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Scandal by Amanda Quick

scandal quick

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With her reputation forever tarnished by a youthful indiscretion, lovely Emily Faringdon is resigned to a life of spinsterhood, until she embarks on an unusual correspondence and finds herself falling head over heels in love. Sensitive, intelligent, and high-minded, her noble pen pal seems to embody everything Emily has ever dreamed of in a man. But Simon Augustus Traherne, the mysterious Earl of Blade, is not at all what he seems.

Driven by dark, smoldering passions and a tragic secret buried deep within his soul, Blade has all of London cowering at his feet, but not Emily…never Emily. For even as she surrenders to his seductive charms, she knows the real reason for his amorous suit. And she knows that she must reach the heart of this golden-eyed dragon before the avenging demons of their entwined pasts destroy the only love she has ever known…

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Please note: This review is still in progress.

I’ve had a bad 2013 so far, health-wise.

For me, at least, it’s been very bad. I’ve lost a lot of interest in my hobbies. Medication has had me staring at walls like a zombie.

I read this book for the first time years and years ago. Never able to find it again, no matter how hard I looked.
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The Ship Who Searched (Brainship #3) by Anne McCaffrey & Mercedes Lackey

The ship who searched

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Set in the same universe as “The Ship Who Sang” and “PartnerShip”, “The Ship Who Searched” tells the story of a shellperson and her search for the EsKays, a star-faring race whose artifacts are scattered throughout the galaxy, but whose fate is a mystery.

It all began when Tia, a bright and spunky seven-year old accompanying her exo-archaeologist parents on an EsKay dig, was afflicted by a mysterious neural disorder, one whose progressing symptoms finally permit her no life at all outside of some total mechanical support system. But like ‘The Ship Who Sang”, Tia won’t be satisfied to glide through life like a ghost in a glorified wheelchair; like Helva, Tia is going to strap on a spaceship!

But Tia has also set herself on a special mission: to seek out whatever it was on the EsKay planet that laid her low, to come to understand and then eliminate it – so that no other little girl will ever suffer the fate of THE SHIP WHO SEARCHED.

This is one of my favorite books in the Brain & Brawn (Brainship) series.

Please bare with me, I’ve read this book so many times it is hard to review.
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On the Edge (The Edge #1) by Ilona Andrews

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Rose Drayton lives on the Edge, between the world of the Broken (where people drive cars, shop at Wal-Mart, and magic is a fairy tale) and the Weird (where blueblood aristocrats rule, changelings roam, and the strength of your magic can change your destiny). Only Edgers like Rose can easily travel from one world to the next, but they never truly belong in either.

Rose thought if she practiced her magic, she could build a better life for herself. But things didn’t turn out how she planned, and now she works a minimum wage, off the books job in the Broken just to survive. Then Declan Camarine, a blueblood noble straight out of the deepest part of the Weird, comes into her life, determined to have her (and her power).

But when a terrible danger invades the Edge from the Weird, a flood of creatures hungry for magic, Declan and Rose must work together to destroy them—or they’ll devour the Edge and everyone in it.

Oh wow. I loved this book. I had complicated emotions in the beginning – Declan moved in on Rose with the intensity of a Kristen Ashley hero at first. It really bothered me…I have KA overload and I was concerned.

But I loved the worldbuilding and the writing (of course) so I persevered. Oh boy! I am so glad I did! Declan was wonderful and Rose stood up to him at every turn. The plot was wonderful and felt like the perfect meld of fantasy and romance.

My only complaint is that I don’t have book 2 in front of me to start right away.

Everything I Know About Love I Learned from Romance Novels by Sarah Wendell

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Take a dashing hero with a heart of gold and a mullet of awesome. Add a heroine with a bustle and the will to kick major butt. Then include enough contrivances to keep them fighting while getting them alone and possibly without key pieces of clothing, and what do you have? A romance novel. What else? Enough lessons about life, love, and everything in between to help you with your own happily-ever-after.
Lessons like…
-Romance means believing you are worthy of a happy ending
-Learning to tell the prince from the frog
-Real-life romance is still alive and kicking
-No matter how bad it is, at least you haven’t been kidnapped by a Scottish duke (probably)
Sarah Wendell is cofounder of one of the top romance blogs, SmartBitchesTrashyBooks.com.

It took me forever to finish this book, but I really enjoyed myself!

EIKAL (as it is fondly called) is a love letter (essay style) to romance books and their readers. It’s very much preaching to the choir but it could also (possibly) persuade non-romance readers as to the benefits of reading romances.

I would also find this book to be highly educational for a romance reader to give to a non-romance reader who is clueless as to why people love romances so much.

For me, I felt that the book forced me to seriously think about what draws me to romance books. I often find myself reading romances when I’m sad or stressed or depressed. I never understood or even questioned why – I just did.
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Agnes and the Hitman by Jennifer Crusie

Agnes and the hitman

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Take one food writer named Cranky Agnes, add a hitman named Shane, mix them together with a Southern mob wedding, a missing necklace, two annoyed flamingos, and a dog named Rhett and you’ve got a recipe for a sexy, hilarious novel about the disastrous side of true love…

Agnes Crandall’s life goes awry when a dognapper invades her kitchen one night, seriously hampering her attempts to put on a wedding that she’s staked her entire net worth on. Then a hero climbs through her bedroom window. His name is Shane, no last name, just Shane, and he has his own problems: he’s got a big hit scheduled, a rival trying to take him out, and an ex-mobster uncle asking him to protect some little kid named Agnes. When he finds out that Agnes isn’t so little, his uncle has forgotten to mention a missing five million bucks he might have lost in Agnes’s house, and his last hit was a miss, Shane’s life isn’t looking so good, either. Then a bunch of lowlifes come looking for the money, a string of hit men show up for Agnes, and some wedding guests gather with intent to throw more than rice. Agnes and Shane have their hands full with greed, florists, treachery, flamingos, mayhem, mothers of the bride, and–most dangerous of all–each other. Agnes and the Hitman is the perfect combination of sugar and spice, sweet and salty–a novel of delicious proportions.

“Okay, Shane,” Agnes said as Brenda’s clock gonged midnight. “I got Joey in the kitchen, a cop in the front hall, a dead body in the basement, and you in my bedroom. Where do you want to start?”
— Agnes and the Hitman, page 23

What happens when you take a cranky, homicidal cook with anger issues who loves to swing cast iron skillets, a hitman with family issues, an unsolved murder and a crazy ex-mobster’s wife and put them all together at a mob princess’ wedding? Lots of laughs, death and great food!

Agnes (AKA Cranky Agnes) is a nationally syndicated gourmet food columnist who is trying to plan her god-daughter’s wedding in her back yard. Agnes has staked her entire net worth in making sure this wedding goes off without a hitch so everything needs to be perfect. Unfortunately for Agnes, a crazy man with a gun breaks into her house one night trying to steal her dog – and Agnes finds herself in the middle of a downward spiral of murder, mayhem, and mother-of-the-bride hell.
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Dragon Bound by Thea Harrison (Elder Races, #1)

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Half-human and half-Wyr, Pia Giovanni spent her life keeping a low profile among the Wyrkind and avoiding the continuing conflict between them and their Dark Fae enemies. But after being blackmailed into stealing a coin from the hoard of a dragon, Pia finds herself targeted by one of the most powerful—and passionate—of the Elder Races.

As the most feared and respected of the Wyrkind, Dragos Cuelebre cannot believe someone had the audacity to steal from him, much less succeed. And when he catches the thief, Dragos spares her life, claiming her as his own to further explore the desire they’ve ignited in each other.

Pia knows she must repay Dragos for her trespass, but refuses to become his slave—although she cannot deny wanting him, body and soul.

Pia is a young half-wyr (were) who had been trained by her deceased mother to always stay aloof from others and to run and hide. Due to a combination of loneliness and slacking off on her mother’s teachings, Pia made the mistake of telling an ex-boyfriend of some of her abilities – that no door is locked to her. The ex-boyfriend later blackmailed her into stealing something from Dragos Cuelebre – the only known dragon in the world as well as the richest, most powerful and ruthless businessman and wyr alive. Dragos immediately goes on a search for his thief, not knowing that she would turn his life upside down.
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Review: Legend (The Drenai Saga #1) by David Gemmell

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Druss, Captain of the Axe, whose fame was legendary, had chosen to wait for death in a mountain hideaway. But mighty Dros Delnoch, the last stronghold of the Drenai Empire, was under threat from Nadir hordes who had destroyed everything else in their path. All hope rests on the skills of one man.

As always, I enjoyed this book.

This isn’t a book to read if you want to think. Don’t read this for the prose, the characterizations or the dialogue.

Read this for Druss. For he is a badass.

If you like badasses who kill lots of people…and who just may laugh while doing it…I say to you:

Meet Druss.
5 Stars