Thursday, October 29, 2009

Lor Foster Giveaways - Helping Kids

Opening your heart to those in need will put you
in the running for a gigantic prize package.

Like most of us, I have my favorite causes, and children are always at the top of the list. Local to me is "The One Way Farm," a wonderful, caring home for abused and abandoned children.

The holidays are fast approaching, so I hope you'll join me in giving to the One Way Farm. To thank you, for every dollar donated you'll be entered in a special drawing to win fantastic prizes.

One entry per $ dollar donated. Example: A $5 dollar donation to the One Way Farm entitles you to 5 chances to win. Identical slips of paper will be used to write the name of the person donating, one slip per $ donated. All of the slips will be folded, and put into a large container. Names will be drawn at 3:00 pm on December 20th.

With each donation, please be sure to include:
Your name, address, and if possible, your email address. I will not add your name to any lists, but in case I need to contact you, email is the easiest way for me to do that.

Checks and money orders should be made out to "One Way Farm." Cash is accepted up to $5.

Mail to:
Lori Foster
P.O. Box 854
Ross OH 45061

RUTHLESS AWAKENING - Sara Craven



A romance, a very intense romance with so many twists and turns it will have your head spinning. Ruthless doesn't even begin to description Ruthless Awakening by Sara Craven.

Rhianna Carlow, Britain's star actress on a TV series has known nothing but sorrow and pain in her life as a young girl. When her mother passed away, she was sent to a spinster Aunt Kezia, a cruel and heartless woman who took her in but at every chance reminded her what a slut and home wrecker her mother was and gave her nothing but verbal abuse every chance she could, along with the woman she worked for Moria Seymour. The only joy in her life was Moria's daughter Carrie and her best friend who is about to marry her childhood friend Simon. But Rhianna knows that Simon can hurt Carrie so even though she doesn't want to attend the wedding, she returns home to attend the wedding at Penvarnon House, the house really owned by Carrie's cousin Diaz Penvarnon. The dark, handsome, rich Diaz who from the first time she saw him, unsettles her.

Diaz Penvarnon was the Spanish alpha at his best. He's moody, dark and mysterious and he's very attracted to Rhianna but harbours guilt and feelings because he believes his father and Rhianna's mother were lovers until her death. Each time he returns to the family manor, he is reminded of those feelings and fights them at every step. It isn't until he kidnaps her and takes her to his yacht to keep her from spoiling his cousins's wedding that's when things get out of control.

Ruthless Awakening is a beautiful love story, with so many secrets, emotions, transgressions with a superb ending that was absolutely such a surprise it only made the story more enchanting.


Book Description:

The grandeur of Penvarnon House in Cornwall is where Rhianna Carlow spent her lonely childhood as the housekeeper's unwanted niece. Now she's a guest returning for a wedding at Penvarnon—and billionaire Diaz Penvarnon is back, too, seemingly as arrogant and ruthless as ever!

Diaz has one aim—to keep gold digger Rhianna away from the house. He's also the descendant of a Spanish pirate! So he kidnaps Rhianna and she finds herself captive on his luxurious yacht…where her inexperience is no match for his merciless desire!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

October Recipe of the Month -Vegas Style Mac n Cheese In Honor of Notorious by Vicki Lewis Thompson

I loved this book when I read it a few years back. It takes place in Vegas so I was thinking about all of the great restaurants there per my son, the Chef who has eaten at the best of the best like Bobby Flays, Kellerman's, etc.

So I went to the Food Channel, typed in Vegas and here's what I found!

Vegas style Mac 'N' Cheese (Recipe courtesy Adam Gertler)
8 entree servings or about 15 side servings

Ingredients
• 3 ounces (6 tablespoons) salted butter
• 1 1/2 tablespoons finely minced fresh onion
• 1 1/2 tablespoons finely minced fresh garlic
• 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
• 1/2 teaspoon Hungarian paprika
• 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
• 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for pasta water
• 1 teaspoon dry mustard
• 2 teaspoons hot sauce
• 1 quart heavy cream
• 1/2 pound processed cheese singles, diced
• 4 ounces sharp yellow Cheddar, shredded, plus about 4 cups for topping
• 2 ounces Italian fontina cheese, shredded
• 4 ounces fresh grated Italian Parmigiano
• 2 pounds dry macaroni elbows
• Bread crumbs, recipe follows
• Chopped parsley, for garnish

Directions

In a heavy 6-quart saucepan over low heat, melt butter and add onions and garlic. Slowly sweat over low heat until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add flour, stirring to combine, and incorporate all dry ingredients, along with hot sauce. Stir until uniform. Slowly whisk in heavy cream. Raise heat to medium, add cheeses and stir constantly just until cheese is melted. Cook's Note: do not bring this mixture to a boil; the temperature shouldn't exceed 140 degrees F.

Bring 2 gallons of salted water (you should be able to taste the salt, about 1/2 cup) to a boil in a 12-quart pot. Add macaroni; boil about 6 minutes, or until al dente. Strain, and immediately cool by rinsing with ice-cold water.
Ten minutes before you want the mac on the table, in a very large nonstick pan, warm cheese sauce over medium-high heat, stirring constantly with a heat-resistant rubber spatula. Once cheese sauce comes to a simmer, add cold pasta and lobster meat. Return to a simmer, stirring constantly. Turn out warm noodles and sauce into large casserole dish, about 6-quart size. Cook's Note: For individual servings, separate noodles into 8 individual casserole dishes.

Top generously with additional shredded Cheddar and bread crumb mixture. Smooth bread crumbs into an even layer over the pasta and pat down with fingers to form a loose crust. Place under broiler until crumbs are an even golden brown. Garnish with chopped parsley, and serve immediately.

Bread Crumbs:
• 2 cups panko bread crumbs
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 teaspoon kosher salt
• 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
• 1/2 cup fresh grated Italian Romano cheese
In a medium bowl, mix all ingredients until combined. Set aside.

NOTORIOUS - Vicki Lewis Thompson



Again, Vicki Lewis Thompson has penned a hot, sassy and fun love story with NOTORIOUS. This book reminded me of the saying "What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas". And that's what most of the book is about.

After ten years the fates decide that Keely and Noah will again meet. Noah is in Vegas to be in his friend's wedding and Keely is on assignment to write an article for her magazine Allure.

Noah walks by a strip club and immediately his old "crush" Keely comes to mind, the hometown's Bad Girl. As fate would have it, they bump into each other and Noah gets the impression she is going into the strip club to apply for a job. Since her father and soon to be sister-in-law work for him and the sparks are still there, Noah feels that he must protect her and invites her to stay with him for the weekend in hopes that he can counsel her. Well, Keely has other ideas. Why? Noah rejected her 10 years ago and so did her family and hometown when her photo was featured as a centerfold in a magazine.

Well, hold on to your hats, because if you want sex, steam, sass and tears, then read this wonderful and incredible love story. You will laugh, sigh and cry at the same time.

This book also reminded me of another five star VLT book; LET'S TALK ABOUT SEX, another "Bad Girl" and fun book.

Book Description:

Years ago, wild child Keely Branscom shocked her hometown by posing nude. But she'd been under rancher Noah Garlfield's skin long before then—ever since that painful night Keely kissed him…and he pushed her away.

When Keely runs into Noah in Vegas, she figures the time for revenge is at hand! She has the perfect plan to inflict a heap of sexually charged retribution on Noah…and this time it's his turn to be rejected. But as Keely's seduction starts yielding some steamy results, she realizes that this time, the notorious wild child is in serious trouble!

More about the book:


Dear Reader,

Eight years ago Harlequin senior editor Brenda Chin invited me to write the first Harlequin Blaze novel, and that honor ranks as a major highlight of my career. Harlequin Blaze was a new millennium concept then, and the line continues to set the standard for sensuality and great storytelling. With innovation like that, no wonder Harlequin Books is now celebrating its sixtieth anniversary of publishing the romances women want to read! I'm thrilled to be a part of that legacy.

When Harlequin Blaze debuted, it brought a sense of adventure and freedom to both authors and readers. I was inspired to write Notorious, a no-holds-barred story of a woman who allows a man to believe the worst about her, and then tortures him with glimpses of how naughty she can be! Creative freedom is a heady experience, both for me and for my characters.

Apparently that heady experience still calls to me, because I'm starting a whole new series within Harlequin Blaze that debuts in the summer of 2010. I couldn't return to Blaze without returning to the cowboy heroes I love, men like Noah, the hero in Notorious. Poor Noah—he's determined to save Keely from a decadent life. He has no idea what he's let himself in for with a feisty woman like Keely!

I'm sure Noah and Keely are delighted to be part of Harlequin's sixtieth anniversary, as am I. Here's to sixty more wonderful years of reading!

Gratefully yours,

Vicki Lewis Thompson

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

LATIN LOVER - Lucy Monroe and Trish Morey





THE GREEK TYCOON’S INHERITED BRIDE - Lucy Monroe

To say I loved The Greek Tycoon’s Inherited Bride by Lucy Monroe is an understatement…..it was fantastic.

It had all the makings of a super romance, a Greek alpha, family honor, an arranged marriage plus the girl he knew he couldn’t have, his best friend who was promised to marry his brother. The arranged marriage by two proud Greek friends the Petronides and Leonides, a marriage not taking into consideration the participants feelings.

Spiros Petronides is the sort of Greek every woman would die to have in her life. He’s not only gorgeous; he’s rich and he very sexy. From afar he’s always fancied Phoebe Leonides but due to both of their families being close, he’s thought of her brotherly best friend. However, for Phoebe, it’s quite the opposite, she not only adores Spiros, she’s secretly loved him her entire life.

Phoebe has a serious problem because as a teen she agreed to an arranged marriage her family and the Petronides family made years earlier. On top of everything else, her fathers business is in trouble and will go under unless Phoebe married Dimitri, the oldest son. She’s sincerely upset because she feels her family has literally sold her into a loveless marriage when she secretly loves the younger brother, Spiros. On top of everything else, when Spiros visits her and they share a kiss which leads to passion so volcanic it scares them both, she’s sure she cannot go through with the marriage.


There were so many emotions to this love story, Spiros and his overdeveloped sense of honor where Phoebe was concerned to the point of letting love go and even lying about his feelings. He was so afraid he would be weak like his father as far as relationships went that he would go to any length not to become like his parents. Spiros fought his love and his need for Phoebe but in the end you will tear up at how he goes about proving his love and his desire to marry her.

As for Phoebe, one literally reads and watches her become a strong woman when she stands up to both families, forgives Dimitri for choosing another to marry, forgives the scandal that incurs due to Dimitri’s mistress, forgives Spiros for hurting and lying to her about his feelings. It’s truly an incredible love story as only Lucy Monroe can intensely pen.

Book Description:

Phoebe's betrothal to Spiros Petronides' brother meant she was forbidden, and honor was the code the Greek billionaire lived by. But with one kiss Spiros knew he had to claim her as his!


BACK IN THE SPANIARD'S BED - Trish Morey

Be prepared for a sensual journey based on blackmail and such a sexual need that defies all reason in Back in the Spaniard’s Bed by the extremely talented author, Trish Morey. It’s a journey that both troubled me at first and then swept me along with Alejandro and Leah.

Leah made an important decision months earlier when she walked away from her affair with the billionaire and impossibly sexy Alejandro Rodriguez because she loved him and knew it was only a matter of time until he replaced her in his bedroom. She was finally becoming independent and stronger. Now months later she’s faced with the man himself who is determined to have her back and then make her pay by dumping her. He holds all the cards because he’s aware her brother is in financial trouble and so he blackmails her into coming back to him and pays off her brother’s debt to the loan sharks. He’s like a drug to her and she can’t help herself. For that matter, neither of them can help themselves and can’t seem to get enough of each other.

Alejandro Rodriguez was probably one of the most sexy alphas I’ve read lately because of author Trish Morey’s description of the man himself. I swear, he was the devil in disguise and her description of him and his relationship with Leah, well lets just say it will have you thinking and dreaming about this hero. What I loved about his character was that he was so self assured until the rug was pulled out from under him and when he had to take a close look at himself, his feelings, their relationship in the past and as it stood in the present; very emotional indeed. It was an affair that was so incredible and entertaining to read, one I will remember for some time.

As for Leah, the emotion she had to hide, mainly her love for him, her feelings that she wasn’t good enough for him nor wife material plus the fact she had to endure the harshness of his sister, well have some tissue ready, you’ll need them. Leah’s feeling of being temporary and convenient and finally giving up difficult to read as well. However, in the end, Alejandro’s realization that he loved her, probably had always loved her redeemed him for me. Back in the Spaniard’s Bed plain and simply was magnifico!

Book Description:

Leah left Alejandro Rodriguez because she'd overstepped the boundaries of a mistress and fallen in love! The Spaniard's arrogance angered her, but his touch ignited her. So when Alejandro storms back into her life, how can Leah deny him?




Sunday, October 25, 2009

THE SHEIKH'S FORBIDDEN VIRGIN - Kate Hewitt - (The Royal House of Karedes)


Kate Hewitt takes her readers on an extremely romantic journey through the desert in The Sheikh’s Forbidden Virgin. While reading this exciting adventure, an adventure it surely was, I actually felt like I was in Zaraq, in its markets, the palace and in a desert storm. As for Calista where Princess Kalila is to be wed, the same applied, the beautiful Mediterranean Sea, riding in the desert with the sun beating down and fantasizing of being with a rugged sheikh. The author succeeded in giving me my fantasy and then some.

Kalila had known from a very young age that she would have to marry the future king of Calista. An arranged marriage by her father and Zakari’s father. She had just finished college in London and now she has to return home and to her duty. She mourns the fact that both of her parents married for love and she wants the same for herself. But duty prevails and she must go through with it. She hasn’t seen her future husband since she was twelve years old. Now this future king is due to come and claim her in Zaraq. However, he doesn’t come, he sends his brother Arif who is a very rugged, handsome and aloof prince.

Arif is the brother everyone looks to, the protector and an extremely honourable prince. One immediately senses the attraction between Arif and Kalila, a forbidden one because of course nothing can come of it because she is soon to become the wife of his brother. Arif holds a lot inside, has dreams of a horrible kidnapping which ended in the result of one of his brothers disappearing, never to be found. However, he adores his country and family and is determined to take Kalila home to his brother.

Kalila resists the marriage and escapes by horseback and rides off into a dust storm the day they are to leave. She is confused because first of all she hasn’t heard from her bridegroom and she’s attracted to Arif. Of course Arif follows and they have to spend the night in the desert in a tent. They act on their attraction and in the morning Arif is furious with himself. He can’t believe he has betrayed his brother and the burden is heavy on his heart. However, Kalila is pleased it’s happened even though she’s lost her virginity and is to marry the King. She feels it was precious and sacred.

Once in Calista, still no King, no message and Kalila is more confused. She is lonely and misses her time with Arif. It was such a sad time for them both and really a sad time for this reader because once you read this wonderful book you will be cheering them on and hoping to see them together. Each time they meet or go sightseeing, it’s a battle for them both not to look or touch, it’s heartbreaking.

Kate Hewitt is such a talented author and this sheikh book was a little different from others I’ve read because I felt I could actually live the fantasy. It’s such a sweet romance, even though their emotions for each other were a little rocky at times. The Sheikh’s Forbidden Virgin was a wonderful addition to The Royal House of Karedes series. The author recently stated in an interview “I liked how star-crossed my lovers were – their situation seemed truly hopeless, and yet love prevailed – of course”! Kate Hewitt more than succeed with her goal.

Book Description:

On her twenty-first birthday, Kalila is pledged to marry the King of Calista. But first she must be delivered to her husband-to-be. Scarred, sexy sheikh Prince Aarif, the king's brother, is sent to escort her. However, willful virgin Kalila tries to escape and Aarif has to catch her. In the desert heat his scorching desire for her ignites—a desire that is forbidden!—and Aarif claims Kalila's virginity, even though she can never be his!

When she walks up the aisle on the day of her wedding, Kalila's heart is in her mouth: who will be waiting at the altar to become her husband?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

CONSTANTINE’S DEFIANT MISTRESS – Sharon Kendrick



Constantine’s Defiant Mistress was one emotional and very dynamic read because this handsome Greek and billionaire playboy didn’t realize he had a seven year old son.

Over seven years have passed since Laura has seen her lover of one night who sailed in and out of her hometown port and now she learns he’s going to be in England and possibly getting married. Years have passed since the many times she tried to reach him to advise him that he had a son. Especially now it’s important as Alex needs to know his father, and Laura’s sister needs to leave the family business and go out on her own.

Laura has a plan and it’s to waitress at the London hotel Constantine is having his lavish party. He doesn’t even recognize her and when she finally tells him who she is and that they share of son, of course he’s in shock. Discussions take place and the end result is they agree that Alex and Laura will come to Greece for a stay in his home and she will work on his staff without anyone, especially his father know their identity. Of course Constantine wants a DNA test but it’s obvious that his young son looks very Greek and their first meeting for him is very emotional because he wants the boy to like him. Reading about their time getting to know each other was sweet and very emotional. On top of that, his desire for Laura surfaces and as he has been her only lover and she’s still attracted to him, eventually they act on that attraction in the secret confines of her bedroom.

Constantine was a man who took care of everyone, a man who never confided so when he told Laura about his mother and that he had no relationship with her and how lonely his childhood was, in the end he was upset with himself for confiding his past to her. In fact, he even lashed out and told her to remember her place in Greece, that she was only Alex’s mother and part of the staff.

Towards the end of their visit, Constantine hosts a party to properly introduce Alex as his son and Laura as his sons mother. However, he dresses her up in silk and diamonds which make her feel cheap because it’s not who Laura is which upsets her. On top of that, he asks her to marry him and it’s obvious only to legitimise Alex as his son, not because he loves her.

What I adored most about Constantine’s Defiant Mistress is when Constantine realizes how much Laura means to him. She makes him laugh, she challenges him, tells him the truth and he truly loves and adores her. It’s a beautiful love story and gives each of them a second chance at happiness and unites them as a family.

Book Description:

Constantine Karantinos is Greek through and through! When he learns he has an heir he'll do anything to claim him. Even if he finds it hard to remember bedding Laura—she was nothing more than a mousy little waitress! Maybe if he were to have her again, it would refresh his memory….

Now that Constantine has summoned Laura to Greece, she's more stubborn than he recalls. Determined to pay her way as housekeeper, by day she insists on cooking and cleaning. However, by night Constantine demands she fulfill her bedroom duties….

Italian Boss, Proud Miss Prim




Katie Bannister is a very sweet and supremely inexperienced young woman. She has a junior position in an attorney’s office and it is her task to contact the stepbrother of her deceased client and personally deliver the contents of his will. However, Katie is nervous as the man in question was a very famous Italian playboy Rigo Riggerio. She is what you would call a “plain Jane” but Rigo is intrigued by her sexy voice and volunteers to meet her at the airport.

Katie has never been to Italy and is somewhat apprehensive about going as her wardrobe is plain and dull. During her college years she was training to be an opera singer but that all changed when there was a fire which smoke caused damage to her voice and the fire left her back badly scarred. She’s a very proper and prim young woman so when Rigo meets her, he’s quite surprised by her appearance and primness. But there is something about Katie that touches him and as chance would have it, she is required to stay overnight because they couldn’t get down to the business of the will.

Katie is very aware of Rigo as a man, even the slightest touch or brush of his hand. And Rigo realizes something very touching about Katie, that’s even though she’s “prim” she’s very smart, organized and would make a great personal assistant because like all alpha’s he goes through PA’s who either want him for his good looks or his money plus he’s demanding. He invites her to dinner and she refuses but later she runs into Rigo and a lovely model type who later she finds out is his sister. Katie and Antonia get on well and she introduces Katie to shopping. Katie isn’t used to beautiful clothes but does end up with a few things she normally would not purchase.

When they finally get a chance, Katie reveals to Rigo that he has inherited from his stepbrother the “family villa”, his childhood home which he left when his father remarried. His stepbrother was not a nice man and Rigo felt he stole his childhood and father from him. Rigo realizes quite a few things about Katie that under all her dreary clothes there’s a brilliant, sweet and lovely young woman. He also realizes she would be an asset to his organization so he also offers her a position and asks her to accompany him to Tuscany.

Italian Boss, Proud Miss Prim was a wonderful love story because they both had secrets…..Katie her scars and Rigo his charity. And in the end Katie was no “Miss Prim” she blossomed under the tutorage of Rigo which was lovely to read. It was truly a Prince Charming love story.

Book Description:

Katie Bannister is prim, perky and petite. Worlds apart from her boss, the dangerous, daring and devilishly handsome Rigo Ruggiero.

When she steps into his jet-set world, Katie's sensible brown shoes suddenly seem very out of place. And as Rigo's assistant there's no desk to hide behind….

When she accompanies the magnificent Italian to his newly inherited Tuscan palazzo, Katie witnesses the wolf entering his lair. Finally Rigo has come home—and he's ready to undo Miss Prim's buttons!

THE BILLIONAIRE’S BRIDE OF CONVENIENCE – Miranda Lee(Three Rich Husbands)



The Billionaire’s Bride of Convenience is the second book in Miranda Lee’s Three Rich Husbands and its brilliant! Three billionaire sexy alphas that are the closets of friends and this is the very sexy and charming Hugh Parkinson’s story.

Hugh is known as Sydney’s playboy and goes through women at a rapid speed. However, Hugh has a problem in the form of his personal assistant Kathryn who is not so charming. Kathryn is like no other woman Hugh has ever met; she’s more than organized and keeps him on his toes. She not model type gorgeous but he’s attracted to her curves and her sass. For months she’s been driving him crazy and on top of everything, she’s soon to be married to her current live in boyfriend.

Kathryn needs to be married before her 30th birthday in order to inherit a friend’s beach house. If she doesn’t marry, she’ll loose the house which means everything to her. Is she materialistic? No, the house means everything to her because as a young child it was the only place she felt safe and happy because a wonderful widow took in children who came from troubled homes and Kathryn’s childhood was more than troubled, it was over the top as one will learn. She loves her job as Hugh’s PA but also realizes that Hugh is nothing more than a spoiled playboy. When Hugh comes to her rescue because of her jealous fiancé and takes their boss/PA relationship to a new level physically, she’s more than confused, she’s over the top because for Kathryn Hugh is dangerous and she’s very aware of him physically. Hugh more than comes to the rescue, he proposes they marry so that she can get her beach house and he plans have Kathryn physically as part of the deal.

Like all office romances, theirs takes off like a rocket and Hugh can’t seem to get enough of Kathryn. It’s a very emotional and confusing love affair for them both. It frightens Hugh how much he desires Kathryn and Hugh’s afraid he’s going to be just like his father, go from one woman to another. However, what I loved so much about this beautiful romance was when Hugh realized he was not just like his father, that he cared enough about Kathryn to let her go and so he cut her loose.

Kathryn goes to live at her beach home and Hugh leaves his father’s company to start a new business. However, Hugh has a plan for the future; a future which he hopes will include Kathryn. As I said, Miranda Lee weaves such a beautiful and romantic love story, it’s one I will personally long remember. This series, Three Rich Husbands staring Russell, Hugh and James are three perfect Australian alphas!

Book Description:

Kathryn thought she knew Hugh Parkinson, a charming, rakish playboy who was used to women being served to him on a plate. In his eyes she was just his utterly efficient, slightly uptight assistant.
Until she nearly lost the thing that mattered most to her, and unexpectedly Hugh was there to help: he was prepared to marry her! But the catch… Hugh wanted this convenient marriage to keep Kathryn not only as his trusty assistant—but also to warm his bed….

Monday, October 19, 2009

Secret Sheikh, Secret Baby - Carol Marinelli


Secret Sheikh, Secret Baby was a very intense and sexy sheikh love story written by the very talented Carol Marinelli. It was also my first Harlequin Medical romance and I was very impressed that due to its nature it was not boring but very interesting as the heroine was a midwife and the hero a sheikh prince and surgeon.

They meet at an orientation in London where Felicity Anderson is attending in order to determine if she wants to accept a position already offered in the Middle East or accept a position in one of the most modern and beautiful hospitals located on a private island, ruled by a royal family the Kingdom of Zaraq. The royal prince and surgeon Prince Karim is overseeing the recruitment for his hospital and university.

Karim and Felicity meet in the most interesting way when he slips inside the presentation and immediately they sense each other, through site, smell, and sexual attraction. What’s so very bizarre is that Felicity has recently broken off with her boyfriend because of sexual problems and after a year, she cannot have a relationship, even though she has been through therapy. So, this immediate attraction to a stranger, a man who makes her feel things she’s never felt before are frightening yet exciting. As fate would have it, they are brought together after the conference due to an auto accident and then the fateful night they spend together before they both go their separate ways.

Karim is a man bound by honour to his King (his father), his brothers and his country. His first love is his profession as a surgeon but due to the illness of his father, he will be to any lengths to serve his country. He has also been a playboy but that is soon to end as his father wants him to marry and produce an heir since his brother’s wife is barren. However, he can’t seem to forget his one night with Felicity and wonders if he’ll ever see her again in his country.

Like Karim, Felicity has been honor bound to her mother and sister. She has accepted all financial responsibilities for her sister’s illness and her mother’s bills. She is determined to make a success of her life in Zaraq and when she finally gets there and starts orientation and later being a midwife, she realizes she has made the right decision. Only there are a few problems……upon arrival she finds out the man she spent the night with is a prince and heir to the throne, that she’s pregnant with his baby.

When Karim is told he’s the father of Felicity’s baby, his entire personality changes. He accuses her of lying, he put together a deceitful plan for the good of his brother and for his country, and he demands marriage and takes her into the desert. There in the desert, they learn quite a lot about each other and all Felicity wants is the man who she grew to love in London, the sensitive and caring man.

This royal family would do anything for their country, I mean anything and that was what I found so interesting, the difference in cultures and what lengths they would go to in order to keep peace and structure for their country and King. It was indeed a hurtful scheme which would hurt Felicity. Thanks to a friend she escapes and returns home. But Karim can’t escape and be at peace until he realizes what’s important in life and he doesn’t realize it until it’s almost too late.

The Secret Sheikh, Secret Baby was an excellent look into a royal family, the desert and its customs, the difference between the East and the West and most of all, forgiveness. It’s an intense love story, with intense characters, in a beautiful desert kingdom with lots of sexual tension as only Carol Marinelli can pen.

Book Description:

Hot-shot surgeon Karim Zaraq is prince of a desert kingdom. Karim knows he must find a wife and produce an heir, but this playboy wants one final fling before royal duty beckons.

Pretty midwife Felicity Anderson has no idea who Karim really is, but her one night with the sexy surgeon has turned her world upside down—suddenly she's pregnant!

With Felicity carrying the kingdom's hopes, Karim must marry her. But Felicity won't say "I do" unless the prince can prove it's for love.

SPANISH ARISTOCRAT, FORCED BRIDE(UK) THE SOCIETY WIFE (USA) – India Grey


To say Spanish Aristocrat, Forced Bride was magnificent doesn’t even begin to describe this emotionally charged M&B Modern. In keeping with the line, Tristan Romero is quite the daunting alpha, used to getting what he wants in business and in the bedroom but with all of that comes secrets and a past that haunts him. He was such a charismatic character, one that immediately drew me in from page one and honestly, I couldn’t put the book down. It was that emotion, a powerful story and the need to see Tristan and Lily find their happy ending that kept me reading all night.

So one might ask why I am so passionate about this book? Devotion and friendship are always a “hook”. The reader is introduced to Tristan and his best friend Tom who have a marvellous past together and who have remained devoted friends. Devotion and friendship are always a “hook”. Tom is engaged to a beautiful model Scarlet and she has a best friend who is also a model and that’s Lily. They meet at Tom and Scarlet’s charity costume ball on Tom’s estate and it’s like they are both caught up in the eye of the storm. It’s the way they meet and the no strings one-night of passion they will both never forget.

Tristan is used to getting the girl and Lily is used to having men look at her. The circumstances which bring them together at the party are unusual, their one night in Tristan’s lone room in a tower, their passion, it’s explosive. However, their one night is short lived as Lily leaves for Africa and Tristan goes back to the family business and his secret life. One would think top model and billionaire businessman getting on with their lives, yes that’s true but there is so much more to this story and to this couple as the reader will learn. However, to reveal more would ruin ones reading experience.

As fate would have it, they both return to the scene of their one night together to celebrate Tom and Scarlet’s engagement. Lily has a secret, one that will change both of their lives….she’s pregnant. How will this alpha deal with it? Not very well let me tell you. He of course gives her an option and when she refuses, then its marriage because no child of his will be born out of wedlock. Even though Lily had not had a great childhood, she did believe in love, marriage and happy endings. Lily is such a kind and caring woman and there are so many disappointments for her. Her wedding day which should have been wonderful was disappointing and then diaster struck in the form of meeting his parents. Add to it when the bomb drops and Tristan tells her their marriage can be in name only and they must continue the charade until their baby is born.

Lily realized something important....she not only wanted him on a physical basis, she wanted his heart and also realized it would be impossible. Can anymore tragedy strike? Yes, it does which makes both of their lives even more complicated because of loss, anguish and guilt. And then when one believes there can be no more pain for this couple, Lily asks something of Tristan which only leads to more pain for him because his childhood and family secrets are revealed.

One point was made very clear, in spite of everything Lily’s love for Tristan never faltered. I personally felt they both loved each other at the very beginning and they had so much in common, their childhoods, their choices to do good in the world, and their mutual passion. Just when one believes there is no hope for this couple, Tristan is unexpectantly called away and his other “secret” is revealed which will melt your heart because it reveals the “real” Tristan.

Spanish Aristocrat, Forced Bride was a very heart warming love story to read especially when Tristan sees the light and realizes he can have it all…. Lily and a family. It’s a journey with author India Grey one won’t want to miss due to it’s sexually charged passion, fire and emotion.

On a personal note: This book took forever to arrive to its home here in North America. First it was sent to the wrong author, then to me with an empty envelope. Hope the postman enjoyed it! And finally it arrived and was well worth the wait!

Book Description:

Accidentally pregnant, conveniently wed

Infamous playboy Tristan Romero meets ordinary Lily at a lavish ball, and arrogantly predicts that she will wake up the following morning between his designer silk sheets! Powerless to resist this wicked billionaire, Lily knows Tristan is only offering one night. But then she discovers she’s pregnant…

Tristan’s aristocratic duty demands he take Lily as his bride. However, Lily’s shame over accepting a loveless proposal is heightened when she realises that, as the Spaniard’s wife, she’ll be expected to fulfil his every need…

Thursday, October 15, 2009

CONTEST - 5 CHANCES TO WIN - Branded by the Sheriff - Delores Fossen

As a member of Harlequin Ambassadors, they have sent me five, yes five copies to give away. At the end of the month I'll draw a winner. Because the books are free, all I need from you is for you to tell me if you'll read the book and afterwards what or who'll you give it to because Harlequin will ask me to complete a survey.

Please leave your email address in your post and check back at the end of the month to see if you've won.




Description:

Years ago, Sheriff Beck Tanner had believed the worst about Faith Matthews. Now she was back in their small Texas town, forcing him to question everything he thought he knew about her. And when the killer who'd murdered her family set his sights on Faith--and her innocent baby girl--Beck-s protective instincts kicked into high gear.

As dangerous pranks turned into deadly games, Beck needed Faith to trust him with the secrets of her past. And with a sadistic killer circling closer, all of Beck-s attention had to be on keeping her baby safe...and ignoring his inconvenient attraction to the beautiful mother....

For more information and to become an Ambassador as well, here's the link

THE MILLIONAIRE'S MISBEHAVING MISTRESS - Kimberly Lang



Author Kimberly Lang delights and charms her readers with the sensual Millionaire’s Misbehaving Mistress. It’s a fun and heart-warming romance involving a billionaire, his teenage half sister who needs help with etiquette and manners. The Harrison family and the CEO Will Harrison from HarCorp International are the crème of Dallas society. Will’s company is sponsoring a gala event in a few weeks and his sister Evie will need to be presented to society. Evie is sort of a “free spirit” and recently lost her mom and needs to learn the proper etiquette.

Gwen Sawyer runs Everyday Etiquette and also writes an advice column for a teen website. She’s no stranger to knowing proper etiquette. She and her sister were schooled by their mother as Gwen’s father was in Foreign Service. Gwen’s training has been in protocol. It has always been her desire to work for a large corporation providing social training. She lost a chance five years ago when there was a scandal in Washington DC involving Gwen and her boss. She came to Dallas and set up a very successful business training debs for their society debuts. She also authors a blog on a teen website, sort of an advice column.

Will Harrison was the sort of alpha every girl dreams of, the perfect physical specimen, very handsome, wealthy, and charming and oozes sexual charm. It’s also obvious he adores his kid half sister. However, when he actually hires and meets Gwen for the first time, she piques his interest and he asks her to move into their home so that she can school Evie on a daily basis, sharing meals, tutoring her in studies and hopefully she’ll be ready to debut in Texas society. As much as I adored Will, it was Gwen who literally spoke to me.

Gwen realizes she has a second chance when Will Harrison hires her to help with his sister. If she does well, then his corporation might give her a chance and hire her for what she’s been train for and she can give up training society debs for good. However, when she actually meets the man himself, she’s very attracted to him, so much so that she realizes if she could be in trouble. As she tells her sister, “she simply trains Princesses – she would get Prince Charming.”

Reading about the three of them…..Will, Evie and Gwen well it was just plain amazing to see how they seemed to learn and grow together, so much so, they actually became the perfect family. Will was not so dedication to his job, in fact he shocked those close to him as he actually left the office on time. Evie and Gwen’s process of bonding and becoming friends was very sweet to read. However, it was Gwen who realized Will was the most amazing man she had ever met and she was afraid she would loose her heart if she wasn’t careful. She not only lost her heart, it became broken in the most serious way by Will misunderstanding an overheard conversation. What I admired about Gwen’s character was how strong she was and how she bounced back.

There are always lessons to be learned and Will learns his the hard way when he realizes he was at fault and also realizes there are more important things in life than business….love and family!

Behind the book:

In “Dear Reader” Kimberly says “blame it on my very deep Southern roots, but I’m completely fascinated with etiquette. My obsession, however extends beyond flatware and thank-you notes to very ‘out there’ information I’ll never have an actual need to use – like dinner seating protocol when both an ex-President and a member of the royal family are present. One day, when I was nose-first into an etiquette text, I found the inspiration for this book in a quote by the great Miss Manners, Judith Martin: “’We are all born charming, fresh and spontaneous, and must be civilised before we are fit to participate in society.’

The above quote sparked Kimberly’s imagination and the dinner scene you’ll read in Chapter Two of The Millionaire’s Misbehaving Mistress.

Book Description:

As Dallas's most eligible bachelor and heir to his family's fortune, billionaire Will Harrison knows how to handle the paparazzi—but his little sister Evie is a worry….

Miss Behavior, etiquette expert Gwen Sawyer, has only three weeks to work her magic on Evie before a society ball, and so moves into Will's luxurious penthouse. However, she discovers too late that etiquette is the last thing on devilishly handsome Will's mind….

Thursday, October 01, 2009

THE SHEIK AND THE BOUGHT BRIDE (Desert Rogue Series)



Author Susan Mallery in her dedication to her Editor thanks her for letting her “write the book of her heart”. Quite honestly I sincerely believe it was the very best in her entire Desert Rogue series and a perfect ending to her sheik series. For me personally it was bittersweet as for three years I’ve been enjoying the series immensely.

What makes these books so different from others in the sheik genre is the author. Susan’s humour always shines through in her stories, her heroines are NOT faint at heart, they are strong, spirited and intelligent women. Her sheiks are very proud and honourable. These men for the most part have been educated in England or the US as their father’s were Kings in their particular region, their mother had passed away or their father had remarried.

The Sheik and the Bought Bride opens with Victoria McCallan’s father cheating in a card game. When he is threatened he will be imprisoned, his daughter Victoria who works at the palace offers to take the place of her father. Before her mother died, she made her a promise that she would always look out for her dad. Victoria stands by her word, her promise and first and foremost she’s a very honourable woman. When it’s decided that she will become Sheik’ Kateb’s mistress in place of her father going to jail, for Kateb and Victoria their journey begins and just like the heat in the desert, it’s hot!

As the reader learns early on, Sheik Kateb is soon to become the ruler of his desert nation and he’s unmarried. At one time he married his childhood friend who died in an Italian car accident. He’s been single for five years and his people want him to eventually marry. One also learns that this man for the most part has dedicated himself to his people and now faced with this lovely woman who stirs needs he hasn’t felt in a long time, it becomes most interesting reading regarding the interaction between Kateb and Victoria. An example of this and the authors humour is shown in the following: “I’ve never had a mistress before so I don’t have any expectations.” She took the wine without looking at him. “You have a harem.” “It came with the property.” “Sort of like a three-car garage when you only have two cars?” “Something like that”. Obviously, I chuckled throughout the entire book.

Just one kiss for them and it’s all over for both of them. Kateb realizes he’s in trouble and wants to send her back to the palace but when he learns she might be pregnant, it’s determined she cannot leave. However, both of them ponder was there something more powerful or frightening for them both to face as far as their attraction? Kateb also learns a lot about Victoria and realizes she wants nothing for herself and she’s a very complex woman.

Victoria had learned at an early age to take care of herself. Being left alone in the harem she’s no shrinking violet she’s a woman who needs something to do and she takes an interest in the people, especially the women who make beautiful gold jewelry. Being a Western woman, she carefully treads but wants to take their jewelry worldwide and Kateb allows her to present him with a business plan. That’s not all Victoria does, she takes an interest in a child who has been left to live on the streets due to his father’s crime. She a woman who is passionate about life and love, a woman who has only experienced love at the hand of her mother, a woman afraid to love herself. Can you imagine for a woman like this who’s afraid to love, when she realizes that she indeed loves Kateb what this does to her?

It’s the same for sheik Kateb, he cared once for his wife and look what happened, he lost his friend and love. Victoria pulls him in a way no other woman has had the power, but he fights it every way he can. In the end, well let’s just say emotions run high and Kateb realizes he must send Victoria back to the United States but she’s doesn’t want to leave him. It’s an incredible journey, extremely emotional and dramatic ending and very fitting for Mallery’s readers and fans. For us you have loved The Desert Rogue series, The Sheik and the Bought Bride was a perfect last book. My personal thanks to Susan for many, many hours of reading enjoyment!

Book Description:

It was bad enough being hauled out of bed by palace guards. Now Victoria McCallan had just offered to pay off her father's gambling debts—with herself as the prize! So the palace secretary was shocked when sexy Prince Kateb made her a counteroffer….

When Kateb whisked Victoria off to the desert to be his mistress for six months, the widowed ruler had no intention of falling in love. But the outspoken Texas transplant was soon tempting him to change his royal ways. Duty decreed the El Deharia sheik should wed a proper mate, but Kateb's heart was telling him something else: to claim Victoria as his woman—now and forever.

TWO WEEKS IN THE MAGNATES BED - Nicola Marsh




Nicola Marsh again charms her readers with Two Weeks in the Magnates Bed. Zac and Lana’s love story takes place on the high seas in the beautiful South Pacific. I could certainly relate to the experience onboard a cruise ship as I worked for a major cruise line for over 15 years. The author gets it right and weaves such a romantic tale one feels there are experiencing being pampered, wined and dined plus seeing exotic sights.

Lana Walker is all work and no play and it didn’t pay off. She’s been passed over due to her shyness by the museum she works for and wasn’t asked to go on a business trip. However, she won a cruise and decided to make the best of it and was determined to have fun. So can you imagine when an extremely handsome cruise employee rescues her from falling, she’s well let’s say she’s overwhelmed.

Zac McCoy has a huge job to do as his uncle is counting on him to find out who’s causing accidents on their fleet of cruise ships. Jac’s job is to pose as an onboard employee not the shipping magnate he is. He is determined to assist his uncle in solving the mystery. He loves and his uncle knows he has a limited time with him as his uncle he has a terminal illness and is going to put Zac in charge of the cruise line. When he spots Lana and keeps her from falling he’s definitely interested. He is constantly teasing and tempting her and he was a fun, romantic and very much the gentleman to read.

Zac is not your typical Presents alpha who demands and takes; he literally charms and courts Lana. He sees Lana for who she is, not some made up beauty and he sees the real her, a woman with needs and who wants to break free of “her conservative mould”. However, he’s not honest with her about his position or wealth. In the end, when it back fires it breaks Lana’s heart because she’s fallen in love with this handsome and charming man.

Lana has been hurt in the past by another man. What she wanted most from Zac was honestly something he couldn’t give her. So when she finds out he’s not an employee but soon to be the head of the cruise line, she’s devastated. Yes he’d changed her but can she ever trust him again? Want a happy ending, well then you’re sure to get one with this fun and fantastic read as only Nicola Marsh can pen.

Book Description:

Shipping tycoon Zac McCoy can sense there is a passionate woman behind Lana Walker's shy exterior. While aboard his luxury yacht, he'll tempt her out to play!

Lana always looks before she leaps. But the captivating captain has her throwing caution to the wind. The gloves come off, the silk dresses slip on—and the real Lana begins to emerge.

He'll have her as his temporary mistress. But as land approaches, he realizes two weeks may not be enough….

OCTOBER CONTEST - Follow my Blog


To Win a copy of Kate Walker's KEPT FOR HER BABY, all you have to do is follow this blog and tell me who you are and please leave your email address so I can contact the winner.

Kept for Her Baby is a wonderful love story and addresses postpartum depression.

Susan Mallery Talks about her last book in her Desert Rogue Series



Welcome Susan. My sheikh genre reading actually began with your Desert Rogue series. For me personally, this has been an exceptional and enjoyable reading journey.

Can you tell us about your October release, The Sheik and the Bought Bride, your final book in your The Desert Rogue series? What inspired you to write this particular story?



Susan: There are several elements I’ve wanted to put in a story for a long time. I’ve been saving them for the right time. I wanted to tell a story that was outrageous and exciting and sexy. For me, the sheikh books are all about the fantasy.

How does it feel to have the series ending and will you ever write another sheikh romance?

Susan: I’ve learned to never say never. Ideas show up when they’re least expected. But for now, I’m reaching the end of my sheikh book story telling.

How did The Desert Rogue series evolve?

Susan: I started with three books and really never thought I would do more. But the reader interest was huge and the mail started pouring in. So I kept writing them.


Of all your sheikh heroes, who was your favorite and why?

Susan: Oh, I don’t really have a favorite. Every story, every hero, is special.

I love how your heroines are always strong and stand up to these Princes of the desert. Your sense of humor shines through along with the sensual tension you create between your characters. Who was your favorite heroine to write?

Susan: Again, no favorites. I’ve enjoyed them all.

I believe I once read in one of your interviews that you created your own regions and countries. Was there a reason for that?



Susan: Yes. The real world of the Middle East is complex and difficult. There are religious differences and deadly conflicts. My books are about taking people away from the real world. So I created my own countries where my romantic stories can take place. There’s no religious issues, no war, no disagreements, except between the hero and heroine.

Have you read any book from the sheik genre?

Susan: I read them all the time and love them!


Why do you think the sheikh romances appeal to readers?

Susan: It’s the fantasy of the powerful, royal male brought to his knees. Most people think it’s the love of a good woman that changes him, but I disagree. It’s not being loved, but loving that makes him see the value of connecting emotionally as well as physically.

Is a sheikh the ultimate alpha male hero - “bad boy”? Or is it the appeal of the unknown, even the forbidden?

Susan: I think he’s more bad boy than forbidden.

Do you think current events ever influence one’s love — or hate — of sheik stories, or do you think reader’s are able to put all that aside and just enjoy the story?

Susan: Most are. I have had people say horrible things about these books and about me because they can’t see anything but reality. In truth, romance is all about different fantasies. That’s why we read them—to be swept away. Who better to do that than a sheikh.

Susan, I want to thank you for joining Romance Author Buzz and I look forward to reading The Skeik and the Bought Bride. I want to thank you for all of the joy The Desert Rogue series personally brought me.


Susan: My pleasure!


List of Books in the Desert Rogue Series:

1. The Sheikh's Kidnapped Bride (2000)
2. The Sheikh's Arranged Marriage (2000)
3. The Sheikh's Secret Bride (2000)
4. The Sheikh and the Runaway Princess (2001)
5. The Sheikh and the Virgin Princess (2002)
6. The Prince and the Pregnant Princess (2002)
7. The Sheik and the Princess in Waiting (2004)
8. The Sheik and the Princess Bride (2004)
9. The Sheik and the Bride Who Said No (2005)
10. The Sheikh and the Virgin Secretary (2005)
11. The Sheik And The Christmas Bride (2007)
12. The Sheik And The Pregnant Bride (2008)
13. The Sheik and the Bought Bride (2009)


Susan Mallery's website:



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