Hot Toy by Jennifer Crusie

On Christmas Eve, Trudy Maxwell raids the toy store, hoping to find a popular toy, a Major MacGuffin for her five years old nephew. But of course she couldn't find any at the last minute. Instead, she stumbles upon Nolan Mitchell who happens to look for the same item too. Trudy isn't too pleased to meet him, after all he didn't call after their three dates, and moreover she thinks the Chinese Literature Professor to be a bore. He apologizes for not calling her earlier, but she tells him to forget about it anyway.

She continues to go about finding the toy, with Nolan trailing after her. And to her amazement, she did manage to locate it, right at the end of the other shelf. Everyone is stunned with her discovery, including Nolan and a lady in the queue who want to buy the toy from her by raising the prices. Then she meets Reese, who is an assistant to her Professor father and he tells he has a reliable source that they would be able to find the hot toy at a warehouse. Feeling a little doubtful, she follows him anyway, and the three of them crams inside a cab, to each of their annoyance. But the hopeful trip to the warehouse turns out not only a great disappointment, but danger as well as they involve in an espionage.

Christmas Bonus by Lori Foster

Eric Bragg has loved Maggie Carmichael for years, but he hides his feelings well. When her father passed away, Maggie eventually becomes his boss but this doesn't stop Eric from wanting her.

Maggie has always had a crush on her late father's employee, but she isn't sure if he feels the same way towards her, after all they are ten years apart but she intends to strip away her college girl image and do everything in power to get Eric to notice her as a woman instead of a boss, starting by asking him to be her partner for the company's Christmas party. He is thrilled, but nothing thrills him more when he stumble upon her steamy manuscript by chance, and realizes the male character resembles him in many ways. He has no doubt that she wants him the same way he wants her, and he intends to show her he would do better than her fictional character.

Naughty Under the Mistletoe by Carly Phillips

Antonia Larson is a lawyer but will be a senior associate with Corbin and Sons. Before leaving her office, she intends to act on her plan of seducing her boss and not to worry about work and meeting him after should it fail.

Maxwell Corbin is a PI and happens to be at the annual Christmas party as an obligation. Then he meets a woman who dresses as an elf by the Christmas tree, and his world turns upside down after she kisses him. Unknown to him, Toni realizes she has kissed the twin brother to her boss! They then get to know one another a little and had a one night stand...


Amongst the three stories, Jennifer Crusie tops my list! Hot Toy amuses me, and I have a fun time reading it. I laugh a lot over her story, and that is a good thing! I will be checking out her books next time! Lori Foster has written a good sensual story in Christmas Bonus, and I enjoy reading two persons overcome their obstacles and falling in love with each other. As for Carly Phillips, I regret to say Naughty Under the Mistletoe doesn't hook me, and I lost interest towards the middle of the story... I just can't get into her story, oh well...maybe it's her writing style, or maybe it's me. {shrugs}

I picked up this book because of the attractive cover, and not to mention the blurb interests me too!

The heroine Helena is the Warrior Maid of Rivenloch. Miriel, her younger sister is forced to marry a Norman, Sir Pagan Cameliard by King David of Scotland. Helena, along with their elder sister Deidre agreed that one of them would sacrifice to be Pagan's bride, but unfortunately Helena was drunk and her attempt to kill the groom ended in her being captured and restrained by his right-hand knight Sir Colin du Lac.

She manages to turn the table on Colin and abduct him, hoping by taking him as her prisoner she might have a chance of asking Pagan for a ransom in exchange of an annulment of her sister's marriage. While hoping and waiting for the ransom to be exchanged, she and Colin had some misadventures, starting from a visit from a bandit known as 'The Shadow', followed by some English mercenaries. Helena always thought Norman people are cowards and that Colin falls under the same category, but she never expects Colin would still protect her in some other ways.

When Helena can't help falling prey to Colin's charm, she tries to take control of their situation and resists him like a warrior would do. Colin, on the other hand faces the greatest and toughest battle of all, for he wishes to conquer the warrior maid's heart and make her his forever!

I truly enjoyed reading Captive Heart, and there are some amusing parts in this story. I didn't realize this is actually the second book of a trilogy, starring three warrior maid sisters. Lady Danger is the title of the first book. Sarah McKerrigan has a way of writing a beautiful medieval romance, and I will keep a look out of the final instalment to this trilogy A Knight's Prize as well as her other books.
I stumbled upon this book by chance when I visited Borders one day. I have come across Lincoln Child's books and he co-writes with Douglas Preston; their bestselling lists include Relic , Still Life with Crows etc. I have read some of their books and they didn’t disappoint, not to mention I’m also a thrillers fan.

Eden is a computerized matchmaking corporation, and they receive lots of clients who promise them they would find them a perfect soul mate, with a not-so-small fee of $25,000 but with lifetime money back guarantee. They would go through strict psychological and physical tests before their soul mates are assigned to them, and all the couples brought together are very happy with their new life.

Then, one of the super couples committed double suicide, and Dr. Christopher Lash, a psychologist who specializes in marital relationships, is called in to find out what has gone wrong. Later, a second super couple committed suicide; and Lash has to work with their security technician Tara Stapleton to find out some of the individuals who were rejected by Eden, and to an extent when he becomes one of their applicants so that he would have a first hand account of what the others have gone through and so forth. He then discovers there is something more behind Eden, and his involvement in the investigation becomes a dangerous act even for himself.

There are plenty of intense and thrilling scenes in this book, making it an entertaining read. I would recommend this to anyone, anytime.

Other Bloggers' reviews:
Stephanie's Confessions of a Book-a-holic
Wow, this book has me hooked right from the beginning!

The story starts when the hero, Grant Sullivan agrees to rescue Jane Hamilton Greer, the heroine who is a wealthy socialite whom is believed to have engaged in an espionage. Grant had been one of the government's most effective agents but has just retired until he is engaged by Jane's father.

Jane is a divorcee and is being held captive in Costa Rica by a group of rebels who thinks she has something that they want. She plans for an escape herself, until a man breaks into her room and spoil her plan.

Grant is amazed with the woman he is going to save, for she has intelligence and not to mention guts as well. As they escape and flee into the impenetrable jungle, Jane begins to realize he isn't what she thinks he is, and her doubts of him begins to fade slowly. In the process of fleeing and the time they have spent together, they begin to fall for each other but Grant feels he has too many seeded memories from his work and that their worlds are far apart.

Then the rebels have caught up on them, and in an attempt of saving Grant, Jane has no choice but to allow herself to fall into the arms of their lead, Turego. Grant thinks she is toying him earlier and feels betrayed, then to realize he couldn't let her go despite he resisted his feeling for her.

Midnight Rainbow is filled with action, adventure, intense and well, romance. I couldn't ask for more. This is definitely another keeper for me.
Woohoo!!! I can't believe I have done it! This all seems so surreal to me.

To-date I have done a total of 50,388 words, and still counting; since I haven't complete the novel yet. I would like to extend my thanks to everyone who has given me support and encouragement during this month; without you all, I wouldn't have made it! And to critters and friends of Critique Circle as well, you guys rock! GO, CC, GO!!!

By the way, this is my link Melody's Profile at Nano if you are interested. It shows you my overall performance and other ranks as well.

Also, I have just managed to print out the winner's certificate, and it looks so cool... and right now, I just don't care if there are lots of craps written in it, hehe. It's a huge accomplishment to me (since I have never written a novel before!), and all the hard work and time spent is definitely well worth it.

I have never read anything by Patricia Briggs, but I thought I would give this a try, since this is a book about vampires and werewolves.

Mercy Thompson works in a garage in the Tri-Cities of Washington State. Being one of the skinwalkers (meaning she is able to take the shape of a coyote), she has supernatural skills besides being a mechanic. She leads a simple life until one day, Mac, a homeless werewolf walks into her garage, asking her for a job. She hires him, and decided he needs guidance from her neighbour Adam Hauptman, who is the alpha leader of his pack.

Later, Mercy finds Mac's corpse in her garage. She has no choice but to look for Adam, and was shocked to find he is drugged and his daughter kidnapped. Soon they all go in search for her, but not realizing they were going into deeper trouble; for as Adams is abducted and they might risk dying in an attempt to rescue him as well as his daughter.

You won't be bored with this book as there are plenty of actions packed in here. Mercy is a likeable character and fans of Laurell K Hamilton will love this new series.
I love this book! Anne Stuart has done it, again! I was having a hard time finding this book initially. Earlier I had called this bookstore which I most frequent and asked them to keep this book for me once it is out. I waited for some time, still no news. I went B&N online to check, and understood it was already out, but still no news here.

After some time, not giving up, I went to Borders to check, and finally found it after two visits!!! Ah...such enthusiastic anticipation. Anyway, back to the book...

Cold As Ice is actually a sequel to Black Ice. If you have missed reading Black Ice, I would suggest that you read BI before reading this. I really enjoyed BI that it was Book of The Year 2005 to me.

The ice series heroes belongs to the mysterious "Committee", whereby they are a group of international secret agents. In Cold As Ice, the hero Peter Jensen works as an assistant to Texas billionaire, Harry Van Dorn whom the Committee believes he has a diabolical plan to create seven worldwide tragedies.

Enters the heroine, Genevieve Spencer, who is a lawyer and she has to board Van Dorn's yacht to hand deliver some legal documents for him to sign. But the publicly benevolent playboy has his own agenda, so he uses his charm to seduce Genny, hoping she will stay and then discard her after having his fun with her.

Genny soon realizes she is in the wrong place at the wrong time; and tries desperately to leave the yacht, but it was all too late. Someone has started the yacht, and they are in for a ride to nowhere. On the other hand, Peter Jensen is damned, for he never expects Genny's presence will spoil his plan of getting rid of Van Dorn, but he is in a dilemma, for he couldn't decide to risk his mission to keep her alive, or allow himself to dispose her as "collateral damage".

There are lots of emotional and sexual intense in this book, and while reading I can't wait to find out what Peter will do next to Genny...will he keep her? Will he kill her...? Definitely a page-turner. And I definitely have no issue with Peter's sexuality preference at all, as I heard some readers were upset after hearing that he might be "gay". But in my opinion, Peter definitely isn't gay, as he needs to cast in this role to convince the baddies during his assignments. He has a job to do, and he has to grit his teeth while doing it, no matter he likes it or not. Period.

I will definitely look out for the third book Ice Blue, which will be out in April.

Gosh, I am really way, way behind with the reviews, and I am terribly sorry about it!
I have been working hard with my Nanowrimo assignment, and todate I have about 30k words there! Every word counts is so precious to me; it sure isn't easy to write a novel. Phew! Thus, my salute to all the novelists out there, you guys rock! LOL.
Ah, I found some books during the weekends and am delighted to share them with you.
Passionate Thirst by Cameron Dean - I have never heard of her name before; and this is the first book of a vampire series, and I can't wait to read it.
The Habor by Carla Neggers - I have not read her book yet, but the blurb interests me. I hope I will be reading more of her books next time...
Knight of Darkness by Kinley MacGregor - aka Sherrilyn Kenyon. She is one heck of a talented author. She writes historical romance and paranormal romance suspense. Well known for her Dark Hunter series. This is the second book of her Lords of Avalon series.
Midnight Rainbow by Linda Howard - This is one of another hard-to-find books by LH. I simply love her books. She is one of my favorite authors!
Well, that's all for now. Sorry about the covers formatting, I am in a rush when doing this. Now back to my writing, again...
Deidre Knight is a literary agent to many writers before she decides to pen her first novel; thus this book is borne!

In Parallel Attraction, alien king Jared Bennett and human geologist Kelsey Wells first met as teenagers in Yellowstone Park. He claims he is from very far away, and she mistook him a Russian, but actually he is king of a race of people known as Refarians. He is able to shapeshift in numerous forms, primarily a ball of energy and also as a handsome, dark-skinned human. But when his people take him back to their universe, he vows he will find her one day, before their memories of their meeting are erased.

Years later, Kelsey returns to Yellowstone as a geologist. She finds something familiar in Yellowstone but couldn’t pinpoint what, until she meets Jared again. This time, Jared is wounded and he is holding vital information that can cause chaos to his universe and his people as well should it lies in the hands of their enemy. He has no choice but to turn to Kelsey for help.

Her agreement sparks a chemistry between them again, as they encountered a series of events from the future and back into the present time.

From the look of the cover, I thought this is another paranormal story but it is more like a science fiction story to me, with romance packed into it. Deidre has a unique voice in this story, and not to mention I find her plots refreshing too. I shall be looking forward to her second installment Parallel Heat.
Gosh, it seems like a long time to me since I have last updated the blog. Now that it's November, that means two things:

(1) My daughter is in childcare, finally!
(2) Nanowrimo begins!!!

Trust me, neither one is easy, but at least this month isn't boring for me, that's for sure. During the first three days at the childcare, my daughter just refused to mix around with the other kids; I guess that's normal. After all, one has to take some time to adjust to the new environment, new people and everything else, even in the adult world. There are two teachers in charge for each class, and she is in Nursery 1 (the youngest group). Actually I wanted to stay a little longer, to see how they are doing and also to accompany my daughter (after all she is still new), but the teachers politely requested me to leave, saying that it would be better for her to get used to it as early as possible, so ended up I stayed for only an hour at most. Oh well...

This morning was worse. She just refused to let me go, and cried non stop. The teacher has no choice but to carry her off my embrace; outside the childcare I could still hear her screaming. Well, nothing could describe my feelings right then...I feel heartbroken. But yet, I have no choice but to let go.

Now back to the other issue: Nanowrimo. Honestly I never know I can churn up about 15k words in...7 days' time!!! *Big Gasp* I still have another 35k words to go, and after making a little calculations, I think I will be safe as long as I could type 1667 words per day. It isn't easy when you are stuck in the middle of the story, and you have to think of new plots and new characters as well. Because Nano is more about quantity over quality, so you can just type whatever is in your mind, and worry about editing later. There was a time I messed up with the POVs, and I feel like going back to edit them, but then my fellow Nanoers urged me to move on, and focus on the numbers typed instead. It's indeed very nice to have encouragement and support from other participants as well, as we all face the same pressure of completing the goal in this month. Nano is fun, and not to mention it's also a good motivation so you can push yourself to the limit. You will never think of the extraordinary result; and personally I think I have accomplished something even if I lose in the end because I have not tried writing a novel before, since I write mainly short stories.

That's all for now, folks. I will update this blog as I move along with the Nano and who knows, if I have some time, I might post some book reviews...*wink*