daisy and Julian get engaged, Julian is deployed, reported missing... and ultimately, dead. Shocked, dazed and heart-broken, Daisy accepts Logan's proposal - to become a real family. She needs an anchor and must think of Charlie's future.

However, Julian is not dead... and returns for Daisy... Only, Daisy is a married woman to another man who is on the verge of celebrating her one-year anniversary. What is she to do?

My Opinion: I'm really not a fan of love triangles, especially not those where a party comes back from the dead ^_^; So to be honest, this probably affected my opinion of the book greatly. In truth, the only reason why I did pick up this book was because I've been looking forward to Daisy's story for a long time and even knowing I'd probably not enjoy it very much, I wanted to read it.

For me, this book was okay. I wished Ms Wiggs had not utilized this plot trope to resolve the love triangle. I mean, it was clear who Daisy loved, but I guess it needed to be more dramatic. I admired Daisy, because she wanted to keep her wedding vows. She married Logan and the three of them had finally become a family and it would be unfair for Logan if she went back to Julian. I also understood Logan's anxiety and at the same time, I pitied Julian. I felt the strongest about Julian, because he lost Daisy and couldn't do a thing to win her back. So you have three characters who are trying to continue life as it was, but the problem is that everything has changed. You cannot ignore Julian's return, nobody can... Perhaps if he'd return 5 years or 10 years later, yes... but his disappearance wasn't long enough for Daisy and Logan's relationship to really survive... especially when both are not passionate about each other. I mean, after Julian's disappearance, it's clear why Daisy accepted Logan's proposal. It was for their family to be together and yes, she loved him...but I don't think it was wildly as her husband, but more as the father of her son. She settled and under the circumstances, I'm not blaming her, but still, she settled.

So you have the love triangle again and in the end, it is once again resolved - same way as the first time. I liked the fact that Daisy and Logan were very civilized about it. I think to be fair with everyone, this was the logical choice. However, I did expect the whole thing - Julian's return, Daisy's confusion, Logan's anxieties - to be more angsty and it wasn't for me ^_^; and I think it has to do with the writing. Ms Wigg's writing style has changed over the course of this series or even before. It has become something between contemporary romance and women's fiction and her narrative style has become more passive. I don't think the strong emotions came across well in Marrying Daisy Bellamy. We all saw how each character coped and their mistakes and thoughts, but at the end, it didn't grip me. I didn't feel torn for Daisy.

My Grade: Overall, this book is a D for me. I really wished I've enjoyed this book more and if it had reached me, if I had been emotionally involved, I'm sure I would have... but I wasn't. Perhaps it's the writing style or just my aversion to love triangles, I don't know. However, I'm sure that many don't have the same aversion as me and will enjoy this book.

Friday, February 04, 2011

Review: Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

Guess what? I have a buddy review over at Breezing Through! Yes, a buddy review!! LOL, hopefully, this will break the dry spell :)

So what did I buddy review? Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan :) Find out what Ames and I thought of it here!

Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
published by Knopf in October 2010
“I’ve left some clues for you.
If you want them, turn the page.
If you don’t, put the book back on the shelf, please.”

So begins the latest whirlwind romance from the New York Times bestselling authors of Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist. Lily has left a red notebook full of challenges on a favorite bookstore shelf, waiting for just the right guy to come along and accept its dares. But is Dash that right guy? Or are Dash and Lily only destined to trade dares, dreams, and desires in the notebook they pass back and forth at locations across New York? Could their in-person selves possibly connect as well as their notebook versions? Or will they be a comic mismatch of disastrous proportions?

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Happy Chinese New Year!!

Happy Chinese New Year!!
May this year bring you good health and good times :)

For the Chineses, it is now the year of the Rabbit :) However, for some reasons, instead of the rabbit, it is the year of the Cat in Vietnam. I have no idea why, especially since all the other signs are identical ^_^; One of the biggest mysteries!

Once again, it was a mad rush to get ready for the New Year ^_^; Seems to have become a tradition LOL. However, everything would have been fine if it wasn't for the snowstorm we got, sigh. I spent 1.5 hours pushing the snow in a corner of our driveway! I missed the snow removal service by 5 minutes, ugh. Seriously, why did it have to snow on New Year's Eve?!? Yes, I know, I cleaned not only my room, but the house! LOL. Anyway, if I could have spent that 1.5 hours inside vacuuming instead, it would have been much better. In any case, we made it with few minutes to spare LOL.

This year, my sister and I were in charge :)  Basically, they are three prayers places: 1) Buddha and ancestors, 2) for the Kitchen spirit and 3) Earth spirits. So we had to get fruits, flowers and food :) By the time my sister finished cooking, it was 10pm... It's about one hour of offering and we're not allowed to eat during that time. Then, when we could eat, we didn't, because it was 11pm and there were still stuff to take care of. We left home at 11.50 for the temple ^_^; Yep, cutting it pretty short. Didn't make it before midnight, but it was okay because there were still praying. By the time we got home, it was 1am and then, we finally ate supper... So yeah, it was a very busy CNY's eve :) Here are some pictures of what it looked like :)

 Once again, Happy New Year!! :)

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Monthly Reads: January 2011

First monthly reads post of the year!! Woohoo! February kind of crept up on me. I mean, I was expecting it.... but it still took me by surprise. I'm so behind in my reviews, mainly because I took too much time wrapping up my posts for 2010 ^_^; As a result, there are many books in this post that I was planning to write full reviews, but had to take the executive decision not to. Luckily, for most of them, there are plenty of reviews in blogland :P Hopefully, that way, I'll catch up a little and won't run in the same problem next month :)

1) Wedding of the Season by Laura Lee Guhrke: B
 Upcoming Review.

2) How to Marry a Duke by Vicky Dreiling: D

Tristan, the Duke of Shelbourne, is looking for a wife and after meeting Miss Tessa Mansfield who is known as a matchmaker, decides to hire her service. Tessa is a bit miffed about the way Tristan wants to select a wife and therefore, puts together an elaborate plan in which Tristan will be courting 24 young ladies...

From the reviews, How to Marry a Duke sounded like a historical version of The Bachelor. Thinking back, I don't know why I was so interested since I've never been a fan of the tv series. Probably thought it sounded fun ^_^;... and it could have been, but instead How to Marry a Duke turned out to be an okay book. The biggest problem with this book was that Tristan hired Tessa to find himself a wife, while being attracted to her. Imagine the tv series where in the end, The Bachelor chooses the hostess ^_^; Awkward. The hero falling with the matchmaker probably would have worked better if Tessa hadn't lined up 24 young ladies and kept pushing them at Tristan. That really hindered the romance :( Then, there was also the whole plot about why Tessa didn't want to marry ever. I think that the book could have used a comedic or fluffy element. As it was, I just wasn't engaged and simply wished to be done with the book. The fact that I don't remember much of the book also speaks of my enjoyment of it :(

3) Marry Me by Jo Goodman: B+

Dr Cole Monroe finds himself practicing medicine in Reidsville, a small town in Colorado, thanks to his 16 years old sister, Whitley's meddlings. During one of his medical visits on the outskirt of Reidsville, Cole and Will Beatty stumbled over Rhyne Abbott who is clearly sick. Fearing for Rhyne's safety and recovery, Cole welcomes her into his home... and falls under her charms. However, will he be able to convince Rhyne to marry him as their pasts and upbringings don't matter?

I've read a few books by Ms Goodman; however, didn't enjoy them very much because I was blind-sided by the dark direction some of the story threads took. As a result, I hesitated a long time before picking up this book, but then, caved under the good reviews LOL. Yeah, I'm weak, I know. However, this time, I was ready for it and ended up really enjoying this book :) What stood out the most for me were the characters and I think Ms Goodman did a great job with them :) I loved Rhyne because she was so unusual, so different. Her strength and will were admirable and her upbringing definitively made her unique. I thought the confusion at times and how she's slipped into her Runt persona were realistic. I also liked Cole a lot - kind of a beta hero who show his alpha sides from time to time :) His patience and dedication, his love for Whitley... this is a doctor I would like to have. The romance was perfectly, exactly the way it should have happened :)

Secondary characters were interesting and the setting, nice. It's a small town that is building up, with all the colorful characters and dynamics needed. This is the kind of Western I like to read when I pick one up :) I'm definitively going to go back and read Never Love a Lawman and pick up any other book of this series - really hoping that Whitley will have her own :) Also, one of my favorite part of the book was Cole and his research. I thought it was very interesting and LOL, reached me :P It was also interesting to see Cole treating patients and practicing medicine; how it was done in those times with the limited equipment and knowledge.

By the way, I'd like to add how I'm amazed that the "darker" side of the storyline hasn't been spoiled in blogland. I was really surprised, but at the same time, I really enjoyed the twist :)

4) Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist by Rachel CohnDavid Levithan: D+

Nick is recovering from a broken heart when he sees his ex coming towards him from across the club. Panicked, he asks the girl next to him if she'd agree to be his girlfriend for 5 minutes. What Nick doesn't know is that Norah and Tris, the ex, are frenemies, and that Norah already "knows" Nick. What ensues is a night out in New York full of confusion, realization and joy.

I read and really enjoyed Dash & Lily's Book of Dares back in December and wanted to read more books by these two authors. It's then that I found out that they were the authors of Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist... So I went on a quest: got the DVD, watched the movie and then read the book :) So perhaps my enjoyment of the book was marred a little bit by the movie ^_^;

Overall, I thought Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist - the book - was okay, hence the grade. What I liked about the book is that we got to know Nick and Norah much better as their characters were better developed and fleshed out. There is much more layers and depths to the book while the movie is more a comedy, something to pass time. I also liked the fact that Tris, the ex-girlfriend, was more complex - her friendship with Norah, the reasons why she broke up with Nick, etc. She was more real and escaped the bad ex-girlfriend stereotype and that was good.

What brings down the whole book for me is that it left me confused. It's hard to follow the thought process of a young adult, let alone two!!! It also bothered me greatly that the two would just not communicate in full sentences, that they'd guess - and guess wrong - what the other was feeling or thinking. That really frustrated me... Finally, I just thought this book would be funnier and instead, it was quite serious and almost dark in tone ^_^;

5) Time After Time by Kay Hooper: C+

Noah Thorne is a photographer who just both himself a building as a second income. He plans to rent out the renovated lofts/condos while taking care and managing the building. His first renter is Alex Bennet, a pixie, vibrant woman who is also the decorator Noah hired. Don't let appearance tricks you however as Alex has a colorful past having been a lion tamer in a circus. Noah and Alex are inexorably attracted to each other, but Alex has a big secret and is thus reluctant to start a relationship... and it doesn't help that both are haunted by the same dreams...

This is an old category romance by Ms Hooper which was recently re-printed. Ms Hooper has a definite style that you enjoy or not. In order to enjoy, I think you have to like the mystic, but also be reading to suspend disbelief a little. As with most Ms Hooper's books, I liked this one. I enjoyed the relationship between Noah and Alex, how it started and progressed and the clear affection between them. What's more, I loved the fact that Noah supported Alex with her secret. Speaking of the secret, at first, I thought it was stretching it a bit too much ^_^; Then, I remembered Christian the Lion and I realized that it was indeed possible :P

As for the mystical element, in Time After Time, Ms Hooper tackles reincarnation. I like the twist she put in, but I think it could have been a bigger part of the book. Overall, I enjoyed this book for the characters, relationship and animals (so cute!), but I think that it was a bit draggy in the middle and everything could have come together better. Still, I liked it :)

6) Prom & Prejudice by Elizabeth Eulberg: B
Upcoming review.

7) In Serena's Web by Kay Hooper: C+
Upcoming review.

8) How to Woo a Reluctant Lady by Sabrina Jeffries: C+

As a ploy to extract herself from her grandmother's ultimatum (all siblings have to marry or they'll all be disinherited) Lady Minerva Sharpe has put an announcement in a ladies magazine convoking all eligible men for interviews. Unfortunately for Minerva, Giles Masters has no intention to let her interview any other man than himself. Years ago, Giles broke Minerva's heart... but he knows that Minerva still cares for him; otherwise, why else would he be the villain in her gothic novels. Having re-kindled their attraction, Giles wants to marry Minerva. On the other hand, Minerva is not about to lose her heart to Giles again, but agrees to a fake engagement, believing that her grandmother and brothers will never approve of him and thus, tweak her grandmother's plan. Who will have the upper hand?

I had high hopes for this book and was really looking forward to it because I liked the blurb, although I was a bit wary about the whole "agent" thing. In the end, I liked How to Woo a Reluctant Lady, but not as much as I hoped. The pitfall of Ms Jeffries' newest is that there were too many things going on, in my opinion. It was clear that Ms Jeffries was laying the ground for the last two books of the series, giving readers insight of who will be the love interests and the obstacles in the romance. However, put that aside and even between Minerva and Giles, there was too much. I didn't like that Giles used the excuses that he wanted Minerva to stop writing about him in fear that she would reveal his secrets to pursue Minerva. It was annoying and I thought he hid himself behind that facade for too long. I also thought that the whole story about a figure in Giles' past threatening his career and prospect was superfluous, especially given the way it was resolved. I guess I wished that the book focused more on Minerva and Giles and I thought the rest, detracted from them. I just want to get into the romance and I never really had the chance to. However, I did like the twist concerning the murder of the Sharpes' parents, it made it more suspenseful and I'm looking forward to see how it is resolved and who is the real culprit.

Overall, How to Woo a Reluctant Lady was an enjoyable book, but could have been better. It is especially disappointing as I liked the characters. Minerva was a smart, independent woman. She knew what she wanted and was going for it. I felt for Giles who was so misunderstood - of course, part of it was due to his job. Still, it's hard to have people judging you who really doesn't know you :(  As a result, I especially liked the scene where we got to see Giles at work. Despite everything, I'm still going to pick up the next book :P I'm really curious about Gabriel now... so the baiting did indeed work LOL.

9) You Belong to Me by Karen Rose: A-
Upcoming Review.

10) Wild Man Creek by Robyn Carr: B++

11) Scandal of the Year by Laura Lee Guhrke: B+
Upcoming Review.

12) The Perfect Mistress by Victoria Alexander: C-

13) Animal Magnetism by Jill Shalvis: C

Brady Miller, ex-military, is a successful pilot-for-hire who spent the past couple of years flying in hot zones. Shuffled in the foster system when he was a kid, Brady doesn't stay in one place for long. His only ties are to his two foster brothers, Dell and Adam, who have finally convinced him to come back to Sunshine, Idaho. There, he meets Lilah Young, the co-owner of the town's only kennel. Juggling animals and studies, Lilah is feeling lonely and is looking for a short-term relationship. Knowing that Brady will not settle, he seems to be the perfect solution for a no-string attached fling...

This book had everything to be a successful contemporary romance and yet... it wasn't for me. What was my problem? The same as Jaclyn from Dear Author, the heroine. Lilah felt too "young" in my opinion. I don't think her age was ever mentioned in the book, but from what I gathered, I'd put her at around 23 to 25 years old... There's nothing wrong with a young heroine, but in this case, I don't think it fit the storyline or at least the hero. I think I know what Ms Shalvis was going for with the heroine, but she missed the mark. With her responsibilities and what she's been through in the past, I think Lilah should have attained a certain level of maturity... Instead, it just seemed like she was over-stretched - running the kennel and studying at night, often falling asleep in her books, perpetually running to catch up with things. The vibes that she gave off screamed "young" and I just didn't see what Brady found so attractive (except the physical), that made him want more and change his whole way. If at least, there's been some growth in Lilah's character, perhaps it would have been better, leveled things out a little, but there wasn't. At the end, Lilah is still the same person, the one who gets too attached and who's scared to try and live her life again. It also didn't help that I saw a lot of similarities between the characters of Animal Magnetism and Wild Man Creek by Robyn Carr: heroes are pilots and not staying long - check and heroines grew up poor and raised by their (great-)grandmother who took all sorts of work to make ends meet - check. However, I must preferred the characters and romance of Wild Man Creek.

Ultimately, Lilah's character failed to engage me... but also it felt like both the H/H were going through the motion of the romance. There was no extra feelings for me :( As, Brady's character... he was hard to figure out. He was a little too stoic and reserved in his feelings, words and thoughts. Also, I would have liked to see a bit more camaraderie between Brady, Dell and Adam. Oh, Dell tried and to a certain extent, Adam as well... but I don't feel like Brady did at all. They are the link in this series... and it's a weak link ^_^;

Still, the book had its moments. For me, I think the best were between Brady and Twinkles, LOL. I loved seeing Brady growing attached to that dog, it was just so sweet and cute. I'm also intrigued by the set-up for the next books: Dell and Jade, Adam and Holly. I'm starting to wonder if I'm trying too hard to love Ms Shalvis?

Books bought: +21
Books read: -13
TBR pile: +8

So 13 books read this month... I'll take it :) Given how chaotic life has been lately and the fact that I don't have that much time to read, I'm happy :) I hope though February will be better and that my TBR pile will show a negative number. Crossing my fingers LOL.

This is so sad... I so want this post to go up tonight that some books that I was planning to write full reviews and then changed my mind to write a mini-review have been switched back to full reviews LOL. Seriously, I need to learn how to keep it short!