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Karen Does Cindy Gerard…

Wednesday, May 31, 2006
Posted in: Uncategorized

Well, I’ve read quite a few books lately, here’s a quick rundown of my thoughts on the Cindy Gerard Bodyguard series:

To The Edge

Jillian Kincaid is the daughter of a very rich businessman, all her life she’s been surrounded by bodyguards, following her every move, now that she’s a grown woman, she refuses to be treated like a child, and having a hired protector follow her round all day, is all too reminiscent of her childhood.

However, when she starts receiving threatening letters, she’s forced to rethink her stance, even though she hates the thought of her privacy being infringed upon. Enter Nolan Garrett. He’s been hired by Jillian’s dad to make sure she doesn’t get killed. Nolan was expecting a spoiled bitch, but instead he is surprised, when Jillian turns out to be an independent lady, who proves to be a tough nut to crack.

I really liked both the H/H, and this book in general. It was a quick easy read, but when the perp was revealed, I must admit, I was surprised. I liked the romance between Jillian and Nolan, and there was enough of a balance between romance and suspense to keep me happy.

Oh, did anybody notice that Gerard has a habit of using the term “geezus” a la Tara Janzen? I’m just sayin’.

To The Limit

Eve Garret’s life is in danger, whilst chasing after Tiffany Claybourne, a billionaire’s daughter who she’s no longer officially supposed to be protecting, she gets herself smacked upside the head, and knocked unconscious. Whilst investigating the disappearance of her ex-charge, she runs into the guy (Tyler ‘Mac’ Maclaine) who stole her virginity when she was just eighteen and in lust. Eve finds that she still hasn’t gotten over the fact that he abandoned her minutes after deflowering her, but unfortunately, she’s gonna have to suck it up, because he’s been hired to find Tiffany, so she’s gonna need his help.

Although Eve showed a lot of potential in To The Edge, I think Gerard took the road well travelled, and instead of confirming her kick-ass status, she took the easy route, and made her into a damsel who had to be rescued by her ex-boyf. I really hate that. Why would you change a kick-ass heroine into a TSTL whiny bitch? Anyway, generally, TTL, was a lot harder to read than TTE, I didn’t particularly care for Mac, because he came across as an arrogant arse.

To The Brink

Now we’re talking!

Darcy Prescott is part of the diplomatic service assigned to Manila, in the Phillipines.
When her best friend gets killed, Darcy is afraid that she will be next, especially when she opens up the envelope that her best friend leaves in her safe keeping. Before she hides the contents of the envelope, she places a call to Ethan Garrett, the ex-husband, who she divorced five years ago. She’s forced to leave a message for him, knowing that he is the one person on earth who will come to her rescue, come hell or highwater.

Darcy manages to mail the envelope, just before, she is kidnapped by a gang of men, working for an unknown killer.

When Ethan picks up the message from Darcy, he realises that he’s still not over his ex-wife, and that he’ll probably have to kill again, to make sure that she stays alive. He takes a team with him out to the Philippines to rescue her, knowing that failure is not an option.

I loved this story. It seemed to have much more of an emotional intensity than the previous two books. Ethan was my kind of hero, dark, and brooding, without being a whiny-arsed bitch. Darcy was also fab, and I loved the fact that although they were divorced, they both knew that the other would do whatever it took to keep him/her safe. Their marriage didn’t end because they didn’t love each other, and I thank Gerard for not having Darcy and Ethan harp on at each other for the majority of the book, like so many authors who use this particular plot device tend to do.

Although it was easy to guess who the baddie was, it was still well written, and moved along at quite a nice pace.

If you do decide to read all three books, I would advise that you read them in order, because if you read TTB first, the other books will probably disappoint. (Although I do think Gerard’s frequent use of the phrase “To a man” started grating a little bit)

Good rec Anne, as usual you were right, this was certainly the best out of the bunch! I’m really looking forward to Dallas’s story, after having been introduced to his eventual heroine in TTB.

Oooh, I wonder what got up Ann Vremont’s nose then? She certainly seems to have a beef against Sarah McCarty’s fangirls. Anne has a blog post linking to a conversation that was being held on Solaine’s blog.

I found the whole conversation rather amusing, but she must have known that it was bound to piss somebody off right? Oh well, let’s hope it doesn’t get out of hand.

Not only is that Crazy Bitch off her head, her group members aren’t too sensible either. Check this guy out, he writes:

“We all people in here so I’m asking for help. People, I’m addicted to sex I got a problem and what make it worse I’m married. I been marry since I came out of high school. I love my wife but man I want to cheat so bad. I haven’t got everything out of my system, and I’m in ATL the girls here are bad. People what should I do?”

I wonder if this guy is for real? Any suggestions as to what he should do ladies? I have a few suggestions, but some of them involve anatomically impossible positions. What a cock.

Weekend In Germany…

Monday, May 29, 2006
Posted in: Uncategorized

We arrived early Friday evening, picked up the rental car, which happened to be one of those horrid Mercedes A class thingies. We checked into the hotel, then went and got some food from the bar.

The waiter was in a bad mood because there were some overly loud patrons in the bar, and we could tell that they were pissing him off. He wasn’t very talkative, but to be fair, he couldn’t speak English, and we couldn’t speak German.

We ate our food, got drunk, and went to bed. We were absolutely knackered.

Saturday, we woke up early, and went into the citry centre, to look around, and to do some shopping. We didn’t buy much, mostly memorabilia stuff. The World Bowl was being held that evening in Dusseldorf, so there were shitloads of NFL Europe football supporters out and about. (We had tickets to the game incidentally).

We spent most of the day getting lost, in fact, we managed to forget where we’d parked the car, and it took us about an hour’s worth of walking up and down the centre, before we finally located where we’d parked the car.

We quickly drove back to the hotel, dropped off our wares, and made our way to the LTU arena, where the game was being played.

The place was absolutely packed out, and for some reason, I hadn’t expected it to be as busy as it was. Anyway, when we finally parked up, the heavens opened, and it pissed it down with rain. We were parked about twenty minutes away from the arena, and all the time we were walking, it rained like a mother f*cker. Thank God, The Tall Guy (who was a boy scout) had remembered to bring our pair of matching waterproofs (we looked ridiculous, but at least we didn’t get as wet as some people) which we donned, prior to starting the twenty minute walk.

We had sideline seats, so we had a good view of the game. Unfortunately, we were sat behind a couple of loudmouth Amsterdam Admirals supporters, who appeared to be having some kind of farting competition. They were foul, and so were the smells coming from their arses. Dirty bastards.

The game was ok. Frankfurt Galaxy beat the Amsterdam Admirals by 22 – 7. I was glad when it was all over.

We then started on the long journey back to the car, to find that we couldn’t find where we’d parked. Sigh. It took us 45 mins of scrabbling round in the dark to finally find the blasted car, and by that time, I was thoroughly fed up.

We were going to nip out for something to eat, but honestly, once we’d got back to the hotel, we just couldn’t be arsed, so we went into the hotel bar again, and got some food. After that, we went up to our room, and snuggled into bed (after a good hot bath!) it was heaven.

On Sunday, we stayed in the room until check-out time, then we went to the harbour, where we walked along the Rhine, and ate lots of fatty foods. Bliss.

Our flight wasn’t until 9pm that evening, so we decided to waste some time, by going on an hour-and-a-half boatride. What a fucking joke. It felt like we were on there for 3 hours, talk about dull. It didn’t help that the wind speed had picked up, and was blowing us around for the entire journey. Sigh.

I was very grateful, when the boat trip came to an end.

Anyway, we collected our luggage from the hotel, and went to the airport.

I’ve never been so glad to get home from anywhere in my life.

Neither The Tall Guy nor I were overly keen on this particular German city. We’ve been to Berlin, Frankfurt, Cologne, and Dresden , and they’ve been ok, but for us personally, Dusseldorf was a wash-out.

The hotel was nice though, even though we didn’t spend much time in it. The staff there were great too. But that was about it, as far as enjoyment goes, we’ve been to much better places.

Anyway, hope you guys enjoy the pics, I’m off to watch Smallville!

Up above the clouds…

TG in God knows where…

Konigsalee – Merman and babies

Wanker Fan

Cute butts

Frankfurt Galaxy fans in town

TG with American flag

River Boat on the Rhine

In main shopping district

Ben and Jerry’s.

New Reader On The Block…

Monday, May 29, 2006
Posted in: Uncategorized

There’s a new-to-me reviewer on the block, go check Solaine out. She has some interesting viewpoints. Also, she’s all about the e-book baby… *g*

Bored With Romance?

Thursday, May 25, 2006
Posted in: Uncategorized

You know, yesterday evening, I went to the Borders superstore in Manchester. I usually go to the one in Leeds, but as it happens, I had some business in Manchester.

Anyhoo, I was looking through the romance section (thank God for Borders) and I was thinking that I’d pick out a couple of books by new-to-me authors.

I picked up a book by Jayne Anne Krentz, read the blurb, put it back. It sounded drier than a nuns c*nt.

I picked another JAK book, and put that back. I was falling asleep just reading the blurb.
Anyway, I picked up a couple more, and none of them sounded exciting, so they all went back on the shelf.

I decided that perhaps, I wasn’t in the right frame of mind for a JAK book, so I moved onto Connie Brockway (I know she’s friends with Elizabeth Bevarly, but I can’t hold that against her forever). I picked up one of her books, and it sounded interesting, so I sat down, cross-legged on the floor (get over it, it’s my thing) and skim-read the first few pages. Jesus, I swear there were tears in my eyes by the time I got to page twenty. Shit that book was boring (don’t ask me what it was called, because I can’t remember).

I tried a few more Brockway books, and none of them set the world alight for me, so I moved onto the next new-to-me author, who happened to be Jude Devereaux. I skim read about five of her books, but none of them took my fancy. I then tried Judith Ivory, and Elizabeth Lowell, but sadly, with the same results.

Then I got to Emma Holly’s Strange Attractions, (she’s not a new-to-me author) and as I read the first few pages, I got a lovely tingle down my back. Yes, at last, a book worth getting excited over.

I finally figured out what was wrong with the other books. There just wasn’t any chemistry there. In this case, I think it was me, not them. They were probably fab books, but unfortunately not for me. Not that day.

In another time and place, I may love JAK, or Brockway, or Devereaux, but last night, I needed something more, I didn’t want rakish lords, lovely ladies who lunch or vestal virgins who don’t. I wanted gritty, I wanted raw, I wanted sexual, and unfortunately, neither Brockway, nor JAK (bless their cottons) was going to do it for me last night, no matter how brilliant they both are.

Do you guys ever get like that? Or am I just getting bored with straight romance?

Questions For The Average Reader…

Wednesday, May 24, 2006
Posted in: Uncategorized

Avidreader has an interesting post up. She has some questions for the average reader. It was fun, and made me think, so go have at it!

You know, I’m often bemused by the ignorance of some NYT authors. Laura Lee Guhrke posted this comment in response to something that was written by another poster at my AAR column:

I’ve highlighted the part that left me a little confused. My confusion mainly stems from the fact that I didn’t know that Ms Guhrke had ever written for EC, as she obviously seems to have some kind of inside information on this.

But then Jaid Black weighed in with her thoughts, methinks she was a tad annoyed when she wrote this:

Oh my, imagine my surprise when it emerged that Ms Guhrke’s comments were based on assumption rather than any basis in fact.

What a fucking surprise, yet another big name NYT author suffering from foot-in-mouth disease. These people should be innoculated or something. That shit’s definitely catching.

The full message board can be found here.

Apparently she had cancer. Hearing this news was a shock to the system. My heart goes out to her family.

Quinn, may you forever walk with the angels.

I got this blurb from Nicole’s blog, who in turn got it from Maya Bank’s website.

This book sounds spookily like Shiloh Walker’s, Her Best Friend’s Lover.

I know that millions of books out there have the same themes, and plot devices, but these two books, sound too close for comfort.

I’m certain that Miss Bank’s book has probably been executed differently to Shiloh Walker’s, but having read SW’s book, I can’t help but think that it’s almost the exact same storyline. The events even seem to happen in the same order.

I’d like to hear from anybody who’s read both books, so that they can give me their take on the main differences.

By the way, this is not a post about plagiarism, so there’s no point in knickers getting all twisted up over it.

To Germany We Go…

Monday, May 22, 2006
Posted in: Uncategorized

The Tall Guy and I, are flying to Germany on Friday for a long weekend break. Bless him, he booked it and organised everything because I was too busy.

We’re going to be staying in a five star hotel in Dusseldorf. European standard hotels aren’t always as good as British hotels, so to be on the safe side, we’re going to a five star, fully expecting four star accommodation.

Either way, I’m always happy to get away for a bit. I’ve been very tired lately.

I wasn’t going to mention my Friday night shenanigans, but I’m happy to say, I got drunk as a skunk, got chatted up by two French geezers, and fell asleep on the toilet. Oh what fun me and the girls had. Shame about the elephant that sat on my head all day Saturday though. *g*

So I read Kimberly Holt-Whitlock’s book, Fading Illusions yesterday.

Here’s the blurb:

My Verdict

The good thing about this book was that I was able to keep reading it, although it was bloody hard work. At least it didn’t make me want to stab myself in the eye. With a rusty fork. Much.

I’m not sure I was overly fond of Holt-Whitlock’s voice. It seemed to drain the energy right out of me. There are some stories that seem to do that, and unfortunately, Fading Illusions was one of them.

If I was to categorise this book, I’d probably find it quite hard to do so. I couldn’t figure out whether it was a romance or not. The story was told from two points of views, Laynee’s and Mike’s, rather than Laynee’s and Cole’s, thus I got the impression that this was a book without an actual traditional hero. Plus with all the cheating that Mike was doing, I couldn’t possibly see him as a hero.

I wasn’t keen on Laynee, she was too passive aggressive for my taste. I loathe heroines who aren’t able to take control of their lives, and are happy to let things happen to them, rather than making decisions for themselves.

My other problem with Laynee was that she was dull as dishwater, and I spent most of the book willing her to grow a backbone, and tell both Mike and Cole to fuck off. Neither of them deserved to get her as far as I was concerned.

Mike was a selfish, cheating bastard, who seemed to blame his failures on his wife. He’d connived and engineered the whole misunderstanding that had ocurred between Laynee and Cole years ago, but didn’t seem to want to bear any responsibility for the way that things had turned out.

The fact that he went out and cheated on Laynee with that skanky ho, Becca, after promising her that he would stay faithful, fully justified my feelings towards him. He was a rat bastard louse.

Laynee and Mike were basically two people who should have never had sex, much less got married. Even Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have more of a chance of making things work than these two people. OK, maybe a slight exaggeration.

Cole Henderson was ok, if a little petulant, but so blahh, that I wished something would happen to bring him out of his seemingly semi-comatosed state. The man was D.U.L.L duuuuuull! Not hero material at all.

The book was littered with legions of secondary characters, including the self-serving conniving Becca, whom Mike cheated with, Laynee’s sister, whose name I’ve forgotten, Mike’s parents, and Cole’s entire family, including his father who was dying of cancer. (Erm… I think it was cancer, I can’t be arsed going back to check) I must admit, I didn’t understand the whole cancer plotline as I felt it was totally extraneous to the story.

This book was about very ordinary people, experiencing very ordinary, 21st Century problems, but quite frankly, if I wanted to read about ordinary people, I’d visit our neighbour Betty, who has a dog that barks all fucking day.

If you’re looking for a pacy, well constructed story, with vibrant, colourful characters, then I’m afraid that this isn’t it. It was all over the place, seemed to lack any particular direction, and drifted along at a pace that would have put a tortoise to shame.

Sorry Kimberly, this book just wasn’t for me. Maybe next time? *Passes over the ice-cream tub*

Oh by the way, I also hated the cover. Dull. Dull. Dull. Seriously, whoever thought this cover was a good idea needs stringing up. Until they say sorry at least.

You can learn more about Kimberly Holt-Whitlock here, and buy Fading Illusions, here.

I just received a legal notice e-mail regarding Google.

My company, along with millions of others, purchase online advertising with Google, and it seems that its “breached its contracts with advertisers and violated other laws by failing to adequately detect and stop “click fraud” or other invalid or improper clicks on online advertisements”

“Under the settlement, Google will establish a $90 settlement fund”

We thought there was something fishy going on, I wondered why our advertising costs with Google had been steadily going up, with no obvious results.

We’ll be putting a claim in, I’ve been assured that we’ll probably get something back.

$90m huh? You’d think they’d be more careful wouldn’t you?

Oh well, my accountant will be happy at least.

Fangirls Rule?

Saturday, May 20, 2006
Posted in: Uncategorized

Sarah McCarty, erotic romance author, has a guest blog over at Anne’s. She’s talking about the latest trend of fangirl bashing. It makes for interesting reading.

I’m a fangirl of Sarah’s actually, and I’ll recommend her books to anybody who asks.

I think the label, ‘rabid fangirls’ probably came from the more extreme type of fangirl. Laurell K Hamilton shut down the comments section of her blog because she was getting harrassed by her own fans. No doubt because of something she did with Anita Blake.

Also, ‘rabid’ fangirls tend to get ridiculously aggressive if they feel that their beloved authors are being dissed, and generally tend to foam at the mouth if anybody dares to suggest that said author’s books are a steaming pile of dog shit.

As romance lovers, we all have authors who we squeeeee (thanks Sybil) over, but I do think there is a certain breed who always have to go too far with their fangirlishness.

This Week’s Popular Search Phrases…

Saturday, May 20, 2006
Posted in: Uncategorized

Boys wearing sis`s panties – Is this some kind of fetish?

He wants to ejaculate in my mouth – Just say no thanks, or bite down hard

Karens wet panties blog – Erm, my knickers are dry thanks

Monica jackson topless – Monica?

Sex and the clitty – That’s one of my posts I’m sure

Interview cum facial post question sperm – another one about sperm I see

Husband learns to suck cock – Erm…

Great lips blog muff – I don’t get this one

Does women enjoy to swallow cum – Erm…

Jehovah women who are ready have sex – What does that mean?

Barbara streisand porn .blogspot.com – Seriously?

“I like well endowed” – Don’t we all? As long as it doesn’t hurt of course.

Can sperm live in mouthwash – Erm.. no idea really. Anybody know?

Maintaining a hard on – Don’t tell me this guy doesn’t get those viagra spams like everyone else?

Karen Jackson blowjob – Do blowjobs have names now?

Karen love kate – Does anyone know what this is a reference to?

Fletchina Archer – I guess she’s googling herself, I think I recall giving her book a mini roasting.

“sex with transsexual prostitutes” – This one’s beyond me.

Hood hunters porn – why does this sound so familiar?

I want manboobs – It takes all sorts I guess.

Swallow his ejaculate – And another obligatory sperm-based search!

I see that Heather Mills and Paul McCartney are finally getting divorced. I can’t imagine that anybody seriously thought they were gonna make it did they?

It’s sad actually, and to be honest, I do feel a little sorry for Heather, because apparently it was Paul who initiated the divorce proceedings, mind you, I’m sure that the £200m settlement figure that’s being bandied about will help with the pain.

I hear that he didn’t have a pre-nup. I applaud him for that because he obviously thought it was going to last forever, but come on, the guy is worth trillions of pounds, and he didn’t think that his money was at least part of the attraction? I guess not. You know what they say, no fool like an old fool.

I liked Heather because she wasn’t the normal bint who aging rock stars, like McCartney, usually marry, plus she was missing a leg, which helped elicit sympathy for her.

I think media pressure, and familial fall-outs probably helped end this relationship, and it didn’t help that she was slagging off high profile people for wearing animal fur.

When they first got married, I recall asking The Tall Guy how long he thought they’d last. I gave ‘em two years, he gave them five. He wins.

I can hear the Champagne popping over at Stella McCartney’s house as I write this. I bet she did a victory dance when she heard that the wicked step-mother was getting the boot.

Which couple will be next do you think? Brad and Angelina? Michael Douglas and CZJ? Ben Affleck and Jen Garner? Britney and Kevin whatshisface? Ahhhh… the possibilities are endless…

You know there’s lots of things I want to blog about, but seriously I can’t be arsed. I’ve got reviews due, but seriously, I can’t be arsed. I want to talk about how people are already ripping into the Da Vinci Code movie, but seriously, I can’t be arsed, although I will ask this question: did anyone else get the feeling that the critics were sharpening their knives way before its premier? Because I did. I suspect that even those people who secretly like it, will rip it to shreds, because they wont want to admit that actually, it’s probably an ok film. That just wouldn’t be cool.

Anyway where was I?

Oh yeah, the Smartbitches have posted a letter written by Laura Kinsale on the subject of authors and their art. Basically she’s saying that she writes for herself, and nobody else, and that all writing should be considered art, regardless of how bad the book is. ( I’m paraphrasing here) It would be interesting to see how many writers would keep writing if they kept getting rejected, year after year, after year, after year.

Also, what if they knew 100% that they would never get published, would they keep at it? As for the whole art question, I tend to agree with Jane’s point of view.

Anyway, as far as I’m concerned, that’s just another nail in the coffin as far as (NYT) author/reader relationships go.

I nipped over to the AAR board a while ago to check out the posts, I left some obligatory comments, seeing as how I wrote the column and all, but to be honest, as with any of the other AAR messages, I see too many authors getting all defensive, and making it all about them. You know who you are. So, until somebody says something that actually makes me mad enough to post, I think I’ll refrain. It was fun while it lasted but I’m bored now.

Why not pop over to Access Romance, where Alison Kent’s been listing all the stuff that’s good about Blaze. Positive Mental Attitude, can’t beat it.

Oh yeah, I’m in the middle of reading Cindy Gerard’s To The Edge, and Anne, you were right, I’m totally loving it.

I have an At The Back Fence column up at All About Romance. It’s called To Blazes With RITA.

LLB wouldn’t let me swear or nuthin, and I had to play nice and be all balanced and shit in my writing. I couldn’t cuss out the RWA either, but it still makes for interesting reading if I do say so myself. If you want to comment (I know how much you guys love AAR’s message boards) you can do so here.

Oh, and don’t forget to check out the mini survey I conducted either. Now that makes for interesting reading. Shame most of the authors are anonymous though. Oh well, go have at it anyway!

We enjoyed the film.

The thing is, you know exactly what you’re going to get: High octane action, over the top storyline, and superb special affects and stunts. Even Tom I’m-Off-My-Rocker Cruise made me forget for a couple of hours that he’s as mad as ten badgers.

I spent most of the film admiring this guy here. His name is Jonathan Rhys-Meyers. His character was called Declan, and he was one of Ethan Hunt’s IMF side-kicks. He totally did it for me. Don’t you just love his eyes?

He played Joe in Bend It Like Beckham, and I recall thinking then that he was definitely good eye-candy. He’s not conventionally good-looking, but there’s just something about him… Part of the attraction is that he’s Irish, and I lurve me some Irish men. I think he’d make a perfect romance hero.

Which actor does it for you in terms of the perfect romantic hero?

Nobody’s allowed to say George Clooney, cuz that man is just old, and he loves himself too much.

OK, off to bed now cuz I’m knackered.

Tackling The TBR… Again

Thursday, May 11, 2006
Posted in: Uncategorized

This weekend will be devoted to trying to tackle the TBR mountain. I have several books in my possession that I keep shuffling to the back of the reading pile. Jenny Crusie’s Bet Me is one of them. I think my problem with BM, is that the premise doesn’t sound all that enthralling, plus everybody and her squirrel loves it, so I’m hesitant to jump on board the bandwagon.

Anyway, it’s definitely not one of the books that I’ll be tackling this weekend.

Here’s a run down of the books I’m planning to read, in no particular order:

Yeah, I know, not much variety, but what the hell, I like romantic suspense stories.

I bought all three Cindy Gerard books from Amazon, after Anne recced them to me. If I don’t enjoy, I’ll hold her fully responsible. *g*

So, what are you guys planning on reading this weekend, and are there any books that I just have to try?

Erm… No BDSM recs please, I’m hating BDSM right now.