Monday, September 16, 2013


Yep. I'm doing it! I've decided to make the move from a blogger blog to self hosted WP. Crazy, no?! I've very little clue as to what I'm doing, but, we'll see if I totally bring down the internet in my move. :D

So, if you follow me via feedly or networked blogs, or any other way to follow me, please update the site. It's kinda bare right now, but don't worry. We'll get there, eventually!

I won't be deleting this blog. Just in case I totally mess this up. So if something isn't working here or on the new site (links, comments, etc) hit me up via the contact page under review requests or you can DM me on twitter at:


Thanks for your patience during this transition! 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

ARC Review: Lingerie Wars by Janet Elizabeth Henderson

Title: Lingerie Wars
Author: Janet Elizabeth Henderson
Publisher: Self-published
Publication Date: June 14, 2013

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

From Goodreads:

Englishman Lake Benson loaned his life savings to his dippy sister so that she could buy a shop. It was a big mistake. His sister has been steadily flushing his money down the drain – and now he wants it back. Years in the special forces taught Lake that if you want a job done, do it yourself. So he steps in to make the shop profitable, sell it and get his money back. The only problem is, the business is an underwear shop. And all Lake knows about underwear can be summed up in how fast he can unsnap a bra. To make matters worse, the tiny highland town already has a lingerie shop. A successful one, run by an ex-lingerie model. A very gorgeous ex-lingerie model, who’s distracting him from his mission more than he’d like to admit. If Lake wants to get his savings back, and get out of Scotland, he only has one option – wipe out the competition.

Kirsty Campbell has spent years rebuilding her life after she woke up in hospital in Spain to find her body scarred, and her ex-fiance had run off with all her money. The last thing she needs is a cocky, English soldier-boy trying to ruin all she has left. Her home town is only too happy to help her fight the latest English invasion, although Lake is beginning to sway them with his sex appeal and cut price knickers. With the help of her mother, and the retired ladies of Knit or Die, Kirsty sets about making sure that her shop is the last one standing in Invertary.

It’s Scotland versus England as you’ve never seen it before. It’s lingerie war.

My Thoughts:

What a great book! This one made me laugh, a lot, while also being sweet with just enough steam to keep things interesting.

In Lingerie Wars, we meet Lake, who has come to the small town of Invertary, Scotland to bail his sister out. Again. Rainne borrowed Lake's money to buy a lingerie shop. But wasn't doing that great a job in making money. Or running it. Or competing with the other lingerie shop in town, which Rainne had failed to tell Lake about. So Lake come's to his sister's rescue and runs into Kirsty, the owner of the other shop. Kirsty is struggling, in both business and life. She's recovering from injuries she sustained in a very bad car accident as well as her ex-fiance having run off with all her money. See, Kirsty had been a lingerie model before hte accident. But now, the scars, emotional and phsycial, are keeping her closed off. She still has family and friends of course, but she isn't putting herself out there like she used to.

But all that changes when the competition between Kirsty's store and Lake/Rainne/Betty's store, heats up. The "war" has everyone in town taking sides and in some cases, joining in to bring down the other with often crazy, hair-brained antics. The break in while Lake and Kirsty were having dinner had to be one of the best comedic scenes I've ever read in fact. It had me laughing until my stomach hurt. But in addition to the shenanigans as they tried to out-do the other, there was also tension between Kirsty and Lake. A good and sexy kind of tension that caused its own problems, and some times detentes, in the war. But even though the two recognized their feelings for each other, there were still secrets. Lake was in Invertary for a reason and he wasn't staying long, after all. He had other plans; other things to do. And once the war was done and he came out on top, would take his leave.

Too bad Kirsty and Rainne were left in the dark about that.

I don't want to go too deep in the weeds about what happens in this book because I don't want to give anything away. But I do want to address an important part that was touching, sweet and had a personal impact on me. And that was when Lake helped Kirsty deal with her scar issues. Having several scars myself from childhood surgeries, I know all about the self-consciousness they can cause. Mine are barely visible anymore, but they're still there, or at least, I know they are there. And it bugs me to no end. In the back of mind I'm always thinking someone will see, or comment on them, or just even think something about them. I'm better with them now than when I was younger but still, dealing with scars, emotional and/or physical can be tough. And even if people can't see them, that doesn't mean they don't effect the person who has them in significant ways. In Lingerie Wars I thought that the author dealt with Kirsty's issues in a very realistic and respectful manner. The way Lake saw past all that, and the way he handled Kirsty with such great care (at least regarding those issues!) was fantastic. And because of that and the way he took things slow, for her, was beautiful. Lake waited patiently while she came to terms with the fact that yes, a man like Lake liked her and didn't care one lick about the scars. The scars didn't define her and they didn't make her less of a person. It was almost like he didn't like her in spite of her scars, but instead he liked her because of them (or at least in part) and how they showed she was strong and a survivor.

I knew that there would be a "bad guy" and I was waiting awhile for him to show up. I think the way this part of the story was handled worked well. The suspense didn't overpower the story this way nor did the author get too far in the weeds about any grand conspiracies or massive crime rings. Instead the author kept the focus on Kirsty and Lake, their lingerie war, with just a dash of a "baddie" to deal with. But again, I want to stress that this book isn't just about a war between two lingerie shops. Lake's presence and undeniable attraction to Kirsty, as well as their "war", helped Kirsty move on from a traumatic past. It not only helped her in her business, but it also gave Kirsty the courage to put herself out there again and not let her stupid ex and what he did keep her down. Lake opened her up to a whole new world, and life, and it was a great journey to be a part of.

I'm excited for the next book in this series and hopefully we see more of the Invertary residents we were introduced to. Betty was a hoot and I laughed so hard in some of those scenes. And the cardboard cut-out of Lake?! I was laughing so hard at one point I couldn't even speak. Oh, and we can't forget the Knit or Die group. When they had the t-shirts made that said "SOD OFF", I could not stop the tears of laughter streaking down my cheeks. Caroline also made me smile; she was sweet and nice and I really hope she gets an HEA at some point in the series. I hated Lake's parents though. They were awful and mean and I wanted to run them over with their bus. And isn't that the mark of a good author, making me want to commit violence against fictional characters?! :D

I do need to mention the side story of Alistair and Rainne. Dear god, that part broke my heart. Just shattered it. I even dreamt about them when I went to bed and I woke up with all these feels and angst, and just, I can't even explain it without giving too much away! (Gah! If anyone has read this, or when you do, we need to exchange notes on that!!) . That's how much of an impact their story had on me. I wonder if we'll see them again. I hope so.

This is a fun, sweet, romantic, and humorous read that I would recommend to anyone likes to both laugh and swoon while reading. The writing was well done and I saw zero, yeah, I said -zero- editing issues. All in all, a solid read and one which I will likely re-read again and again. Now what are you waiting for? Start reading!

Here are the purchase/info links:
Barnes and Noble

*I received an ARC of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.*

Sunday, September 8, 2013

The Sunday Post and Stacking the Shelves [9]: The Week in Review

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. From Kimba's website, "this meme was inspired in part by ~ In My Mailbox~ It's a chance to share News. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog. This is your news post, so personalize it! Include as much as you want or as little. Be creative, it can be a vlog or just a showcase of your goodies."

I was having such a great week until my car broke down on Thursday and I had to take it into the shop. Then it was 48 hours of freaking out, crying and more freaking out because I was worried it would be thousands of bucks (that's how scary the break down was) to fix it.

Well, either my mechanic is a genius or I have no clue about cars. And honestly, I think both of those are true. While the repairs put a dent in the wallet (as in, no more books until next pay day), they weren't nearly as bad as I'd thought they'd be. Thank God.

Also, and as an important side note, the mechanics working on my car were seriously hot. I couldn't stop staring. And when one spoke to me I don't remember actually forming words to respond. I probably looked like a moron but their hotness overrode the circuits in my brain. So, although it was an inconvenience and I was super upset about the car, there was, at least, a plus in the man-candy that I got to look at. :D

Anyways, after the Great Car Break-Down of 2013, I was looking forward to a relaxing weekend where I could read, prep some reviews and work on finishing the transfer my blog to WP. This didn't happen. Instead, yesterday I went to camp for the day and today it's the start of football season which means a party at my sister's house. Not much reading has been done, sadly, but I have had a great time with the family. Enough about all that though. Here's a break down of what was, and what's to come, on the blog:


ARC Review: The Companions by R.A. Salvatore: this was such a fun book and the intro to what is loking to be a great adventure. The writing was rich and the world building was both fantastic. I hadn't read any of the earlier works about Drizzt, but this book worked well anyways. I never felt lost about who characters were or anything. Check out my review for more info.

The Chief by Monica McCarty: Anyone who comes to this blog knows that I love highlanders. So a couple weeks ago when I picked up the first three in the Highland Guard series (in paperback, they were on sale at BN), I was excited to start. This book blew me away. It was gritty, real and though there is of course romance, the author doesn't shy away from the realities of war at the time. It's also got some real life history in it which was nice to see. I love when author's do research and include it in their works. Check out my review for more info and purchase links.

I also reviewed Say No To Joe? by Lori Foster on Goodreads. I was surprised how much I liked this book because I certainly wasn't expecting to fall in love with the hero. But I did. :D

What I'm Reading/On the Blog This Week:

In His Command by Rie Warren
Full Blooded by Amanda Carlson
Last Chance Summer by Hope Ramsay

Last week I had these same books up there, plus one other. The 'plus one other' is the only one I managed to finish reviewing. There just are not enough hours in the day! *head-desks repeatedly*

Stacking The Shelves:

This meme was started by Tynga at Tynga's Reviews. The link is to the official launch page that explains what Stacking the Shelves is all about and where to sign up. Basically, it's a weekly meme where you post what you've bought, borrowed, and/or read, throughout the week. To quote Tynga, "you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!"

Well, I bought quite a few books this week, mainly due to some awesome sales that were going on so I'm going to jump right into it: (Note: I can't show covers because Blogger is being difficult, sorry!)

A bunch of Sherrilyn Kenyon's books were on sale (varying between 1.99 and 2.99) so I snapped up a bunch of those:

Night Pleasures (Dark Hunters #2)
Night Embrace (Dark Hunters #3)
Dance With the Devil (Dark Hunter #4)
Kiss of the Night (Dark Hunter #5)
Night Play (Dark Hunter #6)

Jill Shalvis' Lucky Harbor Series also was on sale (many for 1.99):

Lucky In Love (Lucky Harbor #4)
At Last (Lucky Harbor #5)

I also picked up: Monster in My Closet by R.L. Naquin because the blurb sounds awesome. I don't always make that kind of impulse buy but from what I've heard, it's worth it!

I picked up the following as freebies as well:

Bluegrass State of Mind by Kathleen Brooks
The Shy Bride by Lucy Monroe

And just an fyi, Amazon's daily deal, today only, are 8 of the Sullivan series' books by Bella Andre. This is a great contemporary romance series, so if you're looking for something sweet and with the right amount of sexy, you might want to give these a try! Here's the link for Amazon: The Sullivan Series by Bella Andre (Remember: check the prices of ALL these books before one clicking. I've no idea how long the sales are on for!) Have a great week everyone!

(Sorry about the weird font for the second half of this post. Blogger is being absolutely ridiculous today and won't sort itself out. I've tried everything but, yeah...I'm giving up now. Will try to fix it tomorrow!) 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Review: The Chief by Monica McCarty

The Chief (Highland Guard, #1)Title: The Chief (Highland Guard Series, #1)
Author: Monica McCarty
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Publication Date: March 23, 2010

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

[Note: I am re-posting this review from Goodreads. I hadn't planned on blogging this review but when I went to say a few words about it on GR, well it turned into a full fledged review so I figured I would share it here as well!]

This made me cry. It made me grin like a fool. And it made me grip the covers in suspense. It rocked my world in ways I didn't think a highlander romance could. The writing is well done, the time is well researched and explained, and the plot is focused and has plenty of action.

Having said that, some may say, "Big surprise. Kat loves highlanders. She's biased." But this book was different. For me at least. Yes, I have a thing for highlanders. I love books about this time and I blame Karen Marie Moning for my obsession since her Highlander series is what seemed to start it all. My obsession that is. However, not all Highlander romances are for me. Some I like (Moning's, Banks', just to name two) but others, well others I end up DNFing. But this book?! No way. It had me up late, anxious to get to the end but also dreading it at the same time.

Why did I love this book as much as I did? Simple. The author clearly did research for this book (see, the Author's Note in the book) and weaved fiction and non fiction together to make a beautifu story that made me feel like I was right there, on the sidelines watching as it all went down. Her descriptions of the castles, the places, the Islands: they were clear but not overwhelming. I could see them all in my mind's eye. And I could also "see" the characters.

And speaking of the characters, I have to say, Christina broke my heart. She was such a romantic, waiting and wishing for her Lancelot to come and save her, and she so wanted to believe it was Tor. So did I! Over and over again she tried to break through. She tried to help. All to, what seemed to be, no avail. And that I think is part of the greatness in this book. We see and hear from Tor's POV at times, and we see his struggle, trying to put his clan first, before anything, even himself. And we, the reader, get glimpses of his walls beginning to crack, but never fully topple. When Christina lost hope, so did I. I sobbed, openly and avidly, though Christina seemed to have it together more than me. She seemed to become, after her and Tor's last fight, resigned to her fate. I would have liked to see her confront Tor before she left-to be a bit stronger perhaps. But I also understood why she didn't. Some might say she was stupid to do what she did and cause what some would call "trouble" for Tor, but I didn't see it that way at all. This was a young girl of about 21 who grew up with an awful, abusive father who put her through hell. All Christina wanted was someone to save her. She thought that man was Tor. And given the mixed messages he was sending, I understand her confusion about whether he did, or did not, care for her. So when the reality of her situation finally sank in, when his words about just why he married her and how her romantic dreams were basically a joke and would never be fulfilled, I think in her position I'd have done the same thing. The shame and humiliation of all she'd done and endured to find someone to save her -to love her-, it just went up in smoke.

So while I was crying at this point, I was also angry. I was angry at Tor for being an idiot. I was angry at him for continuing to confide and be close with Lady Jane, his former leman, who I really wanted to stab with a sharp object. I was pissed off that he sent his brother away (though I understood why he did it), and I really wanted him to bring his sons back to the keep so Christina could raise them, not his uncle. (The latter didn't seem to happen but I believe this was a normal occurrence at the time, so I'm not surprised by it.) But mostly I was mad that Tor didn't see the damage he'd inflicted on Christina with his words. Sometimes words are worse than fists. And he knew about Christina's father and how she was treated. He didn't have to treat her with kid gloves, but he could have had a care. But instead he mouthed off, stormed off, left Christina -AGAIN!- and then 2 days later expected everything to be fine. He'd talk to her and yeah, things would be A-OK.

Um, no Tor. Really. Get a clue.

And I get it. He's a warrior, a chief, a lord, and all that. He shouldn't have to answer to a woman. (stupid man!) But did he not remember the vow he made to Christina before their marriage? The condition she made? HELLO?! He cut her down with her words, after everything she did, after all she tried to do to bring warmth back to the castle, and expected her to be waiting for him after he told her, basically, he couldn't, wouldn't and didn't love her?! Again: STUPID MAN! (Aside: It seems men haven't made that many strides since the time of the highland warriors. They're still doing idiotic crap like this! Anyways, back to my rant.)

So thus begins the final conflict of the book, Tor's epiphany, and poor Christina suffering for Tor's stupidity and refusal to acknowledge his feelings and instead be an asshat. Thankfully her suffering was only mild compared to what the men who captured her had initially intended to do to her, and she found more of her backbone during this time too, refusing to give the interrogators their answers, suffering for it, and still finding her own way out of there.

And also, Tor and his secret army appeared to help. Okay, maybe they more than helped, but I'm still a bit annoyed at Tor. I mean, I liked him. A lot. And the sexy times, well...they were beyond hot. But seriously, he needs to be slapped!

This is the most I've written on a review in a long time. But I finished this yesterday and I still can't stop thinking about it. Maybe because I remember being younger and thinking, like Christina, that a Knight would ride up on his steed, take me away, and we'd live happily ever after. (Or in his Mustang, or on his Harley, or in his pick-up get the idea.) So when her dreams shattered it was like a personal blow to me, remembering when I too grew up and stopped believing in fairy tales, knights in shining armor and damsels in distress. That's how strong this writing is, in my opinion anyways. And because of this, I've bought the second and third books in this series and can't wait to read more about this time and these warriors. Monica McCarty will definitely be on my list of top authors from now on.

Here are some purchase links:
*This book was a self purchase. All opinions are my own.*

View all my reviews on Goodreads

Monday, September 2, 2013

ARC Review: The Companions by R.A. Salvatore

Title: The Companions (The Sundering, #1)
Author: R.A. Salvatore
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
Publication Date: August 6, 2013

My Rating: 4.0 out of 5 stars

From Goodreads:

This latest installment in New York Times best-selling author R.A. Salvatore's beloved fantasy saga, The Companions moves Salvatore's signature hero Drizzt into a new era of the Forgotten Realms. As Drizzt's fate hangs in the balance, he reflects on the lives of the trusted allies who stood by his side throughout his early life--the friends now known as the Companions of the Hall. Meanwhile, the first stirrings of the Sundering begin.
My Thoughts:

Oh how I fell in love with this world!

First, let me say how I came upon this book. As a member of Netgalley, awhile back this book was available to me. I downloaded it and, because of my schedule, kept putting off reading it. I could kick myself for doing that because honest to god, this book was fantastic.  It was like a combination of so many of my fave SFF books/games. I started it this morning and I could not put it down. Seriously. Even during a wicked storm we were having I grabbed the flashlight and was trying to read when the power was out. It's that entertaining.

Now, I need to give some full disclosure here. I went into this book with low expectations. Not because I had little faith in the author or content, but because I just hadn't read fantasy in awhile. I'd given it up, disillusioned by the sameness that I saw out there and unsure where to find the "good" ones. Well, this book and the author turned things around for me and exceeded all of my expectations in a huge way. The writing is superb, the narrative flows at a nice pace, and there wasn't massive confusion for me, a first time reader to this series. Histories and back-stories were explained so I wasn't confused, but they weren't so detailed that I was overwhelmed with the dates, places, and people I needed to know. I loved every bit of it and already want to re-read it again. Oh! And the twist at the end, or should I say the "surprise" to the group of friends, and me, the reader? When I read that, I actually cheered. Loudly. Ask my cat, who went running for the hills when I did!

What was favorite part of the book, you may ask? Well, I have to admit that Cattie-brie is awesome and can kick some butt with her magic. I loved watching her come into her own and learn even more about herself and her magic. Even when things were heavy and it looked pointless to continue, Cattie-brie stayed on course, intent on surviving, for the chance to see Drizzt. And can we talk about Drizzt and Cattie-brie please? Good, because even though we don't get a lot of information about these two we are given enough to know that they shared an intense and beautiful love. I haven't read the earlier series and books about Drizzt so I'm not sure if we learn more about these two in those books, but what we're given here is enough to whet my appetite for more. From what I've seen so far and how the author has written Cattie-brie and her quest to find Drizzt (among other things), and then at the end...dear god I wanted to swoon right off the couch! Yes, I know. This isn't a romance novel so why am I going on and on about it? Because I loved that aspect of it and thought it made the story more realistic and more than just your run of the mill adventure novel. It made me feel and that, in any book, in any genre, is always a bonus.  The undercurrents of their relationship were written in such a way that I could feel the emotion Cattie-brie felt in her longing to reunite with Drizzt. And also gave me something else to cheer about!

Don't worry all of you who would shudder and shake at the thought of romance in your SFF (which by the way is a ridiculous thought and seriously, shame on you if you have that opinion...mixed genre in a work is a good thing since it adds, ya know, depth, realism and variety to the story...but god forbid that happens. *insert sarcastic snort here*), the romance doesn't overwhelm the book. It's just an added layer to the magic, fantasy and adventure that these characters are on. If anything it makes it well-rounded And besides, every fantasy adventure work needs a good old fashioned love story attached, right? I mean, there's nothing better than heroes and heroines fighting for goodness and love, right?! Exactly! And one the best parts of it, other than it not overwhelming the rest of the work, it that I wasn't expecting it at all. So when popped up on me, I was deliriously happy. (Okay, well maybe not deliriously, but still happy!)

One of the other aspects of this books I loved was the journey itself of the three friends, Bruenor, Regis and Cattie-brie, as they made their way to find (hopefully) Drizzt at Icewind Dale. In the beginning, when we see Cattie-brie reunite with her friends in Iruladoon, they are given a choice: go to their chosen Gods or be re-born so that they may re-join Drizzt in 21 years, when he will his Companions once again. There was much debate among them, whether to go or not, though it was never a question for Cattie-brie. She'd have the chance to see and be with Drizzt once again, to love him once again, and to fight along side him, once again. The others were conflicted though and had to consider their options. They had all lived long lives and now were ready to move on to the next plane. Did they want to go back, live another life, inside another body, with all their memories and knowledge of who they were before, biding their time until the planned meeting in Icewind Dale.

Each of them made their choice and from there we see the consequences of those choices. We also see that, even though they each have the memories of their other life and the intent to find Drizzt (hopefully) in 21 years, they do have lives to lead. And each make decisions during that time that will likely have effects on them individually and as a group, should their planned meeting take place. Regis wants to be more than what he had been the first time, pushing himself and making choices that, for me, seem questionable at best, and also dangerous. (At least one of those decisions, anyways!).  Bruenor wants to do things differently but quickly learns that certain things can't be undone and that he is living again for a more important reason. Cattie-brie's decisions revolve around her wanting to learn as much as she can about her gifts, even more than she had learned in her previous life, so that she can be prepared for whatever might come their way. But she too makes certain choices that endanger herself and others, even though she doesn't mean too. All of them make mistakes, learn, and grow on their journey back to each other and being along for the ride was a blast.

And now I can't wait to read more. I want to read more of the this series and then I want to go back and glom the earlier series about these adventurers. Have you read this or any books in this series (or the series' before it?) Are you a fan of SFF? Any suggestions for other books with a similar tone and excellent writing like this has? Let me know in the comments!

Here are the purchase/info links to the book:

*I received and ARC of this book from the Publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.*