Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Review: All I Ever Wanted by Kristan Higgins

One Happily-Ever-After Rocking Chair…
and no sign of any forthcoming babies to rock in ol' Georgebury, Vermont. For Callie Grey, turning thirty means coming to grips with the fact that her boss (and five-week fling) is way overdue in his marriage proposal. And way off track because Mark has suddenly announced his engagement to the company's new Miss Perfect. If that isn't bad enough, her mom decides to throw her a three-oh birthday bash in the family funeral home.
Bad goes to worse when she stirs up a crazy relationship with the town's not so warm and fuzzy veterinarian, Ian McFarland, in order to flag Mark's attention. So Ian is more comfortable with animals…. So he's formal, orderly and just a bit tense. The ever-friendly, fun-loving and spontaneous Callie decides it's time for Ian to get a personality makeover. But dang, if he doesn't shock the heck out of her, she might actually fall for Vermont's unlikeliest eligible bachelor….
Callie who, convinced she was in love with her boss, Mark, after a brief fling, is crushed to learn he’s involved with another woman, Muriel.  Callie now has to face the lovebirds daily as Muriel has been hired on only because the client is her Daddy and he demands her presence, despite her complete lack of experience.
Throw in a 30th birthday bash at a funeral home, a handsome yet aloof veterinarian, and an elderly roommate with a missing lower limb and you’ve got all the ingredients for Callie’s  absurd existence and the makings for a humorous, romantic story! I can always count on Kristen Higgins for an enjoyable, light-hearted read and All I Ever Wanted does not disappoint! I loved Callie and Ian’s ill-fated meetings at the most inopportune times; they made for hilarious interactions. This story is truly an “opposites attract” situation!
After having read several of Higgins’ books I have to say that although I enjoy their humor and all the great secondary characters, I’m always left slightly unsatisfied due to the limited point of view (POV). Higgins’ books are all written in first person and I really find that, when I read romance, I always enjoy getting both the hero and heroine’s points of view.
I don’t mind first person POV in other genres such as teen or urban fantasy but I really enjoy romance more when I have both POV’s. It’s for this reason only that I don’t rate her books higher. But if you’re in the mood for a humorous read with quirky characters you should definitely give this one a try!

Disclosure: I received this as a digital ARC through NetGalley. I did not receive any compensation for this review.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Hello! I'm alive, I swear. I haven't been around much because I a) haven't been reading much b) have been super busy at work and in my personal life. I've been keeping up with everyone via my Goolge Reader, but I haven't been commenting as much either. But rest assured I'm still keeping tabs on you all! Even if I am slacking in the blogging department!

When I say I haven't read much, I'm not kidding. After struggling through The Replacement I lost my reading mojo. I hadn't read anything since then, until this weekend on my journey to and from Chicago, I started Joss Ware's Abandon the Night. I also finished All I Ever Wanted by Kristan Higgins in the last couple of days. I did finish Lover Eternal on audio and have moved on to Lover Awakened (my fav!). So I guess it's not too terrible, it's not like I haven't read anything at all but it's definitely not my usual pace!

I was in Chicago for my 28th birthday. My mom and aunt are identical twins and they've been taking their "retail therapy" trips to Chicago for over 20 years. They said one day my cousin and I (who also happens to be my roommate) would be allowed to join them. With my cousin turning 30 this year they decided we were ready to accompany them! It was a lot of fun hanging out with The Moms, as we refer to them. We did A LOT, and I mean A LOT, of shopping. I also have a bunch of college friends that live in Chicago so we met up with them on Saturday night for dinner then went to a martini bar...my new favorite martini is a Sinickerdoodle martini, yes it is as scrumptious as it sounds! I was bummed I didn't have anytime to schedule a quick meet up with Stacy, but maybe next time!

So that's what I've been up to. Hopefully, over the Thanksgiving break I'll get some stuff read! I won't be blogging much over the break either because I'll be at my parents and they're living in the friggin' stone age...no internet! Gah!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Audiobites: Dark Lover by J.R.Ward

In the shadows of the night in Caldwell, New York, there's a deadly turf war going on between vampires and their slayers. There exists a secret band of brothers like no other-six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. Yet none of them relishes killing more than Wrath, the leader of The Black Dagger Brotherhood.

The only purebred vampire left on earth, Wrath has a score to settle with the slayers who murdered his parents centuries ago. But, when one of his most trusted fighters is killed-leaving his half-breed daughter unaware of his existence or her fate-Wrath must usher her into the world of the undead-a world of sensuality beyond her wildest dreams.
After I finished Lover Mine, I wanted more of the brothers so I picked up The Insider's Guide. That just whet my appetite for even more and made me want to re-read the series. However, I always feel so guilty re-reading books when I have such a monstrous TBR pile. After some discussion on Twitter with @mamakitty729 and @andrea_desherb about the audio versions of the books. I decided to "re-read" the series by listening to the audio books.

I checked Dark Lover out from the library and popped the first disc into my car stereo. After the first two sentences of the narrator, I immediately said, "Nope" and ejected the cd. It was a knee jerk reaction to not liking the narrator's voice. It wasn't what I had in mind for any of the brother's and I wasn't sure I wanted to listen any more.

I'm pretty picky when it comes to the audio books I choose. So I hopped back on Twitter and told @mamakitty729 that I wasn't sure I liked the narrator. Both Mamakitty and Andrea assured me that while he's not the best narrator ever, that I should stick with it and I would likely enjoy it. So, I gave it another go. I listened a little longer and before I knew it, I was so engrossed in Ward's world that I didn't even realize I'd gone through several discs!

It's been years since I first read Dark Lover and I've never re-read any of the books. There was soo much I'd forgotten! In my review of Lover Mine I mentioned how I was so sad that JM's story was over because we'd been waiting for it since we met him in Dark Lover. Well, we didn't actually meet him in Dark Lover, it wasn't until Lover Eternal that we were introduced to JM.

Also, something that bothered me this time around, that I don't recall bothering me during my first reading of Dark Lover, was Beth's willingness to hope into bed with Wrath after having been sexually assaulted the day before. Something about that just grated on me. But it didn't hamper my overall enjoyment of the novel. It was just one of those things that annoyed me and I don't recall having been annoyed by it before.

Since I'd read the series before I actually skipped any of the sections that were from the lesser's points of view. I really didn't care for them the first time around and since I've read it before, I decided to completely skip these sections!

Even though my initial reaction to Jim Frangione's voice was not positive, after I gave him a chance, I really did get sucked into the story and barely even noticed his voice. However, he does a good growly voice that totally fits the Brothers! I wasn't even bothered by hearing the naughty bits read aloud. I've generally steered clear of romance audio books because I always felt a little pervy hearing the naughty bits but, yea, not so much when it comes to the Brothers! Rawr!

I'm already over halfway done with Rhage's book, Lover Eternal. Then I get to start, what is still one of my favorite books in the series, Lover Awakened! I'm finding more and more reasons to drive around, as I'm only listening to the audio books in the car. Lots of little trips I probably don't really need to take... :)


Thursday, November 4, 2010

Library Loot: November 3 - 9

Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted alternatively by Marg and Claire that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post-feel free to steal the button-and link it using the Mr. Linky (at Marg's this week) any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries!
I have to share some amazing library news! My library, the Columbus Metropolitan Library, had a levy on the ballot on Tuesday and it PASSED! The final results were  588 of 619 precincts reporting 65% in favor of the levy! That's awesome and I'm so excited! In January they'll be returning to their old hours which they had to cut in 2009 due to state budget cuts.

I'm so excited, although I kind of want to punch in the face the 35% that voted "no"! But the levy passed and I'm pumped for my public librarian friends and for the people of Columbus! I'm so proud of CML, they were named Library Journal's 2010 Library of the Year and are consistently ranked as one of the top libraries in the nation!

On with the loot-
With no cable I've been going to the library a lot for movies!

This was a fun, goofy 80's movie. I'd never seen it before and enjoyed it!

I'd never seen Deliverance but had been wanting to. Aside from Burt's impractial leather, zip up vest on a hunting trip, I thougth this movie stood the test of time pretty well. It was thrilling and suspenseful. Glad I finally got to see this classic!

This was a weird, quirky movie. I enjoyed it for the most part. There was a weird, dark side plot with Zach Galifianakis as a homeless man who is basically harassing our main character played by Paul Dano from Little Miss Sunshine. Really it was kind of a strange movie but I loved the budding relationship between Paul and Zooey. I also loved the family dynamics in the movie. 

I picked this one up because my Mom mentioned it when we were discussing The Hunger Games. The movie is set an a futuristic society where the number one television show in the world is The Running Man. Contestants are usually "criminals" (basically people that have somehow pissed off those in authority) who are thrown into a rigged set up where they are stalked and killed. I thought it was pretty good, definitely dated and some of the one liners were cheese-tastic. But overall a pretty good flick!

It's been several years since I've seen this movie and I saw it on the shelf. I love me some Paul Newman!

I can't wait to watch this one! Colin Firth, need I say more?!

I love the Predators and Alien franchise. And it has Adrian Brody!

Note: I don't have all those movies currently checked out. My library allows 5 DVDs to be checked out at a time. I've already watched and returned: Better Off Dead, Gigantic, and The Running Man. Just finished Deliverance last night !

I loved, loved, loved Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist. I started this one last night and was hooked from the first paragraph!
Both my parents read this series and have been hounding me to start it so I better get on it!

I tried to read this in high school but had to stop because it gave me nightmares!
But I want to give it another go!
It's getting chilly and I wanted some good, slow cooker recipes!
BDB, 'nuff said. "Re-reading" the series via audio books!
Have heard great things and am still in the mood for scary stuff!


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Reading Recap: October 2010

  1. If I Stay by Gayle Forman - 5 Chocolate Covered Strawberries
  2. Lover Mine by J.R. Ward - 5 Chocolate Covered Strawberries
  3. The Black Dagger Brotherhood: An Insider's Guide by J.R. Ward - 5 Chocolate Covered Strawberries
  4. Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes by Chris Crutcher - 4 Chocolate Covered Strawberries
  5. Nothing Like You by Lauren Strasnick - 4 Chocolate Covered Strawberries
  6. The Exile: An Outlander Graphic Novel by Diana Gabaldon & Hoang Nguyen - 3 Chocolate Covered Strawberries
  7. The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff - DNF
Grrr! Only seven books this month. My goal is to get 10 books read in a month. I might have gotten there this month but I spent over a week struggling through The Replacement. I'm  almost finished with the audio version of Dark Lover. My review of that should be up later this week! My favorites from this month are hands down, Lover Mine and If I Stay. Two completely different books books but I loved them both! I can't wait for the next BDB book and I'm looking forward to the sequel to If I Stay, Where She Went. Both books aren't out until the spring! *pouts*

How was your October?!
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