Tag: James Buchanan

What I Read Last Week and RT 2011 Fun

Posted April 11, 2011 by Tracy in Features | 24 Comments

Happy Monday!
I have a lot to tell you this week – aren’t you happy? lol The excitement started Wednesday when I got an email from Malle Vallik who is the Digital Director for Harlequin. She stated that along with Angela James, Executive Editor for Carina Press, they were having a dinner that night to meet with bloggers and get to know them a bit. Holly from Book Binge couldn’t attend but was nice enough to forward some other bloggers emails to her and mine was one of them – woohoo! I ended up at the dinner (at Nick & Stef’s Steakhouse which was excellent) with Malle, Angela, Lori, Renee (So Cal Bloggers), Katie (young librarian on twitter), Amber (Buried by Books blog), Sarah (Smart Bitches), Mallory (an editor for Carina) and Barbara Vey from Publishers Weekly. We had a great discussion about Goodreads and just talked about books for hours – so much fun.
From left to right: Renee, Sarah, Katie, Malle, Angela, Me, Lori, Mallory, Amber
On Friday I drove back down to LA and shacked up with Holly, Lori & Nikki for the weekend. We attended the Ebook/Graphic Fiction expo that day where I got to meet ZA Maxfield again, Belinda McBride, Mari Freeman, Mari Carr, Vivian Arend, James Buchanan, Angela Knight and many more. It was great meeting all of these wonderful authors. And of course I got to see my friends LB Gregg & Rosie after not having seen her for a year and that was a huge highlight. 🙂 That evening after dinner at LA’s famous Pantry we hung out in the lobby bar and talked to authors Beth Kery & Julie James who are just nice, nice, nice women. (I was doing my inner fan-girl squee and trying to act calm. lol) We were joined later by Lorelei James, Angela James and Jane from Dear Author which was very cool as well. I think others joined later but sadly after 2 margaritas my brain didn’t latch on to much. lol
Me, Julie James & Jane from Dear Author
On Saturday we attended the Giant Book Fair and it was incredibly fun. I got to meet and see so many wonderful authors – Shana Abe, Ann Aguirre (who I’m pretty sure managed to talk me into reading the Sirantha Jax series even though I’m not a sci-fi fan), Tessa Dare, Lydia Dare, Joanna Bourne, Elizabeth Hoyt, GA Aiken/Shelly Laurenston, KB Alan, Jennifer Ashley, Tara Taylor Quinn, Lorelei James, Victoria Dahl, Heather Davis, Ashleigh Raine, Jennifer Haymore, Jill Sorenson (who actually knew me by sight – how cool is that?*waves*), Delilah Devlin, HelenKay Dimon, Lila DiPasqua, Megan Hart, Courtney Milan, Kate Noble, Jeri Smith-Ready, Mary Wine, Veronica Wolff. I think I might have missed some in there but it was all a bit overwhelming but fabulous. I did miss Lynsay Sands, Shelly Bradley/Shayla Black who I had on my list but somehow missed them. I suck. lol
On Saturday we had a So Cal Blogger/Author get together in the lobby bar and invited anyone and everyone to attend or stop by and say hi. We were joined throughout the night by Zoe Archer, Sabrina Darby, Eden Bradley, Nico Rosso, Jill from Romance Rookie, Holly, Lori, Renee, Rosie, Rowena, Beth Williamson, Lorelei James, Vivianne Westlake, LB Gregg, James Buchanan, Rhiann Cahill, RG Alexander, Stephanie Dray & Susanna Kearsley, Colleen Gleason, Lisa Hendrix. Did I miss anyone? Sorry if I did. 
KB Alan, Vivianne Westlake, Lisa Hendrix

Zoe Archer, Renee & Lisa Hendrix

Amber, Nikki, Holly, Renee, Sabrina Darby in the back there with Stephanie Dray next to her.  James Buchanan has her back to us with the lovely black and white jacket…and I can’t tell who the others are.  Anyone?

Lorelei James, Beth Williamson, the back of LB Gregg and the side of Colleen Gleason

Lori & Rosie & the back of Rowena on the right

Holly looking adorable & Me (I apparently have really squinty eyes and 1 wandering eye.  Who knew?)
We headed up to the Carina Press party for a bit where I met some other great authors, Caridad Pineiro, Dee Tenorio & Hunter Raines among others. And Carina gave away an IPAD2 and a Nook Color – neither of which I won – bummer. 
Nikki and others at the Carina Press party
I gotta tell you that I haven’t had that much fun in a long damned time. Every single author that I met was just as nice as could be and was more than willing to stand or sit and talk about books as well as a myriad of other subjects. I’m so glad I went!
My co-worker just handed me this comic that he cut out of the paper so I thought I’d share. Funny.

Click on picture to enlarge

Ok – what did I read this week?
I started off the week with Dead on Delivery by Eileen Rendahl. This is book 2 in the Messenger series and it was a good one. I didn’t like it quite as much as the first because I think there was less action and because our heroine, Melina, was a bit stressed throughout the book. She had every right to be but her stress kind of fed through the book. If interested you can read my review here on The Book Binge. 3.5 out of 5
My next read was Last Days of Summer by Steve Kluger. I am now firmly a fan girl of Steve Kluger. I read Almost Like Being in Love and it became one of my favorite m/m books. I ordered LDoS from the library and dug in and it was so. damned. good. It’s not a romance but a story told in epistolary style about a 12 year old boy, Joey, back in 1936-1942 who needs a father figure in his life since his father re-married and wants nothing to do with him. He latches on to the 3rd baseman for the NY Giants, Charlie, and starts writing him letters. Charlie doesn’t want to be latched on to but eventually the two become friends. The story follows their friendship and how Charlie changed Joey’s life but Joey had such an affect on Joey’s as well. It was hilarious and heart-wrenching and just an absolutely fabulous read. 5 out of 5
Next up was Secrets of a Proper Countess by Lecia Cornwall – another book I read for The Book Binge. This was the story of Isobel who is at a masked ball and can’t keep her eyes off of the Marquess of Blackwood. The Marquess approaches her and they end up having more than a little fun in the garden. He wants to know who she is but she has to have a squeaky clean reputation because if she doesn’t her son will be taken away from her. This was a romance/spy for the crown/evil in-law story and on some levels it worked for me and others not so much. I’ll let you know when my review posts on TBB and you can read more of what I thought. 3.75 out of 5
Last for the week was The Good Thief by James Buchanan. This was a great story about Caesar who is a thief who cases and breaks into houses for a living and Nate who is a beat cop. They meet at a party and end up going home together and really love being together but the next day Nate’s a bit of an ass and then Caesar finds out he’s a cop and decides not to leave his number. When Caesar breaks into a house and finds some horrible pictures involving kids he takes them to Nate and an investigation begins that puts Nate and Caesar firmly together. They finally realize that they’re falling for each other but how can a cop and a thief live happily ever after. I really liked this book. Buchanan really knows how to suck me into the book and keep me there with the relationship. She really knows how to balance the romance with the sex and the other parts of the story and I really enjoy that about her books. Good stuff. 4 out of 5
My Book Binge reviews that posted this past week:
That’s it for me. I’ll leave you with a picture of a place I saw when Lori was driving me to the train station. Do I really want those two things at the same time? I don’t think so.
Happy Reading!

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What I Read Last Week

Posted February 28, 2011 by Tracy in Features | 12 Comments

Oh so many things are going on in Tracyland but you would all be bored to tears to hear it all so I’ll give you a a couple of good tidbits.

My youngest had an eye appt. since she was having problems seeing the board at school.  Though the prescription will be weak she will still need glasses. She, being the stylin 8 year old that she is, picked out some adorable glasses.  As soon as we pick them up I will pass pictures along.

Then when I went to visit and have lunch with my parents on Saturday it snowed!  I know for a lot of you this is not exciting but since that’s an unusual occurrence I thought I’d share. 🙂  This is what the road leading to their house looked like from the storm the night before  

and this is what it looked like when we got out of lunch.  It was actually coming down pretty steadily while we were eating lunch and this was just 45 min. worth. By the time I left their house my youngest was having a great time throwing snowballs at her grandpa! 

So what did I read this week:

First I started off with yaoi.  I’ve had this since Kris was here (yes, back in Nov!) and I was sucking at reading it and getting it to Chris who was next in the swap.  So these became my Tracy’s TBR challenge reads for the week as well since I’ve had them so damned long.  So I first I read I Can’t Stop Loving You vol 2 by Row Takakura.  Kyouji is at a mountain retreat doing his monk training when he’s accused of murder. Yu comes to see him and gets involved.  It was cute but odd at times. 3 out of 5 

Next was Thunderbolt Boys Excite vols. 1 &2 by Asami Tojo.  These were stories about models and frankly I thought they were a bit ridiculous and it was all I could do to keep reading.  They were drawn well, though. 2 out of 5 for both.

Then I read Incubus vols. 1, 2 & 3 by Yayoi Neko.  This was an interesting story about Lenniel who is half human and half demon who lived with Judas in the demon world but then Judas had to leave and lost all of his memories.  Lenniel has finally found him again but Judas is madly in love with his professor.  Judas also has serious self-esteem issues which he comes by after everyone, including his parents, constantly putting him down.  There’s also a second story with a demon who is a butler for a rich family and the young master who he loves and loves him back.  It’s quite good at times and others, not so much. 🙂  Vols.1 & 3: 3.5 out of 5, vol. 2: 4 out of 5

After that it was The Swing by Lissa Matthews – a book I read for The Book Binge.  This was a decent story about a man and a woman who are deeply in love but haven’t been together because she was once married to his now dead twin.  Sounds creepy but it was actually a very good short story that was quite emotional.  4 out of 5. My review is here.

River Marked by Patricia Briggs – another Book Binge Book – and so damned good.  I really loved Briggs’ writing and all of the wonderful scenarios she comes up with for Mercy and Adam to get involved in.  This followed Mercy and Adam on their honeymoon (no, not a spoiler!) and they have to end up fighting beasts and meeting others that they never expected to meet.  No, I’m not telling any more.  I don’t want to spoil things.  Suffice it to say that it’s great.  I loved every bit of it and am sad that I’m done reading it. 5 out of 5
So has anyone read any of her other series and if so which did you read and what did you think?

I finally picked up How To Woo A Reluctant Lady by Sabrina Jeffries.  This is book 3 in the Hellions of Halstead Hall series and it was good.  This was Minerva’s story and she is still pissed that her grandmother is making her grandchildren get married so she decides to advertise in a ladies magazine for a husband.  Giles Masters, a friend of the family, shows up to try to win her hand but she thinks it’s all pretend and he really wants to marry her.  Great romance and of course humor and intrigue as well.  Good stuff. 4 out of 5

Last on the list for the week was All or Nothing by James Buchanan. This was book 3 in the Taking the Odds series and it was a good one. Buchanan writes so well that I get drawn into the story and next thing you know it’s over!  How the heck did that happen? lol  Brandon is visiting Nick in Vegas the week between Christmas and New Year and he’s brought his daughter, Shayna, along.  She’s not thrilled to be at Nick’s, nor with Brandon and she’s got the attitude to prove it.  When Shayna is taken life goes on the emotional roller coaster from hell.  Such a great story and I certainly hope there are more books about Nicky and Brandon in the future.  5 out of 5

My Book Binge review that posted since last week:
The Swing by Lissa Matthews

Happy Reading

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What I Read Last Week

Posted February 1, 2010 by Tracy in Features | 12 Comments

I apparently can’t ever get this post up on Sundays any longer. Oh well…it goes up eventually! lol
Things are a lot less stressful at the Tracy household and that’s a great thing!
I read a lot of books this week so I’ll get right into it. 🙂
First up was my DIK Reading Challenge book: The Secret Pearl by Mary Balogh. I very much enjoyed this book that was on Jenre’s list. I’ve had it on my shelf since the end of July and have been meaning to read it but never quite pulled it off the shelf. You can read my review here. 4 out of 5
Next up I read Gaven by JC Owens. This was a fantasy m/m story that started with a siege on a castle/holding. The only survivor is Gaven. He is all about escaping his enemies, even it they say that their warlord is Gaven’s father. It’s an interesting story but I kept wanting more information. Hopefully there will be a sequel to this book. 3.5 out of5
Katiebabs asked me to do some mini reviews for her for some shorts she got from Breathless Press. When the post went up I was confused about this statement that KB made: “And since Tracy from Tracy’s Place is a much more skilled reviewer than I am when it comes to these particular books…” and I had to email her to ask he what exactly that meant. She meant that she can’t do a review in less than 800 words! Holy mackeral! lol Well, I was happy to help her out in her time of need. I read Biohazard by Honoria Ravena 3 out of 5, Harder by Jamieson Wolf 4 out of 5 and The Soldier’s Return by Ava Delany 3.5 out of 5 and you can go top KB’s blog here and read my mini’s.
Next up was Archangel’s Kiss by Nalini Singh. This book comes out tomorrow but I was lucky enough to get an ARC from The Book Binge. Great book. I love Nalini Singh. That woman could write a laundry list and I would adore it. 🙂 I’ll let you know when my review on TBB posts.
My next read was Inland Empire by James Buchanan. A fantastic book that I just loved. This is the second book in the Nicky and Brandon series and I highly recommend that if you read m/m that you read this series. Good stuff. Review here. 5 out of 5
Next was Goddess of the Hunt by Tessa Dare. This was another great read and one I recommend for those of you who read historical romances. The story of Lucy who is in love with her brother’s friend Toby, only Toby is about to get engaged to Sophia. Another of Lucy’s brother’s friends is Jeremy and he takes over trying to keep Lucy away from Toby – only Jeremy starts thinking of Lucy as a woman and not just his friends little sister. Lucy, who’s 19, eventually realizes she’s not in love with Toby, she’s in love with Jeremy. They get married, but can they live HEA? This was just a lovely book. It was funny and there was never a dull moment in the book. I’ve already loaded book 2 onto my ereader! 4.5 out of 5
My Tracy’s TBR Challenge read for the week was Smart Ass: Close Quarters by Amber Green and LB Gregg. One Good Turn by Amber Green…Kendall is being secreted away by Turner so that they can give each other an alibi for a murder that neither one of them committed. Turner is the man that Kendall has had fantasies about since his boyhood. But Turner is supposedly his cousin…but is he really? This was a fun book and I really liked Green’s writing – but I was left with so many questions after it was done! Questions about Kendall’s family, Turner and his feelings for Kendall, who really did it, etc., etc. As with Gaven, I hope there’s a sequel that will answer some of these and the other questions I had. 3.75 out of 5. Gobsmacked by LB Gregg was the other story in this book. While I’ve read the book before it was just as good, if not better, than the first time around. Mark goes nuts after he finds his boyfriend cheating on him and then finds out that his man has also stolen all his money! He enlists the help of cop, long time friend and past crush, Tony. Tony’s got the hots for Mark and has for a while. Tony’s great for calming Mark down…and ramping him up. Great story, hot book. If you haven’t read it, you should. 4.25 out of 5
Last but not least was a re-read. I started reading Moon Craving by Lucy Monroe for TBB (which is book 2 in the Children of the Moon series) and though I partially remembered the details of book 1, it had been a good year and a half since I’d read it. So I decided to re-read Moon Awakening once again and get caught up on all that was happening in the series. Emily is sent to Scotland from England to marry a Laird – only the Laird, Talorc, wants nothing to do with her. Emily and Talorc’s preggo sister, Cait, get kidnapped by a rival clan and get taken away. Emily finds herself falling in love with the rival clan’s Laird, Lachlan, but Lachlan is a shape changer and is determined to not marry a human. Only he’s falling in love with Emily and this is making things quite tense between the two. I really liked this book the first time and this was no different. I’m looking forward to what Moon Craving brings to the series. 4.25 out of 5
Happy Reading!! 

Oh and FYI my reading list for January went up if you’re interested.

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M/M Challenge Review: Inland Empire by James Buchanan

Posted January 30, 2010 by Tracy in Reviews | 25 Comments

Nicky and Brandon are back, and this time they’re on Brandon’s turf.

Nicky’s still on disability when he comes to Riverside to visit Brandon and pick up his ‘Querida’ from the Bakersfield’s impound lot. Brandon loves having Nicky around, but at the same time, he’s worried someone might find out that Nicky’s more than just a friend.

When Nicky becomes involved with the Task Force Brandon’s on, the tension ratchets higher as Brandon’s paranoia about being outed increases. Will his inability to step out of the closet mean the end of his relationship with Nicky? Or will the danger of the case they’re on make it all a moot point?

Find out in this exciting sequel to Cheating Chance.
So Nicky has made his way to Riverside. Brandon’s been heading to Vegas almost every weekend to spend with Nicky and help him recover from his brush with death (from Cheating Chance). But when Nick and his computer savvy ways got put on Brandon’s case I thought Brandon would blow a friggin cog. He was beside himself. On one hand he loved having Nicky around and coming home to him but on another he’s so very scared of getting outed and Brandon was thinking that Nicky was acting a little too gay. Poor Brandon. He assumes people will talk because he and Nicky are staying at Brandon’s 1 bedroom apt. This causes quite the fight between the two men.
While there is some talk around that Nicky is “fluffy”, which of course pisses Brandon right off, Nicky doesn’t mind it. Brandon is beside himself and freaked that everyone will know. It’s a constant theme through the book and it was great to Nicky really calming Brandon down when he got too out of control.
I have to tell you I love Nicky and Brandon. There’s just something about the chemistry that they have together that really gets to me, sucks me in and makes it so I can’t put the book down. I loved when Nicky and Brandon were tender with each other – when they were hot and heavy with each other (yes, there was rope involved in this book too – which was damn hot. :)) and when they were fighting – all of it made for great reading because they are just great characters.
Another player that we got to see a bit more of was Jeff, Brandon’s police partner. I just dug him, he cracked me up. When Brandon forgot Nicky’s birthday? Oh, Jeff just gave it to him good:

Falling into step next to him, Weaver shook his head. It seemed the gesture de jour. “You’re worse than clueless, Carr. Let me lay it out for you. He leaves lala land, where all of his buds are probably pushing him to go to dinner, party or whatever kinds of things they do. But they’re all going to make a big thing out of it. Now, remember, there are no big plans with you for anything. You’re not going to be home until well after midnight and probably beat. Only met him once, but Nick’s not stupid.” They cut down a side street to head through White Park. “I’m sure he understood you weren’t going to be dancing the night away somewhere. But, he leaves the promise of a big to-do, goes back to your crappy little apartment on the edge of the boonies, catches some Zs so that he can be awake and spend his birthday with you. And what happens?” Passing through into the park, Weaver still had to up the volume of his voice to be heard over traffic noise. “You, suave cop, present him with a couple of takeout burgers and late night programming. No prezzies, as my kids say. No cake. Not even a goddamn card. And you think you told him happy birthday. I’m sure he wasn’t expecting clowns and bouncy houses, but maybe a candy bar with a candle in it.” Turning onto Chestnut, Weaver slapped Brandon on the back of his head. “Do you not understand what is wrong with that picture?”

On top of the wonderful relationship that is building between the two men we get to be involved in a case with Vietnamese gangs and everything that was involved. The police speak and procedure was just interesting. Again, what could have been dry informational stuff was brought to life.
I loved the book – even more than Cheating Chance I must say. If you haven’t read this author yet and you read m/m you should definitely give these books a try.
Rating: 5 out of 5

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What I Read Last Week

Posted January 5, 2010 by Tracy in Features | 16 Comments

Happy New Year!

I hope you all had a safe and fun New Year’s Eve. I tried to stay awake but just couldn’t! I finally turned the light off at 11:40pm because I just couldn’t stay awake any longer. lol

The girls went back to school today. They were actually excited to get back to all of their friends. I think that will last about a day and a half and then they’ll realize that with school comes homework! Oh well.

My hubby has been saying that he’s going to start Taekwondo with my youngest for months now. Yeah, that hasn’t happened – he’s put it off for one reason or another time after time. So for Christmas I signed him up for 4 months, got him a uniform and said he’d start January 5th. He was happy, but I think he’s a little afraid that he’ll not catch on quickly. He’s a smart guy so I know he’ll do fine. I’ll take pictures…he’ll hate that! lol As far as work is concerned I’m pretty darned glad the holidays are over.

My office is nutty around Christmas and Easter and it’s nice to have it settle down to being somewhat normal.

Oh and my mom, Judith, the woman who got me reading romance when I was 13, is now doing a guest reviews for The Book Binge! Her first review posted today – The Untamed Bride by Stephanie Laurens. She loved the book and said it very well. The woman is a Ph.D and knows how to write! This was one I gave her because I just couldn’t get through it. Just shows you that there’s something for everyone out there. 🙂

Hey – I found the picture of my eye tattoo! I knew I had it somewhere! Lol Here it is:) If you missed it you can see the cover up here.

On to what I read this week:

My first read was A Highlander’s Christmas by Dawn Halliday, Cindy Miles and Sophie Renwick. Three novellas in 3 different time periods with women who are linked by their clan pin that’s been handed down through the ages. You can read my review here.

Next up was Cheating Chance by James Buchanan. I really liked this story a lot. It was an m/m book that had an openly gay, goth agent for the Nevada Gaming Commission, Nick, and Brandon, an in the closet, biker boy cop with Riverside, CA PD meeting at a Goth convention in San Diego, CA. They hook up and then start an online relationship. The story covers the issues – long distance and of course Brandon’s closetedness (is that a word? It is now) – and pleasures of Brandon and Nick’s relationship. When Nick starts to be looked at as a person of interest in a murder, which he had nothing to do with it’s puts things on edge for both Nick and Brandon. This was just a fabulous book and I really liked both the relationship aspect of the book as well as Nick’s investigation into his former co-workers death. The attention to detail was so interesting when it could have very easily been dry. I will be reading the next book about Nick and Brandon. 4.5 out of 5

Next was my re-read for my Re-Read Challenge: Welcome to Temptation by Jennifer Crusie. You can read my review/thoughts here. 5 out of 5

On New Years Day I decided that I needed to read some of the manga that had come to me from the Great Yaoi Swap. My girls couldn’t understand how every time they came into the office where I was reading I was reading a different book. I kept saying: It’s like a comic book. They just didn’t get it. lol. Anyway, I started with Love a la Carte by Haruka Minami. I really liked the graphics in this one and the story about the members of a photography club were great. There was some borderline non-con sex, but it was ok. 4 out of 5

Manga #2 : Junior Escort by Sakurako Hanafubuki. I didn’t really care for this one much at all. I didn’t really like the main story of the 2 actors getting together. Then, dear Lord, there was a story in there about a 5th grader and a kindergartener. I. Shit. You. Not. It was horrifying and I was thoroughly disgusted. Just wrong! 2 out of 5 Manga #3: Rising Storm by Yuzuha Ougi. A guy takes a part-time job taking care of the horses for a rich family. The master of the castle decides he wants to be with him but decides that the only way that can happen is if it’s in the form of punishment for say, breaking things. It was a little weird at first but then was just amusing as the master kept putting priceless items right where the boy would break them. Pretty funny. But then it went into this dreamlike thing and got kinda bizarre. 3 out of 5
After that I delved into the latest saga with the Midnight Breed’s by reading Shades of Midnight by Lara Adrian. I didn’t particularly care for the last installment in this series so I was a little anxious to read this one. I have to say I really liked it. I thought that Kade’s story was really good and if you’ve been involved in the series I think you’ll like this one. There was a bit of a small pity party going on towards the end of the book but I didn’t think that it took all that much away from the story. 4.25 out of 5

After that was my Tracy’s TBR Challenge Read which was Tempt Me at Twilight by Lisa Kleypas. Why, you ask, would I buy a book right when it came out just to have it sit on my shelf for months? I have no friggin clue. That question is right up there with why is the sky blue and why do zebra’s have stripes. I don’t have the first idea and will probably never know. sigh Ah well. Anyway, I really liked the 3rd installment in the Hathaway series. Although I felt that Harry was a bit rough around the edges I liked his character a lot. Poppy was good for him and I liked seeing his transformation. I could have done with the last bit that was added in there (and if you’ve read the book you’ll know which bit I’m talking about) but it wasn’t awful – just unnecessary in my opinion. 4.5 out of 5
And last for the week was Captive Desires by Diane Whiteside – a book I read for The Book Binge. I’ll let you know when my review posts. That was it for me last week. I hope you have a great one! Happy reading!

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