Weekly Reader

Five books on the list this week, but one of them was a wallbanger, so that explains the anamoly of reading more. LOL! I didn't really spend any extra time at it. So let's get right to it.

Josh Ryan knew he wasn't going to heed his own warning. A single mom and a baby on the run? Two men in hot pursuit? Josh's ranger training and his Texas roots left him no choice - he was hardwired to help.

Rule #2: Do anything to save her

But the battle-scarred ex-soldier didn't want to be a hero. And now the very worst had happened - he had fallen in too deep. Clare had gotten under his skin, and her little son was looking at him with adoring eyes. He'd broken the unwritten code, making Clare even more of a target in the process. To save her, he would have to do the unthinkable.

He'd have to make her go..

Here's the wallbanger. I got to page 85 before I closed it and moved on. Wouldn't suspect from the description above that this would be the case, but I guess this one explains why you can't judge a book by its cover. Josh was great. I loved the complexity of who he was, his feelings were well represented. I got right inside his head. I hated Clare. She was a heroine who was TSTL. It started early - she's being chased by goons who want to kidnap her son and take him back to his middle eastern father. Josh comes to the rescue but she argues about getting in the truck with him because . . . wait for it . . . he doesn't have a car seat for her son. EXCUSE ME? You are being chased by men who are shooting at you, trying to kill you to take your son away permanently and your worried about a car seat? It got worse from there. AS much as I would have loved to read more about Josh, he was deserving of a better heroine. My philosophy on these such things is that there are thousands of books and so little time - why waste it on this. Don't.

Diamonds, jewels of every kind, in fact, are Taylor Kincaid's best friends. The only thing she enjoys more is the challenge of stealing them, at which she excels like few others in the world. And specializing in plundering precious stones from wealthy international criminals just makes it all the more satisfying . . . and dangerously exciting. So for Taylor, there's no resisting the double allure of snatching the elusive Blue Star diamonds, a prize she has pursued across three continents, from the South American stronghold of the murderous Morales terrorist organization.

The heist goes down without a hitch. Until Taylor discovers she has made off with more than she bargained for, namely the secret security-system codes that provide access to a South African diamond mine, packed with enough gems to sink a battleship. Suddenly, Taylor's no longer just an ultrachic freelance jewel thief, but a reluctant player in a high-stakes cat-and-mouse game against elite global trouble-shooters and bloodthirsty terrorists.

There's nothing reluctant, however, about Huntington St. John, the top T-FLAC operative who's hot on Taylor's trail. And in Taylor's opinion, just plain hot. The feeling, emotional and otherwise, is very mutual. Though they're on opposite sides of the law, Hunt and Taylor swiftly come to appreciate each other's well-honed skills. But since ecstasy is fleeting, and diamonds are forever, Taylor soon slips from the sheets and hits the streets . . . to reclaim the jewels she stashed overseas. And true to his name, Hunt is close behind, but this time, he's after more than the codes. With the clock ticking, and two groups of terrorists closing fast, they'll have to mix pleasure with some very risky business. If they can survive danger at every turn, outwit the ultimate high-tech security system, and somehow conquer each other . . . they just might get everything they desire.

This gets a 4+Gold. Another fantastic story in her T-FLAC series. This one was James Bondesque in the scope of the adventure with a unique heroine of incredible skill and tender vulnerabilities. She's matched with an alpha male who isn't threatened by her smarts or her skills, and who wasn't afraid to love. Superb!

The runt of the lab she was created in, Dawn Daniels endured years of torture by her pride brother and the council soldiers. Finally freed from her torment, she's now a Breed Enforcer, in control of her own life. Until she's assigned to protect the one man destined to be her mate- and realizes it's far too easy to lose total control.

If you haven't gotten on board with Lora Leigh's Breed series, you are missing something amazing and entertaining. Go. Right now. And find these and get started. You won't be sorry. She's an automatic buy for me, especially any and all her Breed stories. This one gets a 4+Gold also and may possibly be one of my favorites next in line after Tempting the Beast, Elizabeth's Wolf, and Soul Deep. I'd been saving this one, as another Breed book isn't out until September - Mercury's War. Dawn and Seth appeared in one of the first books and it's taken years for them to get together. I admit to some frustration in the beginning when Dawn was being stubborn about being Seth's mate and they were doing nothing but spit at each other, but as always Lora didn't disappoint when she finally put them in each other's arms. Great action, great intrigue, and great sex. What more could a girl ask for! Kudos, Lora!

Devlin Bane: Born a Paladin, he is a member of an ancient band of warriors locked in a centuries-old war against evil.

His destiny: To die over and over again to protect mankind from the Others, only to be revived each time by his mortal Handler.

But his fierce strength and courage cannot save him from gradually becoming one of the monsters he was born to destroy.

Dr Laurel Young, who has spent years training to be a Handler, must remain detached from her patients. But each time she revives the darkly compelling Devlin Bane, he claims a little more of her soul and incites in her desires that grow wilder and wilder -- even as he inches closer to losing his humanity. As the war against the Others grows more desperate, Laurel and Devlin can't help but give in to the fierce hunger that's sizzled between them for so long. Now they'll face the ultimate battle together -- to save a dark, passionate love that goes against every rule a they join forces to fight an enemy who is closer than they imagined . . .

How many times must this immortal warrior die before he can claim the only woman he desires?

This book was a random buy at Borders. I admit I was intrigued by the premise. This one gets a 4. The characters are solid and compelling. I loved Devlin and his band of warriors. I got right on board with what Laurel was trying to do to help the Paladin's survive. And if the details of the Paladins and the war with the Others was a little on the skimpy side and the action shallow, I forgave because the emotions sucked me right in. It was enough to make me go buy the other three in this series.

As a Paladin warrior, Blake Trahern fights and dies again and again to keep mankind safe from the Others. Sensing his humanity slipping away with each battle, he retreats from the world...until the one person who still has a claim on his soul needs his help. It's been twelve years since Blake vanished from Brenna Nichols's life, years that have turned her from a love-struck teen into a headstrong, sensual woman. He'll fearlessly give his life to protect her -- yet he dare not risk his heart.

Brenna is stunned by Blake's reappearance, and by a shocking discovery about her father. Everything she has ever believed is thrown into question -- everything except the desire that Blake still ignites. But as they search together for a traitor among the Paladins, danger looms: the next battle could tip Blake into madness, destroying his life, his soul...and the only woman he has ever loved.

This one disappointed. I fell for Blake in Dark Protector, so was excited to get into this story. I struggled to finish it. The only thing that kept me moving on was the interest I had in the Paladins as a whole. Brenna - while supposedly a genius -- at times was TSTL. Her reactions to Blake at times was juvenile and unworthy of someone supposedly so smart. Also, I felt she threw in Devlin, Laurel, and Barak from the first book to shore up a story that meandered around a murder and the war with the Others. Not good plotting. Then, there were editing issues -- things that would NEVER had gotten by my critique group -- that annoyed and distracted. My advice - Alexis, take more time fine-tuning next time. Don't disappoint your readers like this.

I've set aside the other two Paladin books for a moment and started Visions of Heat by Nalini Singh. I got to page nineteen before I decided I needed to stop and go find Slave to Sensation, the first book, before I continue. The world is just enough different, and her writing complex and intriguing, that I think I need to start at the beginning of that one.

Never fear though. There are more T-FLAC in my pile, plus another story by Alyssa Day, and J.R. Ward's Dark Lover in my stack, along with a whole pile of Hannah Howell and The Hollow by Nora Roberts. For those of you keeping track, no I didn't get Sanctuary and True Betrayals from Nora Roberts read. Noted they were way over due - netting me a fine that would have bought the books at the used bookstore, dammit! - so they were returned and the titles put on my list to buy at some point. And - also for those keeping track - yes, it's true. No trip to Borders this week. LOL!

And, this week my Reading Corner is enjoying Mistress by Leda Swann. Pick up your copy and join us. So far, it looks like this is erotica at its finest!

My advice for this week: Television is all reruns. Pick up a book!

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