Review: Spell of the Highlander (Highlander, #7) by Karen Marie Moning

Spell of the Highlander

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It’s taken him eleven centuries to find the right woman. He’s not about to lose her now.

Jessi St. James has GOT to get a life. Too many hours studying ancient artifacts has given the archaeology student a bad case of sex on the brain. So she figures she must be dreaming when she spies a gorgeous half-naked man staring out at her from inside the glass of an ancient mirror. But when a split-second decision saves her from a terrifying attempt on her life, Jessi suddenly finds herself confronting six and a half feet of smoldering INSATIABLE alpha male.

Heir to the arcane magic of his Druid ancestors, Cian MacKeltar was trapped inside the Dark Glass eleven centuries ago. And when the Dark Glass is stolen, an ancient enemy will stop at nothing to reclaim it. For Jessi, the sex god in the mirror is not only tantalizingly real, he’s offering his protection—from exactly what, Jessi doesn’t know. And all he wants in exchange is the exquisite pleasure of sharing her bed…

I read this book in early 2012 and really enjoyed it!

I flirted with a horrible reading slump during 2012…I’d pick up a book and put it down again. I was tossing books here and there…being very much a slut about my reading but receiving no satisfaction. Meh.

But I was rather interested in this book from the very beginning! Yaaaay!

There’s no need to rehash the blurb. What I can tell you about the book is that there was not a lot of eye-rolling moments. The hero – Cian – was very much an alpha male and the heroine was the typical big-boobed 30 y/o virgin. That part was rather meh for me. Also meh was the constant “insta-lust” that Moning has going on…but I think this will be par for the course with this series.

Other than the things mentioned above, this was a good read for me! The characters were engaging and the story line was interesting. The pages almost seemed to turn themselves…and in this particular reading mood that was hard to do.

4 stars but be aware of the tropes mentioned above. I certainly have plans to read the entire series so…RECOMMENDED! ;-)

Also posted at OSgA Book Reviews

Review: Back In The Italian’s Bed by Annie West

Back In The Italian's Bed

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No woman walks away from billionaire Fabrizio Armati’s bed. No woman except Jenna MacDonald. Now he’ll stop at nothing to get her back, and keep her there.

It’s love at first sight for Jenna when charismatic hotelier Fabrizio Armati sweeps her off her feet in Venice. That chance encounter sparks a sizzling affair that lasts until she discovers Fabrizio sees her as no more than a convenient, expendable mistress. Then her world falls apart.

Six months later Jenna tells herself she’s moved on. Until Fabrizio walks into a meeting to find her working for his greatest rival. She’s about to discover just how far he’ll go to get her back in his bed.

When revenge turns to passion, will surrender be on his terms, or hers?

This is a – without a doubt – 100% pure Harlequin Presents (HP) style novella. Even the title. And I ate it up, lol. It makes sense – Annie West has written many a Harlequin Presents.

So, you have the basic structure of a category romance: millionaire/billionaire ruthless business tycoon and lots of emotional angst. What made Back in the Italian’s Bed different is that Jenna has a little spunk. Fabrizio swept her off her feet but she left him when she realized he couldn’t [wouldn't] give her what she needed (love). When the two meet again, she falls back into his bed but is still willing to leave him and make a new life for herself. That’s not the typical HP style – normally the woman would have eaten her heart out over hero.

Back in the Italian’s Bed is a pretty short story/novella – about 65 pages – and that’s the only downside of the book for me. The shortness of the word count didn’t allow for the full range of angst that you get from HP style novels. But don’t get it twisted, Jenna spends much time castigating herself for her attraction to Fabrizio. I have to admit that while HPs aren’t really my thing now, I have fond memories of gobbling them up by the bag-full. I am intrigued to read more of Annie West’s work.

Random Recipe: Early Morning Oats

Everyone has heard of “overnight oats” it seems, but I’m not really into mushy foods. So, I decided to do a chewier version. I call it “Early Morning Oats” because…why not? lol! I add the wet ingredient about 2 hours prior to eating.

One of my favorite things about oatmeal is that it is so versatile, even this recipe. I like to add a smattering of dried cranberries and raisins most of the time but I occasionally switch it up with dried strawberries or fresh blueberries. I’m having a hard time getting in all the protein I need on a daily basis so I also add vanilla egg white protein powder to my early morning oats. Delicious!
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Review: Tempting Tamera (Circle of Three #1) by Brynn Paulin

Tempting Tamera

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A new job, a new home, a new lifestyle… When teacher Tamera moved to Cranston to teach, she knew the lifestyle she’d encounter would take some getting used to. Though she was raised in an open-minded household she doesn’t have experience with menage relationships therefore her attraction to her fellow teachers, Kai and Brian, takes her by surprise.

When the trio is stranded together during a freak snowstorm, Tamera discovers her attraction isn’t one sided. In fact, the men have been waiting for the opportunity to show her how perfect three can be.

 

 

Tempting Tamara is the fourth book I’ve read using the Scribd service and the first book in the Circle of Three series. This book is currently on sale at Kobo for $2.50. I located this book using Scribd’s search but I was doing a specific search for Brynn Paulin at the time. The book I was looking for is not available on Scribd.

So. This book. I was looking for something else by this author and settled on this book instead.

Tempting Tamera is short. Very short. And like most shorts – there are serious pacing issues due to the shortness of the story.

Short stories are really hard to write – the format is pretty unforgiving. I also tend to “grade” shorts harder than full length novels simply because the flaws are glaring in a short that would get glossed over in a full length.

So. Tempting Tamera. Uuuugh. The dialogue is quite often painful! And the plot is…hard to digest in such a short period of time. The story starts with the heroine and hero(es) having known each other for about…3 months or so. Even knowing that – the quick jump from making eyes at someone to being “in love” happened waaaaaay to fast for me. I was rolling my eyes most of the read.

Another issue I had was the introduction and plotline of the heroine’s….pre-arranged boyfriend? Not quite sure what to call him, to be honest. The whole situation was BS and caused additional eye rolling. Don’t get me wrong, I love a little menage and the plot (except Andy) all probably would work better in a longer format. The longer format just gives more time for character and plot building.

At the end of the day, this was an easy way to burn through 20 minutes or so.
 
90 Day Scribd Trial
Total Books Read: 4
Current Price of Book: $2.50
Total Cost of Books read: $24.47
Total Amount Saved: -$2.50 (price of all books read minus price of service ($26.97))

Book Review: Parlor Games Anthology – Border Lord by Julia Templeton

Parlor Games

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Fleeing an unfaithful fiancé, a nubile young lovely finds herself the prisoner of a lustful Scottish laird and must bow to his every erotic whim.

 
Parlor Games is the third book I’ve read using my Scribd trial. Scribd introduced me to Jess Michaels via the book Everything Forbidden – and suggested this title since I read Everything Forbidden. As of today this book is on sale at Kobo for $9.99.

Border Lord reminds me a lot of the book Warlord by Jaid Black. Both stories are situated in Scotland and both books contain unsuspecting time traveling heroines from the future. Strangely enough, I find that I prefer Warlord to Border Lord even though Warlord is much older and is a little more corny. There’s another time-traveling Scottish Lord story I read that was similar to this one as well but I can’t remember the title. That one also starred a cheating fiance, IIRC.

With that being said….there’s not a lot to Border Lord. It’s ok. It’s entertaining-ish. I enjoyed it for the most part but since I’ve read better with this same set up…I wasn’t as impressed as I expected to be. Border Lord is short and to the point without much more to recommend it.

2.5 Stars

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Current Price of Book: $9.99
Total Cost of Books read: $21.97
Total Amount Saved: -$5.00 (price of all books read minus price of service ($26.97))

WTFery in the News: 25-Aug-2014 (The Comic Fail Edition)

New ‘Scooby-Doo’ Movie ‘Curses’ Daphne From Size 2 to Size 8 – Because the worst thing that can happen to a woman is to “curse” her to gain weight. /sarcasm

…when Daphne comes face-to-face with the bad guy, she is “cursed” with losing the thing that she holds most dear: her small frame. With a simple hex, the cartoon character instantaneously balloons from a size 2 to a (cover your eyes!) size 8.

Considering the average clothing size American women wear is a size 14 (plus-size is considered anything over 12) and that, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the average woman in the United States is about 5’4” and weighs 166 pounds, being a size 8 shouldn’t be considered the worst thing that could possibly happen to Daphne, or any woman for that matter.


Check Out Spider-Woman #1, Starring Spider-Woman’s Ass
- You gotta look at those photos plus check out the Less Tits N’ Ass, More Kickin’ Ass for some awesome do-overs. But seriously, while I love a good presentation as much as the next gal, I kinda find it laughable that she’s “face down, ass up,” her legs are spread so far apart that I can assume she’s prepping for a pap smear AND I can see the complete crack of her ass. Wow.

Oh, Marvel. Come on. You know better than this —this being Milo Manara’s cover for the upcoming Spider-Woman #1. If you’re wondering what the hell Jessica Drew, a.k.a. Spider-Woman is doing, I believe it’s what’s known in the animal kingdom as “presenting.”

Review: The Minority Report by Philip K. Dick *light spoilers*

The Minority Report

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In the world of “The Minority Report,” Commissioner John Anderton is the one to thank for the lack of crime. He is the originator of the Precrime System, which uses “precogs”–people with the power to see into the future–to identify criminals before they can do any harm. Unfortunately for Anderton, his precogs perceive him as the next criminal. But Anderton knows he has never contemplated such a thing, and this knowledge proves the precogs are fallible. Now, whichever way he turns, Anderton is doomed–unless he can find the precogs’s “minority report”–the dissenting voice that represents his one hope of getting at the truth in time to save himself from his own system.

 

 

I’m still trying to decide how I feel about this read. On one hand…the story has a pretty fast pace that makes it easy to read. On the other hand…the ending is rather abrupt and did not feel satisfying. I have to wonder if the fact that I saw the Tom Cruise Minority Report flick made the story “less-than” for me. The differences in the story vs the movie are pretty vast – you can see the framework of PKD’s “The Minority Report” in the movie but Minority Report has a drastically different storyline while still maintaining the same basic plot: Anderton being accused of murdering someone he doesn’t know.
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