Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Under A Silent Moon

I am such a fan of this author. My favorite book will always be Into the Darkest Corner because it freaked me out and had such one liners I could remember, but this one is pretty good as well.

Under A Silent Moon - Elizabeth Haynes
Under a Silent Moon
Two women share one fate.

A suspected murder at an English Farm. A reported suicide at a local quarry.

Can DCI Louisa Smith and her team gather the evidence and discover a link between them, a link which sealed their fate one cold night, Under a Silent Moon?

A tense, compelling and unsettling novel mystery brimming with source material and evidence set over just six days, Under a Silent Moon will keep you gripped until the very last page and asks:

Can you connect the clues and name the Killer? 


In the crisp, early hours of an autumn morning, the police are called to investigate two deaths. The first is a suspected murder at a farm on the outskirts of a small village. A beautiful young woman has been found dead, her cottage drenched with blood. The second is a reported suicide at a nearby quarry. A car with a woman's body inside was found at the bottom of the pit.

As DCI Louisa Smith and her team gather evidence, they discover a shocking link between the two cases and the two deaths-a bond that sealed their terrible fates one cold night, under a silent moon.

In this first entry in a compelling new detective series, Elizabeth Haynes interweaves fictional primary source materials-police reports, phone messages, interviews-and multiple character viewpoints to create a sexy, edgy, and compulsively readable tale of murder, mystery, and unsettling suspense.


Interesting thing about this book is that not only do we switch character point of view, but we also have police reports to read. All of it weaves an intricate story, but it was just... mediocre. I hate saying this because I am such a fan of Elizabeth Haynes. I am so used to her stories being fast paced and keeping me on my toes and this just didn't do that for me. I knew who the killer was right away and piecing the story together was fun, it just took far longer than it should. It was a fairly slow story for me and maybe it's because information is repeated between story, dialogue and the police reports. 

Another thing that made it hard is that none of these characters are great. The development is good, they just don't come across as good folk, they all have issues that make them unlikeable. I will say that with her professional background, the author knows what she is doing when it comes to police investigations and the inner workings of case work. It reads very much like an episode of Law & Order. I will say Elizabeth's writing is really great 

Here is what is fascinating- there were a LOT of suspects for Polly's death. I should hope I don't have that many people who'd like to kill me all at once. Good grief. The police miss a LOT of pretty obvious clues or directions to go so it's frustrating because as a reader, I feel like I shouldn't be smarter than the police. 

Overall? I'd give it 3/5 stars. It certainly wasn't terrible, it's just not what I was expecting or what I was used to from this author. 

The Book of You

Oh lawd... this book was creepy. It was very reminiscent of Elizabeth Haynes' Into the Darkest Corner.

The Book of You - Claire Kendal
The Book of You: A Novel
A mesmerizing tale of psychological suspense about a woman who must fight to escape an expert manipulator determined to possess her, Claire Kendal’s debut novel is a sophisticated and disturbing portrait of compulsion, control, and terror that will appeal to fans of Before I Go to Sleep, The Silent Wife, and Into the Darkest Corner.

His name is Rafe, and he is everywhere Clarissa turns. At the university where she works. Her favorite sewing shop. The train station. Outside her apartment. His messages choke her voice mail; his gifts litter her mailbox. Since that one regrettable night, his obsession with her has grown, becoming more terrifying with each passing day. And as Rafe has made clear, he will never let her go.

Clarissa’s only escape from this harrowing nightmare is inside a courtroom—where she is a juror on a trial involving a victim whose experiences eerily parallel her own. There she finds some peace and even makes new friends, including an attractive widower named Robert, whose caring attentions make her feel desired and safe. But as a disturbingly violent crime unfolds in the courtroom, Clarissa realizes that to survive she must expose Rafe herself. Conceiving a plan, she begins collecting the evidence of Rafe’s madness to use against him—a record of terror that will force her to relive every excruciating moment she desperately wants to forget. Proof that will reveal the twisted, macabre fairy tale that Rafe has spun around them . . . with an ending more horrifying than her darkest fears.

Masterfully constructed, filled with exquisite tension and a pervasive sense of menace, The Book of You explores the lines between love and compulsion, fantasy and reality, and offers a heart-stopping portrait of a woman determined to survive. Claire Kendal’s extraordinary debut will haunt readers long after it reaches its terrifying, breathtaking conclusion.


Clarissa makes a terrible choice to accept a drink from Rafe and her life will never be the same since. She is fresh out of an adulterous relationship where she tried so hard to get pregnant only to end up a failure. She has lost friends and credibility, but that leads her to a book reading where Rafe is. It all goes down hill from here. He stalks her, he terrifies her, and those around here think she's losing it. Simultaneously she is a juror on a case of a woman who was brutally raped and tortured. Both women felt they couldn't tell others because they each had unsavory things in their history which would pull their credibility into play. 

I was terrified for Clarissa. Half of the book is her diary entries and it's heartbreaking. You feel the fear she feels, you feel the escalation of Rafe's aggressiveness and yet.... you can't put this book down. I was reading this before bed this past weekend and I'll tell you I had the most terrifying dreams I have had in quite awhile. The only thing I could have done without is the growing relationship with one of her jurors. It turns intimate and to me, I kept thinking this is the WORST thing ever for a person in a position such as Clarissa. Engaging in this kind of relationship seems a bit reckless, but given her state of mind- it's not surprising. I didn't love the ending, it made me not really care for Clarissa. Except given her terrible her history with men, it makes sense. 

If you like a thriller, this is a good one for you. 

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Cheapest Summer Vacation and.... GO!

I've just decided that we are going to go on some kind of family vacation if it kills us. That being said, I have two surgeries coming up so it needs to be ghetto cheap. And by ghetto cheap I mean as free as possible. The plan so far is:


  • Spend one night in the WI Dells using the discount room voucher I have. Kids can swim, we can say we've been there and we aren't the worst parents in the world. 
  • Go to Madison and stay somewhere relatively cheap and not in the ghetto. 
  • Go to Madison Zoo (it's free!) during the day, and then...
  • Make my family come with me to the Barnes & Noble at some mall where author Maggie Stiefvater is doing a book signing. FAN GIRL the entire time. 
  • At some point eat at the Great Dane restaurant. I saw it on that show Discover Wisconsin and I forget why I made note of it but I obviously have to go to find out. 
  • And then what? 

Surely there are really low cost and/or free things around Madison/Milwaukee that we can take the kids. My goal is to get a trip all organized and then present it to Matt and say let's just do this shit. 

Do you live near the ass crack of Wisconsin/Michigan? Any ideas on super cheap and/or free fun things to do?

Requested Surrender

Talk about being totally late to THIS party. As it turns out, this is book four in the series but even if you are late to the party, it's fine. You'll catch on, just as I did.

Requested Surrender - Riley Murphy
Requested Surrender (Trust in Me, #4)
She knows he’s dangerous for a woman like her.
He knows she’s perfect for a man like him.
From their first meeting, David Hollan is intrigued because Lacy Pembrook is subconsciously hiding someone. Herself. And David wants to know why. He’s patient at first. Willing to give her space, but when she breaks the rules they’ve set between them, he’s ready to hold her accountable. One way or another, he’s going to find the piece of her that’s yet to be uncovered. And when he does? He intends to own it.

Given an ultimatum after she got caught coloring outsides the lines of their “trial” relationship, Lacy decides to fall in with David’s plans. She’ll cancel her trip and spend her vacation time at his house making up for her transgression. No sweat, right? Wrong. What she doesn’t count on when she gets there is him going full-out Dom on her. She quickly learns why they call him the quiet one. He’s dead sexy, watchful and stern at the best of times, and now that he has her all to himself, each of those things are magnified tenfold.

By the time Lacy realizes that he’s completely subjugated her—by way of an emotional striptease—it’s too late. She’s bared her soul to him, so when he requests her surrender she has no choice but to give it to him. Or does she?


Can I just say it? I will because I can. I am kind of completely over the lead female in so many of these BDSM books having ridiculous trust issues. I expected Lacy to have some kind of severe trauma in her childhood to justify her unreal level of immaturity and lack of trust in David. But no. It's not even that traumatic. Is it terrible? Yes. Are her parents absolute assholes? Is her brother a jerk? Yes. Does all of that equal something would justify Lacy's ridiculousness? No. Not even a little bit. 

Now, having not read the previous three books, I feel like maybe I missed some key part of the book because honestly, David isn't much better. His issues with his ex, Elaina? Um, kind of lame. Maybe there is more to it mentioned in previous books but for what I read in this book? Lacy needs to calm the hell down. Slow your crazy train, lady. 

I also have found that almost every BDSM book I read are all copies of Fifty Shades of Gray. Maybe that also is following a script line that everyone else does, but they are all similar. Except this one is a little different because some of her "discipline" is basically him giving her orgasms. I don't know about you, but I would purposely do things wrong if that's the kind of discipline or punishment I'd receive. Sign me up and let me knock everything off this table just to get a double header. But we get the reluctant sub, the eager Dom, then she has trust issues, he gets angry and makes her leave, she tries to run away but oh god she loves him after all, and they make up. Blah. It's the same and it's so unfortunate. I have read other BDSM books that don't follow this prescription and they are great. So great that you almost want to figure out how you can find a secret room in your basement or something. 

While this book was certainly entertaining and the sex scenes were great (Are nipple clamps worth it? I don't know how anyone could say, "sign me up for those!" and really mean it.), and it'll be hard to put down because you do root for them, damn it all. I will say, David's habit of leaving trails of post-it notes with sexy clues and instructions is kind of hot. I mean, I'm saying the next time they are on sale I might pick up some. 

If you are in need of sexy time reading, pick this one up either at Amazon or Barnes & Noble

Monday, April 28, 2014

I hate being judgey. Sometimes.

Sometimes I look around and think, what makes that person think what they are doing is at all acceptable? I really cannot even believe that people are as selfish as they are. Sometimes I think I'm selfish but then I see what other people do and think, maybe I should be in line for sainthood instead of kicking myself.


  • I know not one, not two, but THREE moms who have all given the house and the kids to their ex-husbands and essentially chucked deuces and moved in with their new boyfriend, fiance, and husband, respectively. Now, if a marriage doesn't work out, that really sucks and a lot of time I just shake my head because in general, I feel like people don't even try to work on a marriage. It's not meant to be easy and enjoyable all of the time, it really is a struggle. But you get divorced, and now these people think it's perfectly OK to relieve their glory days when they have children? Are you kidding me? Your glory days are OVER. Over, I tell you. Nothing sets me over the edge faster than seeing someone put their dating life ahead of their children. Oh, you're sad and lonely? Well MAYBE you should have tried harder at your marriage. How about working on yourself and trying to not be a wreck of a human being before trying to play house with someone else? 
  • I can't say this enough, but if you are scared to do 70 mph on the highway? Please don't drive on the highway. You are endangering the lives of others because you are afraid of your gas pedal. 
  • If you cannot turn your entire body to see if you are going to ram right into a car when you need to merge? You need to not be on the damn road. Instead, they just floor it and go on blind faith that they aren't going to kill someone. 
  • If you are a known sex offender, please don't think I want to talk to you. Because I don't. I don't believe people who violate another human being can change, and I don't believe in rehabilitation. I just don't. Don't walk past my house and say hello to my kids and try to strike up a conversation with me.When you do that, I want to hit you with my rake repeatedly. 
  • I unfriended someone on Facebook today after writing her a message explaining why I unfriended her. In short, her baby isn't even one yet and I understand it's hard being a single parent. It's hard being a parent even with a partner, I can only imagine how exhausted she is. But if you are going to post pictures of you getting drunk at home with your baby crawling around in absolute filth and then give us updates that you are going to smoke an entire bag of marijuana because your nerves are getting to you? You are a terrible person. You know what? That's what parenting is. Children bring you to the absolute edge of insanity, but you're an adult and us grown ups actually have to tough it out. It sucks, I know, but damn- deal with it. If you can't deal with your life without alcohol and marijuana, I think maybe you have larger issues and you need to deal with them versus medicating them. 
  • Why are English cucumbers wrapped in cellophane? I really struggled trying to free my cucumber this afternoon. 
  • That's what she said. 
  • Olivia has a friend who is literally, one of the most annoying children ever. We see her a lot of mornings when we wait for the bell to ring and every day I stand there hoping they aren't in the same class next year because maybe then we won't see her as much. I feel like a terrible parent thinking that of another person's child. 
  • I am in fear when we get closer to Presidential elections because I apparently have a lot of unhinged people in my feed. I don't know how this has happened but people are completely crazy pants since we have had a black President. Like, god FORBID. Calm down folks. 
  • I talked to a lady at the library book sale yesterday who quietly asked me if I saw the gay couple by the door. She's talking to me like I know her (I didn't), and whispering as if we're hatching an evil plan to rob the place. So I said no, I hadn't noticed. She then tells me she wishes the city could ban them from public buildings because children are there. To look at someone in 2014 and think- you really believe gay is catchy and that it's any of your business? It's astounding. I told her I'd pray for her. She looked like she wanted to slap me. 
I am determined to have a good week. That's all there is to it. I have even toyed around with working on my book. I haven't pulled it out in a couple of years. We'll see. 

How are we still tornado dumb? And stress is catchy?

I'm sitting here watching news coverage of all of the violent storms working their way across the lower Midwest. It's tragic and so sad to see people lose their homes and families because of a natural disaster.

But.

It's 2014, we have lots of warning systems in place and we all know what to do in the event of a tornado. We know to go to our basement or to the center most point of your home, in a bath tub, etc. We know that if we are outside to go lay down in a ditch and cover your head to protect from flying debris. I can understand if you live in an area that does not normally have tornadoes and all of a sudden you're dealing with one. Panic would set in and it would be terrifying.

Except these people deal with several tornadoes every single year.

Yet.

They will still get in their car and try to out drive it, then they end up dead in their cars on the side of the road. People stand there saying they just can't believe it. Um, really? They got in a vehicle which would be the equivalent to a tin can in a wind storm, and we wonder why they died?

Then I am watching online interviews and some woman is wailing, asking why God is punishing them.

*sigh*

God isn't punishing you, tornadoes are a natural weather phenomenon that have gone on for all of time and will continue to do so long after you're gone. This right here is why we need to increase science education in schools because people still believe God is in charge of weather.
***

Also on the news was a study being conducted on the effects of stress and if we can pass our stress onto others.

Why is money wasted on stuff like this?

Of course stress is passed onto people. If you have a man losing his shit on the bus and you're seeing it, you will begin to feel anxious and have elevated heart rate. Think of every stressful situation you've witnessed- you will feel stressed out or at the bare minimum a level of anxiety and/or concern.

Yet, we waste money on this.

The Idea of Him (and pretty awesome giveaway!!)

You know why I picked this book to review? Because there is a LOT of buzz for it. It's all over Facebook, it has ads all over all of the book websites, Goodreads keeps including it in the "book you might like" feature, it's everywhere. So I'm like, obviously, I should read this.

The Idea of Him - Holly Peterson
The Idea of Him
Allie Crawford is a once aspiring screenwriter turned successful public relations executive, mother of two young children, and wife of a hotshot magazine editor whose power base spans the worlds of finance, fashion, culture, entertainment, and society. At 34, she finds herself at a crossroads: between the office and her home, her life has become an endless rotation of people pleasing-whether pulling rabbits out of hats for her mogul boss, entertaining advertisers and phony A-listers for her husband's magazine, or making elaborate costumes for children's school plays. At least, that is, until she meets a head turning, traffic stopping beauty at the bar of the famed Four Seasons Grill Room-where many of the novel's players regularly convene-and shortly thereafter finds the same woman and her husband in an apparently compromising position in her own apartment.

And so begins the story of two very different women bound by similar missions-to uncover the crimes and betrayals of various men in their lives and finally put their own interests front and center. For Allie this ultimately means leaving a husband who is ideal in theory but not in practice, and deciding to risk security for self-fulfillment and a new life on her own. Like so many women, Allie fell for the man she married when she was in her twenties only to realize years later that it wasn't him she fell for as much as it was the idea of him-the idea of a savior who would protect and provide and ferry her from her past into the future. But the guy who seemed so right at the time turned out to be nothing more than a fantasy.


Right off the bat, I will tell you that as I was reading this book I wanted to smack Allie up the head. Not only is she completely clueless to what her husband, and those around her, are doing, but she's kind of a moron. After realizing her life is basically a mess: her son is having friend issues at school and she wants to make it better, she can't give enough attention to her daughter Lucy, her husband isn't living up to being the partner and lover she needs or wants, work is a hot mess, and she's struggling in her screen play writing class. It's a lot for anyone to deal with, but us moms do it. All of the time. 

Enter Jackie, the self admitted mistress of Allie's husband, who for an unknown reason is trying to uncover the secret dealings of Wade (Allie's husband) and the other men in the tight knit swanky circle. She's sure it's dangerous and illegal, and though she regrets sleeping with Wade knowing he was married, she decides to warn Allie. She's really cloak and dagger about it, not giving clear or full answers to Allie's questions and frankly- I'm still not sure why Allie would keep meeting with her. Jackie's character is a bit bizarre and even though you do find out why she's so involved at the end, it felt kind of lame. Like it wasn't really thought out and it was a quick way to tie up the loose end of her character. 

But Allie is no saint here. She meets Tommy, a fellow student in her writing class who she is attracted to. She gets dangerously close to the affair line with him and we see her inner struggle. Sure, she's married and has vows to uphold. At the same time, who really cares because Wade clearly doesn't care? He just can't keep it in his pants to save his life, so why should she deny herself? Then we have James, the man she declares her soul mate and her inner struggles with not picking him when she could have. I also think the entire James story line had good intentions, but honestly could be completely left out because it was pointless. 

Anyways. 

I got to the end of the book and it was alright, it certainly isn't the best chick lit I have read but it also wasn't the worst. There are several areas that could be cut out completely because they don't add to the story in a meaningful way, but this would be ideal as a beach read. But easily, the most interesting thing was at the end I realized how similar to Allie I actually am. In the book Jackie essentially encourages Allie to just have sex with Tommy and be done with it. But Allie knows herself, she isn't a one time and be done. She's a one time and want more and fall in love kind of girl. She can't have no strings attached relationships, she needs those strings. Even her declaration to James that she really can't do it without him hit home. She doesn't always take into consideration that with her waffling, others get hurt. I know, especially when I was younger, I was scared to even date anyone. I knew I would have my heart broken and I knew it would be awful and I didn't trust myself to just be cool and handle it. So I just didn't date. I didn't date until my senior year of high school. Well, the summer before my senior year. I had such low expectations of guys that I figured even if it didn't work out it would be fine, I wasn't that invested. At times I feel like Matt doesn't fully know me, I give him just enough. I give everyone just enough. It's something interesting for me to ponder, to say the least. 

Giveaway time!!

One lucky winner (US only) will win one copy of the book and one really amazing Andrea Schroder candle. (Also connect with Andrea on Twitter HERE


Leave a comment on this post WITH YOUR EMAIL by Friday, May 2! I will draw a winner that evening. 
To get more information on the author, Holly Peterson, head over to her website, Facebook and/or Twitter

Sunday, April 27, 2014

All I really want is popcorn.

I always look forward to the weekend, all week long. Then it gets here and I just don't have it in me anymore. It's like the regular week sucked the ever loving life right out of me. It's terrible.

Alas, we can't have feral children, hungry husband and a homestead.

I had a lot on my agenda this weekend:

  • Tag the shirts for Kindergarten round up. 
  • Work on 4 Teacher Appreciation projects
  • Meal plan for the next three weeks
  • Grocery shop
  • Clean the entire house, good god I slacked last week. 
  • Finish three books for review
  • Type up reviews for this week
  • Make and mail out some birthday cards
  • Mail package to friend
Well Friday ended up screwing me all up because I thought I had all day until the fundraiser guy came to school. Turns out, he doesn't really care that I actually work, so I had to miss work and close out the fundraiser right away in the morning. Sure, nice to get it done, but it threw my entire day off track. I ended up being at the school for almost six hours on Friday between that, working on PTO stuff, and reading with Jackson's class. I was pretty stinking exhausted by the time I left there with the kids. 

When I got home that night I meticulously planned out three weeks of meals, matched it with the grocery store ad and coupons I had. Matt wanted to help grocery shop on Saturday, so I thought we could do that and a family lunch out and call it good. All was well until we get to the check out and my total is $53 more than I had budgeted. Turned out that Matt was plucking things into the cart the entire time. He was pretty angry at me for being angry, until I showed him on the receipt that in fact, I was right and that he just spent his gas money on crap food he won't even remember to take to work to eat. 

He was silent the whole way home. 

Jerk. 

I did manage to get the entire house cleaned thanks in part to being angry. I made lasagna and had my parents over for dinner, which I'm hoping kind of turns into a tradition. It's nice to see my dad since he's on the road so much for work and the kids like it too. I finished two of my books on Saturday between all of the other stuff and today I got all of my reviews typed up. 

I finished most, not all, of my Teacher Appreciation stuff, but I have quite a bit more to do by Friday. I'm not worried since I have stuff pretty well mapped out and I'm organized. I just need to tweak a couple of things but that shouldn't take too long. 

You know what I realized? Jackson will be done with Kindergarten in a little over a month. I remember how emotional I was when Olivia was finished, I don't know what it'll be like to see my little man graduate. Olivia is just blowing me away with the stuff she's accomplishing in second grade. I'm so lucky both of my kids have had just really amazing teachers. Each year they just get more and more creative with the fun learning projects for the kids and I'm astounded because seriously, I wish I had gotten to do that kind of stuff. 

Anyways. I still have to tag these t-shirts for the incoming Kindergarten students but all I really want to do is eat popcorn watch Magic Mike. I just don't think that's an unreasonable request. 

Friday, April 25, 2014

An Unexpected Sin

Just be prepared- I am on a romance novel run as of late. You're going to see quite a few reviews come up in the next few weeks. What can I say? I was in a mood when I organized reviews.

An Unexpected Sin -  Sarah Ballance
An Unexpected Sin
Colonial Salem
 
The moment the stranger's dark eyes meet hers, Anne Scudder's world is immediately overthrown by chaos. That single flare of desire is immediate, driving away all notions of propriety. Instead, Anne is consumed with sinful thoughts - ones that no unmarried girl should ever have for a man who isn't her husband... 

But Josiah Cromwell is no stranger. 

It's been six years since Josiah stole kisses from Anne, his best friend's younger sister. Six years since Josiah left after his best friend's death, burdened by the knowledge that he was responsible for destroying Anne's family. Now he's returned to claim the woman he can't live without. But even as their desire threatens to consume them both - body and soul - the dark workings of suspicion and witchcraft are afoot. 

Because in Salem, too much passion can lead a woman to ruin... and condemned to death.


I keep trying historical romances because I have friends who swear by them but I don't know- I just can't get into them. Maybe it's the dialogue, maybe it's being chaste but wanting to really let go anyways, I don't know. One thing that did get me to stick with it was the secondary story line of witch craft in Colonial Salem, something that I've always found fascinating. 

The story centers around Anne and Josiah. Anne loses her brother to a tragic incident years ago. Josiah, her brother's best friend and the man Anne loves, is essentially banished because of that and his own mother's death, he's believed to be the reason for both. Fast forward a few years and Josiah returns and their love story picks up from there. Anne wants nothing but Josiah, but Josiah fears that once her parents know his true identity (because he's working for them now but they don't recognize him), they would never give their blessing for Anne to marry him. Never mind that Anne is fearful of the witchcraft accusations so she needs to be careful in her own actions. Also add in Anne's grandmother who essentially doesn't speak but periodically says random and cryptic things to Anne and Josiah, and Anne's mother seems determined to not let Anne figure out what's going on. We, of course, do find out what the grandmother is alluding to and I kind of pieced that together as the story went on. Not all is what it seems and that's OK. 

It's not the greatest romance I've read, but as far as historical romance goes it's fairly solid. If you are a fan of historical romance, you would likely really enjoy this one. 

You can find this book on Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and at the time I'm typing this- it was on sale for $.99. The author, Sara Ballance, has a website and a blog as well that you should check out if you are in the market for other historical romances or want to learn more about her. 


Secrets and Sins: Raphael

You guys. If you know anything about me, you know one of my most favorite authors is Linda Howard. I don't even care what the story is about, but if she writes it, I'm all over it- just take all of my money.

This?

This is everything I love about Linda Howard... just a different author. LOVE

Secrets and Sins: Raphael
Secrets and Sins: Raphael (A Secrets and Sins Novel #3)
When Greer Addison finds her future husband in bed with another woman, she runs…right into the arms of dark and dangerous Raphael Marcel. Angry and hurt, she throws caution to the wind 
and spends a hot night with the sexy security specialist. But when her fiancé is found dead, Greer becomes the main suspect of a crime she can’t remember. 

Raphael is stunned and suspicious when Greer shows up on his doorstep claiming she’s carrying his baby. Worse, she’s the target of a stalker bent on making her pay for a murder she doesn’t recall. As Raphael begins to trust Greer, they must race against the clock to uncover a killer. 
Because Greer’s memory is returning...


Actually, this is very similar to a Linda Howard story which is maybe why I loved it so much. We have Greer, our really upset over her fiance cheating on her with her friend, also has a terrible family who basically are the worst assholes ever. Then we have Raphael (Rafe) who runs a security firm, is sexy as hell, but also has childhood demands and issues from his past that prevent him going after Greer the way he wants to. 

THEN!

Greer finds ex-fiance dead, she has amnesia from being knocked out cold after she finds him, someone is clearly after her, and Rafe is the person she runs to. Which (dun, dun, dun) he is stunned to learn she is pregnant with his baby after a really hot one night stand in the back of the car but that drums up old hurt from a previous relationship so he starts being a douchebag to her and she just takes it. 

*sigh*

Don't fret pets, Rafe does come around and things end well, but not before we find out who the killer is and why. I will tell you I figured out who it was almost immediately and maybe that's because I have read so many romance novels that center around the same plot. It doesn't even matter though, because this book keeps you engaged the entire time. Rafe is amazingly sexy, Greer isn't a baby that is all, "my life suck so bad, everyone feel sorry for me", and then you have murder happening. Overall? Pretty solid romance novel. It's everything we expect in a romance and more. I loved it. 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

TBT: Gooseberry Falls, 2002

It's time for another Throw Back Thursday!

When Matt and I first starting dating, we did lots of mini road trips. We would spend an entire day just driving around and hiking. On this particular weekend, we went to Jay Cooke State Park, which is really close to where we live because it was a great day and Matt worked for the first half of the day. He had just bought his Jeep a few weekends prior, so this was our first trip with it. I'll be honest, when we got rid of the Jeep just this past summer, I was really bummed out. A lot of great memories were made in that vehicle. *sigh*



Pictures like these are always make me feel bittersweet. Because it's pictures like this that remind what Matt was like when we were first together. He was so carefree, he laughed all of the time, he was so happy all of the time. Sometimes I wonder what happened. Maybe it's the stress of parenting, being adults, working, I don't know. I miss this version of Matt so much. From time to time I get a glimpse of it and sometimes I can feel my breath seize in my chest because I think our life would be so different if he was the same. I sometimes wonder if he ever looks at me and thinks I'm different. I wonder if I'm just like the girl he fell in love with. I certainly don't feel the same, but I think my experiences with him have changed me somehow. I do like my current version of myself better.

But, I'm told, marriage is about each person growing and changing. I have to appreciate the way Matt is now. I can tell stories to our children about what their dad was like when he was younger. It's only sad they won't get to experience this version. But I look back on these pictures and I hope our kids look at them and think, gee- my parents were really in love. Because we really were. I can say a lot of things about our journey so far, but it will always start with how in love we were. We still are, it's just different. I think as we age, we find different kind of love. Different things fill our cup, so to speak. Regardless, I do enjoy looking back at these pictures. I do miss my old Matt, but sometimes I feel like I've met a new person and I'm starting from scratch and that's kind of nice too.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

I think Jeesus believe me to be a miracle worker.

You know that saying that God won't ever give you more than you can handle? I think that statement right there really seals the deal when I say I don't believe. If that were truly the case, I feel like my life would be a lot less insane. I feel like I wouldn't go to bed every night wondering what in the hell I was going to do. Here are some things weighing on me, just this week:

- I know he's just a naturally little guy, and he eats a LOT, but damn.... Jackson is little. He just had his six year old checkup and he literally is only 38 pounds. Both of my kids are really light, skinny and short- they have the same build I did when I was a child. He's 100% healthy and normal but still, he's so little. Not that I wish he'd grow faster, I just wish I could fatten him up a little bit.

- I had my check up with OB in regards to maybe having menopause, or the early stages. Good news, it's not that. Bad news, I was sent immediately for a whole load of blood draws checking various things. I also have a pelvic ultrasound on May 13 with an appointment right after with my primary OB (I normally see a Nurse Practitioner for regular checkups). The NP told me it could be one of three things: just really bizarre hormone levels that are off for various reasons, cysts or other not-supposed-to-be-there things on my girl parts, or cancer. I might even hear back tomorrow what my labs look like if anything stands out. If not, I'll get a report on those on the 13th.

- My face hurts. I'm not going to lie, waiting until June for surgery now seems like a really stupid thing to do. I really kind of wish I could bump it up, but there isn't a good time to do that. Not that June is ideal either, but ugh. I don't know if I'll make it. I also have no idea how I'm going to pay for it either, so there's that.

- With starting school full time in the fall, I'm really trying to figure out what I could let go of as far as responsibility goes. I have a few volunteer positions I do and while I could get rid of those or just really reduce my role in them, I don't want to. I might complain a lot, but when I weigh the pros and cons of each, I really do enjoy it overall. I've got big decisions to make on that front.

- I worry about Olivia at school. I really struggle watching her struggle with friends and just, community relationships. In my head I know it's best to step back and let her figure her way through it. That's the only way kids learn how to handle interpersonal relationships. In my heart, I hate seeing her upset and confused and I want to just fix it. But I can't.

- I really need to win the lottery so I can get Matt his vasectomy. Honest to god, I can't get on birth control until whatever is happening with my lady bits is settled, and it is just really awful having to use alternative methods to not have a baby. Because there is always those oopsie moments where things don't work as advertised, and you find yourself at the pharmacy shelling out almost $50 for a hopeful fix that baby #3 doesn't arrive. We can't afford that. It's very stressful, this whole thing.

- I am really getting frustrated with lazy people in my life. I try not to be lazy, and I try to really do everything I can to help myself out and I look around and I see just.... a lot of irresponsible people around me. I can't even cut them out because they're family or close friends but damn. It's frustrating to be having legitimate issues I'm dealing with (some I won't even share on my blog because I'm not quite ready), and they just refuse to help themselves. They just hold out hoping the bare minimum will get them by and here I am- just busting my ass trying to move our family forward. It's frustrating. It makes me wonder why I try so hard.

So that's just a few things. It's hard being a grown up, nobody tells you this is the kind of stuff you'll worry about all of the time. And maybe it's just me. I sometimes wonder if I've inherited my mom's worrying gene.

The Perfect Hostage

I don't know about you, but I think the idea of novellas is looking even better considering in the next few months my time for fun reading is going to be limited. So here's one to add if you are in the mood for something quick and good.

The Perfect Hostage (A Super Agent Novella)
The Perfect Hostage (A Super Agent Novella)
Lucie Morgan has finally found a man who doesn't care she's the daughter of a famous billionaire. All she needs is one weekend to convince him the crush she's had since he rescued her from a terrorist has grown into much more.

Sergeant John Quick has seen the worst in life, both personally and professionally. He long ago decided loving someone comes at too high a price. But when the woman of his dreams "kidnaps" him for a weekend affair with no strings attached, he can't resist.

The smoking-hot weekend turns deadly when John and Lucie are trapped during a blizzard and discover they're not alone. Someone from their past has come hunting for revenge. Now John must become the perfect hostage in order to save Lucie's life.


Anyone who knows me knows I love a good romance novel, but make it a military romance? All in. I am all in, even if I don't fully know what I'm signing up for. I don't know why I didn't specifically look for a guy in the military when I was single because lawd, child they are delicious. Something about a woman's primal instinct of wanting to be protected but at the same time know that he could throw you around on a bed in a good way is just a really great combination. That alone is why I devour military romance novels because... woo. 

Let us all fan ourselves for just a second and try to gain some composure like the ladies that we are. 

Obviously, a book comes before this one and I missed that because the book is basically a reunion between John and Lucie. From what I gather, Lucie gets kidnapped by terrorists and John saves the day and she falls in love with him, he does too but denies it, etc. The basic scenario of any good romance novel. This novel is their reunion and Lucie plans to kidnap John and essentially seduce him into staying with her. He's all for having "quality time" with her so doesn't really resist. Enter snow storm (dun, dun, dun) and just as things are getting good, someone breaks into the house and insanity ensues. 

Literally, every great thing in a romance novella is here. Sure, it's a novella so things are obviously rushed but who cares because the author gets it all in there and it's glorious. So good. My only complaint is that man, I was holding out for some really great romance scenes. I want ACTION! But, it's a novella so we can only get so much, and regardless- I really liked it. I liked it enough to add a few more of her books onto my To Read List, so I would recommend this. Especially if you want to read and don't have enough time to really read a long, drawn out book. If that's the case, novellas are your new best friend. To find our more about Misty and her writing, check out her website and her blog!


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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Professional wogger.

Lambs, this fitness thing sucks. As it turns out, I'm not actually very good at it. I really am a fat kid at heart but I also don't want to shop at Lane Bryant and that pretty much, is the only reason I'm trying to get all fit. Well, that and I'd like to not have a heart attack. I'm too awesome to die young and all that.

But tonight I went for a quick two mile wog (walking/jogging combination) and I've said this before, but the downside to having a bubble butt via genetics is that it's really a barrier to wogging. Or any physical activity in general. I can always tell how well I'm doing in my exercise based on how quickly my rear end stops moving when I do. Today, it moved for awhile yet. I could have taken out a small child if one were behind me.

The more concerning problem from tonight's wog was perspiration. Well, at the time, I really thought I had actually peed my pants .3 miles in. Which, is pretty awful considering I didn't even feel it happen. So then all of these scenarios play through your head like, why didn't I feel myself peeing my own pants? What kind of medical malady would that be indicative of? I decided to ignore it, despite a rash obviously developing on my thigh, because I had black spandex like pants on and I figured nobody could see so let's stay on side streets and finish it out.

So I did.

As soon as I got home I went to investigate the situation.

As it turns out, I didn't pee myself! Which is super good to know. What I did do was sweat. It was clearly sweat. Normally, just my boobs sweat which is weird, but today? My thighs! I think that's good, right? Maybe that means my very own thunder from down under is slimming up a bit. That's kind of great.

My next mission is to get some shoes that don't make me want to say all of the swears a mile in, some socks that don't blister my feet, and a freaking arm band to put my phone in. Not to mention a serious sports bra that clasps in the front. I have found three really great ones for under $50 but they don't clasp in the front and to get it off after a workout you are essentially dislocating your shoulders. I can't keep asking Matt to come help me get free. Last week I got stuck, which is awful enough, but then he proceeded to come into the bathroom and laugh until he couldn't breathe because he said seeing me with a sports bra half on and half off and my arms all wonky, I looked like one of those seagulls stuck in a six pack ring holder you see in ads telling you not to litter.

Asshole.

Anyways. So that's my mission pretty soon. I have to get crackalackin, because I have quite a few 5K's coming up and I don't want to finish dead last again. It's kind of terrible to do that in case you aren't familiar. I mean, dead last means I still did more than people sitting on the couch, but when you get passed by old people, that's kind of awful.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Almost ten.

It's been awhile since I've reported anything on the marriage front. Someone recently emailed me and asked how things were because I haven't mentioned Matt. You'll all be pleased to know he's alive and well, albeit he does have a cold and he's trying to convince me he is on the verge of dying from it.

What is pretty cool is that in June we will be celebrating our ten year wedding anniversary. I know, ten. It's kind of a big deal. Of all of the people we know who were married around the same time we were, only a few remain married to the same person still. Most checked out around year five or less. We've come close but we keep trudging along things surely the best years are to come.

I will say, hands down, the worst years of a marriage are the first five. I look back on those years for us and I totally understand why people throw the towel in and say just to hell with it already. Those first five years brought the purchase of our first home, the birth of two children, infidelity, job loss, marriage counseling, bankruptcy, mental illness struggles, post-partum depression, family health issues, and another job shake up. When I look back on all of that I wonder, why not? Most of that was not what I had signed up for and I certainly didn't think we'd encounter it but we did. We did because we got lazy.

You may not believe it, but at heart, I'm a lazy person. I have great intentions, I do. But by the end of the day, I am exhausted. I'm sick of mothering, I'm sick of working, I'm sick of cleaning, I'm sick of hearing myself breathe- it's hard for me to give anything else to Matt when I feel like I've got nothing. Not to mention there are times where he makes me so angry I could literally rip my own hair out. I don't fully understand how his mind works and I don't know why after all of this time he doesn't just start the god damn dinner when he knows full well what we're having, instead he just sits there and plays stupid while I'm running around like a lunatic doing seven things at once. Then he wonders why I'm angry.

It's that kind of thing that I'm not sure I'm ever going to understand and it's sometimes hard to reconcile that.

But at the end of the day, he's alright. He's a good guy. He means well and I have to say that in my head a lot because he does try. He will always drop what he's doing and go to the movie theater to get me popcorn just because I want some. He cleans up puke and never makes me feel bad about it as I gag in a different room. He doesn't blink an eye when I need time away from everyone, he is a good sport, he puts up with my humor, he will leave work to bring me lunch if I'm too lazy to get it myself, he does a lot of great things.

Let us not forget how super awesome I am as a wife, either. I mean, I could list the reasons but you'd grow bored and nobody has time for that kind of list. We just know I'm super great and wonderful.

So with our anniversary coming up, I want to do something kind of great to celebrate. Preferably without kids, something fairly inexpensive because I have surgery the week after our anniversary and we are super broke right now, but something kind of awesome and romantic. My hope was to surprise a trip to Key West for him, but since our entire tax refund has gone to medical bills, that's shot. Unless I win the lottery, then it's still an option. I'm just out of ideas. It's hard to plan something awesome for a guy who really only likes to do nothing except watch woodworking shows or Antiques Roadshow. I mean, neither of those scream "super awesome fun times" for me, so that's out. I've got to think of something.


These are from when we first started dating. We both graduated college together, at that point we had been dating five months. The first picture was in the first month we were dating. Look at how skinny I was. And how stinking young we looked. BABIES, I tell you. Aw, those were the days where I always had money to get my hair done and eyebrows waxed, shopped at Pac Sun & Deb, and had seven colors of Adidas shoes. Matt blew his entire paycheck on rent, computer parts and beer.

Those were the days. :)

Friday, April 18, 2014

Perfectly Broken

As soon as I saw Prescott Lane had another book up for review, I jumped on the chance because I liked her first book First Position. It turns out I liked this one even better.

Perfectly Broken - Prescott Lane
Perfectly Broken
Even after years of trauma therapy, Peyton still believes she’s broken. She has little desire to date or show off her natural beauty, content simply to hang out with her best friends and run her pie shop in New Orleans. But her world turns upside-down when a handsome architect and self-confessed player shows up in her shop and thinks she’s perfect, much more than the usual hook-up. While Peyton does her best to resist his charms, believing she could never be enough for him, she can’t deny the obvious heat between them. With Reed determined to have her, Peyton must decide whether to continue to hide behind her apron and baggy clothes or take a chance and share her scars with Reed, a man with a playboy reputation and scars of his own -- a dark past he can’t possibly share with Peyton, not after learning the horrors she’s endured. But if they can find a way to trust each other, and themselves, they just might be able to heal, to save each other, to live perfectly broken together.

To be honest, when I started this book I immediately thought, "oh good, yet another romance novel that starts out with our female being a rape victim" and got annoyed. But then it turns out Peyton isn't a total sissy. Sure, she's unreasonable and she had a tendency to just run away from problems that are easily dealt with by communication and she practices a hard double standard with the lack of communication. She's all of those things. Then you have Reed who begins as a womanizer with commitment issues because of his father. Put them together and it's kind of an adorable relationship and story. 

The really great thing is that while Reed doesn't understand why Peyton is hesitant over intimacy, he respects it. He would always like a lot more and finds it hard to slow himself down and not ask for too much, but he respects whatever her reason is. And that will always be commendable. As their relationship develops, you see Peyton becoming more trusting of Reed and you can see the attachment between the two of them forming. A few bumps in the road (because of lack of communication) that put major strains on their relationship. Neither one of them handle it well, and I got a little worried about Reed making a pretty poor choice, but dammit- he rallied and I silently (oh, I'm kidding- I kicked my leg in the air and smacked my still asleep husband) cheered for him. And them. I was rooting for this couple the whole time.

I do feel like the story fell a little flat with Reed's father, I really hoped we'd get more meat out of that story line. Aside from that? Great book. It keeps you hooked and you have all kinds of drama. You have Reed and Peyton trying to date without having sex or being intimate, you have Heather (the crazy ex who doesn't understand Reed is in love, mostly because he doesn't understand it yet), we have Peyton reeling from tragedy as well as rape aftermath, and then we have Reed trying to figure it all out.

The ending? Perfect. I loved it. I loved how the story ended and I loved the epilogue. I so love an epilogue, especially a good one that gives readers a little bit extra you didn't know you wanted so much.

Overall? I would give it 4/5 stars. It's a great book, not too long, and it's entertaining enough to keep you going and wondering what is going to happen with these two as well as all of the secondary characters. I finished it in a day easily.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Quite possibly, the greatest thing I've seen all week.



You guys. YOU GUYS. I don't think I have ever fully told you how much I love watching those shows about people who are absolutely terrified that some horrific and catastrophic event is going to happen. Whether it's a solar flare that knocks everything out, zombies, terrorists, Big Foot's revenge, whatever- they are prepared. They hoard large amounts of food, batteries, guns, random ass packs and it's amazing and terrifying all on its own.

Cut to yesterday when my boss alerted me to the fact that at Sam's Club you can actually buy "emergency rations" in bulk, but you could only buy them online.

Naturally, I had to see. I had to see what $2,700 could get me.
Augason Farms Emergency Food Storage Kit - 1 year - 4 people
This. This is what you can get for the low cost of $2,698 and free shipping. The description says it will feed four people for one year. You can go HERE to see that actual product detail and what all of these cans contain. Never mind that I don't know what black turtle beans are, what "meat substitute" looks like, or how in the mother hell you're going to bake anything in an emergency because in any doomsday scenario I think of, electricity and gas would be pretty much non existent. On a morning of dodging zombies and rebels with AK-47's, let me just make some Mickey Mouse pancakes for my children and it'll be all alright.

So my next step was obviously to research this company and I found their website (HERE). Maybe you don't want to support Sam's Club and want to buy direct. YOU CAN.

On their website it was like the treasure trove of hilariousness. One thing I read time and time again on the comments was that you really need a bucket lid opener and a hand wheat grinder. All of your preparedness is for nothing if you can't get the lids open OR grind your wheat, yall. Never mind the fact that all of this needs to be refrigerated after opening, so unless you're prepared to eat nothing but black turtle beans until they are gone- I don't know what you're going to do.

But you guys, I have pets! What if the end of days were coming? What would Stumpy, Batman, Lola and Twinky do? They can't operate wheat grinders!

THANK GOD Augsason Farms had the foresight to worry about the animals. Behold, the Emergency Kit for Cats:
Emergency Kit for Cats
I'm not sure why I would be dicking around with cat toys and poop bags because if the world was ending, do I really care if my cat is entertained or there is poop on the ground?

Dogs get some love as well, though:
Emergency Kit for Dogs
If there were really zombies, I'm not trying to play fetch with Twinky. That would obviously lure the zombies to you and he's so dumb he'd forego the ball and run to the zombies looking for love.

Easily though? The best thing is the Deluxe Office Kit on Wheels.
Deluxe Office Kit on Wheels – 10 Person
You know why I love this? Because my boss and I both agreed that in the event of an emergency and we were literally stuck at work, we envision the location of this kit on wheels to be similar to the Cornucopia in the Hunger Games. For those who don't read, the Cornucopia is the hub where all of the essential supplies are held and people fight to the death to get what they need from there and scatter. You'd grab everything you could with reason and run like hell to your safety spot and hope that whatever you did grab would somehow be useful.

Particularly interesting that there are only two maxi pads in this kit. If you have more than one female I can tell you right now, a district/employee will be killed for possession of both maxi pads. You get 2 heavy duty flashlights but only 2 D batteries. So, unless those flashlights each run on one battery each, you are basically screwed. BUT, you get a roll of barricade tape AND a roll of caution tape. Which, thank god, zombies are not trying to bust through caution tape. Toilet chemicals? Well assuming you even have working plumbing to begin with, who really cares? I just assume in a post apocalyptic world it'll smell like poop. Only four of you get dust masks and there are only five gloves. It doesn't say five pairs of gloves, it makes it seem like literally, only five gloves. We don't even get complete pairs. This is probably to save weight because this is already a 82 pound duffle bag on wheels. Oh, and don't forget the 12 wet naps. Which, thank god because if they serve meat substitute ribs from the kit above, wet naps are a must.

I just could spend a ton of time going through this website and reviews. Oh god, the reviews. It's just... I can't. I really would like to meet a real life doomsday prepper.  I am fully aware that if it's the end of days, I wouldn't survive very long and maybe it's just best to shoot me on your way out of town and do me a solid because honestly- I would starve. You know I love chemically processed food but even I wouldn't eat this. I draw the line at food that can stay good for decades. Except for Twinkies because those are delicious.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Invitation Blitz


 We welcome Christina Hoffman, author of the contemporary romance, Invitation!








Title: Invitation
Author: Christina Hoffman
Publisher: Christina Hoffman
Pages: 187
Genre: Contemporary Romance/New Adult
Format: Paperback/Kindle

BUY LINKS:
Available in kindle ebook and paperback at
Available at Smashwords in epub, mobi, pdf and doc.

Book Summary: 







Madison Spencer is a serious
medical student, focused only on work and hiding her beauty and her
once-passionate spirit behind a quiet plain-Jane facade. Since she was drugged,
stripped, assaulted and photographed by a vengeful ex, she has stayed away from
men and kept her heart and body safe.

But when heart-stoppingly gorgeous Dr. Liam Mason walks into her world, she
knows she's in trouble. After finding out about her devastating past, Liam
offers to bring her back to life with physical passion.
Madison thinks she should be repelled,
but she's intrigued and can't turn him away. Together they explore days and
nights of pleasure, and slowly develop into something more than bedmates.

Deep inside they each wonder if they've found their perfect match. But with
Liam's fear of being dragged down by commitment, and Madison's fear of being
hurt by another man threatening to destroy the world they’ve built together,
will they each be strong enough and brave enough to risk their hearts to have
it all?





Excerpt





I can't even
blame it on the booze. There wasn't any, or at least there wasn't any for me. I
was with Chloe, my bodyguard. Okay, actually she was my friend, but a really
overprotective friend who knew all about what I’d been through and wanted to
make sure it never happened again. So, no alcohol.

But, what she
and I hadn't counted on was him being there. There I was, minding my own
business, putting in my time at the Med School Social, more than ready to head
home for some studying, then Chinese food and a movie. And suddenly, him.

I was
inhaling when I caught sight of him, but my breath just stopped. It felt like
being punched in the chest. I kept telling myself, look away, look away! But it
was impossible. I was paralyzed. His beautiful face and magnificent body were
magnets, and my eyes were locked on them.

I hadn't felt
this kind of physical attraction since, well, ever. I had never felt like that.
I had stayed away from men for two years. I was pretty much terrified of them,
to tell the truth. But there he was. Unavoidable and irresistible.

I saw him in
profile. Oh, that hair. Thick, almost curly, falling into his eyes. The kind of
hair you need to gently push off of his face right before you kiss him. Or, the
kind of hair you grab really hard right before you're about to...

But, I'm
getting ahead of myself. The point I'm trying to make is that my mind very
clearly recognized all the dangers ahead and was saying, “Turn around, go, get
out of here! Before it's too late.” But then he turned around to look right at
me. It was already too late.

We held each
other's gaze a second longer than politeness required. Something inside me went
click, and for the first time in almost two years, I felt young and alive, and
really, really turned on. Every part of me suddenly woke up, and all the best
parts started to tingle. I was breathing harder. My lips parted slightly,
already begging to be kissed.

It was a
little overwhelming. I was out of practice. No, actually, I had never had the
kind of practice you would need to stay controlled in a situation like that. I
think maybe you can have a soul mate for your mind, and also one for your body.
And my body was saying “Get me over there right now!”

But I was
still too afraid. I smiled a little and turned away.

I had to stay
for a while, to look sociable, so I went over to the food table and stared at
the snacks, which were already stale. Nothing looked very good, and my throat
was too tight to eat anyway.

I was
starting to formulate a plan for escaping without the other students or the
teachers noticing when I felt the air move behind me, the softest caress
against my bare shoulders. Then, a hand on my back, an electric shock to my
body, wildly pleasurable. I gasped and spun around. Right into the arms of...

“I'm Liam.”

Liam. Right into the arms of Liam. Oh, he was even
more beautiful up close. My hand rose all on its own to push that wonderful
floppy hair from his face. I stopped suddenly, embarrassed, but he caught my
wrist, and held my palm gently to his face. We looked at each other and knew.

“Wanna get
out of here?” he asked, and of course, foolish, foolish woman that I am, I
said, “Yes.”

          I saw him my first day at the new
hospital. I'm a medical student and had just finished the lecture part of
things where we sit around learning about chemical reactions and body parts.
That was over, at last, and we were moving on to seeing real live patients in
the hospital.

The
orientation was step one in getting us ready for our new roles. We each got a
short lab coat and a tour of the locker rooms. We received our ID tag photos.

I'm not sure
why I first noticed Liam.

Since the bad
thing happened, I keep my head down and make eye contact with pretty much
nobody. I wear my hair in a tight bun at the nape of my neck and my clothes are
dull and loose. On that particular day, I was trying very hard to concentrate.
I was excited to be starting work in the hospital, but I was mostly terrified.
There was so much to take in and remember. My head was reeling after only two
hours. The last thing on my mind was men. So, who knows why I took that second
look as he walked by our group.

Well,
actually I do know why. He was gorgeous. Ridiculously gorgeous. Dark wavy hair,
just slightly overgrown so he looked like a happy surfer who'd tumbled out of
bed. Smiling eyes. Sparkling, mischievous, movie star eyes. A little bit of
stubble, likely because he had been on call all night. The rest of him looked
pretty much immaculate. He wore light wool pants and a sky blue shirt. No tie,
but the white lab coat made him look professional enough. 

I was
dedicated to maintaining my nun-like lifestyle, but, seriously, it was impossible
not to look at him. Even Chloe noticed him. She looked at him, then at me. She
shook her head lightly and whispered, “No”. I laughed a little because she
sounded like a mom telling a toddler that she couldn't have any candy. Well,
that was pretty much what was happening, so I guess Chloe nailed that.

She was
absolutely right. I didn't want any trouble. Certainly not that awful,
frightening feeling of falling in love. No time-consuming romance. And
certainly not all the time I had lost trying to recover from the trauma of what
had happened before. Even a plain old tiny heartbreak could set me back, and
put me way off course in my career.

No, I didn't
have the time or energy for any distractions. Nothing. Just work and school.

So I ignored the stunning resident with
the black hair, and tried to focus on the tall blond giving us the orientation
spiel. This was much easier because I felt no attraction to him at all. He was
really handsome, too. But something about him seemed mean. Or maybe arrogant. It's
hard to remember what I thought of him that first time, because the memory is
so clouded with all that came after. I'll just say he was a tall, slim blond
who should have caught my eye, but didn't.
About the Author:







Christina Hoffman was born in London, England. She moved with her family throughout Canada and the US, and has finally put down her suitcase, for
now, in
San
  Francisco
.
She believes that everyone has the right to
feel both smart and sexy. We don't have to be one or the other! She writes
stories about characters who live in the real world and who, somehow, still
believe in love.

She's starting a mini-revolution. She writes
sexy stories, but hasn't lost the romance from her Romances. Enough with whips
-- back to lips!

She hopes you enjoy her stories and see
yourself in her characters. After all, they are based on smart and sexy people,
just like you.

Christina’s latest book is the contemporary
romance, Invitation.

Visit her website at www.christinahoffman.com.

Connect & Socialize!


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