A Quick Giveaway

I’m giving away my gently-read copy of A Highlander’s Temptation

I have to limit it to residents of the US – no PO Boxes

* Leave your name and email in one comment
* Ends tomorrow – Saturday at noon EDT, October 31st.

Contest Closed

A Highlander’s Temptation by Sue-Ellen Welfonder

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Back of the book:
Darroc MacConacher spends sleepless nights dreaming of a raven-haired beauty who makes him ache with desire. Then his dream comes true: the lady with her lush curves and fair skin appears shipwrecked on his shores. Darroc is immediately drawn to her strength and beauty, and from the moment she lays eyes on this powerful, broad-shouldered warrior, Lady Arabella MacKenzie knows she’ll never want another man.

But theirs is a forbidden love. The MacKenzies drove the MacConachers from their lands and destroyed their honor. Now, Darroc can use this sapphire-eyed seductress to shatter his foes. Yet how can he deny the passion that burns between him and Arabella, and ruin the one woman who touches his very soul?

* * * * * * *

(possible spoilers)

As I read A Highlander’s Temptation, the story of Romeo and Juliet came to mind. There’s no love lost between the MacKenzies and the MacConachers just as there was none between the Montagues and the Capulets. Darroc and Arabella meet in a most unusual way, overcome obstacles and become determined to marry. There is a sea adventure or two in the story which adds excitement to the novel.

This is the first I’ve read of this type of historical romance. There is a bit of magic and a whole lot of Scottish accent/words in the dialogue. At times, this really slowed the reading for me. I’m sure fans of Scottish romances would have no issue with it. I recommend it to fans of the genre.

Review copy provided by Hachette Book Group

Chocolate: A Love Story by Max Brenner

With gigantic vats of churning chocolate, desserts like their famous chocolate pizza, and 12 varieties of hot chocolate served in custom mugs, Max Brenner, Chocolate by the Bald Man has turned their line of hip, colorful themed restaurants into an international sensation..

Chocolate: A Love Story is a vibrant new cookbook that includes 65 original recipes narrated in the quirky, captivating voice of Max Brenner, the restaurant’s visionary founder and “bald man.” Bold original illustrations inspired by Art Deco poster graphics, full-color photographs, easy-to-follow, delicious recipes, and a serving of Max’s unique vision for spreading “chocolate culture” around the
world make this book a must for every chocolate lover.

* * * * * * *

This is the coolest cookbook I’ve ever seen! The artwork is fresh, the recipe titles make me laugh and I can’t wait to start baking. The book is coffee-table size and it would be a perfect coffee-table book. Chocolate: A Love Story truly is a feast for the eyes. However, it is a cookbook so it would go on the appropriate shelf in my kitchen – but facing out and maybe with a spotlight shining on it…

Max Brenner writes “I invite you to watch, smell, taste, and feel my love story.”

If you are a fan of chocolate, you’ll love this book. It would be a wonderful gift to give or receive.

I’ll close with a few recipe titles:

* Dependable Banana Cupcakes
with dark chocolate chunks and a moody coconut sugar glaze

* Spy-thriller Chocolate Black Forest Cake
covered with Alpine whipped cream and cherry, the German double agent on top

* A Therapeutic Chocolate Pot Pie
with a rich filling of soul-refreshing strawberries

* A High School Bonfire Chocolate Melting Heart Cake
with a soft marshmallow first memory hidden inside

Review copy from Hachette Book Group

A Quick Giveaway

I’m giving away my gently-read copy of Chosen By Desire by Kate Perry. You can read my thoughts about the book here.

To enter the giveaway:

* Leave your name and email in one comment.
* Open to US residents only/no PO Boxes
Contest closes at 9pm EDT, Wednesday, Oct. 28th

Contest Closed

Chosen By Desire by Kate Perry

It’s down to the wire and Carrie Woods is leaving China without the proof she needs for her thesis: Wei Lin’s journal. While on a final tour of the monastery, Carrie finally locates the scrolls and attempts to photograph the documents. Caught in a sticky situation, Carrie takes the scrolls, only to notice a mysterious monk watching her–the same monk that she’s seen each time she’s taken a tour. Unable to return the scrolls, she travels back to California and isn’t too thrilled when she notices the monk at the airport.

Maximillian Prescott first came to the monastery as an orphaned teenager when he inherited the Book of Metal from a distant uncle he hardly knew. After spotting a woman stealing from the monastery, he follows her to get back the documents he knows she’s stolen. Max is further intrigued when he finds out that the chatty woman is friends with his archrival, Rhys Llewellyn, and he will stop at nothing to get back everything he’s lost.

* * * * * * *

One of my goals this year is to take a tiny step out of my comfort zone of Women’s Fiction, Chick Lit, Romance, Historical Fiction, etc. So when Anna from Hachette Book Group offered Chosen By Desire for review I jumped at the chance.

Author Kate Perry wrote an entertaining novel. I enjoyed the humor as well as the drama throughout the story. I haven’t read any urban fantasy novels and, looking back now, I think this was a good book to try. It’s not too unbelievable. I found myself enjoying the romance between Carrie and Max, the mystery involving the scrolls, and the special powers possessed by Max and the other Guardians of Destiny.

When I finished the book I bought the first in the series: Marked By Passion. I look forward to reading about what happened before Carrie came into the picture. Recommended to fans of Urban Fantasy/Romance.

Review copy from Hachette Book Group

Sunday Summary – Oct. 25



Where did the week go? Thanks to the rainy weather I was able to read a few books. Reviews were posted for Lakeshore Christmas and To Seduce a Sinner. I don’t usually read a Christmas book before Thanksgiving, much less Halloween, but the library called to say my reserve copy had arrived so I made an exception.
I spotlighted Barbara O’Neal’s upcoming novel The Secret of Everything in my Waiting On Wednesday post. My Friday Find was The Second Date: Love Italian-American Style.
I didn’t participate in the Read-a-thon because we had company visiting this weekend but I managed to pop in and cheer for a few readers. I’m always amazed and impressed by how much everyone reads in such a short time. Well done, all!

Waiting on Wednesday – Oct. 21

hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine

The Secret of Everything: A Novel

Earlier this year I read Barbara O’Neal’s The Lost Recipe For Happiness. I was happy to see she has a new book due out Dec. 29, 2009 (according to Goodreads). Can’t wait to read it.

From Goodreads:

In this spectacular new novel, Barbara O’Neal delivers a generous helping of the best in life–family, food, and love–in the story of a woman’s search for the one thing worth more than anything.

At thirty-seven, Tessa Harlow is still working her way down her list of goals to “fall in love and have a family.” A self-described rolling stone, Tessa leads hiking tours for adventurous vacationers–it’s a job that’s taken her around the world but never a step closer to home. Then a freak injury during a trip already marred by tragedy forces her to begin her greatest adventure of all.

Located high in the New Mexico mountains, Las Ladronas has become a magnet for the very wealthy and very hip, but once upon a time it was the setting of a childhood trauma Tessa can only half remember. Now, as she rediscovers both her old hometown and her past, Tessa is drawn to search-and-rescue worker Vince Grasso. The handsome widower isn’t her type. No more inclined to settle down than Tessa, Vince is the father of three, including an eight-year-old girl as lost as Tessa herself. But Tessa and Vince are both drawn to the town’s most beloved eatery–100 Breakfasts–and to each other. For Tessa, the restaurant is not only the key to the mystery that has haunted her life but a chance to find the home and the family she’s never known.

To Seduce a Sinner by Elizabeth Hoyt

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Jasper Renshaw, Viscount Vale, has a problem: he needs to marry and produce an heir to the title. All Jasper wants is to find a lady who will put up with him long enough to wed so he can retreat to his life of debauchery–a life that keeps the haunting memories of his past at bay. Knowing that Jasper is under pressure to marry, Melisande Flemming grasps her fate with both hands and volunteers to wed him. Although Jasper is initially only interested in producing an heir, he soon becomes entranced by his wife–prim and proper by day, wanton by night– and vows to learn her secrets.

Melissande, however, is determined to keep her husband at a distance. She has loved, and lost, before, and will do anything to keep him from learning her terrible weakness: she’s secretly been in love with him for years. But to her chagrin, her husband pursues her, wooing her as if she were a paramour, not his lady wife. As Melissande and Jasper embark on a passionate game of cat and mouse, secrets from the past begin to resurface…. threatening to tear them asunder.

* * * * * * *

I liked the second book in The Legend of the Four Soldiers series. Elizabeth Hoyt gives her characters depth, passion, and wonderful banter. I’ve been reading this series out of order (already read the first and third books) and now it’s on to the fourth and final book.

Lakeshore Christmas by Susan Wiggs

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Maureen Davenport lives for Christmas—and there’s nothing more magical than Christmas on Willow Lake.

The prim librarian is finally getting her chance to direct Avalon’s annual holiday pageant, and she’s determined to make it truly spectacular. But it might just require one of those Christmas miracles she’s always read about.

Because her codirector is recovering former child star Eddie Haven, a long-haired, tattooed lump of coal in Maureen’s pageant stocking. Eddie can’t stand Christmas, but a court order from a judge has landed him right in the middle of the merrymaking.

Maureen and Eddie spar over every detail of the pageant, from casting troubled kids to Eddie’s original—and distinctly untraditional—music. Is he trying to sabotage the performance to spite her? Or is she trying too hard to fit the show into her storybook-perfect notion of Christmas?

And how is it possible that they’re falling in love?

* * * * * * *

The library in the small town of Avalon, NY is on the brink of closing – forever. Can it be saved? Susan Wiggs takes a few new characters, adds a dash of some familiar, stirs in the emotions that tend to appear at this time of year, sprinkles a Christmas pageant over it all and the result is a sweet story – especially for fans of The Lakeshore Chronicles.

Library copy

Sunday Summary – Oct. 18



It was a quiet week. I read and reviewed my kindle edition of To Taste Temptation by Elizabeth Hoyt. I also read Leaving Carolina by Tamara Leigh (review will be posted in early November for a blog tour). Leaving Carolina has the distinction of being the 100th book I read this year.
My “Waiting on Wednesday” pick is a book by Susan Higginbotham (author of Hugh and Bess).
I found a book that looks really good and posted for Friday Finds.
How was your week?

To Taste Temptation by Elizabeth Hoyt

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Synopsis (BN)

The ton loves nothing more than a good scandal, and they’re giddy with the appearance of wealthy Samuel Hartley. Not only is he self-made, American, and in the habit of wearing moccasins, but he is also notorious for fleeing a battle in which several English gentlemen lost their lives. What the ton doesn’t know, though, is that Samuel is in London because of this massacre. He believes his regiment was given up to the enemy and won’t rest until he finds the traitor.
Lady Emeline Gordon is captivated with Samuel. Not only does he defy convention with his unusual dress, his sensual smile, and his forthright manner, but he survived the battle that killed her beloved brother. Samuel suspects that the person responsible for her brother’s death is Jasper Renshaw, Viscount Vale, a family friend since childhood—and Emeline’s fiancé. Despite Emeline’s belief in Vale’s innocence and her refusal to break off her betrothal, she and Samuel begin a passionate affair. But can their relationship survive the fallout from Samuel’s investigation?

* * * * * * *

Earlier this year I received a review copy of book three in this series: To Beguile a Beast. I enjoyed it and knew I’d read the two previous books at some point. About a month ago I signed up to be part of the blog tour for book four. That’s when I decided to read books one and two. Still with me? That brings me back to book one: To Taste Temptation.

I thought this book was ok. It got better as it went along and by the end I found myself looking forward to the next book. That said, I remember liking book three much more. I didn’t warm to the main characters in TTT. I do like the idea of a mystery connecting four characters who’ve been deeply affected by one event. I also enjoy Hoyt’s descriptive writing. I’ll end by saying I liked this book enough to buy book two of the Legend of the Four Soldiers series.

A quick giveaway – Valeria’s Last Stand

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I received an arc of Valeria’s Last Stand from Marcia at The Printed Page. I’d like to pass it on to a reader who wants to read this novel. Here’s the synopsis from BN.com:


A comic romp celebrating late-flowering love in a Hungarian village that will appeal to readers of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian.

Valeria is a whale in a puddle. She harrumphs her daily way through her backwater Hungarian village, finding equal fault with the new, the old, the foreign, and the familiar. Her decades of universal contempt have turned her into a touchstone of her little community—whatever she scorns the least must be the best, after all. But, on a day like any other, her spinster’s heart is struck by an unlikely arrow: The village potter, long known and little noticed, captures her fancy, and Valeria finds herself suddenly cast in a role she never expected to play. This one deviation from character, this one loose thread, is all it takes for the delicately woven fabric of village life to unravel. And, for the first time in a long time, Valeria couldn’t care less. With humor and sensitivity, author Marc Fitten delivers an unexpected and entirely inspiring first novel that will leave you begging for more.

It’s a first come, first served giveaway. All I ask is that you are truly interested in reading the book. I also have to limit it to a reader from the US. So, if you would like to receive this book please leave me your email and I’ll contact you for your mailing info.

Giveaway is now closed

Mailbox Monday – Oct. 12


Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week (checked out library books don’t count, eBooks & audio books do). Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists. Mailbox Monday is hosted at The Printed Page.
WaterBrook Multnomah
Leaving Carolina by Tamara Leigh (for review)
White Picket Fences by Susan Meissner (for review)
Juliet, Naked by Nick Hornby
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