Monday, January 31, 2011

Infamous by Suzanne Brockmann

Title:  Infamous
Author: Suzanne Brockmann
My Rating: A

Genre: Romantic Suspense
Series: -
Main Characters: Alison Carter & AJ Gallagher
Release Date: July 2010 
ISBN978-0345521200 or 
Links to Purchase:
Amazon- $7.99
Borders- $7.99
Sexual Intensity: spicy

Story Overview:
When history professor Alison Carter became a consultant to the film version of the Wild West legend she’d dedicated her career to researching, she couldn’t possibly have known that she would not only get a front-row seat to a full-blown Hollywood circus but would innocently witness something that would put her life in peril. Nor did she expect that a tall stranger in a cowboy hat would turn the movie—and her world—completely upside down.

A. J. Gallagher didn’t crash the set in dusty Arizona to rub elbows with Hollywood’s elite. Unable to ignore ghosts from the past that refuse to stay buried, A. J. came to put an end to the false legend that has tarnished the reputation of his family. But when he confronts Alison, sparks fly. And when Alison is targeted by ruthless criminals, suddenly she and A .J. must face the intense attraction that threatens to consume them—and survive the danger that threatens their very lives.

My Review:
I loved this book! AJ is both his inner demons from the 1st Iraqi war and by the ghost of his great-grandfather, Jamie. He has a history of PTSD and isn't so sure that he isn't completely crazy when his great-grandfather's ghost starts visiting.

His great-grandfather is visiting him because there is a movie being made about his life as a gunfighter in Arizona- which is entirely inaccurate. Jamie wants AJ to convince the movie-makers to fix it.

The "moviemaker" in charge of the historical accuracy is Alison, a historian who is an expert on this particular story. Understandably, she is a little reticent to believe AJ's version of the truth. It's up to AJ to change her mind.

This book is written a bit more like the original 6 novels of Suz Brockmann's Troubleshooters series in that there is a contemporary love story, but there is also a secondary historical love story woven into it. I really like how Suz Brockmann does that and in this novel, it's done even more seamlessly than she did in those original 6.

For the first time in a long time, I think that I personally fell in love a bit with a character. AJ is an awesome character...sensitive with a tiny bit of vulnerability. He is not your typical, in-your-face alpha male. He has a lot going on in his head and is pretty upfront about all of it. He can be alpha when he needs to incredibly sexy and all packaged up in a pickup truck and cowboy hat which is enough to make this Texas girl's heart go pitter-pat. The scenes between him and his great-grandfather's ghost, Jamie, show such insight into his soul. 

I have a feeling that this is a book will definitely make it into my top 10 of 2011.

Warning: this book is not for everyone. The reviews for it are all over the place...people either really love it or really hate it.  Obviously, I am on the lover's side, and I quite honestly don't understand the haters. Just an FYI so that you don't go out and buy this book on my recommendation alone.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

February Releases...

Animal Magnetism by Jill Shalvis
$7.99 retail paperback
February 1, 2011 release date

Absolutely, Positively by Heather Webber
$7.99 retail paperback
February 1, 2011 release date

$7.99 retail paperback
February 15, 2011 release date

$7.99 paperback retail
February 15, 2011 release date

Harvest Moon by Robyn Carr
$7.99 retail paperback
February 22, 2011 release date

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Nauti Nights by Lora Leigh

Title:  Nauti Nights
Author: Lora Leigh
My Rating: C-

Genre: Erotic Suspense
Series: Nauti #2
Main Characters: James "Dawg" Mackay & Crista Jansen
Release Date: December 2010 (re-issue)
ISBN978-0425238172 or 
Links to Purchase:
Borders- $7.99
Sexual Intensity: erotic

Story Overview:
James "Dawg" Mackay has lusted after sweet Crista Jansen for years. Just as many as she's spent running from him- and from the dangerous attraction that shot like a spark through her whole body. But for Crista, running isn't an option anymore because Dawg's got a plan. It's kind of low-down. And kind of hot.

Blackmail is a dirty work, but Dawg will use it if that's what it takes to get Crista where he wants her. His hungers are too hard and fierce not to. He doesn't realize that Crista has a longing, too. She knows what he's up to, what he's capable of. He didn't get that nickname for nothing. And before the night is through, Crista's making him work for it.

My Review:
I have really had a hard time figuring out how to do this review. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this book. The writing is great, the storyline suspenseful, but I simply did not like Dawg & Crista... which made me really apathetic to the entire book. I almost quit reading it with only 75 pages left...simply because I really didn't care how it turned out for these 2. 

That is such a totally subjective thing...just like if you are at a are going to hit it off with different people. I personally did not hit it off with these two. I am in the minority here! There are TONS of GREAT reviews and scores for this book, so I can say without a doubt that my issues with this book are mine alone!

Reading is subjective and on any given day, you are going to like or hate a book entirely based upon your frame of mind that day. I have been lucky lately in that I have been loving everything that I have been reading...this was not one of those days.

That being said, as soon as I finished this book, I got online and ordered the next 3 in the series. I have not given up on these books!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Loose Ends by Tara Janzen

Title:  Loose Ends
Author: Tara Janzen
My Rating: A

Genre: Military Suspense
Series: Steele Street #11
Main Characters: JT Chronopolous & Jane Linden
Release Date: January 2011
ISBN978-0440246107 or 
Links to Purchase:
Borders- $7.99
Sexual Intensity: spicy

Story Overview:

Six years ago, the Special Defense Force mourned the loss of J. T. Chronopolous. Now the striking soldier is back with scant memory, a new name—Conroy Farrel—and one single mission: to bring down SDF. But SDF has its own plan: get him back at any cost. And so they’ve set a trap for Con, a trap that Jane Linden accidentally steps into. With darkness falling and the night heating up, Con finds himself on the run in an oddly familiar 1967 Pontiac GTO with a drop-dead-gorgeous brunette named Jane by his side. Who she is he doesn’t know. Or does he? Jane certainly hasn’t forgotten him. When she was a teenager, he caught her picking his pocket. Now the former street thief is all grown up and gone legit—and the effect she has on Con is all too clear: pure, sweet longing. Con’s not sure if Jane is there to save him or to take him down. But one thing’s certain: With desire leading the way, all bets are off.

My Review:
I have been reading the Steele Street stories for YEARS! I can't believe that this is the last one. 

SDF is a black ops Special Forces unit that runs out of the Steele Street offices in Denver, Colorado. Most of the operatives grew up together and cut their teeth stealing cars before they were reformed. But they still love those muscle cars who have almost as much of a personality in these books as the boys do. I love that all the cars make their final appearance in this book because they are so much of what have made these books so hot. There is nothing better than some serious horses rumbling under the hood with a gorgeous alpha male at the wheel.  

This final book brings the one that "they lost along the way" back home. JT Chronopolous was on a mission 6 years ago that killed least that's what they all thought. But all of a sudden he is back and SDF has been sent to neutralize him as a rogue agent. None of the boys believe that he has gone rogue, but they have no idea what really has happened so they set a trap.

Bumbling into the trap is Jane Linden. She is a former street rat and pick-pocket turned gorgeous, confident art gallery manager. JT took her virginity 6 years ago, but left the next day for his mission in Columbia that he never returned from. She mourned his loss like all of the Steele Street gang so you can imagine her shock when he walked right past her on the sidewalk in LoDo.

JT doesn't remember anything from before 6 years ago, but when he walks by Jane on that sidewalk, something is familiar and flashes of memories start to come back to him...mainly that she means something to him.

This book is really good. There is so much emotionally going on for everyone in the book and your heart aches for ALL of them.

How could I give the end of an amazing series anything less than an A? I am so sad that these guys aren't going to have any more stories. I love them. I love their bad-ass cars. I have loved the entire series.

But what a way to end it...with JT's incredible journey back to the boys at Steele Street. My heart was breaking for him, for Jane, for all the Steele Street boys (esp. Kid his brother and Creed his best friend who was with him on the mission where he "died") most of the way through the book, but Tara tied it all up just perfectly. It's been an amazing ride!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

TBR Thursday- Jan 27

Good morning! 

I had an epiphany today as I was pulling out my books from my HUGE TBR pile
 to create a small TBR pile for photographing. 

I have been a bit overwhelmed by the sheer number of books in my TBR pile the last few months (it's been sitting at about 25-35 books at any given time.) But as I was going through it, I realized that I was having a LOT of fun picking out what I "probably" will read over the next week.

If I did it with a  coffee in my hand, I could almost re-create the joy of going and wandering through the bookstore. I like that...maybe I need to order some more books. ;o)

This is my TBR pile for the next week or so. 

Right now I am in the middle of reading Nauti Nights by Lora Leigh. This  is a series, although I don't own all of them yet. So far I have only read the first one, Nauti Boy (you can see that review HERE.)

There are 2 trilogies sitting there. The one by Lynn Viehl (top- Kyndred series) which is a paranormal series and Nina Bruhns (second layer) which is a military suspense series. These are both new authors to me so I am anxious to dig in and check them out.

There is another Lora Leigh book in the pile, Wild Card, but that is the first in her Elite Ops series and I have heard great things about that particular book so I looking forward to reading it.

Finally, there are a couple of books just for some pure fun reading. Deeply Desperately is an ongoing series about a matchmaking service. This is the second book in that series and book #3 is coming out next month, I think. The final book is Infamous by Suzanne Brockmann. I can't get a good feel for this book. It seems that everyone either loves it or hates's totally different from her normal military suspense novels. This is about a movie and a cowboy and his grandfather's ghost. I am thinking that it will be really fun myself.

That's what I am planning on reading over the next week or so, but you all know, that this is VERY subject to my whims! LOL!

What isn't shown there is Loose Ends by Tara Janzen (#11 of the Steele Street Series.) The reason it's not there is because I have already read it and written the review. It's scheduled to post on Friday. (hint: it's a GOOD ONE!)

Have a great reading week, everyone! What's in your TBR pile this week???

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Breaking Loose by Tara Janzen

Title:  Breaking Loose
Author: Tara Janzen
My Rating: B+

Genre: Military Suspense
Series: Steele Street #10
Main Characters: Dax Killian & Suzi Toussi
Release Date: July 2009
ISBN978-0440244707 or 
Links to Purchase:
Borders- $7.99
Sexual Intensity: spicy

Story Overview:
No one’s ever seen it. Everybody wants it. That’s why the government has just unleashed its secret weapon. Drop-dead-gorgeous art dealer Suzi Toussi has been tapped for the toughest mission of her career: to locate the Memphis Sphinx, an ancient artifact rumored to possess otherworldly powers. Tracking it to Paraguay means going up against Dax Killian, the sexy special ops agent who’s planning to snatch the coveted relic right out of her hot little hands. If he can find it first…
Dax first spotted her outside a seedy bar—in three-inch heels and a too-tight dress. He’d know those curves anywhere. But what was Suzi doing in a hellhole like Ciudad del Este? Dax knows the answer: the Sphinx. Suddenly the game is on—and only one of them will walk away with the prize. With the Sphinx surfacing and passion taking Suzi and Dax under, they’re headed for a showdown that could reveal the secrets of the ages…or expose them to the hottest danger of all.

My Review:
This was a re-read of this book since the final book in this series (#11 Loose Ends) is coming out this week.

This is a wild and sexy romp from start to finish. It's a little bit Indiana Jones...  "ancient artifact with otherworldly powers" crossed with good old-fashioned military suspense/romance. This is book #10 about the Steele Street/SDF gang which is a really really great series. 

Suzi has worked with the Steele Street boys on a few deals as an art dealer since she owns her own art gallery. They have helped to train her so that she is fairly strong on her feet. Dax is a former operative who is being "coerced" into working for the wrong guy. They met in a previous book (I can't remember which one) at an art show at her gallery 6 months prior and the sparks flew, but something happened (which I don't remember) and they didn't connect later like they were supposed to. They connect in a big way in this book.

There is a ton of action in this book and it is a really fun read.

At this point in the series, Tara Janzen is winding it all down and tying up the storylines (one which is a HUGE shocker for the boys) for the final book #11. As a result, I felt like the ending fell a bit flat after the ride that we took through the entire book.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Yours for the Taking by Robin Kaye

Title:  Yours for the Taking
Author: Robin Kaye
My Rating: B

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Domestic Gods #4
Main Characters: Ben Walsh & Gina Reyez
Release Date: January 2011
ISBN978-1402240102 or 
Links to Purchase:
Borders- $7.99
Sexual Intensity: spicy

Story Overview:
He might be too good to be true...
Ben Walsh shouldn't be single. Handsome and wealthy, Ben is equally at home in Idaho where he grew up and in Manhattan where he's now an art dealer. Suave and successful with impeccable taste, he normally has women beating down his door. But the one woman he wants can't be convinced that he's for real...

She isn't sure if she has time for fairy tales...
Gina Reyez has fought for every bit of her success, and it's about time for things to start going her way. So when Ben makes a proposal that will allow her to take care of her family the way she wants to, she agrees. Besides a guy this perfect would never be interested in her....right?

By the time Gina figures out that she's read Ben all wrong, the arrangements are made, the papers are signed...but what exactly are they getting themselves into?

My Review:
There's something to be said for a nice, fun Happily-Ever-After book. This is one of those books. It's VERY well-written with characters that you can easily love and root for. There isn't anything shocking about the story line. You know in the end, that it's all going to work out and you can enjoy the read while getting there. 

I really do enjoy Robin Kaye's books and this is her 4th. They all have characters that interact, but you certainly don't have to read the books in any sort of order...they are not dependent upon each other.

In this book, Gina and Ben have a marriage of convenience. He needs to be married so that he can inherit his family ranch which he loves. Ben is rich so he offers Gina money in exchange for the marriage, which she needs to straighten out some things for her family. Neither one of them EVER plan on getting married in real life so a marriage of convenience works for both of them. It does help the emotional matter of it all for Gina that she thinks that Ben is gay.

Like I said, this was a really great book...just not going to make it into the literary classics library. LOL! I have read all of Robin Kaye's books so far and have loved them all for a fun afternoon's read. I am really hoping that the rest of Ben's family show up in her upcoming novels...there are definitely some stories to be told there.