Waking Up Married by Mira Lyn Kelly

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waking up married Photobucket Blurb:

Her first thought: “Who are you?”

It’s the morning after her cousin’s bachelorette party in Vegas and Megan Scott wakes up with the mother of all hangovers. Even worse, she’s in a stranger’s penthouse having woken up with something else as well—a funny, arrogant, sexy…husband!

Up until now, finding even a boyfriend had seemed impossible—been there, got the broken heart, sworn off men for good. Then a few martinis with Carter…no, Connor Reed and she’s gone from first meet to marriage in one night!

Megan wants a lawyer. But Connor’s shocking bombshell?

“I don’t want a divorce.”

This should have been a 4-5 star read but there were a few draggy moments in the middle that pulled the rating down.

For the most part…this is a rather cute story about finding the love of your life when you aren’t looking for it. The H/h meet in Vegas and wake up married…but that’s just the beginning.

Both characters have major hangups left over from childhood that has made forming permanent romantic relationships difficult (if not impossible). Watching them learn to trust and enjoy each other was a delight.

What started to feel flat for me was the constant effort by the heroine to “show her worst moments” so that she could run the hero off. It happened…two times to many for my personal enjoyment.

The other thing that pissed me off was the final Big Misunderstanding. (Spoiler, go to page two to see.) There were enough moments of foreshadowing for the reader to guess what the Big Mis was going to be. What surprised me was the execution of the Big Mis. I…just wasn’t feeling it.

So, the Big Mis. was a big FAIL for me.

But DAMN I loved the ending! HAWT and romantic! Plus I love the fact that her back biting cousin and friends saw that gorgeous man in love with Megan.

IF YOU CLICK THIS LINK TO PAGE 2 A BIG ASS SPOILER/RANT WILL FOLLOW. DO NOT READ THIS. ALSO, VULGAR LANGUAGE

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Willams Sonoma Soup of the Day by Kate McMillan

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soup of the day Photobucket A colorful, calendar-style cookbook, Soup of the Day presents 365 recipes—and daily culinary inspiration— for soups and stews to match any season, occasion, or mood. Lavish photographs and a colorful graphic design add visual appeal to these fresh and fabulous recipes celebrating a favorite dish.ENDLESSLY VERSATILE, soup is perfect for any season and every occasion. What better way to capture the essence of spring than by simmering freshly shelled peas and fava beans in a fragrant broth accented by bracing mint and refreshing lemon zest? In summer, a cool gazpacho made by whirling perfectly ripe tomatoes, juicy cucumbers, and vibrant red peppers is fitting for a hot and humid day—no pot necessary! When the air turns brisk, soup nourishes and satisfies like no other dish. In autumn, white beans mingle with sturdy greens in satisfying, peasant-style pots, and starchy squashes and root vegetables blend into silky purées. Winter brings even more soul-warming fare, such as chilis and stews featuring sausages and other hearty meats and thick vegetable soups scented with woodsy herbs.

I have to admit to a weakness for soups.

A major weakness.

A weakness so strong that I started eating pork again (after a 10+ year hiatus) so I could get a tomato based crab soup mixed with a cream based crab soup.

Yeah. It’s like that.

This book drew me like a moth to a flame, lol!

There is only a HB version available for purchase…but I’m currently reading the ebook for review purposes. My God! These color photos makes me want to drool…and buy the hardback.

Also, I’d like to point out that it is currently Winter. I’m so not feeling the spring/summer soups right now.

I’ve completed several soups from this book. The instructions are clear, concise and easy to follow. The color photos are beautiful (and mouthwatering). The soups that I have made have been tasty and filling.

The problem that I had with this book is that – like Williams Sonoma, itself – it is not everyday accessible. A lot of the spices used are expensive and hard to locate. These are not soups that you can throw together using what’s in your (well stocked) pantry. Most of these soups will require a bit of prior planning. A lot of the soups are exotic to the “regular” palate, as well. I can’t see making a lot of these soups for children or a family weeknight dinner. A lot of these soups are more like “special occasion” soups – like using one of the (four) pumpkin soup recipes for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner.
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Review: Cold Days by Jim Butcher

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I honestly didn’t think anything would be able to top Changes. It was just so emotional and… Full of change (yep, I went there). But damn. Just damn. Cold Days didn’t just top it for me, it blew it out of the park.

All of those little things in the previous books that didn’t make sense? The things I just kind of went with assuming I had missed something? Those questions are all starting to be answered, and on a totally epic scale. I feel like this entry in the series just took Dresden from and bunch of semi-related stand alone Urban Fantasy novels to one huge Epic Urban Fantasy tapestry. Yeah, tapestry, I know. I squeezed reading this into a Wheel of Time re-read, deal with it.

I love Butcher’s sense of humor. I love how I can go from tense and on the edge of my seat, to laughing out loud, and then to getting a little misty eyed all in one page. I love that he teases my stupid squishy romantic side a little, without the story turning into a another lame paranormal romance (sorry PNR fans, it’s just not my thing). I just plain love this series.

What else can I say? If you’re considering picking this book up, I’m hoping you’ve read the other thirteen books in the series first. And if you’ve read all thirteen, I’m guessing you’re enough of a fan to want to continue. And if you’re a fan, you won’t be disappointed.

No doubt about it, five stars. Hell, make it six for that matter. Loved it!

Damn it… Now I have to wait a whole year to find out what happens next.

Review: Angel’s Ink by Jocelynn Drake

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So here’s the thing.

I’m a Dresdenite. I love me some Dresden Files. It was my first real taste of Urban Fantasy and it is the reason I read so many others in the genre in hopes of finding something just as good. It’s lead me to some good series and to some really, really bad ones as well. Every other UF I’ve read gets measured against the entirety of the Dresden Files, which is probably unfair but pfft, nothing says I have to be fair.

So how does this book compare?

Well, not badly really.

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Shadow Blade by Seressia Glass

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I heard about this series and author via a recommendation at Dear Author. We were discussing the way [some] authors and [most] publishers are really screwing with the sub-genre “Urban Fantasy.” Urban Fantasy started as basically Sword & Sorcery but in a modern format and urban location. Somehow someway…Urban Fantasy became Romances with angry, sword wielding women who dressed in strings and had sex with paranormal creatures. Thank goodness someone in the comments section pointed me to this book.

This book…isn’t like that. I mean, it’s still an Urban Fantasy so it stays pretty close to the trope…but there is no emphasis on sex. The moment the heroine made a stupid decision…something bad happened to her. And there are POC characters!! Wow!

One of my favorite scenes in the book? When Khefar (hero) and Kira (heroine) are kissing and they stop. Because they have more important things to do…like planning for and killing the evil bad guy. 😀 There is no sex in this book.

This being an Urban Fantasy, Kira is the strongest Shadowchaser in quite a while. Kira is a bit of loner but it’s not because she’s angry with the world. She is gifted (or as she considers it, cursed) with a power that does not allow her to touch people in any way with her bare skin. If she touched them she would severely hurt them and possibly kill them. That puts a damper on interpersonal relationships, I’d say. She does have some really good “normal” friends but only a few – those she can trust. There is a relationship brewing in this book but it is not the focus of the story. Kira is fascinated with Khefar…but a huge portion of that comes from the fact the he is the only human she can touch.

Another thing I really liked about the book was its ethnicity and different focus. Kira is African American and Khefar is Nubian. Both Kira and Khefer worship Egyptian deities (Kira worships Ma’at and Khefar worships Isis). Egyptology is a large focus of this book (and I’m assuming the series). I haven’t ran across many (if all) fantasy books with this focus so kudos to the author!

While Kira is presented as very powerful, she is faced with a villain she cannot fight alone. She has to grow and learn teamwork during the course of the book. I appreciated the fact that Kira was shown as fallible and I hope that she will be forced into additional growth during the series. I do have a small concern: will she become too powerful? That becomes boring.

There is some info dumping at the beginning of the novel. Some of the terms are not really explained and the author leaves the reader to figure it out via context clues.

All in all, this is a fun book with great characters and a fresh background. I’m glad I ran across this author and I will be continuing this series.

How Beauty Met the Beast by Jax Garren

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This is a hard book to review.

It’s a retelling of Beauty and the Beast. I’m thinking that it is closer to the original than the Disney version.

How Beauty Met the Beast.

In this retelling Beauty is Jolie Benoit. Jolie is a burlesque dancer and the youngest daughter of a media mogul (ex: Rupert Murdoch). The Beast is Wesley “Hauk” Haukon, a severally burned and scarred ex-Army Ranger.

The story starts with Hauk and a friend being chased by some bad guys – part of a group that is run by Jolie’s father. In order to escape they drop by a (I hate to call it a strip club…) burlesque club that is run by a friend. Performing at this club is Jolie. Hauk gets a chance to see her perform and he is entranced.

After Jolie’s performance he goes to the back of the club to catch up with his friends when he runs into Jolie backstage. Jolie is changing clothes behind a white sheet. Hauk walks up to the sheet and they strike up a very short conversation that culminates in Hauk performing oral sex on Jolie through the sheet. They never actually touch or look at each other but Hauk brings Jolie to orgasm.

Afterwards Jolie is almost kidnapped and raped. Hauk saves her but she doesn’t realize that he is the same guy who ate her out via a sheet. The next day Hauk and Jolie find out her 12 y/o cousin Whitney was kidnapped at the same time. Hauk abandons his position in the Underlight for a time to assist Jolie in locating and rescuing her young cousin. It is assumed that Jolie’s attempted kidnapping (and attempted rape) and her cousin’s completed kidnapping is done to force her father in to publishing (via both TV news and Newspaper) some false story that would change the possible outcome of a major political event. The best example I can give is to imagine Rupert Murdock’s young granddaughter is kidnapped in order to have Rupert Murdock publish false information to influence the US Presidential election.

I really liked this book…but I also disliked it as well. I loved Hauk – he has been through so much and has so little. He’s such a great guy. I also liked quite a lot about Jolie. I loved that she had a gluten allergy and I loved that she was a burlesque dancer. She seemed to make her mind up quickly and didn’t come across as a helpless damsel in distress. I also loved the fact that she seemed to own her sexuality. She made no excuses for it and I ♥ that.
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Review: Under the Dome by Stephen King

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Hot damn this was good. Long? Yes. Clocking in at over 1,000 pages it was really, really long. But despite that, it didn’t feel long. I really enjoyed reading it, all the way through.

Enjoyed.. I’m actually surprised I can call what I got from this enjoyment. It was sad.. And depressing.. Hopeless at times. Not to mention the fact that I have issues with claustrophobia. Reading a book about people stuck in a dome? Oh. My. God. So anxious. Seriously, I feel anxious right now just thinking about having read it. But! Despite all of that, I still wanted to be reading it, still kept picking it up and turning the pages and wondering what was going to happen next.

This probably ranks up there at the top of my King favorites list. Granted, I still haven’t read that much by him, but I have a feeling this will stay towards the top. Part of it was timing. I read this in October, for Halloween and such, and had no idea when I started that the book was also set during Halloween. Part of it was the concept.. It’s fascinating. What would happen in something like this happened for real? How long would it take people to panic? And part of it was just that Eau de King. That special something that King has.. His amazing story telling ability.. The way he has of making characters come alive and jump off the page.. King just pain rocks.

4.5 stars. Loved it. Highly recommended!