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Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Bro-Magnet by Lauren Baratz-Logsted

The Bro-Magnet
Author: Lauren Baratz-Logsted
Source: Author Submission
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
File Size: 757 KB
Print Length: 240 pages
Publisher: TKA Distribution
 (December 11, 2011)


Women have been known to lament, "Always a bridesmaid, never a bride." For Johnny Smith, the problem is, "Always a Best Man, never a groom." At age 33, housepainter Johnny has been Best Man eight times. The ultimate man's man, Johnny loves the Mets, the Jets, his weekly poker game, and the hula girl lamp that hangs over his basement pool table. Johnny has the instant affection of nearly every man he meets, but one thing he doesn't have is a woman to share his life with, and he wants that desperately. When Johnny meets District Attorney Helen Troy, he decides to renounce his bro-magnet ways in order to impress her. With the aid and advice of his friends and family, soon he's transforming his wardrobe, buying throw pillows, ditching the hula girl lamp, getting a cat and even changing his name to the more mature-sounding John. And through it all, he's pretending to have no interest in sports, which Helen claims to abhor. As things heat up with Helen, the questions arise: Will Johnny finally get the girl? And, if he's successful in that pursuit, who will he be now that he's no longer really himself? THE BRO-MAGNET is a rollicking comedic novel about what one man is willing to give up for the sake of love.


Author Lauren Baratz-Logsted is an author who never fails at giving a wonderful read.  Whether it be young adult themed such as Crazy Beautiful, or adult contemporary like The Bro Magnet, I always know it is going to be a great read full of emotion.  After reading the review of this book by Fiction Vixen,  I just knew I had to read and review this book.  Seriously, FV never lets me down on recommendations, and frankly, the author has never let me down either.  So when I received a copy for review, I stayed up late reading the fun --  and at many times hilarious -- adventure of Johnny finding true love.

Think about it for a minute.  Most romance books on the shelves focus on the women finding true love.  It is usually a given since women are the main readers of romance.  When I read the blurb and it was about a guy who was actually looking for romance I jumped for joy at seeing how it was going to be written.

What is a guy to do when the moment you are born, you realize you are going to be cursed at never finding love? Seriously, when you read about the day he was born, you can't help but laugh and think that poor boy!  Either he would turn out with a complex for being a guy or embrace it and be a wonderful man.  The only downside is if you turn out to be the all around great guy, you seem to make a bunch of girls as friends and less romantic relationships with them.  We get to see flashbacks of his life and finally make it to the present with him in his thirties.  When he meets Helen though, he really wants to make a relationship with her work.  The only problem is that he needs help from his friends to basically give him a makeover.  He likes his beer, sports and backwards baseball hats, but he is also a warm, funny and all around great guy.  When you get a supporting cast of side characters who come to his rescue, you will laugh, cry and sometimes both at the same time.  Of course, then we have Helen who is trying to be something different for Johnny as well.  As they both struggle to impress the other with what they think each one of them would like, you can't help but laugh and hope they will both come to their senses and just be themselves.

There was so many times I laughed in this book that narrowing down some favorite quotes was extremely difficult. Trust me in the recommendation of buying this book.  You will not be disappointed in the writing and I can guarantee much laughter from beginning to end.


“So,” she says slowly, reviewing my case item by item, “you like ice holes, sinkholes, peepholes and blowholes?”
I nod.
“But not loopholes?”
I nod again.
"Hole this, hole that – even when I’m determined not to just be myself, I’m such an asshole. I just can’t help it.” 


Outstanding book that will stay on my bookshelf for rereading!

*I received this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review*


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Guest Review: Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children

Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children
Author: Ransom Riggs
Source: Gifted
Genre: Fiction/Young Adult
Publisher: Quirk Books
 (June 7, 2011)
ISBN-13: 978-1594744761


A mysterious island.

An abandoned orphanage.

A strange collection of very curious photographs.

It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.

A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows.


This is a guest review by SK (my mom).

This was not the typical story that I like to read, but it soon pulled me into it.  The story opens with a family tragedy.  Main character Jacob loses his beloved Grandfather.  Throughout Jacob's life, Grandfather has shared with him stories and unique pictures of children who are doing remarkable feats {read sideshow acts}.  Are they real or not real, Jacob wonders.  When he finds letters from his grandfathers past, he sets out on a mission to find the school and the children on a mysterious island on the coast of Wales.  When he finds the home, he comes to the unsettling conclusion that the children are somehow still alive and had been living there since WW2.  Were they dangerous, quarantined, or simply magical?  What follows is an exciting run through a mystery, a love story, a fairy tale all culminating with sci-fi monster hunt. 

The author has included photographs and has woven a very satisfying story around them.  It will delight readers, young and old, who like adventuring into the shadows.

A very good first novel, I highly encourage all to give it a read.

Very Good! I would recommend this book!

Thank you to SK for the review!


Monday, March 26, 2012

Enter to win!

Thanks to Avon Books / HarperCollins, I have a pack of 7 books to give away to one lucky person!  Books for the contest are the books shown in the above photo.

All you have to do to enter, is fill out the form below.

Contest ends on 3/31/2012.

One entry per person!

CONTEST CLOSED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Shattered Souls by Mary Lindsey

Shattered Souls
Author: Mary Lindsay
Source: Personal Purchase
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal
Publisher: Philomel
  (December 8, 2011)
ISBN-13: 978-0399256226


A thrilling debut story of death, love, destiny and danger

Lenzi hears voices and has visions - gravestones, floods, a boy with steel gray eyes. Her boyfriend, Zak, can't help, and everything keeps getting louder and more intense. Then Lenzi meets Alden, the boy from her dreams, who reveals that she's a reincarnated Speaker - someone who can talk to and help lost souls - and that he has been her Protector for centuries.

Now Lenzi must choose between her life with Zak and the life she is destined to lead with Alden. But time is running out: a malevolent spirit is out to destroy Lenzi, and he will kill her if she doesn't make a decision soon.


I debated with myself several times on whether or not to post a review for this book.  I didn't finish it, but I did make myself read to the halfway point.  Since it is classified as a Did Not Finish on my shelves, instead of a review I thought I would just share with you on why I couldn't finish it.

First character in the hot seat is Lenzi.  Can we get any weaker than this character?  Does she even still have a spine intact and a brain in her head?  I know this seems a little harsh but seriously, I thought she was one of the worst characters I have read about in a long time.  This character has mastered the art of whine and selfishness.  The only strength this girl had was mad and slightly OCD paper skills called origami.

Second character in the hot seat is Zak. Seriously? This is the type of character you want for a romance interest for a teen?  If this guy came within fifteen feet of my teen daughter I would snatch the shotgun from my husband and send him running for the hills praying I miss the bulls eye of his family jewels.  He is worse than the bad boy image that you are afraid to bring home to meet the parents. Why would someone be attracted to a boy who gets drunk and tries to seduce you while you are visiting your fathers grave? Oh and this was part of a birthday gift to Lenzi.  Sorry to tell you Zak, but that present is one you can handle yourself.  But no, Lenzi keeps kissing his butt and basically thinking he is a God among men. I am sorry but mentally abusive men who have a thing for belittling a woman while not being able to hold their liquor is not an attractive man to hold high on a pedestal.

So you would think the author, who decides a triangle might help save this story, would learn the lesson on abusive and emotionally battering men.  No.  She decides to bring in man number two named Alden, who just happens to be her Protector.  You hear the word Protector and you think he might just be the one for Lenzi.  Then the author ruins it by having him tell Lenzi that her fear and pain is a big turn on for him.  Um, hello? This borders on creepy and just plain sadistic.

At this point, I had to put the book down and just deal with the eye twitching I get when I don't finish a book.  I just couldn't stomach anymore of the characters and I can't even remember what the point of the plot was suppose to be.



I did not like this book at all!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Discussion Post: To blog or not to blog?

To blog or not to blog? 

That seems to be the question of late, and also one that has been eating away at my thoughts.  When I started this blog a few years ago,  I was worried about many things.  One of the main worries and questions I had was how much should I blog?  Should it be daily? A few times a day? A few times a week?

As my blog has grown and many of you have stuck with me throughout the few years I have been blogging, you may have noticed that my blogging has slowed down.  When I first started, my goal was to post reviews a few times a day.  It was not unusual to see that I posted 2 to 3 reviews a day since I read so many books.  I can usually finish two books a day with no problems.  Plus, I always try to stay ahead of the game by reading as much as I can over the weekend so I have a bunch of books to post about during the week.

While I still have a stack of books waiting to review on my desk,  I have slowed down in the posting process and become more sporadic in posting them.  Sometimes I will post one to three reviews a day, and other times I will not post anything for a day or two.

I finally realized that I don't want posting to be a chore.  I want to post when I can without worry.  I have lost a few blog followers for changing up my posting schedule, but I have accepted that this is my hobby and not a job.  I want to enjoy reading, friendships made through blogging, and have time for my family as well.  I know it is a given that I will lose even more followers for this, but I also made a choice in not caring about those numbers in the followers gadget.  I love hearing from each and everyone of you, but if you feel the need to unsubscribe from my blog just because I don't post every single time -- several times a day -- then I don't know what to say or do to stay.  I am hoping that my reviews that do post are enough of a reason to follow my blog, just as it is for other reviewers, but sometimes people have different tastes and change up who they follow daily.

I am in the process of trying to figure out a balanced medium and it is something I struggle with everyday.  Do I want to post like I did before? Yes.  But I also want to be able to venture out more into the realm of other bloggers and spend time chatting to you about books.  I also don't want to reach the point of 'blogging burn out' that others seem to reach.

So for today's discussion tell me how you feel about blogging? Do you see yourself as a daily blogger or as you feel like it? Do you worry about losing everything you have worked for while slowing the pace down?  What do you think would be an acceptable number of posts per day to keep you interested in reading a blog?

Monday, March 19, 2012

Where It Began by Ann Redisch Stampler

Where It Began
Author: Ann Redisch Stampler
Source: Amazon Vine
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Simon Pulse
 (March 6, 2012)
ISBN-13: 978-1442423213


Sometimes the end is just the beginning. 

Gabby lived under the radar until her makeover. Way under. But when she started her senior year as a blonder, better-dressed version of herself, she struck gold: Billy Nash believed she was a the flawless girl she was pretending to be. The next eight months with Billy were bliss...Until the night Gabby woke up on the ground next to the remains of his BMW without a single memory of how she got there. 

And Billy's nowhere to be found. 

All Gabby wants is to make everything perfect again. But getting her life back isn't difficult, it's impossible. Because nothing is the same, and Gabby's beginning to realize she's missed more than a few danger signs along the way. 

It's time for Gabby to face the truth, even if it means everything changes. 

Especially if it means everything changes.


I was so excited to get this book in advance from Amazon Vine.  It sounded interesting and I was in desperate need of a young adult book to bring back my passion for this genre.  Unfortunately, this book was not as great as I was hoping it would be.  I think I will be in the minority in saying that this book is not one that will live up to the hype, but this is only my opinion.

Gabby was not a character I enjoyed.  I was to the point of wanting to rip her from the pages of the book and slap some sense into her.  I just didn't like how the author portrayed her.  At times, she was annoying and a pain in the butt, but then there were times when you wanted to give her a hug and a shoulder to cry on.  While this could be an interesting combination for a character that would leave the reader interested in more, it left me frustrated and to the point of wanting to just put the book away.  I can understand the confusion that the character goes through, but her attitude was not one I wanted to read about.  You can tell that Billy is not someone to trust or want to be with, but naive Gabby doesn't seem to grasp this.  Even a brain injury couldn't excuse the behavior of wanting this boy.

This book starts out great, but quickly falls into the trap of predictability, boredom and characters with shallow intentions.  I felt that this book was a let down, but could have been better with further exploration of the characters and plot.



I did not like this book at all!

*I received this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review*


Yours to Keep by Shannon Stacey

Yours To Keep
Kowalski Family #3
Author: Shannon Stacey
Source: Personal Purchase
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Publisher: HQN Books
 (February 21, 2012)
ISBN-13: 978-0373776863


Emma Shaw needs a husband, and fast! Not because she's interested in romance—after all, she's too busy with her landscaping company—but because Grandma Shaw is coming to town, and she will have nonstop questions about Emma's (stagnant) love life. 

Sean Kowalski no sooner leaves the army than he's recruited by Emma to be her fake fiance. Sean doesn't like the deception, but he can't help his attraction to the feisty brunette. A little pretend kissing won't hurt anyone—especially when there's no chance he'll fall for a woman with deep roots in a town he's not planning to call home. But when fake, innocent kisses lead to very real, explosive sparks, Emma and Sean discover that their big ruse might just lead to happily-ever-after…


In the third book in the Kowalski family love drama, we get to meet Sean and Emma.  I am going to start off by saying that this is my favorite book in the series so far and I wish the author would send Sean to me for Christmas!  I wouldn't mind having him bundled up in a red bow -- with nothing else -- under my tree for a present!

When Emma is in need of a soon-to-be-husband, she thinks of the first person she thinks of and blurts out Sean Kowalski.  She finds herself in trouble though when her Grandmother decides to return for a visit from Florida to meet Emma's future husband.  Emma is in a panic and reaches out to Sean after his return from the army and proposes her scheme to him.  Sean is floored finally find himself fake engaged to a woman he has never met.  He agrees to the scheme since Emma seems to be doing it out of love her Grandmother and not greed.  What ensues from this crazy scheme is laughter, blunders, and slow building romance between Emma and Sean.

I don't think I laughed so much in this series until I started reading this book.  I loved the post-it notes that Sean leaves on the bathroom mirror for Emma to find when he needs to drop little secrets of himself to keep up the charade.  What this man goes through for Emma is so hilarious at times that I kept getting weird looks while reading it from my husband.  You can't help but feel sorry for Emma and Sean, but you can't seem to want to put the book down either.  I just had to know what would happen next no matter how crazy or sweet it was.

I also loved how previous characters in the series were included as well.  I enjoyed seeing how the characters have grown over the year and are still included in the family dynamics of this book. A great book in a great series that keeps getting better with each book! I need more Kowalski men!


She snorted and looked out her window. “Oh yes, Sean Kowalski. Your amazing kisses have made all rational thought fly out of my besotted brain. If only you could fill me with your magic penis, I know we’ll fall madly in love and live happily ever after.”
--Emma to Sean, page 135


Outstanding book that will stay on my bookshelf for rereading!


The Cowboy Takes A Bride by Lori Wilde

The Cowboy Takes A Bride
Author: Lori Wilde
Source: Publisher
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Avon
 (March 27, 2012)
ISBN-13: 978-0062047755


Ex-champion bull rider-turned-cutting-horse cowboy Joe Daniels isn't quite sure how he ended up sleeping in a horse trough wearing nothing but his Stetson and cowboy boots. But now he's wide-awake, and a citified woman is glaring down at him. His goal? Get rid of her ASAP. The obstacle? Fighting the attraction he feels toward the blond-haired filly with the big, vulnerable eyes. 

When out-of-work wedding planner Mariah Callahan learns that her estranged father has left her a rundown ranch in Jubilee, she has no choice but to accept it. Her goal? Redeem her career by planning local weddings. The obstacle? One emotionally wounded, hard-living cowboy who stirs her guilt, her heartstrings, and her long-burned cowgirl roots...


I am a huge fan of author Lori Wilde!  I love her romantic tales of love and small town charm.  In The Cowboy Takes A Bride we visit the small town of Jubilee.  Insert a sexy cowboy, a big city girl who has lost her way, and a deceased father who leaves her the ranch and you have the fixings for an angst filled romance full of fun.

When Mariah loses her job in the big city as an assistant to a big time wedding planner, she is at a loss of what to do next.  Her ex-boss is making sure that she can't get a job anywhere in the city and she has been selling her personal belongings just to make ends meet.  When her absentee Father passes away, Mariah is stunned to find out that he has left her the ranch he owned.  Mariah finds herself moving to Jubilee in hopes of selling the ranch for enough money to start over and begin building her own wedding planning business in the city.

When she arrives to the ranch, she meets sexy cutter cowboy Joe Daniels.  Joe lost his wife 2 years to the day of losing his best friend.  Mariah's father was Joe's best friend and business partner involving Miracle, the horse that was suppose to be the next prize winning Cutter Horse.  He wants to buy back the land that belonged to Mariah's father so he can fulfill his friends last wish of opening an Equine Center for disadvantaged children.  He doesn't have the cash on hand to buy it right away, but he offers a deal to Mariah.  If she will wait until the next show, he will use the winnings to buy the land.  The only problem is that the show isn't for another two months.  While she agrees to the offer, she starts to discover the need for a wedding planning business in a small town. She decides to build a business of her own in the country town focusing on cowboy weddings.

While I enjoyed the small town feel of the book, the side characters are what made this story enjoyable.  I loved the side story of Ila and Cordy.  Ila has loved Joe forever, but Cordy has been in love with Ila as well.  Insert a love triangle that intercepts the attempts of Mariah and Joe at connecting.  Joe was a great character as well, but I didn't feel he was suited for Mariah.  Mariah rubbed me the wrong way for some reason and I couldn't seem to connect with her character.  She seemed selfish and stubborn without giving an inch at times. She seemed cold about the death of her father -- even if she didn't really know him.

This doesn't happen to be one of my favorites by this author, but it is a sweet and western themed romance for readers to enjoy.


Okay book, but it left me wanting more!

*I received this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review*


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Undeniably Yours by Shannon Stacey

Undeniably Yours
Kowalski Family #2
Author: Shannon Stacey
Source: Personal Purchase
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Publisher: HQN Books
 (January 24, 2012)
ISBN-13: 978-0373776856


One-night stand + two percent condom failure rate = happily ever after?

Bar owner Kevin Kowalski is used to women throwing their phone numbers at him, but lately he's more interested in finding a woman to settle down with. A woman like Beth Hansen. If only their first meeting hadn't gone so badly...

Beth's tending bar at a wedding when she comes face-to-face with a tuxedo-clad man she never thought she'd see again. She tries to keep her distance from Kevin but, by last call, she can't say no to his too-blue eyes or the invitation back to his room. Then she slips out before breakfast without leaving a note and, despite their precautions, pregnant.

Kevin quickly warms to the idea of being a dad and to seeing where things go with Beth. After all, he's not the player she thinks he is. But she's not ready for a relationship and, given his reputation, it's going to take a lot to convince her to go on a second date with the father of her child...


In the second book in the Kowalski Family series, we get to read about Kevin and his journey to finding his happily ever after.  I admit that after reading the first book, I was so excited to read that Kevin's book was next!  I loved him in the first book and I secretly pined for him up until the end.  He was sexy, fun and a kid at heart.  What more could you ask for in a man?

After a one night escapade between Beth and Kevin after Joe's wedding, the two part ways after a misunderstanding.  They both keep thinking of the other though and when Beth finds out that the result of their one night is a pregnancy, she finds herself walking into Kevin's bar to break the news.  Kevin handles the news really well and even strikes up a bargain with Beth.  She can move into the apartment across the hall from him that way he can help her out when she needs it.  He also wants to help with the bills of the pregnancy and finds himself enjoying the soon to be fatherhood status.

Beth wants to keep their relationship as just friends who happen to be having a baby together.  While she denies the attraction between each other, the reader can definitely feel the chemistry between the two.  I did get a little frustrated with Beth because of this because Kevin was trying so hard to convince her that he loved her and the baby.  Beth kept trying to tell him how he felt but never really would accept his true feelings.

The book follows the pregnancy all the way until the end.  Kevin is a great father and really wants to be there for the both of them.  Beth is stubborn and keeps him at arms length up until the last chapter.  The epilogue was sweet and gives the happily ever after the reader expects.  I think this book surpassed the last one in the series, even with Beth getting on my nerves through several scenes and chapters. A great book that leaves the reader with a feel good feeling and craving more Kowalski family drama!


Very Good! I would recommend this book!


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Faith & Fidelity by Tere Michaels

Faith & Fidelity
Faith, Love, & Devotion #1
Author: Tere Michaels
Source: Personal Purchase
Genre: Adult M/M Romance
Publisher: Loose Id, LLC
 (January 22, 2009)
ISBN-13: 978-1596328365


New York City Vice Detective Evan Cerelli has lost his wife, the only person he ever loved and slept with. He's trying to get on with his life, build a life for his children. Former Homicide Detective Matt Haight is a ladies' man, all sex/no commitment. He's depressed, having a midlife crisis, and not sure where his life is headed. 

The two find friendship in the bottom of a shared bottle. When the friendship turns to love, it shakes two straight men to the core and flips their lives inside out. Kids, families, careers that are not gay-friendly -- can all the love in the world overcome the obstacles to faith and fidelity? 


Wow.  Not only has it been a long time since I have read a M/M romance book, but it has been a long time since I read one with so much emotional struggles that actually made the plot worth reading about.  Usually erotic M/M books are all about the smut --  which isn't really too bad when done right -- but they usually fall flat on the book having an actual story line.  With Faith & Fidelity, author Tere Michaels includes a perfect balance between smut heaven and deep feelings of what if.

Evan and Matt are both straight men going through a rough time in their lives.  Evan is still trying to deal with the guilt over his wife's death and raising four children.  Matt is getting older, lost his shield as a cop, and hating his job lately.  They both meet at a retirement party for a cop, and hit it off as friends needing someone to talk to.  Within a few weeks, the two start to realize they have growing feelings for each other that involve more than just friendship.  Together they try to come to terms with the growing attraction between them and the struggle with accepting that they might not be as straight as they thought.

What I loved the most about this book was the internal struggles that each character went through in learning to accept their sexual orientation.  They had justifiable reasons in being hesitant in continuing with the relationship.  Evan was worried about how his kids and former in-laws would react along with his co-workers.  Matt didn't really care as much about anyone else's thoughts on it except for how it would effect Evan and the children.

I also loved the scenes with the children.  They really craved the attention that was lacking from Evan.  When Matt was around, the children noticed that their father was happier and in need of a friend.  I also loved the side characters of Helena and Vic.  They were very supportive of the relationship between Evan and Matt after getting over the initial shock.  Evan's in-laws were overall a crappy bunch, but they did keep you thinking about how prejudice could keep a couple from exploring what could be.

I laughed, cried and felt like I was riding a roller coaster throughout this book.  The ending was bittersweet because it made me realize the book was done.  I wanted more and thank goodness this is part of series so I can read more.  A new author for me to add to my auto-buy list!


Outstanding book that will stay on my bookshelf for rereading!


Monday, March 12, 2012

Exclusively Yours by Shannon Stacey

Exclusively Yours
Kowalski Family #1
Author: Shannon Stacey
Source: Personal Purchase
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: HQN Books
 (December 20, 2011)
ISBN-13: 978-0373776788


When Keri Daniels' editor finds out she has previous carnal knowledge of reclusive bestselling author Joe Kowalski, she gives Keri a choice: get an interview or get a new job. 

Joe's never forgotten the first girl to break his heart, so he's intrigued to hear Keri's back in town--and looking for him. Despite his intense need for privacy, he'll grant Keri an interview if it means a chance to finish what they started in high school. 

He proposes an outrageous plan--for every day she survives with his family on their annual camping and four-wheeling trip, Keri can ask one question. Keri agrees; she's worked too hard to walk away from her career. 

But the chemistry between them is still as potent as the bug spray, Joe's sister is out to avenge his broken heart and Keri hasn't ridden an ATV since she was ten. Who knew a little blackmail, a whole lot of family and some sizzling romantic interludes could make Keri reconsider the old dream of Keri & Joe 2gether 4ever.


I have never read a book by author Shannon Stacey before but when I saw these on the shelves at the store, something about them made me want to buy them and dive into the romance. The back blurb sounded like it would be a fun read that would leave me with a feel good feeling by the last page.  So I came home and dove into the Kowalski family with nothing but hopes of sweet romance.  What I didn't expect was so much fun, humor and overall enjoyment I would have when reading it!

I will say first off that I was not a huge fan of Keri.  I thought the reason she left in the first place was weak and she came across as a high maintenance snob.  She had to have her facials, spa treatments, and perfectly manicured nails to go along with shopping sprees to make her feel better.  At first I thought maybe her boss would be a great friend of hers, but that wasn't the case by the end of the book.

Joe was a great character and I not only loved him in this book, but all of the other characters as well.  He was patient and lovable to the point of perfection at times.  While I don't think the cover image does him justice, his personality is what stood out to me in the story.  He obviously is still caring around feelings for Keri and loves pushing her to the limit with the teasing, but he also doesn't want to get hurt again.  When Keri left him after high school graduation, he went down a rocky path and is now a recovering alcoholic. He has made his life as a famous author but keeping his feet planted firmly on the ground while being surrounded by a family he loves.

When Keri comes looking for an exclusive interview with Joe for the company she is working for, she hopes it will give her career the push it needs to promotion.  He agrees to give her an interview but only on his terms which include attending the Kowalski Family Camping Trip.

I fell in love with this family and just couldn't wait to read more about them.  I have already ran out and purchased the remaining books in the series that are out right now.  The side stories made it even more enjoyable and kept the reader hooked for following books.  Seriously, the only thing not giving this book a 5 star rating is the fact that Keri was not my favorite character. A sweet and fun romance that had me laughing -- and at times crying -- in every chapter.


Keri snorted. " Dad only chased him to the end of the block.  Even a '78 Granada could outrun a middle-age fat guy with a five iron."
" I fail to see the humor in this."
"You didn't see my old man chasing taillights down the middle of the street in his bathrobe.  It wasn't very funny at the time, though."
---Keri and Tina, page 12

"Okay, it's like this..."
"Ha!  It may have been a long time, but I've heard that before.  Fairy tales start with once upon a time and Kowalski tales start with okay, it's like this."
---Joe and Keri, page 197


Very Good! I would recommend this book!


Thursday, March 8, 2012

Stranger by Megan Hart

Author: Megan Hart
Source: Personal Purchase
Genre: Adult Erotic Romance
Publisher: Spice
 (January 1, 2009)
ISBN-13: 978-0373605279


I pay strangers to sleep with me. I have my reasons... 

But they're not the ones you expect. For starters, I'm a funeral director taking over my dad's business. Not exactly the sort of person you'd expect to fork over cash for the lust and urgency only live, skin-to-skin contact can create. Looking at me, you wouldn't have a clue I carry this little secret so close it creases up like the folds of a fan. Tight. Personal. Ready to unravel in the heat of the moment. 

Unsurprisingly, my line of work brings me face to face with loss. So I decided long ago that paying for sex would be one of the best (and arousing) ways to save myself from the one thing that would eventually cut far too deep. 

But Sam was a mistake. Literally. I signed on to "pick up" a stranger at a bar, but took Sam home instead. And now that I've felt his heat, his sweat and everything else can I really go back to impersonal? 
Let's just hope he never finds out about my other life...


After reading Dirty by author Megan Hart, I was craving another gritty and dark erotica from her.  This author has a way of digging deep into a flawed character and bringing out a story of survival, sex, and romance.  Stranger fits perfectly into those categories mentioned, and keeps the reader craving even more.

Grace works in funeral home that has been in the family for years.  After her Father goes into retirement, she is the only family member willing to take on the task of running the funeral home.  Obviously, working in a funeral home is bad on the mind.  She doesn't like having to experience the emotions that go along with her business.  So instead of dealing with loss and such, she focus' her emotions into having sex with strangers.  Grace feels that if she has sex with strangers, emotional attachment won't be a problem and she won't have to face the death of a partner later in life.  She is detached and doesn't want to feel the loss of losing someone she loves.  So far this has always worked, but then she meets Sam at a bar.  She hooks up with him thinking he is one of the 'strangers' she pays for sex.  Of course, Sam isn't that person and has no clue that Grace lives this lifestyle.  After parting ways, Grace thinks that is the last time she will see Sam.

While I did enjoy the plot and story, I wasn't a huge fan of Grace.  I just couldn't connect with her like I did with the other characters.  I really did enjoy how the author brought back previous characters from Dirty, and enjoyed how they connected into the story line with Grace and Sam.  I did feel that Grace's Father was a little too nosy for his own good and needed to step back a few times.  He really needed to let Grace handle things herself and realize that she is a grown woman.  Sam was enjoyable but not present enough in the book to be fully captivating.  When he did appear on the pages, he stole the scene every time for me.  I just wish he would have been around a little more than what the author offered.

While I didn't think this book was as great as Dirty, I did find myself devouring it just as fast.  I needed to know how the book was going to play out and what would happen between Sam and Grace.


Very Good! I would recommend this book!