Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Honey I Shrunk the Werewolf by Dakota Cassidy

Title:  Honey I Shrunk the Werewolf
AuthorDakota Cassidy
My Rating: A

Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: -
Main Characters: Ella & Crosby
Release Date: August 2011
ISBNe-book
Publisher: Ellora's Cave
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: hot - erotic


Story Overview:
I’m a what?”
“A werewolf.”
“A werewolf who can’t remember he’s a werewolf because he has amnesia.”

That pretty much sums it up. The timing couldn’t be worse, too. Just when the pain of booting her asshat of a husband to the curb has started to lessen, Ella gets stuck babysitting his hairy amnesiac ass. Well…she is a psychiatric nurse, after all. In exchange for helping Crosby rediscover his inner werewolf, Ella has the pack’s word she’ll be granted a divorce. She’ll be free to move on. Maybe continue the Twitter flirtation she’s got going with @Hairofthedog. Hey, it’s a start.

But Crosby isn’t playing fair. No longer the Grand Poobah of Douchebaggery, with his memories gone, he’s more the charming, fun-loving man Ella fell in love with. How’s she supposed to hate him when he keeps smiling and charming and, oh yeah, screwing her six ways to Sunday? Though Ella’s body is game for more physical therapy, her mind hasn’t forgotten his betrayal. Crosby will need a damn fine excuse for what he’s done.

As it turns out, he has one—and it’s a doozy.

My Review:
Okay, did you read that story description above?? This book is just as good and funny as it sounds in that description. OMG, this was such a fun book!! I absolutely adore Dakota Cassidy's sense of humor!


Ella's soon-to-be ex husband ended up with a case of amnesia after he mysteriously showed up with a softball sized knot on his head. As werewolfs, mates normally are not allowed to divorce, but the Pack needs Crosby to get his memory back (although they aren't telling Ella why) and have agreed to give her the divorce if she will simply help him regain his memory. The problem is that Ella truly loved her husband until he suddenly started changing into a secretive, withdrawn jerk a few months ago... and then she caught him kissing another woman. Now he has amnesia, doesn't remember their problems or the fact that they were even married, and worse, is the same guy again that she fell in love with.


Ella is funny. She's bitter and sad and doesn't want to give Crosby an inch. At the same time, she is acting as his nurse and can't let on anything about his history so that he remembers it naturally and doesn't do anymore damage to himself. She is working so hard to maintain her detachment, but that is next to impossible because Crosby is back to his charming self. He knows that he may not know who she is, but that doesn't change that he wants her and is trying to woo her.


In addition to this being simply a fun, entertaining story, there is also a lot of suspense in this which really surprised me. Obviously, there is more going on with Crosby than Ella ever knew, but OMG, I did not see the twists and turns coming. Brilliantly done although I do think that the wrap-up was a bit abrupt. I would have preferred to have had just a bit more to the finale, but overall I am soooo glad that I read this book and will definitely be re-reading it again!!!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Good Girls Don't by Victoria Dahl


Title:  Good Girls Don't
Author: Victoria Dahl
My Rating: A


Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Donovan Brothers Brewery #1
Main Characters: Tessa & Luke
Release Date: August 2011

ISBN: 978-0373775958

Publisher: Harlequin
Links to Purchase:
Amazon- $7.99
Sexual Intensity: hot

I received a copy of this book from the Publisher and NetGalley in return for an honest review.

Story Overview:
Too much of a good thing…
With her long ponytail and sparkling green eyes, Tessa Donovan looks more like the girl next door than a businesswoman—or a heartbreaker. Which may explain why Detective Luke Asher barely notices her when he arrives to investigate a break–in at her family's brewery. He's got his own problems—starting with the fact that his partner, Simone, is pregnant and everyone thinks he's the father.
Tessa has her hands full, too. Her brother's playboy ways may be threatening the business, and the tension could tear her tight–knit family apart. In fact, the only thing that could unite the Donovan boys is seeing a man come after their "baby" sister. Especially a man like Luke Asher. But Tessa sees past the rumors to the man beneath. He's not who people think he is—and neither is she.

My Review:
I have been so excited about this trilogy. I loved Victoria Dahl's Tumble Creek trilogy from last year and loved the teaser novella setting up this series in the Boys Next Door anthology. The basis of this trilogy is a microbrewery owned by 3 siblings: Eric, Jamie, and Tessa in Boulder, CO. This particular book focuses on Tessa's story.

Their parents died in a tragic car accident when Tessa was 14, and that loss has left all three of the siblings with scars. Tessa worries about all the responsibility that Eric took on since he was 24 to raise his two siblings and run the brewery. She's afraid about how much responsibility he has taken on and that one day he will simply get fed up and leave.

Her love interest is Luke. He's a police detective with scars of his own from a failed marriage. They meet after an overnight robbery at the brewery. Neither Eric nor Jamie like to think about their little sister (she's 27 years old) being involved with anyone. I personally LOVED this aspect of the story. They think that she is absolutely a good girl, but Tessa has a naughty streak and her brothers are completely clueless about it. To complicate matters, Luke went to college with Jamie who knew Luke's womanizing ways (it was college,) so there is no way that he can accept Luke as a viable boyfriend for Tessa. Add to that there are several unsavory (and untrue) rumors floating around town about Luke, and neither of these brothers are happy with this relationship. But Tessa is a strong character and determined to guide her own love life, but it all starts to come tumbling down when Tessa holds on to her brothers too tight in a bid to keep the family together during a crisis. Lots of really well-written conflict in this one stemming back to those childhood scars!

This was a wonderful book. Tessa loves to let her naughty side show with Luke and she has a really quick wit. It kept me giggling throughout the entire book. I love books and heroines that have a great sense of humor and this book definitely has that. 

I also really love the family dynamic. All three of these siblings are great characters. They are all three so different. It's fairly easy to predict where the conflict will be coming from in the next two books, but I am so excited because I think that they are going to be equally awesome reads. It's going to be a fabulous series. This was a wonderful beginning for it!

Top Off Tuesdays: HONEY I SHRUNK THE WEREWOLF by Dakota Cassidy

I read this book about a week and a half ago, but I have been saving my review so that I could feature this gorgeous cover for Top Off Tuesdays first. The review will be up tomorrow (hint: I liked it...a LOT!)
Honey I Shrunk the Werewolf by Dakota Cassidy

Story Overview:
I’m a what?”
“A werewolf.”
“A werewolf who can’t remember he’s a werewolf because he has amnesia.”

That pretty much sums it up. The timing couldn’t be worse, too. Just when the pain of booting her asshat of a husband to the curb has started to lessen, Ella gets stuck babysitting his hairy amnesiac ass. Well…she is a psychiatric nurse, after all. In exchange for helping Crosby rediscover his inner werewolf, Ella has the pack’s word she’ll be granted a divorce. She’ll be free to move on. Maybe continue the Twitter flirtation she’s got going with @Hairofthedog. Hey, it’s a start.

But Crosby isn’t playing fair. No longer the Grand Poobah of Douchebaggery, with his memories gone, he’s more the charming, fun-loving man Ella fell in love with. How’s she supposed to hate him when he keeps smiling and charming and, oh yeah, screwing her six ways to Sunday? Though Ella’s body is game for more physical therapy, her mind hasn’t forgotten his betrayal. Crosby will need a damn fine excuse for what he’s done.

As it turns out, he has one—and it’s a doozy.
**************

Join us (Felicia from The Geeky Book Blogger and Amanda from On a Book Bender and Me) as we celebrate those gorgeous hunky covers!! Thanks to Missie from The Unread Reader for creating our fabulous button!

Felicia is hosting the linky for this meme on her blog, so come play along....

*post a cover of a hot guy 
who just happens to be topless

*then go add your link to Felicia's blog!


Lord of the Vampires by Gena Showalter



Title:  Lord of the Vampires
Author: Gena Showalter
My Rating: D+

Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: House of Shadows #1
Main Characters: Nicolai & Jane
Release Date: August 2011
ISBN: 978-0373618668
Publisher: Harlequin Nocturne
Links to Purchase:
Amazon- $5.50
Sexual Intensity: hot

I received this book from the publisher and NetGalley in return for an honest review.

Story Overview:
Once upon a time…the Blood Sorcerer vanquished the kingdom of Elden. To save their children, the queen scattered them to safety and the king filled them with vengeance. Only a magical timepiece connects the four royal heirs…and time is running out….
Nicolai the Vampire was renowned for his virility, but in a twist of fate "The Dark Seducer" had become a sex slave in the kingdom of Delfina—stripped of his precious timepiece and his memory. All that remained was a primal need for freedom, revenge—and the only woman who could help him.
In her dreams, a wanton vampire called to Jane Parker, drawing her to his dark sexuality and his magical realm. But for a human, all was not a fairy tale in Delfina. Jane was the key to Nicolai's memory…but exploiting her meant dooming the only mortal he craved.

My Review:
I have worked real hard not to read the advance reviews of this book before I could read it and form my own opinion, but I have seen enough to know that, as a general rule, most have not really liked it. Sadly, I agree with that opinion. My main complaint is that the book spends way too much time inside the characters' heads analyzing what is happening, rather than actually participating in the action. The story has such potential. It just lacks on follow-through.

This is a fabulous new world that has been created. The following excerpt about it has been copied from the House of Shadows website:
The History of the Kingdom of Eldon
Once upon a time there were four royal siblings, lost...cursed...

Except that’s not where this story begins.  No, this part of the tale starts earlier when the Kingdom of Elden was ruled by a powerful vampire king and his beautiful magic-wielding queen.  Together they brought peace and prosperity to their lands, happiness to their people and heirs that brought light and joy to the realm, as well as hope for a brighter and more joyous future.
But there cannot be light without shadows, and lurking in the dark waited the Dark Sorcerer.  Driven by his need for power and fueled by the evil of blood magic, he stole into the castle under the cover of night and killed the king and queen, enslaving the people of Elden.  Now the kingdom is dying a slow death; the plants shrivel and die, leached by the dark magic of the sorcerer while his flesh-hungry creatures taint whatever they touch.
Before taking their final breath, the royal couple was able to weave their magic one last time, casting their children into the far corners of their world.  Only their power is weak, and each heir is tangled in webs of the dual enspellments, impacting their magic and memories—a mysterious timepiece their only link to home.  Time is ticking away….
Today the Blood Sorcerer sits on the throne of the king he killed, sending out his minions across the lands to find the missing heirs before their memories and powers return and they join together against him and restore the Royal House of Shadows.
Tick...Tock...Tick...
There is not much I can tell you about the characters without giving away spoilers. Nicolai has had his memory erased so there is a lot that is revealed in retrospect throughout the story. He has flashbacks of memories and there are also things that are slowly revealed through the story line. That helps to aid in the frustration with the story because there is lots of jumping around which, personally, rarely works for me.
This book is written based upon the Alice in Wonderland story. Jane is Alice & Nicolai is the Mad-Hatter. There are also appearances by the Queen of Hearts & Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee as well as an obsession about time and timepieces.
Nicolai is a vampire being held as a slave against his will. Jane is a modern-day scientist who has studied vampires who has been transported to this alternate universe. She's an intellectual and approaches life with that analytical-style approach. Because of the way the story was written, it was hard to get attached to these characters, especially Jane. Nicolai was a passionate character who has deep connections to his siblings, that you can see even with his memory loss (about whom the next three books are written.)
It's no secret that this book didn't do it for me, but I am still excited about the series and the other three upcoming installments.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Bout of Books recap & WINNER!!


The Bout of Books Read-a-Thon is over so now it is time for a re-cap:

Read-a-Thon Goals
  • Read the top Nicki Styx series  (4-DONE), Envy Chronicles series(4-DONE), & The Guardian Angelino's series (3-FAIL).
  • Read at least 10 books (DONE...9 books & 1 novella).  10 is a bare minimum; 21would be my ultimate goal.
  • Write all reviews as I read the books (DONE.)
Books to Review that I also need to read

Other Books I’d Love to Get to
  • The Iron Druid Chronicles series by Kevin Hearne (3-FAIL)
  • 3-4 novellas (1 DONE- Exotic Indulgence by Jess Dee, Vivian Arend, and Lexie Couper)
  • other books: One Grave at a Time by Jeaniene Frost(DONE), Bad Boys Do  by Victoria Dahl(DONE)
Well, overall, I did okay with my goals for the read-a-thon. I got 10 book (9 novels and 1 novella) read for the week and it was a week where I ended up being MUCH busier than normal. So overall, I am okay with what I accomplished. My main accomplishment was staying completely on track with writing my reviews as I finished reading the books (something that I am inordinately bad at when reading series books.)

And now for the part that you all have been waiting for...
the winner of my Pick-a-Series giveaway:

 Jen D. @ Not Now...I'm Reading! said...


Love this giveaway idea. Thanks so much for hosting it.

Sign me up for the Kevin Hearne Iron Druid Chronicles series please. =)

Thanks!

jend(AT)notnowimreading(DOT)com
Congratulations, Jen D!! Email me (snowchris_01@yahoo.com) with your mailing info and I will get these books right out to you!!

Thank you so much to Amanda at On a Bookbender blog for hostessing this awesome read-a-thon. It was the perfect push during a week where normally, I wouldn't have gotten that much done.

The Game of Love by Jeanette Murray

Title:  The Game of Love
Author: Jeanette Murray
My Rating: B



Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: -
Main Characters: Chris & Brett
Release Date: August 2011

ISBN: e-book

Publisher: Carina Press
Links to Purchase:
Amazon- $4.79
Sexual Intensity: spicy

I received this book from the Publisher and NetGalley in return from an honest review.

Story Overview:
Chris St. James is ready for normal. After walking away from her pro tennis career and a toxic relationship with a star hockey player, she's starting a new life as a teacher and tennis coach in a small town. Now all she needs is an average guy to share it with. 

Brett Wallace is no average guy. Forced to retire from the NFL after an injury—and suddenly single after being dumped by his status-conscious wife—he's returned to his hometown to coach the varsity football team. Wary of women interested only in his celebrity, Brett finds Chris's indifference to his former career refreshing. 

The last thing Chris needs is to get involved with another pro athlete, but she can't deny the sparks that fly between them. So she agrees to a purely physical, no-strings-attached affair. But the rules of the game change when she falls for him… 85,000 words


My Review:

I love sports-themed books and seem to have a weakness for books featuring high school football coaches, so you know that this book has a lot going for it already. I really did enjoy this book. It's a sweet little read and was thoroughly entertaining.

Brett's character is awesome and I absolutely adored his family, especially his brothers. They all have a wonderful relationship with each other and his reactions to them letting themselves in with their keys to his house is priceless. It's definitely a family that love each other to the point of constantly harassing each other which makes it so much fun.
quote from Scott, Brett's brother, after Brett quoted Fiddler on the Roof...
"One, that was scary. 
Don't ever quote a musical if you ever want to get laid again." 
Just really funny dialogue between the family all throughout the book. I especially loved Anna, Brett's mom, and her reaction to Chris. 
"Oh, sweetheart, I was almost positive after I heard
 about you tossing a drink in my son's face, but after that,
 now I'm sure. You are about as perfect for that son of mine as it gets."

It's an interesting twist to have BOTH of these characters with a history as former professional athletes, although I didn't understand why Chris didn't want to share that with Brett. It would have prevented a lot of misunderstanding, but then where would that have left the story without the conflict? I liked that she was a tennis pro and coached the girls tennis team. I really, really loved her philosophy for coaching the girls especially after her history as a pro. I loved that she did everything in her power to help them succeed, but made sure that the emphasis was on them having fun above all else.

I really liked the addition of Jared & Katie to the story. Katie is Chris' best friend, who's also pregnant (which added some funny lines to the story) and married to Jared. Jared is Brett's best friend (since kindergarten) and he is also the Athletic Director for the school. They are both shown throughout the book as offering advice/sarcasm. They have a fabulously sweet marriage and the addition of their friendships added a lot to the overall story.

This was my first book that I have read by Jeanette Murray, but I definitely look forward to reading more of her contemporary romance. Hopefully, she has more coming out soon!!