Monday, December 13, 2010

Undeniably Yours

Undeniably Yours (Kowalski Family, #2)Undeniably Yours by Shannon Stacey

I couldn't wait to read Undeniably Yours after really enjoying the first novel, Exclusively Yours.
This is another great read from Shannon Stacey. I just love the Kowolski family and once again found myself laughing out loud throughout this story.
We met Kevin Kowalski in Exclusively Yours, Joe's younger brother who has recently divorced, left his job as a police officer and is now running a sports bar. He meets Beth one night in the bar when he breaks her drunk boss's nose and subsequently loses her her job. They run into each other again when she is running the bar at Joe's wedding. The get together that night and through a misunderstanding she leaves his hotel room the next morning without leaving her last name or her phone number. She contacts Kevin again six weeks later when she finds out she's pregnant. Kevin wants to be involved with the baby and be supportive to Beth. Kevin really wants a relationship with Beth, and not just because she's pregnant with his child, but she's really holding him at arm's length.
I gave the first novel 5 stars and am only giving this novel 4 stars, I considered only 3 stars but decided it really did deserve more than that.
The only reason being that I just couldn't quite understand why it was that Beth was so fiercely trying to protect her independence and not allow Kevin to get closer. There was no insight into any previous relationship that made her want to be so independent, and although she had protective parents, they didn't seem to smother her.
All in all though another great read and I just wish there were more novels available.....because I'd love to read more of the Kowolski family.

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Sunday, December 12, 2010

Exclusively Yours

Exclusively Yours (Kowalski Family, #1)Exclusively Yours by Shannon Stacey

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved this book. Joe Kowalski and Keri Daniels fell in love in high school, then she broke his heart when she chose to chase a career on the other side of the country. She hasn't seen him in 18 years. He is an author and she is a journalist for a gossip magazine. Her boss wants a juicy story and if Keri doesn't get it she loses her job.
Joe agrees to answer a question a day if she spends a two week camping holiday with him and his family. Joe's entire family is on the trip, his parents, his siblings and his niece and nephew. His brother Mike and his wife Lisa have four sons. Mike thinks its time to get a vasectomy and Lisa thinks its time to have another baby. Also there is Joe's twin sister Terry and her teenage daughter Steph. Terry's husband Evan walked out on her 3 months earlier. Terry also holds a grudge against Keri for walking out on Joe just as much as she walked away from Keri as her best friend at school.
I got so much from this book, it made me laugh out loud at the antics between the family. I think one of the reasons I connected so well with this book is because the family is so real.
The story is infused with so many different types of love that it really is more than just being a romance book. It's full of hearty laughter and family closeness, and is one of those books that are refreshing, light and funny in spite of the drama it portrays.
I'm sure this is a book that I will re-read some time in the near future. For now I can't wait to read Joe's younger brother Kevin's story in "Undeniably Yours".

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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Once Forbidden

Once Forbidden (The MacKendimen, #2) (Jove Highland Fling)Once Forbidden (The MacKendimen, #2) by Terri Brisbin

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I'm a huge fan of Terri Brisbin's Scottish romances and this is one of her novels that I really enjoyed. It really deserves 4 1/2 stars, and I've even considered giving it 5 stars.
"Once Forbidden" is unlike any highland romance I have read before Set in one of my favourite time periods, the early 1300's, Anice McNab has just wed her betrothed, the heir to the clan MacKendimen, Alesander —a family powerful in both name and arms. In the years she has waited for this day, Anice has dreamed of becoming the lady of the clan and its castle, and of finding love with her handsome betrothed. But her dreams of love are brutally shattered on her wedding night when she is brutally raped and beaten by her husband. The Laird of the MacKendimen's and father to Alesander sends his son away to the King in order to protect Anice and the baby she conceived on her wedding night.
The Laird then requests the return of his illegitimate son Robert, a son that he has not accepted publicly to the clan, to take care of Anice's duties whilst she awaits the birth of her baby.
Robert is still struggling to deal with the fact that he has not been acknowledged by his father and his rightful place within the clan. He also finds himself falling in love with Anice, who is fighting her own demons in dealing with the brutal way in which her marriage commenced.
I loved Robert for the way in which he respected Anice and was prepared to do anything he could to gain her trust and make her feel comfortable in their relationship.
Just in case you are wondering there is not a detailed description of the wedding night but throughout the book we get glimpses of what may have happened so that the reader can understand Anice's terrible fear of even coming into contact with the men in the clan. I'm not the sort of reader that likes too much detail when it comes to things such as rape. There's quite a bit of humour in this book too.
This is actually book 2 in a series and I would love to read the other books from the series, but quite a few of Terri's older novels are very hard to come by. I managed to find this one on the Australian Borders website as an ebook. So far no luck in finding the other two.
If you love a good Highland romance then I recommend you have a read of "Once Forbidden".

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Monday, October 25, 2010

Our Wicked Mistake

Madeline May is a young and beautiful widow who calls on the notorious Viscount Altea, Luke for assistance one evening when she believes she's killed a man in her home. A year prior Madeline and Luke had spent a very passionate night together, after which he became distant and avoided her.

Seeing each other again has rekindled their attraction and their affair.

This is a fabulous romance to read. I also enjoyed the back story of Luke's younger sister Elizabeth and her lifelong friend Miles.

I can't wait for the third book in the series to be available "His Sinful Secret" which is out in November 2010.

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Sunday, October 10, 2010

My Lord Scandal

My Lord Scandal (Notorious Bachelors)My Lord Scandal by Emma Wildes

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I'm going to have to order some more of Emma Wildes' novels because I thoroughly enjoyed this story. Its refreshing to read a romance where the hero and the heroine are honest with each other and don't try to deny or destroy their feelings for each other. You can almost feel the chemistry between Alexander and Amelia and wanted them to find a way to be together despite their families disapproval of each other.
It also kept me interested until the end as to why their families hated each other and the mystery surrounding the family heirloom that Alexander was sent to retrieve.
I found "My Lord Scandal" to be a thoroughly enjoyable read.

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Highland Hellcat by Mary Wine

Highland Hellcat (Highlander, #2)Highland Hellcat by Mary Wine

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Mary Wine is a favourite author of mine and I always eagerly anticipate the release of a new novel. Highland Hellcat arrived in my post on Friday and I am so lucky it was a rainy Friday afternoon and all the kids sport was cancelled so that I could stick them in front of a dvd, order take-away and I could lose myself in "Highland Hellcat". I honestly didn't stop until I had reached the last page. Its fantastic. If you love a good highland romance then you will enjoy this novel.

Highland Hellcat is the story of Connor Lindsey and Brinna Chattan. Connor Lindsey is betrothed to Brinna's sister Deidre. Connor refuses to marry Deidre after she has an affair with the enemy, Melor Douglas. He still wants an alliance with the Chattans, so claims Brinna, who is the third daughter of the Chattan and who is promised to the Church.

Mary Wine does a fantastic job of giving you an insight into the time period the story is written. I love the little details that you pick up along the way. I also think that she does a great job with the language of that time.

I can't wait for her next instalment "Highland Heat" due out in 2011.

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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Surviving the School Holidays

There are so many things I intend to do, and that 'to do' list runs through my thoughts constantly. The biggest downfall in my daily life at the moment is the intention to do things and actually getting them done.
Blogging is one of those things. My blog is sadly neglected. One of the reasons I find it so hard to blog is because I want my blog to be full of happy thoughts and wonderful moments. I don't want there to be any negative thoughts or posts at all.
And to be completely honest, I find that just too hard.

I want to be the kind of person that finds the glass half full, rather than half empty.

For the last few years I have really struggled with my health, particularly thyroid issues, never seeming to have the right levels, and if they are where they should be, its only for a short period of time, and then my dosages are adjusted and we are back on the rollercoaster of ups and downs all over again.
For years and years my GP has suggested going on anti-depressents and I continue to avoid it. I constantly tell myself that I can't be depressed because I have so many things to be happy about.
Here are some examples of how I feel and how I should be feeling.

Negative - I suffered Endometriosis and a few other hormone related health issues for nearly 10 years with constant treatments, medications and occasional surgery and the prospect of not having children;
Positive- I now have 4 happy healthy children that I love more than life itself.
Negative - I have thyroid disease and arthritis, can't seem to lose so much as an ounce, am tired and cranky most of my waking hours.
Positive - my illnesses are not life threatening
Negative - my husband works ridiculous hours, the strain of which makes me feel like I'm always on my own with no support
Postive - my husband loves his family and would much rather spend his time at home with us, rather than in his office.
Negative - my father passed away with us barely on civil speaking terms
Positive - I have a mother I adore and who loves my family equally
Negative - financial worries
Positive - I have a roof over my head, food on the table, my kids go to a fantastic school and have amazing opportunities, my husband can play gold and I can scrap

I have a son who struggles sometimes with what the teachers describe as "red thoughts" and "green thoughts" and we have been doing loads of work with him to try and re-train his brain to think more along the lines of green thoughts and to gain a little self confidence.

I am thinking it wouldn't do much harm for me to start taking some of the advice I am giving him and re-train my thoughts.

The school holidays haven't gone exactly as I had planned. The rain hasn't helped.

I have had to tell myself constantly to not worry about the housework and that I need to just take a deep breath and ignore the housework.

Not long now and the kids will be back at school and I can get my house back into order and have a little downtime. Just being able to sit and eat my lunch without the constant interuptions will be a treat.

I want to sit back and enjoy my time with the kids whilst they are little.....but sometimes it just feels impossible.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Captive Hearts

Captive Hearts Captive Hearts by Teresa, J. Reasor

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I really enjoyed "Highland Moonlight" and was really looking forward to this book and I was not disappointed. A book that once you start you just can't put it down. I wish this author had more books available as I think she is fast becoming a favourite.

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Saturday, May 29, 2010

In Bed with a Stranger

In Bed With A Stranger In Bed With A Stranger by Mary Wine

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I had read "In the Warrior's Bed", the story of Cullen McJames, prior to reading "In Bed with a Stranger" which is the story of his older brother Brodick McJames. It didn't really matter, but I prefer to read books in sequence.
This is another great read from Mary Wine and I will keenly await further releases from this author.
My favourite genre, Scottish Warrior weds English blueblood....or so he thinks.
Very fast flowing and easy to read. More great hot debauching to keep your toes warm on these cold winter nights.

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In the Warrior's Bed

In The Warrior's Bed In The Warrior's Bed by Mary Wine

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Great book. I read "In the Warrior's Bed" first, and its actually the sequel to "In Bed with a Stranger". Its a pet hate of mine because I really do prefer to read books in order.
I really enjoyed this love story. Set in Scotland a typical setting wherein the male hero falls for the rival clans daughter. Not bogged down with all the politics of clan wars, its a very fast flowing easy read. Oh and did I mention the very hot and steamy chamber romps. Will keep you warm on a cold winter's night for sure.
This book left me eager to read more of Mary Wine's books. I was very pleased to see that Keir McQuade's story is due for release in August 2010. Will mark it in my calendar.

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Friday, May 21, 2010

On a Highland Shore

On a Highland Shore On a Highland Shore by Kathleen Givens

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Loved loved loved this book. I couldn't put it down. The main hero of the story, Gannon MacMagnus seems to be cut from the same mould as Jamie Fraser from Diana Gabaldon's Cross Stitch series, who just happens to be my favourite ever Scottish highland hero. Set in the early 12th century I learned a little more of Scotland's history and thoroughly enjoyed all of it.

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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Bride of the Beast

Bride of the Beast (MacKenzie Series, #2) Bride of the Beast by Sue-Ellen Welfonder

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
I am looking forward to this book as I really loved Sir Marmaduke in "Devil in a Kilt".

That was my comment 2 days ago, and am now feeling quite disappointed after reading book 2 in this series. It really lacked a bit of everything I look for in a Scottish Highlands romance. The story just didn't flow for me and I just didn't feel any connection or affection for the characters. It was a bit messy really.

I have the third book in the series and will have a go, but if its no better I don't think I'll continue on.

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Sunday, May 16, 2010

Devil in a Kilt

Devil in a Kilt (MacKenzie Series, #1) Devil in a Kilt by Sue-Ellen Welfonder

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This one deserves a little more than 3 stars, but not quite 4. I love a good Scottish Highland romance and this one really ticks all the boxes. I enjoyed it enough that I will continue on with the series. I really enjoyed the characters in this story, not just the hero and heroine, but supporting characters as well. I found the ending lacked a little and it was almost as if it was rushed. If you enjoy romance set in the Scottish Highlands then I highly recommend you read "Devil in a Kilt".

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Sunday, May 9, 2010

Captive of Sin

Captive of Sin Captive of Sin by Anna Campbell

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Can't quite decide how many stars I wanted to give this book. At times I felt it deserved 5 stars and other times I felt I could only give it 3. I really enjoyed reading the story of Gideon and Charis and had great difficulty in putting it down, yet towards the end I felt certain moments fell a bit flat, as though it had been finished in a rush. One thing I can't fault is the connection you feel with the characters, particularly with Gideon. Definitely worth the read.

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Saturday, May 8, 2010

Highland Captive

Elfkings Lady Elfkings Lady by Hannah Howell

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
After reading a few Highland romance tales that were disappointing it was nice to come across one that I really enjoyed. I really enjoyed the characters in this novel and have my fingers crossed that the author has written or will write some romance for some of the background characters.
Definitely worth reading if you enjoy a bit of highland romance.

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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Devil of the Highlands

Devil of the Highlands (Devil of the Highlands, #1) Devil of the Highlands by Lynsay Sands

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I really really enjoyed this book. I love a good romance set in the Scottish highlands and this one certainly did not disappoint. I could certainly feel the love between Cullen and Evelinde and it was refreshing that the story was about their arranged marriage and finding their love for each other, rather than the love each other/hate each other/love each other again pattern. There was mystery as to who was involved, if anyone, in the three deaths within the clan over the last 14 years, enough to keep you interested until the very end. And I finished the book with a very warm and tingly feeling of love.

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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Whitney, My Love

Whitney, My Love (Westmoreland, #2) Whitney, My Love by Judith McNaught

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
I was so looking forward to this book after having read "Kingdom of Dreams" and was hoping that "Whitney My Love" was about a character that we had been introduced to in Kingdom. Oh to be so disappointed. I was so frustrated with this book I was very tempted to quit half way through, but knowing that there was a third book, I should persist. There were times when I felt the book was going to turn into something worth reading, only to be disappointed pages later when it took a turn for the worst. I actually skimmed past a good portion of the book just to get to the end and see where it ended up. There were glimpses of the history of the Westmoreland family which I enjoyed (and that is why I gave it an extra star as I was really only planning on giving it 1 star) and am now worried I might have missed some good bits by skimming through. I don't think I've read a book where the two main love interests could be so damned stupid. I will give the third book a go, and hope that it is more like the first.

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Kingdom of Dreams

A Kingdom of Dreams (Westmoreland, #1) A Kingdom of Dreams by Judith McNaught

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
My favourite type of romance to read are those set in early century Scotland or England and this one fit the bill, an English Duke that falls for a Scottish beauty. If that is your taste then you will most likely enjoy this story. I really liked the main characters, Royce and Jennifer and wanted them to have a fairytale happy ending. In addition I enjoyed some of the other characters within the story as well and was hoping that the sequel to this book was about one of those characters and I couldn't wait to start the second book in this series.

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Sunday, April 11, 2010

Highland Moonlight

Highland Moonlight Highland Moonlight by Teresa J. Reasor

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I really did enjoy this book, the first I have read of this author. I really felt a connection with the characters, and not just the two main characters, but minor characters as well.
There was no lesson in history to be had, but I really enjoyed some of the little bits and pieces included that gave in insight into what some of the everyday rituals and traditions of that particular era in Scotland were like.
I did feel the book was a little slow at times, and felt a little disappointment at the end, only because I felt it finished a bit too quickly and I could have enjoyed some more time with the characters.
If you enjoy reading romance set in early century Scotland, then I think you will enjoy this novel.

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Almost there....

You know some weeks, I just don't know how I manage to get to the end of it in one piece. Its school holidays, which in some ways are better, because the early morning rush is out of the way and there are no school pick ups to do, but in other ways more exhausting than if the kids were at school, because I have to keep them occupied and play referee all day long (well that's how it feels anyway).
Dear husband has been in Townsville for most of this week. Once again there are good things that come from that, because I have to be ULTRA organised and usually am more so because all I think about getting to is managing to get all the kids in bed so I can have a little peace and quiet. And when he's not here, I have control over the tv when the kids are all snoring in their beds!
Even though I would say I pretty much do it all on my own any way every other week of the year, because he works such long hours and isn't here for the 'rush hours' as it is, its still nice when he comes home each night. I would no way swap having an over-worked husband to being a single mother.
So finally Sunday morning of this week we were back together with all 6 of us under the same roof.
I felt a little bit more secure.
The day was filled with getting my house in to some kind of order again....and Geoff spending time getting our yard into some kind of order again. But we were all once again within shouting distance of each other.
The kids played happily outside most of the day with fewer arguments.
I look forward to a pupil free day tomorrow, but I think I will be a little more relieved when school starts again on Tuesday. Am sure I will manage to find some time on Tuesday that I can sit and enjoy a nice hot cup of tea, something I haven't managed to achieve any time in the last 2 weeks.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

In the Shadow of Midnight

In the Shadow of Midnight (Robin Hood, #2) In the Shadow of Midnight by Marsha Canham

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I'm not sure how it happened that I read this book, the second in the Robin Hood series, without having read the first, as I always like to read a series of books in sequence.I really enjoyed the Marsha Canham Highlander series and think this is why I would have chosen to read this series and I am so pleased that I did, because I really really enjoyed it. I am looking forward to reading the remaining 3 books of the series.All of the characters were indeed likeable and I always think its a sign of a good book when you come to the end and you still want more.

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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Midnight Honor

Midnight Honor (Highlands, #3) Midnight Honor by Marsha Canham

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I loved this book, and indeed all three books in this series. If you have a love of the Scottish Highlands and its people then I would strongly recommend you read these books. Midnight Honor could be read as a stand alone read, but you will get so much more from it if you read "Pride of Lions" and "The Blood of Roses" prior to this book, as there are cross overs with characters. "Midnight Honor" tells the story of Angus Moy and his wife Anne, who are on opposites sides leading up to the battle at Culloden, she leading her husband's clan for the Jacobites and he a chief that has pledged to fight for the English. This book is full of emotion that left me with goosebumps and almost reduced me to tears on a few occasions.

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The Blood of Roses

The Blood of Roses (Highlands, #2) The Blood of Roses by Marsha Canham

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Well I owe my dear friend Jenny a huge thank you for getting this book for me. I had just read "The Pride of Lions" and was left hanging as I did not have this book in my possession and through the various places I order my books, it was not available. She waved her magic wand and was able to provide me with the book.
Well I really enjoyed "The Pride of Lions" and I just loved its sequel "The Blood of Roses".
I have read books before surrounding the lead up and events of the Battle at Culloden. The Cross Stitch/Outlander series being my favourite.
I will even admit that at various points in the book I found myself shedding a tear or two.
I would highly recommend this book if you enjoy a romance set in Scotland.

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The Pride of Lions

The Pride of Lions (Highlands, #1) The Pride of Lions by Marsha Canham

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Romance novels set in the Scottish Highlands are a particular favourite of mine. I had just finished reading all of Julie Garwood's novels set in Scotland, I found myself wanting more. So I did a bit of looking around on Goodreads and came across Marsha Canham and thought it sounded right up my alley and promptly ordered all three in this series.
Well I was not disappointed.
I found myself flying through "The Pride of Lions" and trying to catch 5 minutes wherever I could to sit and read a few more pages. There aren't many books I find myself absorbed in whilst stirring the dinner on the stove, and this series was just like that.
A good combination of romance and history.
I recommend if you decide to read "The Pride of Lions" that you also have the following two books ready to go, because once you get to the end of "The Pride of Lions" you will want more....

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Saturday, February 27, 2010

Saving Grace by Julie Garwood

Saving Grace Saving Grace by Julie Garwood

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I'll start by letting you know I was torn between giving this book 3 stars and 4 stars. Maybe I could have given it 3.5 stars. I only recently started reading Julie Garwood novels and really enjoying them, so I immediately ordered more. This book did not get the best reviews from some of her other followers, but I thought I'd give it a go anyway.I did enjoy this book. Maybe I am easily pleased...particularly when the main man is a Scottish Highlander.There were times in the book that I didn't think it flowed as well as it could have and that maybe some more detail was needed.That said, I enjoyed the relationship between Gabriel Macbain and Johanna. I never completely understood the hostility between the two clans that were forced together and felt that some of the other characters could have been explored more. Who knows maybe they will in another book.If you like Julie Garwood's other novels then I would suggest you add this one to your shelf.

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Saturday, February 20, 2010

Birthday Girl turns 3

Well its a little hard for me to believe, but my baby turned 3 yesterday. Where did those years go? I feel like I've blinked and missed most of it. I would dearly love to go back in a time just a little and take the last 10 years a little slower.
My mother used to tell me when I was younger "don't wish your life away, the older you get, the faster it passes by". I think I have realised by now that my mother knew a little bit of what she was talking about. I hope that in many years to come my children look back and think I knew a little of what I was talking about. Right now....the looks they give me....I think they think I know nothing!
My little girl celebrated her birthday yesterday by having her first day at kindergarten. I was nervous for her, because she didn't seem nervous at all, yet in the weeks leading up to it, she was adament she was not going to go.
She had a great day. That's all I could have hoped for.
Her request for her special birthday dinner was KFC, only after I suggested flower birthday cake was not dinner as she was insisting that it was. Mind you the cake may have been a toucher healthier. My boys had been in her ear all week suggesting she request take-away. They are allowed to choose whatever they want for dinner for their birthday. I am certainly I was in high school before I was allowed to have take-away for my birthday. I am pretty sure I've always asked for roast lamb. I shouldn't complain, because at least with take-away I don't have to cook for a night.
I am missing out on a scrapbooking retreat this weekend, I always miss the February one because it is always too close to her birthday.
I wish I could be there, but there will be other retreats, my baby will never again have a 3rd birthday!
Now I can turn my thoughts to my eldest son whose 9th birthday is only 3 weeks away. When you have four kids, birthdays come up often.

Guardian Angel

Guardian Angel (Crown's Spies #2) Guardian Angel by Julie Garwood

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
I would like to start by suggesting I would probably give this book 2.5 stars and feel a little harsh by only giving it 2.Am pleased that this wasn't the first Julie Garwood novel I read, because I may not have read another.I have read a number of her books and have thoroughly enjoyed the others.One thing I love in a novel is the cross over of characters. I had already read "The Gift", the story of Nathan and Sara and really enjoyed it. "Guardian Angel" is the story of Caine and Jade, who happens to be Nathan's sister. Guardian Angel is set in the years before "The Gift" and I really should be read first.In saying that I just didn't get the connection with Caine and Jade and really felt I read until the end just to fill in some gaps.I still have a few more Julie Garwood novels to read and am hoping they are more exciting than this one.

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Monday, February 8, 2010

The Gift

The Gift (Crown's Spies, #3)
Another enjoyable Julie Garwood read....the last one I had in my bookshelf so I promptly ordered 4 more today. I have thoroughly enjoyed the novels I have read so far.
I really enjoyed Nathan and Sara's characters, and found myself laughing out loud which to me is always a good quality in a book.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Wedding by Julie Garwood

The Wedding (Lairds' Fiancees, #2) The Wedding by Julie Garwood

My rating: 5 of 5 stars I really loved this book. Its the first Julie Garwood novel that I have read and I will definitely be looking into a few more. I purchased the book on recommendation of a friend, and also because I have a soft spot for Scottish Highlanders. The only disappointment in this book for me was that it ended. I felt I hadn't finished with the characters and wanted to read a little bit more into their lives. A test of a good book for me is when I'm still thinking about the characters after I've long put the book down. I'm sure I'll read it again before long. View all my reviews >>

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Year

Well its the start of another New Year.
Very quiet celebrations last night, I always think its a celebration when I actually am awake at midnight to welcome the New Year in. That's new for me because previously with small babies in the house sleep was always the priority and welcoming the New Year was not.
We had my niece Shanti for a sleepover as New Year's is also my younger brother's birthday and they were celebrating with friends, many drinks and lots of noise, which just don't fit into a baby's schedule.
Nanny Sheila also came for a sleepover with us, because she thought it would be nicer than seeing the New Year in by yourself.
We had homemade pizzas and sorbet on the menu, very simple but very tasty and enjoyable.
We had a few wines, but not too many that I wasn't in control of myself, something I am not keen to repeat, because I think I'm getting too old and like to be in control when I have kids under my care.
I really appreciated this morning that I wasn't suffering a hangover, even though I was tired.
I've started the year with an arm injury due to some pretty serious Wii Resort sword fighting with my husband.
It is so much fun.
Heather and Merv joined us again this year, I have a feeling that it may now be tradition to see the New Year in with a bit of Nintendo Wii challenges.
But I wouldn't mind that, I think its fitting to start the New Year with a few laughs. I hope the upcoming year is full of them.
Most people I know say their New Year's Resolution is to not make any resolutions, whereas I like the idea of having a few goals to achieve. I won't try to make them outrageously unattainable, but its nice to have something to reach for. So here goes, I will try and come up with 10.
1. Lose weight. Not sure if this one should be lose weight as such, or rather look after my body a bit more. Make better choices with my eating and fit in exercise where I can.
2. I think then that no. 2 should be to make exercise more of a priority, if I wait until I have everything in order first, then it just doesn't fit in.
3. I think 3 should then be to learn to accept that I won't get everything done and in order every single day. Take smaller steps, start with the top of my list and things that just have to be done, ie feed the kids and get them to school. I need to have a little less pressure and anxiety when it comes to those things.
4. When asked I have told people this is my resolution, so maybe it should be no. 1, but I really want to be able to manage my time more efficiently and I think some of my other resolutions will be able to fall into place. I chase my tail a lot of the time, end up doing things 2 or 3 times because I've picked a poor time to complete that job. ie. Tidy all the kids rooms on a Saturday morning, when my 2 year old really isn't going to keep it that way all weekend.
5. Be more consistent with it comes to disciplining my children. A lot of times I don't follow through with the rules and boundaries I have made for my children and I think that is confusing for them. I need to be very clear what the boundaries and rules are and what the consequences are if they break those rules. I need to be able to follow through on them. Its hard when I'm here with them a lot on my own, an extra pair of hands makes the world of difference.
6. I want to be more accepting of my husband's responsibilities at work and the hours that he does work. That's the deal, that's how he works and it isn't about to change any time soon. I think I need to appreciate more how lucky I am to be in a position to be able to stay home and be here for my children, that in these current times, that is a real privilege and I'm very lucky. I think if I make life at home at little easier it will take some of the stress away from Geoff, and hopefully he will enjoy his time at home a little more.
7. I want to spend more time with my mother, just having a cuppa, or taking her somewhere she would like to go. I would like to be able to look after her a little more rather than just seeing her when needing her to look after the kids whilst I rush off and run an errand.
8. This one really needs to be further up the list, but if I am going to try and achieve all 10 of my resolutions then it really doesn't matter what order they come in. Try and get my health in order a little more. Make sure I take my medication at the right times and EVERY DAY. I'll need to come up with a better system, because I really can't remember if and when I take them. I need to make sure I have my blood tests regularly and on time and I need to make sure I go and see my GP regularly and on time. Then I will get a better picture of my levels etc. Fingers crossed if I can get that sorted, then my good eating plan and exercise will make a world of difference.
9. Make better use of what I have in my scrapping materials. I have a bucket load of stuff and if it just sits in boxes then its just a plain waste of money, and there is no need for me to be spending money on new things when I have loads I haven't used yet.
10. Try and stay out of other people's issues. I don't want to get involved in it and I don't want to try and fix it for them, always comes back to slap me in the face. That sounds a little harsh the way that I have put that. I would like to be a little more relaxed when there are dramas (other people's) swirling around me. I tend to get very caught up in them and try to smooth things out for everyone, and you just can't do it. It makes me sick to my stomach, I had conflict and just don't want it in my life.
....well now I could just keep going, but I've said 10 and I think I should stick to 10.
Who knows the list may change a little as we venture into the New Year.
But here's hoping for a wonderful 2010, filled with good health and happiness, with those 2 things everything else should just fall into place.
Northern Lights Northern Lights by Nora Roberts

My rating: 4 of 5 stars After having read the Jewels of the Sun series and thinking they were just ok, I wasn't sure what I was going to think of my next Nora Roberts book. I was thinking maybe she just wasn't my style. A friend of mine had loaned me this book some time ago and thought it better be the next book I read so that I could return it. I am so glad I did, because I really did enjoy this story much more than any of her other books I had read. I found that I really liked the characters, the town and the suspense of "who dunnit?". I found that I just couldn't put it down and was picking the book up every spare minute I had and having to force myself at night to put it down and get some sleep. I would recommend this book as worth reading. I'm new to reviewing books so I am a little nervous about how to write too much without giving spoilers. View all my reviews >>