Contemporary Romance 2015 Reading ChallengeI read a lot.  For my own pleasure, and for reviews specifically for this blog.  So in a year I will read, well – a lot of novels.  Which is why I join Reading Challenges.  Sometimes reading is simply a chore… it’s true.  When I have a deadline to get a review up on the site – the enjoyment turns to something I “have” to do.  I never wanted to let book blogging make me feel that way about something I love.  To avoid that feeling (and it is a momentary feeling not a fact) I do something fun along with the reading.  Something like –

2015 Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge hosted by Book Vixen.  The signup page, rules and information can be found by clicking the graphic or written link above.  The rules are rather specific on this one, so please read them over.

I believe I can make the Home Run level at 16-20 Contemporary Romance novels read by the end of the year.  I’m aiming high, because I know how many books are in my to be read pile alone.  🙂

There is a sub-page under Challenges that I made to keep track on my progress.  It’s HERE if anyone wants to see it.

How about you?  Do you read a lot of Contemporary Romance?  Maybe you should check out this Reading Challenge for yourself.  Have some fun alongside of your reading.

Flights of Fantasy 2015The Flights of Fantasy Reading Challenge 2015 is being hosted by Alexa Loves Books and Hello Chelly.  You can find the signup pages, information, rules and more by following the links above.

It’s hard to turn away from Reading Challenges when the subject is so close to my heart.  During the time I spend on weekly memes, I have seen and read about a lot of Fantasy novels I want to read, many series I need to get caught up on. Taking part in this challenge just makes perfect sense.

I have a sub-page under Challenges for this one.  I need to keep track of what I’ve read throughout the year.  That is the easiest way to keep it documented.  If you want to see what I’ve read so far that page is HERE.

If you read Fantasy, then this might be a Reading Challenge that you’d want to take part in.  Go on, check it out.  You know you want to 😉

historical challenge 2015I have loved Historical Romance novels for – well, as long as I’ve been a reading adult I suppose.  Lords and Ladies, Prince and Princess they have always been on my bookshelves.

That’s why I was delighted to find the Historical Romance Reading Challenge 2015 hosted by Herding Cats & Burning Soup. You could find the signup page, information and rules by clicking either on the graphic or the written link above.

I’m aiming for the Level 3 of 24 novels read this year.  I believe I can reach that goal, and perhaps a bit beyond – we shall see.  I am lucky in that I have a very good friend who also enjoys Historical Romance novels and will bring me half a dozen each week plus the ones I have in the TBR pile, the ones I know I’m going to buy this year and the always available Library copies.  🙂  Yes, I really do love Historicals of all eras.

I have created a sub-page under Challenges to track my progress throughout the year.  You could see how I’m doing HERE.  Simply have to remember to update it when I finish a novel.  That will be the most difficult of any Challenge I’ve joined… remember to track.  🙂

If you love Historicals and you know you’re going to be reading them anyway – why not click on the signup page link and join in the fun!

New Authors 2015 largerBy following so many amazing book blogs I have discovered tons of new novels I want to read.  Many are by authors unknown to me – so joining in on this challenge is perfect for my education and reading enjoyment this coming year.

New Authors – Seeking New Escapes a 2015 reading challenge is being hosted again by Literary Escapism.  You can find the signup page, rules & suggestions plus the linky by following the link above or clicking on the graphic.

I am truly looking forward to a new year of brand new to me authors, exciting new novels to explore and perhaps finding new auto buy favorite authors along the way, too.

I have created a sub-page under Challenges to keep track of my progress this year.  That can be found HERE if you’d like to find suggestions from my list.  It just makes keeping track so much easier for me if I keep all the Challenges separate.

I’m going for the 25 new authors goal.  How about you?  Check it out, might as well have some fun while you discover new authors throughout the year.  🙂

Gothic Challenge 2015The Gothic Challenge and Read-Along 2015 is hosted over at Books Under The Bed.

You can join in as well by following the link above.  It will take you to the signup and rules page.

I have wanted to add different genres to the novels I read.  There are so many good books around, but I often don’t read them because they do not fall into my “normal reading” material.  So I thought I’d change it up a bit this year by joining Challenges that not only challenge me to read a set number of books – but to try new ones as well.

I will be keeping track of my progress on my sub-page, The Gothic Reading Challenge 2015.

I believe I can hit the Level 1 of 1 to 5 books this year.  Maybe more, we’ll see.

Fur & Fangs 2015 Challenge

Hosted by Phantasmic Reads and Novel Heartbeat – click on the graphic or on the written links to be taken to the signup page.

This year I discovered Challenges (see this page for proof of my addiction) .. and they all sound fun… and I”m going to be reading anyway so why not.

I know, right now, that 40% of my reading in 2015 is going to involve vampires, werewolves and shifters in many forms.  It’s what I read.  So joining in on the 2015 Fur & Fangs Reading Challenge was a natural choice.

The rules are simple.  You can find them on the signup page through the links above.

My list of Fur & Fangs novels that I’ve read will be on a sub-page HERE.  (it’s just easier for me to keep track of)

If you love reading about the creatures of the night (and day) be sure to check out this Challenge.  I’m certain that you’d have fun, too.

StackingTheShelvesStacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

Hosted at Tynga’s Reviews If you want to find out more about Stacking The Shelves, please visit the official launch page!

It wasn’t a huge haul for this week. In fact this post is a day late because of working on the blog – it’s a major pain to combine two blogs into one.  Anyway, here’s my short haul for the week of January 24 – 31.

Viper Game by Christine Feehan GhostWalker Wyatt Fontenot knows the price he paid for the secret military experiments that gave him his special catlike abilities. After all, he left his bayou home a healer and came back a killer. While Wyatt and his GhostWalker brother Gator may have known exactly the sort of game they were getting into, Wyatt never anticipated where it would lead — or to whom.

Viper Game CF The swamps hold many mysteries, but few are as sinuously seductive as Le Poivre de Cayenne. The woman the locals call Pepper is every bit as enigmatic as the three little girls she’s desperately trying to protect. From what, Wyatt is soon to discover. Right now Pepper needs a man like Wyatt. Passionately. But her secrets are about to take them both deeper into the bayou than either imagined — where desire is the deadliest poison of all.


The Warning Sign M MarloweThe Warning Sign by Mia Marlowe

Sara’s been hurt. Badly. Her cheating ex has her doubting everything about herself. But after graduating from Boston College, she’s trying to start fresh with a new job. A new guy in her life seems more complicated than she needs right now.

But Ryan’s too hot to pass up. Too bad he brings new problems to the table. Which is something Sara totally doesn’t need–especially after she figures out an accidental drowning wasn’t so accidental and ends up on a mob hitman’s “to do” list.

And the only cop who’ll believe her is her cheating ex…

And from NetGalley:

Soul Crossed (of Demons and Angels, book 1)Soul Crossed (of Demons and Angels book 1) by Lisa Gail Green  Josh lived a reckless, selfish life, so upon his death, escaping the eternal torments of Hell by assuming the role of a powerful, soul-corrupting demon is an easy choice. His first soul assignment doesn’t seem too hard: the mortal Camden is already obsessed with weapons, pain, and torture. If only Josh wasn’t distracted by Cam’s beautiful friend, Grace.

Grace never expected to die violently at age sixteen, but now she’s an Angel, responsible for saving a soul. She can already see past Camden’s earthly flaws, so the job should be be easy. If only that handsome, playboy Josh would stop getting in the way.

It’s forbidden for an Angel to be with a Demon, so if Josh and Grace stop resisting each other, the results would be disastrous.

And only one can claim Cam’s soul.

Kittens Can KillKittens Can Kill (A Pru Marlowe Pet Noir) by Clea Simon The dead don’t keep pets. So when animal behaviorist expert Pru Marlowe gets a call about a kitten, she doesn’t expect to find the cuddly creature playing beside the cooling body of prominent Beauville lawyer David Canaday.

Heart attack? His three adult daughters angrily blame drug interactions, feline allergies—and each other. And begin to feud over their father, his considerable estate, and that cute ball of fluff. While the cause of death is pending, each sister has an axe to grind –with arguments that escalate when David’s partner reads out the will.

Pru’s special sensory talents and sensitivity to animals that caused her to flee the cacophony of Manhattan for the quiet Berkshires add further problems. The local vet is overwhelmed with money running out. There’s that needy Sheltie and some invasive squirrels? But the dead man’s kitten, his former partner, and his troublesome family keep drawing “wild-girl” animal psychic Pru back in.

Despite the wry observations of her trusty tabby Wallis, now the wrongfully accused kitten’s guardian, and the grudging compliance of her cop lover, this may be one time when Pru can’t solve the mystery or save the kitten she wants to believe is innocent. A single witness knows the truth about that bright spring morning. How far can Pru investigate without risking her own hidden tale?

I have to admit that when I saw the cover for Kittens Can Kill I immediately pictured my ragdoll Leia on that cover – it looks so much like her.  Only Leia is a hefty 25 pounds of muscle and fluff.  But she was a cute little kitten like that one, once.

So that’s my haul for the week.  What did you add to your growing piles.  🙂





In Serena's  Web KHThis is one of Kay Hooper’s earlier Loveswept novels.

Title: In Serena’s Web
Series: Hagen Series #1
Author: Kay Hooper
Genre:  Contemporary Romance
Published: 1987 Original Loveswept #189 (reissue March, 2010)
Source: own

At twenty-six, Serena Jameson is a handful—brilliant, manipulative, and passionate, at least when it comes to righting the wrongs of the world. Her father, a renowned computer magnate, is worried about Serena’s impetuous nature—as well as a far more tangible threat—and entrusts a colleague, handsome Brian Ashford, to ferry her on a trip across the country. But as usual, Serena has ideas of her own.

A novice in affairs of the heart, Serena asks Brian to give her a crash course in seduction so that she can tame the notorious womanizer Joshua Long. But what starts as a simple lesson in love becomes a complex erotic dance, as both men find themselves caught in the snares of Serena’s undeniable wiles. Is Serena trying to attract her declared target or her teacher? Who is really ensnaring whom? And can she finish weaving her web before the mysterious cabal eager to kill Serena’s father manages to succeed—over her dead body?

For the times (1987) this novel was written for, In Serena’s Web was a light-hearted, fast-paced romance for the Loveswept line which featured mostly this formula for their romance novels.

This is the original cover. In Serena's web original Yeah, I know.  🙂

One thing I am grateful to the Loveswept line is the fact that they sent so many new, wanting to be published, struggling writers out into the reading world who went on to write, for the most part, vastly different styles of novels.  And far, far more in depth characters and world-building.  The writer Kay Hooper who wrote this novel is the same person who now writes the Bishop paranormal crime fighting novels.  The two styles of writing and novels could not be further apart.

I put this post up for mostly memory sake.  At one time Loveswept and similar publishing houses of the time period, were mostly what I read.  At that time, they were good stories.  Now.  A trip down memory lane to a so-so story that I would not pick up to read today.

Guess I’ve  moved on to other novel styles as well.

Oh Serena?  Well she was a manipulative, spoiled brat who got two men hot for her and then picked one for a happily ever after.  Yeah, pure formula.

Nothing But Velvet KMGet ready for another Historical Romance romp.

Title:  Nothing but Velvet
Author:  Kat Martin
Genre:  Historical Romance
Published:  Original July 1997  (reprint: October 28, 2014)
Source:  owned

From the glittering ballrooms to the scaffold’s dark shadow,
Lovely Velvet Moran has renounced all thoughts of love. To save her family from ruin, she will wed the hard-faced Duke of Carlyle. But instead of becoming a nobleman’s bride, Velvet finds herself a notorious highwayman’s prize—her resolve to escape his forest lair warring with the wicked heat sparked by his caresses.

the path of temptation keeps unfolding…
Falsely branded a murderer, Jason Sinclair has secretly returned to clear his name and stop the wedding that would deny him his stolen dukedom. In an outlaw masquerade, he’ll kidnap this sensuous minx and detain her as long as is necessary. But can he bridle the surge of passion that has captured his soul…and could imperil them both?

This is the Kat Martin that I love.  Historicals with want to root for them to fall and stay in love characters, a deep storyline, of course sexiness and a satisfying conclusion.

Original Cover from 1997

This is a re-issued novel.  So buy it for the new cover if you want – but know what you are buying.  Nothing but velvet small orig


Read on for my thoughts on Kat Martin’s Nothing but Velvet.  No true spoilers, promise.

Plaid tothe BonePlaid to the Bone is the prequel novella in the Spirits of the Highlands series.

Title:  Plaid to the Bone
Series:  Spirits of the Highlands
Author:  Mia Marlowe
Genre:  Historical Romance
Published:  August 2013
Source:  owned

A Bride Comes to Bonniebroch

But Cait Grant is hardly dreaming of wedded bliss. As a duty to her father, she must marry Adam Cameron, laird of Bonniebroch. And then, because of a blood oath to her clan, she must murder him…

If only her new husband weren’t so devilishly handsome. If only she didn’t have to play the loving wife for one long, languorous month. If only she didn’t surrender to his softly sensual touch, she would be able to fulfill her oath. If only she didn’t fall in love…

Cait and Adam’s love story was a joy to read.

Marriages are not always welcomed as a love match in the 1500’s.  Often they are politically based on territory or simply keeping the enemy close through marriage.  Unfortunately for Cait and Adam this is how their marriage started out.

Although it was a marriage of convenience, Adam believed that in time and with mutual respect it could blossom into a deep affection, if not love for he and Cait.  To this end he gave his new bride time to get to know him, or as much as he could considering how much he wanted her.

Cait, on the other hand, doesn’t expect much from this marriage at all.  Except to become a widow rather quickly.  After one month of marriage, Cait has made a promise to kill Adam.  If she can now… dammit, why did she have to go and fall in love with him?

Who wins in the end?

It’s a short love story, so there is not a lot of time to develop Cait and Adam as fully as I would have liked.  But with it’s magical touches, tormented love and triumph at the end it was a very good read that sets up the following novels in the series. (Plaid Tidings and Once Upon a Plaid)

Why?  Because of the curse.

Plaid to the Bone is available at Amazon on the Kindle.