Taken by LoveTitle:  Taken By Love
Series:  The Taken  #1
Author:  Sharon Kleve
Genre:  Contemporary Romance
Published:  March 18, 2015
Publisher:  Books To Go Now
My Rating:  4 stars
Source:  NetGalley
Synopsis:

Book one of the exciting Taken Series will slip you into the world of drug cartels, DEA operations, and the never-waiving love between Arden and Lucy.

Arden Jones is a DEA agent and has seen and done it all. His transfer to a desk job is finally in reach. But, when his good friend is brutally murdered he must go after the cartel one more time while protecting the ones he loves.

Lucy Farris arranges flowers for a living, lives in a quaint house in the outskirts of Seattle, and has two adorable Siamese cats. The last thing she expects is to be kidnapped and used as bait to by the cartel to hunt the man she loves.

Read on for my thoughts on Taken By Love.  No true spoilers, promise.

Barbara's PleaTitle:  Barbara’s Plea
Series:
Author:  Stacy Eaton
Genre:  Contemporary Romance
Published:  April 10, 2015
Publisher:  Nitewolf Novels
My Rating:  5 stars
Source:  NetGalley
Synopsis:

Barbara lives in constant fear of her husband. She finally summons the courage to leave with their young daughter, Allie, but dreads the moment her husband learns of their escape. In his desire to control them and bend them to his will, he will leave no stone unturned to punish them–especially Barbara.

Grey’s future seems bleak, especially the day he is fired, but everything begins to turn around the moment he absently sinks down on a bench occupied by wealthy Gloria Withers. Gloria sees something in him that no one else bothers to notice and, within moments, a friendship is sparked that will withstand many trials.

When Barbara makes good her escape and arrives on the doorstep of her grandmother, Gloria, whom she hasn’t seen for years, Barbara is greeted instead by Grey. It doesn’t take long for a different kind of spark to fly as Barbara takes up residence in the Withers mansion.

When Grey falls inexorably in love with not only Barbara, but also her daughter Allie, he vows to do everything he can to protect them from her husband who is out for revenge.

Read on for my thoughts on Barbara’s Plea.  No true spoilers, promise.

Her Secret PrinceTitle:  Her Secret Prince
Series:  Royal Holiday #2
Author:  Madeline Ash
Genre:  Contemporary Romance
Published:  April 9, 2015
Publisher:  Tule Publishing
My Rating:  4 stars
Source:  NetGalley
Synopsis:

At sixteen, Dee Johnson gambled her heart on her best friend Jed Brown – and lost when he disappeared without a trace.

Ten years on, Dee’s life is uprooted when Jed turns up on her doorstep, asking for her help.

Dee has been left behind by everyone she’s loved: her parents, her close friend Alexia, and a stream of lovers. She moves fast with men and suspects this is why they move on fast. Now that’s Jed’s back in her life, she’s taking no chances. Despite the attraction ripping at her seams, she holds back, knowing she wouldn’t recover from being loved and left by him a second time.

A constant traveler, Jed has only felt at home once in his life – with Dee. Now that he’s found her again, he’s determined to make up for lost time. He’ll never leave her again.

Until an unexpectedly royal revelation threatens to strip Jed of his freedom and future – including his place by Dee’s side.

Read on for my thoughts on Her Secret Prince.  No true spoilers, promise.

Wild Nights with a Lone WolfTitle:  Wild Nights with a Lone Wolf
Series:  Lone Wolf #1
Author:  Elisabeth Staab
Genre:  Paranormal Romance
Published:  March 6, 2015
Publisher:  Elisabeth Staab
My Rating:  4 stars
Source:  NetGalley
Synopsis:

Agent Sherri Walker needs a change of scenery. Her former lover nearly tanked her career, forcing her to take a leave of absence. A few drinks and a one-night stand with a sinfully hot stranger look like a great way to take her mind off her troubles, until that stranger’s past lands her in a new world of danger.

Asher Hughes left his outlaw pack but couldn’t ditch the bad blood. A lone wolf who’s always refused to bond, Ash is left wanting more after one night with a beautiful, spirited human. Worse, it puts Sherri in the crosshairs of an old pack enemy, and the only way to save her is to claim her as his own.

Read on for my thoughts on Wild Nights with a Lone Wolf.  No true spoilers, promise.

mini blogahead 400Do you schedule posts ahead much?  I do… sometimes.  I am far from consistent about it though.  So, Anna, over at Herding Cats & Burning Soup has this Blog Ahead Mini going on for the beginning of May.

So go over to the   Sign Up Page Here   and check out the limited amount of “rules”  It’s so easy and we’ll get a head start on the coming months when vacations, family events and just summertime is out there waiting to be experienced, ya know?  So this is good.  Really good.

If I could get some basic weekly stuff up and ready to go ahead of time, that would give me more time to take care of other stuff… set up a system and I’d be good to go.  That is my overall goal of this.  With one main blog, and a few specific genre blogs it can get backed up.  So good habits start right now.

Interested?  Then go on over and check it out.

 

novel-love.jpgI love NetGalley.  The idea of it, the variety of novels offered there, just about everything.

Ah yes, that “about” thing.

I am a fast reader, I review rather quickly but always trying to keep the reviews within a week of a novel’s release.  Some publishing houses request that, and it simply makes sense to talk about a book when it is due to be launched.

I have a decent ratio at around 78% to 89% – it fluctuates depending on how many novels must “wait” for the reviews to go live because of release dates.  I am trying desperately to keep my requests to only a month or two ahead so that the ratio stays in a reasonable area.

Yet, I’m pulling my hair out over three publishing houses.  So, I’ve decided to simply no longer request from them, especially Harlequin.  I do not want a long list of declined requests on my profile.  And that is just a personal dislike, I don’t know that it affects the approval rate or not.  I’ll stick with the houses I’ve reviewed for already, and maybe branch out to smaller publishing house divisions.  But I will not touch the “big guns” again for at least a year, if ever.

It’s not as though I cannot go out and purchase Harlequin novels myself – and I often do.  It’s not that I’m looking for freakin’ free books.  It is that I enjoy the various lines at Harlequin and their authors.  But, nope, not going to get myself in a hissy-fit any longer.

To be honest, I don’t know if this blog will ever be “big” enough readership-wise for those “big publishing houses”.  And I shouldn’t let it bother me so much either.  I know this.  That damned pride, ya know?

Ah well, I’ll wait them out for a year or two.  I can be patient, in spite of these current words.  I can be.

So, how long did it take your blogging to reach the point where the larger publishing houses thought your blog worthy of their offerings?  Just curious.

No words.  Just this.

 

book confessionI love taking part in features and memes.  It brings us book lovers and book bloggers a bit closer together, if only in our shared love of reading great books.    :)

There is a new feature over at Parajunkee.   Introducing: Confessions of a Bookworm.  Here’s the link to this week’s post.   And the information about all of this is located at that link.

This week’s question is:   “If you would read only one book in your whole life, which one would it be?”

Only one?  One?  Out of the hundreds if not thousands of novels I’ve read in my whole, entire life.  One.

I’m going to cheat a little and say aside from the Bible.  There is only one fiction novel that I can answer this week’s question with:

Gone With The WindSet against the dramatic backdrop of the American Civil War, Margaret Mitchell’s epic love story is an unforgettable tale of love and loss, of a nation mortally divided and its people forever changed. At the heart of all this chaos is the story of beautiful, ruthless Scarlett O’Hara and the dashing soldier of fortune, Rhett Butler.

First published in 1936, Pulitzer Prize for Novel in 1937 and Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay in 1939.

This one really has it all.  Political unrest.  Family epic.  Unrequited love.  A really sorry excuse for a man in Ashley Wilkes, who while deeply in love with his wife, Melanie, could never get over his fascination with Scarlett O’Hara.  And could never just man up and tell her that there was no future for them, that for him it would always be Melanie that he loved, the one woman who completed him.

Tara.  While not a human character, Tara (the O’Hara plantation) was a vibrant main character throughout the book.  Even now the musical theme for Tara from the movie is running through my mind.

And, Rhett Butler.  A rogue, a rake if there ever was one.  A man who did what he pleased, when he pleased no matter who it bothered or inconvenienced.  A man who would love Scarlett through husband after husband, mad schemes, poor choices and finally have her as a wife, but never a companion.  A man who would shower their daughter Bonnie, with all the love and affection he tried to give to Scarlett, but she was too infatuated with another man to ever see the love that was her’s for the taking.

And sex.  Okay, it was the Civil War and written in 1936 – but really, we all knew what was going to happen when Rhett scooped Scarlett up on that staircase and carried her up to their room – and by Scarlett’s face, sitting up in bed the next morning.  *wink*  Oh, we knew.

I learned a lot from Gone with the Wind.  But mostly how to never truly give up.

The ending lines from the movie will even now break my heart, as a woman finally realizes what she had and what she has lost.  And a man who finally had enough and walked away to his own new life.  Love hurts…and heals.

“I wish I could care what you do or where you go but I can’t… Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.” ~Rhett Butler – as he walks away into the fog.

“I’ll think of it tomorrow, at Tara. I can stand it then. Tomorrow, I’ll think of some way to get him back. After all, tomorrow is another day.” ~ Scarlett O’Hara Butler – momentarily down, but with determination to get her man back because “tomorrow is another day”.

Yes, if I must pick just one novel – Gone with the Wind.

Dark InstinctsTitle:  Dark Instincts
Series:  The Phoenix Pack #4
Author:  Suzanne Wright
Genre:  Paranormal Romance
Published:  April 7, 2015
Publisher:  Amazon Publishing
My Rating:  4 stars
Source:  NetGalley
Synopsis:

It happens whenever wolf shifter Roni Axton is near Marcus Fuller: a crackle of sexual awareness that’s intoxicating…and deeply annoying. Marcus is a pack enforcer who oozes power, but Roni is lethal in her own right—nothing like the flirty females who flock around him. Even still, his possessive gaze makes one thing clear. Marcus has singled her out for seduction, and he wants to make her sit up and beg.

No matter how aloof and unfazed Roni acts, Marcus can tell she wants him. When a brutal attack by a jackal pack forces them to work together, it’s the perfect opportunity for Marcus to chip away at her defenses—until he falls into his own trap, completely unprepared for the intensity of their connection. Roni is the only one who’s ever seen past his shifter charm and discovered the man hiding beneath it. And for Marcus, claiming Roni once will mean needing her forever.

Read on for my thoughts on Dark Instincts.  No true spoilers, promise.

HiddenTitle:  Hidden
Series:
Author:  Catherine McKenzie
Genre:  Adult Fiction
Published:  April 7, 2015 (originally June 18, 2013)
Publisher:  Lake Union Publishing
My Rating:  3 outta 5
Source:  NetGalley
Synopsis:

While walking home from work one evening, Jeff Manning is struck by a car and killed. Two women fall to pieces at the news: his wife, Claire, and his co-worker Tish. Reeling from her loss, Claire must comfort her grieving son as well as contend with funeral arrangements, well-meaning family members, and the arrival of Jeff’s estranged brother, who was her ex-boyfriend. Tish volunteers to attend the funeral on her company’s behalf, but only she knows the true risk of inserting herself into the wreckage of Jeff’s life.

Told through the three voices of Jeff, Tish, and Claire, Hidden explores the complexity of relationships, the repercussions of our personal choices, and the responsibilities we have to the ones we love.

Read on for my thoughts on Hidden.  No true spoilers, promise.

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