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A Room with a View
E.M. Forster
Stephenie Meyer, Stephenie Meyer
Nobody's Baby But Mine
Susan Elizabeth Phillips
Steve Jobs
Walter Isaacson
Heaven, Texas - Susan Elizabeth Phillips I would give just 3 stars for the romance but Bobby Tom's character is outrageously funny and charming prompting me to add one more star for the enjoyment reading the story gave me. There's also something so endearing about a guy who loves and respects his parents and is overprotective of his mother. It makes me think that he will respect all females and will not abuse them in any way.
The Duke's Perfect Wife (Highland Pleasures, #4) - Jennifer Ashley Finally, Hart MacKenzie's story! He's the most intriguing of the four MacKenzie's and the first three novels in the series have continuously piqued my interest in him. I already had an inkling while reading [b:The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie|5981872|The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie (Highland Pleasures, #1)|Jennifer Ashley|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1322336718s/5981872.jpg|6155268] that he and Eleanor will get back together in his own book in the series. I don't find his manipulative nature a problem at all. What is power for if you do not use it to your advantage? As long as the effects of his schemes don't harm anyone, it's fine. This attitude was put to good use in protecting the interest of his family and the downtrodden. Keeping his own den of iniquity is distasteful though and I can't understand why he went back to his mistress after she caused the break-up of his engagement. Can't he just get himself a different mistress?
As for Eleanor, a powerful man needs one like her. She won't be able to handle Hart's controlling and manipulative nature if she was meek. Living in Hart's political world would be too difficult if she was not made of sterner stuff and won't execute manipulations of her own.
I was quite anxious of the effects of Hart's political career to his and his family's safety, good thing he decided to end it. I don't think they will ever find peace and happiness if there's always someone out there waiting for the opportunity to harm them.
Now, will David Fleming have his own story, too?
The Many Sins of Lord Cameron - Jennifer Ashley Daniel made this novel enjoyable. Without Daniel's not-so-subtle nudges and plotting, the story would be intensely serious and boring.
Lady Isabella's Scandalous Marriage -  Jennifer Ashley I dig stories where the husband tries to win his wife again. I'm glad the reason for their separation is not cheating and even after they separated none of them had sexual relations with others. But Isabella, why were you so hard on Mac? You should have comforted each other after your lost. He was hurt, too. You expected him to comfort you when he came home and became angry when he was not able to provide it because he needed to be comforted himself. You shunned him but cry yourself to sleep. Why didn't you just tell him the problem with your relationship? But then if you did not complicate your marital problems, this book won't exist so your dramatics, after all, are just fine with me.
The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie -  Jennifer Ashley I think Beth fell in love prematurely. She admitted to herself in falling in love with Ian at the time when she doesn't understand his peculiarity yet. I don't think anyone could fall in love with somebody said to be crazy. The normal first reaction would be avoidance and maybe some pity (not sleep with the person) then love will develop after having spent enough time with the person and ascertaining that he/she is not really crazy. I like how the story was written though and how the mystery slowly unfolded as the story progressed. Some things were also left masked enough for the other characters who will appear again in the succeeding books in the series to remain intriguing.
I chose to read this just to complete a series reading challenge and lucky for me, I really liked it. I will surely read all the rest with much enthusiasm.
Burn - Maya Banks To wrap-up the trilogy...

SAME SAME. Gabe, Jace and Ash sound the same. It's like the same person is talking only with different names. Even the females are the same. Most scenes are just repetitions, too.

I noticed that the main female characters in this series are "damsels in distress." They lacked accomplishments and self-worth maybe that's why being in a dominant-submissive relationship appealed to them. If they were successful kick-ass females, I don't think they will allow a dominant to rule their lives.
I don't get you BDSM. Can't people just have relationships without the label? Being the submissive or the dominant is not necessary in making relationships work. Sadism and masochism? Shouldn't that be illegal? Even if the act is consensual, what if they start slicing each others' flesh? I don't think that two persons can be so in tuned with each other that they'll know just how much pain the other can take thereby inflicting just the right amount of pain.
Fever - Maya Banks What's the difference between exchanging sex for money and for food? It's still prostitution. And to think that Bethany had enough left-over food to take "home" and share with her brother. Agreeing with the men's proposition to "escape and forget" her life's hardships even for just a while is just weak reasoning. "You may be defeated, but you should not be reduced."

fuck-me shoes Recent studies show that high heels can cause medical problems.

choker/collar After reading this, everytime I see a woman wearing one, I'll be asking myself if she's a submissive.

sadism/masochism How can a dominant with a temper who likes inflicting pain during sex prevent himself from physically abusing his submissive when he's pissed?
Blue-Eyed Devil - Lisa Kleypas I love well-researched novels and this is one of them. I found myself indulging one of my guilty pleasures and learning at the same time.

Kleypas provided several quotes to ponder on the following subjects:

Sexual orientation. "...he didn't care if someone was a man or a woman, he was more interested in the person inside."

Character. "Sometimes I'm not nice for a reason. It's a way to find out what someone's made of."

Perpetual wandering. "People like me only travel because they don't have enough reasons to stay put."

Taking chances. "But there were certain moments in life when you had to step up to the plate or lose your chance forever."

Love. "Sometimes an imitation of love can be pretty damn convincing."

A lot was also said about narcissistic personality disorder - from its identification to how to deal with individuals who has it. Kleypas points bullying and domestic violence including marital rape as effects of this disorder. It surprised me to learn that a person could actually be a walking target for abusers if he/she is vulnerable enough and can easily be manipulated. This adds more to the dangers of trying to please everybody.

I was dismayed with what became of Hardy Cates in the first book of the series (you'll have to read [b:Sugar Daddy Travises 1|306364|Sugar Daddy (Travises, #1)|Lisa Kleypas|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1312017515s/306364.jpg|1823893] if you want to know more about him) and I thought he would just go into oblivion when that story ended because, afterall, he's not a Travis. But dear me, he came back hotter than ever!

What do you say to a pheromone-charged Texan male with eyes of blue on blue pursuing you in front of your family of full-bloodied alpha males?

Haven and Hardy are not perfect and in fact each carry much emotional baggage but their "combined flaws were arranged in a way that allowed two separate beings to hinge together."

This story also includes a backgrounder on Jack Travis.
Sugar Daddy (Travis's, #1) - Lisa Kleypas This story kept me guessing and awake all night long. I wanted to just skip to the end to know who Liberty will end up with if only I could forgo relishing the revelations and temperature-raising scenes which filled the pulp of the book.

Lisa Kleypas writes really good historical romance. I immediately became her fan and a We Love Lisa Kleypas group member after I sampled [b:Then Came You|9758764|Then Came You|Jennifer Weiner|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1308787263s/9758764.jpg|14648079]. I have once been burned when one of my favorite historical romance authors did not write as well when she switched to contemporary romance so I wasn't so hyped up into reading the Travis Family series even if group members were gushing over the oh-so-hot drool-inducing alpha male Travises.

I've been reading historical romance for months when I felt that I need a change and since Kleypas is one of my auto-buy/auto-download author, I already have copies of her contemporary titles in my reader. I started with Sugar Daddy because it has such an intriguing title then I'm hooked. I've been reading the Travises series one after the other, one book in less than 24-hours. I even read sneakily in our company meeting! Though this is more of a chick-lit than regular contemporary romance, Kleypas absolutely nailed it.

The characters seemed really living and breathing. I can connect and empathize with them. They are complex but Kleypas provided enough background information to make you understand how they came to be that way prompting you to reverse your initial judgment. They are examples of sociological and psychological victims who tried to survive the world. Some failed, others succeeded, and there are others who found just the right complex fit to their complexities.

These are my favorite quotes from the story:

"Next time I give you a present, all you need to do is say a simple "thank you" and have sex with me. That's all the repayment I need."

That from a male who is kind and protective, ready to accept all your baggage and gorgeous to boot. A win-win situation. That is, she get's to win two things for a thank you. Damn lucky girl.

"...didn’t tell me about what you’d done, even though he had the perfect opportunity. Because he wasn’t going to let you drive a wedge between us. He forgave me without being asked, without even letting me know I’d betrayed him. That’s love..."

Plus patience and not being pushy, that's action speaking volumes than words.

Yeah, I'm in already in love with the winner alpha male.

I felt dismayed about "the love of her life" for what his ambitions drove me to do but I would still take him on (if he'll ask me) for his scorching hotness and for his acts of kindness before he did what he did.

Rush - Maya Banks "Whoa! Stop right there and drop that book."

That's what I would probably say to my future daughter if I ever see her showing interest in reading this novel. I would reserve this for more mature individuals. She could read this when she at least turns thirty, maybe!

I grabbed a copy of this book after seeing [b:Burn Breathless 3|16033909|Burn (Breathless, #3)|Maya Banks|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1359944814s/16033909.jpg|21805191] hit #1 in the New York Times bestseller list [talk about high expectations] without consulting synopsis, reviews and genre because I don't want to stumble upon spoilers.

After putting off reading the Fifty Shades trilogy until I'm more mature myself because of the reviews describing it as very erotic but having read this instead, I feel that I have broken a self-imposed rule. I do not regret reading this though, it was rather sweet as the story neared its end and I always finish reading a novel however I dislike its first pages.

The trilogy's title Breathless is much appropriate, parts of the book actually left me breathless and I did not even realize it until I heard myself inhale deeply several times.

Mia: Yeah, right. You want to grow professionally. Crap! That was not your motivation. You didn't even know if you'll get to really do any office work. How could you agree to take part into something that has very vague limitations? I did not read about that spine really asserting itself. Does it really have to go as far as getting physically abused for you to say "No?" You were already reluctant when they entered the door, why did you not say no right then?

Gabe: Are you cracked? People who went through nasty divorce didn't get paranoid to the point that they'll get into contractual relationships. And the terms of the contract lessened your appeal as partner-for-life. I think you lacked sensitivity. That thing you made Mia do in Paris is unforgivable.

I would not categorize the love story as something I would like to get myself into but this lengthy review is a testament that it definitely made an impression. I'm more into novels with lots of emotions showing vulnerabilities and issues which makes me connect with the characters but I did not much of that in this novel, hence the it was ok rating.

The book cover should include this:

This, Dear Daughter, is literary porn. That's why.

Me talking at 26-years and, definitely, will be reading the other two books. Teehee!
A Rake's Vow - Stephanie Laurens Another virtue for a name... Patience. This play with virtues as names is testing my patience. I keep trying to gauge if the heroine is living up to her name which is a rather distracting.

What is the title A Rake's Vow for? I did not read any evidence of Vane's rakishness except that he is exceptionally good-looking. Having an Vane-obsessed female trying to seduce Vane would have helped convince me. What is the vow? Is it that he'll never marry? If it is that, he did not take much time changing his mind which defeats the meaning of the word vow. A more fitting title would have been Patience's Vow since she's the one who did not want to get married.

The identities of the culprits are quite obvious but the story just keeps dragging on and on. I got bored.
Three Weddings and a Kiss - 'Kathleen E. Woodiwiss',  'Lisa Kleypas',  'Loretta Chase',  'Catherine Anderson' The Kiss - 2/5 stars
Wish List - Lisa Cach, Lynsay Sands, Claudia Dain, Lisa Kleypas I Will - 4/5 stars
Married at Midnight - Kathleen E. Woodiwiss, Jo Beverley, Samantha James, James Beverley, Tanya Anne Crosby Beyond The Kiss - 3/5 stars
Where's My Hero? - Lisa Kleypas The Kiss - 2/5 stars

Against The Odds - 4/5 stars
Devil's Bride with Bonus Material - Stephanie Laurens Honoria Prudence... what a name to try to live up to.
Sebastian Sylvester... what a mouthful.

This novel has more pages dedicated to sexual encounters which need not be elaborated and are unnecessary for the development of the story and in solving the mystery that brought Devil and Honoria together. From the introduction the character in the novel, I already know he's the killer. I think this novel is supposed to be a romantic suspense but as I read on, it did not hold me "suspended" at all.

Horny Cynster #1