Right now I am...
~NOT Accepting Reviews (See my Review Policy, as I WILL accept them in the near future!)
~Booking Author Interviews and Guest Posts (See Being a Guest Author)
~Hosting Giveaways and Tours (Also see Being a Guest Author)
~Looking for Guest Reviewers (See Being a Guest Reviewer)
More about The_Book_Queen...
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- ► 2012 (278)
- ► 2010 (91)
- ▼ December (10)
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- Utah, United States
- Books are my life--plain and simple! :) My genre of choice is romance, of almost any kind. I love reading, I love sharing my thoughts on the books with others, and I'm always up for recommendations and book conversations! Please, feel free to find me on any of the various websites I frequent, or drop me an email! If you are interested in me reviewing your book (Or you just want to ask me a question), please email me at: The_Book_Queen[at]yahoo[dot]com.
This past year, I managed to by pass my reading goal in 2008 (I barely managed to finish 200 books last year). Yeah!
However, I fell drastically behind in reviewing, as I'm sure you know by now (yes, I know, I've complained about it a lot lately). I do plan on changing next year--- more on that later in this post.
But, considering everything I have going on in my life, I did a great job this year, I know. :)
Here was my grand total for the year of 2009:
As I've been saying for the past few months, next year I will write more reviews. This year has been pathetic--- over 250 plus books, and not even 1/5 of those books received a review from me. 2010 will bring about many changes on this blog, one of which will be that besides the books I receive to review (which are few, but I do review them all), I am going to promise to review at least one out of every three books I read. The reviews may not all be that long, but I am going to at least sit down and post a review for 1/3 of the many books I hope to read next year.
1. Mysteria Lane by MaryJanice Davidson (and other authors)
2. Night Falls Darkly by Kim Lenox
3. Double Fantasy by Cheryl Holt
4. Thirty Nights with a Highland Husband by Melissa Mayhue
5. Persistence of Memory by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes
6. Never Deceive a Duke by Liz Carlyle
7. The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong
8. The Great Scot by Donna Kauffman
9. Double Enchantment by Kathryne Kennedy
10. Nothing But the Truth by Avi
11. Reason to Believe by Jessica Inclan
12. Blood Brothers by Nora Roberts
13. Atonement by Ian McEwan
14. The Hollow by Nora Roberts
15. Caine's Reckoning by Sarah McCarty
16. The Pagan Stone by Nora Roberts
17. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
18. A Gentle Rain by Deborah Smith
19. The Guardian by Nicholas Sparks
20. Magic or Madness by Justine Larbalestier
21. Cradle and All by James Patterson
22. White Wolf by Susan Edwards
23. Cry Wolf by Patricia Briggs
24. Touch of Evil by C.T. Adams
1. A Garden in the Rain by Lynn Kurland
2. Two Little Girls in Blue by Mary Higgins Clark
3. No Place like Home by Mary Higgins Clark
4. Blood of Roses by Marsha Canham
5. Witch Season *2-in-1-Book* by Jeff Mariott
6. Desire Unchained by Larissa Ione
7. Ghost Moon by Rebecca York
8. Lord of Misrule by Rachel Caine
9. Desperately Seeking a Duke by Celeste Bradley
10. Warrior Princess by Frewin Jones
11. Flirting With Temptation by Kelley St. John
12. Marked by Passion by Kate Perry
13. Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston
14. Seeing Red by Susan Crandall
15. Impossible by Nancy Werlin
16. Kill for Me by Karen Rose
17. Immortal by P.C. Cast and Other Authors
18. Eternal by Cynthia LeitIch Smith
19. Blood Lines by Eileen Wilks
20. Castles by Julie Garwood
1. Trouble in High Heels by Leanne Banks
2. Seducing a Scottish Bride by Sue-Ellen Welfonder
3. The Smoke Thief by Shana Abe
4. A Prisoner of Birth by Jeffrey Archer
5. The Seduction of an Unknown Lady
6. Passion Unleashed by Larissa Ione
7. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
8. Wild Card by Lora Leigh
9. Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas
10. Flying Home by Rachel Ann Nunes
11. City of Glass by Cassandra Clare
12. Kitty and the Dead Man's Hand by Carrie Vaughn
13. Stargazer by Claudia Gray
14. The Cat by Jean Johnson
15. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass
16. Moving Violations by Lora Leigh (E-book)
17. Perfect by Judith McNaught
18. Vampire Diaries Return: Nightfall by L.J. Smith
19. Time Share: Amelia’s Journey by Lora Leigh (E-Book, Short Story)
20. Bound by Shadow by Anna Windsor
21. The Bargain by Julia Templeton
1. Hunted by P.C. and Kristin Cast
2. Enslave Me Sweetly by Gena Showalter
3. Max by James Patterson
4. Seduce Me at Sunrise by Lisa Kleypas
5. Vamps by Nancy A. Collins
6. Night Life by Nancy A. Collins
7. Kiss of a Demon King by Kresley Cole
8. Tempting the Beast by Lora Leigh (E-Book)
9. Ride the Fire by Pamela Clare
10. Warrior: The Time Hunters by Angela Knight
11. Secret Circle #2 by L.J. Smith
12. Eternal Pleasure by Nina Bangs
13. Night World Volume 2 by L.J. Smith
14. The Nightkeepers by Jessica Andersen
15. The Sound of the Rain by Anita Stansfield
16. Nightwalker by Jocelynn Drake
17. A Little Magic by Nora Roberts
18. The Last Bridge by Teri Coyne
19. Elephant Run by Roland Smith
1.The Dreamthief by Shana Abe
2.The Truelove Bride by Shana Abe
3. Angels and Demons by Dan Brown
4. Ever by Gail Carson Levine
5. Pieces of April by Diane Haeger
6. Much ado in the Moonlight by Lynn Kurland
7. Immortal Danger by Cynthia Eden
8. The Pursuit of Happyness by Chris Gardner
9. Highland Obsession by Dawn Halliday
10. Edge of Twilight by Maggie Shayne
11. Blood Bayou by Karen Young
12. Timeless Moon by C.T. Adams
13. A Countess Below Stairs by Eva Ibbotson
14. Chicken Soup for the Cat Lover's Soul by Jack Canfield
15. Immortals: The Redeeming by Jennifer Ashley
16. Lover Avenged by J.R. Ward
17. The Hourglass Door by Lisa Mangum
18. A Kiss of Fate by Mary Jo Putney
19. Wedding the Highlander by Janet Chapman
20. Demon Moon by Meljean Brook
21. Fantasy Lover by Sherrilyn Kenyon
1. MacGowan's Ghost by Cindy Miles
2. P.S. I Love You by Cecelia Ahern
3. Midnight Reign by Chris Marie Green
4. Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier
5. Innocent Fire by Brenda Joyce
6. Dark Victory by Brenda Joyce
7. Devoured by Amanda Marrone
8. A Song for Summer by Eva Ibbotson
9. Bloodtide by Melvin Burgess
10. Stardust by Neil Gailman
11. Dawnkeepers by Jessica Andersen
12. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
13. Distracting the Duchess by Emily Bryan
14. Night Pleasures by Sherrilyn Kenyon
15. Captive Moon by C.T. Adams
16. High Noon by Nora Roberts
17. A Wallflower Christmas by Lisa Kleypas
18. The Cry of the Icemark by Stuart Hill
19. By My Side by Nora Roberts
20. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
21. Cowboy and the Captive by Lora Leigh (E-Book Short)
22. After the Kiss by Suzanne Enoch
23. The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams
24. The Freedom Writers Diary by The Freedom Writers
25. Waiting for Nick/Considering Kate by Nora Roberts
26. The Twilight Before Christmas by Christine Feehan
27. The Lady of the Forest by Jennifer Roberson
28. The Black Dagger Brotherhood: An Insider's Guide by J.R. Ward
29. Wicked is the Night by Catherine Mulvany
30. Fragile Eternity by Melissa Marr
1. The Awakening by Kelley Armstrong
2. Night World (Vol. 3) by L.J. Smith
3. Pure by Terra Elan McVoy
4. One with the Shadows by Susan Squires
5. Carpe Corpus by Rachel Caine
6. Bound by Light by Anna Windsor
7. Wicked: Resurrection by Nancy Holder
8. Redeemed in Darkness by Alexis Morgan
9. Bitten by Kelley Armstrong
10. Fairy Tale by Cyn Balog
11. For the Roses by Julie Garwood
12. Sins of the Flesh by Devyn Quinn
13. Dance with the Devil by Sherrilyn Kenyon
14. The Rogue's Bride by Leslie Lafoy
15. Eternal Moon by Rebecca York
16. The Wedding by Julie Garwood
17. Saving Savannah by Sandra Hill (e-book short)
18. Highland Treasure by Amanda Scott
19. Highland Thirst by Hannah Howell and Lynsay Sands
20. Passage to Zarahemla by Chris Heimerdinger
21. Where's My Hero? by Lisa Kleypas and Others
22. When He Was Wicked by Julia Quinn
23. It's In His Kiss by Julia Quinn
24. In the Blood by Adrian Phoenix
25. Blue Moon by Alyson Noel
26. Gone by Michael Grant
27. Unwind by Neal Shusterman
28. Skinned by Robin Wasserman
1. Lair of the Lion by Christine Feehan
2. Demon's Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan (E-book)
3. Dangerous Tides by Christine Feehan
4. Oceans of Fire by Christine Feehan
5. The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
6. The Accidental Demon Slayer by Angie Fox
7. Marley and Me by John Grogan
8. On Danger's Edge by Lise Fuller
9. One with the Darkness by Susan Squires
10. Highland Magic by Tess Mallory
11. Rises the Night by Colleen Gleason
12. Hidden Moon by Lori Handeland
13. The Ravening by Dawn Thompson
14. Heart Dance by Robin D. Owens
15. Secret Society by Tom Dolby
16. Splendor by Brenda Joyce
17. Moon Called by Patricia Briggs
18. Mine to Possess by Nalini Singh
19. Deepwood by Jennifer Roberson
20. Soul Song by Marjorie M. Liu
21. After Dark by Jayne Castle
22. Captive Dreams by Jayne Castle
23. Atlantis Unleashed by Alyssa Day
24. City Of by Nancy Holder
25. Devil Takes A Bride by Gaelen Foley
26. Not Forgotten by Nancy Holder
1. Angle: Image by Mel Odom
2. Blood Promise by Richelle Mead
3. Seduce the Darkness by Gena Showalter
4. Till There Was You by Lynn Kurland
5. Eternal Craving by Nina Bangs
6. Temptation Ridge by Robyn Carr
7. Demon Night by Meljean Brook
8. Shadow Music by Julie Garwood
9. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
10. The Storm by Jean Johnson
11. Menu for Romance by Kaye Dacus
12. The Hollow by Jessica Verday (E-Book)
13. Storm of Visions by Christina Dodd
14. The Healing Spell and Other Stories by Kiki Howell (ARC)
15. Black Hills by Nora Roberts
16. The Princess Bride by William Goldman
17. Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder
18. Magic Under Glass by Jackie Dolamore (ARC)
19. Kiss of the Phantom by Julie Leto
1. Mythology and You by Donna Rosenberg
2. Desire Untamed by Pamela Palmer
3. The Vampire's Bride by Gena Showalter
4. The Scot and I by Elizabeth Thornton
5. A Certain Strain of Peculiar by Gigi Amateau
6. Fields of Grace by Kim Vogel Sawyer
7. Atlantis Unmasked by Alyssa Day
8. The Templar's Seduction by Mary Reed McCall
9. The Postmistress by Sarah Blake (ARC)
10. Star Shadows by Colby Hodge
11. The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
12. A Highlander Christmas by Sophie Renwick and Others (ARC)
13. San Antonio Seduction by Louise Colln
14. Burning Wild by Christine Feehan
15. Surrender to Sin by Tamara Lejeune
16. Breakfast at Tiffany's by James Patterson
17. Universal Myths by Alexander Eliot
18 A Modern Day Witch Hunt by Kiki Howell
19. Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
20. The Scarlet Letter by Nathanial Hawthorne
1. Swan Kingdom by Zoe Marriott
2. Red Hawk's Woman by Karen Kay
3. Never a Lady by Jacque D'Alessandro
4. Daughter of the Flames by Zoe Marriott
5. Her Only Desire by Gaelen Foley
6. My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult
7. Charming the Highlander by Janet Chapman
8. Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick
9. Loving the Highlander by Janet Chapman
10. Love is a Battlefield by Annalisa Daughery
11. Lady of Light and Shadows by C.L. Wilson
12. A Darkness Forged in Fire by Chris Evans
13. Point in Time by Linda O. Johnston
14. Stay the Night by Lynn Viehl
15. Knight of Desire by Margaret Mallory
16. My Immortal Promise by Jen Holling
17. Need by Carrie Jones
1. The Iliad by Homer
2. Forced Mate by Rowena Cherry
3. Meridian by Amber Kizer
4. The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
5. Kiss of the Night by Sherrilyn Kenyon
6. Divine Madness by Melanie Jackson
7. Obsession Untamed by Pamela Palmer
8. Dragon Prime by Lora Leigh (E-Book Short)
9. Truly, Madly by Heather Webber (ARC Copy)
10. Fade Out by Rachel Caine
11. Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger
12. Coyote's Mate by Lora Leigh
13. Tempt Me at Twilight by Lisa Kleypas
14. Beast Master by Vonna Harper (E-Book Short)
15. The Duke Next Door by Celeste Bradley
16. Moby Dick by Herman Melville
Next year, I'm going to be more organized and keep a better tally of my books read, my favorites, reviews, etc. One of many New Year's Resolutions....
This will be my last post for the year. This means I won't see any of you until 2010! I hope you all have a great New Year's celebration, but don't get too wild! *Wink*
Until Next Year!
Title: Beast Master
Book Length: Novella (90 Pages)
The Beast, a massive and ancient puma and Ber’s companion, watches their every movement. Even as Ber comes to see his captive as a human being, as the woman who could be the answer to years of loneliness, the Beast reminds Ber of his savage roots.
Places to Order Beast Master at:
Caution: If reading about hot, explicit, and wild sex is not your thing, then perhaps you should skip this book-- and review! Thanks!
Although Beast Master is a novella, and only about 90 pages, it proved to be a very good read. I wish, of course, that the book had been longer, so that Luann and Ber's story could have blossomed out a bit more. However, all things considered, I wasn't disappointed too much. Yes, the ending was a bit too quick, and left me wanting more, but the pages up till then were great-- spicy, erotic, and with a good touch of true romance hidden beneath.
I thought Beast Master had so much potential, considering the paranormal world Vonna Harper created. True, it's basically just another shapeshifter society, or at least that's how it seems on the surface. But after reading the book, there was just something more there, something that I would love to read more about. I can't place my finger on what exactly it is that helped to set it apart for me, but whatever it was, it sure captured my attention, something that can be difficult during a time when paranormals practically flood the bookshelves. I'd love to read future books by Harper, especially if she decides to continue with a series for this paranormal setting.
Besides the interesting setting and paranormal theme, Beast Master has a lot to offer-- beyond the obvious hot and spicy erotic scenes, which there were plenty of! Beneath all the heavy lust between Ber and Luann, there was also a real connection, and the beginning of love. Unlike some erotica novels, this book did not just read as straight up porn. It wasn't just hot sex, but much more than that. As the story drew on, I could see how Ber was starting to have feelings for Luann, more than just the lust, and even though it could have been developed a bit more (hence my wish for a full length novel), it was there, and I think the reader can easily see it.
Anyone can write explicit scenes, but a truly talented author can effortlessly combine the hot and heavy with the sweet and romantic. And if Beast Master, as short as it is, is any inclination, I believe that Harper may very well be on her way to becoming such an author!
And technically it is all done. But since it's my first review through NIght Owl Romance, I must wait until it has been approved and posted on NOR before I can post it on here.
So as soon as I can, it will be posted. Until then, it's been saved and awaiting it's posting date here on Blogger. :D
Instead, I'm going to work on other reviews today, finish up some reading, and work on future posts for the blog-- mainly my upcoming new Meme, LUSTING FOR COVERS, which will be posted for the first time on Sunday, Jan. 3rd! Be sure to come back then to see what book cover has captured my attention for the honor of first ever L4C! :D
Until Next Time,
Unfortunately, the junk mail and bills seem to overflow my mailbox more often than books.... In a book lover's world, the roles would be reversed, of course! :D
Since this was Christmas week, only two of the following books were sent to me. The others were gifts from family and friends. Here's what I got:
~ Like Mayflies in a Stream by Shauna Roberts (Signed, w/ extras, thanks to author via GoodReads First Reads)
~The Van Alen Legacy by Melissa de la Cruz
~Fallen by Lauren Kate
~Julie and Julia by Julie Powell (another gift, plus I got the movie, too!)
What about the rest of you? What did you get in your mailbox this past week, as gifts or for review----even library books and borrowed books count!
I hope that everyone had a marvelous holiday!
I'm simply glad that all the exhausting preparations are over-- until next year, that is. I'm going to try and buy gifts throughout the year, instead of putting all of it off until the very last minute. (Yes, I was one of the many out on Christmas Eve shopping, running around like a chicken with its head chopped off!)
Although I may not be posting much for the last week of this month, come January, I will change that!
I was suppose to have another review up today, but due to the holidays, I fell behind a bit. I will have it up tomorrow though! Check back in the afternoon for my review of Beast Master for NOR!
Until Next Time,
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Genre: Romance, Paranormal
During a time when paranormals flood the bookshelves, Heather Webber's Truly, Madly provides a refreshing, and sweet, take on the popular genre-- and one you won't want to miss!
Between the psychic abilities and Cupid's Curse, Truly, Madly has just the right amount of paranormal themes going on. Not too heavy, and with just enough of a tease to make you want the next book to find out what will happen. I'd describe this as a paranormal chick-lit. A bit on the softer side, but just as entertaining, even romantic, as the more explicit ones on the market.
I really enjoyed reading this novel, and I found myself quickly connecting to the characters. Each one was unique and fairly well developed. I do wish that Webber had showed a bit more insight on Sean's character, especially his past. A bit more information about the Cupid's Curse that had been cast on the Valentines, and their powers, would have been great, too, but all in all, it was nothing that completely took away from the enjoyment of the novel.
Lucy was easy to relate to. After a lightning accident when she was younger, which gave her the current psychic power she's got instead of the usual matchmaking ones that runs in her blood, her life is doomed to be anything but normal. She's been pressured over the years to go into the family business (matching people up with their one true love), but instead decided to rebel a bit and switched between a half a dozen odd end jobs, trying to find the one that's right for her. In reality, she's also trying to find herself, not just a stable job. And quiet possibly true love to break her family curse...
Needless to say, when she is suddenly pushed into taking over Valentine, INC. for a few weeks while her dad recovers from a heart attack, she's not exactly giddy with excitement. But she soon finds out that maybe this is the right job for her after all. Through the struggles along the way, the suspense and mystery, and of course a bit of drama, Lucy finds her place in the family company-- and even a bit of romance in the air for herself!
I smiled at the funny scenes, sighed during the romantic ones, and even found myself trying to figure out the big mystery before the truth was revealed. It may seem like just another chick-lit book based on the cover, but it's more than that. As they say, don't judge a book by its cover!
The one thing I didn't like in the book was the ending. Just when we're about to see the "happily ever after", the book ends abruptly, and we must wait until fall of next year for the sequel, Deeply, Desperately! Otherwise, the story was unique, the characters enjoyable, and the writing nicely done. In other words, a wonderful book to curl up with and read during the month of February!
4.5 Stars! A wonderful first book in a new series, by an author I plan on keeping my eye on. A combination of witty and charming, with surprises at every turn, Truly, Madly should be on your wish list for next year! Light and fun, it's the perfect book to read during the "month of love".
- Lusting for Covers
- Lusting by the Cover
- Captivating Finds
Of course, any ideas are more than welcome! I want something that grabs your attention, and try as I might, I've yet to come up with the perfect "AHA!" title for my meme idea.
So, my wonderful followers, here is your homework for the Holiday Season. Sometime between now and December 30th, I need you to (please!) leave a comment with your vote (or idea) for the title for my upcoming Cover Meme. Tell me which one of my ideas you like (or hate)--- feedback is very much needed and appreciated, good or bad.
And if you think this meme idea is pointless, say so---- right now, I want your honest opinion on my blog, and what I can do to improve it!
Unfortunately, the junk mail and bills seem to overflow my mailbox more often than books.... In a book lover's world, the roles would be reversed, of course! :D
Honestly, I wasn't expecting anything this week, but I was lucky enough to get a few. I bet you can guess what I'm thankful for right now! *Wink* Yep, the free books!
Here's what I got this week:
For Review (In Print):
~The Returners by Gemma Malley (Thanks to Anna from Bloomsbury)
For Review (In E-Book):
~Full Blood by Liberty Stafford (Thanks to Night Owl Romance)
~Half Blood by Liberty Stafford (Thanks to Night Owl Romance)
~The Amethyst Amulets by Cilian Burns (Thanks to Night Owl Romance)
~Beast Master by Vonna Harper (Thanks to Night Owl Romance)
Thanks to Night Owl Romance, whom I've recently started to review for, I've got quiet a load to work on this Christmas Break. Expect all of the reviews for them up by the first part of the year or so.
So, besides being behind on blog posts, I'm very behind on my Christmas Shopping. I think I've got... 2 presents. Yep, that's it! I know, I know, I've only got this weekend to get caught up, so that's no doubt where I'll be for the next few days. *Sigh* And then all the wrapping next week... Oh, the joys of Christmas! LOL. No, really, I love this holiday, but sometimes the build up to the big day is a bit of a pain, you know?
Hope everyone has a great weekend, enjoy, and see you next week! Oh, and expect my review of "Truly, Madly" on Monday!
Until Next Time,
When a motherless American girl living in Europe finds a medieval book and a package of letters, all addressed ominously to "My dear and unfortunate successor..." she begins to unravel a thread that leads back to her father's past, his mentor's career, and an evil hidden in the depths of history.
In those few quiet moments, she unwittingly assumes a quest she will discover is her birthright -- a hunt that nearly brought her father to ruin and may have claimed the life of his adviser and dear friend, history professor Bartholomew Rossi. What does the legend of Vlad the Impaler, the historical Dracula, have to do with the 20th century? Is it possible that Dracula has lived on in the modern world? And why have a select few historians risked reputation, sanity, and even their lives to learn the answer?
So begins an epic journey to unlock the secrets of the strange medieval book, an adventure that will carry our heroine across Europe and into the past -- not only to the times of Vlad's heinous reign, but to the days when her mother was alive and her father was still a vibrant young scholar. In the end, she uncovers the startling fate of Rossi, and comes face to face with the definition of evil -- to find, ultimately, that good may not always triumph.
I enjoyed how Elizabeth Kostova managed to tell this captivating story, weaving together not only the story from Paul and Helen's point of view (through letters and some of it though story telling on Paul's part), but also from the point of view of Paul's daughter. While switching from the two POV's may, at first, seem a bit confusing, Kostova did a magnificent job at it, and I can honestly say that there was only one or two spots where I was momentarily confused.
Since the novel was told in such a unique way, and done well, I really felt the connection to not only the story but the characters as well. They were not just words on a page, but honestly seemed like they were real. This was partly due to the lush details provided and partly due to the talent of the author. Not every author can pull this off, but fortunately Kostova did because, to be quiet honest, if she had not managed this, this story would have been drastically different, and a great deal harder to get through without losing interest.
4 STARS! A seamless twist of history and myth, The Historian is a great read for anyone that enjoys a good mystery. Mystery, suspense, a bit of historical accuracy, and even a dash of romance--- really, who wouldn't be interested in reading it? And don't let the vampire plot turn you away, I promise, it's nothing like any vampire story you've read before!
Sorry that I've been slacking on my posts this month-- I promise, I'll be back full time next month! :)
I was suppose to have at least one review up this past week, The Historian, but I'm still reading the book, and the review will have to wait until next week. Sorry! I promise, I'll be better next year, it's one of my main goals.
Second, I didn't receive anything in the mail this past week, so, again, no 'What Did I Receive?' post this week either.
Next, a big thanks to those of you that participated in the Poll I had running these past few weeks. I asked:
"Be honest: Do you think I'm too generous with my reviews/rating?"
And the final tally was 5 'No', 0 'Yes' and 1 "Well.. now that you mention it, maybe...".
I know, reviews (and therefore ratings) are based on a person's own personal opinions, but after looking through my past posts and seeing that more then 3/4 of my reviews on here have been 4.5 or 5 Star ratings, I had to wonder----was I being too generous, and automatically giving the book a perfect rating if I happened to like it, instead of giving it a "The Positive and The Negative" kind of review?
Of course, there's no right or wrong to reviewing, it is your own opinion, but sometimes, after reading other reviews, I have to wonder if maybe I should have pointed out that I didn't like this or I wasn't fond of that, just to show that even the books I enjoyed have a few flaws (Which is almost needed, really-- who wants to read something that's absolutely "Perfect"? I mean, no one is perfect, so how can we assume that a book is?).
Okay-- on to the real business behind this post!
I need your opinion, everyone, so please, if you have a minute, stop and post a comment!
After over a year of blogging, I find myself looking at my blog and saying "Bleh". Don't get my wrong, I love blogging, and this amazing community of fellow book loving friends I've found through the experience, but I can't help but want something more, something new out of my blog design and layout. (Although, might I say another BIG THANKS to the lovely Lea for converting my two column blog to a three column earlier this year?)
So I want to know, from you, my friends, what can I do to improve my blog? Design, colors, layout-- anything, everything, I don't care! I just want to know --- what do you like about my current design, or heck, even what you don't like! Just be honest, and I would love to hear some feedback, good or bad, about what I can do.
I'd like to start out this next year with a brand new blog look, but I doubt that will happen. (Despite more than a few classes in the past, I'm still no where near a computer whiz, and with Blogger, I can barely manage the basics, which is why my layout is so, well, average.)
If you have any ideas, please let me know-- I myself have no idea what to do, I wish I had a creative/artistic flare, but sadly don't. I want the new look to reflect my blog, what it is, and what I'm here to do with it, but I don't know what to use to express that. I'm simply bored of seeing the same blue, blue, and oh hey, more blue, that is my blog. Especially after I look at fellow blogger's amazing designs....
Even better, if you know of someone who is good at designing these kind of things, and who would love to help me (preferably for little to no money, though I know many such sites charge for their, I'll admit beautiful, work), please let me know! I know it's been a bit rough on everyone this past year, and money is dearly needed, but I really don't have any extra to be spending on something like this, because as much as I love my blog, when it comes down to the money, well there are more important things that the cash will go towards first.
If you've managed to make it through this very long, and fairly boring, post, I sincerely thank you! And I would appreciate if you could spare a moment or so to give a bit of much-needed feedback, please!
I'm off to spend a few more hours studying (yeah...), hopefully work on finishing at least one book this weekend, along with writing my reviews for next week so I can get caught up.... Pretty much, my weekend is just an extension of my week, not a brief holiday like it usually is.
I hope that everyone has a great weekend, have fun, spend time with family-- it's almost Christmas, so just enjoy it!
Thanks for the help!
Until Next Time,
Author: Margaret Mallory
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication Date: July 2009
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: All the King's Men Series
FEARLESS IN BATTLE
His surcoat still bloody from battle, William FitzAlan comes to claim the strategic borderlands granted to him by the king. One last prize awaits him at the castle gates: the lovely Lady Catherine Rayburn.
TENDER IN BED
Catherine risked everything to spy for the crown. Her reward? Her lands are declared forfeit and she is given this choice: marry FitzAlan or be taken to the Tower. Catherine agrees to give her handsome new husband her body, but she's keeping secrets, and dare not give him her heart. As passion ignites and danger closes in, Catherine and William must learn to trust in each other to save their marriage, their land, and their very lives.
KNIGHT OF DESIRE
When a series debut is as wonderful as Knight of Desire, you know you are in for quite an adventure! Be sure to put Margaret Mallory's books on your wish list, I promise you won't regret it.
Although the plot may, at first, seem a bit cliche, or at the very least one that we've heard before, believe me when I say that it is anything but. The characters are very nicely developed, and just when you're sure you know what's going to happen next, Mallory throws you in a new direction! With her flowing, vivid descriptions, and the way she manages to draw from history (and then fictionalize, of course), to put the background into this novel, I was hooked from the very beginning.
Catherine is a very strong-willed heroine, and I greatly enjoyed seeing her grow and change as the story went on. She had a horrible excuse for a husband, but she fought bravely to get rid of him and get a better life for her and her son. I have to say, when the heroine of a romance novel proves, like Catherine did, that she's not just some silly bimbo looking for a guy, the author already has my vote! Nothing is worse then a character that can't even stand up to the storyline.
Our brave hero, William, was also a joy to read about. Although he was tough, with a bit of tortured-hero thing going for him at times, he was also very patient and gentle with Catherine.
The one flaw I found in this otherwise enchanting novel was the fact that William had such a difficult time believing Catherin! I understand why he may have had his doubts (most of the time, at least) and yes, it did make it more realistic, as far as new couples go... But if I was Catherine, I would have hit him every time he doubted me! A few scenes that showed the lack of trust built up so far, sure-- that's understandable, and even adds to the character and plot growth. However, after the third time or so that he reverted back to questioning her actions/feelings, I simply got a bit annoyed.
4 STARS! Almost a 4.5 rating, I enjoyed this book so much! From the romantic scenes, of which there were plenty; to the character connections, which ran deep, this was a truly magical romance novel for me. A captivating story, rich with historical backgrounds, but filled with twists and turns all through the book, Knight of Desire is a charming, sweet, and very passionate book--bring on the sequels!
Thanks so much to Cheryl @ Cheryl's Book Nook, whom I won this from in a contest, and Grand Central Publishing for providing the book. (Back in September, but unfortunately, I've not been able to read and review it until now-- sorry!)
And since I did not receive anything this past week in the mail (well, nothing book related at least!), there will be no 'What Did I Receive?' post today.
Until Next Time,
My Rating Scale
- 5 Stars= Fantastic. Perfect rating, and a must read for anyone!
- 4.5 Stars= Great--- highly recommended!
- 4 Stars= Good, a very enjoyable read.
- 3.5 Stars= Nice, quick read.
- 3 Stars= Okay, about average.
- 2.5 Stars= Eh....Not the worst, but below average.
- 2 Stars= Borderline fail...Something was missing!
- 1.5 Stars=I didn't like it.
- 1 Star= Major flaws.... Or not my cup of tea, depends on how you care to look at it...
- 0.5 Star= DNF or DNE (did not enjoy--- at all).
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