Thursday, 31 December 2009

Monthly Reading List - December – Year end round up…

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It’s the end of the year and the last book round up of the year for me… December month was quite an eclectic reading month for me. From Gothic fantasy with Juliet Marillier – Heart’s Blood, end of a series with Cat grant Chronicle series – Triad, a set of addictive books by Stormy Glenn – Wolf Creek series and of course the fun-est book of the month for me was Tall Mean& Darkly –  Llewellyn/Hecht, then a  whole bunch of graphic novels – a good month.

Not only was December good reading fun, but the entire 2009. I set a challenge of 450 books at the start of the year as my reading goal and I have done that and then some.

There were of course some books that stood out for me but all in all I enjoyed most of the books that I read and I wouldn’t have missed reading even the questionable one. There were books I had hoped I would have liked to read before the end of the year – but guess what – although I didn’t get to them, reading never stops and tomorrow is yet another reading day….

I found some wonderful self published authors this year as well and I am looking for more wonderful finds in 2010 in that arena. Some genre seems to be going from strength to strength and some are just getting there foothold in the industry – I am looking forward to where stuff like Steampunk takes me in 2010….

What ever amount you read this year be it too little or too much I hope there are books you can look back on with fun and fond memories, laughter and a few tears chucked in for good measure.

Congrats on a great 2009 in reading…..

 

461 - A Test of Love – Claire Thompson

460 – Tomorrow’s Gift – Lisabea Sarai

459 - The Dickens With Love – Josh Lanyon

458 - The Jade Owl – Edward C. Patterson

457 - Carol Bellskis – Amara Astrid

456 - Review –  A Christmas Vow © Laura Shinn

453 - 455 – Review  – Wolf Creek Pack 1-3 © Stormy Glenn

452 - Review:  The Courtland Chronicles -Bk 5 –Triad © Cat Grant

451 – Review  – The Best Gift © Shawn Lane

450 – Hard – Jamieson Wolf

448 – 449 – Review – Good Neighbour © Claire London, Finding Chandler © Claire Thompson

446  - 447- Reviews - © Shorts – M.L. Rhodes & Serena Yates

445 – No Good Deed – Lynn Lorenz

444 - Review: - Poker Night Bk5 - Full House © Carol Lynne

443 - Review: - Konigsburg, Texas, Bk 3 - Be My Baby © Meg Benjamin

442 - My Best Friends Dad – J.M Snyder

441 – Review – Knight Or Daye © Jude Mason

440 – Review Heart’s Blood © Juliet Marillier

439 – Review - – Ticket To Ride © Shawn Lane

438 - Wolf Creek Bk5 – Love Always Promise – Stormy Glenn

437 – Review – Texas Surrender © Claire Thompson

436 - Wolf Creek Bk4 – Blood Prince – Stormy Glenn

435 - Tommy's Story: The Six of Pentacles – AKM Miles

434 - Tall Mean& Darkly –  Llewellyn/Hecht

433 - Graphic Comic - Rapunzel’s Revenge – Shannon and Dean Hale

432 - Their Lover - Barbara Sheridan

431 – Review - Betrayal © Kim Amburn

430 - The Lady who was Beautiful Inside – Edward  Monkton

429 - Of Death and Desire – Jude Mason

428 – Review – Got Mistletoe? – Andi Anderson

427 - Sammy Dane – Stormy Glenn

426 - The Gingerbread Tryst – Nichelle Gregory

425 Review – Bottled Up © Andrew Grey

424 - Quick Short Chicken Recipes

423 - Simple Step-by-Step: On-Pot Cookbook - Rogers, Juliet

 

 

My Monthly progress

Monthly Reading List – November  - Listing

Monthly Reading List – October - Listing

Monthly Reading List – September - Listing

Monthly Reading list – August - Listing

Monthly Reading List – July - Listing

Monthly Reading List Update – June - Listing

Monthly Reading List Update – May - Listing

Monthly Reading list Update – April - Listing

Monthly Reading List Update – January – February – March - Listing

 

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Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Discussion Point – Are you ready for the New Year…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Normally when the New Year rolls around or is approaching – I am filled with some sort of energiser energy, however this year I am bone tired and just want the first to get here already….

I have been reading, that will never stop but as for reviewing – I couldn’t give a toss…

Where did my zest for pumping out those reviews go – have the reviewing monster finally caught up with me….

I am not sure what it is but it’s something….

Are there any resolution and book-o-lutions out there or are you like me Just going with the flow and not about to set yourself up for a slip from grace when your natural lazy tendency takes hold…

I wish you luck all those who have made resolution and I will be rooting for you…

There are some cool books already primed and waiting to jump out of the stables for the New Year – Hope your list are all marked up and you have not overspend in the post Christmas sales so you are unable to buy any of the goodies that I see promo-ing around the net….

Whatever you are getting up to I hope you are having fun doing it – I certainly am…

 

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Monday, 28 December 2009

Review – A Christmas Vow © Laura Shinn

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Title: A Christmas Vow

Author: Laura Shinn

Publisher – Self Published

Main Characters: Chris Milano & Shanda Bratton

Life is a funny thing when you’re six years old.  Shanda Bratton knew she and Chris would be friends forever.  Chris didn’t know about the secret love she held for him in her heart, even though he was a lot older.  She would love him forever, even after she grew up.  It was set in stone.  But would Chris ever see her as anything other than the kid he’d known all his life?

With a difference of five years, Chris Milano knew that his and Shanda’s ages would always separate them.  That is, until the day she came home after graduating college.  He was shocked to find a full-grown woman, rather than the fresh, young girl he remembered.  His desire for her never vanished, though she’d been much too young for him to show it when she was sixteen.  He could no longer use that as an excuse to avoid her attentions.  And looking into her eyes – the eyes of a grown woman – did he really want to?

This Christmas would be one neither would ever forget.

 

 

Review…

I am not a big fan of seasonal read and have just been looking around for something that spark my interest. A CHRISTMAS VOW popped up in my inbox and I will admit I was sucked in by the blurb.

For one the blurb have such a sense of journey to it – from six years old and follow on into adulthood – yup I was hooked.

Firstly I was loving the feel of this book, Ms. Shinn write this book with a journal like feel to it and I was transported to school plays at six years old, the birthday party of the cute boy at thirteen, wanting that first kiss and sixteen and then the book settled down to carry me over the course of a few years in the life of Shanda Bratton and Chris Milano…

Chris Milano has always known that Shanda was the girl for him, but as in life, we grow up, we change and sometime emotion get mixed up in the whole teenage angst scene. Irrespective of how much of a mood swing Chris was going through as the ages pass – he has never left Shanda for longer than going to college, he has been there for every monumental moment of her life. However despite this Shanda eventually also grows up and she wants what she wants – and she is not willing to wait around for Chris to get it together.

Shanda is the girl next door who has always, always been in love with the boy next door. Shanda has grown up with Chris, she has seen him at his worst and his best and he is almost perfect in her eyes.  Shana is more mature than Chris realizes and in his haste to run away from what Shanda has to offer he pushes her away and it seems as if this time it’s for good.

It’s now the festive season and Shanda is going home to concentrate on getting her business up and running, Chris plays no part in Shanda decision, but when he steps in to save her from an embarrassing situation – all bets were off – he once again became that perfect guy in her eyes...

A CHRISTMAS VOW was such a quirky fun book to read… When I realised that it was more a journal style read, I fell more into this story. Ms. Shinn really got behind Shana and Chris and made me see them grow, made mistakes as well showed me that they were worthy of my praise as well.I thought the scenes were nicely done and had enough tension and escalating anticipation as the kids grew – this I enjoyed a lot…

This was really a short story but she packs a lot of emotional drama, family involvement and good old fashion coming of age crush, lust, love in between these pages to make me not only smile but laugh out loud as well…

A CHRISTMAS VOW is a wonderful read that I am very pleased I read.

 

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What are you reading on Mondays – Isn’t the holidays over yet

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A weekly event hosted by J. Kaye’s Book Blog to discuss your reading week ~ the books you've read and those you plan on reading in the coming week.

Books I completed last week are:

Wolf Creek Bk2 – Just a Taste Of Me – Stormy Glenn

Wolf Creek Bk3 – Taste Treats Vol 3 – Stormy Glenn

Wolf Creek Bk4 – Blood Prince – Stormy Glenn

Wolf Creek Bk5 – Love Always Promise – Stormy Glenn

My Best Friends Dad – J.M Snyder

No Good Deed – Lynn Lorenz

Hard – Jamieson Wolf

Carol Bellskis – Amara Astrid

 

I also did a re-read on one of my guilty pleasure author work last week as well…

Finnegan’s Promise – Carol Lynne

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Books I am currently reading

Matter of Time - Mary Calmes

Worth Every Breath – Suzannah Safi

Secret of The Past – Tatiana March

 

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Hoping to get through this week

I will go with those four i am reading now and see how my week pans out… I have been on a mood reading binge for the past few week, so I may end up reading alot more than I earmarked or none at all….

There are a few books that I will definitely be getting this week… I have been watching them for a while now…

 

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Hope you all had a restful and peaceful holiday season and looking forward to the New Year….

 

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Thursday, 24 December 2009

Seasons Greetings to one and to all !!!!!

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Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Waiting on Wednesday – Something old, Something new, Something smutty….

Make Mine Midnight
Annmarie McKenna

New Year’s resolutions have never looked so good.

New Year’s Eve. The party is rockin’, and Claire is in her usual spot holding up the wall. It’s all right. She’s much happier scribbling in her trusty little notebook than mingling. Especially since those notes turn into the sexy erotic romances she pens in secret. Those two gorgeous gods across the room are perfect hero material and…oh dear, are they headed her way?

Mason and Hunter know she won’t remember them as the scrawny geeks they were in high school. She also doesn’t know they’ve been lusting after her for ten long years, waiting for her to meet a man and have a normal relationship. They’re through waiting. The time has come to make their move—and show her exactly how much they’ve changed.

One night in the middle of a Mason/Hunter manwich, and Claire has enough research material to fill a hundred notebooks. Good thing she’s got OfficeMax on speed dial to order more. Except suddenly her two hunks have this crazy idea that keeping her is selfish. Selfish? She may be mousy, but this mouse is about to roar…

 

 

Necessary Madness

Lisabet Sarai

Power and love can both lead to madness.
Nineteen-year-old Kyle sees visions of disasters, visions that tear his world apart. Everyone assumes he is schizophrenic, but Rob, the cop who picks him up off the street, knows better. Rob's own experience has taught him that psychic powers are real, and potentially devastating. Since his telepathic sister's brutal murder, Rob wants nothing to do with 'gifted' individuals like Kyle. Yet he can't deny his attraction to the beautiful, tortured young man - an attraction that appears to be mutual.
When a brilliant, sadistic practitioner of the black arts lures Kyle into his clutches, Rob faces the possibility that once again he may lose the person he loves most to the forces of darkness.

 

A Test of Love
Claire Thompson

Though it's been fourteen years, Ryan Kennedy has never quite gotten over Tom Shafer, the college professor he'd fallen hopelessly in love with. Along with a deepening friendship, an almost-kiss had convinced Ryan his feelings were returned by the older man. But when Tom insisted boundaries between a professor and his student not be breached, Ryan turned his back, telling himself he was better off without Tom in his life.

As fate so often intervenes, Ryan receives an invitation to an alumni dinner where Tom is a guest speaker. Determined to seek him out, if only to see if the flame still burns, Ryan attends the dinner. The two reconnect, rapidly moving toward something more than just friends. Their fledgling feelings are tested when hate-filled notes begin arriving in their mailboxes and emails, warning each man to stay away from the other. Too new to trust completely, Ryan and Tom each struggle with how to handle the situation. When the warnings turn to violence, will they be able to unite in order to discover the source?

 

 

 

Not the cover of the book

The Gingerbread Tryst

Nichelle Gregory

Noble Romance Publishing

Meet Marisa, a restless homemaker who spends her time baking, masturbating and dabbling in magic.  Happily married, Marisa only wishes her husband Don could keep up with her insatiable need for sex.  She craves orgasms daily and her sex drive has become a sore spot in an otherwise happy marriage.

Determined to find a solution to ramp up Don’s libido, Marisa has turned to magic.  After trying magical amulets and oils, Marisa discovers a book that contains wish spells.  Throwing caution to the wind, Marisa decides to experiment with the magical spells by wishing her naughty gingerbread man cookie was a real flesh and blood man.

Taken by surprise…literally, Marisa indulges in a delicious sexual rendezvous that ends up going further than she could have ever imagined

 

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Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Review – Wolf Creek Pack 1-3 © Stormy Glenn

I read these three books the other day… Very easy read with Ms Glenn’s usual brand of characters, Alpha males  accidentally finding their mate and young men finding out that they are stronger than they give themselves credit for…

 

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Title: Wolf Creek Pack #1 -Full Moon Mating

Author: Stormy Glenn

Publisher: Siren publishing

Main Character: Sheriff Joe Nash & Nate Summers

Sheriff Joe Nash couldn’t have been more surprised when he answers a call to a shooting and discovers the sexiest man he had ever seen. His extraordinary response to the man tells him immediately that Nate is his mate. Taking a chance, Joe takes him home, hoping to convince him to stay.

But Nate Summers is on the run from someone, never staying in one place for more than a few days. The tall handsome sheriff and his offer of a safe haven intrigue Nate, but he’s afraid that if he sticks around, the sheriff will discover his secret, a secret that could make the sheriff hate him.

My thought

When Sheriff Joe Nash has to literally wrestle Nate Summers to the ground to get him under control – he knew his life was about to change. Nate is not only a suspect in a shooting but he seems determined not to help in his own defence.

Joe is the sheriff of Wolf Creek and with no choice but to take Nate in he sets off a chain reaction and this is where Joe life starts changing – because Nate is unlike anyone he has ever met and he is in trouble.

Nate is on the run and can’t afford for the Sheriff to take any interest in him, but the sheriff offers him something he has never had since his mother died, not only a safe haven but he calms Nate and Nate needs this despite the danger that is nipping at his heels..

The  two finds more than they expect, Joe finds his mate and Nate brings a whole lot of trouble behind him. The two have to make some hasty decision and call in all the re-enforcement that they can find.

This is such an easy read, boy meets man and alpha gene kicks in. Toss in some utterly hot smut and a bad guy who deserves every thing he got – I began my first visit to Wolf Creek.

Nate and Joe are easy enough to like and there situation is quite endearing in some respect and I went with the flow of it. This is not a book to pick apart as there are numerous things I could have issues with me. With a few storyline running through the book, I did enjoy this book and know I will finish this series…

For me Ms. Glenn is one of those feel good author and she deliver with FULL MOON MATING.

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Title: Wolf Creek Pack #2- Just a taste of me

Author: Stormy Glenn

Publisher: Siren Publishing

Main Character: Just a taste Of me

Reece knows Keeley is his mate the moment he meets him. But Keeley is not only human, he’s a man. Alpha of his own pack for just three months, having a man for a mate is a headache Reece doesn’t need. But not claiming his mate is not an option.

However, Keeley is unlike any man he has ever met…from the top of his gorgeous honey blond hair to the bottom of his fire engine red painted toenails, Keeley is hot! Reece becomes even more enchanted with his new mate when Keeley loses his temper with Reece and hits him with a cookie sheet.

Just when Reece accepts being mated to a man and starts to care for him, Keeley is attacked and nearly dies. Reece discovers a plot that involves more than just the death of his mate, but his entire pack. Can Reece save Keeley and his pack or will he have to choose between them?

 

My Thoughts

When Keeley stopped to use a rest room he knew to some extent that his life would change but not how. How is all up to Reece the alpha of the local pack and from there it all went uphill and downhill depending on whose side you take.

Keeley is not pleased to be kidnapped by a mountain of a man but he is very pleased he has found someone he likes and is certainly having a rollercoaster time of finding a comfortable fit for himself in Reece’s house hold – but something is just not right and Keeley might have just escape one trap for another

Reece is not gay and to find out that his mate is a man takes some getting use to, but one thing Reece is not prepared to do is to give up Keeley, because not only was he cute but he feels like everything that Reece have been looking for.

Reece may not get the chance to enjoy any portion of time with Keeley because Keeley is in the eyes of something nasty and it’s all coming from the pact that he thought he knew…

Another sweet convoluted read –that was just what it is, a neat follow up to FULL MOON MATING with loads of possessiveness and hot smut toss in – there is never a dull moment.

Old players and storyline follows into this book and I was liking it alot…. Another nice thing about this book was Ms. Glenn introduces new storylines and new dynamics to the wolves everyday life….

If you are looking for an easy read this is most definately it – do not expect the re-invention of the wheel…  

 

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Title: Wolf Creek Pack #2- Man to Man

Author: Stormy Glenn

Publisher: Siren Publishing

Main Character: Just a taste Of me

[Erotic M/M Alternative Paranormal Romance] Donovan and James are mates. The problem? Donovan isn't gay and James is in the closet, but they can't keep their hands off each other.

 

My Thoughts

Jim is Joe’s brother from FULL MOON MATING and this story is one of the minor storylines that was introduced in the first book.

Jim is a closet gay but finds himself looking into the eyes of his mate when he is called to help his brother. He is not ready for a mate much less a male mate and this is where the fun and games begin.

Donovan is more accepting of the situation but not of Jim’s attitude and he is not happy. He has not given up though because mates are for life and there is only one mate for him.

Another sweet read if a little more emotional than the other two books. Jim and Donovan are the stereotypical alpha male type of man and it was fun seeing them they to smooth over rough edges and get some much needed advice on what fits where…

I am on a roll and now look forward to book four with definite eagerness…

 

 

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Monday, 21 December 2009

Review: The Courtland Chronicles -Bk 5 –Triad © Cat Grant

Title – Triad (The Courtland Chronicles -Bk Five)
Author - Cat Grant

Publisher: Lyrical Press

Main Characters: Eric, Ally and Nick Courtland

It's three times the pleasure - ten years on!

Eric Courtland, his wife Ally and husband Nick have been living the sweet life for the past decade, tucked away in their luxurious Tuscan villa. But when a family crisis brings them back to the States, blackmail and an unexpected revelation threaten the delicate balance of their marriage.

Weathering this storm may take everything they have - and still tear them apart.

 

Ally burst out in delighted laughter when Eric and Nick both jumped up to throw their arms around her. “Hey, take it easy. It’s not confirmed yet.”

“When will you know for sure?” Eric asked.

“As soon as I can get a pregnancy test done.”

Suddenly Nick was literally itching to find out. “I’ll drive to the pharmacy in Grieve and get you one,” he blurted.

Ally gaped at him. “It’s thirty miles each way!”

“Would you rather wait a month for an appointment with that overpriced obstetrician in Rome?”

Eric and Ally exchanged glances, then shook their heads slowly.

Most of the time, living beside a vineyard in the rustic Tuscan countryside was the next best thing to paradise on earth. But it could be a royal pain in the ass whenever they needed something in a hurry. It took Nick close to an hour to drive to Grieve and back, jostling and bouncing over the unpaved country roads in Eric’s beloved Lamborghini Murciélago. At last he swung back into the villa’s courtyard and charged upstairs, one precious home pregnancy test clutched in his sweaty hand.

Eric and Ally sat on the overstuffed leather couch in the living room waiting for him. But when he handed the test to Ally, all she could do was stare at it, swallowing hard. “Um... maybe we should wait,” she murmured. “If we do it now, it’ll be... final, and I’m not sure I could stand it if it wasn’t true this time.”

“Don’t you think it’s better to know?” Eric asked quietly, giving her hand a squeeze. “If we’re about to become parents, I’d like as much time as possible to get ready.”

“Oh, God...” She shut her eyes tightly, one hand flying up to cover her mouth. “I knew I shouldn’t have said anything until I was sure.”

With that, Nick fell to his knees beside her, more from sheer nerves than anything else. “Ally, I drove a long way to get this for you. So go pee on the damn stick and get it over with.”

She stared at him for a long moment before erupting in nervous laughter. “Okay, okay! Talk about shaming me into it!”

They followed her back to the master bedroom and waited while she disappeared into the bathroom and shut the door. Nick perched on the edge of the bed, cracking his knuckles. Eric paced so furiously, Nick was sure he’d worn a permanent trench in the carpet. They heard the crackle of foil being unwrapped, followed by a telltale tinkling, then ponderous silence.

Finally the bathroom door opened, and Ally emerged. She held the stick out so they could both see it.

The thing was blue.

“Congratulations.” She beamed. “Looks like you’re gonna be daddies.”

Triad © Cat Grant

Review

When a series comes to an end there is so much expectation and so much that you hope will happen, that you wish would never happen and all in all you want to know the final outcome but it is with regret that you see off a set of characters that you might have hated or loved in equal measure.

The Courtland Chronicles is that series for me. I love this series - I love the characters, I love the settings and more over I loved the fact that this was a series with a difference and it stuck right out of the pack like a toy that I must have. To begin this last review I must begin with the cover – the cover of a book for me says a lot – sometimes it doesn’t match but I still have my own preconception of what I expect are between the pages.

When I saw the cover of TRIAD – my first thought was how bright it was (colored), if you have seen the covers of the other books in the Courtland Chronicles there is a definitely mist over the books – right from there I knew the men were about to be separated from the boys… and I was not disappointed in my perception.

It’s eleven years after the last book and Ally and Eric have been legally married for all this time, but Europe have just lead the way in allowing marriages of three so Nick has just joined the other two legally instead of being the much talked about consort. I liked where I have found the three and I am happy for them as well as it has been a hard fought battle to get to this point.

As with all good writers Ms. Grant doesn’t let them stay happy for long, because she has a series to finish off and in this she must expose these three to some rather nasty business.

To begin the three has some rather pleasant news that they have been hoping for and praying for, for a long time. Because of this or rather in-spite of this when Nick has to finally face the bullet in terms of his career and Eric must approach the industrial market for a much needed lifeline they all three know they must leave their idyllic Tuscany home and forge into the mind field of American society that has still not come to grips with the fact that a leader of industry has not only chosen to acknowledge that he is gay but have the gall to be in an open ménage relationship.

Once they hit the airport in America they are immediately faced with the bigotry of small mined people. It doesn't however end there because someone is not only trying to destroy Eric's business and if possible Eric in the deal. Nick has his own share of issues that he has to deal with and Ally is left trying to be the peace-maker and the reluctant holder of secrets.

Rather than any of the  tangible things that befalls them it is the secrets, lies and omissions that  they have to work through and they are still the things that will make them only stronger as a unit or ultimately break them after coming this far.

Was this fifth and final book worth the wait - yes it definitely was. If you have not read this series before - you need to go catch up on the other four books to make sense of anymore of this review.  If you have issues with ménage relationship back away from this review now and come back later.

Highlights

The trio has changed yet they remained the same. Eric has mellowed he is not as uptight and structured in his ways as I have always known him to be and is a bit more compromising when it comes to his relationship and those he care about - which if you know Eric the word compromise does not exist for him.   

Nick is still the one I love the most – and I was pleased to see a bit of spine in him, however the things I hated in him from past book like his roll over attitude I find does not grate me so much now, As it’s just Nick being Nick and without that element to his personality he could not fit into this relationship.

Ally still also remains my least favorite character in this trio – but hats off to Ms. Grant for growing her to the level that I accepted her for the guys’ sake and I can see her ultimately making them happy.

One of the more realistic aspects of this book is that Ms. Grant does not insulate this trio – she tosses them out into the real world and the real world attacked. It makes a difference to see them struggle, she made them cry, and she made them fall and allowed them to pick themselves up and get on with making that thing that they have together work.

Old faces make an appearance and not all of it good. I can’t say I was happy to see or hear from a few of them but I needed closure on certain aspect of this plot. Some characters I loved, I was pleased to see their timeless grace still in evidence and they made for some rather nostalgic and emotional moments of this book. Other characters came in to close not only chapters of their life but give me closure on Eric's past and ultimately laid the groundwork for his future. These were all gut wrenching and dramatically tense scenes … but really some of the better scenes of the book in my opinion.

I can’t say enough about the dialogue of the book – between the trio, between antagonist, employer and employee, loved one and new players – it was perfectly done and with a book just a little over one hundred page, the dialogue made the difference to this book.

Other than the improved dialogue - the three made time for each other and themselves as well, which not only shows the development of their relationship as a whole, but just how comfortable they were with each other...

I had some issues with the last book that there was no true ménage scene at all, in TRIAD this was quickly rectified... and I got my happy smutty grin moment…

There is a full circle feel to this book although it took my heart a while to catch up with the facts that I knew in my head. None of these three were ready for some of the things that unfolded in this last book especially Eric, but I was very pleased at how they tackles each and every situation with gusto and knew that they could rely on each other.…

Bottom  Line..

If you have not read the Courtland Chronicles you have been missing out on a great series.  There is a lot to be said about an author that does not sugar coat her romance and writes about what and who she likes, it feel real, it feel possible and as much as I might not like some aspect of it – I ended up loving it all.

Writing, pace, scenes and storylines all did it for me… I watch these three grow from student to adult who have overcome a hell of a lot, from friends to lover and at the core of them they were still the same passionate trio that would do anything and everything for each other.

TRIAD is a perfect finish to this series – the author does not play around with a lot of back history if any to be honest and this gives her page time to show me the best of what Eric, Ally and Nick Courtland had to offer….

 

This is what you have missed….

 

 

 

By Chance - Review

Strictly Business - Review

Complication - Review

The Arrangement - Review

In Conversation – Eric Courtland

 

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Review – The Best Gift © Shawn Lane

Title: The Best Gift
Author: Shawn Lane

Publisher:  Amber Allure

Main Character: Dustin Jones & Malcolm Rowland

Malcolm Rowland’s nearly year-old relationship ends just before Christmas when he learns his boyfriend has been cheating on him. Unfortunately, the breakup leaves Malcolm with no place to live and no job.

His best friend, Dustin Jones, who has stood by him for years, takes him in and is determined to show Malcolm not only a great Christmas, but that love between the two of them can be the best gift of all...

 

...Dusty had taken the artificial tree from the box and set it up. He’d set the four-and-a-half-foot tree on a small square table in front of the window. He was now preparing to string lights over it. As he bent this way and that working on the tree, his jeans tightened across his ass. Oh, God, Malcolm needed to get a serious grip.

“Need some help?” Malcolm forced himself to ask.

“Yeah, why not start opening the ornament packages?” Dustin didn’t turn around.

Malcolm bit his lip. He hated the awkwardness between them. And damn it, he wasn’t the only one who’d gotten hard when they hugged. “Dustin, can I talk to you?”

Dusty stiffened. “Um, okay, but can it wait until after the tree is decorated?”

“No. I—look, I’m sorry I freaked you out earlier.”

“I didn’t freak out.”

“Dusty, will you stop that for a minute and look at me?”

Dusty finally let go of the string of lights and turned to face him. His cheeks were stained red and his baby blue eyes were suspiciously watery. Malcolm’s stomach dropped.

“Dusty, what is it?” He took the several steps to his friend and couldn’t stop himself from resting his hand on Dustin’s chest. The man shook.

“Malcolm, please.” Dusty sounded pained, tortured.

“What’s wrong?”

“I-I just want you, okay, I want you and—”

The Best gift © Shawn Lane

 

 

Review

In one night Malcolm Rowland after a year with his current boyfriend finds out the worst news that he could ever possibly think to know. With no where to go and no-one to turn to – his best friend steps up to the plate in more than one way and Malcolm breathes his first easy breath for the night.

Dustin Jones, the long time best-friend of Malcolm who is more than willing to stay in the background of Malcolm's life knows when he is wanted even if he would like to be needed more. He has his own set of secrets that he has been hiding from Malcolm for years and he has no intention of letting that cat out of the bag now, however with his best-friend grieving from a broken heart he can’t help but dream of another possibility but in reality all he can do is hold onto the man and let him grieve for the unfairness of life.

Shawn has been a good author to me this year, with a steady stream of books that hit the spot in more ways that one, she is consistent with not only her releases but also with her creations. With Lane’s books it’s hard not to compare her protags because that is easily where her strengths lies – no one creates a more endearing character than Shawn Lane does.

With THE BEST GIFT I will admit I was looking for the chink in the armour of Malcolm and Dustin and simply put they were simply two beautifully written guys. This books is not going to appeal to alot of reader who want the overflow of smut and lot of skin, some is there but not so much that I lost track of what the story is actually about.

Where this book scores very high points with me is where Lane put together two guys who stereotypically you would not find together and tossed in for good measure is an alpha - not at is best and getting up to his worst. All this is ultimately wrapped up in aahhhhinggg moments of hesitations and painfully shy embarrassment. Malcolm and Dustin showed me their human side  and this  only helps to emphasis that two guys in love irrespective of their size  or mannerism can work and work well.

The story takes place over a period of days but it was not insta –love production, as the guys have history and this is what the author uses to push this book. I enjoyed this book and have no issues with saying it was a sweet read and a perfect book to end the year with for Shawn Lane.

Fan of Lanes works, Malcolm almost comes close to pushing Kevin off the hill, but just not quite there – but the dark horse of this book is Dustin, he is too sweet and I will be adding him to my list of unlikely loveable heroes….

New readers this is a story to be read and simply enjoy…

 

 

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What I am Reading on Mondays – Looking forward to a break

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A weekly event hosted by J. Kaye’s Book Blog to discuss your reading week ~ the books you've read and those you plan on reading in the coming week.

Books I completed last week are:

Tall Mean& Darkly –  Llewellyn/Hecht

Full House - Carol Lynne

The Best Gift – Shawn Lane

The Good Neighbour – Clare London

Finding Chandler – Claire Thompson

Wanting – M.L. Rhodes

A Christmas Vow – Laura Shinn

Wolf Creek Bk1 – Full Moon – Stormy Glenn

One of my long awaited book finally made it to the shops within the last few days and I ma on the last of it now….. if you like Palmers work, it’s a must read.

Noelle – Diana Palmer


Books I am currently reading

 

Matter of Time - Mary Calmes

 

    

Hoping to get through this week

I have nothing on the list…. When the beasties and the family get too much for me this week, I’ll grab the first book that allows me to hide from them for a while and delve in….

Hope you guys have a plan to get through this week….

I know I'll be looking through a whole lot of cookbooks and doing my thing as usual…. cooking up a storm.

 

Another book that I will most certainly be reading courtesy of Chris from Stumbling Over Chaos

 

A Faerily Imperfect Tale

Sage has the ability to read minds, but only in high passion moments when thoughts transmit at a higher frequency. But the gift is double-edged. Sage is inordinately handsome. Some might even say he’s a walking orgasm. So what’s a half-breed to do when every person he meets seems intent on seducing him, and how will he know if the man he chooses will love him for more than his looks?

Joe has never been the object of anyone’s lust before. Now Sage, the hottest guy he’s ever laid eyes on, has Joe starring in his sexual fantasies. It would be perfect if only Sage could shut up for one minute, and quit talking about his own hotness—or about how he can read minds.

Meanwhile, Joe and Sage must secure the last three Zodiac Stones and prevent their theft while they wait for exhibition. Can they put their sexual tension aside long enough to stop a clever thief? And even if they do, will Joe’s heart be a casualty of their inevitable fling, or could Sage really be looking for more than a one-night stand?

 

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Sunday, 20 December 2009

Sunday Salon – Pressies, Rumours and Closures

It the last Sunday before the big day and the last few days to get in the pressies…. I wish you all luck, for those who have left it all to the last minute or for those who had no choice but to leave it for the last minute. Not only do you have hordes of shoppers to content with – but the weather this year is not helping at all. As I said – good luck to you..

This weeks book round up from me – I had a pretty low key week with my reading, I have been reading a lot of shorts and I find I am enjoying them alot. There’s a certain something about a book that just takes up at the essential point and does it’s business and leave you with a happy grin – I am liking it, it’s something I will be doing more of in the New Year.

This week also there's been “author behaving badly” and gotten more publicity that she actually deserved, but Jenre – from Well Read blog did an excellent article I thought on the authors that are complimentary on the blog comments, but snarkily pops off an email to you in private crying boo-hoo you have done me wrong and I don’t deserve it…

See the discussion here. -

 

 

Anyway, back to my original point.  What annoyed me mostly about this email was that the author had put a nice comment on the end of the review - a sort of, thanks for reviewing my book - so the whole world could see what a lovely person they are, how polite they are in the face of criticism, how reasonable.  Then they'd emailed me and been almost hysterical in their criticism of the review.  Talk about two faced.

So what am I to do now? I had several options:
1. Post up the email so the whole world could see it.
2. Ignore it, delete it and forget it.
3. Reply to the author.
4. Rant on to a 'safe' person.
5. Do a blog post about it.

Authors Behaving Badly (c) Jenre

 

I mention a few weeks ago that Borders UK is on it’s last leg, well the end is here – Tuesday the 22Dec, Borders UK will be no more… Sad day…

 

On another news front there has been some rumblings and denials that Amazon are on the look out for premises to act as pick up point for it’s ever increasing online book industry…  I think one of the Jane’s from Dear Author mentioned it a while ago that it would not be surprising if Amazon enters the publishing industry and I am quietly coming around to that thinking as well… only time will tell..

 

Rumors surfaced this weekend that online retail giant Amazon.com is secretly planning to open its own stores on high street. Citing unnamed property owners, the Sunday Times reported that Amazon "is understood to be scouring the country for high-profile sites".

Amazon to set up shop on high street?

 

On another sour note- Google has loses it’s battle in the courts over the scanning and publishing of a body of works by French publishers La Martiniere – that is also another news matter that I will be keeping on eye on..

 

A Paris court has ruled that Google (NSDQ: GOOG) is guilty of violating copyrights in a case brought by French publishers against the search giant’s digital books project. Google will have to pay €300,000 ($430,000) in damages and interest to French publisher La Martiniere

Google Books Loses French Court Battle Over Copyright Infringement

 

On a happier note - quite a few publishing house or having fantastic discounts on either individual books or blocks of books. If you have a favourite publisher make sure you visit, as you might be pleasantly surprise at not only the discounts but the free reads as well.

 

 

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From The Sunday Salon site –

What is the Sunday Salon? Imagine some university library's vast reading room. It's filled with people--students and faculty and strangers who've wandered in. They're seated at great oaken desks, books piled all around them, and they're all feverishly reading and jotting notes in their leather-bound journals as they go. Later they'll mill around the open dictionaries and compare their thoughts on the afternoon's literary intake....

That's what happens at the Sunday Salon, except it's all virtual. Every Sunday the bloggers participating in that week's Salon get together--at their separate desks, in their own particular time zones--and read. And blog about their reading. And comment on one another's blogs. Think of it as an informal, weekly, mini read-a-thon, an excuse to put aside one's earthly responsibilities and fall into a good book

 

 

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Friday, 18 December 2009

Review – Shorts © Clare & Claire

 

 

 

Title: Finding Chandler

Author: Claire Thompson

Publisher:Romance Unbound Publishing ( This book is free)

Main Characters: Eric & Chandler

The Solitary Knights is a club for the romantically disinclined—until they start musing on love lost. So begins the tales of the Solitary Knights. What will they find on their adventures into the past? Stop by Pelham Bay Pub to hear their stories. Book 1: The man Eric discovers isn’t the boy he left behind so long ago… Will finding Chandler mean finding love at last?

 

My Thoughts

This is the first book in Claire Thompson’s new series  The Solitary Knights of Pelham Bay and I am loving it. The series is about a group of men who have banded together in the hopes of weeping into their beer and crying boo-hoo at the men that had done them wrong but all under the guise of looking like men who would rather not love than face heartbreak again.

It’s not a pretty picture and when bartender and owner of the pub they were indulging their sorrow fest in gave them a challenge, to get up and go find the man that rocks their boat, the one man they might have had a real shot with, the one man that they have probably been comparing every man they dated to.

And so this series begins – Eric is about to go find the man that his heart used to and still does throb for.

FINDING CHANDLER  is the first book and it starts with Eric after a period of soul searching decides to look up the boy he left behind twenty three years ago.

What follows next is a journey that places Eric in a position where he is now the one wanting to make it right and not getting a shoe in as well as having the task of facing up to the fact that Chandler was now a man.

Chandler is hard to describe, not a fun guy – but now a man who has lived through heartbreak and survived to tell the tale and there was no way he was going through that battlefield again.

Eric and Chandler made this book their own – as short as it was they embrace the journey ahead of them and gave as good as they got. One of the big pluses of this book for me was the fact that it was about mature men.

Men who can control those headlong impulses to get their rocks off in five minutes, men who knew the hurt of disappointments and men who knew that sometimes you have to overstretch yourself to find what you are looking for.

As a first book – FINDING CHANDLER  is a perfect teaser – enough infighting among the members, little secrets left unsaid, experiencing some beautiful handwritten letters and the fact that these men will have to face some harsh challenges will keep me hooked to this series for sure..

 

 

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Title; A Good Neighbor

Author: Clare London

Publisher: Amber Allure

Main Characters: Dylan & Neal

Dylan admits it himself, he's a relentlessly single man in a small town, consoled only by being a good teacher and a devoted nephew to his Great-Aunts.

When the Aunts take a hand in matchmaking him with Josie, the girl down the street, Dylan doesn't tell them what kind of soulmate he's really looking for—and the fact that he's already found the man in question, Josie's brother Neal. But a secret affair can't go on forever, can it?

Faced with a heart-wrenching decision when his chance at love seems to be moving even farther out of his reach, Dylan knows it's time for him to own up to what he wants...and what kind of man he really is...

 

 

My Thoughts

I have heard only good things about this one and just had to read it - I was not disappointed. This is a short read so expect to read it in one go and wanting more.

Dylan - teacher, nice guys and the current target of his Great- Aunts meddling is this wonderful creation that Clare London has introduced me to. He is just the typical guy next door who is comfortable in his surroundings, appreciates the small things in life, never forgetful of his manners and yet still not the perfect neighbour.

Then there is Neal - the guy down the road that Dylan just happen to be having some freakingly hot neighbourly smut with. Neal is the best of Dylan’s secret life but with new opportunities and Neal’s lust for adventure about to rock the boat - Dylan is scared he is about to lose something and someone he has come to not only rely on but to love.

What follows next is a tale of utter sweetness and sheer irreverence. Sweetness as I watched Dylan come to terms with himself and with Neal in the most humblest of ways. Then there is the irreverence of Dylan’s Great-Aunts who simply made the book a treat, they who were willing and probably did every thing in their power to ensure that Dylan had all the happiness he deserve.. even when Dylan did not need their help.

I enjoyed this book alot. It was a quick read, fast paced and definately hit the spot.

 

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