Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year's Eve Readathon!

Hi all! Today I'm participating in The Picky Girl's NYE readathon! Fun stuff! I'll be tweeting my progress though out the day. Look for hag tag #nyereadathon to follow everyone's progress.

I'm going to start by answering the questions @picky_girl posted on her blog:

1. What are you reading today?  I have two books I would like to finish today, but being a slow reader I don't know if I'll be able to accomplish that goal. Jane and the Unpleasantness at Scargrave Manor by Stephanie Barron and Mansfield Park by Jane Austen. I have two reading challenge to complete, I need to read two books to finish the goodreads reading challenge (I was right on track for the goodreads challenge, until we moved.) and two books for the JA Spinoffs Reading Challenge, so I thought I would combine the two and see if I can finish both! (Part of the day I will listen to the audio of Mansfield Park while I work around the house) Wish me luck!

2. Are you a comfy reader, or do you get dressed, wear shoes and socks, and sit in a straight back chair?   I'm a comfy reader for sure! I'm wearing my yoga pants and a comfy warm shirt for the day!

3. Food. What will you be eating/imbibing today?  I'm making Black-eyed Peas and Rice for dinner, good luck for the New Year, with Cornbread! Yum! Sipping on some coffee and Bailey's! Excellent! Cookies will be involved sometime today as well. ;)

4. Have you finished a book yet?  Nope.

5. What book do you want to be reading to close out 2012? See question 1.

Join the fun! Head over to The Picky Girl and sign up!

Review: The Shopping Swap by Erin Brady

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and I want to wish you all a Happy New Year

I LOVED The Shopping Swap! It’s a cute, fun read! Erin Brady wrote a sweet romance that I was quickly drawn into.

When Maggie Andrews gets home from shopping she finds out she has someone else’s bag! Instead of the sexy, expensive lingerie that she bought, she now has a very modest housecoat. How is she going to attract the attention of her absentee boyfriend in that uninviting, yet surprisingly comfortable housecoat?
I love Maggie! She is sweet, loyal, and super cute. Unfortunately, she can’t see what everyone else sees in Richard, whom she has been dating for the last five years. Her sister, Janie has been trying to tell her for a while now that Richard isn’t going to marry her, but Maggie won’t listen. She is convinced Janie doesn’t understand Richard as he is just a busy man trying to build a successful career. He will marry her...some day.

Returning to Crandall's Department store the next day, she meets Ben Sanders. Somehow they managed to swap shopping bags the previous day. Ben is the perfect “tall, dark and handsome” man, and when they meet, he finds Maggie adorable, especially when she blushes over what’s in her bag. I love that he is so caring and gentle with Maggie. He and Maggie become friends, but can they remain “just friends”?

I really enjoyed The Shopping Swap! This is Erin Brady’s second book. You can read my review for her first book, “And the Winner

5 out of 5 stars.

I was provided a copy of The Shopping Swap for my honest review.

Buy: The Shopping Swap (Disclaimer: Link to Amazon. Should you purchase a copy of the book through the link here, I will receive a small commission. Thanks!)

About the Author:

Although 'And The Winner Is' is Erin's first romantic comedy novel, she, just like her character, Marty Peters, know a thing or two about trying to follow her dreams.  She acknowledges her own obsession with celebrities and shoes and has spent the better part of her life single and looking for love. She's happily married now but it took her awhile to get there. Last but not least, she has several subscriptions to tabloid magazines and is not afraid to admit it.  Aside from those credentials, she is a writer and former accountant working in New York City.

Connect with Erin:

Any thoughts? I'd love to hear from you!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Review: Unmasking Maya By Libby Mercer

Book Blurb:

Defamed, Disgraced and Displaced...

Fresh from a career-killing scandal, New York fashion girl, Maya Kirkwood, arrives in San Francisco to reinvent herself as a fine artist. She's offered the opportunity to create an installation at the Silicon Valley headquarters of a hot new tech company. Fabulous, right?

Not so much.

She can't stand Derek Whitley - wunderkind software genius and CEO of the company. Hot as he may be on the outside, inside the man is a cold, unemotional, robotic type. Way too left-brained for her right-brained self.

As Maya and Derek get to know each other, however, their facades begin to crack. She catches her first glimpse of the man behind the superhuman tech prodigy, and he starts to see her as the woman she used to be. But is this a good thing? Once that last secret is revealed, will it bring them closer together or will it tear them apart?

My Review:

I loved, loved, loved this book! This is the first story I’ve read by Libby Mercer, and it won’t be my last! Unmasking Maya has everything I love about a good romance! And I found that I really love Libby Mercer’s writing style.

Maya Kirkwood is an artist, who is trying hard to build a new career and to forget her past career as a fashion designer. With a new name, in a new city, living in a studio apartment, she designs amazing wall art out of fabrics. When she is commissioned to do some art work by Derek Whitley for his company, Unisco, she finds herself strongly attracted to Derek, but the last thing she needs is to get involved with another overly ambitious man who would do anything, or step on anyone, to get to the top. 

I loved Derek Whitley! He reminded me of Mr. Darcy. He has that air of superiority, and he is intense and oh so incredibly handsome. Derek and Maya don’t get off to a good start when he insults her artwork before he knows she's the artist! Stunned by his comments, she can't understand why he would hire her. His friends tell Maya that Derek has not always been so up-tight and driven by his work, and Maya finds out she’s not the only one with a difficult past. 

Derek is always cold and distant toward Maya, but when trouble shows up the night of the unveiling of new the wing at Unisco, Derek is right by her side like a knight in shining armor. As her past is unmasked in front of him, will he believe the worst of her the way everyone else does?

I loved that Unmasking Maya is written in the first person from Maya’s point-of-view. I felt like my best friend was telling me something that happened to her. 

If you’re looking for a cute, fun, quirky romance, I would highly recommend Unmasking Maya.

5 out of 5 stars.

I was provided a copy of Unmasking Maya for my honest review.

Buy a copy here.

Connect with Libby Mercer:

Any thoughts? I'd love to hear from you!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Review: Holiday Man By Marilyn Brant

Book Blurb:

A Year of Holidays...
Shannon Quinn is the small-town girl who runs "Holiday Quinn" -- a holiday-themed inn and resort based in scenic Door County, Wisconsin.

One winter evening, wealthy Minneapolis businessman, Bram Hartwick, blows into town along with the fast-falling snow. The sparks Bram and Shannon create succeed in heating up the chilly Midwestern night, not to mention plenty of holiday weekends in the year that follows...

But is their relationship only for special occasions, or might it be the elusive everyday love that neither of them thought could be found?

My Review:

In the Holiday Man, the holidays sizzle in this cute, sexy read!

Shannon Quinn owns and runs an inn called Holiday Quinn. It has been in her family for a couple of generations, first belonging to her grandparents.  Shannon now runs it alone, and she is only open on the holidays. I loved that this Inn is named after the movie Holiday Inn and has room names like the Crosby Room and The Astaire Suite. Super cute!

On Valentines weekend, Shannon meets Bram Hartwick as he checks into the inn - he checks in as a single guest. Right away there is a strong attraction to one another. But all weekend long, as soon as they start getting close, they are interrupted by Jake, Shannon’s assistant. Jake has always flirted with Shannon, and even though he would like it to go further, it never has.  After that first weekend, Bram makes it a point to return every holiday he can. But, with different desires and misunderstandings will they ever get together for more than a weekend? 

When we first meet Shannon she is lonely and stuck in a rut.  She loves the inn, but doesn’t want to be stuck there for the rest of her life. She wants to see the world! Experience new things; live! Bram is just the opposite. He has seen the world and experienced many things. He is ready to settle down and relax.

I love it when the characters have that chemistry...when there fingers touch, and they feel that tingle. Shannon and Bram have that special magic between them, and they are naturally drawn together, but I was getting a little frustrated with their misunderstandings. One thing is for sure...they had no trouble communicating in the bedroom!

I enjoy this story! It is a fun, quick read, and I read it in one afternoon! Oh, and let me say how much I love this cover! It was designed by Rebecca Young. She is becoming quite the cover artist! 

I am looking forward to reading Brant's next book, Pride and Prejudice and the Perfect Match coming out in January!

4 out of 5 stars.

I was provided a copy of Holiday Man for my honest review.

I would give this a mature rating for some sexual scenes and mild language.

You can buy a copy here* (paid link)

FTC Disclaimer: Link to Amazon. I am an Amazon Associate. Should you purchase a copy of the book through the link provided, I will receive a small commission. Thanks!

Connect with Marilyn Brant:

Any thoughts? I'd love to hear what you think!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Winner of Mr. Darcy Bites Back!

Rafflecopter has picked a winner!


Monica P

Thanks to all who entered!

If you didn't win you can buy a copy at Amazon.

Thank you, Mary Simonsen, for having this wonderful giveaway with me!

Monica you should have received an email from me.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Review: He Taught Me to Hope: Darcy and the Young Knight's Quest By P. O. Dixon

In He Taught Me to Hope, Elizabeth marries a young man of a wealthy family. Only a month after the wedding, Elizabeth is a widow. Thankfully, in that short time together, she has conceived a child and gives birth to a beautiful baby boy, Ben. Elizabeth continues to live with her father-in-law until his death. Then she and Ben return to Longbourn to live.  Sadly, Mr. Bennet, never approving of Elizabeth's marriage, treats her like a stranger.

To secure the future for her mother and sisters, as well as for Ben, Elizabeth agrees to marry Mr. Collins. It is an arranged marriage, but Liz felt it would be good for her and Ben. Then one night, at the Meryton Assembly, she sees Mr. Darcy for the first time. As he is walking through the crowd their eyes meet, and Lizzy feels as if she were staring into the eyes of her soul mate. The attraction is just as strong for Darcy, and he is enchanted with Elizabeth.

I love how Darcy is trying to woo Elizabeth away from Mr. Collins. He is hoping she will see how they are meant to be together and how wrong Mr. Collins is for both her and Ben. He has a strong ally in Ben, who loves Darcy!

Ben is adorable! Darcy and Ben meet in the woods. Ben introduces himself as Sir Lancelot and believes Darcy is King Arthur. I love how Darcy treats Ben. He lets Ben be imaginative, and doesn’t try to stifle that. I also love that Darcy falls in love with both Elizabeth and Ben before he finds out that Ben is Elizabeth’s son.

I wasn't happy with Jane in this story. She is not the positive, “seeing only the good in everything” person she usually is. She is afraid for her future, afraid she’ll never find a husband and is bitter toward Elizabeth and all her suitors. I would have liked to see Elizabeth's and Jane's relationship restored. It felt incomplete. 

He Taught Me to Hope is a fun Pride and Prejudice adaptation! I loved the whole King Author aspect.

3.5 stars out of 5. 

I won my copy of He Taught Me to Hope from Mary Simonsen's blog.

Buy a copy here.

About the Author:

P O Dixon writes Jane Austen Pride and Prejudice adaptations with one overriding purpose in mind—falling in love with Darcy and Elizabeth all over again. Her initial exposure to Pride and Prejudice was in 2007. After watching the 2005 film at least two times a day for as many weeks, she determined she needed to know much more of the story's hero. After reading the novel, along with several excellent ‘what-if’ books that told the story from Mr. Darcy’s perspective, she came across a link to the online Jane Austen Fan Fiction community. Her life has never been quite the same. 
She lives in North Carolina with her husband and preteen daughter, Elizabeth. 

Connect with P O Dixon Online:

Twitter: @podixon

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