Author: Casee

With All My Heart by Jo Goodman

Posted December 29, 2007 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

Book description:

Grey Janeway had no past, at least one he could remember. But in the new West, a man’s past didn’t matter. What he made of himself did. And in the glittering gold -rush city of San Francisco, Grey was on his way to building his empire as the owner of a prosperous gaming house and hotel. When he encountered the spellbinding psychic whose eyes – and dazzling beauty – penetrated his soul, he knew he’d just struck gold. For while her special talent could draw more crowds to his hall, her tenderness helped fill another void. But as Grey was about to learn, everything had a price, including love.

Berkeley Shaw had the gift of second sight. Hired by Colin and Decker Thorne to find their missing brother, Berkeley left Boston and headed West – only to arrive in a city without mercy, where her abilities made her vulnerable to other people’s greed. But when fate swept her to Grey Janeway, a man with a reputation for getting everything he wanted, Berkeley not only discovered what she’d set out to find, but also a love that would demand all of her courage…and heart.

While this isn’t quite a lightening review, nor is it a “full” review.

This book had two storylines that I really dislike. The first one is amnesia. Generally, I really hate the amnesia storyline. There are exceptions of course (i.e. Mirror Image). The second storyline is specifically in historicals. The heroine, for one reason or another, is dressed up as a boy. I really dislike this storyline more than the amnesia one. Unfortunately there were both in this book. As I was reading it, I really wondered if the third (and final) book of the Thorne Brother Trilogy would be as good as the first two.

I’m happy to answer that with a resounding yes. It was everything that I’ve come to expect from Jo Goodman, even if I had my doubts while reading it.

Berkley Shaw was hired by Colin and Decker Thorne to find Graham Denison. Believing that Graham is the baby brother that they were separated from over 30 years before, they place almost all their hope in Berkley to find him. Though they are at first leery and suspicious of Berkley’s “skills”, she soon makes a believer out of both Colin and Decker when she recounts what happens in Cunningham’s Workhouse as Grey was adopted.

Berkley has long since wanted her psychic gift to remain secret. Unfortunately for her, her husband sees Berkley for the goldmine that she is. When they travel to San Fransisco in search of Grahan Denishon, Berkley finds herself abandoned when her husband greed forsakes all else. Fending for herself for weeks, she doesn’t quite believe her luck when faith places her in the path of Grey Janeway. Barely believing that he could actually be Graham Denison, Berkley accompanies Grey back to his hotel, The Phoenix.

Though the romance between Grey and Berkley does develop, I had problems with how it developed. It seemed at first as though Grey looked upon Berkley as a sister. Or a child. So I initially had a problem when he developed more carnal feeling for her. It seemed kind of yucky. What made me get past that yucky feeling is the time that passed between Grey’s parental and carnal feelings for Berkley.

Grey was highly doubtful of Berkley’s gift, though he wasn’t above using it for the good of his hotel. I thought this was highly believable b/c Grey was nothing, if not a business man.

I really liked how Goodman wove the tale of Grey and Berkley. Berkley kept her secrets, while Grey kept his. They soon both realize that keeping secrets is not worth the effort it takes, especially when there is so much to lose.

The reunion between the brothers was very satisfying to me. After reading the whole series, I was very happy with how it came to end.

I highly recommend this series (read in order, of course)

4.5 out of 5.

Booking Through Thursday: 12/20/07

Posted December 20, 2007 by Casee in Features | 4 Comments

1. What fiction book (or books) would you nominate to be the best new book published in 2007?(Older books that you read for the first time in 2007 don’t count.)

2. What non-fiction book (or books) would you nominate to be the best new book published in 2007?(Older books that you read for the first time in 2007 don’t count.)

3. And, do “best of” lists influence your reading?

Wena Says:

1. Does Natural Born Charmer counts as fiction because if it does then that’s my pick of Best of 2007, atleast for me. I’m looking through my book log and there weren’t many books that came out this year that I read and loved as much as I remember loving that book…best hero of the year though, new hero anyway is Jack Sheridan…YUMMALICIOUS!

2. Non fiction? What’s that…LOL.

3. Depends on who’s best list it is, if it’s a blogger doing the Best Of list then I’d say that it might influence the books that I buy but if it’s a publishing house, well…I guess it does because the books that sell the most or the books that are favorited a lot are the books that get my attention so yeah, I guess it does.

Casee Says:

1. I would nominate Caressed by Ice by Nalini Singh. I was highly impressed and thoroughly happy with how she stayed true to Judd’s character.

2. Who has time for non-fiction where there are so many unread romances out there? LOL

3. I do read best of lists, but they don’t really influence what I read one way or the other.

Holly Says:

I agree w/ Casee. I can’t help it. She’s always right.

Isabel Says:

1. I guess Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows would have to be my fav book of 2007. That and Virgin River.

2. I haven’t read any non fiction this year.

3. Not really.

What about you guys?

Stealing Carmen by Gail Faulkner

Posted December 19, 2007 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

Book description:

Jack knew all about secrets. The government trusted him to keep them, find them, exploit them. Home for a short rest from that world, he hadn’t meant to overhear his sexy neighbor’s darkest desires. Being the focus of those wicked wishes was news to him.

Introducing Carmen to the fantasy of being a submissive was a mission he didn’t expect to last long. He certainly didn’t expect her to show him natural sensuality that brought him to his knees.

A lifetime of looking at the other side of the fence brought a man to this. Investing more than he could afford and it wasn’t cash. Carmen came with a dangerous price. One he’d willingly pay to keep this woman safe in his arms.

I must say, this is probably the best Ellora’s Cave cover in existance. I’m glad to see they’re finally moving away from the pod people.

Stealing Carmen was my firt book by Gail Faulkner and I plan on reading her again.

Though he has been attracted to his neighbor since she first moved in, Jack has kept his distance from Carmen. Not only does his job take him away for months at a time, but Jack is pretty sure that Carmen wouldn’t be interested in his sexual preferences. That all changes when he overhears her talking to a friend on the phone about her opinion on the D/s lifestyle. It doesn’t take Jack long to hop the fence and steal Carmen into a lifestyle that she may not be ready for.

After a hot encounter that shows Jack exactly how ready Carmen is, he knows he wants more. Though he fully intends to leave his career behind, there is one job he has to finish. He has no idea how long it will take. When he leaves, all he can do is hope that Carmen will wait for him.

Jack returns on Christmas Eve, seventeen months later. When he sees Carmen, he knows that his feelings for her haven’t changed. If anything, they got deeper. Now all he has to do is convince her that he’s the only one for her and that he’s here to stay.

Stealing Carmen was a short and satisfying read. There was no real character development, which was acceptable because the story was so short. Though it seems unlikely that a woman would wait for a man for seventeen months, especially after only one sexual encounter, Faulkner made it believeable. I also thought she did a credible job of writing BDSM. I’m very picky when reading about this topic and I was never rolling my eyes or shuddering.

4 out of 5.

This book will be out on December 26th. You can visit Gail Faulkner’s website here.

My Reckless Heart by Jo Goodman

Posted December 18, 2007 by Casee in Reviews | 3 Comments

Book description:

Decker Thorne’s carefree ways have done little to impress his employer, Jonna Remington, the poised and unflappable owner of Remington Shipping. But when he captains her best ship on a record-breaking voyage and saves her life in the same day, their destinies are breathlessly intertwined. No man has ever made the violet-eyed beauty feel desired for anything other than her money or power. No man ever made her want to be kissed. . .or loved.

And when an unseen enemy lurking in the shadows threatens Jonna’s life, Decker will do anything to keep her safe, even if it means abducting her aboard Huntress, the ship she owns but he commands. Now, swept into a thrilling high seas adventure and into Decker’s strong embrace, Jonna suddenly finds herself surrendering to reckless passion. . .dangerously close to losing her heart.
Against the teeming ports of Boston, and across the sea to London, two people will navigate the uncharted waters of their own hearts – on a voyage that will take them to the most glorious place of all. . .

Jo Goodman continues to be a revelation to me. I can not get enough of this author. I haven’t felt this sort of book anticipation since I discovered authors like Judith McNaught, Julie Garwood, or Linda Howard.

My Reckless Heart is the second book in the Thorne Brothers trilogy. MRH is the story of Decker Thorne, the middle brother who was four years old when his parents were murdered. Old enough to remember his parents and brothers, but young enough to embrace the couple that took him from the orphanage, Decker really didn’t understand that he may not see his brothers again.

After reuniting with Colin, Decker left England to go to Boston. When he arrived, he hired on with Reminington Shipping. It wasn’t until years later that he was made Captain of his ship and even that was not at the behest of Jonna Remington. Jonna has long since given up hope that Decker is anything like Colin. Never seeming to care about anything more than his own pleasure, Jonna gave little thought to Decker. It wasn’t until he saved her life that she was forced to take a closer look. Even then, she wasn’t sure she was seeing the real Decker Thorne.

Decker was an enigmatic hero. He always looked amused about something. Or he seemed to just not care one way or another. I don’t know how Jonna stood it without clobbering him. Of course as I was reading it, I knew exactly what he was thinking. Too bad she didn’t. LOL. Really, I loved the dynamic of the relationship between these two. Jonna had spent 15 years running Remington Shipping. In all that time, she was wary of men that seemed interested in her. Because she was so business oriented, she didn’t realize how elusive she was to men. Though she is attracted to Decker, she is wary of that attraction considering that he is little more than a thief.

As in most Goodman books, there is more going on than meets the eye. Jonna is a conductor of an Underground Station in which she helps runaway slaves that have come from the South. She’s very aware of the fact that she will lose a majority of her business if it ever came to light that she helped these men and women. Decker is also involved in a way that was completely unexpected (again, only to me I’m sure). Decker and Jonna have much more in common than Jonna first realizes.

This was another great book by Goodman. I was hooked from page 1, yet again. I’m currently reading the 3rd and final book in this trilogy and hope to review it sometime this week.

5 out of 5.

Christmas Gift Alert: Amazon Gift Cards

Posted December 17, 2007 by Casee in Discussions | 1 Comment

Living in the rural area that I do, I’m a huge shopper. As a matter of fact, I’m giving my UPS guy a Christmas gift this year because of all the Amazon boxes that he’s delivered to my house.

If you need a Christmas gift for someone that’s hard to shop for, an Amazon giftcard might be the way to go. Not only will you be able to check another person off your gift list, but you’ll get $5 back too!

Buy a $50 Gift Card and get $5 back for yourself!

We thought you might like to know that gift cards are sporting a new design–still the perfect gift and now a little more stylish, to boot.And now, when you get someone a $50 or more gift card, we’ll send you a $5 promotional certificate* for yourself. Go on: get them exactly what they wanted (even if you don’t know what it is)–and pick up a little something for yourself while you’re at it!