Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Deirdre Martin's WITH A TWIST

Deirdre Martin has a new book, WITH A TWIST, scheduled to release next week (May 4) - if you don't have this one already ordered or in your online cart, what are you waiting for? I've loved Deirdre Martin's work from the very beginning and was very pleased to have the opportunity to review WITH A TWIST on behalf of Romance Junkies.

He's a tall order. She's a hot dish.
But are they ready for the main course?

Natalie Bocuse dreams of managing a chic Manhattan restaurant. In the meantime she's waitressing at her sister's French bistro in Brooklyn.
Among the regulars is Quinn O'Brien, not only the best reporter in New York but the most handsome. He'll do anything for a story, even break hearts, though Natalie swears hers will stay untouched.
When Quinn offers Natalie a waitressing job at his parents' Irish Pub in Manhattan, she can't refuse. She'll be a step closer to her dream and temptingly close to Quinn. But then Quinn's new editor-in-chief steps through the pub's doors and wants to order what's on Natalie's menu. Now Quinn will do anything to stop the presses. Pursuing the greatest story of his life, his own love story, Quinn's going to need his luck of the Irish to win Natalie's heart—or else it's c'est la vie...

Click here for an exciting excerpt!
My (4 Blue Ribbon) Romance Junkies review:
She’s a beautiful French woman who dreams of managing an upscale restaurant in New York City. He’s the best reporter in New York City whose only dream has been scooping the next big story. Until, that is, he meets Natalie, after which the only story he wants to write involves Natalie, him, and happily ever after.
Natalie Bocuse loves her sister, Vivi, but rather than waiting tables in her sister’s quaint bistro, she dreams of managing a classy, chic Manhattan restaurant. When newspaper reporter Quinn O’Brien offers her a position waiting tables in his family’s Irish pub, it isn’t the position she envisions for herself, but it is in the city, so she’ll be one step closer. As Natalie gets to know (and love) Quinn, his family, and the quirky assortment of regulars at the pub, she soon realizes that class and sophistication come in all shapes and sizes and aren’t limited to upscale, pricey eateries.
Quinn has admired Natalie at her sister’s bistro and regularly eats there just to be near her, despite her snooty attitude and frequent insults. When he learns that she has moved to the city and is looking for a job, he is quick to recommend her for the waitress position at his parents’ pub. He tries to fit himself into Natalie’s mold of the perfect man, but he’s finding it an extremely uncomfortable fit. Quinn simply isn’t cut out for fancy, expensive restaurants and the opera, not to mention the pinch he’s feeling in his wallet. It isn’t long before the uptight Natalie has relaxed and is enjoying herself with their zany customers, and surprisingly, trying very hard to make a positive impression on his family.
Natalie and Quinn are excellently written as total opposites who are helpless against the attraction between them. As their relationship intensifies and becomes more serious, Natalie is very concerned. She has made serious adjustments in her attitude and expectations, and while she knows that Quinn cares deeply for her, she’s beginning to question whether she will ever come first before the next story. Add touches of intrigue and suspense, secondary characters whose own backgrounds and lives are a priceless complement to Natalie and Quinn’s story, and WITH A TWIST is a first-class contemporary romance; I give it a very high recommendation.
Hopefully you're good and tempted, so here's a quick link to Amazon so you can get your own copy of WITH A TWIST!
Thanks for checking it out!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

What was in your Easter basket?

The one way that my daughters are least like me is that they don't much of a sweet tooth. I don't have just one sweet tooth - I have an entire mouthful. When the holidays roll around that are celebrated with gifts of chocolates and sweets, like Valentine's Day and Easter, I give my girls a couple of sweet treats that they especially like, such as Cadbury eggs, Cadbury caramel eggs (my personal fave) and Peeps, and toss in some money - what's not to love about a little cash, right? This year they also each had a bag of Sweet Butter Cornbread croutons. They both devour these straight from the bag for a snack, so I figured why not give them each a bag in their Easter baskets? They were thrilled - and I got major points for creativity!

What did your Easter basket hold this year?

A striking cover

I don't typically read more than a handful of historicals each year, but this is one that I would buy simply because the cover is so gorgeous! I'm not familiar with Elizabeth Boyle, but I'm thinking she is probably pretty happy with this cover.
Have you picked up a book for a closer look because of a great cover? Or maybe you've bought one just because you liked the cover?
Come on and share - what cover has caught your eye recently?
I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Incredibly, I didn't hear from either of Alison's winners, so everyone was put in for a second draw, including Maureen, the winner of JINGLE BELL ROCK (who discovered that she already has a copy and has asked that I pass it on to someone else). Very nice, Maureen! New winners of Alison's NO LIMITS are: Christa and Housemouse. The new winner of JINGLE BELL ROCK IS: Virginia. Please contact me at with your mailing info by Saturday.
And speaking of Alison Kent, check this out - way cool!
Thanks, everyone!

Monday, April 13, 2009

HARD AND FAST, coming soon from Erin McCarthy!

Erin McCarthy, one of the sweetest women you'll ever meet, was generous enough to send me an arc of HARD AND FAST, the second (following FLAT-OUT SEXY) in her racing series. Erin was also kind enough to send me a copy of FLAT-OUT SEXY as well because I hadn’t read it yet. I did a very quick read of FLAT-OUT SEXY because I’m close to being behind on reviews right now and running very close to the release of HARD AND FAST (May '09).
FLAT-OUT SEXY is just that, a steamy, sexy read that tells the story of Prof. Tamara Briggs-Monroe and stock car driver Elec Monroe. Their story is incredibly romantic and happily for readers, they play an important role in HARD AND FAST. Catching up with them was especially fun! One thing is certain – I’ll be rereading both of these books at a more leisurely pace in the very near future!
I guess I would be remiss to not mention the gorgeous covers, right? The only thing missing, quite literally, is their heads. Now I'm sure these guys aren't homely (and with bodies like this, who cares if they are, right?), but I'm a smidge courious as to why they took off their heads. Personally, I think it adds a touch of mystique - what do you guys think?

An experiment in romance…
New to Charlotte, stock car racing country, graduate student Imogen Wilson meets Ty McCordle, a driver who inexplicably has her pulse racing. After an encounter at the track with a woman whose main goal in life is to marry a driver, Imogen realizes she’s hit on the perfect thesis for her Sociology degree. If she follows The Rules on how to get a man, can she steer her way to into the hearts of the drivers and establish their dating—and mating—patterns?
That’s testing the limits of passion.
Although sexy and reckless Ty is the ideal test subject, she knows she can’t pursue him for the sake of science. Yet he’s the one who’s chasing after her, and Imogen realizes that she actually wants to be caught. A southern gentleman like Ty won’t fail to disappoint, will satisfy all her curiosity—and make all the risks worthwhile…

Want a bigger taste? Go here for a great excerpt!
My review:
HARD AND FAST is the story of grad student Imogen Wilson and stock car driver Ty McCordle. While the two are total opposites, there is an instant attraction between them. Imogen accepts an invitation from her friend Tamara to go to a stock car race and ends up sitting next to a race bunny who’s reading a book detailing how to snag and marry a race car driver. Imogen immediately knows that she has a topic for her thesis. She has had eyes for Ty McCordle for some time, but his dating said race bunny puts a damper on any hopes she has for attempting to check the courting rituals of drivers for herself. Before she knows it, Ty is available and undeniably interested in Imogen, but when he insists on a two-week “get to know you” courtship before taking their relationship to the next level, she is equally surprised and frustrated. When their relationship intensifies and Ty decides to share a huge secret with Imogen i.e. his dyslexia, she isn’t turned off and doesn’t find him pathetic or lacking as he had feared. Even so, her reaction isn’t at all what Ty expects and after he makes some ugly accusations, he finds himself once again available.
Ty has battled dyslexia his entire life and while charm and an excellent memory have served him well, he’s more than a little intimidated by Imogen’s superior intelligence. When he discovers her thesis research, he quickly decides that he doesn’t want her researching with anyone but him. As the two give in to their intense attraction and their relationship quickly turns serious, Ty knows that he’s going to have to tell Imogen the truth about his dyslexia. While she is surprised, she isn’t disgusted as he expects, but he’s the one who reacts without thinking and Imogen’s euphoria is quickly extinguished by Ty’s accusations.
Imogen and Ty aren’t your typical romance characters. Imogen might be bookish and totally lacks the artifice of many of the women who attract stock car drivers, but that is a rather minuscule part of her charm. She is a very sexual woman who knows what she wants and is unashamed in going after it. Ty may be smooth, but underneath the self-assured bravado he’s vulnerable and especially uncertain of his future with Imogen. While the sensuality between them is abundant and intensely heated, they have real, heartfelt conversations and truly care for and respect each other. Imogen puts me in mind of Dr. Temperance Brennan on the television show “Bones” – brainy and beautiful, always speaking her mind, unable (and unwilling, besides) to hide her intelligence while remaining absolutely adorable. Erin McCarthy has once again given readers a beautiful love story that fits in its very own mold. I give this book (and this series) my highest recommendation!

Making it easy for you here - head on over to Barnes & Noble or Amazon if you'd like to pre-order a copy.
Thank you all for checking out HARD AND FAST. Special thanks to Erin for allowing me to read and review this one for you - I loved Imogen and Ty!
Have a great week!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Happy Easter!

I'm totally equally opportunity when it comes to Easter candy - I love it all! I used to turn my nose up at Peeps as a kid, preferring malted milk eggs that left your lips chalky white, but I've come to love them. There's something about the crunch of the sugar when you bite them, or the wonderful way they soften and melt when you hold them on your tongue.
When I was a little girl, I used to get a new Easter dress every year, complete with patent leather shoes, white gloves, and sometimes a bonnet or purse, although I usually took my offering money tied in a hankey. After Easter, those special clothes were worn to Sunday School, church or for special occasions. Do any of you remember when girls wore white gloves to church or special occasions like weddings or funerals? But never to school - I wasn't allowed to wear my Sunday best to school, which made me sad because I always liked to dress up! come to think of it, I've always been a clothes horse. I was in the sixth grade before girls were allowed to wear slacks to school in our school system - and I think my mother made me wait another year before she would let me wear them! Different times, for sure!
Anyone else have any special or fun Easter memories?
I hope you all have a blessed holiday with loved ones, be they family or friends.

Thursday, April 09, 2009


The two winners of NO LIMITS from Alison are Millim and Katayoun! The winner of JINGLE BELL ROCK is Maureen! Congrats, ladies! Because many people are on spring break or out of town for the holiday, I'll give the winners until Tuesday to contact me (at with your mailing info. Millim and Katayoun, your info will then be forwarded to Alison and your books will come directly from her.
Thanks to everyone who commented - I loved reading your "most romantic" titles!
Special thanks to Alison for so her generosity! If you weren't a winner, I hope you'll go to Amazon and throw a copy in your cart!


I'm not much of a sports fan, but I do love me some Blue Jackets hockey! For the first time in franchise history (9 yrs.), the Jackets have made it into the Stanley Cup playoffs. Granted, there are a lot of other teams that have had a stronger season, hell, LOTS of stronger seasons, but we're still incredibly excited for "our" guys to have made it this far! No fairweather fans here - we've cheered loud and proud for years, mostly from home, but at Nationwide Arena as often as we can. Linny and I went to last Sunday's game and sadly they went down in overtime. Kelsey and I are going this Saturday, which is the last game of the regular seaon. Now that they've made it to the playoffs, the crowd will be electric, guaranteeing a great time! This will be my fifth game of the season, so my jersey's getting a workout! And no, I don't take the foam finger to games!
Any other hockey fans out there?

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

I'm today's columnist at Romancing the Blog! I hope you'll stop by and share your thoughts!

Monday, April 06, 2009

To warm you

You all know I don't typically post pictures like this but hey, it's cold and snowing here, and as my daughter would say, he *is* pretty, isn't he? Stay warm!

Thursday, April 02, 2009

NO LIMITS, coming soon from Alison Kent - there are books up for grabs!

The luckiest girl in the world. That’s me. At least that’s how I felt to get an arc of NO LIMITS from Alison Kent. I couldn’t wait to start it, didn’t want to put it down once I had started, and I certainly didn’t want it to end. I read when I should have been getting ready for work in the morning, I read after my lunch hour had ended, and I read when I should have been asleep. 6 a.m. rolls around especially early when you're reading until 1 a.m.! NO LIMITS will be available for purchase around the third week of April - I strongly recommend that you preorder your copy now.
Alison simply cannot write fast enough to suit me - raise your hand if you feel the same! You’ve witnessed my gushing about how much I love Alison’s work on several occasions, so for now I’ll just say that NO LIMITS kicks some serious ass. Fair warning, I reserve the right to gush in my review below!

The Heat is On . . .
Simon Baptiste’s latest SG-5 mission just went south in a major way. With his career on ice for awhile, it seems like a good time to take care of some business back home in Louisiana. Simon knows it ain’t going to be pretty. He’s got some old enemies in Bayou Allain who won’t exactly roll out the red carpet. But Simon’s first night back is more than he bargained for. Not only has the homestead gone to hell in a hand basket, but there’s a half-naked woman hiding inside it—a woman whose face Simon knows all too well. It’s Michelina Ferrer, the sultry spokesmodel for her family’s Ferrer fragrance empire—and Simon’s been staring at her picture on a billboard outside his Manhattan apartment for weeks…
And It’s Only Getting Hotter . . .
Micky Ferrer came down to Bayou Allain looking for her old college friend, only to discover that Lisa Landry has been missing for days. As soon as Micky starts asking questions around town, someone runs her car off the road. She’s hiding out in the old Baptiste place when Simon shows up—and he’s the hottest thing she’s laid eyes on since she got to town. Simon agrees that something strange is going on and that Lisa’s disappearance may be tied to it. As he and Micky search for answers, the sweltering heat makes it hard to keep their heads straight or their hands off each other…even as they unravel the small-town secrets that some people are willing to kill for…

Be sure to check out the great excerpt on Alison's site.
My review:
Simon Baptiste needs to take a break from his SG-5 duties and reluctantly decides that this would be a good time to go to Louisiana to check on his property in Bayou Allain. The same homestead that he abandoned to the care of a property manager several years ago. Leaving Manhattan and the billboard facing his apartment that stunningly advertises Ferrer fragrances for a while should go far in clearing his mind of the recent mission that had gone terribly wrong. Imagine Simon's shock when he walks into his house to find a beautiful woman wearing nothing but wading boots and a sheer bra, rinsing her clothes in his kitchen sink. Especially when the woman turns out to be Michelina "Micky" Ferrer, the model he has secretly admired since the billboard went up across from his apartment. His surprise is nothing compared to the shock on her face though, and he immediately senses her terror. Learning the reason behind her unexpected visit to Bayou Allain, and the people behind the reason, he realizes that she has good reason to be frightened.
When Micky Ferrer wakes up in her Manhattan bedroom after yet another night of hard partying and questionable behavior, she decides to leave town for a while to escape the disappointment, albeit justified, of her famous family. Her long-time friend, Lisa, has repeatedly invited her to visit her home in Bayou Allain, and having recently hinted at something troubling her, Micky decides to head to Louisiana to escape the tabloids and her family. Upon her arrival in the small bayou town, Micky is unable to locate Lisa and begins asking questions. Evidently she is asking the wrong questions of the wrong people because she soon finds herself forced off the road and barely escapes her rental car as it sinks into the murky waters of the swamp. Joining forces with Simon Baptiste seems a guaranty of her physical safety as they search for clues in Lisa's disappearance, but as the two begin to dig into the history of Simon's land and the tainted descent of Lisa's in-laws, connected secrets are brought to light and soon they're both faced with danger.
Alison Kent never delivers a book that's anything less than brilliant. Her characters are always uniquely sharp, dialogue is snappy, and readers are guaranteed an emotionally rich story with precise layering. Simon is a familiar character from previous SG-5 books, and Alison's telling of his story is definitely worth the wait. Micky is initially reminiscent of a real-life heiress whose risque exploits make her a paparazzi favorite, but it doesn't take long to realize that she is sharply intelligent, fiercely loyal, and the perfect match for Simon. I couldn't give this book a stronger recommendation, especially for readers who have read the previous releases in this series.
I'm hoping that by now you're anxious to get your hands on a copy of NO LIMITS. If so, why not pop on over to Amazon and toss a copy in your cart - and I'll bet you have at least one friend who would love to be surprised with a copy in a May Day basket!
THE CONTEST: Alison is generously offering two copies of NO LIMITS, and would like to see a little chatter from all of you about the most romantic book you've read recently. Feel free to include the most romantic book you've "ever" read. I have a copy of the JINGLE BELL ROCK anthology in trade format for giveaway too - Alison's contribution is titled A BLUE CHRISTMAS. This book isn't autographed, but it is brand spanking new and hey, if you only like holiday tales around the winter holidays, then put it up until fall/winter! If you want in on the draw, simply leave a comment - I'll draw the winning names on Thursday, April 9th. Remember to check back as I won't track you down! Good luck!
Thanks for checking it out!

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

It's Marvelous, Fabulous, and Splendiferous!

Check this out - it's a romance reader's dream come true! Then scan down one more post to my review of Alison's NO LIMITS - there's a contest - not as super as this one, but hey, a free book is a free book, right? Good luck!