Me..the Eager Reader..Quick and Simple..One Long Paragraph



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I am a young adult female of colorful descent.  I love reading…mostly because I’m a loner, who mostly shuns social media (bleh!) and prefers casually observing life and the goings-on of people rather than getting too involved in this complicated society we have created.  I have a sweet tooth for romance, most especially those featuring IR couples. I’ve never dated outside my race – okay, just once, but it was awkward – so I’m guessing that must be the reason why I find it so beautiful and fascinating to see and read about.  When I’m not working or spending time with my family, I’m fairly bored, mostly because my mind moves at light-speed and I need to have something to focus my attention on at all times so…I read.  Movies are getting to be too predictable – then again, so are most romance books, but at least they’re cheaper to buy.  Every now and again, I have the good fortune to stumble onto a great find and become captivated by what I discover.  Most literary finds are okay – nothing more – and I have to be happy for that because when I read something bad, it’s usually really bad.  And since I don’t believe in trampling other people’s creativity and efforts – one person’s trash is another’s treasure – or putting more negative energy into the universe, I will almost never review something that I didn’t like enough to give at least three stars.  On average, most romances I chance onto are just too blah to even give another thought to.  Recently,  I’ve taken to trying to pick titles way out from the mainstream.  I am pleasantly surprised to find that they’re the ones that usually give me the best chances at getting wrapped up in some type of warm and fuzzy satisfaction and inner reward from the tale…yes, my love life is that lame…I’m becoming quite successful at this treasure hunt, as of late, mostly by avoiding any and all recommendation from AMZ and skipping the first few pages of search results entirely.  I hope this blog will help me to share my adventures in reading and to help others to find some true gems…Much of today’s writing is sex disguised behind a few flimsy pages of story or so dull that I wish there was more sex.  Very rare to find that perfect blend, like that ever illusive perfect cup of coffee.  To be fair…most of these titles are kindle and almost all will be IR with various themes…mystery, historical, contemporary…general romance…very extremely rarely will I review an erotic title…I like sensual, but I prefer a great story much more…Here I go…happy reading to me…Oh yeah, I’m a punctuation freak who auto-corrects as I read, but I almost never let bad comma placement interrupt a good story, so that’s not something I comment on either; even though others seem to think it creates a monstrosity that can not be forgiven and must be given an immediate one-star review…Seriously, this happens, and it’s a perfect shame to see a bad review tagged to good story all due to one missing period :~)

Reading List – Week of 4/28/13


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Spring Perfection By: Leslie DuBois

Beauty of Man and Woman Vol. I (Bomaw) By: Mercedes Keyes, Lawrence James

They Call Me Molasses: The Big House (Book one of the Cliverton Estate Trilogy) By: Kris Actira

Love On The Line (Interracial Romance) By: Kris Actira

Picking Up The Pieces (Silhouette Special Edition) By: Barbara Gale



Ryan Carville had always wanted to fit in with the popular kids in high school. So when he grew a couple of inches taller and put on weight, he signed up for the football team. In every team there are competitions that are meant to build the team and make it stronger. For his football team the game was known as the ‘United Tastes’. Each team mate had to sleep with a girl who represented different race, height and weight. Being the quarterback and the star player, Ryan didn’t have any difficulty in finding girls who wanted to help him win. And with his victory he was rewarded a “prom-Sacrifice’ first pick at the known innocent girls in the school. Reluctant at first, Ryan is convinced by his girlfriend Clara to claim his prize. In fact she picks her out for him.

Kennedy had always kept her head down. She…

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Mommy and the Millionaire (Silhouette Special Edition) by Mommy and the Millionaire (Silhouette Special Edition) (REVIEW)


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Another Casual Sunday Read

I have picked up a habit of choosing Harlequin / Silhouette titles when I want to escape the mental drain and drama of other romance novels. As usual, this publishing brand offers what I definitely considered light reading. Although lots of dilemmas surface, I never really get the sense of urgency and conflict that another writer might have added to the mix.
Naomi, whose actual ethnicity is uncertain because she was given up at birth and raised in foster care, and Dave (David), blond heir and head of a multi-million dollar NYC business, cross paths at the local laundromat of a west coast hamlet. Throughout the story, I kept getting the impression that this story was a continuation of another title. This is mainly due to Dave’s constant self-nagging over how he and his half-brother basically conned said brother’s current wife into marriage so they could add a good image to their family name. In fact, this unsettled conflict regarding his hand in how that marriage came in to being and his masked jealousy that his brother found happiness outside of the boardroom, in addition to a not-so subtle nudge from their elderly patriarch, is what led Dave to wander so far away from the big city…Perhaps in pursuit of a life mate or perhaps he just wanted to change his stiff image..He never seems quite sure which is his true motive. The answers to his silent longings come in the pretty form of Naomi, who happens to be two months pregnant by a man she met in her old hometown that never wanted to have children (his reasons are revealed in the second half of the book, after he tracked Naomi to her new address). From there, Naomi and Dave do a sort of pre-adolescent courtship…which, at one point, turned quite sultry, to my surprise…but they continuously have a hard time coming to terms with what they each want and expect from the other.

Naomi is bland but likable, and Dave is nothing like the alpha hero I tend to have a fondness for. He’s kind and easygoing, but just like his inward conversations with himself reveal, the reader was never quite sure…not even at the end of the story…whether he fell in love with Naomi because she offered him a ready-made family or because he found a woman he could actually see himself growing old with…Hence the reason why this story is just *okay*…This was a leisurely read that left me unconvinced of the couple’s true love status.

Grade B-/C+


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Moonlit Protector by Crystal-Rain Love (REVIEW)


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Small Treasure

What can I say, except that I was pleasantly surprised by this novella. I absolutely loved this story! I usually skip short stories and rarely expect much from them when I do take a chance on one, but this quickie surpassed all of my expectations. In fact, it’s one of the best romances I’ve read in the last month. It definitely takes a true writing talent to squeeze so much full-bodied entertainment into so few pages…Action, suspense, romance,

passion, mayhem and magic plus revenge and triumph…it’s all there. Without giving too much of the plot away, I have to give the author credit for two elements that made this one of my new favorites…a multicultural wolf pack and giving this blended couple just enough depth and spice to make the reader hang onto every word as we hold our breath while they fall in love and flee from danger. One more teaser…When Tyler and Kyra said their moonlit vows, I could not hold back my beaming smile…Perfectly heart-melting *sigh*. Great job! Very rare to find a novella that reaches out and grabs me with such a sweet embrace. I think this story is part of a series, but the author presents a complete package with this one title. I am so glad I picked this little gem. Grade A+

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Riding the Snake by Stephen J. Cannell (REVIEW)


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Action-Packed Thriller but Light on Romance

I had a hard time rating this book because, although it is a phenomenal read, it was not exactly what I was looking for. This title was suggested on a review for another book in a related sub-genre so I took a chance, stepped out of my usual reading circle, and ordered a copy. There is no doubt that this crime novel is well-written and almost perfectly executed. The author provides such in-depth details for each event that the reader becomes engrossed within the story. The characters he builds are realistic and flawed, each serving their purpose — the reader either boo’s the bad guys or cheers the good ones on through their misery. As far as the romance, it is definitely secondary to the overall plot and pace of this novel.

Aging pretty boy Wheeler finds an unlikely ally in Tanisha, who is currently serving time as an outcast on the LA police force. Together they run around the world and back again chasing clues to an international mystery that leads them to dead-ends, shootouts, and a trail of dead bodies. No hiding place is safe for them, and family is of no help to either one of the mismatched pair — if anything, “loved ones” become part of the gathering storm of enemies. When the pair finally pulls the pieces of this elaborate puzzle together, the answers are shocking truths that leave their former lives in near-ruins. The ending is bittersweet, but Wheeler and Tanisha find a separate peace in the soul and a fullness of heart in each other’s arms. Fans of the type of romance I usually read may be sorely disappointed with this tale, but hard-boiled crime enthusiasts will love this thrilling adventure of murder and corruption. I found that I was floating somewhere in between. Grade B+

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Love On The Line by Kris Actira (NON REVIEW / THOUGHTS)


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I can’t really review this, because I don’t like giving ratings under three stars. The concept is what caught my attention, and I’m glad I took a chance and read this tale.

Here are some things that I think could use a little improvement: The delivery is like a very long thought instead of an actual book. The pace is a little too jumpy and the writing technique needs a little more guidance and editing. At one point, I think the lead male character moves back in time to relive when he first moved to an urban area then returns to living his present life, but the transition between these two events leaves the reader slightly confused. I understand the characters the author is trying to create, but they need a lot more depth. Maybe add chapters and dig into the lives of the characters a little more. Perhaps get them to interact in person BEFORE the story ends, and then lengthen the plot from there. A plus is that there is a really nice plot twist about half-way through. It helps to carry the rest of the story forward and adds some spark to the story line.

I’m not writing these notes to be mean; instead, I’m hoping to encourage the author to give this another try. Overall, I think this was a really good story idea…These days lots of people are seeking soul mates online, so what happens when you think you might have found a match? Thumbs up to the author for sharing her work, and I hope she completes a second, revised edition. I would be happy to read it.

Whatever He Wants by Eve Vaughn (REVIEW)


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51pOwbKxLEL._SL110_ (1)Good Read…Disturbing Romance

Starting this off on a good note, this was definitely a well-written book. This author is not amateur. She was able to weave a very intriguing plot that a novice writer would have a very hard time delivering to an eager (and experienced) audience. I have read dozens of books and it takes true talent to create a plot where the timeline is out of order and is intersected by sincere emotions and haunting memories from the characters, but still crisp and clear enough for the reader to latch onto and enjoy. The flow had a definite pull to it, and I read at least ninety percent of the tantalizing tale in one sitting.

Now to the not-so good part. This is the first time I have read a romance and was hoping that the main couple *did not* get together at the end. To put it bluntly, the hero – and I use that term very, very loosely in this instance, because he rarely acts like one – is a d*** for most of the story. From the first moment he steps into the arena, I was truly shocked at the way he treated the heroine – again a loose term here. I didn’t like him when he was humping her like a back alley hooker and I didn’t like him when he discovered the error of his ways then tried to do a quick about-face to become a caring and compassion good guy – it seemed forced and unnatural for how his character was portrayed up to that point. I actually kept hoping that Noelle would end up running off with James’ Executive Assistant (EA) – if you read the story, you may get a sense of what I’m saying. I just did not like them as a couple. Yes, they get their happily ever after – which also seemed to be a little too neat and tidy of an ending, especially after he treated her like bed trash and sent her into an identity crisis spiral (colored contacts, false hair down her back, sudden weight loss, caking on make-up) for most of the book. Even when James (I shudder even when I write his name) thinks he’s being nice to Noelle, his kept mistress, he’s still behaving like a bully. He actually *orders* her to have a conversation with him when he thinks she’s becoming emotionally withdrawn from him. If that’s what it’s like to fall in love, I will pass. As for the sex…Yes, it’s electric and thrilling – compare it to the movie 9 1/2 weeks – but not really my kind of intimacy. Admittedly, the scenes are HOT, but I draw the line at choking (scary).

Four stars for great writing, slippery adult scenes, and intriguing plot. As far as the romance, I would say this was more of a torrid affair with an unexpectedly sweet ending. Grade A-

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Bittersweet: The Diary of Brandy Morgan by Leslie Lee Sanders (REVIEW)


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41ZExNw+5kL._SL110_A romance that leaves you thinking

The title pretty much sums up this YA romance. I’m not sure how many people remember the after-school specials that use to come on TV back in the 90’s, but this story line would have made a perfect fit to that series. We explore the issues of racism and bullying from the perspective of two high school seniors – Brandy, a young female of color from a single-mom household, and Ian, who is from an upper middle-class family. In this story, racism seems to be an excuse for bullying. For whatever reason, Brandy seems to become the bull’s eye for a lot of teen angst at the school she attends. Although it would seem that the reason is because she is black, we cannot be quite sure, because we never find out if other students at the school or other members of their Arizona community have experienced the same issues.

Brandy is portrayed as a pure soul, meaning that no matter what horrible event happens to her – and so many, many bad things are *literally* thrown at this girl – she does not hate or retaliate. Her only goal seems to be in seeking out love and finding someone to bond with. She seems to sense a kindred spirit in a boy from her math class, Ian, and begins to watch him from a distance. Although he hangs with the group of kids that seem to take special delight in being cruel and wicked, especially to Brandy, Ian does not directly participate in their torments. His greatest concern seems to be protecting his cool reputation. After Brandy climbs great hurdles to make friends with him – comforting him during his mourning of his deceased little sister and tutoring him to help him avoid flunking math – Ian begins to shake off the peer pressure that has been blinding him to the fact that she is a wonderful, beautiful person whom he finds himself intensely attracted to. Their relationship is shaky and awkward at first, but soon becomes a breath of fresh air in their young lives. For some all too brief chapters, they lived a very cute and happy love story. It was nice to read about how their romance blossomed and how they each gained strength from the other.

If you are someone with a sensitive eye regarding racism and bullying then this may not be a story you will feel comfortable reading. Really brutal things happen to Ian and Brandy once they make the choice to love one another openly. Friends and family quickly turn on them and the consequences are truly devastating to both of their lives.

The weak spots in the story are that it feels choppy and rushed as certain moments, especially the conclusion. But I think the overall purpose of this story was to highlight the fuming hatred that can fester in people’s hearts. It also brings to light how love has the power to touch everyone and can truly help to overcome society’s darkest shadows. The hardest part about reading this story was knowing that someone might actually being experiencing this torment. I thank the author for writing this. It was a good contemporary romance and a good lesson in the power of pure love. Grade B+


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LOUDER: A Contemporary Romance by Jorja Tabu (REVIEW)


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Quick..But a good read

I bought this because I liked the concept…It was different and that’s what I love the most about this contemporary romance. It had some really steamy encounters…yum…and I really liked the chemistry between Echo and Ghost Diva. I can definitely relate to how people feel more comfortable wearing a “mask” of protection, and then have a hard time taking it off so they can relax enough to be comfortable with themselves and are afraid to embrace happiness with another kindred soul, because they fear being wounded again. The glimpses at Echo’s friends and label mates were another plus to

the story — they were believable characters and very funny during the tour bus chit-chats. I wish the story had been lengthened a little more; after all, there’s still so much to explore in the lives of this couple…his terrible ex-girlfriend, the cute daughter that’s mentioned but not introduced, and where does Gabby’s career go from here? Perhaps an expanded edition or a sequel from the author? That would be great! I think a weak point is that a lot of the tale is told in narrative (instead of a dialogue between the two lovers, we are actually viewing most of the story from their thoughts and perspective) and flash forwards. Overall, it was a couple hours well spent and I enjoyed it so much that I really wish there was more to dive into. Grade B+


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