Saturday, March 31, 2012

Nice Girls Don't Live Forever (Jane Jameson, #3) by Molly Harper

Author's Website:

When you become immortal things change. Goals once thought to be long term start looking like short terms plans because your life expectancy increases by an immeasurable amount. Things need to be reprioritized and you have to reevaluate what is important and perhaps reinvent yourself...

'My plan to become a Brave New Jane went a little something like this:
(1) Develop a healthy, normal romantic relationship, preferably with Gabriel.
(2) Create a fulfilling career for myself.

(3) Demand that my family love me without judgment. Even if it means I have to rent a new family over the Internet.
(4) Find a solution for world peace.

I can live without the last one, though I know it's far more likely than the other three.'

Okay, so maybe things don't change that much, but it sure feels like it. 

Jane and Gabriel's relationship is on shaky ground. Gabriel is hiding something and Jane fears it is another woman. How many times have we heard someone say, "How could I have missed the warning signs? They were so obvious." Well, the signs seem pretty obvious. While on their round-the-world romantic getaway, Gabriel kept receiving mysterious messages at each hotel they stayed at. Additionally, he received phone calls which required him to leave the room and be out of hearing range. Just before she decided to pack up and go home, she managed to salvage part of one of those letters for the waste basket. It contained  words like, "bloodmate" and "love you". It also contained "phrases like, 'Remember what we are to each other,' and 'Remember what we have,' 'The woman your with can't satisfy you like I do.'" 

Jane's excuse for going home and gracefully bowing out of the remainder of the trip came when Zeb called with news of a minor break in at her newly remodeled bookstore. When she informed Gabriel she was going home, he didn't put up a fuss, and she wasn't sure if they were a couple anymore. Shortly upon arriving home the same style of letters that Gabriel had been receiving starting showing up at her shop addressed to her. The messages warned her to stay away from Gabriel that he was only using her.

When someone attempts to kill Jane in a fashion that makes it clear that she was the intended target, the question is who wants her dead?  Could it be the letter writer, the person who broke in to the shop, or someone in town who hates vampires or just her?

This was another great book by Ms. Harper. I loved how many fun characters she added into the mix. Mr. Wainwright's nephew Emery was such a pain in the neck, and it was fun to see Jane's conflicted feeling of  wanting to be nice to him because he was Mr. Wainwrigh's nephew and wanting to toss his annoying butt to the curb. She really is too nice. Also, a large number of Chamber of Commerce members being named Courtney was a hilarious addition. Plus, Jane still doesn't know whether it's best to be open with everyone about her "Undead" status or keep it hidden because of the feelings of fear and hostility it can sometimes evoke.

I also enjoyed Jane's endeavors to make the occult bookstore she inherited a profitable business. She's remodeled and upgraded the place to include a lounge area with coffee/cappachino machines, and expanded the stock beyond that of the occult in an attempt to attract more customers and make it more cozy. I loved how she opened her store up as a meeting spot for Friends and Family of the Undead (FFOTU) meetings, a support group for those with a friend or loved one that has been turned.

Favorite quotes/lines/moments:
 - "Wow, is that our dairy guy?" I whispered. Andrea didn't bother removing her eyes from the sight of Dairy Guy's delicious blue-clad bottom swaying as he loaded the fridge.
   "Yep," Andrea answered absently.
   "He's going to be coming here regularly, right"?
   We simultaneously tilted our heads as Dairy Guy's hips changed angles. Andrea sighed, "Yep."
   "Maybe we should arrange for Dick to be elsewhere on delivery nights," I whispered. "Because you're drooling. And milk does a body goooo---Oh, my God." My jaw dropped as Dairy Guy turned, and I recognized him as little Jamie Lanier, who I used to baby sit every summer. 

-  "So you're going to take this like a man. No ice cream. No fruity drinks. No movies where whiny woman 'find their power.' You're not a girl, Jane."
  "I think my God-given gift of cleavage proves otherwise."

- "You're the sister I never really wanted."

-  “The two of them shared a look over my head. Gabriel made serval threatening faces. Dick responded with rude gestures. Eventually, they looked like two inebriated mimes having a dance off.” 

When writing a book it's the little things that mean a lot because without them you have a one dimensional character in a one dimensional world that doesn't translate well. Ms. Harper creates a fun world with characters that are quirky, vulnerable, and flawed in a way that you can't help but identify or sympathize with them. Add on the addition of a community caught in the grips of dealing with a recent paranormal outing and fears and misgivings will run high. All these little things combined make the characters come to life within the pages and make for a fun series that I find most enjoyable. Overall I gave this one 4 1/2 roses.  On the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale, this one gets a STEAM rating - too hot for a fan, but you still have a handle on things. You should use extreme caution when reading a book with this rating in public. People may inquire as to why you looked flustered and flushed.

Molly Harper created a short story between 'Nice Girls Don't Live Forever' and 'Nice Girls Don't Bite Their Neighbors'. It's called 'Nice Girls Don’t Sign a Lease Without a Wedding Ring'  and can be found on Molly Harper's blog at:

Friday, March 30, 2012

Wicked as They Come (Blud, #1) by Delilah S. Dawson

'When I first saw the chain hanging from the top of the old tome, I didn't know what to think. I tugged it up. As the flat locket slid from between the pages. I got a little rush of excitement, like when pulling the prize out of a box of cereal. Sure it was tarnished and grimy, but it was a prize nonetheless. Maybe my luck was finally changing...'

Letitia had no clue just how life changing, not just luck changing, the locket would be, for that very night as she lay sleeping she was transported to a strange, yet somewhat familiar, new land, or dimension if you will. At first she assumed she was dreaming, she ran about unhindered by clothing feeling unburdened and free as she often did in her dreams. Then she saw Him, the man whose face had intrigued her and resided in her newly acquired locket.

"You're here," he said simply.
"Do I know you?" I asked, which came out more haughtily than I had intended.
"You will," he answered, kicking off the tree and walking toward me. "After all, you're wearing my locket. And I've been waiting for you."   

Later when the cute little bunny that sat at her feet extended its fangs and bit her, however, she started to wonder...

So I have a confession to make. I saw this book listed by the publisher and decided not to put in a request for it. It's not the first time they've sent me a book out of the blue, but I was very hesitant to read it. When I first saw the cover I was attracted to it like one of Kresley Cole's Valkyries to jewels--utterly enthralled. Yes, put a pretty cover in front of me and you could probably rob me blind, and I wouldn't notice. lol The description, however, didn't pull me in, in fact, it did the exact opposite. It actually sounded like something I wouldn't like. So as I opened the package and saw the book, I wasn't sure what to do, but since I've loved pretty much everything the publisher has sent my way, I thought, "What the heck? I could be wrong." Thankfully, I was. :)

The book reminded me a little of  an episode of  'Sliders' where the main characters end up in an alternate reality. The world Letitia finds herself in is very similar to ours. The main cities and countries have the same or similar names to those we have. For instance, Manchester is still Manchester, but France is Franchia. As the character Criminy (rhymes with Jiminy--as in the cricket) states about different worlds/dimensions, "I suppose it's like a slight warp in a mirror. You're still you, just a little fatter or thinner or more wobbly. Just a tiny change with grand repercussions."

In the world of Sang, the rules are different. Magic lives and vampires roam and not just those of a human variety, but animal vampires as well. Interestingly enough, vampires, or as the world of Sang calls them bluds, don't rule, but rather humans do. Humans, however, in an effort to adapt and not be used as tasty snacks by the local blud population have secured themselves behind city walls and Victorian style clothing.   If the skin is covered, you're less likely to attract that kind of attention. Interestingly enough, blood seems to be the common currency on the land. Rules, however,  have also been put in place, at least in the cities, to prevent bludmen from drinking directly from the vein. If they do their sentence is severe--death. No exceptions are allowed.

Criminy, if you haven't already figured it out, is a bludman and the man from the locket. According to Letitia, "He seemed to be in his early thirties, but his skin was unusually smooth. His dark, glossy hair didn't have a single strand of gray. And no stubble. He smiled brightly then, showing me his teeth. They were very pointy." Apparently his locket had been bespelled to find him his perfect woman and bring her back to him. Apparently, Letitia is that woman or at least that's the story he's giving her. The question is can she trust the sexy bludman or does he have more sinister plans in store for her?

Letitia had just broken up with her former fiance before Criminy found her. It had been the type of relationship where one looses all sense of one's self. The type of relationship that is of a one sided nature where your significant other attempts to shape and mold you into what they want instead of accepting you as you are. While it started off with little things, over time they started adding up till Letitia couldn't handle it any more and ran away. While she might be up for a little fun, a serious commitment is not something she is ready for nor something she wants.

In Letitia's world she is a nurse, in Criminy's world there are no diseases. As Criminy hinted, Letitia is not exactly the same in his world as she was in her own. Shortly after arriving in Sang she discovers she's a glancer, or rather a fortune teller. When her skin comes in contact with that of another, she may see the past or the future of an individual. She can only inform them of the past and perhaps learn their secrets, but by telling them their future she can alter what may happen. When she touches Criminy's hand, she sees something of her own future and what she sees disturbs her. It won't be until almost the end of the book that we learn what she saw.

Why was it called 'Wicked as They Come'? Well, I believe it has to do with this statement made by Criminy: "I'm a gypsy. A rogue. Wicked as they come."

Some of my favorite lines/quotes/moments. (Don't worry there are many more):
- " I imagined you with more clothes," he said. 
  " I imagined that you ended at the collarbone." I said. (side note: Upon their first meeting she was wearing only the locket, and she'd only seen a picture of him in the locket and didn't think he existed, at least not in her lifetime.)

- I wasn't buying it. I needed to take control of the dream. I held out a hand with fingers spayed and focused my will.
  'Zzzzzzzsssst! Pshew! Zzzzist!" I said. But nothing happened.
  "What in Sang are you doing, love?" he asked.
  My arm dropped to my side. "I was trying to shoot lightning bolts out of my fingertips." I said. Then quietly, "It usually works."
  "Told you it wasn't a dream. Do you want to try flying, too?" 

-"I'm fiendish and unscrupulous, a vicious killer and a thief and a bloodthirsty monster. And maybe a little romantic. But don't tell anyone, or my reputation's shot."

- "What if you could take everything you were looking for in a person and whisper it into someone's ear, and they brought that person to you? And then, when you saw them for the first time, even if you didn't know they were the one for you, you suddenly knew it anyway?" His fingers traced my eyebrows, my cheekbones, as he thought a moment, "What if your heart stopped when you saw that person, and only after that did you realize that they truly were everything you ever wanted?"
  "OK, that would be nice," I had to admit.
  "That's what happened for me," he said gently.

This was a very fun story that had a slightly warped 'Through the Looking Glass' feel to it with vampires instead of mad hatters and evil queens. It was one of the most original and fun books I've read this year and it had a Kraken to boot. *sigh* What more could a girl want? Firstly, you've got romance. Then the drama of whether Letitia will be able to live in both worlds or stuck in one or the other. Plus, the added drama that someone is out to destroy all bludmen. Additionally, there is the mystery of whether Criminy is what he seems or not. Could he be the spider attempting to coax the fly to his seductive parlor? Lastly, there is the wonder of a world that is, but isn't, like our own. I truly loved the world Ms.Dawson created. If you read this one before going to bed just remember to sleep tight and don't let the bludbunnies bite. I hear they're quite nasty. lol

Overall, I gave this one 5 out of 5 roses. Thank you Pocket Books for sending this book my way. I absolutely adored it and look forward to reading the series and discovering what more the world of Sang has to offer. On the Lisa Romance Rating Scale, this one gets a Shower rating -  a cold shower is necessary (need I say more?). Some books should come with a warning - make sure your significant other is handy or your shower is in working order. lol

Winner of 'The Taker' by Alma Katsu

Winner of 'The Taker' by Alma Katsu is:

Donna S.


Thank you to everyone who entered.  

(For those of you wondering how I enter people who wish not to enter via the Rafflecopter route, I use a  friend's or family member's or my own account to assure you are entered. If their name comes up via Rafflecopter's random drawing, the entry automatically defaults to you. )

Winner of 'The Taker" Fan Pack

Winner of 'The Taker' (by Alma Katsu) Fan Pack is:

Maureen C.


Thank you to everyone who entered.  

(For those of you wondering how I enter people who wish not to enter via the Rafflecopter route, I use a  friend's or family member's or my own account to assure you are entered. If their name comes up via Rafflecopter's random drawing, the entry automatically defaults to you. )

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Nice Girls Don't Date Dead Men (Jane Jameson, #2) by Molly Harper

  • Title: Nice Girls Don't Date Dead Men (Jane Jameson, #2)
  • Classification: Adult Fiction
  • Genre:  Paranormal Romance
  • Format: Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Star (August 25, 2009)
  • ISBN-10: 1416589430
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416589433
  • Author's website:

"How were you turned?
"Its's not a story I tell most people," I said...
"Why not?"
"If there was a very special episode of 'I Love Lucy', where Lucy was turned into a vampire, she'd probably use my story. Let's just say I didn't have any choice. It was either death or this."

The events that led to Jane being turned would never be included among her more finer moments but rather would probably be listed at the top of her most embarrassing moments. It's not the type of tale you fondly recall and tell others. She'd lost her job, gotten drunk, had her car break down and the pièce de résistance? While walking home she was mistaken for a deer, shot, and killed. The only saving grace was that was the night she met Gabriel, her sire. As an added bonus Zeb, Jane's best friend, met his fiance, Jolene, a short time later at a meeting of the Friends and Family of the Undead support group. After seeing the bridesmaids dress Jolene picked out, however, she was second guessing whether she truly should add that to her list of things that did go right...

"I know, Janie, I know it's ugly," Zeb said, his big doe eyes all guileless and earnest. Dang it, I always buckled under the baby browns. "It is the world's ugliest dress. Of all the dresses you will ever wear, this is the one your body may reject like a faulty organ. As soon as I get back from the honeymoon, I will help you build the bonfire to burn this dress. But I'm asking you as my closest friend in the entire world, will you please just wear the stupid dress for one day?"

As the wedding plans start to come together Jane is to be Jolene's Best Maid (think Best Man/Maid of Honor) and Dick is to have the honor of being the Man of Honor. Jolene, in an attempt to keep the peace, asked Jane to hold  the coveted position. Werewolves, you see, can be a jealous and vicious bunch and having someone outside the pack was the only way that Jolene could think of to prevent hurt feelings among them and keep the from fighting for it. Tension flares and prejudices abound as some of Jolene's and Jeb's family and friends start plotting to break the happy couple apart. With a Titanic-themed wedding the question that begs to be asked is: will the two find themselves on 'Top of the World' or will their wedding plans be doomed like the ill fated journey of the Titanic?

Another hilariously funny book by Molly Harper. I adore all the characters in the book. Jane's family is a hoot and you just want to step in and come to Jane's aid with them. Her sister's suing her, her grandmother won't acknowledge her, and her mom is having a hard time dealing with Jane's death, or rather undeath, and has no qualms about showing it. Thankfully Jane gets by with a little help from her friends and a few informational books from Mr.Wainwright's bookstore. :)

Meanwhile, Jane's relationship with Gabriel is gaining momentum and they go on their first official date. Things start heating up between the two but Jane doesn't know where the two stand, she's hoping to find out. Plus, all their friends seem to be getting along and they are becoming a very close and tight knit group.

Some of my favorite quotes/moments:

- "If someone were going to design the perfect mate for me, it would be you. Even when you infuriate me with your pigheaded stubbornness and your temper and incredible lack of anything resembling self-preservation—"

- "You're the most fascinating, maddening, adorable creature I've ever met," he said, sighing and pushing my hair out of my eyes. "So, when I seem possessive or I'm raving like a lunatic, it's just that part of me is still very afraid that I'll lose that—that I'll lose you. I love you.”

- "When I was a girl, nice young men did not paw at young ladies in dirty alleys."
  When she was a young lady, Mama Ginger got cited for mooning a busload of tourists in town for the annual lace-tatting conventions.

Overall, this one gets a 5 out of 5 roses from me. A delightfully funny series with just the right amount of romance, humor, and drama. I highly recommend this one. On the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale, this one gets a FAN rating - the temperature in the room seems to have suddenly gone up a couple of degrees and a fan would be nice.

Funny side note: The names of Dick and Jane being used in this book brought back memories of another book someone once told me about, and yes, it's a real book. Just click on the picture of the cover below to be transported to Amazon where you can read the description:

Order of series:

Monday, March 26, 2012

Early Review of 'The Cowboy Takes a Bride' (Jubilee, Texas Series #1) by Lori Wilde

  • Title: The Cowboy Takes a Bride
  • Classification: Adult Fiction
  • Genre: Contemporary Western Romance
  • Format: Paperback, 384 pages 
  • Publisher: Avon; Original edition (March 27, 2012)
  • ISBN-10: 0062047752
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062047755
  • Author's Website:

"Has something happened?"
"Are you sitting down?"
"Sit down," Joe commanded.
"Just tell me," Mariah said, bracing for the worst.
"Dutch is dead," he blurted.
Mariah blinked, nibbled her bottom lip, felt...hollow. Hollow as a chocolate Easter bunny...
"You okay?"
"I'm fine. It's not like my life is going to change," she said quickly...
"Wait," he said. "Don't hang up."
Her hand tensed around the cell phone. "What is it?"
"Dutch left you his ranch."

When Miriah called back her father's number she wasn't sure what to expect. The two had been estranged for most of her life. She didn't expect to hear someone else's voice answer the phone and certainly didn't expect to find out he died and already had been buried. But what surprised her the most was that she'd inherited his ranch. The timing, however, couldn't have been better inheritance wise. She'd recently been fired from her prestigious position with one of  Chicago's most elite Wedding Planners. It had been her dream job and she'd been devastated. To make matters worse, her former employer of 11 years had black balled her and she couldn't get a job anywhere. Sometimes life just doesn't go as planned even for someone whose primary job is to plan things.

Joe Daniels was a wealthy young widower who had just lost his best friend, Dutch. With only two years between the loss of his wife and his friend he was in mourning and not taking things very well. Dutch's death brought back the feelings of loss he'd only recently been able to put behind him from his wife's tragic death. So when Miranda first encountered him he was not at his best. She found him practically naked in nothing but his BVDs, Stetson, and boots passed out in a golden plated horse trough. After attempting to make him leave her newly acquired ranch by threatening to call the police, she found out she'd made a mistake..."this here is is Green Ridge Ranch, and I have a sneaking suspicion you're looking for Stone Creek."  Oops! Not exactly the way you want to go about meeting your neighbor.

This was such an enjoyable read. In many ways Miriah and Joe are very similar. They both are relationship shy and both mourn, although, for different reasons. They try to deny their feelings for the other and are afraid of  being hurt and/or left behind. Miriah's feelings stemming from her father's abandonment of her and her mother all those years ago. Joe's coming from loving then loosing his wife. In other ways, however, the two are very different. She's a city girl although she has country roots, while he's country through and through. He's rich and she's poor. He's got a loving and supportive large family, while she's only had her mother and herself to rely on. He knows what it's like to love, while  she doesn't have a clue. Despite it all, or perhaps because of it all, each seems to be exactly what the other needs.

I enjoyed many of the background characters and the side story that was included. They helped to create the feeling of a caring and close knit community that is rarely seen these days. Of those character lurking in the background, Ila, Joe's sister-in-law and one of his oldest friends, was my favorite. She added a fun dimension to the story. She's secretly been harboring a crush on Joe for years and had been upset when he'd married her younger sister. If looks could kill, Miriah would be on her way to greener pastures because Ila was most definitely sending death glares her way.

Favorite lines/quotes/moments:
- "Never thump a man's Stetson...Unless you've got a death wish. You got a death wish?"

- "Will you look at that"...
  "What is it?"
  She peered at her ankle. He'd connected the teeth patterns and it formed the letter D.
  "That rat snake marked you with my brand." His dark eyes met hers. "D for Daniels."

- "Listen to me and don't you forget it. Make no mistake. What we did last night means everything. From here on out, I'm your man."

-"Miriah took a bit. Mmm, it was the best cranberry--Suddenly, her mouth ignited, it was all she could do to swallow it down instead of spitting it out. "What is that?"
  "My specialty, hellfire cranberry sauce." Gamma bragged. "Here you go." She extended a glass of water to Mariah that apparently she had at the ready. "Cranberries, orange zest, and habanero peppers. It was my husband's favorite thing about Thanksgiving. God rest his soul."
  Eyes watering, mouth aflame, Miriah gulped the glass of water. "What did he die from? A seared esophagus?" 

Overall, I rated this one 3 1/2 out of 5 roses. It was a wonderful blend of characters with a nice story line about love, loss, forgiveness, and letting go. On the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale, this one earned a FAN rating - the temperature in the room seems to have suddenly gone up a couple of degrees and a fan would be nice.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Early Review of Simon Says Die by Lena Diaz

Title: Simon Says Die
Classification: Adult Fiction
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Format: Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: Avon Impulse (April 17, 2012)
ISBN-10: 0062136364
ISBN-13: 978-0062136367
Author's Website:

The city of Savannah is home to one of the newest serial killers. The police have nicknamed him Simon Says, as he leaves notes on the bodies of his victims that read, "Simon says die". Special Agent Pierce Buchanan was assigned to the task force investigating the murders and was diligently working with others to put an end to the murder and mayhem. When his best friend, Logan, who was out of the country on his honeymoon, asked Pierce to check on his sister, Madison, he did so. He had almost proposed to Madison once upon a time, but she ended the relationship before he ever had a chance to remove the engagement ring from his pocket. He was not looking forward to seeing her again. He knew it would be a painful reunion for him, but he never expected just how painful it would be--within a matter of minutes from knocking on the door he'd end up with a couple of bruised ribs and a bullet wound.

Madison recently moved to Savannah. She bought a house but didn't move into it right away. When Mrs. Whitmire, the lady she'd hired to manage her property called to ask why she'd fired the management company, she found out someone had sent a letter pretending to be her cancelling the service. That was when Madison decided to go to Savannah and investigate what was going on. After assuring Mrs. Whitmire that she had not sent the letter nor had she signed it, she reinstate all the services and decided to finally make the big move into her new home. That was when she started noticing someone watching her. She'd called the police several times about the man she'd seen outside her home, but by the time the police would finally manage to show up to investigate, the man would be gone. After the third call, the police made it clear that they thought she was looking for attention and making up stories about an alleged stalker. That was when she decided to take matters into her own hands and follow the man. It never occurred to her the man might be armed, nor that she could be endangering herself. She was just fed up. When she finally got a look at the man, she hadn't expected to recognize him. But recognize him she did. It was her husband who had died over 18 months ago, only he didn't look so dead now...

This was such a great romantic suspense story. The doubt cast as to whether Madison's former husband was alive was an excellent plot enhancer. I loved all the drama and surprises the author threw at us as the story progressed. There was never a dull moment. Plus, I loved all the complicated emotional baggage that is attached to a couple that have previously been lovers, but whose relationship has ended, but maybe shouldn't have.

Pierce is a dreamy character. He's described as "strong, solid, reliable, and sexy as hell." He's also smart, sensitive, loyal and gorgeous. I love how even though it's emotionally difficult for him, he goes to check on Madison. I loved his family, which Madison gets to meet, and how they are so protective of him.

Madison was a character with a strong personality who seemed at times incapable of thinking things through. She'd act first and think later. Her brother's nickname for her was trouble, and trouble is definitely what she kept finding herself in. She's described as having built a "tough, sarcastic shield to hide her true emotions." Her outlook is said to have been "jaded" because she was raised by an over protective brother "who constantly warned her how dangerous the world was." She was also afraid to commit to another permanent relationship because her first marriage wasn't the loving, happy marriage she had hoped for.

Favorite lines/quotes:

- "I'm not a 'friends with benefits' kind of guy. I want it all, Mads. All, or nothing."

- "Someone has to take you in hand, and protect the world from you."

- "Jealousy was a useless emotion, and Madison Hated being in its grips."

Overall, this one gets a 4 1/2 out of 5 roses. It was suspenseful, entertaining, and a very enjoyable read. On the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale, this one gets a FAN rating - the temperature in the room seems to have suddenly gone up a couple of degrees and a fan would be nice. There were definitely a lot of sparks and flares before these two finally ignited their relationship.

Order of series (of which I couldn't find the name):

Friday, March 23, 2012

Nice Girls Don't Have Fangs (Jane Jameson, Book 1) by Molly Harper

  • Title: Nice Girls Don't Have Fangs
  • Classification: Adult Fiction
  • Genre: Paranormal Romance
  • Format: Paperback, 384 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Star; Original edition (March 31, 2009)
  • ISBN-10: 1416589422
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416589426
Author's Website:

     "What did you do to me?" I whispered, shaking away the memory and wiping my mouth.
     "You know what I am. You know what you are," he said quietly, as if we were talking about being Episcopalian. "I offered you a choice, and you took it."
     I shot him what I hoped was a truly scathing glance. "Some choice. I was dying. Some drunk shot me from a pickup. Why couldn't I have just woken up with gonorrhea like every other girl of loose moral fiber?"

Jane Jameson was your typical girl next door type with a little more snark. She worked at the local library as a children's librarian and was happy with her life. Everything changed, however, when her boss, Mrs. Stubblefield pulled her aside to speak with her privately. While she'd been fed a line about budget cuts, she knew the true reason she was being fired was so that Mrs. Stubblefield could hire her stepdaughter, an unemployable pyromaniac. Armed with the gift certificate she was given instead of severance pay, she went to Shenanigan's in an attempt to drown her sorrows. Little did she know that was just the start of her personal rendition of 'Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day' and Alexander had nothing on her. By the time all was said and done she would have been fired, killed, and turned into a vampire. Sometimes you just can't win for loosing.

What do you get when you cross Charlaine Harris' Sookie Stackhouse series with Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series? Well, in my humble opinion, you get Molly Harper's Jane Jameson series. This was such a fun and enjoyable read for me. I loved how the main character was a Children's librarian and the book theme carried through it. There were so many good lines that if I listed them all I'd probably have half the book quoted. When the publisher approached me to read the series I immediately said yes because I adored Ms. Harper's 'How to Flirt with a Naked Werewolf' and have been attempting to fit the sequel into my reading schedule since it came out. Yes, I'm kind of like a kid in a candy store when it comes to books, and my desire to read is bigger than my capacity to do so. Darn it!

The world in which the series takes place has only recently had vampires come out of the coffin, so to speak. Humans don't really trust them and prejudices run high. The bad rap that vampires earned from movies like Bram Stroker's Dracula is still believed/held by the majority of society. Let's face it we all fear the unknown, especially when they're attached to a group with supernatural abilities that sport fangs and drink blood. 

Jane is the type of character I can definitely relate with. She's smart, loves reading, and her knowledge of facts had me grinning.  Have you ever heard the expression, "If it wasn't for bad luck, I'd have no luck at all"? Well, that kind fits Jane to a tee, at least on the night she was turned. Always the sort to lay low and live under the radar she is now one of the most gossiped about people in her town of Half-Moon Hollow. She'll have to deal with and come to terms with her new chocolate free (I know how cruel, right?) undead life and have to face the fact that some of her friends and family will have a problems accepting her newly found undead status. She also has to deal with the vamp who made her one.

Jane's first impression of Gabriel Nightengale, her sire, was that he was tall, dark and yummy. Described as having "unnaturally white teeth", with good skin, and hair that was "longish, winding in dark, curling locks from a slight widow's peak to his strong chin." His eyes were "deep gray, almost silver, with a dark charcoal ring around the irises." The two are attracted to each other, but the fact he is her sire sometimes blurs the boyfriend/daddy line in the relationship. Add into the mix Jane's best friend Zeb who is trying to deal with her becoming a vampire and Dick, a playboy vampire who used to be friends with Gabriel, and you've got a fun group of characters.

Some of my favorite lines/quotes:
-"I’ve never done this before. I didn’t go to human bars. Mudslides aside, I’m not much of a drinker. Club people are not my people. Now, book-club people—"

-"I am your sire. I am to guide you through your first days as a vampire. Your first feeding is a rite of passage, a sacrament. It will not be wasted on some hormone-driven frenzy. This is why I wanted you to feed from me.” “I will not drink it in a house, I will not drink it with a mouse. I will not drink it
here or there, I will not drink it anywhere,” I wheezed, hoping I was able to communicate adequate sarcasm through the crippling belly cramps.
“Did you just quote Green Eggs and Ham?"

- 'You can take the girl out of the library, but you can't take the neurotic, compulsively curious librarian out of the girl.'

Overall I gave this one 5 out of 5 roses and look forward to reading the rest of the series. On the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale, this one gets a FAN rating - the temperature in the room seems to have suddenly gone up a couple of degrees and a fan would be nice. It should be noted, however, this one was leaning very heavily toward a STEAM rating.

Order of Series:

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Giveaway - Calico Joe by John Grisham

Coming April 10th to a bookstore near you!

To read my 5 rose review Click Here.

Description of  book:
A surprising and moving novel of fathers and sons, forgiveness and redemption, set in the world of Major League Baseball…

Whatever happened to Calico Joe?

     It began quietly enough with a pulled hamstring. The first baseman for the Cubs AAA affiliate in Wichita went down as he rounded third and headed for home. The next day, Jim Hickman, the first baseman for the Cubs, injured his back. The team suddenly needed someone to play first, so they reached down to their AA club in Midland, Texas, and called up a twenty-one-year-old named Joe Castle. He was the hottest player in AA and creating a buzz.

In the summer of 1973 Joe Castle was the boy wonder of baseball, the greatest rookie anyone had ever seen. The kid from Calico Rock, Arkansas dazzled Cub fans as he hit home run after home run, politely tipping his hat to the crowd as he shattered all rookie records.

Calico Joe quickly became the idol of every baseball fan in America, including Paul Tracey, the young son of a hard-partying and hard-throwing Mets pitcher. On the day that Warren Tracey finally faced Calico Joe, Paul was in the stands, rooting for his idol but also for his Dad. Then Warren threw a fastball that would change their lives forever…

In John Grisham’s new novel the baseball is thrilling, but it’s what happens off the field that makes CALICO JOE a classic.


The wonderful folks at Doubleday are allowing me to giveaway 2 copies of John Grisham's latest book. 'Calico Joe'. Yay!

Rules of Eligibility:
1. Only residents of the US are eligible.
2. Please leave either your email address or a link to your Goodreads profile so I may get in contact with you to get your mailing address. No P.O. Boxes, please. If uncomfortable about giving out such information on my blog, please feel free to email me your information at
3. Become a follower of my blog, if you aren't already.

Winner will be randomly chosen. Giveaway ends April 10th, midnight eastern time. Winner will be posted on my blog and notified by email or message posted to them via Goodreads. Winner will have 48 hours to respond before another winner will be selected. Only one winner per book and per address. Good Luck! 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Early Review of Calico Joe by John Grisham

  • Title: Calico Joe
  • Classification: Adult Fiction
  • Genre: Realistic Fiction
  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday (April 10, 2012)
  • ISBN-10: 0385536070
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385536073
  • Author's Website:

In the summer of 1973 a rising star entered the world of major league baseball playing for the Chicago Cubs and breaking records left and right. Joe Castle, aka Calico Joe, came from the small town in Arkansas named Calico Rock. Everyone knew they were watching a baseball legend in the making. The crowds loved him and the media couldn't get enough of him. His career was being watched by one and all and sending the fans into a frenzy. But everything ended abruptly when Warren Tracey, the pitcher for the Mets, threw a beanball at Joe breaking bone and ending one of the most promising careers that would never be played out in its entirety in the history of the game.

Warren said the hit wasn't intentional. It was a mistake. Joe couldn't say exactly what happened because the event was permanently wiped from his memory due to his injury. The two never spoke to each other after the incident. Other than Warren, there is only one other individual who knew what truly happened that day--Warren's son, Paul Tracey. Paul called the play before it happened and thirty some years later he's hoping to bring closure to the event that cost two men their careers and one boy his love of the game.

Okay, so I have to admit I may be a little partial to this book. I grew up in the Chicago area in the 70s, had grandparents who lived in Mountain Home, Arkansas, and I presently live in Tampa. I could associate with practically every spot this book took a person, and I got a little nostalgic about each of them as I read. I could practically smell and taste the hot dogs and beer being served in the stands as the story jumped to scenes in the ballpark. *sigh*  I remember years playing outside while parents sitting on stoops listened to the games being played over their transistor radios. Oh the memories... :)

I truly loved the book. We got a little view into the life of the main characters through the eyes of an 11 year old boy with a unique view. A boy who knew his father and the truth of what happened that ominous day. We find out what he and his family had to face due to his father's actions and how it affected them. We also get a taste of what was going on in the head of Warren that led him to do what he did.

Grisham managed to catch the action, suspense, excitement, and emotion of the game in his story as viewed by 11 year old boy. I felt like I was sitting beside young Paul experiencing everything with him. The love Paul had for the game and the horror he felt as the events took place was heartbreaking. His wish to really bond with his dad and the turmoil he felt when trying to figure who to root for when his father's team faced his idol's team felt real and tangible. When the incident happened, Warren Tracey lost more than just his career--that day he lost the respect and love of his son as well.

Overall, I rated this one 5 out of 5 roses. It can be enjoyed by both those who are and are not fans of baseball.I loved how Grisham wove his fictional tale into the fabric of the 1973 season arranging and moving things around to fit the needs of his story. It's an emotionally touching novel about betrayal, forgiveness, and the whisper of what could have been. 

Notes to keep you in the know:
According to wikipedia, "Beanball" is a colloquialism used in baseball, for a ball thrown at an opposing player with the intention of striking him such as to cause harm, often connoting a throw at the player's head (or "bean" in old-fashioned slang). A pitcher who throws beanballs often is known as a "headhunter." The term may be applied to any sport in which a player on one team regularly attempts to throw a ball toward the general vicinity of a player of the opposite team, but is typically expected not to hit that player with the ball.[1] (You can read more about what a Beanball is at )

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Avon's March Madness eBook Sale now through March 31st

Avon Books is having a “March Madness” eBook sale. The sale runs through the month of March. So get 'em while they're cheap. Oh, and if you're wondering Amazon isn't the only eBook retailer offering these book at such a great prices. So if you don't have a kindle, check out your favorite eBook retailer to find out if they're also offering them at this low price. All the following books are on sale for $1.99

A Match Made in Scandal (Donally Family) by Melody Thomas
Man at Work by Elaine Fox
Married in Haste (Marriage) by Cathy Maxwell
Marry Me (Marrying Miss Bright) by Susan Kay Law
A Match Made in Hell (Nicki Styx, Book 2) by Teri Garey
Midnight (Avon) by Beverly Jenkins
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evie by Marianne Stillings
Mistress of Scandal (Greentree Sisters) by Sara Bennett
More Than a Scandal (Andersen Hall Orphanage) by Sari Robins
My Lady's Guardian (Avon Romance) by Gayle Callen
My Lord Conqueror (An Avon Romantic Treasure) by Samantha James
My Wicked Fantasy by Karen Ranney
The Maiden and Her Knight by Margaret Moore
The Mistress Diaries (Avon Romantic Treasure) by Julianne MacLean

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