HomeReviewsInterviewsStoreABlogsOn Writing

So, I finished reading Betting Hearts last night.

Without further ado, here’s the blurb

My Verdict

I. Loved. This. Book.

I don’t ask for a lot in romance. Seriously, I don’t. I don’t give a fuck about dangling participles, definite articles or prepositions. I’ll leave those worries to editors. As long as the book is written in plain common-sense English, I’m happy. I want good characterization, an interesting plotline, and a writing ‘voice’ that doesn’t compel me to hang myself from the nearest lampost.

This book met all my requirements, and so much more besides.

Betting Hearts was an extremely well written book. I loved the dialogue between the hero and heroine. I loved that Tenorio had put a different spin, on a much re-hashed plot device, and she also had some cracking characters.

It’s been absolutely ages since I laughed so much I nearly wet myself, (not literally of course because I do actually have excellent control of my bladder) but Betting Hearts had me laughing from the first paragraph, to the last.

Tenorio’s voice appealed to me because she kept it simple. She didn’t try to wear her brains in her book, as so many authors try to do, and she had the ability to let me (the reader) come to my own conclusions, rather than insulting my intelligence, and explaining everything from the thread to the needle. She was able to draw me in from the very beginning, and kept me reading until 3am in the morning. It’s been a while since I loved a book that much, I can tell you.

I loved the two central characters in this book.

Cassandra Bishop was a woman who I could be friends with if she’d been a real person. She was laugh out loud funny, and regardless of her bad choices when it came to the BEF, she was actually a woman in control of her own life.

Although she was a tomboy at heart, I could relate to her. She wasn’t a Mary Sue-Goody-Two-Shoes type heroine, far from it in fact. She could be very manipulative, especially when it came to pushing Burke’s buttons. She also had a wicked temper, but she was very funny, and hugely endearing.
I loved the fact that when she realised that Burke was the man for her, she didn’t waste any time pontificating, and instead, just went for it. My kind of heroine.

Burke Halifax was also my ideal hero. Rough around the edges, but loyal as hell. I’m partial to male leads who make me envious of their heroines. He was manly, without being an asshole. His obvious feelings for Cassie was one of the most attractive things about him. I loved his reaction to discovering that his best friend had breasts, and the guilt he harboured over his new, lewd, and lascivious thoughts about her.

Cassie’s friendship meant a lot to Burke, and this is something that Tenorio managed to convey brilliantly within the opening pages of this story. It’s not often I go all girly over a book, but I did find myself tilting my head to the side, placing both hands on my cheeks, and sighing in appreciation at Tenorio’s ability to mentally and emotionally, take me along Cassie and Burke’s tentative voyage into previously uncharted territory.

The secondary characters in this book included, Cassie’s brother, Hayne, who was sweet, if a little dumb, Bastard Ex Fiance’s new fiancee, Sally, and Cassie’s father. They all had their part to play, without taking anything away from the central characters. I do hate it when authors present you with so many secondary personalities that you forget who the main squeeze’s are.

What I loved most about Betting Hearts was how romantic it actually was. I know that this should be a given in a fictional romance story, but I’ve read a fair few books in the past, which although were romance books, were actually not very romantic. I know that you guys will know exactly what I mean.

My one and only complaint about Betting Hearts, was the feeling that the ending had been slightly rushed, in an attempt to meet the deadline and the word count, but fuck it, I’m not even gonna go there, because I was still able to totally look beyond that, and enjoy the story.

I’ve always loved the friends to lovers theme, when written well, and Dee Tenorio certainly did herself justice with this book

Well Dee, I had no idea who you were, before I read your book, but if you keep writing stories as good as Betting Hearts, then I’m gonna keep buying. Unless of course you do an Elizabeth Bevarly. Then all bets are off. *g*

*Karen selflessly steals Hawaiian Surprise ice-cream back from Dee, in an attempt to save her from expanding hips*

PS, the cover sucks Big Fucking Hairy Rhinoceros Balls.

You can visit Dee Tenorio here, and buy Betting Hearts here.

I was truly only expecting a couple of books, so to receive this many was a real treat! I still think you’re as nutty as a fruitcake, but I really appreciate you keeping your word, and sending me the goodies!

Anybody else want to send me freebies, you’re quite welcomed to do so. My goodwill is easily won, and bribery and corruption doesn’t bother me one bit. *g*

Friends-to-lovers stories are my fave plot device. So I’m looking forward to this book.

I don’t particularly like this cover, it feels sterile somehow, the premise calls for something softer methinks. Let’s hope it’s not a reflection of the book. Dee, I’ll be posting the review tomorrow, hopefully. In the mean time, you may want to get some ice-cream in…. you know… just in case things don’t go well *g*

You can read the blurb here.

I’ve always thought that the name of this blog was fairly self-explanatory. I could have chosen a much funkier name when I started blogging. You know, something like, My So Called Life, or Hell Hath No Fury, that kind of shite.

But I didn’t. I chose a name that would indicate the kind of blog this is. Somehow, people still seem to get confused. Go figure.

I have an opinion on absolutely everything, and I’m not afraid to say what I think, this generally means that people know where they stand with me. Some people think I suck great big donkey balls, some people think I’m ok. That’s just life.

My love for romance books doesn’t necessarily extend to the authors of romance books. If you’re an author, and you act like a dick, I will vote with my money. I find it hard to read books by authors who have annoyed me in the past. Some people can look beyond an author’s online personality. I can’t. End of.

People will sometimes not agree with my viewpoints, I get that, and to some extent, I welcome differing opinions, but you need to know that if you come on here to diss the blog, don’t bother, because invariably, you wont like what I have to say to you.

If you’re an author, and I snark about one of your book covers, please don’t tell me that my opinion is wrong, and certainly don’t bother telling me that it’s hurtful to diss, because the artist sweated blood and tears trying to make it perfect. I really don’t give a flying scrotum.

I’m not afraid to tell people to fuck off, if I think they deserve it. It rarely ever comes to that, but I thought it was important to highlight this point.

I rarely involve myself in fights on other people’s blog. I’m much more likely to bring any issues to my own blog, rather than bleeding all over somebody else’s. That’s just bad form.

I’m not a professional reviewer, this is something that I do for fun. My negative reviews aren’t written with the sole purpose of pissing authors off, I’m far too busy for that shit.

If I review your book, and I’m really mean about it, either say nothing, or do a Daisy, because otherwise you’ll just come off looking like a twat.

If I spend my hard earned money on a book, and it’s crap, I’m entitled to say so, and no, I don’t have to be mindful of the feelings of the author, because guess what, I still paid for the bloody thing. Also remember, it’s just one opinion, and means very little in the great scheme of things.

If you’re not familiar with my blog and you surf in because somebody else gave you my URL, you need to check yourself before you come waving your shitty stick at me. I‘m likely to highlight your actions, and give you the type of headache that you could well do without. It doesn’t take much to become the subject of one of my blog posts.

I’m not in the habit of apologising for other people’s misconceptions. If you feel that I’ve dissed you in some way, and you want to discuss it, I suggest that you e-mail me privately. I promise, it wont become a blog topic, unless you give your express permission for me to make it public.

If you post a comment and I don’t respond, don’t take it personally, I’m a fairly lazy blogger. It’s not you. I promise.

Finally, if you really hate me, and you hate my blog, I suggest that you visit other blogs. There are plenty to choose from.

England Marches On…

Monday, June 26, 2006
Posted in: Uncategorized

England 1 – 0 Ecuador!!

Woo hoo!!! We’re through to the quarter finals!! Well done Beckham!!

Bring on Portugal!!!

Karen’s Football Focus Friday…

Friday, June 23, 2006
Posted in: Uncategorized

England 2-2 Sweden!!

Well, we won the group, even if it was in unconvincing fashion. Sven got the usual shit from the press, although, this time it was kind of justified.

Michael Owen went off injured within the first minute of the game, and the poor sod wont be taking part in the rest of the world cup, due to a torn ligament. Poor bastard.

Beckham went MIA during the game, he’s been on fire lately, but for some reason he totally failed to show up on Tuesday. Sven really should have subbed him in favour of Aaron Lennon, at least he’s able to run past defenders.

Oh well, we still won the group, and Ecuador is next up. Please God let us at least pretend we’re a football team on Sunday!

Jaynie, did you watch the Aussie match yesterday? I’m ashamed to say that the ref, Graham Poll was an English guy. The funny thing is, when I heard that he was going to be one of the refs this year, my first thought was, oh fuck. Having watched him week in, week out in the Premiership, I knew the game was doomed before it even started. Fancy leaving a player on after awarding him two yellow cards. Pillock.

The Aussies, played amazingly well, and I was routing for them all the way, so well done for qualifying through to the knock-out stages!

As for the Americans, where did it all go wrong? Team USA were completely outplayed by Ghana, but for neutrals like myself, it was a pretty good game to watch. Oh well, maybe 2010 will prove to be a better year for them. Sorry boys.

My money is on Spain to lift the World Cup this year, I think it’s too obvious to go for the Brazilians or the Argentines. England could win it, but only if we learn to defend set pieces, and do better with penalties. I told Gamblog that I’d run down my street naked if England won the World Cup.

Methinks that my clothes will be firmly staying on, if our recent performances are anything to go by. Sigh.

Disclaimer: Book Review Requests…

Thursday, June 22, 2006
Posted in: reviews


If you’re an author, and you feel the need to ask me to review your book, please think about it before you do. In fact, my advice to you would be to think about it at least three times, before you send me the e-mail request.

Just because you sent me the book free doesn’t mean that I’m going to be nice about the baby that you spent months trying to deliver. If I like it, I’ll shout it from the rooftops, but equally, if I hate it, then please be prepared for your baby to be stomped on, and decimated on a public forum.

Of course there are nice ways to say that I didn’t like your book, but here’s the thing: I’m just not that type of blogger.

You have been warned.



To comply with FTC guidelines, allow me to state that I have received free books from authors, either as review copies or as prizes in giveaways. Most of my reviews up to now (October 8th 2009) have been of books I’ve purchased myself. Either way, a review is NOT an endorsement. A review is at its heart the expression of the reviewer’s opinion–in this case, my opinion.

Regardless of how the book in question ended up in my hands (or computer), I will not insult your intelligence by assuming that you will blindly buy any book I like, or that you’ll avoid reading any book I don’t like. Instead, I’ll give you credit for making up your own mind, and buying and/or reading whatever you think you’ll enjoy.



I’m happy to consider books for review, but please keep in mind that I already have far more than I can read in several lifetimes and that I do not love everything I try.  If I accept your book for review, I’ll make a good faith effort to read it and to write an honest review. I reserve the right to not start it, not finish it, or hate it.

It never fails to astonish me how quickly authors who feel that they’ve been slighted, wade in with their size 7’s in an effort to bitchslap a reader who dares to say what they feel.

In the post below, Shelby Morgen wrote this: (And no Shelby/Margaret, no permission needed because you posted it on my blog)

I read this, this morning, scratched my head for a while, and then I suddenly realised that my throwaway post from yesterday had caused all this hullaboo. All of a sudden, a rant that I’d read on a blog yesterday, naming no names, made more sense. Without the blogger saying so, it was a reaction to the post below. Sigh.

Anyway, Shelby Morgen went on to add:

So for the first time in my blogging history, I’ve had to remove some books covers from my site. I could ask for permission, but I guess you know that’s not gonna happen.

The post below was actually a public service blog, and the main intention was to let people know that Changeling Press hadn’t actually closed down. I guess that bit got totally bypassed. It happens.

The snarking on the covers was just that, snarking. I think the covers below are sucky, regardless of whose sensitive little soul I destroy. It always amuses me when writers get all in my face about what really amounts to just one person’s opinion.

Seven Wolves wrote:

Methinks you’ll be waiting a while because I don’t have to prove anything to you or anybody else in blogland my lovely.

The most sensible comment that was expressed, came from Sahara Kelly:

Exactly. So why did a few of the Changeling Press authors decide to gather on my blog to give me what for? Since when did that tactic ever work in blogland? More to the point, since when did that ever wash with me?

I’m sorry, but if you’re not interested in what I’ve got to say, or if my opinion pisses you off to that extent, I suggest you visit other blogs, (there are many to choose from). I’m not in the habit of curbing my thoughts just because it may bother some people. If any of you have visited my blog more than once, then this is something that you should be aware of already.

Seriously guys, some of you really need to grow thicker skins, yes, we all know that some authors are extremely sensitive when it comes to their work, but if you put it out there, you’re automatically inviting people’s opinions. yes, I could have easily said something PC like “the covers below aren’t to my taste”, but that’s not really me, and if you were a regular visitor to this blog, you’d know that already.

By all means tell me that you disagree with me, it wouldn’t be the first time, and I’m sure it wont be the last. Telling me off for having the nerve to say something negative about your work on my blog, is something else all together.

Especially when I know that the cover snarking thing would have passed by peacefully had my blog not been bombarded by Changeling authors lining up to give me a peace of their mind. Suck it up, and move on, if not, go and read this. She puts her point across far more eloquently than I could right now.

Hunting in packs is just not a good look for Changeling. Especially, when the original post was meant to assist, rather than hinder.

Apparently, there’s been rumours circulating that Changeling Press (erotic fiction publishers) are going under, I didn’t know anything about it, until I received this e-mail:

So there ya go folks, the good folks at Changeling aren’t going anywhere just yet. Erm, so they say anyway.

It’s been a while since I visited the Changeling site, and now I know why. They seriously need to reconsider whoever designs their front covers. They suck great big hairy donkey balls. I could do better with my eyes shut.

Here are some shining examples:

UPDATE: Had to remove covers due to not having permission from Changeling Press – See Shelby Morgen’s comment below.

Seriously, whoever came up with these covers were smoking some hard core wacky baccy. I sure hope they’re not actually getting paid for this shit. Sigh.

USA 1- 1 Italy!!

The American boys should have beaten the Italians, but seeing as they couldn’t keep all their men on the field, it was never gonna happen. But hey, you guys are still in with a chance of qualifying into the next round.

You just have to beat Ghana, and hope that Italy beats the Czech Republic. Simple eh? *g*

I’ve actually managed to read a few books in between my crazy-arsed schedule. Here are some of the more noteworthy ones:

I decided to try a couple of Virginia Henley books to see what I was missing. What a total mind-fuck that experiment was.

I’ll not be reading any more of her books, mainly because I hate historicals that have heroes and heroines who are related to previous English monarchs. I hated, hated, HATED the fact that in The Raven and The Rose, the heroine was the love-child of King Edward IV. I can generally put up with books about ‘the ton’ and the whole lords and ladies shit, but romance books that actively involve historical figures tend to make me want to stab myself in the eye.

I have just four words for Virginia Henley books: Paint dry, grass grow. Give me Kleypas anyday. Nuff said.

I rather enjoyed Erin McCarthy’s Houston, We Have A Problem, but to be fair, I had just finished reading both Virginia Henley books, and I desperately needed to purge.

VLT’s The Nerd Who Loved Me was another treat, although, I realised about six pages in, that I’d read it already. She’s not everybody’s cuppa, but I think she’s great!

Anyway, gotta go, cuz that bitch Grace is being evicted out of the Big Brother house any minute now. Oh what an exciting life I lead! *g*

England Through To The Group Stages…

Friday, June 16, 2006
Posted in: Uncategorized

Go Becks!

England 2- 0 Trinidad!!!

Nice one boys!!

I wish the English press would get off their bloody backs though, at least we didn’t get thrashed like the US did. Sorry guys. *g*

Karen Does Sharon Cullars…

Wednesday, June 14, 2006
Posted in: Uncategorized

So I recently read Again, by Sharon Cullars. Here’s the blurb:

My Verdict

I liked this story. I really did. However, it wasn’t perfect, but before I go on about the things that made me want to growl like a lion on steroids, I’ll tell you what I did like about it.

I thought Cullars had a good voice, she was easy to read, and the book was compelling enough to keep me amused during the horrendous landing that me and The Tall Guy experienced on our way back from Dusseldorf. (I’m still convinced that the pilot on that flight was on some sort of a training scheme).

I liked the heroine because she didn’t piss me off. I liked the hero, because he didn’t piss me off. You may think that this is an odd thing to point out, but trust me, I’ve read some right duds lately, but thankfully, this wasn’t one of the legions of shitty books that have come my way in the past few weeks.

Although Tyne was having a hard time at work, and things hadn’t gone quite as she had planned, she didn’t sit around bitching and moaning like a crack addict going cold turkey. She was a woman in control, and that’s how I like my heroines. There aren’t many authors(IMO) who can pull off strong heroines, that don’t end up pissing me off, for one reason or another. Cullars managed to do this rather nicely.

David, the hero, was very appealing, even though he had some issues. It was easy to warm to him, because I’m a romance reader who prefers the hero to be more gaga over the heroine, than the other way round.

There was a point in the story where David did start to get a leetle annoying, but I got over that, quick sharp.

Now, let’s talk about what I didn’t like about the story.

There were just too much jumping about between the different times, and the constant head hopping between the different characters did my head in . At one point, I’d read a full page before I realised that David was no longer David Carvelli in modern day Chicago, rather he was Joseph whatshisface from the year 1879. This happened more than once, and it frustrated the tits off me.

Again was unpredictable in parts, mostly due to the fact that at one point, you couldn’t work out how Cullars was going to give Tyne and David a happy ending. She gave them a HEA, but to be honest, it wasn’t as satisfactory as it could have been , considering everything that had gone on.

Something else that I didn’t particularly appreciate about the story, was the sub-plot involving David’s mother’s ESP abilities. Totally unnecessary, and just took up precious pages that could have been dedicated to David and Tyne’s evolving relationship.

Again was a beautiful story, and although it wasn’t totally flawless, I do think that a lot of readers would be able to look beyond the not-so-good things, and still manage to enjoy, what definitely was a better than average story.

When Readers Hit Back…

Sunday, June 11, 2006
Posted in: Uncategorized

I’m too busy to blog constructively, so I think I’ll direct you to an Interesting post by Indida. This was my favourite paragraph:

Tee hee. That’s how I get when I’m PMSing too *g*

A Positive Start…

Sunday, June 11, 2006
Posted in: Uncategorized

England 1 – 0 Paraguay!!!!!

Next up Trinidad and Tobago on Thursday!! Go the boys!!

Karen Has World Cup Fever…

Thursday, June 8, 2006
Posted in: Uncategorized

Sorry for the lack of posts guys, but I’m as busy as a little bee right now. Apologies for all those people who I owe reviews to, I’ll get to them soon, I promise!

With the pressures of househunting, the impending Fifa World Cup, the whole “Will Rooney be fit to play?” question, and trying to organise a bunch of grown men into their hotel in Germany, I don’t even have time to breathe.

Now that the World Cup is officially starting tomorrow, my posting will be even more sporadic, so please bear with me, I promise normal service will resume shortly!

So, is anybody outside the US, cuz you guys don’t understand how important this tournament is *g* doing anything special for the world cup?

GO ON ENGLAND!!!!!!!! No snide remarks Maili, at least we qualified!!!

CJ Hollenbach EC Model, not my cuppa

I’m aware of who the Elloras Cavemen are, and apart from the whole squicky Chippendales (you know I just nearly wrote The Chipmunks cuz I couldn’t remember their name *g*) type feel to them, most of them are ok (if you’re into that kinda look, which I most decidedly am not), however I tend to stay away from the covers featuring CJ Hollenbach.

Not that I’ve got anything against him, but he is so not my idea of a hero. In my humble opinion, he’s the worst out of the bunch, yet it seems that the EC creative team have had a moment of madness, and he is now on all their Quickies. Whyyyyyyyyy?

Bootiful Cover…

Anyway, moving on swiftly, I immediately went and got Bone Deep, by Bonnie Dee, after reading Bam’s review of it, doesn’t it sound fabulous? If I feel strongly enough about it once I read it, I’ll review. How lovely is this cover?

I love this show for a variety of reasons. Firstly, Trinny and Susannah are hilariously frank, secondly, I think most of us are able to identify with a lot of the women on the show in terms of how we look at ourselves, and our bodies, and thirdly, there’s an underlining psychological message that in today’s cover-model-obsessed era, is really quite important.

It’s not always about changing who you are, or losing weight, it’s about feeling better about yourself, regardless of your size or shape, without going to extremes.

Clothes really do make a difference. Which is my excuse to The Tall Guy, every time I go on a mad and expensive shopping spree.

I haven’t watched the American version of this show, but I can’t imagine that it’s as good as the original. No offense to you Americans out there, but I’ve watched your version of The Office. And it sucks great big hairy donkey balls.

Again, By Sharon Cullars…

Sunday, June 4, 2006
Posted in: Uncategorized

Is this just not the most gorgeous cover? The woman behind the lilies is hot, and if I was that way inclined, I sure would *g*.

Anyway, I’ll be reviewing Again by Sharon Cullars sometime this week.

Check out this blurb from Amazon:

Doesn’t that sound positively yummy?

Calling All Authors…

Saturday, June 3, 2006
Posted in: Uncategorized

So, Anne’s got a question for authors and aspiring writers out there:

“how detailed do you write your synposis? and what’s the average length?”

She’s having trouble coming up with a synopsis for her very first book, so any advice would be mightily appreciated!