Monday, August 30, 2010

Review + Giveaway - Seduced by a Highlander by Paula Quinn

This Giveaway is now CLOSED

TITLE:    Seduced by a Highlander
AUTHOR/EDITOR:    Paula Quinn
INFO:    Paperback, Fiction, 372 pages
PUBLISHED:   Forever: Hachette Book Group, 2010
ISBN#:   978-0-446-55237-0
HOW'D I GET IT:   Received from Hachette Book Group

SINS THAT CAN'T BE FORGIVEN...Tristan MacGregor is famed throughout the Highlands as a silver-tonged seducer and an unrepentant rogue. Bold and charming, he's dallied with many women, yet none as mysterious as the lass he steals a kiss from at king's court. Little does he know this beauty is one of his clan's greatest enemies.

PASSION THAT CAN'T BE DENIED...Isobel Fergusson has despised the bloodthirsty MacGregors ever since they murdered her father. She's horrified to learn that the handsome stranger she kissed is of this clan. But Tristan means to possess her at any cost and Isobel's body turns traitor at his touch. Can a man she's sworn to hate be the only one she can ever love?

MY TAKE:   This was one of those fun, can't-put-down books.  From page 1, I was hooked.  The author really fleshed out her characters so that the reader feels as if they are right there in the scene, a part of the story.  I was very impressed with her excellent attention to the minute detail.  Little things such as which particular herbs were needed for specific ailments or injuries are important to the story.  When an author doesn't spend the necessary time to make sure these type of facts are correct, it can ruin a book for me.  Not the case here though! 

The storyline is sad, funny, thrilling, romantic and heart-warming at different times throughout the book.  The various settings used to tell the story really give the reader a full picture of what life may have been like for these people.  I enjoyed the scenes at court just as much as those on the farm, in the fields.  The interaction between Tristan and Isobel's brothers (especially the youngest) was one of my favorite parts of the book.  There is major tension, sarcastic wit, and true warmth in abundance.  Family pride and obligations play a pivotal role in this story, which adds much to the charm.   

I highly recommend this book and am looking forward to the next upcoming installment in the series, starring Tristan's strong and wilful sister, Mairi.  For now, I will be snagging the other books in this series:   Laird of the Mist (Warner Forever), A Highlander Never Surrenders, and Ravished by a Highlander~ While these books are part of a series, they are all excellent, stand-alone reads as well. 

To find out more about this great author and the other books, visit her at her website:    

MY RATING:    4/5


The author and publisher have generously offered to give TWO of my readers their very own copy of Seduced by a Highlander.  The requirements are simple:  you must be a resident of either the US or Canada, have a mailing address OTHER THAN a PO Box, and be a FOLLOWER of this blog.

Leave a comment on this post and tell me the first word that pops into your head when you hear/see the word HIGHLANDERHmmmmmm, I think of bare legs :)

Good luck to all of you.  The contest will run from Monday, August 30th until Friday, September 10th.  I will notify the randomly chosen winners and they will have 48 hours to respond, or another winner will be chosen.

~Please note, Hachette Books is requesting that there be only one winner per household.  Only one prize will be shipped to you, no matter how many times your name is chosen in different contests.  If you do win on another blog or contest, please let the host know that you've already won so they can choose another lucky winner.  Thanks for cooperating with our great sponsor!

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Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Weekly Wrap - 082910

This feature is inspired by The Story Siren's "In My Mailbox" posts.  Let me show you the books that I've come across in one way or another for the past week. 

Eclipsed by Shadow

The American Golfer

thank you Jessi @ The Elliott Review

thank you Eleni @ La Femme Readers

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~~~~~ Disclaimer:  All opinions expressed on this blog are 100% my own.  I do not receive monetary compensation for my reviews.  I may receive books in  order to facilitate a review, but this does not guarantee a good review - only a completely honest one.  Each review post denotes how I obtained the book.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Review - The Darkest Night by Gena Showalter

TITLE:    The Darkest Night
AUTHOR/EDITOR:    Gena Showalter
INFO:    Paperback, Fiction, 379 pages
PUBLISHED:   Harlequin, 2008
ISBN#:   978-0-373-77246-9
HOW'D I GET IT:   Swapped for it

His powers -- Inhuman  ~~  His passion -- Beyond immortal . . .

All her life, Ashlyn Darrow has been tormented by voices from the past. To end the nightmare, she has come to Budapest seeking help from men rumored to have supernatural abilities, not knowing she'll be swept into the arms of Maddox, their most dangerous member -- a man trapped in a hell of his own.

Neither can resist the instant hunger than calms their torments . . . and ignites an irresistible passion. But every heated touch and burning kiss will edge them closer to destruction -- and a soul-shattering test of love . . .

Though they carry an eternal curse, the Lords of the Underworld are irresistibly seductive -- and unimaginably powerful . . . Don’t miss this incredible new paranormal series from Gena Showalter!

MY TAKE:   I wasn't sure what to expect when I started this book.  I had read a lot of really good reviews for the author and this series, "Lords of the Underworld."  Stories about demons aren't overly familiar to me, but I was curious about this particular group of books.  This is the first Gena Showalter book I've read and it's definitely not my last. 

HOOKED doesn't even begin to describe my reaction to this great book.  I started reading it in the afternoon and was done before dinnertime.  It went everywhere with me while I was finishing it up.  I am on the hunt now for the others in the series.

This book was full of mystery, passion, and torment.  It's a beautifully woven story of a woman who can't stop the voices in her head and an immortal who can't live life.  They find in each other a glimmer of hope and possibility.  The characters are rich and interesting with a lovely, instant connection that you watch grow and deepen.  I liked that Gena Showalter didn't go overboard with the sex scenes as some of these type of books are known for.  Don't get me wrong, there is some good, sexy steam ~ it's just not the whole entire premise of the book.  It enhances and builds upon, instead of replacing the storyline. 

Greek mythology is blended into the backbone of the story with each of these tormented immortals being possessed by one of Pandora's demons from the box.  I do wish there'd been more pertinent details regarding the Titans and the Greek Gods that are mentioned in the book, but maybe that'll be in a later story????  I feel that in this first book there is a large "setting of the scene" for the further installments as you get a lot of information and groundwork being laid that isn't quite wrapped up at the end. 

This book is highly recommended for those who love the paranormal and romance genres.  It is a well-crafted story that makes this reader crave much, much more from this author and series.
MY RATING:    4.5/5


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~~~~~ Disclaimer:  All opinions expressed on this blog are 100% my own.  I do not receive monetary compensation for my reviews.  I may receive books in  order to facilitate a review, but this does not guarantee a good review - only a completely honest one.  Each review post denotes how I obtained the book.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Review - The Classics: All You Need to Know, from Zeus's Throne to the Fall of Rome by Caroline Taggart

TITLE:    The Classics:  All You Need to Know, from Zeus's Throne to the Fall of Rome
AUTHOR/EDITOR:    Caroline Taggart
INFO:    Hardback, Reference, 169 pages
PUBLISHED:   Readers Digest, 2010
ISBN#:   978-1-60652-132-8
HOW'D I GET IT:   Received from FSB Media for review

The thought of ancient civilizations is enough to make anyone groan. Between long hours of tedious mathematics and years of droning Latin classes, it's no wonder that the Greek and Roman societies are most often thought of as dull subjects from school. The Classics, however, flips this long-standing opinion on its head, revealing the clever humor and impressive technological and scientific advancements made by these societies. Between the ninth century B.C. and the seventh century A.D., these great civilizations thrived, leaving behind a legacy felt in every part of the world-from language to medicine, from art to architecture.   

The Classics lets you understand the importance of...
  • The Greek alphabet, from alpha to omega
  • The history and characteristics that define Greek and Roman architecture and its influence on modern building
  • Greek and Latin words, which make up more than 30 percent of the words in the English language, and how you can build your vocabulary by learning the roots 
  • The Greek and Roman gods, the mythology surrounding them, and the part these figures play in our culture
  • Almost 1,000 years of Greek and Roman history, from the birth of democracy to Caesar's empire
  • The philosophies taught by Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle and what their ideas have contributed to the world we live in today
  • How the modern cultural staples such as the Olympics were formed by classical literature, written by authors such as Homer and Cicero-what happened, what does it mean, and why is it still being read and taught today
  • And much more!
This concise and witty text makes both a fascinating introduction to the world that became the foundation for Western Civilization and the perfect refresher course for the individual looking to brush up on years of schooling. The Classics puts the same information available in volumes of stuffy textbooks at your fingertips in one entertaining read, guaranteed to inform and delight.

MY TAKE:   I got a kick out of this sometimes irreverent book.  Ms. Taggart takes what can sometimes be a very, very dry subject and injects quite a bit of wit and humor into it.  She touches on things such as the roots of words in language, the greats such as Homer and Aristotle, and then pokes a bit of fun at their logic and rhetoric.  It makes for a relatively easy read and a quick source of reference.  Very informative and interesting book.
MY RATING:    3/5


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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Review - The Devil Wears Plaid by Teresa Medeiros

TITLE:    The Devil Wears Plaid
AUTHOR/EDITOR:    Teresa Medeiros
INFO:    Paperback, Fiction, 407 pages
PUBLISHED:   Pocket Books, 2010
ISBN#:   978-1-4391-5788-6
HOW'D I GET IT:   Received from Publisher for review

AN INNOCENT WOMAN.....Emmaline Marlow is about to wed the ancient patriarch of the Hepburn clan to save her father from debtor's prison when the Hepburn's sworn enemy Jamie Sinclair bursts into the abbey on a magnificent black horse and whisks her away. Jamie is everything her bridegroom is not--young, handsome, virile...and a perilous temptation for her yearning heart.

A DANGEROUS MAN...Jamie expects Emma to be some milksop English miss, not a spirited beauty who will defy him at every turn. All of his plans to use her as a pawn in the centuries old Highland feud begin to go awry when irresistible passion flares between the two of them. A man can kidnap a bride, but is it possible for him to steal her innocence without losing his own heart?

MY TAKE:   This was an enjoyable read full of excitement, lust and mystery.  When Jamie kidnaps Emma right from the altar, the fun begins.  The author gives vivid details on the scenery, their trek into hiding, the everyday goings-on of Highland life and full character descriptions.  She weaves her mystery well in the background as well as into the front story of Jamie and Emma's growing attraction to each other.  There are several other surprises that pop up that the reader doesn't expect.  This all adds up to a fun and exciting romance set in one of my favorite locations and times. 

I highly recommend it to anyone who loves a good romance, especially if you're rather fond of the brawny men in kilts.  I'm looking forward to reading more from Teresa Medeiros in the near future.   
MY RATING:    4/5


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