Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Guest Guilty Pleasure - Hiding behind my ebook reader



This Wednesday's edition of Guilty Pleasure is hosted by author Cheryl Douglas. 


Cheryl is currently on a book tour promoting her book Shameless (pretty cover) 


Please join me in welcoming her to Another Look Book Reviews.









My guilty pleasure is definitely the racy books on my ebook reader. Back in the day, I was too embarrassed to go into a book store and buy these books because I thought the cashier would assume I was a sex fiend. Instead, I would have them delivered from a perfectly respectable retailer in a non-descript brown box, stick them on a shelf in the back of the closet and read them when my son was napping. Needless to say, digital technology has changed everything!


Now I can take my guilty pleasure out in public, read it while I’m waiting in the car at my son’s school or during swimming and karate classes. Ssh, don’t tell the Grand Master, he scares me! As a voracious reader, I read a little bit of everything, including books about business and the law of attraction, but when I feel like an escape from ‘real life’ I love my happily ever mixed with a healthy dose of naughty.

Do you have an ereader of some sort? Do you like to read those sexy books and hide those racy covers too?     




It took me thirty-seven years to decide what I wanted to be when I grew up. I thought I'd found my calling. In fact, I worked as a nutritionist for twelve years before I finally admitted to myself that while I enjoyed my work, I couldn't imagine doing it for the next thirty years.


I love bringing my characters to life and I am so grateful to have readers who love those characters as much as I do.
When I take a break from writing it's to spend time with my husband (a.k.a. my real life hero), my son, and my writing partner, Tia, a spirited Havanese who enjoys tapping her paw on my keyboard whenever I need a little comic relief. 






Monday, February 27, 2012

Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon





















Drums of Autumn (Outlander book 4) 


By Diana Gabaldon 
This review is spoilerish and was written with the intent that you would have already read the book. 


Book Blurb:


It began at an ancient Scottish stone circle. There, a doorway, open to a select few, leads into the past—or the grave. Dr. Claire Randall survived the extraordinary passage, not once but twice.

Her first trip swept her into the arms of Jamie Fraser, an eighteenth-century Scot whose love for her became a legend—a tale of tragic passion that ended with her return to the present to bear his child. Her second journey, two decades later, brought them together again in the American colonies. But Claire had left someone behind in the twentieth century—their daughter, Brianna....

Now Brianna has made a disturbing discovery that sends her to the circle of stones and a terrifying leap into the unknown. In search of her mother and the father she has never met, she is risking her own future to try to change history ... and to save their lives. But as Brianna plunges into an uncharted wilderness, a heartbreaking encounter may strand her forever in the past ... or root her in the place she should be, where her heart and soul belong...





I ventured forth with a re-read of Drums of Autumn because I had just finished doing a re-read Voyager. I honestly didn't plan for a re-read of the Outlander series right now but I sorta just fell into it after reading and reviewing The Scottish Prisoner. I am so glad I did. 


I remember that when I read Drums of Autumn the first and second time, I did enjoy it but because I was so anxious to read anything and everything about Jamie and Claire, I'd skip through a lot of Roger and Bree story lines. This time around I didn't. I just sat back and really took my time and thoroughly enjoyed every chapter and every character. It was fabulous. I feel like I have now just experienced Roger and Bree on a different level. 


I do remember being so pleased that when Diana Gabaldon wrote Bree, that she didn't just do a carbon copy of Jamie and Claire. Yes she had Jamie's looks and some of his mannerisms but Bree is definitely her own person. I also have to remember that she is young and she will make mistakes that young people will make. I found I appreciated that trait of hers more this time and I was way more forgiving in some of the things she did and how she did them. 


Drums of Autumn is quite fabulous. So much happens in this book but not in an angsty, heart palpating way. A lot of character growth and the story moved forward by leaps and bounds. I think back to all the scenes that happened in Drums of Autumn and I am blown away by how much time had passed. 


Claire delivered some of my favourite lines in Drums of Autumn


"You're a walking inducement to harlots," I said. "Stick by me; I'll protect you."


"He's much sneakier than I thought," I said. "Practically Scottish."

"Actually, it's your kilt that make me want to fling you to the floor and commit ravishment," I told him.

"May the Lord deliver me from stubborn Scotsmen!" I said.  

And a Jamie quote worth noting....
"Your face is my heart, Sassenach," he said softly, "and love of you is my soul." 




The building of Fraser Ridge really provided an excellent foundation for the North Carolina setting and a true appreciation of what the first settlers encountered. 


If reading Voyager was about Jamie and Claire's reunion, then Drums of Autumn was about Jamie meeting his daughter, Bree. The anticipated scene was fabulous and I wouldn't change a thing. Without a doubt, that encounter was my favourite scene in the entire book. Followed closely by birth of Jemmy. I adore that the birth was a wee bit of a family event. 


I also found that I enjoyed more of the Indian interactions this time around. I was still very impacted and my heart was heavy for Ian. I found Ian was on my mind a lot and I was ever so thankful that Diana Gabaldon included that letter from Ian to Jamie and Claire while they were attending the Gathering. 


Of course I need to move on to The Fiery Cross now. I am quite excited about it since that book was my least favourite of the series and now I am thinking after this experience, I will enjoy it that much more. 


Do you ever go back and re-read a book and just love it even more than you did before? 


Teasers: Stephen Bonnet the pirate, bear attach and fought off with a fish, Bree's engagement to Lord John, birth of Jemmy and the biological puzzle that goes along with him





Saturday, February 18, 2012

Voyager by Diana Gabaldon




















Voyager

by Diana Gabaldon

Book Blurb:

Their passionate encounter happened long ago by whatever measurement Claire Randall took. Two decades before, she had traveled back in time and into the arms of a gallant eighteenth-century Scot named Jamie Fraser. Then she returned to her own century to bear his child, believing him dead in the tragic battle of Culloden. Yet his memory has never lessened its hold on her... and her body still cries out for him in her dreams.
Then Claire discovers that Jamie survived. Torn between returning to him and staying with their daughter in her own era, Claire must choose her destiny. And as time and space come full circle, she must find the courage to face the passion and pain awaiting her...the deadly intrigues raging in a divided Scotland... and the daring voyage into the dark unknown that can reunite or forever doom her timeless love.

What. A. Ride. 
This was a re-read for me. I think I've read Voyager about four times now but I've never reviewed before. So this is my first time with pen to paper (so to speak) on my thoughts of Voyager
Outlander (book 1) will always have that special place in my heart as being one of my all time favourite books. After all that is the book that started it all and was my introduction to Jamie and Claire's world. However out of the Outlander books, I think Voyager is my favourite of the series.  Voyager is one adventure after another and just when you think your palms can be dry for a second, something else happens. As I said at the beginning, what a ride. 
Here was my blood pressure and heart beat reading Voyager

There is this one little line in Voyager that perfectly outlines Jamie and Claire for me. It gives me the biggest grin every single time I read it. 
"Damn ye, woman! Will ye never do as you're told?"                                  "Probably not," I said meekly. 
One of the reasons I adore Claire is that she is so amazingly smart, clever and has unbreakable loyalty to Jamie. However, there are times where even I want to ring her neck. I think Voyager had me wanting to ring her neck a few times. I completely understood every single decision she made, but it I still could not understand why she went through with them. Now tell me, does that sentence even make sense?? I was even arguing with myself. Ha! Having said that, what a boring book it would be if Claire wasn't Claire. I simply just adore her.
There are not enough words to capture my love of Jamie. He is sensible, calm, brave and not shy about his devotion to Claire. The man is the package. Oh he has his flaws, but those imperfections actually perfect him. The thing is, I am seriously smitten with Jamie but I love him to be with Claire. They are my fiction super couple. 
Voyager takes us on a journey starting at present day Scotland through to 1746 Edinburgh and then on to Lallybrook (sigh, oh Lallybrook), off to Paris, aboard a ship to the West Indies, Jamaica & other various tropical islands to the final exciting resting stop on a wee bit of a cliffhanger at the end of Voyager. Which is why although I have read the series many times over, I'm off to start Drums of Autumn.
Although I dont' think Voyager is the most emotional book of the series, my heart experienced heaviness quite a few times. I had a lump in my throat here:
"He gave you to me," she said, so low I could hardly hear her. "Now I have to give you back to him, Mama."
and here:
"It isn't Geordie," I said. My voice was higher than usual. "It's me," I said. "Claire"
...and I can't quite put to words what I was experiencing with the acts of of the English soldiers following Culloden, the outrage with Frank wanting to take Bree from Claire, my mouth dropped open when Jamie was flogged again in prison, the nervousness of when Jamie was hiding in closet right after Ian was born. At this point in the book I am not even half way. I haven't even touched on the kidnapping of Ian or the shock of a certain wedding. A super duper rollar coaster I tell you. A true voyage of emotions. 
It wasn't all sad and distraught by no means. Just the sheer fact of Jamie and Claire's reunion and togetherness was paralleled above and beyond anything bad that could happen.  There were some extreme highs too. *grins*
"I must have ye, or die." 
I was not expecting one of the return of a certain character from Outlander nor do I wish to spoil if you are first time reader. Blew_me_ away. Even knowing it is coming, it still does not contain my feelings. 
Voyager is not a stand alone book. I would not recommend anyone reading it before Outlander or Dragonfly in Amber.  I would recommend if you haven't read the books, you get going and start. They are not light reads. They are not romances. They are emotional roller coaster rides that will never let you forget the characters Jamie, Claire and the country, Scotland. I think Diana Gabaldon should get some sort of shares for how many visitors a year Scotland receives due to this series. 
So tell me, have you read any of the books? Have I made you slightly curious? 


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Winner of Love is in the Air Blog Hop


Congratulations goes to Donna Simmonds for her entry in the Love is in the Air Blog Hop. 

Rafflecopter together with Random.org selected her as the random draw for the RT of the contest on Twitter. 

 I hope she enjoys her $25 Amazon Gift Card

 And the two autographed Margaret Ethridge books.



I'm Major Crushing Right Now - shh dont tell my husband



Ok, yes he could recite the phone book and I'd be swoon over his accent but seriously just listen to his poetic response to what he loves in a woman. I tell you, I am major crushing right now. Mark Grist, meet your newest fan. 


Tell me are you not loving this poem? Are you not wanting to favour this on Youtube for future reference? 


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Guilty Pleasure - Dana Michelle Burnett










Today I pleased to have author Dana Michelle Burnett guest post and share her Guilty Pleasure. Dana's current YA book is Spiritus. Check out some free chapters






It's finally here.  It's one of those rare afternoons when I have nowhere to go, nothing to write, and no editing to do.  The entire day stretches out with possibility, but my one thought is HIM. 

He's teased me all this time, looking at me from across the room with those smoldering eyes.  He's my guilty little secret, the one thing that I tell no one about.  We go back years, he and I, and while I've aged, he remains exactly the same.

I change into something more appropriate and pour myself a glass of wine.  I can't wait to hear his voice whisper those words of love and devotion.  I go over to him, slowly take it out, and put it in...

And the opening credits come on the screen.  I sit back and spend the afternoon with Robin of Sherwood.
Now anyone that has not seen an episode of this popular 80's series will not understand.  Sure, it's a television show based on the popular Robin Hood character, but there is something else.  Rather than the action packed, sword fighting story you are used to, this Robin Hood is dark, magical, and terribly romantic.

Yes, my guilty pleasure is spending the afternoon swooning over such lines as "I have loved you from the first moment I saw you and every moment since".

As a writer, I can only hope to one day write dialog like that! 
I first came across my obsession on the cable channel Showtime.  There I was, a little girl of eight or nine, savoring those romantic words like candy.  Needless to say, men had a hard time measuring up to my expectations.

Now why do I keep this a secret?  In an era where reality television rules, how can I admit that I prefer to spend an evening with a bunch of forest dwelling merry men in tights.  Yep.  That's me, the super cool paranormal romance author crying like a baby over the season one finale.  Makes you want to run out a buy my book right away, doesn't it?  No, but that’s okay.
I guess I've outted myself as a Robin of Sherwood fan..but that's okay too.

Is there a special DVD series that you get all settled down and comfy to watch? Do you have a guilty pleasure lurking? 

Dana Michelle Burnett spent most of her life writing short stories and sharing them with family and friends. Over the years, her work was published in numerous commercial and literary magazines  including Just Labs, Mindprints: A Literary Journal, Foliate Oak, and many more.  Her short story John Lennon and the Chicken Holocaust was include in The Best of Foliate Oak 2006.  

In 2010, Burnett's first novel, Ghost Country, was released.  Based on her own Cherokee heritage, the novel marked her return to the literary world after a four year hiatus.  She followed that with the release of her first romance novel,Two Out of Three in the summer of 2011.

Spiritus is the first novel in her new  paranormal romance series by the same name. The second book,Haunted,  is expected in the spring of 2012.

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Teaser Tuesday - Voyager by Diana Gabaldon


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


Voyager (Outlander book 3)

By Diana Gabaldon

"It isn't Geordie," I said. My voice was higher than usual. "It's me," I said. "Claire."







I love this book, no I love this entire series with all my heart. I could quote you all day. Currently doing a re-read. 

Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Scottish Prisoner by Diana Gabaldon





















The Scottish Prisoner 


by Diana Gabaldon


Book Blurb:
London, 1760. For Jamie Fraser, paroled prisoner-of-war in the remote Lake District, life could be worse: He’s not cutting sugar cane in the West Indies, and he’s close enough to the son he cannot claim as his own. But Jamie Fraser’s quiet existence is coming apart at the seams, interrupted first by dreams of his lost wife, then by the appearance of Tobias Quinn, an erstwhile comrade from the Rising. 
 
Like many of the Jacobites who aren’t dead or in prison, Quinn still lives and breathes for the Cause. His latest plan involves an ancient relic that will rally the Irish. Jamie is having none of it—he’s sworn off politics, fighting, and war. Until Lord John Grey shows up with a summons that will take him away from everything he loves—again.
 
Lord John Grey—aristocrat, soldier, and occasional spy—finds himself in possession of a packet of explosive documents that exposes a damning case of corruption against a British officer. But they also hint at a more insidious danger. Time is of the essence as the investigation leads to Ireland, with a baffling message left in “Erse,” the tongue favored by Scottish Highlanders. Lord John, who oversaw Jacobite prisoners when he was governor of Ardsmiur prison, thinks Jamie may be able to translate—but will he agree to do it?
 
Soon Lord John and Jamie are unwilling companions on the road to Ireland, a country whose dark castles hold dreadful secrets, and whose bogs hide the bones of the dead. A captivating return to the world Diana Gabaldon created in her Outlander and Lord John series, The Scottish Prisoner is another masterpiece of epic history, wicked deceit, and scores that can only be settled in blood.



In all of my book reviews that I have written, I've never reviewed a Diana Gabaldon book. She is my writing hero, my author idol and her books are the go to books where I need an outlet to be transported away from real life. (check out my Fan Girl page if you don't believe me) I feel that I could never do her books justice and explain in my own amateur words how amazing her writing is and how much I adore her work. Can I convey that in a mere book review? Well, I'm going to try with The Scottish Prisoner

The Scottish Prisoner is not a sit down in one day and read a book novel. The hardcover is over 500 pages and I absorbed every_ last_ word. Diana Gabaldon books are not published frequently so there is no need to rush. This week while reading in the evening, when it was late and time to place in my bookmark, I'd look up and half expect to glance around and see that I'd been transported back in time. There were no candles lighting my bedroom and there were no maids scurrying in to start a fire. Her writing literally makes me feel as though I am there. She is so descriptive with scents, sounds and settings. I love how Diana Gabaldon does this to the senses and not with an overflow of overused regular adjectives. The descriptions are more real. 

Case in point >> Lord John and Jamie Fraser are sitting together in a greenhouse talking. Lord John takes a moment to think of what his next words will be and in the middle of his pause the reader is treated to this addition to the moment...


“The grapevines had been cut back for winter, but the new spring growth was well sprouted, delicate rusty leaves deckling the rough-knuckled vines the roped through the arbor. A faint draft moved through the rich air of the glasshouse, ruffling the leaves.”





And then the conversation between the men continued. I swear I am there with them. I am sitting in one of the basket chairs that they collapsed into and I am right along side of them. I can smell the earth and dirt. I can feel the breeze and pull my blanket around me more. We are treated to additional bits of setting moments like this throughout the book. It not only adds to the conversation but it deepens the reader's relationship with The Scottish Prisoner

As for the actual story of The Scottish Prisoner. It was marvelous. I enjoyed every one of those 500+ pages.  Out of all the Lord John books I have read, The Scottish Prisoner is my favourite. I am sure that Jamie Fraser being a lead protagonist added to that love but truly the story itself was very engaging. 

I loved reading and having more insight of Jamie's time at Helwater, England.  Experiencing those sacred moments that Jamie had with is son, William was worth The Scottish Prisoner alone. I felt the helplessness of Jamie not having any say into William's life but how much he treasured those gracious moments he was able to get. He would have made a wonderful father if he had the chance to have raised William (and Bree for that matter) I adored reading how calm he was and the route he always took when Willie was acting out his two year old spoiled self. No wonder Willie was so drawn to "Mac". He needed that strong male that he could hero worship towards. 

Lord John is such an amazing and complex character. He treats Jamie as an equal and you know he feels torn that he has to continue to hold Jamie as The Scottish Prisoner. He'd much rather be friends and he battles himself daily on the feelings he carries for Jamie. This moment below is so touching and is a huge milestone between Jamie and John. Diana chose it as an ending to chapter. The double meaning of it being a chapter ending was not lost on me. 

"I'm sorry," he said, very softly. 
"Ego te absolvo," Fraser murmured, and shut his eyes. 

I can't even imagine the amount of research that goes into any of these historical books. Diana Gabaldon takes real events, historical people and true materials of the day and weaves them into a fictional story that mesmerizes the senses. Every moment, every step of the story is a set in motion for the reader to journey along believably. Quite honestly, The Scottish Prisoner was an outstanding book and I adored every adventurous moment through Ireland and England. I think I want to go and re-read Voyager again. I want to read about Jamie and Claire's reunion. I need to. 


Well how did I do? Did I do The Scottish Prisoner justice? 


Teasers: "Christ, Sassenach. I need ye.", The Wild Hunt, another prison escape (but this time is is Lord John that is busting out), "I a bonnie lad!"



Taken by the Cowboy by Julianne MacLean















Truman Wade and Jessica Delaney's book






Taken by the Cowboy


by Julianne MacLean


Book Blurb:
HERO AND PROTECTOR 

Former bounty hunter, expert gunslinger, and the toughest sheriff Dodge City has ever known, Truman Wade is a real man from the tip of his black Stetson right down to his spurs and leather boots. He’s never met his match in a gunfight, but he’s never met a gorgeous, gutsy woman from the twenty-first century either… 

TORN BETWEEN TWO WORLDS 

Newly single after a rocky breakup with her self-absorbed fiancĂ©, newspaper columnist Jessica Delaney crashes her car in a lightning storm and soon finds herself dodging bullets in the Wild West. Before the night is out, she’s tossed in jail for a murder she didn’t commit, and if things don’t seem complicated enough, the impossibly handsome sheriff in charge of her arrest has danger written all over him - and a sexy swagger to die for. Jessica knows she needs to get home, but when Sheriff Wade’s enticing touch sets her passions on fire, she begins to wonder if fate has other plans for her, and soon she must choose between the life she longs for in the future… and the greatest love she’s ever known. 





Taken by the Cowboy was one of those Twitter feed posts that grabbed my attention. "Free - Taken by the Cowboy" I didn't even read the blurb. I just saw "free" and I saw "cowboy" and clicked to download.  Even after I loaded the book onto my trusty Kindle, I still didn't read the book blurb.  So I'm reading away and right at the very beginning of the book, I was captured. Emotionally sad but gripping beginning. Then the next chapter, wow same thing. So I'm clicking away and then I wonder what the heck is going here and THEN I read the blurb. Taken by the Cowboy is a time travel book. Awesome. What a surprise. I was not expecting that from just glancing at the yummy front cover. So now that I understood what was happening, I hunkered down to enjoy the story. 

I do enjoy time travel stories. They often leave me wondering what I would do if I was in that situation. I believe that I would have handled myself pretty much the same way that Jessica, the female protagonist of Taken by the Cowboy did. That is great news because it made the story not so far fetched. 

Jessica is transported back in time to around the 1888 time era and is in Dodge City, Kansas. She is stumbling around town there wondering what movie set she fell into and in less than an hour she is somehow implicated in committing murder against a highly wanted man. Enters in Sheriff Truman Wade and her journey back in time became that much more interesting. 


Taken by the Cowboy was a truly fun and enjoyable read. The old west is not romanticized and there is no shortage of cow dung stink and the lack of women's rights is apparent. Even her clothing was not made out to be fabulously garbed out. Jessica or shall I say "Junebug Jess" as she is now affectionately called stumbles into dangerous situation after dangerous situation. Trouble finds her like a fly to a pile of cow dung. As Truman and Jessica become closely acquainted, Jessica is becoming torn on the matter of returning back to her own time or staying to be with Truman if the opportunity presents itself. I felt her befuddlement. The confusion was so well written and it was certainly left up to the reader to decide what they would do in that circumstance. 


I completely enjoyed the story and I loved the writing. I will certainly not hesitate to look up this author, Julianne MacLean's other works. 


Teaser: lost watch, Junebug Jess, basement cellar, reincarnation puzzle




Monday, February 6, 2012

Love is in the Air Blog Hop




February is the month of LOVE and what's a better way to celebrate love than with some ROMANCE.
Under the Covers is hosting the "Love is in the Air" Blog Hop and welcome to stop #20.

I am totally excited to be giving away to a US or Canadian book lover:
 2 autographed books by author Margaret Ethridge 
and a
 $25 Amazon Gift Card


"The petty resentments that have built over fifteen years of marriage surface when Tracy tells her husband, Sean, that she is no longer interested in sex, and their marriage threatens to implode.


With the help of a healthy dose of adult-rated fiction and some gentle prodding from a good friend, Tracy begins to rediscover who she is, what she wants, and the reasons she fell for Sean once upon a time."







"To Maggie, messing with a guy like Tom Sullivan is the single-girl equivalent of playing with fire, but she convinces herself to take what she can get for as long as she can and expect nothing more. But Tom falls hard and fast for Maggie, and now that they’re planning to have a baby together he starts banking on his own a happily ever after. 

If only he can get her to commit…"







Pesky yet simple rules

  1. Open to US or CAD residents. 
  2. You have a freebie and the only other mandatory rule is to comment on ANY book I have reviewed in the past. Just click Books Reviewed to see my list. 
  3. Must enter through the Rafflecopter. Its the only way your entry will count. 
  4. Have fun! You can check out all the other amazing blogs that are participating. Some awesome prizes. The linky for the other blogs are just below the Rafflecopter. 






a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, February 5, 2012

According to Plan by Madison J Edwards















Jake Steele AKA Tank and Shelby Stewart's book






According to Plan


By Madison J Edwards


Book Blurb:
What do you do when things don't go According to Plan? For starters, you trick, deceive, and lie to the very person who ruined your best laid plans.

Welcome to the world of Shelby Stewart, P.I., who's been hired to find Harrison Grant. To complicate matters further, her ex-partner, ex-lover, ex-everything Tank shows up looking for Harrison as well, albeit for a very different reason. Harry is the prime suspect in the grisly murder of a call girl, Lulu, in L.A.

That wouldn't be so bad, but Tank plans on staying at Shelby's house, and makes it obvious he's quite willing to help her heat the sheets, again. Shelby knows that sex with Tank is dangerous, fast, and sometimes a little dirty. Now is not the time to become side-tracked. Besides, this job could launch her company into a whole new stratosphere, so it's imperative she remain focused.

Frustration becomes Shelby's newest partner as she makes plans to out maneuver Tank in their parallel quest. Tank, on the other hand, is always one step ahead of the game; and is not what, or who, Shelby thought.





As an erotic suspense, According to Plan carried out a pretty good story. I do enjoy an interesting back story between the characters. I love where the reader gets the opportunity to pick up on a relationship well established.  

There is no doubt as you start in with According to Plan that Shelby and Tank have a precarious history. It was quite obvious from the start that Shelby was still hanging on to some bitter and hurtful feelings. I think that those emotions mixed with her nymphomaniac behaviour towards Tank made me quite confused if not frustrated. I liked Shelby but even though she had apparent smarts, she was so incredibly weak where Tank was concerned. He'd interfere with her plans or investigation and where she'd start off spitting mad, (deservingly so)  the minute he'd smile or stroke her cheek, she'd practically pull down her thong for him. I didn't like that. I prefer a heroine who is adept and who insists a man work for his forgiveness and allows a bit of deserved grovelling.  

I like a story with first person narrative. My favourite narrative is third person as I prefer being told the a story more from a narrator's point of view. But I do not care for a mixture of both flipping back and forth between chapters. That is my personal preference. This back and forth style was really driving a wedge in me for really liking  According to Plan as much as I think I could have. I want to be completely transparent about that because there are numerous readers who wouldn't give that casting back and forth another thought. 

There was some action, suspense and a few emotional scenes that completely redeemed According to Plan for me. I started to become suspicious of the secondary characters, wondered where the author was taking us and I was really curious on how the plot was going to unfold. There were some new characters that were introduced in the second half of the book that really caught my interest. One of these new players was a delicious rancher named, Caleb. This well mannered cowboy was sure to add a bit more conflict to the story and succeeded charmingly. 

The intimate scenes between Shelby and Tank were erotic and very well done. Lots of emotion and even though early on in the book neither one of the couple openly professed their love, it came out easily translated in their love making. 

Teasers:  strip billiards, awesome best friend Polly, bomb, bed footboard