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Monday, October 31, 2011

Review: Real Men Will by Victoria Dahl

Title: Real Men Will
Author: Victoria Dahl
Series: Donovan Brothers Brewery, book 3
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Harlequin
Source: Review copy from publisher
Format: E-book
“It was meant to be a one-night stand. One night of passion. Scorching-hot. Then Beth Cantrell and Eric Donovan were supposed to go their separate ways. That's the only reason he lied about his name, telling her he was really his wild younger brother. Hiding his identity as the conservative Donovan. The "good one." But passion has its own logic, and Eric finds he can't forget the sable-haired beauty with whom he shared a night of love. When Beth discovers that Eric has lied, however, she knows he can't be trusted. Her mind tells her to forget the blue-eyed charmer. If only every fiber of her being didn't burn to call him back.”
Real Men Will is third and last book in the Donovan Brothers Brewery trilogy by Victoria Dahl.

Since the death of his parents, thirteen years ago, Eric Donovan took the reins of the family and the family business. At twenty-four he became the guardian/parent of his two little siblings. Jamie was sixteen and Tessa fourteen at the time.
Eric had to put his life in standby and quit his dreams to be able to raise his brother and sister and manage the family brewery. He has been successful in both accounts. Now his siblings are grownups; they work at the brewery with him, but everyday there is conflict between them. Eric is feeling out place now that Jamie and Tessa want to have more responsibilities at work and don’t need him as much as before. Also they are moving on with their lives. Tessa has a living-in boyfriend (Good Girls Don’t) and for the first time in his life Jamie is in a serious and stable relationship (Bad Boys Do), and Eric has nothing, just the memory of a steamy night that happened six months ago, a night in which he lied and pretended to be his brother Jamie.
Beth Cantrell is the manager of White Orchid, a high-end erotic boutique. She has a love-hate relationship with her work and a frustrating sex life. Because of her work every man she meets thinks she is a sex goddess who should be into kinky stuff. They couldn’t be more wrong, Beth is completely vanilla or at least she used to be until one night six months ago when she had a one night stand that rocked her world. She hasn’t been able to forget that night with “Jamie”.
Circumstances take her one day to Donovan Brothers Brewery where she discovers that the man she has been dreaming about for months had lied to her. His name wasn’t Jamie, he was Eric; he pretended to be his brother to get her in bed. If she had trust issues before, now…
Eric didn’t want to lie to Beth when he met her. There was a misunderstanding, she thought he was Jamie and he didn’t correct her at the time, he wanted a night without complications where he didn’t have to be the responsible one for the first time in his life. And now that they have seen each other again, hurt feelings or not, they can’t keep their distance.

I had a love/love-not-much relationship with this book. There were things I really like and others I couldn’t digest. One of those is coming from previous books of this series and it’s the siblings’ squabble. I thought many of the family conflicts had been resolved in Bad Boys Do, but boy was I wrong. The fighting between them was a never-ending one, so much that I wanted to skip those parts. We learned the whys of many of Eric reactions but still it was too much, same with Jamie and Tessa. Tessa and her “don’t leave me” issues just grinded my nerves the wrong way.

I liked that we discover the real Eric and what is behind the fa├žade of responsible and composed man. He felt more real thanks to his insecurities and personal issues.

I liked/didn’t liked Beth. I couldn’t connect with her and understand her completely. I know she has demons from her past that haven’t let her be the person she wants to be, but still… I found her a bit weak and confusing.

Eric and Beth relationship was super steamy. And here is where I have another problem with the story; their relationship was based on sex and nothing else, I didn’t feel any other real connection between them apart from the sizzling physical attraction. I wish I could have seen them sharing as a regular couple a bit more than just having sex all the time. I not complaining about the sex scenes because they were great, I just wanted to finish the book having the feeling that they will work as a couple out of the bed too.

I love Jamie, I was happy for him and the development of his new (dream) part of the business, I was also happy that Eric screwed up and now Jamie was not the only one who made mistakes in his family.
I didn’t like Tessa controlling and manipulative ways in previous books nor did I like her in Real Men Will. I know she just wants her family to be together but she was just too much.

This book wasn’t perfect but overall it was a fun and a very steamy read. I could say that Real Men Will have the sexiest scenes I have ever read by Mrs. Dahl.
If you like sexy, witty contemporary romance this book is for you. Real Men Will can be read as a stand-alone but I would recommend you to read before the prequel novella to this series Just One Taste in The Guy Next Door anthology. In Just One Taste it’s where Eric and Beth met for the first time.

My Verdict: 4 Paws

Other books in the series
Just One Taste (novella)
Good Girls Don’t
Bad Boys Do
Real Men Will

Other reviews Goodreads

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Movie Trailer: Hugo

Hugo is the upcoming adventure film basen on the novel The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick. This movie is directed by Martin Scorsese.
This film follows the adventures of an orphan who lives in the walls of a train station in Paris in 1930s. His adventures includes a mysterious girl, an broken automaton and the man who runs a toy shop. 

This film will be release in the United States on November 23rd 2011. 


Movie Poster

Friday, October 28, 2011

Friday's Short Review: In Total Surrender by Anne Mallory

Title: In Total Surrender
Author: Anne Mallory
Series: Secrets, book 3
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Avon Books
Source: Review copy from publisher
Format: E-book 
“Andreas Merrick is the king of London's dark underworld, having amassed unimaginable wealth and power...and a fierce reputation that leaves even the bravest men quaking in their boots. Yet one person is maddeningly unintimidated by his fearsome presence: the persistent Miss Phoebe Pace. 
Equal parts honey and steel, Phoebe will stop at nothing to find her missing brother and save her family. Though associating with Andreas means peril and scandal, she never expects to experience a passion so intense that it threatens to consume her. But enigmatic Andreas is no ordinary man to love. He brings dangers from all sides -- without and within -- while tempting her beyond her wildest dreams…”
In Total Surrender is book three in the Secrets series by Anne Mallory and my first book by this author.

I really enjoyed In Total Surrender even though I had some problems getting into the story. I blame this on the lack of background information about the characters and the issues pertained to the plot. Maybe if I had read previous books I wouldn’t have been as lost as I was on the beginning. What kept me reading were the characters.

If you like a tortured hero you will love Andreas. He is dark, dangerous, smart and the product of a very violent childhood. Because of this he is a man who doesn’t trust and lives for vengeance. He is a recluse who lives for plotting against his enemies and doesn’t interact with many people.

And here comes Phoebe, the perfect heroine. She is clever, sassy, witty, sweet and caring. Circumstances forced Phoebe to take the reins of her family and their business. She designs a plan to save her family and this plan includes Andreas.

Andreas has been attracted to Phoebe since the first moment he saw her but the last thing he wants is a complication in his life, however our Phoebe is a very smart and patient mastermind. When Andreas was less expecting it he finds himself in the middle of Phoebe’s plan, with her shoving her way into his life with subtle actions.
I loved Andreas’ inner dialogue; it was sometimes as amusing as his conversations with Phoebe.

And here Miss Bleeding Sunshine sat, looking as if just this morning she’d been attended by fairies, baked with elves, and had tea with a unicorn.

The secondary characters were somehow flat, even the villain of the story lack of depth, maybe this is a villain that comes from previous books and the information given In Total Surrender wasn’t enough to have a clear imagine of him.
Despite not having much scene time Andreas’ brother Roman was the most interesting of the secondary characters. It was obvious previous book in this series, One Night is Never Enoughwas his book.

My final thought: The banter between Andreas and Phoebe made of In Total Surrender a very fun read. As I said before what made this a good book were its characters. Their attraction for each other is clear from page one and from then on the sexual tension between these two just rises and rises until… and here comes my second complaint, after all that sexual tension I was expecting a very sexy steamy scene just to read a scene of allegories, nothing clear. I have to read the same scene more than once to realize that what I was reading was a sex scene!
Still In Total Surrender was an enjoyable read with some unexpected twist and turns and a great hero/heroine combination. This book could be read as a stand-alone but I think you may enjoy it more if it’s read as a part of the series.

My Verdict: 4 Paws

Other books in the series
Seven Secrets of Seduction
One Night is Never Enough
In Total Surrender

Other reviews Goodreads

Thursday, October 27, 2011

CATS-ilicious Thursday - Featuring @Giguhl 's Girlfriend & Cousins

In today's CATS-ilicious Thursday we have Giguhl's girlfriend and 
his cousins. 
If you don't know who Giguhl is you need to read Sabina Kane series by Jaye Wells. Quick info about him: Giguhl is a Mischief Demon and Sabina Kane's sidekick. Giguhl also has a little 
home shopping network addiction. 
You can follow Giguhl on Twitter @Giguhl 

Giguhl's cousins are a bit more cultured than him... 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Review: Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel

Title: Dearly, Departed
Author: Lia Habel
Series: Dearly, book 1
Genre: Steampunk, YA Fiction, 
Zombies, Dystopian
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Source: Review copy from publisher
Format: E-book
“Love conquers all, so they say. But can Cupid’s arrow pierce the hearts of the living and the dead—or rather, the undead? Can a proper young Victorian lady find true love in the arms of a dashing zombie? 

The year is 2195. The place is New Victoria—a high-tech nation modeled on the manners, mores, and fashions of an antique era. A teenager in high society, Nora Dearly is far more interested in military history and her country’s political unrest than in tea parties and debutante balls. But after her beloved parents die, Nora is left at the mercy of her domineering aunt, a social-climbing spendthrift who has squandered the family fortune and now plans to marry her niece off for money. For Nora, no fate could be more horrible—until she’s nearly kidnapped by an army of walking corpses. 
But fate is just getting started with Nora. Catapulted from her world of drawing-room civility, she’s suddenly gunning down ravenous zombies alongside mysterious black-clad commandos and confronting “The Laz,” a fatal virus that raises the dead—and hell along with them. Hardly ideal circumstances. Then Nora meets Bram Griswold, a young soldier who is brave, handsome, noble . . . and dead. But as is the case with the rest of his special undead unit, luck and modern science have enabled Bram to hold on to his mind, his manners, and his body parts. And when his bond of trust with Nora turns to tenderness, there’s no turning back. Eventually, they know, the disease will win, separating the star-crossed lovers forever. But until then, beating or not, their hearts will have what they desire.
In Dearly, Departed, romance meets walking-dead thriller, spawning a madly imaginative novel of rip-roaring adventure, spine-tingling suspense, and macabre comedy that forever redefines the concept of undying love.”
Dearly, Departed is book one in the new Dearly series by Lia Habel.

The blurb is very explanatory, I won’t give you a synopsis but I’ll add some details throughout my review.

Dearly, Departed was a very nice surprise for me, if I’m been honest I wasn’t expecting to like this book as much as I did nor I was expecting it to be as good as it was.

One of the things I loved the most about this book was the world Mrs. Habel created. The year is 2195, a new ice age has happened. Many of the northern countries have disappeared under a heavy coat of ice forcing their habitants to migrate close to the tropics, where now they live in tribes (nations). One of those tribes is the New Victoria. A tribe that decided to follow the behaviors and customs of the Victorian Era, an era they consider was the golden age of humanity. So now we are in the year 2195 with Victorian customs and advances in technology corresponding to the current times. The technology is modern but with a touch of Steampunk, there are microchips, cell phones, tablets, flat screens, holograms and more. What I liked was that many of these contractions work with steam. Also the aethernet is use for communications. All in all a very creative, complex and well developed world.

To add to this new world and lifestyle a new virus called Lazarus virus is spreading with the dire consequences of creating zombies. When the infected die in some cases they wake up with all their faculties intact (good zombie) and in other cases… let’s just say I would not like to encounter one of those. This situation has been kept secret by the government for years. They are trying to find a vaccine and while Scientifics are looking for it, the government has created a small army with good zombies called Company Z. This group specializes in the elimination of the bad, mindless, flesh eaters zombies also known as Greys.

Dearly, Departed is the love story about Nora and Bram. Nora is a normal human girl and Bram is one of the good zombies, he is also the Captain of Company Z. I was a bit skeptical about the story, I couldn’t imagine a normal person falling for a zombie, but Mrs. Habel does an awesome job with Bram’s character. The more you know Bram the less you think about his “handicaps” and soon after you are rooting for him and fervently wishing for a cure, a solution or something to will help him with that little detail of gray skin and falling and rotting parts. Not that anything is falling or rotting at the moment but with time it will start to happen.

Nora is a different girl from the norm of her times, where all the girls are expected to have ladylike behaviors and should never worry with anything discomforting. But since an early age Nora has been curious and has always wanted to learn and know more about their past wars and social and political differences with other tribes.
I liked how Nora reactions were real and didn’t feel forced. She is a smart young girl, she analyses things before acting and when she is wrong about something she accepts it. She is also strong for her age, I’m not talking about physical strength but emotional strength. She freaked out when it was normal to do so but she never disappointed me. She learned to look inside the persons and not to judge them by their appearances, not just with Bram but also with other members of Company Z.

As I said before Bram and Nora relationship should be a NO-NO but the more you see their interaction and the more they spend time together you realized they are good for each other regardless of their differences.

The secondary characters are all nice and they all bring something to the story. The one I could say evolved the most was Pamela, Nora’s best friend since childhood. Pamela starts as a perfect daughter and lady but when circumstances changes and her old self is not enough she changes too and becomes what is needed from her.
Bram’s friends from Company Z were all nice characters that added something to the story, characters you learn to love and as with Bram you wish for a happy ending for them too. They are all characters you would love to learn more about them and hope to see more of them in the future.
Dearly, Departed is told from five different points of view. Yes, you read right, five! But as with character development Mrs. Habel does a great job and differentiates each chapter by speaker so it was very easy to follow up and didn’t get confusing.

The end of Dearly, Departed is not a cliffhanger but is one that will leave you wanting to get your hands on the next installment, Dearly, Beloved as soon as it’s released next year.
In general I really liked and enjoyed Dearly, Departed. I think it was a great surprise and a really good debut novel by Lia Habel. Dearly, Departed is a book I recommend to all YA, distopyan and steampunk fans.

My Verdict: 4 ½ Paws

Other books in the series
Dearly, Departed
Dearly, Beloved (2012)

Other reviews Goodreads

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Tuesday's Hot-Hot Hottie: New Zealand Rugby Players Edition

Today's Hot-Hot Hottie: New Zealand Rugby Players Edition is in honor to new Rugby World Cup Champions team: 
New Zealand, the team is also known as the All Blacks.

Sonny Bill Williams

Tamati Ellison and Liam Messam

Daniel Carter

Jerome Kaino 

Ali Williams

The team doing the Haka after becoming World Cup Champions

As I said last week... Rugby is my new sport...

Monday, October 24, 2011

Review: Lord of the Wolfyn by Jessica Andersen

Title: Lord of the Wolfyn
Author: Jessica Andersen
Series: Royal House of Shadows, book 3
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Harlequin
Source: Review copy from publisher
Format: E-book
“Once upon a time…the Blood Sorcerer vanquished the kingdom of Elden.
To save their children, the queen scattered them to safety and the king filled them with vengeance.
Only a magical timepiece connects the four royal heirs…and time is running out.… 
For practical Reda Weston, nothing could explain how reading a sexy version of "Little Red Riding Hood" catapulted her into another realm—face-to-fang with the legendary wolf-creature who seduced women. A wolf who transformed into a dark, virile man…. 
Dayn cursed the Sorcerer that turned him wolfyn and damned him to a lonely fate. As a beast, he mated with women to gain strength.Strength he needed to rescue his royal parents. But as a man, he craved Reda's heated, sizzling touch. With little time left, Dayn had to either embrace his wolf to save his kingdom…or fight it to save his woman.”
Lord of the Wolfyn is the third book in the Royal House of Shadows series. Jessica Andersen writes this installment.

Reda’s mother was a woman who believed in magic and magic creatures. She taught Reda as much as possible about her beliefs and gave Reda a very special book with a different version of the Red Riding Hood. When her mom passed away Reda fervently clung to the book and to her mother’s magic beliefs, but her father a military man couldn’t accept her behavior and took the book away from her and sent her to therapy. Many years have passed, Reda is a grown woman and a police officer now dealing with the death of her partner, a death she blames herself for freezing during an armed robbery.
Reda is on leave, going to therapy and trying to forgive herself for her actions or lack of them. One day, one of her walks takes her to an interesting bookstore where she finds the book her mother gave to her many years ago. Without a second thought Reda buys the book. She has always been curiously attracted to the woodsman in the story and at home remembering her mother’s teachings she also remembers some magic words her mother taught her. According to her mother one day she must need to use those words to fulfill her destiny. After so many years Reda doesn’t believe in magic anymore, but anyway while reading the book she repeats the magic words without any expectations, no having a clue what she was doing or what was going to happen.
Dayn is the second son of the King and Queen of Elden and a blood-drinker (something similar to a vampire). During the Elden’s castle attack by the Blood Sorcerer, the King and Queen, united, use their last strength before dying to protect their children, using their magic they sent them away from their lands and out of the reach of the Blood Sorcerer.
Dayn was sent to the Wolfyn Realm where he is supposed to wait for a guide, this guide will bring him back to the Elden Realm when the time is right for him and his brothers to battle the Blood Sorcerer and get back what was theirs. The only things he knows about this guide is that is a woman with red hair and after her arrival they will have four days to get back to Elden.
Dayn has been living for twenty years among the wolfyn hiding his true identity from them. Wolfyn are one of Elden’s biggest enemies.
One night a magical vortex open and in the middle of it a red headed woman is laying unconscious. Dayn immediately knows she is the woman he has been dreaming about and his guide. Finally the time has arrived for him to head back to Elden.
Reda awakes in a strange place but she thinks she is still sleeping and dreaming about her woodsman. Her rational mind cannot believe her mother was right and magic is real. And even more she cannot believe her woodsman is also real and wants her to guide him to another realm.
Dayn and Reda will have to work together to be able to achieve their goals, the question is would they be able to do it while being so different from each other?

I have some problems with Reda because it took a long time for her to believe what she was experiencing was real. Also her reactions about some truths about Dayn were a bit too much and sometimes she was more of a liability than an asset to Dayn. At the end she was a lot better but I wish she would have find her inner strength a bit sooner.

I liked Dayn a bit more. He is a patient man and he understands Reda. He is also dealing with his own issues and needs to learn to accept himself for what he truly is. At the same time he is helping Reda find herself.

Their relationship was one of immediate attraction but with some bumps on the road thanks to Reda. At the end they came together in a nice and believable way.

I had some issues with this book. One of those may sound silly for many of you, but for me it was almost a deal-breaker. Minutes before meeting Reda for the first time Dayn was with another woman. He’s just out of her bed and hasn’t showered or anything when he meets Reda. Dayn then spends hours with Reda and doesn’t shower, nothing, not even wet-wipes! (lol) They even kiss and touch and the only thing I could think was “please take a shower, please! Take the other’s woman sweat and smell from your body”. At the end the shower happens but for me was almost a bit too late.
Another problem or inconsistency I found with the story was the lack of mention of the timepiece, the one that the Queen gave to each of her kids and was supposed to have some importance in the story, at least that was said in previous two books.

Lord of the Wolfyn was my first book by Jessica Andersen and even though I found the dialogue a bit repetitive I can say I liked her style and I’m sure this one won’t be my last book by her.
I can’t wait to read the conclusion of this series in the next and last book, Lord of the Abyss, Nalini Singh writes this final installment.

My Verdict: 3 ½ Paws

Other books in the series
Lord of the Vampires
Lord of Rage
Lord of the Wolfyn
Lord of the Abyss

Other reviews Goodreads

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Movie Trailer: The Woman in Black

The Woman in Black in the upcoming horror-thriller based on the novel of the same name by Susan Hill. The film will star Daniel Radcliffe. 

This movie will be on theaters on February, 2012.


Movie Poster

Friday, October 21, 2011

Joint Review: Born in Shame by Nora Roberts

Title: Born in Shame
Author: Nora Roberts
Series: Born In Trilogy, book 3
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Penguin Group
Format: E-book
“Shannon Bodine is a talented graphic artist whose life revolves around her job at a prestigious New York advertising agency. Her world is turned upside down when she learns the identity of her real father: Thomas Concannon. Respecting her late mother's wish, Shannon travels, however reluctantly, to County Clare. There, her loneliness and shame melt away in the embrace of the family she never knew existed. And amid the lush Irish landscape, steeped in mysticism and legend, she discovers the possibility of a love that is meant to be.”

Marcela: Ally, we have come to the end of this review adventure. I can’t thank you enough for considering me for these joint reviews, the first ones I have ever done. It was a pleasure to pop my joint-review-cherry with you.
Now going back to Ireland…
My love for Murphy was love at first read, for that reason I was very excited to read his story. Even though I had some problems with the story and I could say Born in Shame was the book I liked the least in the trilogy I still enjoyed it and devoured its pages. As I said before I loved Murphy since the very beginning and he didn’t disappoint me in Born in Shame. He is a very intense and passionate man, but in a good way. He is a hard workingman and very proud of his work and roots, I admire that in a man; he is also sexy as hell. I love the image of him working with his horses or simply driving his tractor. But there is a lot more of him that we discover slowly through the pages. I don’t have anything negative to say about him, I just wish he was my neighbor and I could see him driving his tractor around… everyday, all day...

Ally: LMAO! Love you Marcela so I’m more than happy to help you ‘pop your joint review cherry’!
I have loved Murphy throughout this series, he’s constantly been there for Maggie and Brie and been the bigger, older brother that they’ve needed in their lives to add to their small but quickly growing family so it’s even better for Murphy to get his own book and see yet another side to him, he is the sweetest and most romantic guy in the series and when he gets an idea in his head, boy is he stubborn about it and determined to carry it through. Not only will he get what he want’s from Shannon, he’ll help her heal and get to know her Irish roots and her new sisters whether she wants to or not because that’s the kind of guy Murphy is. He’s extremely proud of his Irish heritiage and from coming from a long line of farmers. It’s something he believes in and is good at yet he loves his music just as much as he loves his farm. Murphy such a great character that you can’t help but fall in love with him, there are so many sides to him that no matter which way you turn him you’ll always find something new to appreciate about him and make you fall in love with him again and again.

Marcela: Now, let’s talk about Shannon. I didn’t like some of her actions, especially on the beginning but when I stopped and thought about her situation, and put myself in her shoes, I realized I might have reacted the same way. She was an only child with no other family than her lovely parents. Her father died just couple of months ago, she is dealing with that loss when she finds out her mother has cancer and is dying too and if that was not enough in her deathbed her mother confesses that the man she believed her whole life to be her father is not her real father, and then tells her the story of how she was conceived in Ireland and how her mother still loves her biological father Tom Concannon and to add to that she tells her she also has two older sisters. (If I was in her position I’m sure by then I will be in a straitjacket.) Then her mother dies and on the day of the funeral a P.I. arrives to her home telling her he is working for her sisters and has been looking for her for months. As I said, even though I didn’t like her reaction, I’m pretty sure I would have reacted the same way.
I liked that when Brie contacted her she gave herself and her sisters a chance and went to visit them in Ireland.
Shannon is a city girl and for her everything was new. I loved how little by little she discovered the pleasures of a calm and picturesque country life. I also loved how little details made her start to care about her sisters and one thing I admired about her is the way she handled Maeve, I think it was really well done.
The problem I had was that the love for Murphy didn’t feel real, if it was not because of the paranormal factor attached to their relationship I don’t think it would have worked. There was attraction, yes, but love, no, at least it was not believable (for me).

Ally: I’d totally have to agree with what you’ve said Marcela I really struggled with Shannon at times throughout the book. No matter how my heartfelt for her and I wanted to really like her I just couldn’t. She’s extremely standoffish at the beginning of the book and I found that, that set the tone for the book I also found it hard to really warm to her because of her attitude. As Marcela has already stated part of Shannon’s behavior is very understandable but the other part is totally how she’s been brought up and how she’s lived her life being a city girl. If it wasn’t for how she acts with Murphy this book would have been a DNF at times for me because I just couldn’t warm up to Shannon, and like Marcela I had a hard time believing in their love primarily because of Shannon and how she comes across, it’s 100% Murphy and the other characters who save this book for me.

Marcela: Exactly, if it weren’t for Murphy and the others this book would have been DNF for me too.
What I enjoy the most about this book was to see how Maggie and Brie were doing with their own families. As I said before I liked Maggie and Rogan a lot and loved seeing how they have become a family and how they are working perfectly around the compromises they agreed upon in the beginning.
Brie was great in this book, I loved her with her sweetness and her caring she got the whole family together. The big surprise for me was Gray, I had mixed feelings about him in Born in Ice but I’m happy to say that I loved him in Born in Shame, all the things I didn’t like about him then are not present in this book. Gray has evolved a lot making him feel almost a different person, in a very good way, I guess that’s thanks to the love of his own family and the feeling of belonging and being loved, things he had never had before. Even Maeve, is coming around this time, the love for her grandkids has made her change. I can say I didn’t hate her in Born in Shame and that’s a lot for me to say about her.

Ally: It too true the secondary characters really do shine through more in Born in Shame than the previous books. This could be because we’ve become so attached to them since they’ve had their own books but also due to the fact that Shannon and Murphy don’t pull you into the book quite as much as Maggie and Brie did in theirs, which is quite sad but at least two out of three books were extremely enjoyable. Born in Shame makes me fall in love with Rogan and Gray all over again, and makes me want to re-read the first two books to bring back the memories! As usual I adored Brie in this book, she’s a complete sweetheart who’s happier to show more of her emotions, she still hates being caught in a fight more than anything but she’ll do it for her sisters and it show’s she’s grown just as much as the other characters from the previous books. I did have a few moments where I wanted to smack Maggie upside the head and tell her to stop being a bitch and start being more accepting but in the end she was only trying to protect Brie who is part of the core of her family, so her behavior is acceptable but not necessarily likeable. As Marcela has already said Grey has grown a lot since his book and has become a much more easy going, calmer person who’s taken well to married life and fatherhood. When I first read this book I was surprised at how Maeve had mellowed from the beginning of not just Born in Shame but from the start of the series. I don’t think I could ever forgive her behavior and attitude but it’s nice to see she’s making an effort and trying. I no longer want to do her in with a frying pan! (It’s my choice of weapon ok?!)
My only problem with this series on the entirety is that you don’t have a real sense of time when reading it. In the start of Born in Fire it jumps five years without passing much comment on those five years or why they were jumped! I have no idea how much time passes between Born in Fire and Born in Ice but Maggie’s pregnant and it doesn’t take her long to give birth. Also Gray is with Brie for six months and is passes extremely quickly I found it hard to believe! Between Born in Ice and Born in Shame not only have Gray and Brie been married a year they’ve also had a baby, some of the time framing just feels a little rushed and pushed to make it all fit and at times I wasn’t overly comfortable with this but on the overall I did enjoy re-reading this series and have to thank Marcela for picking it!

Marcela: Thanks to you Ally for considering me, it has been lots of fun to write this joint reviews with you.
*I want to be clear the score I’m giving this book is due to the secondary characters, because the main story failed for me.*

Marcela’s Quote:

“Welcome to the county of Clare, Shannon Bodine. May your stay be as sweet and colorful as the blooms and last longer.”
Flabbergasted, and damn it, charmed, she took the cheerful blossom from him. “I thought you were an odd man, Murphy,” she murmured. “It seems I was right.” But her lips were curve as she rose. “Thank you.”
“Now, that’s something I’ll look forward to. Your smile,” he told her when she only lifted her brows. “It’s worth waiting for. Good night, Shannon. Sleep well.”

Ally’s Quote:

“I haven’t done a nude since art school, but - ”
“Darling when you get me naked, you’ll be much too busy for your brushes.”

Marcela’s Rating: 3 ½ Paws 

Ally’s Rating: 3 Stars

Other books in the series
Born in Fire
Born in Ice
Born in Shame

Other reviews Goodreads

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Today I'm At... Swept Away Again - Joint Reviewing Born in Ice by Nora Roberts

Today I'm joint reviewing...


Thank you Ally for popping my joint review...

Born in Ice is the second book in the Born In Trilogy by Nora Roberts. Yesterday I reviewed the first book Born in Fire on Ally's blog and tomorrow Ally and I will be joint reviewing the third and last book Born in Shame here on my blog. 

Click on any of the pictures to be taken directly to our joint review at Ally's blog.

CATS-ilicious Thursday

I'd rather not walk

Walking time... or not

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Today I'm At... Swept Away Again!

Today I'm guest reviewing...


Born in Fire is book one in the Born In Trilogy by Nora Roberts. Ally and I will be joint reviewing the second book, Born in Ice on her blog tomorrow and we will be joint reviewing the third book, Born in Shame on my blog on Friday. 

Go say hi to Ally and read my review, even if you are not a Nora Roberts fan, I wasn't one... but now I am. Ally aka the NR Pimp-er converted me. 

Click in any of the pictures to be taken directly to my review at Ally's blog.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Tuesday's Hot-Hot Hottie: Italian Rugby Players Edition

After seeing these photos I'm sure you will agree with me, soccer and american football are completely overrated. From now on my sport is RUGBY! 
And one of the teams to follow is the protagonist of my 
Today's Hot-Hot Hottie: Italian Rugby Players Edition. 

These are the Bergamasco brothers

He is Gonzalo Canale

And the current captain of the team
Sergio Parisse

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