Jill Shalvis - Instant Attraction

Publisher: Kensington Brava

ISBN-13: 978-0758231239

My rating: 5/5


Accountant Katie Kramer is a quintessential good girl--working hard, recycling diligently, all the while trying to ignore the feeling that she doesn't fit in anywhere. That's all she wants. Well, that--and amazing sex, and the kind of daredevil escapade she can look back on when she's crunching numbers in a dusty cubicle. Which explains why she just took a job in Wishful, California, working for Wilder Adventures and Expeditions. Waking up to find a magnificently built stranger towering over her bed--that part defies explanation. . .
After wandering the planet for months following a life-changing accident, Cameron Wilder has come back to the only home he knows. Under other circumstances, he might be thrilled to find a gorgeous woman sleeping in his cabin, but now, while he'll risk his body taking clients on adrenaline-drenched excursions, his heart is off limits. Still, Katie's killer smile triggers something deep in his gut. . .among other places. Showing her how exhilarating it can be to stop balancing her life as if it was a checkbook is the biggest rush he's ever felt--and an adventure Katie's wishing would never end... (amazon.com)


My thoughts

No wonder 3/4 of the female population is ooh'ing and ahh'ing about this book. Two words: It's GREAT. It pulls you in from the very first page and doesn't let go of you until the very end.

The main characters are Katie and Cameron (Cam) who meet in Cam's bedroom on the very first page. Great start!

Katie's just survived a traumatic accident when she flees from her life to seek some adventure - in the Sierras where she's taken on a temp job with WILDER ADVENTURES. Cam returns from his year of "finding himself traveling the world" at the same time and finds Katie in his bed. He has to deal with his own demons as well after a snowboarding accident finished his careers.

Both have an "instant attraction" and agree to do the "no strings attached" fun time. Yet, over the few weeks they lean to cope and work at their bottled up problems. The way they help each other to deal with their past was well developed and I loved it. And with the Jill Shalvis' touch of wit and humour the story was close to perfect.

Katie's a great character - I really liked her. "Balls out" is her motto, live her life and no regrets. She's the one in the "relationship" who gives, is open about her feelings and so down to earth, one can not like her. Even a guy like Cam who's trying his darnest.


So if you please excuse me, I need to order Stone's and TJ's books .... NOW!


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ebook Giveaway - Journey to Her Dreams

Journey to Her Dreams 
ebook Giveaway

Hollie and Sam live at opposites of the world and their lives couldn’t be more different, yet they share something in common.

Hollie Anderson is in her mid-twenties and living with her father, Murray, on a farm just outside Launceston in Tasmania. Her mother died at childbirth and Murray raised his daughter on his own. According to his own words he’s done a bloody good job with it, too. Hollie has got the looks, she likes her job at a local newspaper and loves the company of her friends, who go way back to school days. Two of those are Alex and Davo … she should be happy, right?

But lately Hollie’s dreams are literally keeping her from more than just having a decent sleep.

Apart from those dreams Hollie’s life is good. She enjoys life and her best friend Alex is a big part of it. The two young women have known each other since Kindergarten and have grown up together. They are a close team. At weekends they usually catch up with old school friends, like Davo, who is the oldest in their group and the one organising most get-togethers, or Ben, a primary teacher in Davenport and the one who has lately been the reason for the butterflies in Alex’s tummy.

During one of those nights out, Hollie meets Jeremy who has just moved into town. Jeremy seems to have everything a woman would like in a man, the looks, the money, the good job – and he knows it, too. Their relationship blossoms over the summer, but Jeremy knows that Hollie won’t fully commit to their new relationship until she makes sense of her dreams and what they stand for. So with the help from Alex and Davo, Jeremy organises a surprise birthday present which takes Hollie to Dublin … but what she discovers is so much more.

Sam Shaughnessy lives in Dublin, Ireland husband Padraic. Like Hollie, she works in advertising, though she is the Head of Advertising. She seems to have it all – a successful career, gorgeous looking husband, good looks and money.

But her life appears to crumble from underneath her and it’s when she meets Hollie and Davo that life all of a sudden takes a different turn. Sam as well will find more than she initially had looked for.

I'm giving away one free copy of "Journey to Her Dreams". This is an E-book (pdf) and is available for international winners. All you have to do is:

  • comment on this post and either FB share or re-tweet this post (pls add the link).
  • Winner will be chosen using Random.org
  • This giveaway is open to International entrants.
  • eBook Giveaway will end 3 December when I log in in the morning (Eastern Australian Time).
  • Winner will be notified by email and announced on my blog.
EASY ! Oh, and yes, Good luck!!

Rachel Gibson - No Man of Mine



Publisher: Avon

ISBN: 9780061579110

My rating: 3/5


Autumn Haven's Las Vegas "to-do" list said to catch a show and play the slots—not wake up married to a sexy jerk like Sam Leclaire. The first moment she saw him eyeing her like a luscious piece of the dessert buffet, her usually responsible self told her run. And she did—right into the wildest fantasy weekend of her life. But Monday morning jolted her back to reality and before she could say "pass the coffee" Sam was gone.
Now a successful wedding planner, Autumn she hasn't clapped eyes on the heart-breaking hockey superstar for over two years... until she organizes his teammate's "Special Day," where Sam makes a BIG play to pick up where he left off! But she has vowed any man of hers plays for keeps. Is Sam the man for her or does she banish him to the sin bin forever? (www.rachelgibson.com)

My thoughts

This story reads like a little stream of water trickling away in front of you - you like it, but it doesn't get your heart racing.
Autumn and Sam spent a few days and nights years earlier in Vegas, got married, got divorced, and Autumn ended up raising their son on her own, though with financial help from Sam and some overnight stays.

Autumn is a lovely character, a struggling mum trying to establish her business as a wedding / events planner. Sam is the typical "over-alpha-male" and  Hockey player with the Chinooks. After five years they meet again at a wedding. Wait, meet again? I thought they had a son together and Sam was taking him for overnight stays? Yes, I didn't get that one.

Anyway, they meet again and the whole "Why?" with-himself-conversation starts. And I don't get it either ... he left her in the hotel room, because she wasn't his type?  Then of course, Autumn's with-herself-conversation that she couldn't trust him. I kinda get that, once bitten twice shy ...

So - all in all, not the best Gibson story, but a lighthearted read for a weekend in front of the fire or at the beach .... don't expect too much though. If you haven't read a Gibson book yet, I'd recommend "Daisy's Back in Town"

Trailer - Journey to Her Dreams

I had a bit of a try with a trailer for my newly released book "Journey to her Dreams" by Astraea Press.
It's not designed to be a professional promo trailer, but in memory of a good friend I lost a few years back who I thought of when writing the story.
I hope you like it as well. If I get more than 10 comments I will randomly select a "winner" for a free  pdf copy of "Journey".


Release of "Journey to Her Dreams"


Published by Astraea Press

“Journey to Her Dreams”

is now available at every major online book store or here:





Would you travel around the world to uncover the reason for your dreams?
Hollie, a young woman from Tasmania does, and during her journey to Ireland, she is determined to find out what is behind those dreams about “the other woman”. Yet, during her quest for answers, Hollie finds more than just the reason for it.




Take control of your future today.
Sam rolled her eyes and shook her head at the sleazy slogan at the back of the bus. Yet, it gave her an idea and she thought about a possible Mega Rear Ad on the Dublin bus when her phone announced an incoming call.
“Good morning, it’s Phoebe here –”
But her assistant didn’t have a chance to finish the sentence. “Phee, I’m on my way to the office. I’ve only just come out of the meeting with Mr. Fitzgerald.”
A lie.
“Give me ten minutes.”
Phoebe persisted with her message though. “The meeting this afternoon with Mr. Jackson has been cancelled. He’s still out of town. The new appointment will be next Wednesday, same time.”
As she strode by the shop window, Sam admired her reflection. She liked what she saw. So what? She was vain, but appearance was important to her and she loved to accentuate the main feature in her face – her beautiful, bright blue eyes. She watched herself in the window, her long legs seeming even longer in her new high heels which had cost a fortune, her delicate fingers proudly showing off her wedding ring, the diamond earrings and her cheeks which had turned slightly rosy after the facial.
“This actually suits me fine,” she finally replied after admiring herself. “Don’t expect me in the office this afternoon. I’ll be out for the rest of the day. I'll work on the layouts for the January edition tomorrow.” She hung up without even waiting for a response, checked the time and dialled a number.
“Hello?”
“Claire?” Sam opened her car and threw her bag in the back. “How about some lunch?”
“When?”
“Now.”
“Sam, seriously, someone has to tell you one day that other people actually need to work hard for their money.” Claire replied. “How about I meet you in about half an hour on George Street?”
“Grand. I look forward to it.”
Sam got in her car and drove back into the main streets of Dublin. The cars ahead of her were slow, and she took a deep breath and tried to ignore her obvious dislike of the winter season. Dublin’s streets were still wet from the rain the last few days, and Sam cursed at the glare off the street from the afternoon sun and the more-than-usual midday traffic. Christmas wasn’t far off and the shops were doing their best to lure the customers into the main streets for some last minute shopping – Ireland’s capital was packed. While searching for a parking spot, she noticed how many Christmas lights had already gone up. The smell of candles and candies were in the air, which put a smile on Sam’s face. She remembered her family Christmases with great fondness. She crossed the street, and when she came out of the protection of the building she was brought back to reality with the icy breeze on her face. Sam pulled the collar of her coat a tad higher in a weak attempt to shield herself from the cold air and walked towards the café.
Sam noticed Claire gazing at her, but chose to ignore that her friend was shaking her head in disbelief.
“Don’t tell me,” Claire said with a courteous but patronising voice.
“Okay, I won’t,” Sam said casually as she greeted Claire with a kiss on the cheek.
Claire flashed a look of frustration. “You know exactly what I mean, Sam. He did it again, didn’t he?”
Sam’s mouth spread into a thin-lipped smile. “Let’s not talk about it.”
“Is this why we’re here?”
“No!” Sam protested. “I had a meeting cancelled and instead of going into the office, I thought I should catch up with you before Christmas. Things have been so hectic lately; it feels like I haven’t seen you forever. I can’t believe it’s the end of the year already. No idea where the time has gone. What are you up to for Christmas?”
Sam and Claire had been friends for a few years. Both had worked for a small Irish newspaper in Dublin before Sam got the promotion to her current job as Head of Advertising with a popular and well-established magazine. The women kept in contact over the years, developing a wonderful friendship. Claire moved to Dublin after she had finished school in Limerick on the west coast. She wanted to enjoy life in the big city – London was out of her reach, so she had settled for Dublin. Even though Sam knew Claire considered herself an attractive woman with her long dark hair, Mediterranean complexion, dark brown eyes and beautiful facial features, she always teased Sam about the time and effort she invested in her appearance.
The women went into their favourite café and made themselves comfortable in the far corner next to the open fire. Sam hung up her long black coat and ordered her coffee; Claire had her usual Espresso. They both loved the rustic atmosphere of the cosy little place amidst the Irish capital, the old-fashioned flair and the constant aroma of freshly made coffee – perfect spot for a chat and some time out.
Claire loosened her scarf a bit. I’ll be with Mum and Dad over Christmas. Hannah will be having her birthday party on New Year’s Eve. You should come. You remember Hannah, don’t you?”
Sam knew how much Claire missed her family in Limerick. Life in Dublin was wonderful, and everything her friend always wanted, but nothing could replace the comforts of family and home.
“I don’t know about the party yet, Claire. Padraic’s going skiing, but I’m not sure whether he’ll be back for New Year’s Eve or not,” she muttered uneasily.
Claire shrugged. “Well, let me know if you can come. It’ll be a grand party.”
“I haven’t seen Hannah since your birthday in June. How is she?”
“She’s still in Limerick. I did tell you about her pregnancy, didn’t I? The baby is due in late April. I so cannot wait to become an auntie.” Claire said excitedly.
Hannah was Claire’s younger sister who had chosen a different path of life than her sibling but, despite their different lifestyles, they were close. Sam somewhat envied them for their close bond.
Sam took another sip of her coffee. “We’ll be with Padraic’s family on Christmas. The usual, you know. I'll go to Mum and Dad’s the day after. Dad’s not doing too well at the moment, so I'll be staying with them for a few days.”
“The usual, indeed. Is this his excuse to go skiing?” Claire replied with heavy irony.
“No. You know he doesn’t get along with Mum and Dad too well. And a little break will do me good, too.”
Sam felt Claire’s gaze on her. “Sam. What you need is a big break. What is it with you? You’re beautiful. You’re intelligent. You’re successful, confident and married to a husband who doesn’t appreciate you. It’s time, Sam. It’s time for a change.”
“He’s not a bad person, you know. You see some bruises and instantly assume it was Padraic. Accidents do happen. He is a caring husband. And he is extremely successful, and easy on the eyes.”
Claire shook her head. “Accidental bruises. Good one, Sam.”
Sam waved her arm in the air. She didn’t want to hear about it anymore. “Anyway, what I actually wanted to tell you about was this dream I had the other night. The weirdest one I’ve had for a while,” Sam said. “Quite bizarre, actually. There was this girl, somewhere in the countryside, who was with this truly handsome guy. Short dark hair, beautiful eyes, tall, and, boy, did he have a sexy body. Anyway, they were driving in this dashing car. Once he made a move on her in the car, she panicked and got out. Bizarre how clear it all seemed. I can't recall ever having a dream like this.”
“Who was it?” Claire asked and Sam knew her friend would be annoyed with the change of subject.
“No idea. But you should have seen him. No way would I have left the car.” Sam couldn’t help herself, but her mouth twitched into a grin.
She was aware Claire disapproved of her love for flirting, particularly since she was married, and often expressed her opinion whether that could be a reason for Padraic’s moments of rage.
Claire gazed over the rim of her Espresso cup as she took a sip. “So you’re telling me about your dreams now, because we can’t talk about your real life?” Sam's eyes darted around the café in frustration. “Give it a break, Claire. I’m telling you because this one felt so real. You know, you have dreams, odd ones and mostly truly weird. This one was different. It was like somehow I sensed his touch on me.”
“Now you’re giving me shivers, Sam. Honestly, I don’t want to drag on about it, but I honestly think it’s just another sign of you and Padraic ...”
Sam shook her head regretfully. “Never mind! Just forget about it.”
“Sam!”
Sam noticed a bit of anger and disappointment creeping up in her. She glanced at her watch. “Sorry Claire, I forgot to keep an eye on the time. I’d better go.”

WIP - next Chapter



This is part of chapter two of my current WIP.
I'd appreciate any comments.
Even better constructive critism.
Best of all would be comments if you like it.

Emma’s shift was only starting in an hour’s time, but she took a lift from Jack as she usually did on Mondays. Jack worked an extra hour each Monday and Friday to cover for a longer lunch when he was allowed to use the gym in the basement.

“Excuse me?”

Emma turned around and looked into Nadine’s beautiful eyes.

“Good morning, Nadine. It was Nadine wasn’t it?”

The girl’s face lit up. “Yes, but Mum always called me Naddie.”

“May I call you Naddie?”

Emma filled her glass with more orange juice. She always used the extra hour to enjoy a good breakfast at the hotel – thank goodness it was part of her arrangement. She studied the little girl, who was holding on to her oversized doll, which was wearing the same outfit as Nadine – pink t-shirt imprinted with ‘My beautiful Princess’, a denim skirt with a Barbie on it surrounded by lots of pink hearts in all sizes, pink shiny sandals and the brown hair done up in a pony tail.

“Where are your grandparents, Naddie?”

“Still in the room. Talking on the phone. Grandmother is always on the phone,” little Nadine added.

“Do you think you’re allowed to have a bit of breakfast with me?”

Nadine nodded overenthusiastically and sat down opposite Emma.

“Do they know where you are?”

The little head moved up and down and with her eyes wide open she said, “Told Grandpa.”

“I like your outfit,” Emma said while she took another glass and filled it with juice.

Nadine took one of the rolls. “Mum’s friend gave it to me for my birthday.”

“I take it you like Barbie.”

“Yes!” And that was literally the keyword to get Nadine started. She was bubbling with information about Barbie and which Barbie she had at home, which one she would like to have, about Ken and not to forget all the Barbie movies. Emma felt a bit overwhelmed by all these details but enjoyed listening to her new friend, when she all of sudden heard Teresa’s firm voice.

“Nadine!”

Nadine’s face suddenly lost its spark when she saw her grandmother.

“My apologies,” Teresa stopped in front of Emma. She hesitated. “Emma, wasn’t it?”

“Yes ma’am.”

“I do apologies for Nadine. I have no idea where she has her manners from ...”

“Ma’am, there’s no need to apologise. I really enjoyed her company.”

But Teresa had already grabbed Nadine by the wrist and pulled her off the seat. Then she turned to Emma again.

“Say Emma, I need someone to look after Nadine this afternoon. Who would be the best one to contact here in the hotel to organise this for me?”

Emma was a bit stumped by this question. She stared at Teresa Gibbs and was a bit intimidated by her. Mrs Gibbs glared like her old English teacher from fifth grade with the hair that probably used to be black and had now faded into grey tied up in a bun, her face reading like a map of time with every line a memory of her life, her grey eyes dulled with age, lifeless and hollow, and her mouth tight as if a nice word had never crossed these lips. Not to mention her clothes, which Emma thought, would be older than Emma herself.

 “Well I suppose the reception, which will be me in about fifteen minutes.”

“Can I leave that in your capable hands to organise this?”

“Well ... I suppose ... I mean ... that’s a new one for me, but I suppose, yes.”

Teresa grew impatient. “Emma, is that a yes or no?”

“It’s a yes ma’am,” Emma replied slightly embarrassed but yet with more confidence this time, even though she had no idea how to handle this request.

“Thanks, Emma. I would need someone between one and two-thirty.” And with that she left. Emma quickly gave a little wave to Nadine before she was out of her sight.

She finished her breakfast, returned her dishes to the kitchen and made her way to the reception area where she caught up with Jacqueline before she took over from her at the reception. It seemed like a quiet morning as she glanced over to the hotel lobby. The spacious entrance lit up with crystal chandeliers in contrast to the contemporary colours of the sand-coloured marble floor and the walnut panelling on the walls. Again, Emma gazed envious at the chocolate brown coloured furnishings which were according to Management strategically selected and arranged to allow a visual play of light and space. She loved that slogan. It had so many words, but really didn’t say anything at all.

Nightshifts at the reception were usually done by Jacqueline, who tried to study Business Management during the day.

 “Hey, Jacqui?”

Jacqui turned towards Emma. “Hmm?”

“How do I get a babysitter for this afternoon?”

Jacqui just stared at Emma and slowly lifted her eyebrows. “A babysitter?”

“Yes, for Room 502. They need a babysitter for their granddaughter.”

“Geez, Em, you’ve just given me a fright.”

Emma rolled her eyes. “Yeah, right – as if.”

Emma followed Jacqui as she went over to the office and reached for a drawer and removed a little folder.

“You should find all the details in here. But good luck. I’m not sure whether they can provide anybody on such short notice.”

“Great!” Emma said wryly.

Jacqui padded Emma’s arm. “You’ll be right. Jack should be here any minute and he can give you a hand.”

Emma took the folder and quickly flicked through it. “Thanks Jacqui,” she mumbled, but when she lifted her head she saw Jack standing in front of her – and almost dropped the folder it gave her such a fright.

“Geez, Jack! You’ve scared the crap out of me.”

“A hand with what?”

“I need a babysitter.”

Jack raised his eyebrows and a smile tugged at the corner of his mouth. “No worries. I look after you.”


Jill Shalvis - Animal Attraction


Publisher: Berkley Sensation

ISBN: 978 - 0 - 425 - 24400 - 5

My Rating: 3/5


Sunshine, Idaho, is a quiet ranching town that provides a perfect refuge for injured animals ... and sometimes, people. And veterinarian Dell Connelly suspects there's a reason his clinic's ueberefficient receptionist has taken shelter here.

Jade Bennett couldn't be happier to escape her well-meaning but smothering family and their expectations, not to mention the big-city jungle. There's nothing like working with animals, having a forlorn, grumpy stray kitten make its home under her desk ... or enjoying the gorgeous views of her ruggedly sexy boss to help her forget her past.

But Dell's seductive, alluring ways have sparked an uncontrollable desire, one Jade hadn't expected to feel again. And though Dell has never had time for love, Jade's strength and sass is the kind of call no red-blooded male can resist ... (from the back of the cover)


My thoughts

Okay - there's no denying: I LOVE JILL SHALVIS' Books. I haven't read many, but each are like ice cream with an extra dollop of cream and sprinkles.

Yet, I have a feeling Shalvis had a bad day with this one. And we all have bad days, don't we, so we have to compromise and not only see the bad things.

I loved Animal Magnetism and the whole set up in Sunshine. So naturally I was looking forward to Dell's story (AND I CAN'T WAIT  FOR ADAM's TURN!). But it was a bit of a let down. It's almost 300 page of repetition of Dell being so alpha male and Jade leaving soon - and a bit of filler in between with Adam, Brady and Lilah. But it's the witty remarks, the witty conversations that make up for it and make it a worthwhile book to read, not only for Shalvis lover.

By far not as good as Lucky Harbour, which has been so far a brilliant series, and not close to Brady's story in Animal Magnetism, but still a must for all Shalvis fans!

NB - One tiny little remark at the end though. I wasn't sure whether to include it or not, but after two or more months of editing my own book I was distracted by all the mistakes in this book. For me it's about the worst part of writing, but as a reader I like a clean book even if it means I have to wait longer. I can live with mistakes, but this one was riddled with it.

So let's move on ... Lucky Harbour #3 is being released soon :-) ... *'s counting days already* ... and Adam's story in 2012.



Susan Elizabeth Phillips - Ain't she Sweet

Publisher: Avon

ISBN: 978-0060589776

My rating: 3/5

Sugar Beth Carey, the one-time “wild child” of Parrish, Mississippi, returns home to face a slew of old enemies lining up to get even. Worst of all is Colin Byrne, the man whose career Sugar Beth destroyed. Now he’s a famous novelist living in Sugar Beth’s old mansion, and he’s using his writer’s imagination to figure out how to bring the town’s former princess to her knees.
(www.susanephillips.com)


My thoughts

Ain't She Sweet is one of those books where I was undecided on what rating to give this book.  It was a great read, and nowadays I don't expect anything less from SEP, she's just one hell of a writer, but ... hmmm .... how to put it into words. The plot was good, funny, witty, great dialogue etc, but I had a hard time warming up to the characters.

Sugar Beth is coming back to Parrish after years away and three marriages later. She's not welcomed with open arms is an understatement, old feelings of feelings of betrayal and dislike creeps up in most of the town's residents.
I liked Sugar Beth - she's one hell of a character, backbone comes to mind, matured alright etc. Colin's is OK, but the most annoying person of all was Winnie - in her insecurity she came across selfish, petty and shallow.

I'd recommend Ain't She Sweet to all of those SEP lovers, but it's certainly not her best work. For those readers (really? There are some out there?) please have your first Phillips experience with a different book like "Dream a little Dream" or "Nobody's Baby but Mine".

Susan Elizabeth Phillips - Breathing Room

Publisher:  Avon

ISBN: 978-0060093914

My rating: 3.5/5



She’s Dr. Isabel Favor, America’s diva of self-help. He’s Ren Gage, Hollywood’s favorite bad guy. She’s lost her money, her fiancé, and her reputation. He makes his living killing people—one the the silver screen, that is. Sometimes all it takes is a special place . . . a special love . . . a little breathing room . . . for life to deliver all its glorious promise. (www.susanephillips.com)


My thoughts

Gee, I like SEP's books. Another great read. From start to almost the end. Yes, I have to admit, the end was close to ridiculous or unbelievable that I wondered whether I had picked up the wrong book.

The main characters are Isabel and Lorenzo "Ren". She's just lost everything important in her life when she flees to Italy for some time out. But she meets Ren who's in Italy about to start his next movie. Order meets Chaos! I really liked the two characters, Ren even more when he got the hang of playing with the kids, or the potty training. I had a good giggle.

The sub-plot is about Ren's ex-wife Tracey and her husband Harry. With their marriage in pieces, Tracey comes to Italy for help from Ren - out of all people!

It was a typically SEP story with twist and turns, love and misunderstandings and a really good read for everyone who loves a good romance. I wasn't really sure how to rate it because bottom line, I had it read within days and I loved it. But it doesn't have the characters like in Dream a Little Dream or even the depth.

All in all - a great read, yet not of SEP's best one, but still highly recommendable!