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30 May 2012

Author Interview with Courtney Milan

Today I am very excited to have author Courtney Milan on the blog for an interview. I was introduced to Courtney's historical romances earlier this year and quickly devoured everything she's written. A seriously talented writer, Courtney's books are full of drama, passion and humor. We are so happy that Courtney agreed to be interviewed. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do. 

Hi, Courtney and welcome to Nite Lite! I read on your website that you stopped writing for awhile but started again by entering some online writing contests contests. Can you tell us a little bit about that? What motivated you to enter and start writing again? Did you find it difficult to get back into the groove of things?

By "a while" you mean... oh, let's see. Thirteen years or so? I wanted to write books in high school and for the first year of college. I wasn't very good at it, and more importantly, I took myself way too seriously. I stopped taking myself seriously, changed my major, stopped messing around, got an advanced degree in theoretical chemistry and then went to law school.

I started writing again because I was procrastinating doing other things I needed to do. And because I was procrastinating, I didn't find it difficult at all. :)

But I should specify that I never stopped writing: I kept writing during all those years, just not novels. For instance, I wrote letters--there are a handful of people who I had lengthy conversations with over the course of many years. I had a blog (not my current one) for years, too. Much of what I think of as my author voice was developed over those years.

You write historical fiction. Have you always been a history buff? Do you do a lot of research when writing your books?

You know I never even took a history class in college. (I got away with that because of AP credit.) What I know about history I learned in law school and then read about. Honestly, I'm just 100% dork. I like learning new things.

You write some pretty good smexy love scenes. :) Do you find them easy or difficult to write?

It depends on the scene! There are some scenes that are so easy, I write them at the very beginning. There are some that are really hard. There are some I have to write four times before I get it right.

Your first series, The Turners, is about three brothers with...unique names. Did the names come first and then the idea of the series or the other way around?

The idea for the Turners started off like this: I wanted to name a character Smite. The rest of the series came about because I was trying to figure out how to motivate that.

I think my favorite Turner brother has to be Ash (though I have a soft spot for all of them). Do you have a favorite Turner?

There are things I like about all of them. There are things about all of them that would drive me up the wall. Although I think if I knew them in real life, I would most likely end up friends with Smite. Ash is too sure of himself, and Mark is too sweet.

Ooh now let's talk about your new series, The Brothers Sinister! I love that it sounds so mysterious and dangerous and I really can't wait to read it. I just read The Governess Affair, which was fantastic. What can we expect from the rest of the series?

So, the Brothers Sinister! Indeed. It *does* sound mysterious and dangerous! But it's really about a set of guys who are related to each other and who all happen to be left-handed (that's where the sinister part comes in).

The Brothers Sinister series takes place about 20 years after the era in which you normally set your books. Can you tell us why you decided to change the time period?

There are some political, scientific, and social elements that have to be in place for the series to work. Some of those things are spoilers so I can't mention them here, but I can say that the plot of Oliver's book, THE HEIRESS EFFECT, is tangentially related to the Reform Act of 1867; and Sebastian Malheur, the hero of THE COUNTESS CONSPIRACY, is a famous scientist whose work connects with that of Charles Darwin. There isn't a more scandalous scientist than Darwin in all of the nineteenth century, and Sebastian's contribution to Darwin's body of work is even more scandalous.

I haven't mentioned any of the things that connect to the women, because those are all spoilers.

The series deals with scandalous men and ruined women.The idea of a ruined woman is a common theme in your books. In Unclaimed you have a courtesan as a main character and in Unraveled, an arrangement is made which would make the woman "ruined" afterwards in the eyes of society. Yet in your stories these are all very strong, independent women who are able to (with the help of the men sometimes) turn their situations around and are considered respectable. What about the subject and idea of a "ruined" character appeals to you? 

You say that as if ruination and strength were opposites. But I actually think they're closely tied together. Before you're ruined, you have too much to lose to take risks. And that tells you why I tend to write heroines who are ruined: I like writing women who have to take risks, and who have a good reason not to buy into society's rules.

I should add that with the exception of Serena in THE GOVERNESS AFFAIR, the heroines of the Brothers Sinister series are not ruined in the conventional way, and alas, I cannot say any more than that. In fact, two of them are virgins! And the other is a widow! This is unusual for me--I've written more non-virgin heroines than virgins, and while I've written a character who pretended to be a widow, I've never actually written a widow.

What are you currently working on/what's next for you?

The next two things that I think will be out are:

First, a short story in THREE WEDDINGS AND A MURDER, called "The Lady Always Wins"--it's not connected to anything. And second, a novella that I haven't titled which may or may not end up being connected to a very minor character in THE DUCHESS WAR, but I don't know yet.

I say this because I'm not sure which will be out first: that story, or THE DUCHESS WAR. I'm not trying to be cagey; just annoyed and frustrated that some things don't write themselves.

But I'm going to be working on the Brothers Sinister for some time now.

After that, (but by this point, we're well into 2013) there's going to be a stand-alone novel set in 1836 through 1837 (and yes, that time period is exact!) about a girl who is trying to pull off an extremely dangerous heist, and I'm not going to say what that is because it's a spoiler (am I saying that a lot? I'm saying that a lot), and a guy who was once the assistant to the Greek ambassador (before he was sacked), who discovers what she's up to and decides to stop her.

I'm not sure what's going to come after that. I have a bunch of ideas, but they're still in the percolating phase.

I am also working on a few side projects. One of them is an urban fantasy with vampires set in an emergency room. Then there's a 1910 historical romance that is closer to erotic than not. There's a YA in which talking rabbits turn terrorist.

I need more time in the day.

What's the strangest food you've ever eaten?

I've eaten kangaroo. I've had carbonated grapes. I once had a corn soup made with liquid nitrogen. (In fact, I've eaten quite a few things made with liquid nitrogen, now that I think about it.) But the strangest thing I've ever eaten has to be Graham Elliot's foiellipop, described here:http://foododdity.com/pop-rocks-dusted-foie-gras-lollipops/

Historical, paranormal or contemporary romance?

Yes, please, to all of the above.

Do you think you'd survive a zombie apocalypse?

Highly unlikely. I can't use knives, bombs, guns, or grenades. And I run very slowly. But on the plus side, if I did somehow manage to survive, I could make myself very useful, since I (a) garden and (b) have enough backpacking experience to cook under weird conditions and (c) have spent lots and lots of time reading about Victorian farming techniques.

If you could go back in time (without messing with the space time continuum) and tell your younger self one thing, what would it be?

Buy stock in Google. ;)

Cake or pie and what kind?

I love desserts but most end up far too sweet and rich for my tastes. I will still eat them, but I hate myself when I do. So I've been working on a recipe for a light, airy carrot cake--the usual suspects you get from the bakery are dense, sweet, and rich.

I'm still playing with the proportions of carrot to flour and the right proportion of spices, but the current incarnation looks like this:

Author's warning: making this requires you to have a stupid amount of crap that no reasonable person should keep around the house.


3/4 c canola oil
Enough carrots to make about 3/4 cup when grated with a microplaner.
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
5 large eggs, separated,
1/4 c sugar
Nuts of some kind (walnuts or pecans work well)--appx one small handful's worth.
Spices to taste: cinnamon, allspice, cloves, ginger

Microplane carrots until you have 3/4 of a cup. Yes, you need to microplane it and not just use a grater--the regular grater is too coarse and it'll ruin the texture. Put microplaned carrot into dehydrator on low heat for appx. 2 hours. You want to dry it out, but not completely--it should be very mildly damp.

Chop nuts very finely, until there is no piece larger than a grain of wheat. Mix dehydrated carrot (now about 1/2 cup worth) with flour; add in nuts and mix well. Add spices to the mix. (My recipe notes say: "tiny pinch of cloves, a few gratings of nutmeg, bit of allspice, don't be shy with the cinnamon," for whatever that's worth.)

Juice the other half of the carrot. Beat yolks with sugar until mixture is pale and no longer grainy. Add oil and 1 1/2 tablespoons of the carrot juice; beat until combined.

Mix yolk mixture into flour mixture.

Now grab your egg whites. Throw in a little bit of salt. (a pinch, or 1/4th of a teaspoon, or, five or six good turns of the salt grinder). (If you want to ruin a good thing, you can add another 1/4 cup of sugar here, but that's overkill).

Fold egg whites into the rest of the stuff.

Put in oiled pan--an 8x8 square pan is about the right size. If you want, drop a piece of parchment paper on the bottom and it'll come out pretty clean. Whack it against the counter to evenly distribute the batter. Bake at 350 until it's done, which I'm guessing is about 40-50 minutes, but don't quote me on that, and don't blame me if it burns.


Note that this is NOT frosting. Frosting is evil. I hate frosting. This is best topped with a quenelle of creme fraiche ice cream:

1 cup creme fraiche.
1 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup sugar
little bit of yuzu juice (but okay, you can use lemon or lime juice)

Mix together. Run through an ice cream maker.

Serve right away because (a) it's awesome warm and (b) it will fall a little after a few hours.

I think next time I make this I'm going to add a pinch of ancho chile powder to the spice mix, because hey, carrot cake deserves a kick.

Last book read?

Insurgent by Veronica Roth.

Favorite guilty pleasure movie?

Oh, this is an embarrassing question. I wish I could explain, but I have real cognitive difficulty recognizing people in movies, and that makes it hard to understand the story since I can't figure out which characters are which. Long story short, I don't enjoy watching movies all that much. It's too much work for me to keep track of what's going on and who is who. I can never relax.

And finally, are you touring anytime soon? (cause we like to stalk our favorite authors and our readers do, too)

Not really--but I will be in Southern California this July, at the RWA National conference, where I'll have books on sale.

Thanks so much for hanging out today, Courtney! I really look forward to reading the rest of the Sinister Brothers series later this summer!

Thanks so much for having me--and seriously, thanks for the great questions!

We want to thank Courtney for the awesome interview. If you haven't read one of her books, what are you waiting for? I highly recommend all of them. Really, all of them are fantastic and are constant re-reads.

You can find Courtney online at the following places:
Author Website

29 May 2012

Can't Stand The Heat - Review

Publication date: 01 September 2009 by St. Martin's Press
ISBN 10/13: 0312356498 | 9780312356491
Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository

Category: Adult Contemporary Romance
Keywords: Romance, contemporary, realistic, cooking
Format: Mass market paperback, eBook
Source: Library

From Goodreads:

For sharp-tongued Miranda Wake, the chance to spend a month in Adam Temple’s kitchen to write an exposé is a journalistic dream come true. Surely Miranda can find a way to cut the hotshot chef down to size once she learns what really goes on at his trendy Manhattan restaurant. The trouble is, she never expected Adam to find out her most embarrassing secret: this critic has no idea how to cook.

As for Adam, well, he’s not about to have his reputation burned by a critic who doesn’t even know the difference between poaching and paring. He’ll just have to give the tempting redhead a few private lessons of his own—teaching Miranda what it means to cook with passion.


I feel kind of bad about giving this one such a low rating, but I really couldn’t stand the female lead Miranda. She was annoying for at least 90% of the book. I couldn’t find many redeeming qualities in her and could not figure out why Adam or anyone else would put up with her. Selfish, narrow minded and plain annoying, she found fault with everything. I would have given it a lower rating if not for some of the other characters in the book.

It's a shame that Miranda was so unlikable because everything else in this book is great. Where to start? Well we're first introduced to Miranda at a the restaurant opening party for Market, where she is drunk and heckling Adam during his speech, criticizing his food before she's even tasted it. Later, she signs up for a tell all expose that will surely embarrass Adam and his friends all for her own gain. At one point in the story, Adam’s making her homemade waffles with bacon in it (bacon, people!) after a night of toe curling sex and she walks out on him because of something she has no right to blame him for. Seriously, Miranda needs to take a step back and take a chill pill. In an effort to control everyone and everything in her life, she ends up pushing people away.

One thing that kept this book from being a total bore was the cute and saucy romance that starts up between Miranda’s little brother Jeff and Adam’s sous chef, Frankie. Frankie’s got a delicious English accent and he’s unbearably sweet and attentive to Jess, who’s never had a boyfriend before. I actually wish that their story had been the main one in the book. And Adam is pretty much the perfect man. He’s smart, sexy, funny and a fabulous cook. Unfortunately he gets the short end of the stick in the romance department when he gets stuck with Miranda.

While I enjoyed the restaurant setting and all the other characters, my dislike of Miranda was so great that I couldn't really enjoy this book. The writing was solid though and I'd be willing to read another book in the series.

Visit the author online at www.louisaedwards.com and follow her on Twitter @louisaedwards

26 May 2012

Stacked (5): The One With Pretty Covers

Welcome to this week's edition of Stacked. Inspired by The Story Siren and other similar features, this is my weekly post where I show you what I bought, borrowed and received.

Howdy, everyone! Happy Memorial Day. Like most people, I love a good three day weekend. I am usually out of town for Memorial Day but this year I am staying put. I plan on eating, baking, reading and knitting. And maybe seeing Men In Black 3. :)  I didn't get too many books this week. I had to buy a whole new set of tires earlier this week which set me back a lot so I can't buy a lot of books. So I am trying to be good and read my NetGalley books and library books. Let's see what I got, shall we?

For Review (Netgalley)

Dark Kiss by Michelle Rowan - I was on the fence about this one but my friend Kimberly at The Windy Pages just gave it a great review so I put it in request and got it. Plus - love that cover. 


Die For Me and Until I Die by Amy Plum - I was lucky enough to win ARCs of both of these books last week from bibliopunkk. I have been wanting to read this series so I am very excited. 


Suffocate (The Breathless Novelette series) by S.R. Johannes - I really liked Johannes's last book, Untraceable, and am interested to read this series of novellas for a new series she has coming out. This is only $0.99 on Kindle right now. I think the cover is pretty cool, too.

Paper Hearts by Maureen Child - This novella was free on Amazon for a day and it looked promising so I just got it. Has anyone read anything by Maureen Child yet? Good, bad?

Borrowed (library)

Wherever You Go by Heather Davis - Another recommendation from a friend that I found at the library. It's got ghosts.

Revived by Cat Patrick - I've been seeing this one around a lot lately and it's gotten good reviews so I thought I would give it a try.

Serve Yourself: Nightly Adventures for Cooking For One by Joe Yohan - I live alone and thought this one might be good to try since it's so hard cooking enough for me but not so much that I have to eat leftovers fora  week.

The River Cottage Cookbook by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall - I was listening to a podcast that recommended this book. Decided to check it out from the library to see if I liked it.

The Vegetable Dishes I Can't Live Without by Mollie Katzen - Another cookbook. Trying to cook for myself more.

I Will Not Read This Book by Cece Meng - This just looked fun. I like to peruse the picture book section at the library.

Little White Rabbit by Kevin Henkes - I have a friend who has pet bunnies and this reminded me of her.

Those are the books I have for you this week. And, just because I can, I am leaving you with some pics of my trip home last weekend. I took my parents for a little day trip to wander around Monterey. We live about an hour and a half away from there and it was a fun little outing and I love the beach. Have a great weekend!

pretty beaches by monterey

historic cannery row

lots of signs about john steinbeck around

this store only sold socks. awesome. 

Thuy will be taking a lot of naps this weekend. When she's not reading or napping you can catch her on Twitter @fishgirl182

25 May 2012

Demonic - Giveaway (Kindle)

Garon Cockrell is the Pop Culture Beast

He has also penned a book called Demonic and Other Tales (doorQ.com publishing, 2011).

I know it's not our usual fare, but if you love horror, it's a must-read! I was trying to wait until an appropriately scary time, like mid-October, to get people in the freaking-out mood. But let's face it, if Cabin in the Woods can come out at Easter, you can have some horror in the middle of May. 

This collection of scream-worthy short stories includes "Demonic," "Eggs," "Home Alone," "What's Your Pleasure?," "The Strange Tale of Griffin Shard," "Looking Glass," "Interrogation," "Manny," "Prelude," and "Haven."

"Eggs" is also in the process of being made into a short film.

Garon also tweets about music, movies, and lots of other stuff, so don't feel like following him on Twitter 
is going to just lock you in to a bunch of tweets about the book ;)

You can enter to win a Kindle copy of Demonic!

Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter. Winner(s) will be chosen June 1. 
If at least 100 entries come in by the end of the contest, I will give away 2 Kindle copies.
If at least 300 entries come in by the end of the contest, I will give away 3 Kindle copies.

And if you don't win, relax! You can get it yourself for just $2.99 on Amazon.com.

Insert evil laugh [here]

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Uncovered (15): Die For Me & Until I Die

This week on Uncovered we have Die For Me and Until I Die by Amy Plum. Normally I am not a huge fun of girl in dress, with back turned to the cover. It's been so overdone and every cover starts to look the same. While these covers do indeed have a girl in a dress, they are different than your average YA cover.  First, it doesn't look like a stock photo which is really nice. Maybe it is a stock photo, but it doesn't look like one. I also love the use of illustration and text on the cover. It gives it a romantic and unique look. The backgrounds are also interesting and mysterious. It makes me wonder what the girl is doing and what's she is up to. And I really like the overall color themes of each book. All of these elements meld into a really eye catching cover. I would totally buy these books based on cover alone.

What do you think? Yay or nay on the girl in dress theme?

23 May 2012

The Great Gatsby - Trailer

They just released the trailer for Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby. I have never read this book (I know, I know). I just never got around to it. So I have no idea really what this movie is about except that it's set in the 20s. I do like Baz Luhrmann though and visually, this looks fantastic. It also looks really intense and dramatic so that'll be interesting. Does anyone know who the really tall, skinny gal with the black hair is? I was trying to get a look at her but I could not figure out who it was. Unfortunately looks like this isn't coming out til Christmas. Boo, that's a long time to wait. But I think it looks really good and I will definitely be going.

What to you do you think? Love Leo, hate him, or are on only going for the costumes?

21 May 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Sites I Read That Aren't About Books

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Every week focuses on a different topic and you make a top ten list from it! This week's topic is: Blogs/Sites You Read That AREN'T about Books.

Love this topic. I am really excited to see what book bloggers read besides book blogs. :) Let me just preface this list by telling you that my main hobbies/interests are: reading, knitting, and baking/cooking. Therefore you will see that most of the blogs I read are about these things. And I love makeup/nail polish and read nail polish blogs (yes, they exist).  Leave links to your TTT and I'll be happy to stop by. Thanks!

Joy The Baker - One of my favorite cooking blogs. Joy is super funny and sounds like your sarcastic best friend but with cookies. She just put out a cookbook this year as well. 

Smitten Kitchen - Another fantastic cooking blog. I love the recipes on this blog and the pictures of delicious food. Another blog that is coming out with a cookbook later this year. I am so pre-ordering it. 

One Sheepish Girl - I am a new reader to Meredith's blog but I really enjoy it. It's sort of a fashion/lifestyle/crafting blog. Meredith has a great voice and I love her pictures. 

David Lebovitz - Fantastic writer and award winning chef/baker, David is funny and smart and loves food. I enjoy his recipes and reading about his exploits living in Paris.

A Beautiful Mess - A really fun, colorful lifestyle blog. There's always so much inspiration for style, food, crafting and many other things on this blog. 

Ravelry - Ravelry is a fantastic website for knitters and crocheters. There's a huge database of patterns and yarns, not to mention message boards and groups. It's a really awesome way to keep track of your knitting projects and interact with the knitting community. 

The Polishaholic - One of my favorite nail polish blogs. I love the clear, detailed images and the regular updates. Many of the polishes featured on the blog end up on my wishlist. 

Nails and Noms - I am a fairly new reader to this nail polish blog but I am a big fan. Again, great pictures and she features a wide variety of nail polish colors and brands. 

Cute Overload - I think the title says it all. If you like pics of adorable animals then Cute Overload is the place for you.

Pinterest - I am actually not on Pinterest as much as a lot of people I know. I do like it but I just don't surf the web all that much during the day or I often do it on my phone. And the Pinterest mobile app sucks. But I do enjoy it and really like pinning recipes. It's a really great way to collect all of the online recipes that I want to try. If you're on, leave me a link to your profile and I'll check it out. I am fishgirl182 on Pinterest if anyone wants to see what I am pinning.

That's my Top Ten Tuesday this week. I'd love to know what non-bookish sites everyone else frequents so leave your links and I'll stop by. :)

Ruined by Rumor - Review

Ruined by Rumor by Alyssa Everett
Publication date: 21 May 2012 by Carina Press
ISBN 10/13: 0451411528 | 9780451411525
Goodreads | Amazon | B&N 

Category: Adult Regency/Historical Romance
Keywords: Romance, regency, historical, rumors, scandal
Format: eBook
Source: e-ARC received from NetGalley

Thuy's synopsis:

Ruined by Rumor is the story of Roxana Langley, a young, well bred lady who has been betrothed to her fiancee, George Wyatt, for five years. George finally returns home and plans are made for their upcoming wedding. But Roxana’s plans for the future take an unexpected turn when George calls off the wedding. Distraught, Roxana finds familiar comfort in the arms of her brother’s best friend, Alex Winslow, the Earl of Ayersley. Ayersley has loved Roxana for years but his quiet and shy nature make Roxana believe that he doesn’t like her at all. Caught in a compromising position with Ayersley, the two are forced to marry to save Roxana’s reputation.

Thuy's Review:

Ruined by Rumor is the second Regency romance from Alyssa Everett. I am a huge fan of her first book, A Tryst with Trouble*, and was excited to hear that she had another release coming so soon. Roxana was a nice change from the wallflowers and spinsters that I often read about in period romances. She’s pretty and friendly with an air of playfulness about her. And Ayersley was definitely a different kind of hero. Quiet and intense, he is a far departure from the rakish libertine often found in romance novels. He is refreshingly shy and fumbles quite a bit in the romance department.

While I liked Roxana and Ayersley separately as characters, together they fell flat. Roxana, light hearted and fun should have been the perfect complement to the serious and bookish Ayersley. But once they were married, the fun Roxana went away and in her place was a much more serious and somewhat boring Roxana. Each of them was so afraid of offending the other and their interactions were polite and guarded. I don’t want to read about a polite, considerate romance. I want passion and joy and lust! Each of them constantly felt like they were disappointing the other with neither of them saying what was on their mind, which resulted in somewhat bland conversations. The witty dialogue that I know Everett is great at was nowhere to be found.

It wasn’t until near the very end that I started to really feel something between the pair. That’s when they both shed their proper demeanors and let their true feelings show. They finally get mad at each other and the sparks start flying. If this fire and passion had been present earlier, I think it would have been a very different and more exciting book.

While I was disappointed in Ruined by Rumor, there were some nice moments between Roxana and Ayersley.  I enjoyed elements of the book but felt like the chemistry between Ayersley and Roxana was lacking, and I wasn't as invested in their relationship as I should have been.  I know that Everett can write an amazing story but this one missed the mark for me.

*Unfortunately, A Tryst with Trouble still has not been released due to the financial troubles of its publisher, Dorchester Publishing.

I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, affected my opinion or review of this book.

Visit the author online at www.alyssaeverett.com and follow her on Twitter @Alyssa_Everett.

20 May 2012

Stacked (4): The One Where I Get Historical On You

Welcome back to another week in Stacked, a place where I share what I've bought, borrowed and received during the week. By the time you read this post, I will be hanging out with my family up near San Francisco. My sister in law is having a baby next month and her baby show is this weekend. So you might see some non-related book pics when I get back. 

This week is filled with historical reads of all kinds. from World War II to Little Women to Tang Dynasty China, I am all about the historical. Clicking on the book titles will take you to their Goodreads page.  Let's get down to it, shall we?


Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal - The sequel to this book came out recently and the cover is soooo pretty. I decided to pick up the first book to see what it's all about.

A Woman in Berlin by Anonymous - This month's book club book. This one looks pretty traumatic and, while I think it's going to be good, I am kind of dreading it.

Little Women and Me by Lauren Baratz-Logsted - I just realized that this book has less than stellar reviews on GR. Oh well - I am a fan of Little Women so it'll be interesting to see what this update has to offer.

It Happened One Autumn (Wallflowers #3) (ebook) by Lisa Kleypas - You know can't resist Kleypas. I just read the third book in this series and am now jumping back to #2.

The Lady's Scandalous Night (ebook) by Jeannie Lin - I was eavesdropping on Twitter when some people I follow were talking about some great historical romances set in China. Immediately went to Overdrive to see what was available and got this one.

Captive In The Dark by CJ Roberts - My friend K just finished this erotica novel and told me I HAD to read it. Subject matter looks intense but I think it'll be good. 

Bought (Kindle)

Butterfly Swords and The Dragon and the Pearl by Jeannie Lin - More historical romance! My library Overdrive had these on waitlist but I am impatient and these are both not very much money on Kindle so I just bought them. This is a series and I think the covers are so pretty.

So that's my mostly historical haul this week. Do you have any favorite historical (romance or otherwise) books that I should read? Let me know and I'll check them out. And leave links to your haul post and I will stop by and say hi. And who is seeing Battleship this week? Don't lie - I know some of you are going. I may take my parents to see The Avengers and/or go see What To Expect When You're Expecting. It's probably terrible but I kind of want to see it. :) Have a great weekend!

19 May 2012

Krazy Kleypas Reading Challenge 2012 - Update

Thought I'd give a little update post on how my Krazy Kleypas Reading Challenge 2012 is going. Earlier in the year I signed up with a goal of 4-8 books.  But Lisa Kleypas is hard to resist and I've just recently met that goal. (Of course I've only reviewed a couple of these books but that's another story.) So I am going to amend my to 8-12 books.

Original Goal
Category Two
Komfy with Kleypas
4-8 Books

NEW Goal
Category Three
Kaptured by Kleypas
8-12 Books

List of books I plan to read:
Seduce Me At Sunrise (The Hathaways #2)
Tempt Me At Twilight (The Hathaways #3)
Married By Morning (The Hathaways #4)
Love In The Afternoon (The Hathaways #5)
Sugar Daddy (Travises #1)
Blue-Eyed Devil (Travises #2)
Smooth Talking Stranger (Travises #3)

New books added to the list:
Lady Sophia's Lover (Bow Street Runners #2)
Worth Any Price (Bow Street Runners #3)
Secrets of a Summer Night (Wallflowers #1)
It Happened One Autumn (Wallflowers #2)
Devil In Winter (Wallflowers #3)
Scandal In Spring (Wallflowers #4)
Love, Come To Me

Are any of you fans of Lisa Kleypas? Are there any good books I am missing from my list? Leave a comment and let me know and I'll definitely check it out.  Thanks to Under the Covers for hosting this great challenge!

say "twee!"

18 May 2012

Uncovered (14): To Kill A Mockingbird 50th Anniversary Edition

This week on Uncovered I have a new cover to a classic book. I think this one came out last year for the anniversary of To Kill A Mockingbird. Why do I love this cover? By now you might be able to tell that I am big fan of illustration, especially if it incorporates type and text. This one has all of those things. I love the simplicity of the shadow figures and the movement of the tree and branches. I also love that the text is a part of the illustration. It's very simple but eye catching. 

I don't know who illustrated this. I don't own a copy of this book so I can't look it up and the internet was not helpful. So if anyone knows who the illustrator is on this one, please let me know. I hope you like this week's pick!

17 May 2012

The Perfect Play - Review

Publication date: 01 February 2011 by Berkley
ISBN 10/13: 0425238814 | 9780425238813
Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository 

Category: Adult Contemporary Romance
Keywords: Romance, sports, Cinderella, fairytale
Format: Paperback, eBook
Source: Purchased

Thuy's synopsis:

The last thing event planner Tara Lincoln needs is the jet-set lifestyle of a football pro like Mick Riley; even though their steamy and passionate one-night stand proved that Mick is an all-star-both on the field and in the bedroom.

Tara played the game of love once and lost big, and she doesn't intend to put herself out there again, especially with a certified heartbreaker. But when Mick sets his mind to win, nothing will stop him. And he has the perfect play in mind to catch this sultry vixen.

Thuy’s review:

I found this book on a friend's Goodreads to-read shelf and HELLO - who wouldn't want to read a book with this cover? I immediately went out and bought this book and looked up pictures of cover model Jed Hill. You want to, too. Go ahead. I’ll wait. Cover aside, The Perfect Play was a fun sports romance - actually the first sports romance I have ever read. Mick Riley, sexy superstar quarterback, is unexpectedly drawn to event planner and single mother Tara Lincoln. But what starts off as a one night stand becomes more when Mick pursues Tara.

This is the first Jaci Burton book I’ve ever read and I liked it a lot. It’s a bit on the racier side of what I am used to, definitely skirting the edge into erotica but isn’t too much that it would turn off regular romance readers.

I love the Cinderella-like concept of this book. A superstar football player falls for a “normal” woman. Tara’s swept away by Mick and his crazy lifestyle, which is so different than her own. Mick is great - intense and charming with a serious side and some demons in his closet. It’s kind of nice to have a story for once where the male is seeking a more serious relationship than the female versus the other way around. I liked Tara’s relationship with her son, Nathan. It felt realistic and I liked that Tara wasn’t your typical romance heroine in that she was a single mom who is very career minded.

Mick and Tara have great chemistry and take advantage of it often. While I love a good love scene, they did get a little tedious after awhile. There was practically a sex scene every time they got together and really, how many sleepovers does her kid go on? That said, they were incredibly hot scenes so I can’t complain too much.

My biggest problem with this book was Tara’s attitude. She’s extremely suspicious and doesn’t trust Mick. There is more than one instance of her prematurely jumping to a conclusion about a situation and freaking out. While I understood her wariness, at times I just wanted to smack her upside the head. While their relationship started off superficially, I did feel like it naturally progressed into something more as they got to know each other. It just took awhile for both of them to stop denying it.

Overall, this was a very fun, sexy read. Burton’s piqued my interest in her work with this book and I look forwarding to reading more. There is an excerpt for the next book in the series (Changing The Game) that features Mick's brother Gavin and his agent Liz, that is HOT.

Visit the author online at www.jaciburton.com and follow her on Twitter @JaciBurton