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Feb
24

 

 

  • 2 Lillies Reviews


HER UNEXPECTED HERO by Melody Anne
Copyright: February 24, 2015
Publisher: Pocket Books
Series: Unexpected Heroes #1
Source: NetGalley

Would you recognize true love if it sat down next to you? In this unforgettable new spinoff of the Billionaire books from New York Times bestselling indie author Melody Anne, two strangers must look past their painful memories to make way for everlasting love.

Alyssa’s modeling career came to an abrupt end when her manager boyfriend emptied her bank account and ruined her professional reputation. Now she’s heading to a new town in Montana to rebuild her life—if she can even get there (stupid delayed planes!). But things are looking up when she’s upgraded to first class and a mysterious stranger sits down next to her…

Jackson Whitman doesn’t believe in love, or commitment, or forever—not since he lost his wife and daughter. But the beautiful woman sitting next to him at the gate has him rethinking that position. Can he convince her to be his for the night? Or will she convince him to be hers for a lifetime?

Fair warning, review contains SPOILERS. Read at your own peril. ;)

I’m a picky reader. At times, I’m a very picky reader. Unfortunately, I think this book made my nit-pickiness come to life with a bang and I was not expecting that at all. At. All. This is going to be a huge rambling review. I’m sorry for that. I just couldn’t cut it down without taking important parts out…at least, important as I thought they were.

Jackson and Alyssa meet on a flight from Paris to New York on New Year’s Eve. Alyssa is headed home after her former boyfriend/manager ripped her off and left her with nothing to her name. Jackson is on his way home after doing some business in Paris. After several delays, where they end up having a conversation while waiting to board their plane, Jackson has the flight attendant upgrade Alyssa’s ticket to be able to sit next to him in First Class because hey, long flight, why not spend it trying to get her into bed? So there they are, chatting and having dinner on the plane and then their seats convert to beds and they’re alone in this little cocoon where they get all touchy-feely. No full on sexytimes but lots of petting and kissing, etc. Following morning, she gets up out of her seat to go to the bathroom, comes back and “trips” on the hero who was still sleeping in his seat/bed. Hero wakes up, pulls her closer, and starts kissing her. First: morning breath. No. Just No. Second: This plane must have been amazing because not only did they not ever get interrupted by flight attendants, they were never bothered with other passengers, also in First Class.

Anyhoodle, he ends up asking her to spend the night with him once they get to New York. Her flight leaves the following morning so she agrees. They have a one-night stand. She sneaks out the following morning while he’s still sleeping and the next time they see each other is in May. In her hometown. Five months later. His father bought the bar the heroine works at as a gift to Jackson to bring him home. His father and his meddling friends have decided that Alyssa is perfect for Jackson and all they need is to meet and the sparks will just appear between them. Imagine their surprise when Jackson pops up while she’s serving his family in the bar and they see each other. (This happens about 30% into the story.) Alyssa wants no part of him. (We find out at 32% that she’s pregnant but no one knows.) He, on the other hand, does not agree. He wants her and doesn’t see why they shouldn’t be together, although he doesn’t want anything permanent, just sex because he’s been hurt before and he doesn’t believe in love anymore but he still has needs.

Two weeks go by where he keeps trying to get close, he’s at the bar every single day and Alyssa keeps rejecting him. Then comes the day that she’s attacked by a drunk customer and as the paramedics are checking her over, she whispers to them “Please make sure my baby is okay.” (This is at 43% in the story) Jackson overhears since he’s there beside her. He tells her they have some “serious talking to do.”

At 48% into the story, he confronts her while she’s on bed rest to ask why she never told him she was pregnant. Where is the father? Is he still in the picture? Yada yada yada, blah blah blah. He doesn’t even think it’s him since they used protection and she’s “too afraid” to tell him that he’s the father. But. Get this. Jackson still wants her. He doesn’t care that she’s pregnant with another man’s child. He wants her. Wants to take care of her. Treat her like a queen. She’ll never have to worry about expenses, etc. Alyssa declines his offers. She still hasn’t told him he’s the father but he still comes by every single day while she’s on bed rest with gifts and to check up on her.

At 60% he asks her when is she going to stop fighting him. She replies with “Never.” This is after the gifts, the conversations, the days he’s spent visiting her to make sure she and the baby are okay. It’s now been a little over a week since she’s been placed on bed rest and she’s finally able to go back to work. That same evening, her parents’ house catches on fire and while there was some damage, they couldn’t live it in while they did the repairs so the parents lived with their next door neighbor while Jackson took Alyssa to his house since he had “a few extra bedrooms.” Alyssa’s leery about being so close to him but agrees to stay one night. One night ends up being several days. During this time nothing happens between them, although Jackson lets her know he’s up for anything, whenever she’s ready.

At 72%, they’re at a family event and she sees him playing with the younger children. He tells her he loves kids. You would think this is the perfect time for her to tell him “Hey, guess what? You’re my baby daddy!” and yet, nothing. She keeps quiet. Again. At 73% she thinks to herself that she needs to “marshal her courage” to finally tell him once they get back to his house. Once there, they end up having sexytimes so she decides to “tell him tomorrow.”

Of course.

Two days go by and they’re so busy with the sexytimes that she still hasn’t told him he’s the father. There was a scene where he took her to his favorite spot and told her that he’s never taken anyone there besides family members. You would think that’s the perfect time to bring up the baby. Nope. Again she kept quiet. Then a week passed and still she didn’t tell him.

We are now 81% into the story and her excuses just keep piling up. She finally decides to tell him after her shift at work but then his brother tells her that Jackson had to go to Alaska for an emergency business meeting. She heads home and ends up getting into a car accident when she swerves away from a deer that appeared in the road. Jackson’s brother had followed her to make sure she made it home and saw the accident happen. She’s taken to the hospital, where they end up delivering her baby. While she’s in surgery, Jackson makes it back to town because his brother had called him to tell him about the accident. Private jet, yo. Anyway, baby girl is born three months early. She’s two pounds three ounces. Heart isn’t fully developed and she needs emergency surgery but she’s a fighter like her mom.

At 85% Jackson tells Alyssa that she has a baby girl. Alyssa is worried that strangers are with the baby instead of family so Jackson offers to go stay with the baby. No mention that he’s the father.

Two weeks pass and Alyssa is finally released from the hospital. She immediately goes to see her baby girl and finally names her. She names her Angel and Jackson is there too. We are now 87% into the book when she finally looks at him and realizes he’s been there every single day for their daughter and he’s been the first person, besides the medical help, to hold the baby. So she tells him. She finally tells him that Angel is his daughter. She tells him the reason she didn’t tell him before was because she was sure they wouldn’t see each other again. That he didn’t want kids. That she was afraid he’d take her child from her. That she didn’t know how to tell him after waiting so long. That she would lose him. Excuse after excuse was given.

Of course this is a romance book so all is HEA but the excuses got old real fast for me. Not only that but…I felt she should have told him much sooner than she did, no matter how she thought he’d react to the news because he was the father. On the flip side, he was pretty clueless too. I just don’t know. There was just so many “are you kidding me?” moments in this. If she had spent less time rejecting him. If he had just opened his eyes. If they had just talked to each other, really talked to each other. This whole secret baby thing may have worked for me, but this story left me feeling more aggravated than entertained. The only selling point for me to continue with this series were Jackson’s father and his meddling group of matchmaking friends. I’d read another one just to see the shenanigans they come up with next.

 

 

Feb
20

 

 

  • 2 Lillies Reviews


THE GUARDED HEART by Robyn Donald
Copyright: 1983
Publisher: Harlequin Presents #623
Series: N/A
Source: Pulled from print TBR

His was a terrible vengeance

Alannah’s thoughtlessness when she was sixteen had caused an accident with tragic consequences. Then, three years later, when she’d finally come to terms with the past, she was painfully reminded of her guilt.

Nicholas Challoner, haunted, brooding for his dead wife and unborn child, was not a man to forget–or to forgive.

He demanded a retribution that only Alannah could pay. And the elaborate web he had woven as part of his revenge left her no way out!

This is puzzling. I thought this was a book I hadn’t read and I pulled it from the TBR after I saw some readers discussing it at the Amazon Forums. I knew I had it, went looking for it and finally found it in one of the many bins holding my prints books. Then went to Goodreads to mark it as “Want To Read” only to see I had read this one sometime in 2010…yet, I don’t remember anything about it. Usually when I read something I’ve already read, a scene or two will jump out at me and I’ll know I’ve read it before but this one…there was nothing about it that reminded me of a previous read.

Heroine was involved in an accident that killed the hero’s wife and unborn child when heroine was sixteen years old. At the time, hero was twenty-seven. After the accident, the heroine and her father go to pay their respects to the hero. Because the heroine was nervous, he overheard her laughing as she and her father were leaving. That event snowballs into the hero befriending her family while she’s away at school and when she comes back three years later, the hero tells her that she will marry him (to replace his deceased wife) and she will give him a child (to replace the one she stole from him when she killed his wife). He makes it so she can’t refuse him without her mother and sister suffering from her decision. There begins the constant fighting/bickering “I hate you! I’ll never forgive you for this!” that is a staple for older Harlequin Presents stories. She hates him, he tells her he doesn’t care, he wants only her body and for her to give him a child. She fights him the whole time, at one point she says something to him (I can’t even remember right now what it was) and he responds by slapping her across the face. This is a few pages before they find out she’s pregnant.

There’s the typical other woman who is snarky to the heroine when they’re alone but oh so sweet when the hero is around them. There’s the business trips he takes that the other woman is always around for while the heroine is at home hating the hero and at times hating her pregnancy, etc etc etc.

Then comes the last couple of pages where it’s all changed. He’s loved her since he first saw her…remember their first meeting? She was paying her respects to him on the loss of his wife, who he lost a month before. She was sixteen. He was twenty-seven at that meeting. He’d loved his wife oh so much but then the heroine walked into his house a month after his wife died and he was just drawn to her. Hmm. OK. We’ll go with that. Then, the heroine — who spent the whole story fighting him and refusing to respond to him sexually any time he touched her — blurts out that she loves him oh so much and is so happy that he loves her too. Hmm. Maybe this whole WTFery about how they met and the revenge plot on his part is why I forgot everything about this book the first time I read it? So much eye-rolling on my part. So. Much.

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Jan
5

 

 


Another challenge I’m joining. With a TBR as huge as mine, surely this will be an easy challenge to do? ;)

Wendy, The Super Librarian, is hosting this one and sign up post can be found here.

Challenge Details:

What is the TBR Challenge? Simply put, it’s where readers pick up a long neglected book from their TBR pile, read it, and comment on that read on the 3rd Wednesday of every month. The idea is to read those long neglected books that you just had to get your hands on at the time, but have been languishing in your pile, all lost and forgotten.

Commentary on your chosen TBR read can happen anywhere online (your blog, Facebook, GoodReads, Twitter, a message board etc.) just provide me with a link when you sign-up so interested readers can follow all the challengers!

Why do I make you do “homework?” Honestly?  Because it’s fun.  Over the years many people have commented how much they enjoy following along with the TBR Challenge participants to discover “long lost gems” and maybe get a different perspective on a book they read years ago.  Plus is the one day every month where you are guaranteed to get some good book chatter.

This is a voluntary challenge and I want it to be fun.  Which means if you skip a month (or, uh, several), I’m not going to publicly shame you.  Hey, life happens.  Even to the best of us.  Also, I am keeping up with the tradition of providing monthly themes.  Some participants like that added focus.  Some prefer to go “off theme” and read wherever their mood takes them.  And both are perfectly and totally acceptable!  The goal of this challenge is to read neglected books out of your TBR, whatever they may be.

Monthly Commentary Dates + Suggest Themes

January 21 – We Love Short Shorts! (Category romance, novellas, short stories)

February 18 – Recommended Read (A book recommended to you by another reader/blogger etc.)

March 18 – Series Catch-Up (A book in a series you are behind on)

April 15 – Contemporary

May 20 – Kickin’ It Old School (Copyright date is 10 years or older)

June 17 – More Than One (An author who has more than one book in your TBR pile)

July 15 – Lovely RITA (past RWA RITA winner and/or nominees – links to lists will be provided at later date)

August 19 – Impulse Read (The book you bought because of the cover or The book you bought on impulse or The book you cannot remember why you bought in the first place!)

September 16 – Historical

October 21 – Paranormal or romantic suspense

November 18 – It’s All About The Hype (a book or author that got everybody talking)

December 16 – Holiday Themes (Christmas, Valentine’s Day, any holiday!)

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Jan
5

 

 


2015 Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge

What better way to dust off this blog than to join a few reading challenges this year? :)

I’m very much a mood reader so I’m not going to list any books I plan to read because more times than I can count, that usually doesn’t work for me. I tend to let me mood lead me. This was a challenge I hosted previously before I passed it on to Brianna @ The Book Vixen when things changed around here. I haven’t joined any challenges in the last few years beyond keeping a list at Goodreads of what I’ve read so I’m looking forward to joining the rest of the ladies who signed up for this one.

If you’re interested in joining us, the link to Brianna’s blog post is below. Good luck!

Reading Challenge Details:

  • Runs January 1, 2015 – December 31, 2015 (books read prior to 1/1/2015 do not count towards the challenge). You can join anytime before 9/30/2015. Sign up on The Book Vixen’s blog.
  • The goal is to read as many Contemporary Romance books as you’d like. Books that qualify for this challenge can be young adult, new adult, or adult. Books can be M/F, M/M, or F/F. Books must be a work of fiction (sorry, nonfiction does not qualify for this challenge). Romances with the following elements do not qualifyfor this reading challenge: paranormal, historical, time-travel, fantasy, science fiction, or mystery/suspense/thriller. See the different levels below and pick the one that works best for you. You can move up a level as often as you’d like but no moving down. Remember, the idea is to challenge yourself.
  • Books can be any format (print, ebook, audio).
  • Novellas that are 100 pages in length (give or take), as well as full-length novels, will count for this reading challenge.
  • Re-reads and crossovers from other reading challenges are allowed.
  • To join this challenge, grab the 2015 Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge button below and post this reading challenge on your blog to track your progress. Please include a link back to this sign-up post so others can join the reading challenge too. You do not have to be a book blogger to participate; you can track your progress on Goodreads, LibraryThing, BookLikes, etc., so as long as you have a dedicated shelf for the 2015 Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge and your profile is not private. The point of linking up is to have a place where people can see what you’re reading.

Levels:

  • 1st Base: read 1 – 5 books
  • 2nd Base: read 6 – 10 books
  • 3rd Base: read 11 – 15 books
  • Home Run: read 16 – 20 books
  • Grand Slam: read 21+ books
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Jan
5

 

 


Figured it was time to dust off this blog and start using it again.

Stay tuned for more updates! :)

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Sep
22

 

 


I missed doing this last year but decided to jump in when I saw the announcement via Callapidder Days come through my Twitter feed a few days ago.

My reading has been iffy a lot in recent months so my list is not going to have that many on it.

HEART OF DANGER by Lisa Marie Rice
Copyright: November 6, 2012
Publisher: Avon Red
Series: Ghost Ops Novel, Book 1
Source: ARC

They are Ghosts. They do not exist. Their birth certificates have been destroyed, all traces of their civilian and military pasts wiped out. They have no official military rank and wear no uniforms or insignia, save a tiny steel pin of a striking hawk forged from the rifle that killed Osama Bin Laden. Once again Lisa Marie Rice delivers a sizzling, heart-stopping new series as only she can tell it

Ghost Ops. A small team of super elite soldiers so secret only two men know of their existence-General Clancy Flynn and their commanding officer, Colonel Lucius Ward. On a mission to destroy a US-based lab working on weaponized bubonic plague, the team is betrayed by their commanding officer. The Team is massacred and only three men survive to be court martialed: the Team Leader, Tom ‘Mac’ McEnroe, tech genius John Ryan, and lethal Nick Ross. They disappear en route to prison and are never heard of again.

Mac and his men hole up in a high tech lair, completely off the grid. But when a beautiful woman somehow finds him, he doesn’t know whether to kiss her, or kill her.
Dr. Catherine Young is on a mission, propelled by forces beyond her control to find a man who has disappeared off the face of the earth. She is bearing a deadly message from a dying man. Catherine has a gift that allows her to see into the heart of others. But looking into Mac McEnroe’s heart is like looking into the heart of danger itself.

SEVEN NIGHTS IN A ROGUE’S BED by Anna Campbell
Copyright: September 25, 2012
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing / Forever
Series: Sons of Sin, Book 1
Source: Bought Kindle Copy

Will a week of seduction…

Desperate to save her sister’s life, Sidonie Forsythe has agreed to submit herself to a terrible fate: Beyond the foreboding walls of Castle Craven, a notorious, hideously scarred scoundrel will take her virtue over the course of seven sinful nights. Yet instead of a monster, she encounters a man like no other. And during this week, she comes to care for Jonas Merrick in ways that defy all logic—even as a dark secret she carries threatens them both.

…Spark a lifetime of passionate surrender?

Ruthless loner Jonas knows exactly who he is. Should he forget, even for a moment, the curse he bears, a mere glance in the mirror serves as an agonizing reminder. So when the lovely Sidonie turns up on his doorstep, her seduction is an even more delicious prospect than he originally planned. But the hardened outcast is soon moved by her innocent beauty, sharp wit, and surprising courage. Now as dangerous enemies gather at the gate to destroy them, can their new, fragile love survive?

DRAGON’S MOON by Lucy Monroe
Copyright: September 2012
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Series: Children of the Moon, Book 4
Source: Bought Kindle Copy

He’s a dragon intent on saving his people from destruction by the Fearghall and she is a wolf who blames the dragon for the deaths of her brother and mother. They’re true mates, but will that be enough to overcome ancient prophecies, debilitating visions and a dragon’s fire?

When Erik, the only living dragon shifter, and prince of the Ean, killed her brother, Ciara was left alone to face her prophetic dreams. Now, in order to find the wolves’ sacred stone and save all the Chrechte from destruction, she needs her enemy’s help.

Erik was only protecting the children of his people, but that day in the forest left a mark on him as well. Controlling his dragon’s fire is the most difficult thing he’s ever done—until he and Ciara are forced to face not only their shared tumultuous past, but a hallowed bond stronger than they realize. As avowed enemies and predestined mates, their quest ushers them into a world of great danger, and a passion hotter than the dragon’s fire.

HOW TO LOSE A DEMON IN 10 DAYS by Saranna DeWylde
Copyright: September 2012
Publisher: Kensington Brava
Series: 10 Days, Book 1
Source: Bought Kindle Copy

GOT DEMON?

Grace does. She’s got more demon than she can saddle. In fact, she’s got a sinfully sexy Crown Prince of Hell named Caspian. She’s also got ten days to get rid of him or Bad Things shall ensue. See, her Russian mobster ex-boyfriend didn’t take kindly to her smutty Mephistophelean contract. It’s not that she’s conspiring with fiends; that was his idea. It’s that she’s conspiring against him with outrageous devilry that runs the gamut from embarrassing to a dead hooker turned dominatrix demon gunning for his soul.

One should never trust demons, let alone shag them. They don’t have hearts. Yet Grace is buying hers some slightly tarnished armor and hoping that once he’s been shoveled into it, kicking and screaming, he’ll find it’s just his size. This wicked witch needs a white knight–or at least a Prince of Darkness for a Happily Ever After.

ONE GOOD EARL DESERVES A LOVER by Sarah MacLean
Copyright: February 2013
Publisher: Avon
Series: The Rules of Scoundrels, Book 2
Source: ARC

The second in the incredible new Rules of Scoundrels series from New York Times bestselling author Sarah MacLean.

Lady Philippa Marbury is…odd. The brilliant, bespectacled fourth daughter of the Marquess of Needham and Dolby cares more for books than balls, flora than fashion and science than the season. Nearly engaged to Lord Castleton, Pippa wants to explore the scandalous parts of London she’s never seen before marriage. And she knows just who to ask: the tall, charming, quick-witted bookkeeper of The Fallen Angel, London’s most notorious and coveted gaming hell, known only as Cross.

Like any good scientist, Pippa’s done her research and Cross’s reputation makes him perfect for her scheme. She wants science without emotion – the experience of ruination without the repercussions of ruination. And who better to provide her with the experience than this legendary man? But when this odd, unexpected female propositions Cross, it’s more than tempting . . . and it will take everything he has to resist following his instincts – and giving the lady precisely what she wants.

ON DUBLIN STREET by Samantha Young
Copyright: August 2012
Publisher: Self-Pub
Series: n/a
Source: Bought Kindle Copy

Four years ago, Jocelyn Butler left her tragic past behind in the States and started over in Edinburgh. Burying the grief, ignoring her demons, and forging ahead without any real attachments has worked well for her so far but when Joss moves into a fantastic apartment on Dublin Street, her carefully guarded world is shaken to its core by her new roommate’s sexy older brother.

Braden Carmichael is a man who always gets what he wants. And what he wants is Jocelyn in his bed. Knowing how skittish Joss is concerning any kind of relationship, Braden proposes a sexual arrangement that should satisfy the intense attraction between them without it developing into anything ‘more’. An intrigued Jocelyn agrees, completely unprepared for the Scotsman and his single-minded determination to strip the stubborn young woman bare… to the very soul.

PLANNING FOR LOVE by Christi Barth
Copyright: September 2012
Publisher: Carina Press
Series: Aisle Bound Trilogy, Book 1
Source: Bought Kindle Copy

Hopeless romantic Ivy Rhodes and anti-Cupid Bennett Westcott
request the pleasure of your company for their disaster of a courtship

Wedding planner Ivy Rhodes is the best in the business, and she’s not about to let a personal problem stop her from getting ahead. So when she’s asked to star in the reality TV show Planning for Love, it doesn’t matter that the show’s videographer happens to be a recent—and heartbreaking—one-night stand.

Bennett Westcott admits he didn’t handle his encounter with Ivy very well. But looking at her beautiful smile—and great body—through a camera lens every day? He can’t be faulted for suggesting they have some no-strings fun.

The more time they spend together, the more Ben realizes Ivy isn’t the wedding-crazed bridezilla he’d imagined. But if he doesn’t trust himself to make a relationship last, how can he convince Ivy to give him another chance?

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Apr
20

 

 


Have been having some sleepless nights lately so I find myself browsing online late at night. Have been browsing for books and here is just a sample of what I’ve added lately to my wishlist. :)

ALL AFTERNOON WITH A SCANDALOUS MARQUESSby Alexandra Hawkins
Release Date: July 31, 2012
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Series: Lords of Vice #5

Sinfully seductive and wildly wicked, the notorious Lords of Vice are no strangers to desire—or the many pleasures of indulgence…

HE’S NO SAINT

Simon Jefferes, the Marquess of Sainthill, has done the unthinkable—he’s fallen in love. The so-called “Saint” has spent his life gambling, dallying with women, and satisfying his every whim. And he fully intended to continue his wicked ways, until he met the mysterious, exotic, and irresistible Madame Venna—the one woman he can’t have…and the only one he’s ever wanted for more than an evening.

SHE’S NO LADY

The proprietress of the Golden Pearl, one of London’s most exclusive brothels, Madame Venna takes pride in the lush, decadent club she’s created. With a half-mask to conceal her identity, she’s careful to safeguard something even more valuable—her heart. But Saint is determined to tear down the walls she’s built around herself, and to finally expose the truth—that Madame Venna is a woman very much in love…with him.

ALMOST A SCANDAL by Elizabeth Essex
Release Date: July 31. 2012
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Series: Reckless Brides #1

For generations, the Kents have served proudly with the British Royal Navy. So when her younger brother refuses to report for duty, Sally Kent slips into a uniform and takes his place—at least until he comes to his senses. Boldly climbing aboard the Audacious, Sally is as able-bodied as any sailor there. But one man is making her feel tantalizingly aware of the full-bodied woman beneath her navy blues.

Bold, brazen, and beautiful, the Reckless Brides refuse to play by society’s rules of courtship. But—come hell or high water—they always get their man…

A LADY IN DISGUISE

For generations, the Kents have served proudly with the British Royal Navy. So when her younger brother refuses to report for duty, Sally Kent slips into a uniform and takes his place—at least until he comes to his senses. Boldly climbing aboard the Audacious, Sally is as able-bodied as any sailor there. But one man is making her feel tantalizingly aware of the full-bodied woman beneath her navy blues…

A MAN OVERBOARD

Dedicated to his ship, sworn to his duty—and distractingly gorgeous—Lieutenant David Colyear sees through Sally’s charade, and he’s furious. But he must admit she’s the best midshipman on board—and a woman who tempts him like no other. With his own secrets to hide and his career at stake, Col agrees to keep her on. But can the passion they hide survive the perils of a battle at sea? Soon, their love and devotion will be put to the test…

PLAYING TO WIN by Jaci Burton
Release Date: September 4, 2012
Publisher: Berkley Heat
Series: Play-by-Play #4

Someone’s going to have to let down their guard…

Football star Cole Riley is notorious for doing as he pleases—on the field and off. He parties hard and fights harder, but if he doesn’t clean up his act, his career is over—so Cole reluctantly agrees to work with image makeover consultant Savannah Brooks. He’s not used to being told what to do, especially by some (admittedly hot) southern belle. As for Savannah, she’s not convinced she can transform this cocky (and aggressively sexy) force of nature. But she’s determined to give it her best shot.

When the sparks start to fly, Savannah lays down the ground rules: no personal complications. If she can turn off the tingle she feels every time Cole gives her a hot stare with his gorgeous baby blues, he can turn off his desire as well. But for two people determined to have it all, a hands-off policy can only last so long before one of them yields.

CHARMED BY HIS LOVE by Janet Chapman
Release Date: May 29, 2012
Publisher: Jove
Series: A Spellbound Falls Romance #2

New York Times bestselling author Janet Chapman takes you back to the magical town of Spellbound Falls, where Duncan MacKeage is about to uncover great love with hidden dangers…

All Duncan MacKeage wants is to keep his crew building roads and bridges up the mountain to the fancy resort overlooking Spellbound Falls’ new inland sea. He doesn’t want anything to do with his own family magic or with the beautiful widow, Peg Thompson, and her tribe of little heathens. But when Duncan is tasked with keeping an eye on the widow Thompson, trouble starts.

Because of a family curse, Peg fears that giving in to her desires will mean killing off another lover. But Duncan—the strong, handsome man buying her gravel—is unbelievably tempting and determined to take care of her. Torn between her head and her heart, will Peg find the strength to break free of her black-widow curse? Or will pursuing their attraction put these lovers in harm’s way?

ONE MORE KISS by Mary Blayney
Release Date: October 30, 2012
Publisher: Bantam
Series: n/a

Mary Blayney, the acclaimed author of Courtesan’s Kiss, returns to the Pennistan family with this new historical romance—the delectable story of a free-spirited beauty with no interest in marriage who gets more than she bargained for when a seductive kiss leads to the possibility of love.

Dispatched by their ambitious father to snag a titled husband, Beatrice Brent and her twin sister, Cecilia, attend a house party with an array of eligible gentlemen. Defiantly ignoring her father’s wishes, Beatrice flirts shamelessly with Lord Jessup Pennistan, a gamer with scandal in his past—and the one man her father has warned her against. But when flirting goes too far, Beatrice suddenly finds herself engaged and, worse, estranged from her family. Though convinced that her fiancé’s wicked ways will bring nothing but heartache, Beatrice is powerless against Jess’s masterful seduction and the anticipated delights of the marriage bed.

A gambling man who has lost more than his family is willing to forgive him for, Jess quickly realizes that compromising Beatrice was the best mistake he ever made. But to keep her he must right the wrongs of the past, reclaim his lost fortunes, and place the boldest wager of his life. For now he has everything to win . . . and everything to lose.

NEVER SEDUCE A SCOT by Maya Banks
Release Date: September 25, 2012
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Series: n/a

This sinfully sweet new romance from Maya Banks features a remarkable woman whose rare gift teaches a gruff Scottish warrior how to listen with his heart.

Eveline Armstrong is fiercely loved and protected by her powerful clan, but considered “touched” to outsiders. Beautiful, fey, with a level, intent gaze, she doesn’t speak. No one, not even her family, knows that she cannot hear. Eveline taught herself to read lips and allows the outside world view her as daft, content to stay with her family. But when an arranged marriage with a rival clan makes Graeme Montgomery her husband, she accepts her duty—unprepared for the delights to come. Graeme is a rugged warrior with a voice so deep and powerful she can hear it, and hands and kisses so tender and skilled he awakens her deepest passions.

Graeme is intrigued by his new bride, whose silent lips are ripe with temptation, whose bright, intelligent eyes can see into his soul. As intimacy deepens, he learns her secret. But when clan rivalries and dark deeds threaten the wife he has only begun to cherish, the Scottish warrior will move heaven and earth to save the woman who has awakened his heart to the beautiful song of a rare and magical love.

HOW TO ROMANCE A RAKE by Manda Collins
Release Date: July 31, 2012
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Series: Ugly Ducklings #2

You can lead a wallflower to the ball, but you can’t make her bloom—unless one daring young bachelor turns up the heat…

DANCING WITH DANGER

What’s a nice girl like Miss Juliet Shelby doing at a place like Lord Deveril’s ballroom? With her shy demeanor, she’s a total stranger to the dance floor and a source of mockery for the ton. So imagine her surprise when Deveril gallantly comes to her defense—and offers to teach her to dance! Juliet can hardly believe the most handsome bachelor in London would notice her, until he takes her in his arms and sets her heart ablaze…

PLAYING WITH FIRE

Lord Alec Deveril has never felt such a spark of attraction for an unmarried lady before. Unlike the “fashionable” ladies he’s accustomed to, Juliet possesses a generous spirit, a fiery intelligence—and an explosive secret. Deep in the London underworld, a dear friend has vanished, and Juliet fears the worst. Deveril insists on helping, escorting her through the darkest alleys in town. But he too is hiding a shocking secret—and the only way he can defeat the devil in his past is to seduce the angel in his arms…

THE SCOUNDREL TAKES A BRIDE by Stefanie Sloane
Release Date: October 30, 2012
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Series: Regency Rogues #5

Lady Sophie Afton wants one thing and one thing only: Revenge against the man who ruthlessly killed her mother fifteen years before. Painstakingly preparing herself for the task and awaiting just the right moment, she approaches Lord Carmichael armed with the skills required of a spy and the knowledge that the Corinthians have reached an impasse in her mother’s case despite all the progress made by her dear friend Viscount Hardwicke. The Rook was only the beginning. Another man cut her mother’s throat, but it will take a woman to bring his identity to light.

Carmichael cannot refuse her. And just at the moment Sophie believes she’s on the cusp of experiencing the defining moment of her life, Nicholas Young appears. The younger brother of her betrothed, Nicholas had disappeared years before into the wild of the East Indies, where, if rumors were to be believed, he’d made his fortune through questionable means. In truth, Sophie had given little thought to her childhood friend. Until now. There was no denying that she adored Langdon Young, Nicholas’s older brother and the man she was meant to marry. But the moment Nicholas stalks back into her life, Sophie knows she will never belong to another. His touch inspires desire, his kisses need, and his skin on hers brands Sophie for life.

Aided by her Corinthian counterparts, with Nicholas at her side, Sophie delves into the dangerous depths of the London crime world in search of what she’s longed for her entire life. Or is it? Can revenge mean more than love?

STOLEN by Shiloh Walker
Release Date: October 30, 2012
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Series: n/a

Shay Morgan has stayed hidden for a long time. Living a reclusive life in Earth’s End, Alaska, she’s as far away as she can get from the trauma of her childhood and the man who hurt her long ago. But terror takes over Shay’s life yet again when an unknown stalker steals away the fragile peace she’s built for herself—targeting not only her but the one man who’s ever managed to get past the walls she’s built around herself.

Elliot Winter has lived through being falsely accused before—it ruined his military career. Now it’s happening all over again. And this time, his accuser is a twisted impostor who’s targeting his ex-girlfriend, Shay. Despite a fierce mutual attraction, Shay and Elliot broke up because Shay couldn’t let her guard down, couldn’t let Elliot in. But now they both need to trust each other to confront a psycho who seems to know all their secrets.

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Apr
15

 

 


For the last few weeks I’ve been in a weird mood when it comes to reading. I’ve started and stopped so many books that I’ve lost count. I’ve bought new ones to try to get myself interested in them. Will read the blurbs, they sound great, buy it and then I’m just not interested in reading it right then. I have received e-ARCs in my inbox that I have been eager to get my hands on but now that I have them? They’re just sitting there on my Kindle. I’ve received ARCs in the mail and they do are just sitting there waiting for me to pick them up to read. I hate slumps and I feel I’m falling deeper and deeper into this one. Yesterday on Twitter, several ladies recommended SWEET AS SIN by Inez Kelley as a “romangsty” read and their comments made it sound so good that I immediately went into my Kindle’s archives and started reading it. That was yesterday. Tonight, I’m still at 17%. I know it’s not the book, it’s my mood. I haven’t read much of anything today.

Actually, haven’t read much in the past few days. I’ve been watching TV. I’ve taken to watching my DVR’d shows. In the last few weeks, I’ve watched Season 3 of Sons of Anarchy (Jax and Opie, be still my heart). I love this show. In addition, I’ve watched all the Desperate Housewives episodes that I had on my DVR. Cried my eyes out in the episode where Mike was murdered and in the following episode when they showed his funeral. I know it was a show and it was pretend but that hit a little too close to home for me. Watching Susan and MJ grieving for Mike and trying to move on just made me sob. Then, on the flip side, I watched episodes of New Girl that had me rolling, they were so funny. I watched the new show, Don’t Trust the B in Apt 23 last week. Not sure about this one, will give it a couple more episodes before I decide on it. I’ve watched all the 20/20, Dateline, 48 Hours and ID channel shows that lured me in. Have been watching The Amazing Race with my oldest daughter every Sunday. This is one of our must see together shows. Criminal Minds and Justified are still on the DVR to get to. As is Once Upon A Time. Have heard a lot about this show but have yet to watch any of the episodes, although I have them all on the DVR. Another couple of shows that I want to see are Ringer and Revenge. I started out with Ringer but then stopped watching it for some reason and now my oldest says I need to catch up because it’s gotten good. I’ve got several episodes of Hart of Dixie on the DVR too. This one, I’m iffy about. Some episodes are good, others just make me grind my teeth watching it.

What do you find yourself doing when you find you’re falling into a reading slump? How do you avoid them?

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Apr
14

 

 

  • 2 Lillies Reviews


THE COMFORTS OF HOME by Jodi Thomas
Copyright: November 2011
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Series: Harmony, Book #3
Source: TBR

In Harmony, Texas, twenty-year-old Reagan Truman has found her place, and found her family. But with her uncle taken ill and her friend Noah lost and disheartened with his life, Reagan is afraid of ending up alone again, and she’s not the only one. When a terrible storms threatens the town, the residents of Harmony are forced to think about what they really want. Because making the connections they so desperately desire means putting their hearts at risk…

From my notes at GoodReads:

March 2012 —

Had to DNF it. One of the secondary characters was just ruining the book for me which is sad as I read and enjoyed the first 2 books in this series. I just couldn’t get past her actions and her treatment of another character.

ETA — 4/11/12

Have been in a weird reading mood. Went back and read/skimmed the rest of this one last night. Still hated Claire and her attitude towards Denver and how she was just using him for sex while he, the sucker, seemed to really love her.

There were 4 or 5 different stories going on. Ronny & Marty. Reagan & Noah. Claire & Denver. (If you can even call their story a “relationship”. Tyler & Kate.

We can go ahead and mark off Reagan & Noah because both were 20? 21? Too young to really decide anything more than the back and forth that was going on between them.

Claire & Denver, skimmed through most of their scenes after Claire annoyed me so much.

Tyler & Kate, didn’t think they’d ever decide to finally take the next time and make the choice to go to the next step, the emails, will she reply, when will she reply, were getting old, seriously old. Almost to the point of wanting Tyler to just move the heck on and just forget about her.

Then we have Ronny & Marty. Ronny is 26? Lives at home and her mother is the rudest person alive, IMO. The way she treats her daughter is horrible. Ronny grew up basically not wanting to be noticed. Didn’t talk much, hated to be touched, etc. Marty was 30? Had been in a accident that put him in a wheelchair and he was grumpy at first. But they met one day when Ronny delivered the mail to his apartment. They struck up a friendship where they would have lunch once a week where Marty would give Ronny “lessons” (kissing lessons to begin with) and it seemed the book was focusing on their relationship, even though each chapter was about one of the couples.

The last 10% of the book had a storm come through, blah blah blah. Tyler & Kate decide to marry (Thank you, God, they finally decide to take that step after 4 years of being friends). Noah decides to tell Reagan to wait for him until he was done from being part of the rodeo. Said he saw them married with 3 kids blah blah blah. Claire & Denver? Honestly, I have no idea what happened with them. Was hoping the storm would snatch Claire away like the wicked witch she was and just make her go *poof*, that’s how much I cared about her.

Then we have Ronny & Marty. Ronny was injured one night and ended up at Marty’s place where he helped take care of her injured leg. She ended up falling asleep on his bed and by the time she got home, her mom had basically called her trash and kicked her out (or Ronny may have just walked out before she kicked her out). After the storm, Ronny goes to Marty’s to see him and he’s not there. Somehow he’s moved out, something having to do with his father, but he’s not there when she goes and she ends up renting his place for herself. The book ends with her finding a paper that Marty left for her saying “Grow”. No goodbye. No nothing, just “Grow” and the book ends. Just like that.

I’m slightly puzzled. I know the previous two books also featured several storylines but we went in knowing who the h/h of each book was. This one, I thought it was about Ronny & Marty but the ending confused the hell out of me and my skimming most of it didn’t help any but damn, I couldn’t take much of Claire. Does this mean Ronny & the absent Marty will be in book 4? I have no clue and right now I’m very leery about giving that one a try. Might have to wait a bit before I dive into that one.

I hate to say that because this one came off reading as WF (Women’s Fiction) to me when the first two did not have that vibe at all. I don’t know yet which category book 4, JUST DOWN THE ROAD, will fall under. I would have said both WELCOME TO HARMONY (Book 1) and SOMEWHERE ALONG THE WAY (Book 2) fell under romance, loved the small town feel to them but this one, for me, it fell under Women’s Fiction. No real romance, and no, I do not count Claire and Denver’s “relationship” as romance. I’d say they were just f*ck buddies for the most part. The rest of it was just…way too sugary sweet for me.

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Apr
7

   Still Around

 

 


This is the first time I’ve logged into this blog since my last post, which was on March 1, 2011. It’s been 13 months since I’ve posted here. A week after my last post, I answered a knock on my door, at 3:30am, to be told by the officers at my door that my husband had been shot and killed in a robbery as he was closing up for the night to come home. That was on March 8. Everything is still a blur about that time. What I do remember are the few days before his death. I remember my 18 year old daughter coming back from her senior trip to New York with her classmates on March 3. I remember my 12, almost 13 year old daughter had a doctor appointment on March 6 for her latest infusion at the Children’s Hospital. Since the hospital is an hour and a half away and it was an early morning appointment, we left on March 5 to stay in a nearby hotel. I remember calling my husband and telling him we were on our way and I’d check in when we got there. I remember talking with my husband on the phone later that night to let him know we had made it to the hotel OK. I also remember calling him the next day to tell him we had made it home and the appointment went fine, no real issues popping up for us to worry about. I remember he told me he was busy with a line of customers waiting to buy Lottery tickets and that he would call me when he had a free moment. That was Sunday, the 6th. I ended up falling asleep before he came home that night and was so exhausted from the long day infusion the day before that I was still sleeping when he left for work on Monday, the 7th.

Monday was my usual running-around-doing-errands day after I took the girls to school. I don’t remember what all I did that day but I do remember thinking to myself that I needed to call him and see what he was doing. Just our usual checking in with each other. I don’t remember why but I do remember when I answered that door that I never did do it that day and he must have been swamped at work that day because he also didn’t get the chance to check in with me.

I remember having a weird feeling that night. The later it got, the weirder the feeling became. I knew his hours. I knew on the weekends what time he closed and I knew what time he closed on the weekdays. I remember looking at the time and seeing it was 12:30am and thinking any minute now he’ll walk through the door. Once it hit 1:30am, I thought maybe one of his friends had stopped off at the store and he was just running late in getting home. I called and the machine picked up. At 2:00am, I was calling every 5-10 minutes and still the machine was the only thing picking up. My husband was one of those people that hated cell phones and didn’t want one. He always said if he wasn’t at home, he was at work & if he went somewhere else, I was with him and since I had a phone, he didn’t need one. Around 2:30am, I changed clothes and went looking for him. Last time I had done that we ended up meeting each other at the stop sign at the end of the street and we got into an argument because he said I was worrying “for nothing.” That the customers/neighborhood knew him to be “crazy” and although there had been robberies going on in the neighborhood off and on for the last few years, he was sure no one would mess with him because he didn’t take any gruff from anyone. My response to that was “there’s going to be a day where someone is going to be “crazier” than you and yes, when you don’t come home at the time I know you should be there, I worry.” That night I made it all the way to the stop sign again and then made myself come back home. I kept saying to myself that he would be home soon. Less than an hour later, the knock came. Just like that, because of cowards who were willing to take instead of working for what they needed/wanted, our lives changed forever.

They still haven’t caught the guys who did this. We still know nothing about why it was done. I’ve heard several different stories about what happened but until the person or persons who did it are caught, we don’t really know anything. I will say there have been some good days and some not so good days since it happened. With four girls, each one is going to react a different way and not at the same time so while one could be having a good day, another could be having the worst day ever so it’s hard at times. I’ve heard “It’s not fair!!” a lot in recent months and yes, it isn’t fair and as much as I want to change things, nothing can go back to the way it was and the “what ifs” could drive a person insane if allowed that access and I try not to let the What Ifs take over. Family and friends have been constant in our lives and for that they have my gratitude forever.

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