Queue My Review

April 29, 2008

Review: Master of Surrender by Karin Tabke

Filed under: Review — Tags: , , — 1shellie @ 7:34 pm
Master of Surrender by Karin Tabke

I am going to be really honest here. I really didn’t know what to expect when I started this book. As a general rule, I don’t read many medieval romances. It’s not that I don’t like them, because I do. I just don’t seek them out. Well, after reading Master of Surrender by Karin Tabke, I am going to give the genre some serious reconsideration from now on!

Our story starts in the year 1059 at Jubb Prison, Viseu, Iberia. Rohan de Luc, the bastard son of a Norse nobleman, and his men are imprisoned and are close to death. They are shackled, starved and tortured. Just as they are about to be executed, they are saved by a mysterious old woman. Before the weary men can thank her, she cuts them all on the chin and claims that the blood on the dagger unites them. She calls them the Knights of the Blood Sword and states that their seed will only be fertile with the women destined to bear them sons. But, it comes with the high price of spilling the blood of her kin. Seven years later, the Saxon and the Norse are fighting to rule England. Rowan, and his men known as the Black Swords, have earned the reputation of being fierce and ruthless.

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April 28, 2008

Review: First You Run by Roxanne St. Claire

Filed under: Review — Tags: , — kris012 @ 10:49 am

First You Run by Roxanne St. Claire I have one thing to say about “First You Run” by Roxanne St. Claire: Wow! I like books where there is a lot of action in the plot, and this book certainly delivers all that and so much more.

Miranda Lang is an anthropology professor promoting her recent book debunking an urban myth that Mayan culture predicted the end of the world in 2012. Adrien Fletcher is a Bullet Catcher, one of a private, elite security force. He thinks Miranda may have been part of a black-market adoption scheme as a baby. But can he identify a baby 30 years later? Well, the baby had a tattoo placed somewhere on her body – so Fletch will have to get up-close and personal with Miranda in order to determine if she’s the one he’s looking for.

While Fletch thinks his assignment will be relatively simple, it becomes complicated quickly when Miranda’s safety is compromised by a splinter group who disagree with the premise of her book. While Miranda insists on continuing her book tour despite the threats, Fletch insists on coming along as her personal bodyguard.

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April 22, 2008

Review: Tall Tales and Wedding Veils by Jane Graves

Filed under: Review — Tags: , , , , — jjmachshev @ 8:40 pm
Tall Tales and Wedding Veils by Jane Graves

“Tall Tales and Wedding Veils” is the sixth single-title contemporary release from Jane Graves and my first read by her. I was pleasantly surprised by the depth of the characters she brought to life so well. Most of the book takes place in Plano, Texas, with some crucial scenes in Vegas. Her characters stay true to their nature through it all, growing and learning so they can finally get to their happily ever after. As I read the book…I smiled, I laughed out loud, I sniffled a bit, and then I finished with a big ole grin on my face. Bravo and well done to Ms Graves.

Heather Montgomery is a planner, an accountant, organized, and goes by-the-book. She’s happy, well-adjusted, has a good job and a 401K. Heather’s looking for a neat, caring, well-dressed, intelligent man with a good sense of humor—she’s definitely not interested in a good time guy like Tony at the bar. She really just wants to be finished with her cousin Regina’s wedding. Petite, blonde, catty, social-climbing Regina purposefully ordered Heather’s dress a size smaller than needed—just to make size 14 Heather diet before her high-society wedding with the ugliest, salmoniest, trendiest bridesmaid dresses on earth! Oh well, at least Heather gets the free trip to Vegas! She figures just watching the airhead blonde bridesmaid posse should be entertaining. It’s just one weekend, what could go wrong?

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Review: XXX Marks the Spot by Kathleen Lawless

Filed under: Review — Tags: , , , — 1shellie @ 7:50 pm
XXX Marks the Spot by Kathleen Lawless

Sometimes I want an easy read. I am not always interested in reading intense storylines with complex characters. There are times I like to just kick my shoes off, pick up a book, and relax without having to put a lot of thought into it. In “XXX Marks the Spot,” Kathleen Lawless delivers a smoothly written novel that would be a great day at the beach read.

Kennedy James is ready for her friends to lighten up. A beautiful, successful woman, she knows what she wants and when she wants it…especially from men. Justine wants a baby. Coming out of a relationship where this was an issue, she is determined that the next man she is involved with will want children too. Lisa is a divorced woman who has some low self-esteem issues. She is not that experienced in talking to or attracting men. Kennedy is hoping that some of her love-them-and-leave-them attitude about men will wear off onto her two best friends. So, she invites them to her house for a week to escape the reality of their lives then challenges them to a Sexcapades Scavenger Hunt. (more…)

Review: Not Another Bad Date by Rachel Gibson

Filed under: Review — Tags: , , , , , , , — 1shellie @ 6:50 pm
Not Another Bad Date by Rachel Gibson

When I pick up a Rachel Gibson novel, I know that I am in for a treat! Her characters are always funny and heartfelt and quite honestly, she writes about people that I would like to be friends with. “Not Another Bad Date” is no exception! It starts off with a bang and never let up throughout the novel. I literally devoured it in one day. I put off housework and lazed around the house until I finished it from cover to cover.

Devon Hamilton-Zemaitis is having a beautiful funeral. Buried in her expensive, stylish suit and perfectly coiffed hair, she is dismayed when instead of going straight to Heaven, she must endure a purgatory of sorts to make right some wrongs she has done in her life. She is asked to give a wish to help one person she has wronged. But when Devon is shown she must help Adele, whom she has always gone out of her way to torment throughout high school and college, Devon spitefully wishes that all of Adele’s dates end badly.

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April 21, 2008

Review: One Wrong Step by Laura Griffin

Filed under: Review — queuemyreview @ 2:12 pm
One Wrong Step by Laura Griffin

Last fall, author Laura Griffin exploded onto the romantic suspense scene with her debut novel “One Last Breath.” I must admit, it was a lark that had me picking up that novel and reading it. But I was pleasantly surprised to find a fast-paced, suspense-packed read in “One Last Breath,” and was eagerly awaiting the follow-up novel, “One Wrong Step,” which hits bookstore shelves April 29th.

“One Wrong Step” follows the story of Cecilia “Celie” Wells, who played a supporting role in Griffin’s previous novel. Celie has moved to Austin to begin a new life after finding out her ex-husband, Robert, was smuggling money from drug lord Manuel Saledo. When Celie ends up finding the hidden money in her things, she uses part of it to fund her quest to become a mother via IVF treatments. But Saledo is not a man to be messed with and wants his money back, going so far as to murder Celie’s ex to retrieve the stolen currency. This is how reporter John McAllister finds out that he and Celie, the woman he never had but always wanted, are living in the same town. When he goes to see her, he finds a woman distraught over the death of her ex being interrogated by the FBI, who is also looking for the stolen money in hopes that it will lead them to Saledo.

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April 20, 2008

Review: Lady and the Vamp by Michelle Rowen

Filed under: Review — Tags: , , , , , — queuemyreview @ 7:25 pm
Lady and the Vamp by Michelle Rowen

When Janie Parker was 13 she had the biggest crush on Michael Quinn, but the feelings weren’t mutual. Twelve years later they unexpectedly meet again, but it’s not quite as heartwarming as your might expect. She has a career working as an assassin for a powerful but shady supernatural organization, and he’s a former vampire-hunter who has recently been turned into a vampire.

Both Janie and Quinn are after The Eye – a mysterious object that will grant one wish to whoever finds it. Quinn is having a hard time adjusting to his new blood-only diet. Considering that he was spending his time hunting vampires only two months ago it’s quite the lifestyle change.

Quinn wants the Eye so that he can wish himself back to being human again.

Janie has no personal interest in using the Eye for herself, but her employer has sent her to retrieve it. She failed her last mission so she’s a wee bit nervous of the consequences of messing up twice in a row.

After all, this is a company that asked for her “burial options” on her application form and where she signed her contract in blood. Sure enough, her boss threatens to kill her long-missing sister if she doesn’t successfully find the Eye.

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April 17, 2008

Review: That’s Amore by Wendy Markham

Filed under: Review — Tags: , , , — jjmachshev @ 11:31 pm
That's Amore by Wendy Markham

When I asked to review this book, I was looking for a lighthearted, amusing story. While this book does have lighthearted, amusing moments, it’s so much more than that. I think we all forget sometimes that love isn’t always hearts and flowers…sometimes it’s tears and growing…and that’s what this book is really about. You can meet the perfect person—but if you’re not at that right point in your life (or the other person isn’t), it’s just not gonna work. That’s real life folks, and sometimes those of us that love romance tend to forget that. I don’t mean to say that this is a heavy book. It’s not. But it’s also not all hearts and flowers. And I’m glad that Ms. Markham took the time to remind us!! I also need to warn readers that this book is written in the first person. If that bothers you, then you’ve been warned!

Poor Ralphie Chickalini. He never knew his Mom since she died when he was born, so he was the last Chickalini child. Now he’s the last Chickalini left single…and since Pops died recently, he’s the last Chickalini left at Pops house. So he’s feeling a little down…and then his fiancé dumps him on New Year’s Eve. For the first time ever, he’s truly alone. Now being dumped is never fun, but he’s known for a while now that his ex wasn’t the one for him. She was the one his interfering family seemed to pick for him, and he just kinda went along with it. He wouldn’t have been the one to sever their relationship…’cause Ralphie just HATES change…and it seems that right now EVERYTHING in his life is changing. Into this mess steps Daria Marshall.

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Review: Danger’s Kiss by Sara McKerrigan

Filed under: Review — 1shellie @ 5:22 pm
Danger's Kiss by Sarah McKerrigan

I read to experience different times and places. There is nothing like reading a good story that takes you away from everyday life and everyday situations. “Danger’s Kiss” by Sarah McKerrigan delivers on all accounts. The story starts out in Canterbury England in the year 1250.

Desiree Kabayn has learned from the best. At thirteen, her parents sold her to a common thief Hubert Kabayn for the money. In the six years that have passed, she has learned the skills needed to be a great pickpocket, scam artist, and to use any other dishonest way she can get money from other people’s pockets into her own. Life with Hubert hasn’t been easy. He is abusive and often cruel at times but he is the only person she can rely on. So she is surprised when he sends her off on a wild goose chase, only to discover when she returns that he is about to be hanged for murder right before her very eyes. Watching him hang from the gallows, Desiree vows to clear his name and avenge his death.

Nicolas Grimshaw enforces the law. As the local shire-reeve, he has the difficult job of hunting down the truth from criminals. Known by the locals as the grim reaper, he is often accused to using unconventional methods to get a confession or to solve a case. Loathed and feared because of the title he holds, people make a wide girth around him when they see him coming. When Nicolas watches over Hubert Kabayn the night before his execution, Hubert makes the lawman promise to watch over and take care of his “granddaughter” Desiree. As he supervises the execution of Hubert, Nicolas can’t shake the feeling that they are executing the wrong man.

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Review: Wicked Pleasure by Lora Leigh

Filed under: Review — jjmachshev @ 3:56 pm
Wicked Pleasure by Lora Leigh

If you haven’t read a book by Lora Leigh then you’re obviously not an erotica fan. Her romances feature incredibly hot Alpha males <<gasping and fanning myself vigorously>> and the women they capture. If scenes of explicit sex and/or ménage situations offend you, then you will want to just enjoy the cover picture of Ms. Leigh’s latest novel, and her second mainstream release, in the Wicked series entitled “Wicked Pleasure.”

I love the background for these novels. The Club outside Washington D.C. is a long-standing and extremely private organization. Its members share a certain notoriety that comes from being Fortune 500 CEOs, congressmen, and other famous movers and shakers. Its members also share the need to engage in sexual ménage activities with their female lovers/wives. Therein the extreme secrecy attached to The Club. Members sign confidentiality agreements and The Club has a ‘punitive committee’ composed of very powerful individuals who can and will ruin anyone betraying their secrets financially, socially, and politically if needed. However, The Club is more than just a sex club; it’s also a social setting for like-minded men. Women only gain admission as ‘guests’ of members. Our heroine, Jaci Wright, has recently been hired to do some decorating renovations to the interior of The Club.

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Review: Wild for Him by Janelle Denison

Filed under: Review — 1shellie @ 12:58 pm
Wild for Him by Janelle Denison

I would like to share that I read to escape. When I come home from a hard day’s work, and the family is in an uproar, there is nothing better than to lose myself in a good book! I love it when the hero and heroine not only fall in love, but they also LIKE one another. When they enjoy being with and trusting each other and a little suspense and danger are added in, that combination makes for a great book! Janelle Denison‘s “Wild for Him” fit that bill easily! I found myself anxiously pouring through this novel and admittedly was sorry when the story came to a close. Luckily, I will have Christine and Ben’s novel on my bookshelf where I can visit their story anytime I want.

Christine Delacroix is a woman coming into her own. Being raised in a political family, with parents who no longer love one another, she has been brought up into a world of glamour and wealth. Always being down to earth and approachable to others, she is not only a well-liked member of the community but also a well respected one. Recently breaking up with a deceitful boyfriend, she is enjoying her new-found freedom and running her own business. So she is shocked when her father tells her she must have a bodyguard, until the upcoming gubernatorial election in three weeks time, because of threats to the family. She is pleasantly surprised when she realizes it is her friend Ben, whom she has always been very attracted too, who will be protecting her.

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April 13, 2008

Review: To Taste Temptation by Elizabeth Hoyt

Filed under: Review — jjmachshev @ 5:56 pm
To Taste Temptation by Elizabeth Hoyt

I think we all enjoy reminiscing on fairy tales from our youth. The downtrodden heroine saved by what turns out to be a handsome prince. At least, those are the fairy tales of my youth before the era of political correctness. I even remember when either Cinderella or Snow White was re-released by Disney in the 80’s and women’s groups were encouraging mothers with daughters to boycott the film because it taught girls to “wait for a man to rescue them”. Uh… hello? IT’S A FAIRY TALE! Anyway, that’s part of what was enjoyable about Elizabeth Hoyt’s books is her inclusion of a fairy tale within the story and somewhat mirroring plot lines. She continues this tradition with her new series, The Legend of the Four Soldiers and this first novel, “To Taste Temptation.”

Our first fairy tale soldier is Iron Heart, mirrored by our book hero Samuel Hartley. He’s a wealthy, successful, rakish, and “uncivilized” businessman from the Colonies who isn’t ashamed of his humble beginnings. His backwoods background enabled him to act as a scout for the British in the French and Indian War, and it was there he served with our heroine’s brother. He’s come to England ostensibly on business, but in reality to identify the villain who betrayed their Regiment which resulted in a massacre that very few survived.

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April 10, 2008

Review: Soul of a Highlander by Melissa Mayhue

Soul of a Highlander by Melissa Mayhue

What woman hasn’t ever dreamed of a handsome highland lover who sweeps her off her feet? Why are so many of us so fascinated with these brawny heroes? I don’t know, and I really don’t care, but I sure love to read about them! “Soul of a Highlander” is the third offering in Ms. Mayhue’s magical Highland series, preceded by “Thirty Nights with a Highland Husband” and “Highland Guardian”. This series features 13th century hunky Scots (and Scottesses!), modern women, magic, and faeries good and bad. If you are a fan of Lynn Kurland, Karen Marie Moning’s earlier works, or Janet Chapman, do yourself a favor and check out Melissa Mayhue’s books.

Her latest features two secondary characters from earlier in the series. First up is Mairi MacKiernan, who was saved by magic from death in the year 1272 and brought forward into the 21st century. Our heroine feels out of place and she’s sure that the faerie magic heritage of true-love for her will never come to pass as she’s ‘out’ of her time. Although she appreciates all the conveniences of the century she now finds herself in, she misses her 13th century aunt dearly. While reading about her family’s past, she discovers that her Aunt Rosalyn’s daughter was killed at a young age and decides to travel to the past and save her for her beloved aunt. Mairi boldly challenges the Faerie Prince Pol to grant her the powers she needs to complete this mission. But bargains with the Fae never turn out quite like one intended…

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April 9, 2008

Review: A Little Less Talk and a Lot More Action by LuAnn McLane

Filed under: Review — queuemyreview @ 3:37 pm
A Little Less Talk and a Lot More Action by LuAnn McLane

Reading romances, it always interests me the places in which authors set their story as those places became a character themselves, adding as much to the novel as the hero, heroine, or any supporting character. With its rich history in all things country music, I always wondered why Nashville was never the location in any of the stories I read as that was my own hometown. I chalked it up to this city being boring as most people feel about their hometown unless they live in some glamorous place like New York City or Hollywood. But LuAnn McLane changed all of that when she came onto the scene with her novels, many of them set in the city I call home. And her newest novel, “A Little Less Talk and a Lot More Action”, due out this July, takes the best of Music City and uses it to spin a hilariously fun and sassy tale of a woman coming into her own as she sets out for the adventure of her life!

The novel actually begins in the small town of Hootertown, Kentucky, where Macy McCoy lives and works at the Cut ‘n Curl with her best friend, the newly married Jamie Lee Sheldon. Serving as the bridesmaid for the nuptials, Macy has been spending a lot of time with sexy Luke Carter, who happens to be the brother of the bride. Luke is somewhat of a town hero, a former football star who has returned home to coach the local high school team and has aspirations of coaching for a college one day. But more than that, Luke is the one that got away from Macy, or more so the one she never had a chance in getting. Macy doesn’t think she stands a chance in gaining Luke’s attention but she enjoys admiring the gorgeous bachelor from afar. And that is good enough until Luke starts to give her signs that there may be interest in something “more” after all. But just as they begin to explore a relationship, life throws a wrench into their budding romance.

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April 4, 2008

Author Spotlight: Kate Angell (April 2008)

Filed under: Author Spotlight — queuemyreview @ 5:58 am

AuthorPic_KateAngell

Kate Angell is the author of the popular baseball-centric romance series Boys of Summer (Squeeze Play, Curveball). With the third novel (Strike Zone) in stores this month and a fourth (Sliding Home) already in the works, she delights readers with her stories centered around the fictional Major League Baseball team, The Richmond Rogues, and the players who steal not only the bases, but the hearts of the women they love and the readers who enjoy their stories. Queue My Review posed five questions to Kate and she was gracious enough to answer each one. If you want more information about Kate or her books, stop by her web home at http://www.kateangell.com/.

 

Q&A with author Kate Angell:

 

Q: I began writing romance novels because…

A:   There’s nothing more powerful in the world than love.   In a romance novel,  readers can escape into someone else’s life, forget their own, and enjoy the steam and tension between an Alpha hero and sexy heroine. Characters who will eventually resolve their conflict and fulfill their happily ever-after. Everyone wants a strong and fulfilling relationship. When you close a romance novel, you smile and sigh.

 

Q: When I have time off from writing, I’m most likely…

A: Taking a long walk or sitting in a sun lounger in my backyard watching my dogs play. I have an animal house – eleven dogs, four cats, and one tree frog. Even in my downtime, there’s a whole lot of barking and tail wagging going on.

 

Q: My favorite romantic movie is…because….

A: I’m a big Daniel Day-Lewis fan. I loved him in Last of the Mohicans as well as in the Age of Innocence. These are big blockbuster films with a lot of passion and depth. Such movies open your heart, draw a response, and make you feel

 

Q: The ideal writing conditions for me are when…

A: I love mornings.  I’m often writing before the sun comes up. A cup of coffee and my creativity kicks in.  I’ll write for ninety minutes, then take a break. I set an alarm clock – which forces me to stop and get up and move around. The second I rise, my dogs think it’s time to go outside. So that takes another thirty minutes away from the computer. I’ll settle back in, and try to knock out five solid pages, hopefully by noon. I edit my material later in the day.

 

Q: Besides the Rogues, my favorite MLB team is…

A: I’m a die-hard Cubs fan.  Maybe 2008 will be their year. I’m always hopeful!

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