Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A Breach of Promise by Victoria Vane

A Breach of PromiseThis is an erotic historical romance. I was told it was slightly "Heyer-esque." I'm not sure what that means, but I thought "Georgette Heyer," the famous author of books in the Georgian era. I hate Heyer, so it was with much trepidation that I picked this up. 

It's cute, witty, and the sex is very erotic. I also learned a lot of new words, thus it was somewhat like Heyer. However, the real and very dead Heyer used as many complicated and head scratching words as possible in one sentence. Vane just throws in one per page. I also learned new things to call the female anatomy. LOL

Not bad at all. For historical erotic romance, it was good. I recommend it. Check it out. It's a one day read, not a door stopper. It's not overly descriptive, nor does it pontificate endlessly. 

Favorite quote: "To my understanding a man can perform the animal act of coition in virtually any circumstance without emotional engagement of any kind." *snort* LOL

Four stars and I bought this on Amazon Kindle.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Mask of the Gladiator by Georgie Lee

Mask of the GladiatorA short read, but entertaining, Mask takes place in the time of Caligula. He was famous for his cruelty and sexual perversions. When this vile emperor of Rome sets his sights on Livia, a young widow, he uncle announces he is marrying her off to Senator Titus whether she likes it or not. 

She doesn't like it... why? Cause she has her desires reawakened by a Gladiator in the arena. One meeting and they are "getting it on." A bit quick, that.. But what she doesn't know if that her gladiator is Titus. He's got a scheme to take down Caligula and she can either cooperate or get in the way.

The secret comes out, but then their plan backfires. Did Titus run away with his tail between his legs like her first husband did or is he going to save her from Caligula's clutches cause Caligula does get his nasty hands on her...

Good, entertaining, but thought the characters sure acted on their urges mighty quick. They didn't know each other's names... Hum.

Four stars. I got this from netgalley. 

A Christmas Sleeping Beauty by Lindsay Townsend

A Christmas Sleeping BeautyAt first, one may look at this and think, "Bah, an overdone fairy tale.. Sleeping Beauty just wakes up on Christmas." Not so. Ms. Townsend has taken a classic fairy tale and added more than just a Holiday twist.

The prince, Orlando, can't just kiss her and wake her up and then live happily ever after with all her money. In this case, the prince must WORK for the princess, Rosie, to wake up. His kiss is not enough.

In this short story, the arrogant prince who is in it all for the glory and fame and wealth has no choice but to come to care for the princess, really care for her, or she will not wake up. He learns that she loves Christmas and burns yule logs and nuts. He builds her a sled to show her a good time.. and still she doesn't wake.

It's not till he comes to truly CARE about her and her family, that the princess will wake. However, he only has three days to accomplish this.

A very touching short story that can be read year round. It's not one of those "only at Christmas time reads." The holiday theme was no so dominant, that you would feel funny reading it in July.

Four stars. I received this from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

PDF Giveaway of Dog Tails for Christmas

Dog Tails: Three Humorous Short Stories for Dog LoversIn honor of the upcoming holiday, I'm giving a .pdf file of Dog Tails to one lucky reader. For a chance to win, please leave a comment on this post and December 25th, at Jazzy's convenience, she will choose a winner from her doggie bowl. 

Feel free to spread the word! I have not done much promotion for fear of being labeled a "spammer" so any and all help is appreciated. Much thanks from Lola, Pudgy, and Jazzy. :)

And a sidenote: If you have a friend who owns both a kindle and a dog, may I suggest gifting them a "copy?" It's a perfect last minute gift and doesn't require you to fight the shopping madness. :) The Amazon link is here: Dog Tails for Kindle

Amazon Heat by Melinda Leigh and Rayna Vause

Amazon HeatThis is an exciting short story. A woman doctor goes into the Amazon to search for a plant that she believes can cure cancer, breaking her lover's heart as she does so as he wants her to stay behind in the States and marry him. She is saved from a group of drug smugglers intent on rape by a group of Amazon warriors. However, the Amazons keep her captive for 2 years, wanting her medical expertise for their own gain.

During that time, he man is searching for her. The Amazons find him too and intend to keep him as a stud. After all, as the Amazon queen says, "He is male, is he not? Males rut." LOL

But this male, Logan, only has eyes for the doctor, Elizabeth and after they rekindle their love, they aim to escape, even if it means trusting another Amazon to help them.

Exciting and fun and a great plot. I loved the whole Amazon warrior tribe, but it was too short for this type of tale. I wanted to know more.. I think a lot more could have been added, such as scenes with Mari. I wanted to know more about this Amazon that was somewhat exiled from her own people. I'd love to know her background. Also, Logan with his new powers, did he impregnate Elizabeth? He almost had lightning bolts shoot from his you-know-what and they weren't using protection... I sense there may be a sequel here, some super powered baby, but I think it should have been one novel. 

Four stars and I got this from netgalley.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Golden Hour by Margaret Wurtele

The Golden HourWow. This is one of those books with one of those endings that just left me with my mouth hanging open. 

It takes place in Italy during WWII. Italy has been taken over by Nazis. The heroine, Giovanna, is spending her teen years under German rule and has even had to give up most of her home to German soldiers. Her brother has failed to report for duty with Italian/German army and has run off to be a resistance fighter/partisan. Her father is angry as he is a devoted Fascist. (Actually, he's on the winning side whoever they may be.)

In the beginning, Gia (I'm shortening it as that's quite a bit to type over and over) is a normal teenage girl with feelings of desire. She's left with nothing but Nazis to focus her new found feelings on and she develops a crush on Hans. He's married, but that doesn't stop her...but before it goes too far, Gia realizes she's in the wrong. This botched affair leads to so many things...Gia begins to change for one thing.

She begins aiding the resistance, providing supplies, medical care, starts to ask questions. She goes from being a naive school girl ogling older, married men to a young woman with a mind of her own that believes in doing all she can to help her country and the Jews within it.

There were times I thought Gia was disappointing and stupid, but her narrative, all first person POV, was so brutally honest.. it was as though she was admitting to her own flaws. I felt as though she was speaking to me, saying, "Look what I did. Yes, I did that. Can you believe how stupid I was?" Somehow, it worked, it drew me in, and it made the heroine "real."

The ending. Wow. I didn't see that coming... to live with that knowledge the rest of one's life. Yikes. Something else in the book that had a huge impact on me was when the Allies came to town and ran out the Germans. The military higher ups sit there and talk smack about their very own Buffalo soldiers and Gia thinks...

"The irony of all this was eating away at me: the American military, so much the "white horse" for all of us in this war, felt to me like a weak echo of the Nazis' own prejudices and hostilities."

Really, too many good points for me to bring up. Loved this one. Love the narrative, the realness, the history, the drama, and except for her father who I  never came to like, the characters.

Five stars and I got this ARC from Amazon Vine.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Pope Joan was made into a movie and it's HERE!!!!!!!!

Pope Joan

Ok..deep breath. Years ago, I read a book called Pope Joan by Donna Woolfolk Cross. It's a fictional account of a female who after a very rough life, passed herself off as a man and became the POPE. No joke. And I believe it. I do. 

I loved the first half of this book, grew bored in the second half, but this book left an impact on me. It did. And it was made into a movie that until now was only in Germany. It's finally come our way. December 18th, it airs on Reelz channel. Believe me, I'm recording. 

What I thought of the book: 
Pope Joan

"Let her copy the behavior of a dog who always has his heart and his eye upon his master: even if his master whip him and throw stones at him." 

That is an excerpt from the book. It was in a wedding ceremony, spoken to the bride of course. What a lovely time that must have been to be a woman! I liked this book very much due mostly to the fact it is about an amazingly strong, courageous, and gutsy woman. She struggled like no other heroine I have yet read about. The first half of the book has more personality and really focuses on her, her thoughts, her feelings, and her trials. The last half of the book bored me to tears in some places, as it tends to go on and on about the papacy and a lot of war. That was the times and what was occuring during that part of her life, but I wish it had a more personal feel like the first half of the book. 

NOTE: be aware this is very controversial and when you are overheard discussing it with your close buddy, some very opinated, know it all male is going to butt in and give his two cents and deny her existence. To each their own I say. I BELIEVE.

Find more info on the movie here: Pope Joan on Reelz

Friday, December 16, 2011

Spitfire Girl by Lily Baxter

Spitfire GirlTake a look at this cover!!! World War 2!! Spitfires! A woman in uniform! Right?


Here's the real lowdown and why I'm giving this one a low rating:

Quibble 1: The heroine is so nice, it made me sick. And of course, until page 180, she's the ONLY nice woman in the book. ALL the other women around her are beeyotches. All four of them..

Quibble 2: As if that isn't bad enough, all the fellows either want to rape her or marry her.

Quibble 3: Heroine again. She falls in love immediately. She meets Tony on the street, one time, and she's in LUV. Colin takes her dancing and you guessed it: she's in LUV.

Quibble 4: Until around page 300, the heroine never steps foot in a plane. This is a 443 page book so imagine my disappointment.. especially after I spent big bucks on this one thinking it would make a great addition to my women in aviation collection... I feel cheated. It's 300 pages of soap opera and only 143 pages of anything really aviation related. For most of the book, the heroine is a servant to someone in some way or another.

Confession: After page 180, I couldn't bear it anymore and had to skim. I had a bad feeling I wasn't getting the aviation story I had been expecting..

It's probably a good book if that's what you are looking for. Didn't work for me. Two stars.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Crooked Hearts by Patricia Gaffney

Crooked HeartsI had some doubts when I first found this one netgalley and requested it. See, it's an older romance being reprinted and kindelized, and I thought it may be a bodice ripper due to some of the cover/blurb/flap jackets that were on the older editions. However, I not only read it, but thoroughly enjoyed it and had many a laugh. It is not really a bodice ripper. The sex when it finally occurs over halfway into the book, isn't horrible or cheesy. Though there is some Spanish Fly involved...

Crooked HeartsThe first quarter is absolutely hilarious! The heroine is pretending to be a nun and coercing sympathetic men out of their money as they donate to what they think is Sisters of Hope and staring orphans. The hero is pretending to be blind and does he get an eyeful as the "nun" makes adjustments to her clothing, thinking she is safe in the presence of a blind man.

She needs money to save her farm and he needs money to pay off debts though it takes a while to get both of their "real" stories as they continue to lie to each other throughout the book, neither of them trusting the other despite their new partnership.

What starts as a scam during a simple game of 7 card stud evolves into an attempt at swindling a Chinese drug lord...and it all goes very badly. Seems the Chinese drug lord is way smarter than they are and he wants Grace/Sister Augustine/the heroine for his bride. Yikes!

Borrowed from Karla on goodreads. 
Grace and Reuben begin to desire each other, save each other numerous times, and enter one shady deal after another in their rush to make money. Their banter and jokes made the book worthwhile even when it began to drag. The last half wasn't as funny and I started to find the whole thing with Mark Wing, the drug lord and his overall character a bit preposterous. But the ending had a surprise twist and the book redeemed itself.

Favorite laugh out moment: (This is when Reuben was still somewhat reeling at the discovery that Sister Augustine wasn't really a nun. He has a funny dream that he's standing at a pulpit with an audience of nuns.)

"Seated in orderly rows, they all suddenly crossed their legs and hiked up their skirts, like a chorus of cancan dancers. Some had pistols tucked into their garters, and some had little floral bouquets. Smiling, swinging their crossed legs back and forth in a leisurely rhythm, they hung on Reuben's every word, and nodded in unison when he suggested that many of them might benefit from some private spiritual instruction."

Four stars. A funny historical romance revived. And an extra thumbs up for the heroine not being a simpering virgin, but a woman who knows what she wants and gets it.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Ride for Rights: Inez Milholland

In Ride for Rights, coming February 10th, 2012 from MuseItUp Publishing , Angeline and Adelaide Hanson meet a variety of fascinating women on their ride across the United States. Many of these women are loosely based on fascinating women in history during that time. The real sisters, the Van Burens, mostly likely did not meet these women, but when penning historical fiction, one is allowed to take liberties provided they explain them in Author's Notes. 

In Ride, the sisters find themselves in a jail cell in Dodge City, Kansas...only one woman can save them. Inez. 

Inez smiled Joe’s way. “First, let’s get these young ladies out of here. Mr. Cooper, I’m Mrs. Mulholland, and I am here to represent these very lovely and very wronged young women.” She gestured to the two women standing and looking smugly from behind the bars.
“A woman lawyer?” The sheriff practically spat the words. “Women are to be discreet, chaste keepers at home, good and obedient to their husbands, not running around the world bein’ lawyers and ridin’ motorbikes!”
Inez laughed, and this only seemed to anger the sheriff further. Alan was wondering if the man was about to have a heart malfunction and prepared to run for help if the need arose. Joe was rather hoping the man would have a heart malfunction. Inez just looked calmly at the sheriff and said, “Let’s talk about that, shall we?”

Who was the real Inez? If you've seen the movie Iron Jawed Angels, she was played by the lovely Julia Ormond. She really was involved in the suffrage movement and rode the white horse in the parade. 
She was born in 1866 and grew up in Brooklyn. She became a lawyer, proposed to her husband rather than waiting, and never had children. A woman way ahead of her time. 

In 1916 while the Van Burens were doing their real life ride, Inez was touring the west speaking for women's rights. It's quite possible she was in the vicinity. Sadly, she had poor health, pernicious anemia, and she died that very year. Her last public words were, "Mr. President, how long must women wait for liberty?" 

A mountain was even named after this amazing woman. Mount Discovery in the Adirondacks was renamed Mount Inez.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Nobody Girl by Leslie DuBois

I'm a big fan of Leslie Dubois now, I think. This is the second book I have read by her and though I don't love it as much as I did the first one I read, I really enjoyed it. Dubois tackles sensitive subjects and touchy story lines with an artistic skill and an engaging voice.

What this contains: A woman living with the knowledge she was found in a dumpster and adopted, the possibility she's a pedophile as she discovers a summer fling is actually a high school student, divorce, and lack of self esteem. Also: Adultery, prostitution, interracial dating, undercover cops, drug rings, computer hacking... Really.. awesome stuff. There's no end to the excitement and I was on the edge of my seat. I devoured this in one day, no skimming. 

My only quibbles: It was too predictable. This didn't detract from my enjoyment of the story, but when I compare it to the shocker Ain't No Sunshine, I was expecting more by way of surprises. There were some typos too.

4 stars and I won this on LibraryThing Member Giveaways.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

In Her Sights by Robin Perini

In Her Sights
Action packed from the get go. 

The low down: Jazz Parker is a take no dirt from anyone female sniper on SWAT. She's the only woman and she's got a lot to prove. She's somewhat ostracized from the team because of her sex and the brick wall she has built around herself. That wall is there for a reason though. She's got a secret past and identity she ran away from, or thought she did.

Luke almost knocked down her defenses once so she left him. Luke is former military and gets to the bottom of things. He ends right smack in the middle of a revenge plot that's main focus is Jazz. 

So what we end up with: Dirty cops, snipers, slashed up trucks, kidnapped girls, a family and group of brothers placed in danger, a sordid past coming up again and again, and lots of butter rum lifesavers as the heroine sucks on them or reaches for them constantly. (A minor irritation.)

I thought I had it all figured out but apparently not. I figured it out for real in the last quarter.. A good yarn. The sex was good, but considering the hero had a box of condoms next to the butter rum lifesavers, why weren't they  using them? She's a SWAT sniper. Getting pregnant probably isn't a good idea.

Also found myself rolling my eyes at the super sweet little girl. Gimme a break. The whole world doting on her, all her preciousness. Thought the ending was over sappy, but overall it's a good, action packed read with a tough as nails heroine.

Four stars and I got this from Amazon Vine.