Showing posts from April, 2009

Books Read March-April 2009

A Mad Desire to Dance by Elie Wiesel (March 18--Comments)

A Season of Eden by J.M. Warwick (April 30--Comments)

Candy by Kevin Brooks (March 9--Comments)

Captive at the Sicilian Billionaire's Command (April)

Captive by Leda Swann (March 23--Comments)

Dark Enchantment by Janine Ashbless (April 20--Comments)

Deadly Little Secrets by Laurie Faria Stolarz (March 16--Comments)

Desire Unchained by Larissa Ione (March 4--Comments)

Embracing Midnight by Devyn Quinn (April 8--Comments)

Hittin' It by Amie Stuart (March)

Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey (March 30--Comments)

Lucas by Kevin Brooks (March 8--Comments)

Man after Midnight by Devyn Quinn (April 8--Comments)

Married by Mistake by Abby Gaines (April 14--Comments)

Midnight Angel by Lisa Marie Rice (April 2--Comments)

Midnight Run by Lisa Marie Rice (March 13--Comments)

Night Falls Darkly by Kim Lenox (March 11--Comments)

Port of Paradise by Lisa Marie Rice (March)

Taken and Seduced by Julia Latham (April 17--Comment…

A Season of Eden by J.M. Warwick

When my friend Kym first asked whether I had read A Season of Eden by J.M. Warwick, which I hadn't, I checked the listing on Barnes & to see what the book was about. My immediate reaction was very negative because of the subject matter--a relationship between a student and her teacher.

The relationship in this book is so very different than the cases covered by the media involving an older teacher and a very young student, though. In the book, Eden is a popular, mature, eighteen-year-old high school senior who falls for James, a first-year, somewhat awkward, twenty-two-year-old music teacher.

The age gap is minimal and wouldn't even matter if they were, say, a college freshman and a college senior who decided to date. They have a lot in common, including a love of music, and there's certainly enough chemistry to see them as a viable couple. The problem stems from the power differential between a teacher/authority figure and a student.

In A Season of Eden, howev…

Free Harlequin e-Book

Another Harlequin Ambassadors e-mail to "share with friends and family."

Are you interested in having a free Harlequin Historical Undone! e-book?

Step 1--Go to

Step 2--Enter the Harlequin Undone! e-book of your choice in your shopping cart.

Step 3--Enter code UNDONEFREE at checkout to get the e-book at no charge.

Happy reading!

The Lost Duke of Wyndham by Julia Quinn

The Lost Duke of Wyndham by Julia Quinn is the story of Grace Eversleigh, orphan companion to the Dowager Duchess of Wyndham for five long years, and Jack Audley, highwayman and, of course, "the lost Duke of Wyndham," an exact replica of his long-dead father, the Dowager Duchess' second son.Thomas, the current Duke of Wyndham, is the son of the Dowager Duchess' third son. If Jack's parents were married, Thomas is no longer the Duke of Wyndham since Jack should have inherited the title when Thomas' (now deceased) father did, after the deaths of the Dowager Duchess' husband and eldest son. That also calls into question the marriage contract between Thomas and his fiance, Amelia, arranged by their fathers when they were children.What happens to Thomas if Jack is identified as the legitimate heir? And what happens to Amelia? And how can Grace marry a Duke if Jack has the title?p. 340 "He would not lose her. He did not care what he had to do to ensur…

Free (Gently Used) Books!

Every nook and cranny is filled with books, books, and more books. Time to get some space to add new books.

If you're interested in receiving a box of books from me, please drop me a comment with your e-mail address, and I'll get in touch for your snail mail address. Every person leaving a comment will receive at least four books, almost all romances. Especially let me know if you like Harlequins since I have a ton of those.

Comments, please.

The Shack: Where Tragedy Confronts Eternity by William Paul Young

[The information following the synopsis from Barnes & is a review from my mom. I haven't actually read The Shack yet.]
From Barnes & Noble: "Mackenzie Allen Philips’ youngest daughter, Missy, has been abducted during a family vacation, and evidence that she may have been brutally murdered is found in an abandoned shack deep in the Oregon wilderness. Four years later in the midst of his Great Sadness, Mack receives a suspicious note, apparently from God, inviting him back to that shack for a weekend. Against his better judgment he arrives at the shack on a wintry afternoon and walks back into his darkest nightmare. What he finds there will change Mack's world forever."
From Mom: "I didn't read the back of the book before I started reading the story, and I thought at first that this was based on a true story. It's not. He had some interesting points, like saying that God never intended for us to actually keep the Ten Commandments. There sho…

Holocaust Remembrance Day

Honoring today as Holocaust Remembrance Day.

"Where they have burned books,they will end in burning human beings." Heinrich Heine "You see these dictators on their pedestals, surrounded by the bayonets of their soldiers and the truncheons of their police. Yet in their hearts there is unspoken - unspeakable! - fear. They are afraid of words and thoughts! Words spoken abroad, thoughts stirring at home, all the more powerful because they are forbidden. These terrify them. A little mouse - a little tiny mouse! - of thought appears in the room, and even the mightiest potentates are thrown into panic."
Winston Churchill "There were many ways of not burdening one's conscience, of shunning responsibility, looking away, keeping mum. When the unspeakable truth of the Holocaust then became known at the end of the war, all too many of us claimed that they had not known anything about it or even suspected anything." Richard von Weizsaecker

Dark Enchantment by Janine Ashbless

Dark Enchantment by Janine Ashbless is a collection of vignettes about themes such as romance, love, sex, and betrayal.
I enjoyed the variety in the collection. Ashbless covers vastly different time periods and cultures in her various stories. There are quite a few memorable characters included.
My favorite story is about the girl who goes to live in a cemetery after running to escape the mob that killed her father. Or was that really what happened?
A close second is the story about the owner of an estate who takes his unknowing friend to spend the night there. One of the estate owner's ancesters seduced and then refused to marry a daughter from a neighboring estate in times past, and she drowned herself the next day, also the morning of his wedding to another woman. Since that time, male descendants have all died when trying to live on the estate. With the departure of the most recent renters, the estate owner wants to live there with his soon-to-be bride, so he takes his friend the…

Taken and Seduced by Julia Latham

Set in 1486, Taken and Seduced by Julia Latham begins with the kidnapping of Lady Florence by Adam Hilliard, actually the Earl of Keswick, his brother Robert, and a helper. Adam is seeking to avenge the deaths nineteen years previously of his parents by kidnapping their murderer's only remaining unmarried daughter. The goal is to then challenge and kill Florrie's father.Fairly quickly, Florrie, who doesn't know Adam's motive for seeking revenge against her father, realizes the men won't hurt her. She actually sees traveling across the country to London with them as her only chance at an adventure because her father plans to send her to a nunnery once he no longer has need of her.Very light on sex, there is a great deal of friendly banter between characters, giving the reader a chance to know and appreciate Florrie and Adam and what they have in common.If you like historical romances, I highly recommend this book to you.My overall personal rating of Taken and Seduce…

Married by Mistake by Abby Gaines

Married by Mistake by Abby Gaines is the free Harlequin Superromance I received as a Harlequin Ambassador. I kept a copy to read and review when I distributed the other copies in the waiting areas at the hospital where I work.
Thinking her fiance Joe has postponed setting a wedding date for long enough, Casey Greene surprises him on a new, live wedding-related reality show. Casey has second thoughts, trying to bolt, leading to a quick meeting with television station mogul Adam Carmichael, who assures her that she's doing the right thing. Given the chance to marry Casey immediately, Joe turns her down, saying he doesn't love her. Wanting to prevent a ratings meltdown and the alienation of an important advertiser, plus feeling a bit guilty about telling her to go ahead, Adam steps in and marries Casey in what they believe is a fake wedding.
Of course, the wedding is real, and they decide to live together during the time needed to arrange an annulment. Throw in that Adam needs to b…

Public Libraries

Public libraries--revered by most, utilized in one form or another by many, and always, always underfunded.

The irony is that, when the services of public libraries are most needed, such as during the current economic crisis, is when funds, staffing, and hours are most severely curtailed.

Across the country, circulation and walk-in traffic are up significantly. People who used to mainly buy their books are turning to the public library as a way to meet a reading fix while saving money. Others are using the public library computers for job searching and e-mail access. Some public libraries offer resume critique services, computer skills courses, tax preparation assistance, and so on.

Where I live (Lincoln, Nebraska), the two smallest public library branches are probably going to (finally) be eliminated. I say "finally" because the idea of closing them is raised every few years, only to be stopped by an outcry from the local neighborhoods. This time, I don't think even a…

13 Personal Selections for "Bests"

Best Dog Breed: Rottweiler

Best Break-up Song: So What by Pink

Best Movie Soundtrack: Purple Rain by Prince

Best Book: The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Best Onscreen Kiss: John Wayne & Maureen O'Hara in The Quiet Man
Best Vacation Ever: Israel & Jordan, February 2000Best President in My Lifetime: Bill ClintonBest Restaurant: Maria Teresa in Albuquerque, NMBest Dream Vacation: Italy & Paris with Shon, Amanda, & Liz in 2011Best Concert: George Thorogood & the Delaware Destroyers, 1986Best Dessert: Mom's rhubarb pieBest Flower: SunflowerBest Maya Question: Where was I before I was in your tummy? Was I in heaven?

Man after Midnight and Embracing Midnight by Devyn Quinn

Vampires as aliens, a rape scene where the woman takes pleasure in the act (and I'm not talking "play" rape with consenting partners), and three men with one woman don't work for me. If they work for you, Quinn's writing is intense and descriptive. You might want to give one or both of these books a try. They're totally not for me, so I'm not doing true reviews of either book. WARNING: Extremely graphic sex scenes.
My overall personal rating of Man after Midnight and Embracing Midnight is a C-.

Let's Be Friends Award

Cindy from Cindy's Love of Books at gave me the Let's Be Friends Award. Thanks, Cindy!!
The Let's be Friends Awards stands for this:These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers.
Deliver this award to eight bloggers. My award recipients are: Bug Bites at The Certifiable Dieter at The Dog's Pajamas at J. Kaye's Book Blog at Melissa's Bookshelf at Sunshineglitter's Blog at Violet Crush at Waiting for "The Call" at http://waitingforthecall.wordpres…

My Immortal Knight: Twice Bitten by Delilah Devlin

My Immortal Knight: Twice Bitten by Delilah Devlin is a compilation of two separate, though connected, stories, All Hallows Heartbreaker, the story of Emmaline Harris and Dylan O'Hara, and Love Bites, the love triangle story of Darcy Henry, Joe, and Dylan's best friend, Quentin Albemarle.
In All Hallows Heartbreaker, Emmy goes to a Halloween party at the request of her best friend, Monica, who has brought her to be a snack for evil vampire Nicky. When Alpha vampire Dylan and his best friend Quentin intervene, Dylan cements Nicky's desire to have Emmy through his own declaration of interest in her. In order to keep Emmy safe, Dylan is "forced" to take her home with him, where Quentin stays with them for added protection.
In Love Bites, Quentin is on the hunt for Nicky when he becomes involved with a special police unit that at first mistakes him for a vampire serial killer (Nicky). Quentin then joins forces with the unit to pursue Nicky. Quentin becomes involved…

Harlequin Ambassador Update

I was so excited to find a package from Harlequin in my mailbox on Tuesday! I love mail, anyway, and a surprise package is especially fun. I found a few copies of the same title inside the package with a form letter asking me to distribute the books in some way to others. I decided to place my copies, that come clearly marked as Free Book, in various waiting areas around the hospital where I work.

I also had an e-mail survey about my reading habits from Harlequin yesterday.

That has been the recent extent of my Harlequin Ambassador activity. Fun, though!

Midnight Angel by Lisa Marie Rice

Midnight Angel by Lisa Marie Rice is the story of Allegra Ennis, talented musician who recently lost her vision in a traumatic attack, and Douglas Kowalski, the former Navy SEAL and new business partner for John Huntington from Rice's Midnight Man. Allegra is also best friends with Midnight Man's Suzanne Barron and Midnight Run's Claire Parks.

Allegra is a talented, physically beautiful woman with the emotional scars from her attack, when her father was also killed, and a lack of acceptance about her blindness. Douglas hasn't ever had a serious relationship and considers himself ugly. Part of the charm of the book is that neither can truly believe the other is interested in something lasting with him/her.

I'm a sucker for scarred, tragic men finding the One True Love. Yep, this is a version of the Beauty & the Beast fairy tale.

Even though I enjoyed reading Midnight Angel, my favorite of the Midnight Series is Midnight Man. I would also say the series is my favori…