It was fun getting back to Oiltop, Kansas' new gluten-free bakery in MURDER GONE A-RYE. This time around, Toni Holmes has to split time running her shIt was fun getting back to Oiltop, Kansas' new gluten-free bakery in MURDER GONE A-RYE. This time around, Toni Holmes has to split time running her shop during Thanksgiving rush and keeping her ornery Grandma Ruth out of trouble. Ruth is a suspect in the murder of Lois Striker, who was the secretary of Oiltop's mayor decades earlier. The mystery was intriguing and well-crafted, blending the Lois Striker case with a cold case murder from 1959. This town has been hiding some juicy secrets over the years, and someone in particular wants them to stay buried at any cost.
The residents of Oiltop are a delightful bunch, and their antics had me giggling several times. We're introduced to Aunt Phyllis who's as quirky as Grandma Ruth. When those two get together, plenty of mischief-making ensues. Toni is her likable, down-to-earth, and patient self, running a successful gluten-free bakery in the middle of wheat country. Getting divorced has made Toni leery about love, but she's got a couple of local men with eyes on her when she's ready to date again.
A highlight of this book was getting to experience the workings of Toni's bakery as she prepared for Thanksgiving sales. I could smell the fresh coffee and sweet treats. Yum! Also included in the book are several gluten-free recipes to try.
This HUGE book is actually two books in one. It contains Book One and Book Two of Rosemary Laurey's Vampire Series. Though this edition is out-of-prinThis HUGE book is actually two books in one. It contains Book One and Book Two of Rosemary Laurey's Vampire Series. Though this edition is out-of-print, the two books will be reissued separately this spring.
The first book is KISS ME FOREVER. American Dixie LaPage travels to England after inheriting a home from her long lost great aunts. When she arrives she becomes entangled with an Elizabethan Age vampire named Christopher 'Kit' Marlowe. Yes, he is THE legendary playwright of the same name, and an eye patch-wearing vampire. Dixie and Kit must battle against a coven of dark witches out to destroy them both.
The second book is LOVE ME FOREVER. Dixie and Christopher have moved to Ohio, and they own a store called The Vampire Emporium. Kit's dear friend and fellow vampire Justin Corvus pays them a visit, and he is immediately attracted to one of their human customers Stella Schultz. Stella is a struggling single mom to her son Sam, and they are living in a less-than-desirable neighborhood. Though she is attracted to Justin, Stella is hesitant to fall for him because of being hurt before. Their new relationship is threatened when Justin breaks the vampire colony's laws while defending Stella from her neighborhood's street thugs.
Both of these books were enjoyable - very good character development, detailed descriptions of places and events, and good dialog between characters. I thought it was an original idea to take an actual person from history (Christopher Marlowe) and make him a modern-day vampire. I would definitely recommend reading Rosemary Laurey's Vampire Series. ...more
SHELTER MOUNTAIN is the second book in the Virgin River series, and it is just as wonderful as the first. I loved getting to know the real Preacher asSHELTER MOUNTAIN is the second book in the Virgin River series, and it is just as wonderful as the first. I loved getting to know the real Preacher as he helps a young mother on the run from her abusive husband. Paige and Preacher's relationship develops slowly and realistically given their delicate situation. My heart went out to Paige as she fought to save herself and her son from a monster. Luckily she had Preacher and the rest of Virgin River to offer support and protection.
At first glance, Preacher may not seem like your typical romance hero, but it doesn't take long to fall in love with him. He's a huge ex-marine, bald, with dark bushy eyebrows. Along with his intimidating appearance, he's also very quiet, so getting close to him isn't easy. But when he does let someone in, he's the most loyal, protective and kind man on the planet. *swoon*
SHELTER MOUNTAIN also continues the Mel/Jack and Liz/Rick story lines from the first book. I enjoyed revisiting those characters and sharing their joys and heartbreaks - very emotional stuff. 5-stars!...more
Leigh Tyler is a former kindergarten teacher whose world is shattered when her family, including her fiance, is murdered by a white werewolf. Soon aftLeigh Tyler is a former kindergarten teacher whose world is shattered when her family, including her fiance, is murdered by a white werewolf. Soon after, she is recruited as a member of the Jager-Suchers, a secret organization of werewolf hunters. Her leader Edward sends her to the town of Crow Valley, Wisconsin, to investigate unusual werewolf activity, as it appears there is a werewolf killing and eating other werewolves. Edward also wants Leigh to train a new Jager-Sucher recruit named Jessie McQuade.
Upon arrival in Crow Valley, Leigh meets a mysterious drifter named Damien Fitzgerald. Since the death of her fiance, Leigh has avoided men and focused her attention on hunting down the white werewolf that murdered everyone she loved. But Damien awakens something in her that she thought had died with her former life. However, there is something about him that is not quite right. Leigh soon fears that Damien may be the thing she has devoted her life to destroy.
Hunter's Moon is the second book in Lori Handeland's Nightcreature series. The story is suspenseful with fascinating characters. Leigh is a strong, clever, kick-butt heroine. I enjoyed the tense relationship between Leigh and Jessie. I do feel like Damien was a bit short-changed as the "hero" in this book; the secondary characters, Jessie and Will (Jessie's sexy, bookish boyfriend), get about as much attention as Damien does. The story is full of sexual tension with very hot love scenes, but I wouldn't say romance is a big focus. Though part of a series, this book could be read stand-alone, but I highly recommend reading Blue Moon first to hear Jessie and Will's story. I really enjoyed Hunter's Moon, and I am looking forward to reading the next in the series. ...more
**spoiler alert** This review contains some spoilers. I loved this book, so it was hard for me to shut up about it!
Nine and a Half Weeks is a memoir**spoiler alert** This review contains some spoilers. I loved this book, so it was hard for me to shut up about it!
Nine and a Half Weeks is a memoir of a brief but intense sadomasochist love affair between the book’s author and narrator Elizabeth McNeill (a pseudonym) and a man she met at a New York City street fair, only referred to as “he”. The events in the book take place in the 1970s when Elizabeth was an executive for a large corporation. During her daytime hours she is an independent, successful, liberated woman, while at night she relinquishes her control to him and longs to be dominated, hurt, and helpless.
The glimpses of their relationship that Elizabeth shares with us are fascinating. She tells us in one chapter everything he did for her. He cooked all the meals, fed her, bathed her, dressed her, brushed her hair, took care of her laundry, lit and helped her smoke cigarettes, turned the pages of her book, and yes, even inserted and removed her tampons. In the next chapter, she shares what she did: nothing. She spent most of her evenings handcuffed or tied to the table, so he HAD to do everything. He was in complete control, and her response was, “I loved it. I loved it. I loved it.” He slapped her, beat her, humiliated her, and she only craved more.
What is most intriguing about Elizabeth was that she admits reading The Story of O years before and being “horrified and repulsed” by the sadomasochism. It makes me wonder how she slipped so easily, so quickly into the same type of relationship she was disgusted by. Was she simply not aware of her innermost desires? How easy would it be for any of us to lose ourselves completely in such an affair?
Though to many their relationship may seem extreme, even unhealthy, I truly believe they had a deep love for each other. She goes into great detail about how he took care of her when she had the flu. They enjoyed each other’s company, talked for hours about various subjects, became friends as well as kinky lovers. They were content to pass the time alone in his apartment as life in the rest of the world went on without them.
Toward the end of the two months, the affair had completely consumed Elizabeth, turning her into someone her former self would never recognize. She contemplates just how far she is willing to go for him and wonders if he will eventually kill her. She thinks the answer is no, because it would be too difficult for him to find another her. So what is it that shocks her back into reality? A few drops of blood on his sheets. Seeing her own blood spilled pushes her over the edge into a mental breakdown.
This was a difficult review to write. I loved the book, but putting my feelings into words had me stumped. It is the kind of story that will stay with me for a long time. The ending is a sad one, at least to me. Elizabeth’s experiences with this man completely changed her to where she wonders “whether my body will ever again register above lukewarm.” What a depressing way to think about the future. One of the reasons I love this book is that it reads like a novel, not a memoir. I had to keep reminding myself that perhaps this extraordinary relationship was real at one time. Nine and a Half Weeks was a quick read – just 117 pages. I highly recommend it if you’re interested in BDSM relationships. If still alive today, they would probably be in their sixties. I wonder what became of them....more