Thursday, May 19, 2011

Do Your Reading Tastes Change?

In case you’re not on Goodreads, I’ll tell you I’m currently reading An Echo In the Bone by Diana Gabaldon. I’ve been a huge fan of hers since Outlander, and I’ve read most of her books more than once. But I confess, I probably won’t post a revue of this book and here’s why.
She would get plus five, for research. As an author, I empathize and totally appreciate the intensive research it must have taken to write another fantastically done period novel.

She would also get plus five for her dynamic prose. I read some of the passages of description or dialogue, and just marvel at the word usage, and the imagery she provides. It’s amazing.

And the characters. It’s like meeting your oldest and dearest friends for tea. Friends you haven’t seen in years, and are thrilled to welcome back into your life.
With me, you just know there’s a ‘but’ coming don’t you? Right now I’m about a third of the way through, and it’s the first time in a long time I feel like I might not finish a book. And one by a beloved author? Well that just makes me sad. And makes me ponder.

It took several days of ruminating to come to the conclusion, it’s not her. Nor anything she’s written. It’s me. Over the years apparently, my tastes have changed. Maybe it’s reading one too many LKH books. But really, is there any such thing as too many? I guess these days, I’m looking for a fast paced, action packed, thriller type of story.
I’m in a bit of a quandary. As an author I have nothing but raves for her dedication to her work, and for the product that dedication produces. But as a reader, I’m really not enjoying it this time around. And it’s not her fault. So rather than write a less than stellar review, which she in no way deserves, I’ll just say nothing. And that leaves me feeling a little empty somehow.

What would you do?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Lianhan Shee

By Erin Grace

Love is blind…seriously.
Once upon a time, the powerful Lianhan Shee—the Celtic Love Fairy--could capture a mortal man’s heart with a mere glance, trapping him into a life of misery and unrequited love until his death.

Nowadays, it is all she can do to get noticed.
Bored and wanting to prove her powers aren’t weakening in the modern Irish world, she accepts a dangerous wager, one that could see her kneel at the bidding of a scheming leprechaun.

But, the mortal chosen as her target isn’t all he seems…
As the battle begins for magic gold, immortality and the soul of a man who sees what others can’t, will love prove to be the most powerful weapon of all?

The Lianhan Shee. Powerful. Immortal. Bored to tears, and still in possession of the heart and soul of a woman. Which means she struggles, just like all of us, with the needs, wants, and challenges these things bring to her existence.
Aidan is a wounded hero. And a fine one at that. He’s honorable, funny, loving, strong, and imperfect. Everything a woman, even an immortal one, would want in a hero.

If you haven’t guessed by now, this is my favorite of all four stories. To me, and I’m from America mind you, it embodies everything I find romantic about Irish folklore.
Ms. Grace has beautifully rendered a complete cast of fanciful, yet realistic characters including feisty leprechauns, fairies, immortals, and mortals, both bad and good. And dropped them right down into a modern days setting, where they fit perfectly.
Personally I think you should read all four stories, or you’re missing out. But if you only have time to read one, this is it.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Irish Ice

By Emly Forrest
Danger and romance ignite when Irish Eyes turn into Irish Ice.

A killer is on the loose in Boston with possible IRA connections and ties to murders in London. When Jessica Grandville lands in Beantown for business, she's charmed by Colin Keane, a much younger and sexy Northern Irishman.

As Jessica and Colin's brief liaison develops into the start of a serious relationship, she begins to suspect there is more to him than meets the eye. Dragged into a web of danger and intrigue, she believes Colin is directly involved in the murders. And although attracted to his warmth and wit, she fears his fierce temper.
Jessica must decide if she’s willing to sacrifice her comfortable, yet dull, existence to pursue a relationship with the man whose loving eyes can turn in an instant into Irish ice.

Jessica Grandville takes her work and her life very seriously. She’s a great Mom, a talented ad exec, and a woman who lives her life alone for personal reasons. She’s blindsided by her attraction to a younger man because mature responsible women just don’t give in to their needs. Like most women, she puts herself, and her needs last.

Colin Keane is fierce, proud, passionate, and torn by his loyalties. Pulled into a dark and deadly world, he wants to make his choices count. To do it, he sacrifices much. When he finds a woman who soothes his battered soul, he is faced with yet another painful choice.

 Ms. Forrest penned a gripping tale that grabbed me on page one, and wouldn’t let go. Her characters are so well drawn and lifelike, I could totally see this plotline playing out in today’s modern world. If you are a fan of romantic suspense, and like a little danger to spice up the passion, I highly recommend this story.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Green's Fees

By Jasmine Black

Who’s your caddy?

Pro-golfer, Mallory “Birdie” Bird is in a slump. Financially cut off by her father, she’s desperate to increase her winnings. Living with the guilt over a two-year old tragic event, she’ll do whatever it takes to iron out her game…even hire a new caddy.

Caddy Green Sloan’s the best in the business. He knows the game better than anyone, and he’s never seen a green he couldn’t read. But he’s got a shady past he can’t shake, and no one’s willing to take a chance on him. That is, until a wee bird enters his clubhouse.

But she’s snooty. And he’s arrogant. Together, they spar nonstop. Driven by necessity and fueled by passion, they need each other on and off the course. But can they let go of the past and learn to trust again?

A wonderfully bawdy tale, Greens Fees is the most erotic of the four stories. Ms. Black has created a thoroughly believable situation and peopled it with characters that shine in their ambition to do good, even though they’ve made mistakes in the past. The story is touching in the way that it showcases just how difficult living with ones choices can be.

Mallory Bird is a determined young woman who’s trying to do the right thing, even though it would be far easier not to. Her character arc is perfect for such a short story. She grows and learns just as we all do, by trial and error, with the support of good people around us.

Green Sloan is a thoroughly reluctant hero, and I just love those. He’s a good man who’s made mistakes and is unwavering in his desire to make amends. While his methods are typically male, his heart shines through even though he’d rather hide it behind a pint of Guinness.

This story is the perfect read for a light bit of spicy entertainment. Since Ms. Black is one of my CP’s you could say I’m partial. What I say is, I believe this is the best work she’s ever done, and you should read it.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Stone Cold Kiss

By L.K. Below

Who knew kissing a stone would thaw Kelsey’s heart?
One Kiss…
Dangling over the parapet of a castle, Kelsey Donovan doubts her decisions as she battles with her fear of heights. How will kissing the Blarney Stone change her life? But as the arms of a sexy Irishman close around her, she begins to change her mind.
Can it lead to a lifetime?
When Seamus McKinley rescues a tourist gripping the Blarney Castle for dear life, he never expected her to grab hold of his heart just as tightly. But the question is: can he convince her to meet him halfway?
This story epitomizes everything I love about reading romance. Kelsey Donovan is a heroine worthy of the term. In true romantic form, she’s doing something totally outrageous in an effort to get what she wants. At the same time, she discovers something she didn’t expect.
Seamus McKinley is a wonderfully drawn man. He’s sexy, sensitive, and yet strong enough to be the perfect hero. In true Irish form, once he finds his woman, he makes things happen. Who wouldn’t want a man like that?
This story is pure entertainment. Ms. Below has done a fabulous job of crafting true to life characters in a totally believable setting, who doggedly pursue what they want, while struggling to understand what it is they need. And in the realizing of that need, Ms. Below penned a delightful tale.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Awesome Short Stories Week

Usually, I’m not much of a short story person. I used to say it was kind of like reading a commercial.

Until I began to write. Now, I have the utmost appreciation for people who write short stories. Because I understand just how much work goes into crafting a story with vivid characters, a gripping setting, a fast paced plot, and doing it in a few short pages.
With a short story you don’t have time to drone on and on about everything down to the last detail. You have to grab the reader’s attention and hold it, immediately.

With that being said, I was fortunate enough to come across a great collection of short stories recently.

You can find them bundled here.

Sexy Irish Stories Collection

Each one is unique in its storyline, and so well done, in fact, I’ll be featuring all four the rest of this week. So if you’re a short story lover, these are must buys. If you’re thinking, ahh, not so much, I say, give these a try. You won’t be disappointed.