Tuesday, October 29, 2013


I love it when I receive a review book that I pre-ordered...it means I get to read it before everyone else. *evil laugh*

Julia Quinn's Bridgertons left its mark on the romance world much like the Brady Bunch left its mark on the TV world--there are things we say because of the Bridgertons. There are games we play (crochet) just for the joy of "pulling a Bridgerton". And one of those marks is the Smythe-Smith Musical, held every year for the torture of everyone who attends, but most especially those who have to play in it. Oh, if there was just a way to get out of it!

There is. You get married.

And Lady Sarah Pleinsworth is determined to get married this year come hell or highwater. Too bad she has to spend the next couple weeks, doing the HUGE favor Honoria Smythe-Smith asked of her, keep Lord Hugh Prentice company. The rat bastard.

If it wasn't for Hugh, she could have gotten married three years ago, when FOURTEEN engagements took place that season. FOURTEEN. It was unprecedented. It's not been repeated. Did she mention this is her third season? And that it's Lord Hugh Prentice's fault she missed out on that particular season? (I'm sure Hugh would have been more understanding of his fault in this if Sarah had explained it in deerhunting terms.)

For the first half of this book--for reasons I can understand as a writer--I did not much care for Sarah OR Hugh. Though perhaps more especially I didn't like Sarah, but really, they were both pretty damned intolerable and for a while I thought Ms. Quinn might have written a bit of stinker, but like the magical writer she is and can be, around page 190, something miraculous happened and I started falling in love with this couple as they began to stop biting each other's head off and started trying to understand each other.

So that's probably my biggest suggestion--stick it out, it gets really emotional and really sigh-worthy. Things start to make sense. And then you get to meet Hugh's dad, who is the real asshat of this book, and you get a black moment that makes you want to reach in the book and choke the man yourself.

Feel assured this is a good pick to treat yourself to. Recommend! 4 out of 5 stars for me. :) I do love these musical books!

What are you reading?

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


As always, Terri is saving my hiney again.

I read a book I was going to review, but the book took like two weeks to read and I was really quite irked by several things. I realized there was no way I could review the book...because you know, it probably wasn't the book, it was probably me. So basically Monday night I was all: I got nothing.

Then I remembered: today is Terri's release day for UP TO THE CHALLENGE, which, while I haven't read the last finished version, I do know it's awesome and well worth buying...so voila! I have a review! Thank you, Terri!

What are you reading this week?

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Tuesday Review: TRUE SPIES

This time I know this book is a follow up to LORD AND LADY SPY, by Shana Galen, unlike the time where I blogged about the awesome spy book...and it was by another author. Yeah.

Nope, this time, right author, right series, and awesome--just bloody awesome. Go seek it out--it's action-packed, comical, and oh so romantic! TRUE SPIES was truly worth the wait.

If you saw the movie TRUE LIES with Jamie Lee Curtis, you've got the premise for this book. Just as LORD AND LADY SPY was essentially the premise from MR. & MRS. SMITH, but better--this sequel lives up to its predecessor. It's hilarious. I'd be reading, something would happen, I'd laugh hysterically until I was nearly crying, and...REPEAT. Best of all, we got to visit with beloved characters from the other book...and we met new characters that had me dying to get my hands on the next book. I so, so hope there will be a third.


He's Getting Tired of Deception...
Baron Winslow Keating is honor-bound to finish one last mission as an elite spy for the Barbican group even though he just wants to go home and be with his family. But after years of secrecy and absence, his daughters hardly know him and his wife has given up on him...

She Wants to Try a Little Intrigue...
Lady Elinor has had enough of domestic boredom. She contemplates an affair with a rakish spy, only to discover a world of intrigue and treachery that she never knew existed. Even more shocking, her neglectful husband is suddenly very attentive—quite the jealous type—and apparently there is much more to him than she ever knew...

I loved Elinor's character--she's loved her husband ever since she met him, but she is so tired of being ignored by him. She decides to embark on an affair with a SPY--but suddenly her husband, who hasn't noticed the first thing about her in years, is doing everything he can to win her back. But she won't fall in love with him again just to have him go back to ignoring her. Nor will she put up with his antics at winning their children's affection again only to disappear, which he's excellent at.

Winn is done with the spy business. He's got Danny Glover's philosophy--he's getting too old for this shit. He wants his family back--except now it appears his wife is more than ready to move on. On top of it, suddenly she has started wearing revealing dresses and flirting with other men--young pups at that! He needs to finish this last assignment and get his wife back before its too late.

What I really enjoyed about this story was just how broken their marriage was. They clearly still cared for each other but it really felt as if their happily ever after was never a foregone conclusion. And not because one or the other's lives was in danger, but their marriage--you really wondered about their marriage and how they were going to find each other again. It was so romantic to watch them fall in love again. *happy sigh*

I read this book in one Sunday afternoon--because I couldn't put it down and I could barely bring myself to do laundry because, well, I needed to read this book. I think you need to read this book too.

That's my recommendation. What are you reading this week?

Tuesday, October 8, 2013


I know that movie GRAVITY came out over the weekend or so, but there's no way I want to watch it. Not even with a group of friends beside me going, "It's just a movie!" I'm not a fan of flying in general; and the thought of going into outer space holds even less appeal.

But the women of the 1950s and 1960s does appeal to me. They're the precursors of the second wave of women's lib, and I just find women in this time period thriving and surviving utterly fascinating. All my understanding of women at this time is that they were all wonderful cooks, perfect mothers, and the hostess with the mostess. Apparently this is the myth the culture worked so hard to create.

THE ASTRONAUTS WIVES CLUB is a memoir of sorts (written by an outsider, who did research on these women, because oddly enough: no one had written about them before) of the wives of the first astronauts. The Mercury 7, then the ones who followed for the Gemini and Apollo missions. (I believe they're referred to as the 7, 14, and 19, in the book, but some of the astronauts seem to overlap and I never quite figured that part out. It would have been nice to have a few pages where it listed everyone so I knew the "cast" better.)

So imagine you're a woman in this era, married to a test pilot, and he gets recommended for a project of taking man to the moon. You're a good wife--it scares you to death, obviously, but if your husband really wants to do this, you'll support him. As soon as you agree to this, you basically enter a realm of a precursor to the show Big Brother, where media is filming you all the time, watching your every move. But unlike Big Brother, where you are encouraged to be yourself and let it all hang out for the sake of the experiment, you know you have to put up a stoic front at all times, never let them catch you unawares, and if the worse should happen, respond with, "He died doing what he loved." Oh, and while you're playing this role, you're also basically raising your kids as a single mom; and if you're truly blessed, your husband loves to cat around and NASA doesn't care so long as you never meet the cookie on the side. Good times.

On the upside, you have a group of women all in the same boat as you. You meet, you have coffee, you talk, but because of this role you need to play to make sure your husband gets to go to space (after all, only marriages that were solid allowed the men the "prime" spots), you didn't get to talk about what really matters: my husband is cheating, my husband may die, or anything of significance. You do get to laugh a bit at the whole "NASA expects me to cook my husband a hearty breakfast each morning of steak and eggs"--because ironically several of these women weren't really good cooks. Or so the book seems to imply. At least cooking was not the skill these men married them for.

And what happens in the end, when you've given the best performance of your life, loved these men to the best of your ability--and his ability to let you, they divorce you. The fake it until you make it does not work here; and many of these marriages burned out. Of course, what was great was reading how these women were even preparing for that disaster and made new lives and careers for themselves, always thriving and surviving next to their glamorous, exciting astronaut husbands, whom they were admonished NOT to steal the spotlight from.

But in this book, the spotlight is all on them--and I applaud them. What great, courageous, wonderful, loving women--and in several of the astronauts' cases, what wonderful husbands as well. I loved reading and getting to know all of them; and I can only hope this book reaches even more readers and shares the histories and hopes and fears and successes of these women with the world.

I agree with some of the reviews it got a little confusing after you got to know the Mercury 7 wives; however, I was able to press on and keep most of it straight--and what I couldn't figure out, Google helped. I recommend with enthusiasm.

What are you reading?