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This Side of theh Grave, by Jeaniene Frost

About Me

I am also a member of BookCrossing.com and BookMooch.com. I recently started my own book blog, www.readinrobinsbookblog.blogspot.com. I have over 1000 books and yet do not have enough!

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about Linda Goodnight 2012-11-18 15:12:20

I've only read three books by Linda Goodnight - so far - but have enjoyed them very much. She writes Love Inspired romances. Wonderful characters, including the children, snappy dialougue that makes me laugh out loud at times, beautiful stories.

about Catherine George 2011-02-05 14:15:30

Very prolific romance writer! The first book of hers I read was Devil Within, and I almost gave it away without reading it. I loved it though, it put me in mind of Lucy Walker, one of my favorite romance authors. In fact, I loved it so much I wrote a letter to Ms. George to tell her so, and she very graciously wrote back to me, and sent me an autographed copy of one of her newer books.

about Lynsay Sands 2010-12-30 21:34:12

Author of the Argeneau Family series (vampire romance), which I have been working my way through and loving. I was about to log off here when I thought to look her up and couldn't believe she wasn't already listed! I don't have time to add in all her books right now, but I adore her!

about Gwyn Cready 2010-11-27 18:41:49

Gwyn Cready is my new favorite author! I first discovered her when I picked up Seducing Mr. Darcy and Tumbling Through Time at a used book store. Seducing Mr. Darcy is about a girl who finds herself transported into Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, and Tumbling Through Time is about a girl who finds herself transported to a pirate ship. All of her books involve time travel. I'm currently reading Aching for Always. Her books are well written, with believable characters and plenty of humor, romance, and adventure thrown in. In Seducing Mr. Darcy, there is an incredibly hot game of scrabble.

about Lucy Walker 2010-10-06 13:18:32

My mother had a bunch of Lucy Walker romances that she'd had forever, she didn't plan to read them again but she had loved them so much she had not been able to bring herself to get rid of them over the years. She was cleaning out some books, and decided to pass these on to me. After reading two of them, I was hooked and I see why she loved them!

Having been written so long ago, they are definitely old-fashioned, and very quaint. No sex scenes here, and in the most recent one I read there were only a couple of chaste kisses. But they are well-written and very enjoyable, and the later ones are somewhat sophisticated.

about Jennifer Crusie 2010-10-06 12:51:39

Jennifer Crusie is one of my favorite authors, I've loved every book of hers that I've read. I agree about her collaborations with Bob Mayer. Don't Look Down was enjoyable but it was not up to the usual Crusie work, but Agnes & the Hitman was quite good. I'm currently reading Maybe Next Time, which is her first dip into paranormal, involving ghosts and a haunted house, and I'm loving it.

about Alice Hoffman 2008-04-04 12:01:01

I love Alice Hoffman. Her writing just flows from the page, and has such a wandering, meandering, dreamy, mesmerizing quality. My favorite of hers is Seventh Heaven. About a quarter of the way into this book, I paused in my reading because my head was filled with the thought “God this is so good! I love her writing!” My least favorite is At Risk, which in my opinion is a departure from her usual fare, having none of those qualities I mentioned above. If I'd read it first, I might have liked it better, but it was so totally not what I had come to expect from this author and so I was disappointed in it.

Title Comments

about Tell It To The Marines by Amy J. Fetzer 2012-11-20 17:11:32

Three novellas. Three lusty Marines. Three feisty women. Three hot stories. Three cheers for Ms. Fetzer!

The stories all follow a similar theme, and all open the same way. Our hero of the day is embarking on a rescue mission in a remote area (Panama, East China Sea, South America). It's just another job, another duty, another “package”. Marine and package are separated from the rest of the unit and spend a couple of days alone, and the package becomes more than just a package, more than just a duty.

I can't decide if I like this book better than the previous Fetzer book I read. I generally like full length novels better than novellas or short stories. When I reviewed INTIMATE DANGER, I noted:

“While I love military heroes in romance novels, I think I prefer reading abut them stateside. Crashing around in the jungles of some foreign country just doesn't really do it for me.”

I'd like to now revise that opinion. I think it was more the plot of INTIMATE DANGER that didn't do it for me. Because I loved crashing around in the jungle with these guys.

about The Sandalwood Tree by Elle Newmark 2011-03-19 07:51:09

There are two types of fiction, in my mind. There are novels, and there are literature. (IS literature?) This book is what I consider literature.

I was captivated within the first couple of pages. It's a beautiful and evocative story, or rather two stories in one. The narrator, Evie, and her husband and child have moved from America to India in 1947, where pending partition is making it not quite a safe place to be. She has found some old letters/diary pages written by a young English girl who lived in the same bungalow with her best friend in the 1850s. Evie becomes a little obsessed with their story, wanting to learn more about the girls and what happened to them.

Evie and her husband's marriage has been strained ever since he returned from the war, and she hoped that being in India with him would give them a fresh start, a chance to find each other again. The author keeps us guessing practically to the last few pages as to how their relationship will turn out.

Both stories are beautifully told. And what is basically a character driven novel suddenly at one point becomes full of tense action. Suffice it to say, I loved this book. Loved it.

about Friendship Bread by Darien Gee 2011-03-11 08:02:52

It’s not often that a book makes my eyes tear up, but this book managed to do so. I’d never heard of Darien Gee or Amish Friendship Bread before. For the first 50 pages or so, I just kind of plodded along, enjoying it well enough but not finding it particularly outstanding. But somewhere along the way I got so sucked in that I didn't want to put the book down to go to sleep.

There are a lot of characters, and keeping up with all of them may be part of why it took me a bit to really get my bearings. But as the pages turned, the characters’ distinct personalities came through and I felt connected to them. I really cared about them and what would happen in their lives, especially Julia and her sister, Livvy. Not every author can make you feel that way about her (or his) characters.

I’m debating whether I want to try any of the friendship bread recipes in the back of the book. My seventeen-year-old daughter recently commented that maybe she should be a “baker” some day, so she might enjoy trying it with me, and there’s a recipe for “Double Chocolate Friendship Bread”. Kind of hard to pass that up!

Overall, I really enjoyed this book, and I’ll be eagerly awaiting the sequel. In the meantime, I looked up the author on Fantastic Fiction, and she has three other books under the name Mia King – Good Things, Sweet Life, and Table Manners. So I’ll be tracking those down!

(I received an ARC of this book from The Random House Publishing Group.)

about The Stone Prince by Gena Showalter 2011-02-19 11:11:54

I read a lot of paranormal romance - vampires, witches, and so forth. But aliens from another planet never appealed to me. I picked this book up at a library book sale because the cover caught my eye. From the description on the back, it sounded interesting, despite the alien part, and since it is a Harlequin romance, I figured it wouldn't be all science-fictiony.

And it wasn't, at all. In fact, it was all out steamy from the get-go. Katie is renovating a Victorian home, and there are several statues in the garden. She finds herself drawn to this one particular statue though, caressing it, and imagining what it would feel like if it were an actual man and not a statue. She even thinks she hears it whispering to her, “kiss me”. Which she finally does, only to find herself in the arms of a glorious naked man.

This is the first book I've read by Gena Showalter. My favorite authors are ones who can mix romance and humor, and Ms. Showalter does so most excellently. Some of the scenes with Katie's overprotective brothers are laugh out loud funny. Katie is a likeable heroine, though her absolute fear of falling in love and her reasons for that fear came across, to me anyway, as a little unfounded. She's never actually had a boyfriend, and suffers from what she terms “First Date Syndrome”, meaning she never seems to go on a second date with anyone. If there had been a serious boyfriend in her past who had hurt her, her attitude would seem more realistic to me.

Overall, a very enjoyable read. And I'm not sure if I'll ever look at a statue the same way.

about Dead to the World by Charlaine Harris 2011-02-14 08:53:06

I have to say I like Eric so much better than Bill, so I was thrilled to see that this volume is Eric-centric, and I did not miss Bill one bit. Eric's personality change while under the influence of amnesia really makes you wonder what he was like before he became a vampire, what kind of man he was then.

In this entry in the series, Bill has gone to Peru to work on his book, and Eric has been cursed by a witch who wants to take over his empire, not to mention himself. He has no memory of who he – or anyone – is. For his own safety, Pam, his second in command, decides that it would be best for him to stay with Sookie until the witch can be found and made to reverse the curse.

Alcide is also featured in this one (as is the horrible Debbie Pelt to a lesser extent), and between him and Sam I already felt like Sookie would be just fine if Bill were gone permanently. Who new Eric would come into the mix in such a big way? But hooray!

I’m trying not to give away too much, which makes it hard to really say anything about Sookie and the kinder and gentler Eric’s relationship throughout this book. It will be interesting to see how the relationship is played out in future volumes.

about The Renegade Hunter by Lynsay Sands 2011-02-10 11:49:45

This is book 12 in the Argeneau Family series, and book 3 in the Rogue Hunter series. Our hero this time out is Nicholas, who we learned in the previous book is a rogue immortal. Fifty years ago he was a rogue hunter himself, but after his wife was killed in a freak accident, he murdered a pregnant woman who resembled her. He’s been on the run as a rogue since that time.

In The Immortal Hunter, the Council sent hunters to try and capture Nicholas, who managed to escape them while at the same time helping them rescue two women who had been kidnapped by a nest of other rogues. In this book, Nicholas is still around, and this time it’s Jo Willan he rescues, discovering in the process that she is his life mate.

Thus the ground work is set. Nicholas is determined to keep Jo safe, not only from the rogues who want to harm her, but from a life on the run with him. Jo believes in her heart that Nicholas is innocent of the crime he’s been accused of, and is just as determined to find a way to prove it and save him.

Renegade is not quite as good as Immortal was, but is still better than the first Rogue Hunter book. My biggest gripes – a) Jo constantly raises her eyebrows, it seems like on every other page she does so. Although once I began to get really irritated with it she seemed to stop. And b) everyone, but especially the men, speak “dryly”. Sometimes three times on one page. I got sick of that word!

about The Immortal Hunter by Lynsay Sands 2011-02-06 07:00:39

The Immortal Hunter was much, much better than The Rogue Hunter. I wrote this in my review of Rogue:

"I expected more about the actual hunt for the rogue, and when that storyline was resolved it was sort of a let down. This book had less danger, less bite, shall we say, than some of the previous entries in the series. When I read the next book, The Immortal Hunter, my expectations will be lower and I'll keep in mind that this series is basically light, fluffy romances."

Well, Immortal exceeded my expectations and then some. We met Decker in Rogue, and Immortal tells his story. The Council has learned that Nicholas, who is Decker's cousin and who went rogue fifty years ago, has been spotted in the area, and he becomes the next target. But Nicholas leads them to a nest of rogues, who have kidnapped two sisters. Decker and his partners are able to rescue Dani, but one rogue escapes, taking Dani's younger sister with him.

Now they have to catch both Nicholas and the rogue, and rescue Stephanie, all while convincing Dani that they are not just more bad guys and really do want to help her, but without revealing to her just exactly who they are.

You know how this is going to end, right? Well, I can tell you now, you are only half correct in your assumption.

about Touch Me In The Morning by Catherine George 2011-02-05 14:15:45

I truly adore old romances, and particularly Harlequin Presents. Catherine George is my favorite Harlequin author. Touch Me In The Morning is a classic George story.

By day, Theo dresses in dowdy “maiden aunt” clothing and horn-rimmed glasses to work as a secretary for the very demanding, egotistical, tantrum throwing James Hackett. By night, she settles into her attic apartment in more becoming clothing and a little make-up, to spend her evenings as Theodora, writing a romance novel.

This is the second George book I've read recently where the heroine drabbed herself down in order to get a job. Previous secretaries had a tendency to fall for Mr. Hackett's good looks and charm, and he wanted a secretary who would be immune to him. And he was just as immune to her, until the day he inadvertently saw her landlord plant a kiss on her, and suddenly he realized there was a woman beneath the matronly clothing.

Next to the romances written today, these old Harlequins (this one was published in 1988) are tame and quaint. But they are also very romantic, which is the whole point, right?

about The Rogue Hunter by Lynsay Sands 2011-02-04 21:43:44

This book deviated from the Argeneau family, featuring an unrelated immortal as the hero. Garrett Mortimer hunts rogue immortals for the Council, along with his partners, Bricker and Decker. They are sent to "cottage country" to look for a rogue vamp, as several humans have been spotted in the area with bite marks on their necks.

Samantha Willan and her two sisters are vacationing in a neighboring cottage. Sam is the usual Sands' heroine, plucky and sassy and strong, though a recent breakup with a longtime boyfriend has left her with low self-esteem.

Sam appears to be very clumsy, which thoroughly disgusts Mortimer when he realizes he can't read her and she could be his life mate. She stumbles and falls a lot - in fact, he thinks she's a drinker at first. Turns out to be a stubborn inner ear infection causing her equilibrium to be off. Wouldn't an inner ear infection be painful? Sam is only in pain when she falls. But maybe not all ear infections are painful. I'm too lazy to research that though.

The book is enjoyable, but not as much as the ones before it. I expected more about the actual hunt for the rogue, and when that storyline was resolved it was sort of a let down. This book had less danger, less bite, shall we say, than some of the previous entries in the series. When I read the next book, The Immortal Hunter, my expectations will be lower and I'll keep in mind that this series is basically light, fluffy romances.

about The Paris Wife by Paula McLain 2011-01-31 15:01:28

I love the cover on this book! The Paris Wife is a fictionalized story of Ernest Hemingway's first marriage to Hadley Richardson. Hadley narrates the story, starting in October 1920, as she meets Ernest while visiting a friend in Chicago. Her account is gripping from the beginning, but about halfway through the book I felt it dragged a bit in places. Then I suddenly realized it was reading more like a memoir than a novel. I had felt more involved and engaged in the beginning. That feeling did return, however, in scenes where Hadley talks about her life before Ernest, and when Hadley and Ernest are living their lives together without the continual appearances of other writers and literary friends and acquaintances.

I cannot profess to be a fan of Hemingway's work, simply because I've not read anything by him. Nor am I very familiar with the other authors who float in and out of the story, with the exception of Scott Fitzgerald (and Zelda). So that may have contributed to my starting to lose interest when Hadley detailed all their many comings and goings.

Interspersed among the chapters are a handful of very short sections told in third person from Ernest's point of view. I understand their purpose - they give us, the reader, some insight into Ernest and his actions (or reactions). But I found those chapters a little jarring and unnecessary to the story, and I think if I'd skipped them, I wouldn't have really missed anything.

Overall I enjoyed the book. I love the 20's - the music, the clothes, the slang, and following Hadley's life with Ernest was a wonderful glimpse of the times.

(I received this ARC in a giveaway from Random House. The book goes on sale 2/22/11.)

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