Tag: Steve Kluger

My 2013 5 Star Reads (so far) Giveaway

Posted September 13, 2013 by Tracy in Reviews | 18 Comments

I’ve read some really great books this year. I know that the year’s not over, and I’m sure I’ll read 1 or 2 more before the end of December crosses fingers, but I wanted to highlight the ones I’ve read so far and just loved. Some were new releases and others years old.

The giveaway is as follows:

I’m going to tell you about my 5 star reads so far and then you will have the chance to win ONE of those books in e-format from the ebook seller of your choice.  

Angel’s Dance by Nalini Singh

The gentle teacher of angelic young, and the keeper of her people’s histories, Jessamy is respected and admired by everyone who knows her. Yet, born unable to soar into flight, she has spent thousands of years trapped in the mountain stronghold of the Refuge, her heart encased in painful loneliness…until the arrival of Galen, warrior angel from a martial court.

Rough-edged and blunt, Galen is a weapons-master at home with violence, a stranger to the sweet words it takes to woo a woman—but he is also a man determined to claim Jessamy for his own, to dance with her through the skies denied her for so very long…even if their exhilarating passion proves as dangerous as the landscape of war and unrest that lies before them.

Angels’ Dance previously appeared in the anthology, Angels’ Flight .

I just adored this novella. I loved Galen. I loved Jessamy. I really loved their story and the way Singh wrote it. This was so very good, and definitely worth reading.

Just Like Being in Love by Steve Kluger

A high school jock and nerd fall in love senior year, only to part after an amazing summer of discovery to attend their respective colleges. They keep in touch at first, but then slowly drift apart.

Flash forward twenty years.

Travis and Craig both have great lives, careers, and loves. But something is missing …. Travis is the first to figure it out. He’s still in love with Craig, and come what may, he’s going after the boy who captured his heart, even if it means forsaking his job, making a fool of himself, and entering the great unknown. Told in narrative, letters, checklists, and more, this is the must-read novel for anyone who’s wondered what ever happened to that first great love.

This is a total re-read for me but definitely worth adding to this list. Awesome story. I adore Kluger’s writing and his characters totally rock. You can read my 2009 review here.

Son of the Morning by Linda Howard
A scholar specializing in ancient manuscripts, Grace St. John never imagined that a cache of old documents she discovered was the missing link to a lost Celtic treasure. But as soon as she deciphers the legend of the Knights of the Templar — long fabled to hold the key to unlimited power — Grace becomes the target of a ruthless killer bent on abusing the coveted force. Determined to stop him, Grace needs the help of a warrior bound by duty to uphold the Templar’s secret for all eternity. But to find him — and to save herself — she must go back in time . . . to fourteenth-century Scotland . . . and to Black Niall, a fierce man of dark fury and raw, unbridled desire. . . .

Awesome read! Holly recommended this one and I was not disappointed. You can read my full review here.

Down London Road by Samantha Young

It has always been up to Johanna to care for her family, particularly her younger brother, Cole. With an absent father and a useless mother, she’s been making decisions based on what’s best for Cole for as long as she can remember. She even determines what men to date by how much they can provide for her brother and her, not on whatever sparks may—or may not—fly.

But with Cameron MacCabe, the attraction is undeniable. The sexy new bartender at work gives her butterflies every time she looks at him. And for once, Jo is tempted to put her needs first. Cam is just as obsessed with getting to know Jo, but her walls are too solid to let him get close enough to even try.

Then Cam moves into the flat below Jo’s, and their blistering connection becomes impossible to ignore. Especially since Cam is determined to uncover all of Jo’s secrets …even if it means taking apart her defenses piece by piece.

This is book 2 in the On Dublin Street series but it was my first read by this author. I can’t say enough good things about this book –seriously. You can read my full review here.

It Happened One Midnight by Julie Anne Long

More than one beautiful woman’s hopes have been dashed on the rocky shoals of Jonathan Redmond’s heart. With his riveting good looks and Redmond wealth and power, the world is his oyster—until an ultimatum from his father and a chilling gypsy prophesy send him hurtling headlong toward a fate he’ll do anything to avoid: matrimony.

Intoxicating, elusive Thomasina de Ballesteros has the bloods of London at her feet. But none of them knows the real Tommy—the one with a shocking pedigree, a few too many secrets, and a healthy scorn for rakes like Jonathan.

She is everything Jonathan never wanted. But on one fateful midnight, he’s drawn into Tommy’s world of risk, danger…and a desire he’d never dreamed possible. And suddenly he’s re-thinking everything…including the possibility that succumbing to prophesy might just mean surrendering to love.

I love the Pennyroyal Green series – especially the later books. I adore Long’s writing. You can read my review here.

Heart of Obsidian by Nalini Singh

A dangerous, volatile rebel, hands stained bloodred.
A woman whose very existence has been erased.
A love story so dark, it may shatter the world itself.
A deadly price that must be paid.
The day of reckoning is here.

Love Singh. Love her books. One of my most favorite authors.  My full review here.

Salvage by Meljean Brook

A man who’s lost everything returns home to find that not only is his marriage in jeopardy, but he must now fight air pirates who intend to steal his one remaining treasure — his wife.

This is book 3.5 in the Iron Seas series. This novella is in the Enthralled anthology so you would get the anthology as the prize – also includes stories by Lucy Monroe, Lora Leigh and Alyssa Day.

This was so very good! I loved Thom and Georgiana both. I loved the situation they were in because it brought them closer. I loved the awesome senses of humor that Brook gives her characters. Can you tell I loved it? lol If you don’t read any others in this novella I definitely think no one should miss this one.

Guardian Demon by Meljean Brook

After a terrifying encounter in Hell destroys her trust in Michael, the Guardian’s powerful leader, former detective Andromeda Taylor is ready to call it quits as one of the angelic warriors and resume her human life again. But when demonic forces threaten her closest friends and she uncovers a terrifying plot devised by Lucifer, Taylor is thrown straight into Michael’s path again…

To defeat Lucifer, Michael needs every Guardian by his side—and he needs Taylor more than any other. The detective is the key to keeping his own demonic side at bay, and Michael will do anything to protect her and keep her close. And when Taylor manifests a deadly power, her Gift might tip the scales in the endless war between Heaven and Hell…or it might destroy them both with a single touch.

Another of my favorite authors. This was so damned good and a wonderful end to the series. My full review here.

Rules to Catch a Devilish Duke by Suzanne Enoch


Sophia White knows she will never marry into polite society. The illegitimate daughter of a nobleman, she works at the Tantalus Club, a discreet establishment for gentlemen—and her only suitor is a pastor who wants to save her soul. So when Sophia is invited to spend the holidays at the estate of Adam Baswich, the devilishly handsome Duke of Greaves, she is delighted—and determined to enjoy her last nights of freedom before surrendering her hand…


Inviting Sophia for Christmas is a daring courtesy on Adam’s part, but he soon finds the pleasure is all his. Sophia is beautiful, courageous, and stubbornly self-sufficient despite her scandalous circumstances—and not at all the kind of woman he could possibly marry. Adam knows he must find a wife by his thirtieth birthday or he will lose his fortune. But can he defy convention—and convince Sophia—to risk it all in the name of true love?

Awesome story. This is definitely a book that I recommend. I closed the book with a huge satisfied sigh and a big smile on my face.

A few 4.5 star reads that I think are definitely worth mentioning. I’ll add these in the giveaway as well.

One Good Earl Deserves a Lover by Sarah Maclean
Lord of Darkness by Elizabeth Hoyt
Frost Burned by Patricia Briggs
Big Boy by Ruthie Knox
Beauty and the Blacksmith by Tessa Dare (novella)
KC, at Bat by Tom Mendicino
Knight Errant by KD Sarge
How to Marry a Highlander by Katharine Ashe (novella) 

Join the giveaway by adding your name to the Rafflecopter but be sure and leave a comment on this post telling me which book you would want if you won. Have fun!

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

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What I Read Last Week

Posted February 18, 2013 by Tracy in Features | 3 Comments

Happy President’s Day to you all! It’s George Washington’s birthday and while I’m happy to celebrate I like this day more because I’ve got the day off. Woohoo! Lol I know, it’s all about me, right? 

Sorry that I’ve neglected the blog this past week. I mentioned last week that my youngest was sick and it continued throughout the week. She was find Tuesday and Wednesday and then got sick again Wednesday night (all night) and then on Thursday and Friday too. The rest of the weekend has been recovery…for all of us. Wow – I’ve never seen anything like that in the years I’ve been a mom. Crazy. She’s better now though so…yay! 

Reading: between doctor and bathroom visits I managed to read. I was a little disappointed this week in some of the books that I read that I liked but yet expected to be better. I hate it when that happens!

I started off the week with The Devil’s Triangle by Toni De Palma. This is a YA book that I read for The Book Binge and frankly while it sounded good I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. It’s not that long of a read so I was skeptical. OMG was I wrong. This is the start of a series and I honestly can’t wait to read the next book. The story is about a guy who dies and is sent back to earth for a girl named Grace. He’s given a month but he’s not sure what he’s supposed to do about Grace. What he finds in this town in New Jersey is so much more than he expected. He found…another life he’d been living and a girl he loves but was torn from by the Devil. It’s just this totally crazy, far-fetched story and it worked really well. My review will post over there on Wednesday if you want more info. 🙂 4.5 out of 5 

Next up was a re-read – Almost Like Being in Love by Steve Kluger. I had lent this to my mom to read and when she gave me a bag of books back before she left this one was in there. I just kept looking at it as it was calling me to read it again. Lol It was just as good the second time as it was the first. If you haven’t read this wonderful story you really should. It’s about 2 guys, Travis and Craig, falling in love in high school and then 20 years later Travis decides he NEEDS to find Craig because he’s the only man he’ll ever love. There are some issues though (like Craig having a long term boyfriend) but I thought Kluger did a great job of working it all out. 5 out of 5 

Next up was What Happens in Scotland by Jennifer McQuiston. The first novel by this author and it was good. The story is about a couple who wakes up next to each other, supposedly married, and have to piece the previous night together to figure out many things – mainly if they truly are married. It’s a cute tale and I’m looking forward to reading more from McQuiston in the future. 3.75 out of 5 

Immortal Ever After by Lynsay Sands is book 18 in the Argeneau series. The story centers around Anders and his life mate Valerie, who was kidnapped by a vampire and used for blood. She obviously thinks the kidnapper was a nutjob so Anders isn’t quite sure how he’ll tell her that he’s an Immortal and yes, has to drink blood to live. The story was good but not as exciting as past books have been. I really liked Anders and Valerie together which was good and we got to see some characters from previous books. 3.5 out of 5 

I know, I know, Love Irresistibly by Julie James doesn’t come out until April but I couldn’t resist diving into the story as I love her books so much. Unfortunately while a liked this one I just couldn’t get into these characters as much as I have the others in previous books. I still laughed many times and parts were quite touching so that was a good thing. I’ll post my review when it gets closer to the release date. 3.5 out of 5 

The Duke Diaries by Sophia Nash was my last read for the week. This is book 3 in the Royal Entourage series. I didn’t read the first two books but that wasn’t a problem. This pretty much stood alone. The story is about Verity who is the sister of one of the Duke’s in the Royal Entourage. She has listened at doors and such since she was 13 and has written all the stories down. Someone steals a couple of those diaries and starts to publish them in the paper. Then there’s Rory who is one of the Duke’s and after a night of escapades wakes to find himself in bed with Verity. They must marry and Rory does his best to convince her but Verity is absolute in her belief that she will not marry – as well as the thought that Rory will not WANT to marry her after she tells everyone she’s the author of the diaries. The story is good and I really liked Rory a lot but Verity was a hard sell for me. She was strong but did everything for everyone else and never herself. She pretty much turned martyr toward the end of the book never sits well with me. I’ll post more in my review later. 3 out of 5 

My Book Binge reviews that posted last week: 
Big Bad Bite by Jessie Lane 
The Dark Lady by Maire Claremont 

Happy Reading!

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What I Read Last Week

Posted July 25, 2011 by Tracy in Features | 8 Comments

Happy almost end of July!!
What’s up in Tracyland?
I continue to have bizarre reading weeks as I continue to get up early. My daughter’s summer school ended last week but since I originally thought it ran until the 29th of July that’s how I planned my schedule at work. There’s only 1 week left – woohoo! I hate getting up early but I love, love, love getting off early from work. But then I hate having to go to bed earlier in order to get enough sleep to wake up early again. It’s a vicious cycle! lol
So this past Saturday I drove down and saw Holly for a girls day. We talked about family, and friends, and kids, and rhino and panther dicks (which you can read about in Holly’s post here) and laughed and ate and just had so much fun. I ended up coming home with a large stack of books to review for The Book Binge – bigger than the original pile she had to mail me. lol
Holly also showed me the wonderful app that Goodreads now has and it’s awesome! I was using the mobile site on my phone and it was kind of a pain, I must say. For those of us who still read print books it’s got a barcode scanner and you can direct the scans to exactly which shelf you want to put the books on. The rest of the app is incredibly easy to use as well and I entered all of the books that I got from Holly all in the space of 5 minutes (I had to enter some by hand since they were ARC’s). If you use Goodreads a lot, as I do, and you have an app capable phone I suggest you get this one – it’s the perfect price: free!
Update on my oldest: She’s doing great. We had a follow up with our regular doctor. He had her give blood again to check her levels, scheduled her for an ultrasound to check things out a little more closely and then set up an appointment for us with a Gynecologist so that we can talk about the cause of the cyst and how to avoid them in the future, etc. She’s back to her normal self and doing well which is a huge relief.
It’s going to be a hard week this week. My boss, the one I’ve worked for for the past 10 years, is retiring. This is her last full work week and then her last service (she’s a priest) will be on Sunday. I has a great big sad. I know that things will be ok after she leaves but I love her so much. I’m pretty sure 75% of my love for my job is her. She’s been a wonderful boss and a great friend and I will miss her something fierce.*sniff*
I was thinking this past week that I need to take a vacation and do nothing but read. I could head to my bosses cabin near Lake Arrowhead and have peace and solitude and read my ass off. Doesn’t that sound good? Of course I think I might have to make it a 3 week vacation: 1 week to read just from my m/f TBR – 1 week to read all of my Book Binge review books and write reviews – 1 week to read nothing but m/m. Heaven. It sounds like sheer effin heaven.
Oh, and I’m over at DIK today and for the next couple of days.
Enough about me…how are you? What did you do this past week or weekend that was fun and exciting? Anything.
I started the week with my TBR Challenge Read which was My Most Excellent Year: A Novel of Love, Mary Poppins and Fenway Park by Steve Kluger. This was an wonderful book and I loved it. You can see my review here if you’re interested. 5 out of 5
Next was a novella for The Book Binge called Surrounded by Woods by Mandy Harbin. It was the story of mountain lion shifters who live to eat and mate. They stay away from society because if they are around an unattached female they’ll go feral, mate with the woman against her will (can you say rape?) and that has deadly consequences for both parties involved. Mikaela heads to Woods estate to help with some legal issues and she’s safe because they think she’s engaged…which she’s not any longer. Mikaela and one of the four sons, Josh, hit it off in a big way but what happens when they find out she’s not really engaged? A cute story in some aspects, and a bit ridiculous in others. 2.5 out of 5
Next was Wolfsbane by Andrea Cremer. This is book 2 in the Nightshade series and it starts off where book 1 left off. Calla is now with the Searchers but she doesn’t know who to trust and what’s happening back in her pack. She wants to get her pack and make sure they’re safe…along with Ren. Shay isn’t too thrilled that Calla is still thinking about Ren but he deals with it. Things don’t go as planned with the rescue mission and Calla finds out she has a traitor in her pack. Another good story – I’ll be posting my review this week for this book.
I started The Summer of You by Kate Noble but halfway through I put the book down. I was a little bored and though I normally like sweet, somewhat non-angsty romances this was a little too slow for me. I may go back and finish it some other time as I started and stopped Compromised as well – went back later and loved it. DNF (for now)
England’s Perfect Hero by Suzanne Enoch was my next read and it was so good! As much as I loved the story and the romance it was really Bit that made this book for me. He was just so emotionally scarred and I wanted to hug him for most of the book. The story was about Lucinda who has decided to teach her “lessons” to the fourth son of a duke but feels quite guilty about it since she’s really vying for marriage. The man, Geoffrey is courting Lucinda’s father, a general, as much as he’s courting Lucinda. Bit overhears about the lessons and offers to “help” Lucinda with them. Lucinda and Bit get closer and spend more time together and though they each say they’re only friends love grows between them. 4.5 out of 5
When I head to Holly’s I always get an audio book to listen to. This time I got Irresistible by Susan Mallery. I listened to about 4 of the cd’s before I got home and then read the last part of it via ebook. I liked the book but had an issue with the reader. I didn’t like her voice all that much and she made everyone but the hero and heroine have what sounded like southern accents. I could hear the where the lines were supposed to be humorous but frankly she didn’t have much inflection in her voice and it was all lost in the translation. She also made the heroes voice sound like he had no personality at all. I think she was going for stoic but didn’t quite manage that.
Also – a note to audio book readers: drink water. I really have no desire to hear the pastiness when you get dry mouth. Ewwww. lol
The story itself was about an ex-marine who moves into an apartment and becomes emotionally involved, against his will, with his neighbor and her daughter. It was a cute book. 3.5 out of 5
Last on the list was a soon to be re-issued book called The Husband She Couldn’t Remember by Maggie Shayne. The book is about a woman who has been thought dead for 2 years by her husband and his family who shows up not knowing who she is. I’m posting my review of this later this week. 🙂
My Book Binge reviews that posted last week:

Happy Reading!

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TBR Challenge Review: My Most Excellent Year: A Novel of Love, Mary Poppins, and Fenway Park by Steve Kluger

Posted July 20, 2011 by Tracy in Reviews | 5 Comments

I have to admit to being a little confused this month. For some reason I kept thinking that the “suggestion” for the TBR Challenge this month was “other genre besides romance”. My boss had given me the book Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See and I was definitely interested in reading it. I started it and frankly it just wasn’t my thing. I’m sure it’s a lovely book but I just could get into it. So I decided to throw caution to the wind, be a rebel and NOT go with the suggested theme. gasp I know, I really know how to break out of the mold, don’t I? lol I picked up My Most Excellent Year by Steve Kluger. Imagine my surprise when I went over to Wendy’s blog and discovered that the ACTUAL theme (not the one in my head) was “Fairy tale themes (Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella etc.)”. Yikes! After that discovery I sat down at the computer and looked at quite a few fairy tale themed lists discovering in the process that I didn’t have anything in my TBR that was fairy tale themed. I stuck with the Kluger. I’m so glad I did.

Best friends and unofficial brothers since they were six, ninth-graders T.C. and Augie have got the world figured out. But that all changes when both friends fall in love for the first time. Enter Alé. She’s pretty, sassy, and on her way to Harvard. T.C. falls hard, but Alé is playing hard to get. Meanwhile, Augie realizes that he’s got a crush on a boy. It’s not so clear to him, but to his family and friends, it’s totally obvious! Told in alternating perspectives, this is the hilarious and touching story of their most excellent year, where these three friends discover love, themselves, and how a little magic and Mary Poppins can go a long way.

TC and Augie have been best friends and brothers since they were six years old. TC’s mother had died and Augie was the person that helped TC deal with it in his own six year old way. Augie’s parents became Mom & Dad to TC and TC’s dad was Pop to both TC and Augie. When they were in 9th grade Alejandra came to live in their town of Brookline, Massachusetts.

TC, Augie and Alejandra (aka Alé) are now in the 11th grade and are assigned to write a paper on their Most Excellent Year. They all decide to write about their 9th grade year and the story takes off from there.

In 9th grade the kids were asked to start a diary/journal and write it to someone – kind of like Anne Frank addressed hers to “Dear Kitty”. TC decides to write his to his deceased mother. While some might think that a bit morbid it was one of the most touching things I’d ever read. He got to tell his mother everything that was going on in his life and ended every entry with “I Love You, TC.” I got teary on more than one occasion while reading TC journal.

TC writes about lots of different things in his journal but the main two are Alé and Hucky. He’s got it bad for Alé and is constantly trying to find ways to get her to like him. She detests him from the get go but as we read on we see how he kind of wears her down in his own wonderful way. He’s constantly trying different things that always backfire on him and my heart went out to his 14 year old self and his tale of woe. Then there was Hucky. Hucky was a six year old boy who knew – somewhat freakishly – which pitches to hit while TC was playing baseball. At first TC didn’t actually believe that Hucky was real (but someone sent by his mother to look out for him) but soon found out that there was much more to Hucky than he first thought. Hucky was a deaf child who lived at a children’s residence. Hucky was introverted and had a love like no other for Mary Poppins – believing since he was four that she would actually come to live with him. TC introduced Hucky to lots of different things and slowly brought him out of his shell with love and understanding.

Augie is a singer and dancer and writes in his journal entitling each entry “Diva of the Week” and writing to stars such as Liza Minelli, Lauren Bcall, and Angela Landsbury (to name just a few). Augie discovered in his 9th grade year that he was gay. Apparently everyone else knew but Augie hadn’t quite figured it out yet. When he did realize it it was because he started liking a boy, Andy Wexler. Andy and Augie’s relationship was heart-warming and hilarious at different times. His journal tells of his trials and tribulations in being a diva himself as well as directing his 9th grade talent show and acting and singing in the school play.

Alejandra is a diplomats daughter. She writes…at first, to Jacqueline Kennedy. That changes eventually but I don’t give you that particular spoiler as it’s just so good. Alé’s father finally settled down when she was in 9th grade and moved to Brookline so that he could work at Harvard. Her parents have incredibly high expectations for their daughter and her diplomatic future but as Alé writes in her journal – she’s a total diplomatic failure. She makes such massive faux pas that her brother Carlos has to constantly save her butt. Alé’s year was about following her dreams of dance and song and making decisions to break out of the mold that her parents have cast her in. Of course dealing with TC’s plots to get her as his girlfriend was a huge part of the journal as well. The lady doth protest too much, methinks.

All three of the journals show us what great friends that the three become over that year of their life. Those entries also show us the incredible people that the trio will become when they grown up as they learn so much about themselves in that pivotal year in their life. The love, friendship and emotion is shown to us in such a strong way that you almost feel like you’re there watching it all happen rather than reading about it after the fact. Kluger is one of my all time favorite authors. Every one of his books hits me in an emotional way but each one in a different way. I laughed, I cried. I read parts to my 9 year old daughter and had her laughing and crying with me as well. I can’t recommend this book – or any book of Kluger’s for that matter – enough.

Rating: 5 out of 5

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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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