Review: The Will to Love by Lindsay McKenna

October 12, 2009 2 comments

Title: The Will to Love
Author: Lindsay McKenna
Series: Silhouette Intimate Moments, Oct. 2002
ISBN: 978-1426840357
Genre: Contemporary
Grade: B

This is the first Lindsay McKenna book I’ve read and I can already say it will not be the last.  It’s also the first book I downloaded through a neighbouring city’s library after getting myself a card, and has already confirmed that it’s the best $40 I ever spent.

The cover synopsis:

When Lieutenant Quinn Grayson reached the earthquake-ravaged L.A. Basin, he discovered devastation. But when he looked into survivor Kerry Chelton’s eyes, he saw hope. For the spirited deputy sheriff had single-handedly kept her community going–until Quinn and his dream team arrived. Now the weary beauty could share her load with Quinn. For the brave marine filled her with a new will to live. And once in his arms, she dreamed this brooding soldier would discover the will to love….

This isn’t the first book in the “Morgan’s Mercenaries: Ultimate Rescue” series, but at no time did I feel like I was missing out on information needed to understand the story and the characters.  Partly, this may be because of the nature of the plot.

Read more…


Review: His Lady Mistress by Elizabeth Rolls

October 7, 2009 Leave a comment

Title: His Lady Mistress
Author: Elizabeth Rolls
Series: Harlequin Historical, Oct. 2005
ISBN: 0373293720
Genre: Historical – Regency

This is one of the titles offered through the Harlequin Celebrates free downloads, and which I initally read when it was first offered, then didn’t read again until I decided to do this review.

Turns out there was a good reason for that.

But first, let’s look at the summary, shall we?  From the Harlequin Celebrates site:


When Max, Earl Blakehurst, meets Verity he sees a downtrodden servant. He doesn’t recognize her as the daughter of a colonel under whom he used to serve, the girl he’d once helped years before. The life Verity’s now living is untenable. So he proposes a shocking solution—he will set her up as his mistress.

It’s only once that Verity’s finally agreed, once Max is beginning to lose his heart to her, that he discovers her true identity. Max is taken aback; he would never have suggested this lady become his mistress. Now, to avoid scandal, they’ll have to marry!

That blurb is really only the first third of the book; the rest is made up of Verity and Max working out the kinks of their marriage and the misunderstandings that come between them.  And oh, there’s a lot of those.

Read more…

Free Stuff: Harlequin Celebrates

October 3, 2009 Leave a comment

As part of their 60th anniversary, Harlequin is offering 16 free ebooks in .pdf format over at  They’ve even got one from one of my favourite authors–Janice Kay Johnson–but does that really even matter?  They’re free, people!  Go forth and download!

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Free Stuff: Mills & Boon

September 27, 2009 Leave a comment

Mills & Boon, Britain’s 100+ year-old romance publisher (now owned by Harlequin), is celebrating one year of offering ebooks by putting up ten titles–one from each of their lines–for readers to download for free.

Yeah, you heard me.  Ten FREE EBOOKS.  Even better, you can download them in both ePub and Mobipocket formats, and some readers can even text a number to download them to their phones (not sure about any geographic restrictions on that, though).

Head on over to to get the downloads.  I’ve got all ten and will likely be reviewing a lot of the titles in the coming weeks, as I am a brokeass reader who still needs to go to a neighbouring city and get an out-of-town library card so I can borrow their ebooks online.

Review: Manhunter by Loreth Anne White

September 27, 2009 Leave a comment

As my first post, here’s a review I did for Smart Bitches, Trashy Books.  I was one of the Sony Reader Test Drivers and part of the agreement included writing a review of a Harlequin book, as Harlequin was ponying up a $25  gift certificate to the Sony store.

Title: Manhunter
Author: Loreth Anne White
Series: Silhouette Romantic Suspense, November 2008
ISBN: 0373276079
Genre: Romantic Suspense

Okay, in the interest of full disclosure, I have to admit I’m kind of biased to like this book to begin with as it TAKES PLACE IN CANADA, OMG.  Seriously, Harlequin, I’ve read two books set in Canada from you guys in the last couple years.  Can we get some more Can-Con up in here, already?  Are there no opportunities to have Canadian cops/ex-military/CEOs/playboys/cowboys/insert hero trope here?

Also, I’ll admit to a complete addiction slight bias for angsty law-enforcement types.  This may or may not have something to do with Jack Bauer being my TV boyfriend my being a fan of a few suspense/mystery series featuring that type.

So with that out in the open, let’s move on to what other people should like about the book, shall we?

RCMP Staff Sergeant Gabe Caruso hasn’t been the same since his fiancee was murdered by a serial killer he captured a year before.  Still dealing with the guilt and grief, he accepts a posting to the remote Yukon town of Black Arrow Falls, where he meets Silver Karvonen, expert tracker and owner of a hunting lodge.  Silver has her own emotional trauma that she’s still dealing with, but more importantly when it comes to the new Mountie in town, she has secrets to hide.  Secrets that might not stay that way for very long when the killer from Gabe’s past comes looking for revenge, and when Silver and Gabe realize there’s a strong attraction between them.

I initially found out about Manhunter from a review on Dear Author (which if course I can’t find to link now, will keep looking), and it was one of the first books I got as soon as the Reader arrived.  Holy damn, am I ever glad I did, because I literally could not put this one down. Tightly plotted, with interesting characters, it packs a pretty good punch for something that runs about 370 pages in the Sony ebook format.

Read more…


September 22, 2009 2 comments

A few things about what I intend for this blog.  Mainly, it’s going to be for reviews.  That’s it.  No pictures of cats, no notes about my everyday life, very few essays/rants/moments of navelgazing, very little industry news (that’s already amply covered by some of the blogs in my sidebar).  Just reviews of romance novels, mostly (but I’m not going to say only) category romances.

You know the kind, the ones that get sold in bookstores, big box stores, convenience stores, supermarkets…the kind that people tend to mean when they say “Harlequin” (though they could be a Silhouette, or a Mills & Boon…but then Harlequin owns those lines).  The little ones, the ones that change every month, providing so much material for reviewing.   I love them as they only take a couple hours to read, and as Wendy the Super Librarian says, they’re “all of the romance, none of the bullshit” (of course, can I find that quote now so I can link to it?  No, of course not).  I may review some longer romance novels occasionally, but for the most part it’ll be these wee things.

Also, as I’ll be buying/borrowing my own books, I’m going to go with what interests me.  Yes, that means that certain lines won’t be represented (paranormals, 99% of the Harlequin Presents line and others of its ilk), but I’m more than willing to have guest reviewers for those.

And as for those reviews, here’s the rating system I’m going with:

A – OMG LOVE.  Very few problems and minor ones at that, definitely keeping and rereading.
B – Pretty good.  A few things that bugged, but they’re somewhat believable and the problems were balanced by some good parts. Probably keep it to reread it once or twice before I get rid of it.
C – Meh.  Fun ride, but it had problems.  Not sorry I read it, really, but not a keeper.
D – Ugh, had some good elements but way outweighed by the problems.

Obviously there is a fair bit of wiggle room with this system, but then I’ll be going on to explain my reasons for the grade when I do the review.  And expect some snark.  I love romance novels, but really, some deserve the snarking, and I’m not going to play all happyfuzzy when I read something that sucks.

So there you have it; the blog’s mission statment as it were.  Hoping to jump right in and start with the reviews tomorrow, though don’t expect a regular posting schedule.  That’s going to depend on how much reading I can get done in a given week.  We’ll see how it goes.

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