Wednesday, November 30, 2011

~REVIEW of Suzanne Brockmann's NIGHT WATCH~

5 of 5 stars

Opening Line: “Brittany Evan’s hated to be late, but parking had been a pain in the butt."

With Wes’s story we come to the end of the Tall Dark and Dangerous series and I have to say I was more than a little sad. I’ve had such a good time with this series (and all its hunky SEAL's) and can’t say enough good things about it.

I’m always guaranteed a good time here, with clever writing, action packed storylines, to-die-for heroes and strong women that bring them to their knees. Brockmann’s dialogue is always good too; sigh-worthy, realistic and often very funny. All the books are loosely connected (following Seal Team 10’s Alpha squad) yet each still different enough that it feels fresh and unique and could easily be read as stand-alone. Of course then theres the romance and Brockmann will get you every time especially when her tough guys cry, and they almost always do.

My only complaint with this would be that because it’s the last in the series I wanted to have a more final epilogue. One that included all the guys together and some reflection (like say a wedding) giving me a sort of closure. As it was she even introduced new characters and then it just well…ended like all the other books. HEA-see ya later. I was like now what? What’s going to happen to SEAL team 10? -Sigh, I need to get a life.

Wes Skelly is on leave in LA. He’s also in love with a married woman so he doesn’t expect much to come of the blind date he’s just been set up on by Melody and Cowboy Jones (Everyday, Average Jones) Brittany Evans isn’t really keen on this date either and sets the rules quickly (not gunna happen), which surprisingly results in the two of them becoming friends without having to worry about the romance end of it. Britt is different then any woman Wes has ever met and for some reason he finds himself opening up to her and relaxing. She’s a single mother to an adopted son, a good listener, tons of fun and the perfect nurturer for a man with serious issues (god I love the tortured heroes.)
Yeah Wes has some problems; he “might” be an alcoholic, craves a cigarette every couple of pages has issues with his father, never got over the death of his brother, is in love with a colleagues wife and top it off is vertically challenged, being the only SEAL not topping 6 feet. Still with all the baggage Wes is a very likable guy. I loved watching him open up and realize that he was worth much more then unrequited love. The inner dialogue is again very good as are the love scenes and I enjoyed the fact that these two became friends before the lust hit. With a cute sub plot involving a spoiled TV starlet, a crazed stalker and a surprising death, this had just about everything I could ask for until I realized it was the last one. Thanks boys, stay safe!

Friday, November 25, 2011

~REVIEW of Ozzy Osbourne's I AM OZZY~

5 of 5 stars 
Opening Line: "My father always said I would do something big one day."

I grew up in the 80’s so the Ozzy that I knew wasn’t the comical, stuttering MTV family man of today but the Prince of darkness. Black Sabbath’s scary, out of control singer who bit the head off of bats and doves and worshiped the devil. (Or so the rumours said) My brother used to play his records (yes I’m that old) during his rocker/bad boy phase (he’s now with the RCMP) and I remember being forced to listen to Ozzy Osbourne Crazy Train and Bark At The Moon 24 hours a day. Ozzy’s exploits with drugs, women and Satan were legendary. In those days he was the ultimate in heavy metal music, if you wanted to be cool there just wasn’t anybody badder or scarier.

So you can imagine how strange it was for me to see him years later bumbling around with his family on MTV. Who the hell was this guy? Although he did provide an excellent example of the 80’s campaign “this is what happens to your brain on drugs” (anyone remember that ad with the fried egg?) It was hard for me to comprehend that this was the same man, Ozzy was the devil not a man who lived in the English countryside with a wife and kids. I was intrigued enough that I had to read his biography, to figure out which Ozzy was the real Ozzy. The truth is though, they both are.

Honestly this is one of the better rock biographies out there and I give credit to co-author Chris Ayers who’s managed to piece together all of Ozzy’s insane stories yet still allowed his true voice to ring through. I did wonder how on earth Ozzy could possibly write a book much less remember anything after 40 years of drug and alcohol abuse but it turns out the godfather of heavy metal remembers quite a lot. We start at the beginning in England with “John” growing up in a poor factory town without enough to eat or an indoor toilet. Crazy from the get-go John always wanted more and his rise to fame is an amazing journey.

Ozzy admits early on to struggling with dyslexia and I can only assume that he dictated this, leaving Chris Ayers with his work cut out for him. He’s done a fantastic job though because this flows really well and every page is funny, fascinating, shocking, at times unbelievable and brutally honest. All the dirt is here too so if you’re a fan of the music then theres a plethora of information about album covers, lyrics, band politics and the truth behind the music. We also get to see a lot of other rock royalty joining in the debauchery. In the end I wondered (as Ozzy does) how he’s managed to stay alive through it all. All aboard ….

Some of the many highlights for me were;
32 pages of color photographs
His jobs in a meat processing factory and testing car horns (pardon?)
His rise to fame and first experiences in America, the land of plenty (of cocaine)
His sexual exploits with groupies including an aids scare
Details of his first marriage and trying to keep it together for the kids while seeing Sharon
Almost killing a vicar with hash cake
The real story behind the bat
The death of his guitarist in an airplane that crashed into his tour bus
Waking up in the middle of a freeway
Figuring Betty Ford could teach him to drink like a gentleman or James Bond
His remorse over the moments he missed in his children’s lives because he was always pissed
Buying a horse because he couldn’t pass his drivers test and riding it to the pub
The realization that guns and booze don’t mix
His numerous arrests including the infamous pissing on the Alamo
The chaos that ensued after the success of the Osborne’s
Meeting The president and the Queen
The horror when he wakes up in jail not knowing why he is there and is told he tried to kill Sharon.
How Sharon stuck by him through years of outrageous intoxicated behaviour.
Why he stutters and shakes

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Coming Undone (Brown Siblings, #2)
 5 of 5 stars

Opening Line: "Even at the close of the day, the sun was enough to make the ride home from work totally perfect."

Ever since I read Laid Bare I’ve been waiting for Lauren Dane to continue with her sexy ‘Brown family’ series and with Erin’s brother Brody as our lead character here she doesn’t disappoint. COMING UNDONE grabs your attention right away with its cast of familiar characters, erotic love scenes, perceptive writing and Brody. Wow, who wouldn’t fall in love with this bad-boy on the outside, tender and sensitive on the inside charmer, sigh. I have to say though not much ever really happens within this story; it’s more a character study which Dane does very well, drawing the reader into the emotional lives of her characters with amazing dialogue and chemistry.

Our story takes place over the period of a year so we also get to watch the entire Brown family grow and change and in chapter 16 Erin/Ben and Todd show us what they’ve been up to in a detailed ménage romp and um’s hot. As a whole though I think true erotica fans will be slightly disappointed (with the exception of chapter 16) because of the lack of heat. Don’t get me wrong Dane’s sex scenes are amazing (mirrored ballet studio or tattoo shop desk anyone) and so well written they’re just relatively tame compared to Laid Bare and it’s over the top kink factor. Still this is an amazingly hot and sensitive read that fans will love.

Brody Brown has always been responsible for others giving up a promising art career to raise his younger brother and sister after their parents died. Now that they’ve grown and moved on Brody’s life has finally become his own and with a prosperous tattoo shop, nice house and freedom to do as he pleases life is good. However when Elise Sorenson moves in next door he can’t help but get involved in more ways than one.

Once a world famous ballerina, Elise and her young daughter have moved far away from the horrors of her past hoping to start a new life. The last thing she wants is a relationship especially with a tattooed, Harley riding bad guy but what Brody offers isn’t a relationship instead he offers companionship with no strings attached. A friends with benefits you might say and it’s working for both of them until Elise’s past comes back to haunt her. Now as much as she doesn’t want to admit it Elise might need Brody for more than just a good time in fact he may be what she truly desires.

This could be read as a stand alone but readers would benefit from reading LAID BARE (because it’s awesome) and you get the entire back story on the yummy Brown family and friends. Cheers

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


These quotes are all coming in via Ward on her Facebook page. I don't ever remember her putting out the teaser quotes quite so early before the books release date, however I'm not complaining. I'm now even more excited for Tohr's story on March 27/2012...

And on Dec01 Ward says...
-Okay Qhuinn has just made me get teary.

-Um... okay, had forgotten this part in Reborn. Guess not only the Wrath fans will be having a heart attack over this book. Qhuinn has quite an... issue, as it were :( BTW the Mayhem avi is because I've hit that stage in Tohr's story where all hell breaks loose.... *sigh*

Some fun quotes today.  I can't wait to see more of Lassiter... I mean you know, get to know him better!

 "With a groan, he shoved his palms into the shimmering silver pool of blood beneath him, and flopped over like the side of beef he was.
“Wow,” she breathed.
“I know, right? Hung like a horse.”
“If you’re really nice—you live through this—I’ll promise not to tell V.”
“About my size.”
She laughed a little. “No, that you assumed I’d look at you in any fashion other than professionally."
"-Lover Reborn (I just had to finish this one lololol)

Also Nov28
Lassiter. I want to see the front of you.”
“That’s what all the girls say.”
“Do you expect me to roll you over? ’Cuz I will.”
“Your mate’s not going to like this.”
“As if that’s going to bother you?”
“True. It actually makes it worth the effort.”
-Lover Reborn (and I should mention this is Doc Jane talking to Lassiter lololol)

Nov 26-Wrath’s eyes whipped around. “V. Shut your motherf**king face. Or you’re out in the hall.”
Vishous, son of the Bloodletter, was not the kind of male anyone addressed like that. Except, apparently, for Wrath. In this case, the Brother with the tattoos on his face and the perverted reputation and the hand of death did exactly what he was told. He shut the f**k up.
Which said volumes about Wrath. Did it not.

Nov 22-She approached him slowly and unevenly and sat at the desk beside him. “I am so sorry.”
When he seemed a bit surprised, she shrugged once again.
“How can I not offer condolences in the face of your loss? In truth, after seeing you both together, I don’t think I shall ever forget how much you loved her.”
After a moment, he murmured hoarsely, “That makes two of us.”

Nov 21-Just as they were leaving, each one of the women looked back at Xcor, and their expressions suggested he was like a disease they were soon to be exposed to. He wondered who was going to get the short end of the stick when they all reconvened—because sure as the day was long and the nights always too short, he was going to have one of them.
It simply cost extra in these kinds of situations.

Nov19-As he smiled at her, his expression was that of a holy man. “My name’s Lassiter, and I’ll tell you all you need to know about me. I’m an angel first and a sinner second, and I’m not here for long. I’ll never hurt you, but I’m prepared to make you pretty goddamn uncomfortable if I have to, to get my job done. I like sunsets and long walks on the beach, but my perfect female no longer exists. Oh, and my favorite hobby is annoying the sh*t out of people. Guess I’m just bred to want to get a rise out of folks—probably the whole resurrection thing.”

Nov 18-John and Qhuinn pulled up on either side of him, and the latter glanced over. “Tell me that isn’t our new neighbor.”
“Was he born with that puss or did someone make it for him?”
“Who knows.”
“Well, if that was supposed to be a nose job, he needs a new plastic surgeon.”

Nov 17-The lesser was a new recruit, his hair and eyes and skin having yet to pale out. Lanky and twitchy, he was likely a drug user who’d suffered brain-fry—which was no doubt why he’d fallen for the pitch to join the Society.
“I’ll jump! I’ll f**king jump!”
Tohr palmed the handle of one of his two daggers and withdrew the black blade from his chest holster. “So quit yakking and start flying.”
The slayer looked over the edge. “I’ll do it! I swear I’ll do it!”
A gust gave them a blast from a different direction, sweeping Tohr’s long leather coat out over the free fall. “Don’t matter to me. I’ll kill you up here or down there.”


Friday, November 18, 2011

~REVIEW of Lorelei James' Tied Up Tied Down~

Tied Up, Tied Down (Rough Riders, #4) 
 4 of 5 stars
Opening Line: "Skylar Ellison hated being naked in public"

Giddy-Up, another smoking hot read from Lorelei James’s Roughrider series. This is book 4 and as usual theres all kinds of hot and sexy lovemakin goin on. Its also been tied together again with an awesome story; encompassing ranch life, love, heartache, the occasional dust up and of course family. You know real life kinda stuff. I’m finding this series seriously addictive and almost impossible to put down. It seems I’ve fallen hard for those wild, sexy, and charming MacKay boys, even if most of the time I can’t keep their names straight. Now all I need is a blue-eyed/black haired cowboy of my very own to play with. I’ve also got to stop talking like I’m from Wyoming Y’all because I live in Canada and my family thinks I’ve lost it.

We first met Kade and Skylar in Cowgirl Up and Ride where they had several dates and an unprotected romp in the back of a pick-up before goin their separate ways. 12 months later cattle rancher Kade McKay returns to town only to learn that he’s a daddy. Thing is though he wants to be a dad. Never mind stepping up to the plate Kade runs, embracing his new daddy status with pure delight. Given half a chance he’d also like to be a husband but independent business woman Skylar Ellison has some trust issues and won’t give an inch despite his constant marriage proposals. She’s also pretty sure he’s just asking because of the baby.

Within days Kade and Skylar move in together, under the pretence that they’ll live platonically, just sharing in the parenting duties. (Yeah right) Anyways, Kade agrees to play by her rules long enough for Skylar to see that he’s in this for the long haul. (He might love her a bit too) Since this is a Roughriders book the arrangement lasts like one chapter before desire takes over. At first their sex life is perfunctory however once Kade convinces Skylar that sex really is better with the lights on and not in the missionary position (or even indoors for that matter) things evolve to a whole new level of passion. Kade ultimately takes complete control in the bedroom; instilling the “Nekkid rule” and making quick use of some ropes, leaving Skylar in an unfamiliar ‘sub’ position but very satisfied. However nothing worth having ever comes easy. And just because Skylar’s given her body to Kade doesn’t mean she’s going to hand him the reins to her heart too. Just how much one sided lovin will this cowboy take before he finally hit’s the dusty trail?

Kade is just lovely as our cowboy daddy, he’s sweet, honest and hardworking (plus he likes a girl with curves) and in all honesty Skylar doesn’t deserve him. Of course theres a whole lot of other stuff going on here too and fans of the series won’t be disappointed. Cheers

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

~REVIEW of Luke Davies' CANDY~

Candy: A Novel of Love and Addiction 
5 of 5 stars

Opening Line: "There were good times and bad times, but in the beginning there were more good times."

Wow this was fantastic, in a watching a beautiful car crash sort of way. Following the day to day struggles, triumphs and ultimate decay of a heroin addict and his girlfriend. It was almost impossible to look away and put this book down even though it’s graphic, horrible, depressing and often pointless. Told in the first person with vividly poetic and just plain amazing writing there’s a surprisingly innocent love story told here as well and I found myself moved by their story. Pulling for our couple and hoping that they could just get clean long enough to come out on the other side of addiction with some kind of future together.

CANDY is a love story, a horror story, and an adventure. It’s darkly humorous and sadly moving. Filled with graphic descriptions of heroin use, vein hunting, needles, sickness, numbness, the endless cycle of finding your next fix, the selling of ones soul and the constant pain. I was exhausted just reading about the kind of stamina it takes to become a full blown junkie.

The scheming and scoring and stealing, the planning and begging and the sickness when you’ve either exhausted all options or you’re trying yet again to get clean (or maybe just not use quite so much) I could feel their pain and hopelessness in particular the mind numbing details as they lock themselves in their rundown apartment and attempt to kick on their own, this is what happens to you physically when you try to come off of a serious heroin addiction and it was tough to witness.

We follow our couple over a ten year period starting in Sydney during their heady early days of first love. Its summer and the world is beautiful and new. Candy, a gorgeous aspiring actress wants to learn everything about her new love, including what its like to use heroin and despite an almost immediate overdose the wheels are set in motion. She wants more.

Through our narrators eyes we watch Candy go from aspiring actress to high paid escort to street hooker. It’s an easy natural progression that somehow seems to make sense for both of them. He remains a con, a thief and a dealer. They often talk of getting clean, having a baby. They move to Melbourne to start again, they relapse; they get married and are the coolest couple in McDonalds dressed in their wedding attire, wasted after using their wedding money to score. There are serious highs and desperate lows. From high-end apartments to slums, hepatitis and crabs, bad scams, arrests and the loss of their baby. Throughout it all they remain in desperate love with each other and heroin.

This did not end at all like I was expecting and was in fact sadder then I had thought possible. It’s haunting when everything turns blue and all that’s left is methadone, madness, loneliness, a job washing dishes and playing Frisbee in the sun.

Sunday, November 13, 2011


Captive's Return (Wingmen Warriors, #10)
2 of 5 stars

Opening Line: “Lieutenant Colonel Lucas Quade refused to allow himself hope he would see his dead wife again.”

Lt Colonel Lucas Quade’s wife died moments after saying their vows, leaving him in charge of getting her younger brother out of the war torn South American country. Forced to leave his wife’s body behind Lucas has never gotten over the guilt. Now five years later a mission has brought him back to the very place his heart was shattered. He's to rescue a woman that somehow resembles his wife, it couldn’t be could it?

Sarafina Quade’s death had of course been faked and she’s been living under the 'protection' of her uncle. Unable to leave his compound or apparently contact the outside world Sara has only stayed for the sake of her and Lucas’ baby. However that baby is now five years old and the day has finally come. Sara and her daughter are busting out.

As Sara makes her way through the jungle foliage towards freedom she comes face-to-face with the man of her dreams, and then stabs him. What are the chances that Lucas would be coming to rescue her on the very day she escapes? The time for figuring out fate will have to wait because first they’ve got to face a dangerous trek through the jungle, “bad guys” chasing them, poisonous spiders, and Sara’s medical condition which for whatever reason she chooses to keep to herself. At some point she’s also going to have to tell him that he’s a daddy and if she can break through his tough-guy veneer they might actually have a chance at becoming a real family.

This was a struggle to get through, which was surprising and unfortunate. I usually really like Catherine Mann and I have a definite thing for the dark, tortured, standoffish hero (I’ve given up trying to figure out what that says about me) I also love a good reunited lovers story. So, in theory this had it all and started out with some serious action and heartache. Regrettably it then fell into utter ridiculousness interspaced with blah. I just couldn’t get into it and after a while couldn’t over look the many faults either

Our hero was mean not sexy-alpha as I think was intended and the heroine (oh jeez) what with her bubble blowing (really?!) and secrets she personified TSTL. And their child was, lets just say beyond annoying. Even the bumble through the jungle which should have been exciting and filled with sexual tension came across as silly. And then there’s the bad guy. I never did figure out his motives, he just seemed to want Sara back and was, well… ”bad.”

I have heard that this is the weakest in the series through so I will be giving the Wingman Warriors another shot, one day. Cheers

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

~REVIEW of Cindy Gerard's RISK NO SECRETS~

Risk No Secrets (Black Ops, #5)
4 of 5 stars

Opening Line: "The old cargo van caught Sophie's attention the moment she stepped outside the Baylor Middle School's double front doors."

Yippee kiy yay… Welcome to the fifth instalment of Cindy Gerard’s fast paced and thrilling Black-Ops series. Fans won’t be disappointed as this is another great ride, filled with action, adventure, passion and top notch writing. Gerard whisks us away to yet another exotic South American location where we engage in ridiculously exciting shootouts, multiple explosions and the occasional kidnapping. Oh and then theres that little helicopter thingy. Somehow our newest couple; Sophie and Wyatt “Papa Bear” Savage also get time for some sweet loving, and with their substantial back story (complete with flashbacks) you’ll feel particularly invested. Of course the entire wise-cracking team is back for this mission (loved catching up with them) and with a charming secondary romance taking root there was plenty going on here to hold my interest.

After twelve years of chasing bad guys around the globe Wyatt Savage is bone tired and beginning to get a little worried about his humanity. However when the woman he loved, lost and was never able to forget tracks him down from El Salvador he doesn’t hesitate to jump the first flight and rush to her rescue. Now why her husband isn’t the one doing the rescuing is a question Wyatt probably should have asked before he left, but he’s never been able to resist Sophie, so answers will have to wait.

Sophie is grateful it wasn’t her daughter taken in the kidnapping, but she won’t be able to rest until the girl who was mistakenly abducted is returned. Calling Wyatt though may have been a mistake because his arrival has made her realize that she never should have let him go in the first place and with an outrageous ransom demand to pay, unknown terrorists and the entire BOI’s team using her living room as a bachelor pad/mission headquarters, life just got mighty complicated.

This is another great read from a fantastic series that I can’t recommend enough. Wyatt as our hero is lovely, closing ranks as another one of my literary boyfriends with his honourable, angsty and believable character. Even with the amount of special ops stuff going down he never goes OTT and Gerard never gets too technical either even though it’s obvious she knows her guns. I also liked her less obvious choice of having the kidnapped child not be Sophie’s as it allowed for a more believable romance to develop. The flashbacks were another fun aspect; seeing Sophie make the choice between Wyatt or Hugh, then witnessing Wyatt’s heartache as he steps aside and watches his best friend marry the woman he loves. Sigh. And even though you’ll guess the bad guy early on the actual outcome still surprised me. All completed here of course with Gerard’s signature poker playing ending.

Now though with only 2 single BOI’s left I’m starting to get a little antsy. Hopefully we’ll see some hunky new men introduced to Black-Ops soon or maybe Gerard will thrill us with another awesome spin off?

"He'd been in the country for roughly 2 hours. So far he'd gotten caught in a terrorist attack, killed 2 men, saved a mother and a child and bled all over his favourite shirt. And it was still more than an hour before noon. A typical day in the life of Wyatt Savage."

Monday, November 7, 2011

~REVIEW of David Nicholls' ONE DAY~

5 of 5 stars

Opening Line: "I suppose the important thing is to make some sort of difference"

So I’m going to try to write a somewhat sensible review here that doesn’t come across as all gushy fan-girl. I will say (hopefully only once) that I adored this book but you should know that I'm a bit of a sucker for a tragedy too. ONE DAY was brilliant in every way; making me laugh and cry while filling me with nostalgia and longing. And because I’m the same age as Dexter and Emma the time frame here was also totally relatable (see nostalgia) with little details I had forgotten about from the past two decades.

Equal parts heartbreaking and hilarious yet also suspenseful as each chapter takes place a year to the day after the last one so you have to figure out what’s happened in that time between. And of course you want the H/h to get together so you’re waiting with bated breathe for them to finally “see” each other too. In the end this also made me want to seize the day like it’s my last, phone up all my long lost friends and lovers and look at old photographs. Hmmm and I haven’t even gotten into the genius of the writing yet (how do you put that into words?)

I knew that writing a review here was going to be difficult (when you love a book this much there doesn’t seem to be enough correct words to do it justice) and I promised myself to just keep this short and to the point so here goes... This is one of the most hilarious, perceptive, witty, moving and heartbreaking books I have ever read.

Told in 5 parts in alternating POV’s and over a span of twenty years Dexter Mayhew and Emma Morley meet in 1988. Em has just graduated from university and hooked up with that boy she’s seen around for ages. He is Dexter, beautiful, pretentious and in his mind destined for greatness. As the sun rises they drink wine and talk about their futures. They have their whole lives stretching out ahead of them in an endless number of days and isn’t it going to be wonderful they can achieve anything they want to.

Starting as lovers Dexter and Emma continue as friends and the book joins them on July 15th of each year (St Swithin’s day) through their 20’s and 30’s and into their 40’s. As anyone in their 40’s knows, life happens and it doesn’t always go as planned, missed opportunities and the like.

“When I was younger everything seemed possible. Now nothing does.”

Through phone calls and letters, in different countries and towns, through assorted relationships, jobs and life’s little surprises and ruts we join Em and Dex each year in a unique snapshot of their life. They don’t always get along but they do think about each other everyday in some way and in case you haven’t figured it out this is ultimately a love story.

I can’t say much more about this without giving it all away. But when I read the last word I wanted to start it again and nothing I’ve tried to read since compares. Cheers.

“Live each day as if it’s your last, that was the conventional advice, but really, who had the energy for that?”

Saturday, November 5, 2011


An Irresistible Bachelor (An Unforgettable Lady #2)
3 of 5 stars

Opening Line: "The woman came to him from the shadows and he knew her by the red of her hair."

Written in 2004 An Irresistible Bachelor is the companion book to Jessica Bird (JR Ward’s) An Unforgettable Lady Each can easily be read as stand-alones however you’ll get much more out of this one if you read them in order. Having said that I should also tell you that while I loved Grace and particularly John from the first book, Jack and Callie’s romance here was a major disappointment and has turned out to be my least favourite Bird/Ward book to date. Unfortunately I just couldn’t ever get a feel for them as a couple, and without the suspense factor from the last book or any real notable sexual tension this time, the dreary storyline involving art restoration, family secrets and multi-billionaire businessmen running for governor just wasn’t enough to hold my interest.

However this is still Ward writing, so while the plot never grabbed me it does of course have its moments, they’re just few and far between. For example I learned everything I ever (didn’t) want to know about restoring art. Thankfully there are some great secondary characters; like Jack’s bitchy meddling mother, a one armed chef and Artie the dog. My wannabe boyfriend John Smith shows up again although he doesn’t get to speak and we meet Gray, who had me wondering if he was the same Grayson Bennett from The Moorehouse Legacy book His Comfort and Joy? Speaking of which we also get a brief cameo from Spike A Man In A Million In the end though when you care more about a little dog and cameo spotting then the heroes you know you’re in trouble and it was with a lot of eye rolling that I finished this book.

Callie Burke is a struggling art conservationist so when she’s given the chance to restore a world famous painting she of course jumps at the offer. This job could make her whole career however she probably should have also considered that’s she’d be working with its owner too; multi-billionaire (really!? MULTI billionaire?? Is that much money really necessary? What’s wrong with just a plain ole millionaire??) Anyways Callie’s going to be working alongside the notorious womanizer Jack Walker. She’s determined to keep things strictly professional, after all he is engaged but he’s also just so damn sexy. Now she just has to make sure he doesn’t learn her secret. Dun dun dah…

Jack Walker is a practical man (who BTW was way more interesting in An Unforgettable Lady) He runs his life and fortune effortlessly and except for the occasional fight with his interfering, live in mother and some bad driving skills doesn’t foresee anything changing. That is until the moment he sets eyes on Callie. He wants her like he’s never wanted anything before and the more he gets to know her the more he also realizes what his life is missing. This isn't just infatuation and to prove it he’s willing to end his engagement even if that damages his chances of becoming a mayoral candidate. Will he ever be able to overcome his former reputation and convince Callie that he really loves her? And what the hell has she done to his painting; she was supposed to be a professional? Cheers!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


Mackenzie's Mountain (Mackenzie Family, #1)

3 of 5 stars

Opening Line: "He needed a woman bad."

I had a ton of problems with this book and I’m finding it really difficult to review because as much as this story confused me, annoyed me and downright offended me, in the end as much as I wanted to I just didn’t hate it. I did however breathe a sigh of relief when I finished.

Written in 1989 Mackenzie’s Mountain is a contemporary romance however it reads, and for the first 100 pages I thought it was a historical, taking place around 1890-1910. It takes place in small town Wyoming and has a Little House On the Prairie feel to it along with lots of prejudice and small minded gossip.

The heroine is a schoolteacher who has just moved to teach in their school house. She is plain in appearance with her hair in a bun, horn rimmed glasses, a shapeless dress, sensible shoes and zero life experience having been raised by her old fashioned Aunt (presumably in a cave). Mary in fact has never worn a pair of jeans and has definitely never been kissed. She is however clichéd with thoughts like this one;

"Only shameless hussies would wear a skirt without a proper petticoat underneath"

Yes she also speaks like she’s from the 1900’s and her character seemed stranger to me still when I realized it was meant to be 1989 (don’t know many people that wore petticoats then)

Anyways Mary is concerned that one of her better students has quit school and goes to his home to find out why where she meets Wolf Mackenzie and this is when I started to get offended and these are the authors words Not mine. Wolf is an Indian and an angry Indian because he spent time in jail for a crime he didn’t commit and everyone in town hates and distrusts him. To make matters worse (in the authors mind) Wolf is also a half breed and Howard drills this into the readers head every couple of pages in case we forget our hero’s heritage. Now honestly… its 1989, do people really use words like half-breed anymore? Could the average person tell the difference? Have I just been living in happy land my entire life? This is uncomfortable.

Wolf feels his son doesn’t need schooling because he’s an Indian (cringe) Now after all the racist remarks which I somewhat forgave because I thought it was a historical this is when Joe, the heroes son suddenly declares that he wants to join the Air Force academy and fly jets. What?! Damn this really is a contemporary.

Mary then decides to tutor Joe and feels that even though (cringe) he’s a half breed he still has a pretty good chance of getting into the Air Force. Remember its 1989 in this backwards little town. For some weird reason Wolf is attracted to the mousy Mary and the meat of this story revolves around their growing relationship, him giving her savage looks and bedding her and the hunt for the man responsible for attacking women in town which Wolf is initially blamed for.

Now I could go on and on about all my issues with this silly/strange/offensive story but because its also such a reader favourite (I’m assuming with historical romance fans) I will also say that Wolf is a fantastic, sexy alpha hero and as annoying and clichéd as Mary is they still manage to share some steamy love scenes together. I also really liked Joe the wanna-be pilot son and it’s my understanding that his story is up next in (MACKENZIE'S MISSION).

As this was my first Linda Howard book I don’t know if writing historical characters in modern times is a trait of hers and as offensive as some of her writing was I did still enjoy her love scenes and easy flowing writing style. Howard just needs to pick one time genre and stick with it.