Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Nauti and Wild Anthology by Lora Leigh and Jaci Burton

Nauti and Wild

Courtesy of Goodreads: 

Two bestselling authors join forces in this pair of new stories of hot men, fast motorcycles, and the women who ride both.

They ride into town straddling 73 cubic inches of throbbing horsepower, and hook up with the kind of women made for high speed handling...

#1 New York Times bestselling author Lora Leigh revisits her sultry Southern landscape with a story of a good girl gone bad. But she's not the only one going down that road...

Jaci Burton, the national bestselling author of Riding Wild and Riding Temptation, lets loose in a story of a hot biker hired to keep an eye on the reckless daughter of a Nevada senator. She's hooked up with a rival biker gang--a dangerous move that makes the wild beauty more vulnerable than she imagined...

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I am not normally an anthology person.  The stories tend to be too short which usually means it's difficult to become invested in the characters.  I'm reviewing Nauti and Wild because it rocked my socks off in comparison to what I was expecting!

Let's start with Lora Leigh's story, Nauti Kisses.  This was a short and sweet story about Sierra and John (Rogue's brother). Sierra has had a thing for John for as long as she can remember, and after they have one drunken night in which John remembers only parts of what happened, things really start to move.  Fate brings these two together again a year after their encounter when John is forced to protect Sierra after she is mysteriously attacked. 

Their love seems caring and sometimes innocent.  Even with the length of the novella running about 145 pages, I was able to feel for both characters.  The flow of the story, although fast, was also detailed and interesting.  This was the last of the Nauti books from Ms. Leigh and having only read one other novel in this series, I am adding the rest to my TBR pile today.

Now onto Ms. Jaci Burton's Riding the Edge.  One word summed up this story for me...YUM!  This was my first taste of the Wild Rider series and I was blown away by how much I enjoyed this novella.  Rick Benetti and Ava Vargas are the two people we follow on an interesting ride through Las Vegas.  The story starts with Rick, an undercover federal agent, being assigned to follow Ava, a senators daughter, to discover why she is spending time with a group of bikers called the Hellraisers.  Rick and Ava have an instant connection and I became attached to them very quickly. 

I love a bad boy and Rick definitely fit that persona.  There were definitely some hot hot hot scenes in this story and I am surprised it didn't get an erotica label, but I am totally not complaining.  I enjoyed this story as much as any great romance/erotica full length book, and maybe more.  This is another series I will be adding to my ever growing TBR!

Overall, this anthology was romance packed, light hearted, and fun.  If you are looking for a quick read that will leave you all hot and bothered, this is the one for you!  I give the book four and a half stars!  Now....go pick it up and dive on in! :)

Katie

Sunday, June 26, 2011

A week in the life…

 

I hope everyone has had a good and productive week!  I am going to be short and sweet with this post since my slacking got the best of me both on and off the blog!

Let’s start with “on the blog”…

I only reviewed two books this week, both of which were not high ranking in my opinion.  Born of Shadows and Dead Reckoning were by two of my favorite authors but they did not hold my attention as well as previous installments for various reasons. 

Next week I am hoping for more excitement and I plan to read and review the following…

1. Nauti and Wild Anthology by Lora Leigh and Jaci Burton

2. Shifting Plains by Jean Johnson

3. Yet to be determined…(there are too many to choose from in my TBR pile!)

In addition to these reviews, I hope to compose one or two random thought posts.  I did one this week about finding time, and really enjoyed venting about issues that bother me as they probably are common among some of you.

 

Off the blog” this week was kind of slow.  I did attend a super fun wedding last Saturday that took place at this beautiful country club. (See pics below)

Kt and David - Jenas wedding

David (hubby) and I out on the balcony, overlooking the Potomac River

Jena's wedding - group

All of our friends hanging out at the reception

Kt and David 2 - Jenas wedding

More drinks at the reception dinner

 

Other than that, the week was fairly quiet.  I am going to plan this week better.  There will be a lot of writing, reading, and running accomplished.  Maybe I will throw some relaxation in the mix as well…depends on how much fun I have doing everything else! :)

Here’s to a great week everyone!  Cheers!

 

Katie

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Dead Reckoning by Charlaine Harris

 

Sookie book cover

Courtesy of Goodreads:  With her knack for being in trouble's way, Sookie witnesses the firebombing of Merlotte's, the bar where she works. Since Sam Merlotte is now known to be two-natured, suspicion falls immediately on the anti-shifters in the area. Sookie suspects otherwise, but her attention is divided when she realizes that her lover Eric Northman and his "child" Pam are plotting to kill the vampire who is now their master. Gradually, Sookie is drawn into the plot-which is much more complicated than she knows...

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Anyone that knows me is already aware of my love for Sookie Stackhouse and the Southern Vampire series.  My best friend Lauren introduced me to these books a few years back when I was just getting back into reading again.  These books were such quick and fun reads that I actually finished the first 9 books within weeks.  Then of course when True Blood aired, I was like a kid in a candy shop and couldn’t get enough.  P.S. I am super excited season 4 is back.  My summer is about to be complete!  Squeee!

But I digress…after being disappointed with last year’s Dead in the Family, I had high hopes for this new installment.  I am sad to say that it seems that the series has lost it’s speed and pretty much hit a brick wall. 

Although I got a little more enjoyment out of this book than I did the last, it still feels very two dimensional.  Sookie is still getting herself immersed in trouble, this time with a firebombing at Merlottes as well as various other issues involving Pam and Eric.  Pam’s spitfire personality was missing throughout the story and the relationship between Pam and Eric was lacking.  

Sookie and Eric are still together…which used to be my favorite part of the last few books as I am definitely team Eric….hello HOTNESS…but now Eric is just boring.  He isn’t scary, or intimidating, or dangerously yummy, he is just blah.  Bill is still in the picture and there is a random underground scene with him and Sookie which was kind of interesting, but he has becoming a total pushover.   Both these men need to man back up and become the vampires that we all fell in love with early on. 

I am sure this series will come to an end in the next few books but I really hope that whatever is left of the story goes back to being exciting and fun. 

I am going to give Dead Reckoning two and a half stars and REALLY hope that the next installment is better!

 

Katie

Friday, June 24, 2011

Finding Time?

 

Have you ever found yourself saying something like “I will get ____ done when I find some time.”  What about, “I am going to get started on _____ again next week.”

Everyone is busy, life moves faster than we all want it to and before we know it, we have wasted years making a minimal effort towards some of the things we want the most.  Why is that?  A lot of times it is due to poor planning.

Extra hours won’t magically appear for us to accomplish the things we want to do.  We must actually MAKE time for what is important, especially our goals.  It is so easy to let days, weeks, and even months go by without getting anything accomplished. 

This week I have been paying attention to what I am getting done versus what I am putting off.  It has become apparent that I push many of my top goals off for later by telling myself that I will get to work on whatever it is once I “find the time”. 

Looking back at this year so far I am on target for many of my goals, but the most important ones are still sitting at a stale mate for one of two reasons in my case.  Either I am scared of failure, or I am intimidated by the amount of time it will take to make real progress. 

Examples for me include:

1. Editing and moving forward with my first YA book.

2. Getting the final 15 pounds off and finally being at my goal weight.

3. Finding a career path that I love. (Besides writing and reading)

Well enough is enough!  From now on, I am going to schedule several hours into each week to focus on what matters to me outside of my current job and family. The excuses are going to end.  I refuse to waste any more of my life being a talker and not a doer.

Does anyone else understand where I am coming from on this?  Have you had similar experiences?  I would love to hear them. 

Remember…there will always be a reason NOT to do something, but it’s finding the motivation and dedication towards being as good as you can be that is the biggest success of them all.

Thanks for reading :)

Katie

Monday, June 20, 2011

Born of Shadows by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Born of Shadows

Courtesy of Goodreads:  Just when you think you have it all figured out, life belts you to the ground. And when Caillen discovers a truth he'd never suspected about himself, everything in his life is turned on its head.
Desideria has a secret of her own- one that could end her life if anyone ever learns it. The last thing she expects is to meet a criminal in her sheltered world never mind find herself marooned on a hostile colony with him while his enemies try to kill them both.
And as they struggle to survive, her father's favorite curse resonates. "May you get exactly what you want and live long enough to regret it."

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Sherrilyn Kenyon is one of my favorite authors and I adored all three previous league novels.  When I heard she was releasing a forth book in this series, I jumped for joy.  The fantasy world she has created is unique and creative and I couldn’t wait to dive back in with Born of Shadows.  Unfortunately for me, the book was a little disappointing in comparison to the previous books.

The world was still interesting and I loved that this story was set in the same time as the first two League novels, Born of Night and Born of Fire.  It was great to be able to revisit with some original characters-Darling specifically.  He is one of my favorite secondary characters, but in the epilogue a twist was thrown in that had me thinking WTF.  I don’t want to spoil anything but it felt like Ms. Kenyon was conforming to society so she could write a book about him.  I think a Darling book is a great idea, but it should be written with his true feelings and true desires. 

Onto the main characters – Caillen and Desideria.  I liked Caillen on his own.  He was a smart ass and a risk take who put it all on the line without a second thought.  Desideria didn’t seem to know what she wanted or who she really was.  She was built up to be this fierce fighter, but she always seemed to need Caillen to hold her and make her feel better.  I didn’t understand her personality.  Their romance together fell a little flat.  I never had the tingly, steamy feeling while reading their interactions, or following their relationship build up.   There were several times where I would laugh at their bantering, but they seemed more like friends than lovers most of the time. 

The end confused me even more.  Caillen and Desideria were running from assassins for much of the story and there were so many twists and turns, I am still not sure I know who did it.

Ms. Kenyon is usually a dark, steamy, romance author and I love most of her  books (League and Dark Hunter) but this one just didn’t do it for me as much as I hoped for. 

Overall, with the world still being fun and entertaining, and the secondary characters being a big part of the story, I would give this book three stars.  If you are looking for an action packed, suspenseful story, this one will work for you.  On the other hand if you are looking for romance, I am not sure if you will find what you expected.

Katie

Saturday, June 18, 2011

A week in the life…

 

Well, this is my second week in the blogging world and I am still enjoying it very much.  I have met so many bloggers online through Twitter and you all are what truly made me want to try this out for myself in the first place.  There is still much to learn, I am trying to get down the art of reviewing to a science but that will take time and lots of practice. 

Moving onto what happened this lovely early summer week…

“On the blog” I completed two reviews and have drafted a third which is scheduled to be posted on Monday.  I read both Mark of the Vampire books by Laura Wright and enjoyed them immensely.  It was nice to start a new paranormal series and I definitely am hanging around impatiently for the third book which will not be released until early 2012.

Next week I am planning for at least two more book reviews and at least one blog post on where I am at in writing/editing my first paranormal young adult book.  The first draft has been complete for some time now but getting back on the ball has been hard for me.  That will change over the next few days.

 

“Off the blog” was less exciting than last week…it’s hard to beat the birth of your first nephew!

I did run a 4 mile race last Saturday evening with an official time of 42 minutes and 20 seconds!  My goal was to finish in 40 minutes or less because I have been training pretty consistently at about a 10 minute mile pace.  Needless to say, I was a little disappointed in the final time at first; but I found the positive side and realized that this was my second best 4 mile race time ever!  Here are a few pics from the race courtesy of my hubby…

Katie, Brooke, Ashley Twilight 4 miler

I’m in the middle of 2 of my good girlfriends before the race…pre sweat and exhaustion…lol

Katie finishing twlight 4 miler

And…here is me finishing the race!  Yay…its over :)

Unfortunately for me, a few days ago I discovered a sort of injury that has me taking some time off from the workouts.  Hopefully it will be a short break of about a week or so…but we will see.  I am already going a little nutty without my gym time.  Who would have thought that something that I used to see as a chore, would be missed so much when taken away.  Overall I feel like a lazy bum and want to get back on the ball already!

I hope you all are having another fantabulous weekend and please tell me all about your week! 

Katie

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Eternal Kiss by Laura Wright

Eternal Kiss

Courtesy of Goodreads:  Raised by the Breed, Nicholas Roman wants to stop the Eternal Order of Vampires from controlling his life, and using other males from his bloodline-including possibly his son-for their vicious reign. Only a beautiful vampire stranger can help him. But what are her true motives?

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Ok…so I liked Eternal Hunger (Book 1 in the Mark of the Vampire series) but it’s safe to say I LOVED Eternal Kiss!  Since a lot of the groundwork was laid in the first book…this one jumped right into the story between Nicky and Kate (and Ladd). 

Based on everything I have read thus far, Lucian is my favorite of the brothers and I can’t wait to read his story, Eternal Captive, but Nicky is a close second.  His half badass, half vulnerable personality really won me over and just had me swooning for much of the book. 

I just adored Kate.  She is one of the strongest heroines I have read recently and really could hold her own against the world.  Her time in prison and the way she felt about the need for freedom really resonated with me throughout the story.  I found myself begging internally for her to find happiness with Nicky and accept him without all the barriers they both had in place. 

I felt so much for both of these characters because of their tortured pasts and it was such an exhilarating experience to watch their story unfold. 

In conclusion…Nicky is scrumptious and I hope we hear more about him in future stories…I give this book five stars…definitely do not miss it!

Katie

Monday, June 13, 2011

Eternal Hunger by Laura Wright

Eternal hunger

Courtesy of Goodreads:  Alexander Roman wants nothing to do with those of his vampire breed. Fate places him at the door of Dr. Sara Donohue, who is dedicated to removing patients' traumatic memories. But as their world's collide, Sara and Alexander are bound by something even stronger as one becomes hunter and the other, prey. And Sara's only chance of survival is to surrender to the final-and most unimaginable-desire of her life.

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I found Laura Wright through the bookish grapevine on Twitter and Facebook a few months ago. Paranormal romance series always peak my interest in one way or another, but what really made me want to read The Mark Of The Vampire series was Ms. Wright herself.  She is very active in conversations with readers and is fun to chat with.  These qualities pushed me to read this series sooner, rather than later.

Moving on to the book itself…

Eternal Hunger is the first book in the Mark of the Vampire Series.  These books focus on the Eternal Order and The Roman brothers-Alexander, Nicholas, and Lucian. 

What I really liked about this book was that it laid the groundwork really well for future stories.  Sometimes the first book in a series can fall short because there is too MUCH or too LITTLE focus on the world we as readers are entering, but this one did a great job of allowing for a great love story, as well as a vivid look into the new world Ms. Wright is creating.

Alexander and Sara were intense.  The tension between the two of them was built beautifully and following them as they attempted to make an impossible situation workwas a bumpy journey.  I wanted them to end up together so badly, I found myself thumbing through to the end to see what happens and then scolding myself for being too impatient. 

The only thing I didn’t love about the book was that it was a little slow for me to get into. It took about 70 pages for me to become invested in the story…but once I got into it, I read it in one sitting. 

I really look forward to reading the second installment, Eternal Kiss, which happens to be next on my TBR list. 

I would give this book four out of five stars.  Laura Wright has struck gold with these Roman boys!

Katie

Saturday, June 11, 2011

A week in the life…

 I bet everyone is happy it’s finally the weekend!!!  At the end of each week I am going to post a recap of what happened on and off the blog. 

 

This week is easy with regards to “on the blog” because this is when it all began!  I was only able to post one review and that was of the fabulous Thea Harrison’s Dragon Bound!  What a great book…I just can’t speak highly enough of this story!  Unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to read ANYTHING new since then and that makes me sad; but I have a few good books planned for the next couple of days.  They are…

1. Eternal Hunger – Laura Wright

2. Eternal Kiss – Laura Wright

3. Born of Shadows – Sherrilyn Kenyon

I am so excited for all of these stories and I plan to review each of them upon completion. 

 

Now onto “off the blog”…

The main reason I had no time to read or post more than I did was because my sister had her first baby on Wednesday night! I am now the proud aunt to a beautiful 8 pound, 2 ounce boy named Tyler and I couldn’t be more thrilled!

Tyler Redford - Birth

How can you not love that face??  He was maybe 12 hours old in the above picture. 

Tyler and Aunt Katie 2

I spent as much time as I could loving and doting on the little guy as you can see.  Being back home and about two hours away from him is a little sad but there will be regular visits back and forth.  I can’t stay away for long!

With all the craziness and fun surrounding the baby, there wasn’t much time to focus elsewhere.  I didn’t get any writing or editing done which I will be sure to get back to…mainly editing. 

With regard to running, there wasn’t much happening on that end either.  Sadly, I hadn’t worked out since last Saturday until this morning but now that life will be getting back to normal, that will also change.  I have a 4 mile race tonight at 6pm and I am hoping for the best.  My endurance has of course taken a hit with the lack of practice lately, but this will be the push I need to re-focus!  Plus…this race is more like a party than a workout.  Apparently there is lots of food, music, and beer served at the finish line so it should be fun! :)  Wish me luck!

That about covers it…I would love to hear what you all did this week?  Any interesting stories to share???

Happy Weekend!

Katie

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Dragon Bound by Thea Harrison

Dragon Bound Cover

Courtesy of Goodreads:  Half-human and half-wyr, Pia Giovanni spent her life keeping a low profile among the wyrkind and avoiding the continuing conflict between them and their dark Fae enemies. But after being blackmailed into stealing a coin from the hoard of a dragon, Pia finds herself targeted by one of the most powerful - and passionate - of the Elder races.

As the most feared and respected of the Wyrkind, Dragos Cuelebre cannot believe someone had the audacity to steal from him, much less succeed. And when he catches the thief, Dragos spares her life, claiming her as his own to further explore the desire they've ignited in each other.

Pia knows she must repay Dragos for her trespass, but refuses to become his slave - although she cannot deny wanting him, body and soul ...

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Dragon Bound was recommended by pretty much everyone I follow on Twitter and after seeing all of the amazing feedback, I couldn’t help but pick it up.  Let me just say that everyone was right.  This book is a fast paced and extremely entertaining read.  From page one, I literally couldn’t stop reading until the end; and even then part of me wanted the story to go on. 

Ms. Harrison writes these characters in amazing detail and lets the imagination run wild.  I haven’t read many dragon shifter books but Dragos was so fun, that I found myself searching amazon for others of his kind.   The banter between him and Pia was hilarious and had me laughing out loud more than once.  That girl loved to put this “bad boy” shifter in his place and I just wanted to keep giving her high fives. 

The heat between the Pia and Dragos came right off the pages and the sexy times scenes were HOT!  Overall Dragon Bound was fantastic and gave me the right amount of action mixed with lots of romantical times. 

I loved this book just like most of the romance world seemed to and I can’t wait for the second installment, Storm’s Heart which comes out in August 2011!

Five star recommendation folks...get this book and devour it…you will not be sorry!

 

Katie

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Welcome!

Welcome to KT’s Korner.  I am so excited to start blogging as it is an entirely new world to me.  My web skills are limited and hopefully I will learn more as I go so please be patient with me and if you have ANY suggestions, do not hesitate to bring them up.  Many of you have either been reading or writing blog posts for some time now and I am open to any and all of your constructive criticism/suggestions. 

Onto the blog itself…my number one goal is to pass along helpful information and recommendations on the three things I love – Reading, Writing, and Running.  It may seem strange to place these things together under one heading but I am going to give it a shot.  Maybe seeing my bumpy path unfold can motivate you to try new things and I hope all of you will introduce me to new and exciting books and/or hobbies.

A little about me…

I didn’t begin to read hardcore until about three years ago when I picked up a little known series called Twilight (tee hee).  Once I devoured it, I moved on to Sookie Stackhouse, which lead to hundreds of other books.  I love romance – anything from Young Adult to Erotica sparks my interest.  A book is an escape for me…reality can be harsh and in your face, but it is nice to take a step into someone else's world for a period of time and engulf yourself in their trials and tribulations.  I still don’t know why it took me so long to become an avid reader, but now that I know how addicting reading can be, I will not look back.

When it comes to writing, I thought I was clueless…heck I still might be but I have drafted up two separate books thus far.  One is a contemporary romance and the other is a paranormal young adult book that could or could not be part of a series…I haven’t decided yet.  In my opinion, neither book is good enough yet to submit for publication but never in my wildest dreams did I think I could sit down and come up with a story that would even be slightly interesting enough to go on for more than 200 pages.  I am continuing with editing and have a goal of at least starting the submission process on one of these books by the end of 2011.

Lastly there is my love for running.  As a teenager I struggled with my weight.  It was always on the forefront of my mind and throughout my 20s I could never keep my weight down for more than a few weeks before giving up and eating like a crazy person.  This lead to lots of yo yo dieting.  I discovered running after I quit smoking in 2006.  I was never a runner, and definitely didn’t imagine myself participating in races.  In 2007 I ran my very first 5k race on Thanksgiving morning.  I quickly found out that races were addicting and the natural high that could come from finishing them was something I would always want to have.  Since this first race I have participated in many 5k’s, 4 miler’s, a 10k, AND the Army 10 miler twice! 

This should give a brief background of where I started and now its time to write the story of where I am going.  I want this blog to be fun and entertaining and I look forward to interacting with everyone.

Thank you to everyone for stopping by and I look forward to getting to know you all! 

Stay tuned for my first review…

Katie