Recipe: Pineapple Pound Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Pineapple Pound Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

This is an awesome, dense, bakery-style cake. It's super rich, too. And the secret to that is that you apparently must use nearly a whole carton of eggs. I wish the rum flavor was more pronounced, but this was a hit here. Because it is so heavy, you will get quite a few servings out this!


Review: How to Run with a Naked Werewolf by Molly Harper

Format: mass market, ebook
Pub Date: December 31, 2013
Publisher: Pocket
Length: 352 pages
FTC: e-ARC courtesy of the publisher

"I was the ass-backward Red Riding Hood."

As much as I like Molly Harper's writing style, I have to admit that her books aren't super memorable. I remember reading both of the previous installments in this series, but I can't tell you anything about them except that they were funny. Which, sometimes, is all you need.


Review: When Falcone's World Stopped Turning by Abby Green (Harlequin Presents)

Format: ebook, mass market
Pub Date: February 1, 2014
Publisher: Harlequin
FTC: Review copy courtesy of the publisher

I admit I requested this book to review without really thinking it through. I dislike Secret Baby plots immensely. I have trouble with the dishonesty involved in violating another person's parental rights, no matter how much of an asshat they are (barring, of course, abuse).  I have a very high bar for suspension of disbelief in these stories, and unfortunately this one didn't make it.

Maybe if there were more of a power imbalance, I could have at least understood Samantha's actions, but this is a smart, educated woman. She knew better. Keeping her son from Rafaele was an act of revenge. Not even her absolute conviction that Rafaele didn't want the baby should have kept her from sending a note. Something.

I probably could have enjoyed this even while gritting my teeth over the SB plot, but the characters failed to come alive for me. There's no real depth to them. I didn't believe in any of their actions or motivations, and I didn't believe in the HEA. It missed the mark on all counts.

My Grade: D

The Blurb:

She has the power to change everything…

Rafaele Falcone runs his luxury auto empire and private life with the same ice-cold ruthlessness. Emotions play no part in his decisions, and he always demands the best, so he doesn't hesitate to ask brilliant engineer Samantha Rourke to join his company—even though he walked away from her years before.

That sexy Italian accent still sends shivers down her spine, but gutsy Sam knows it's not just about her impossible desire to feel his hands on her body once again. Because Falcone is about to discover her deepest secret—one that will send his world into a spin!


Review: Untouched (Silver Creek #2) by Maisey Yates

Format: ebook
Pub Date: January 21, 2014
Publisher: Intermix (Penguin)
Length: 313 pages
FTC: e-ARC provided by the publisher

After reading and enjoying the Harlequin Presents novel just after Christmas by author Maisey Yates, I went looking for anything new by her. Then I stumbled across this title on Netgalley. I'd been seeing vague hints on Twitter about the book that comes after this one...with the heroine named Amber...so I decided  to risk requesting the galley. I'm really glad I did.

The heroine of Untouched is young. Much younger than most of the heroines you'll see outside of YA or NA these days. But this isn't an NA. It's a fully realized romance novel. And while 22 seems incredibly young to me at the ancient age of mid-thirties, I was married at 21. So I'm not going to be too judgey about that. I'm not even going to be judgey about the 10+ year age difference between Lark and Quinn. But that doesn't mean there aren't some problems with the novel.


TBR Challenge Review: Taking Care of Business by Kathy Lyons

Format: mass market, ebook
Pub Date: November 2010
Publisher: Harlequin
Length: 215 pages
FTC: Received for free at an RT Convention
Posted as part of the TBR Challenge

 It starts with some anonymous groping in a crowded elevator...

I've never read a Jade Lee/Kathy Lyons book that I can recall. My issues with this one may be just rural, sheltered naivete. Having someone press an erection against me in a crowded elevator would creep me right out, but hey, maybe I'm in the minority?

Sourcebooks releasing new edition of Anne of Green Gables series

I'm not normally super excited by publisher marketing emails. Some are interesting, but since this is a small little personal blog and not part of the great marketing machine, I rarely do more than the occasional tweet about info I receive. (Sorry, publishers)

BUT! I just got one from Sourcebooks that made me smile. Anne of Green Gables is being rereleased in new editions! I'm a huge L.M. Montgomery fan, so it also brightened my day to see her lesser known books slated for re-release, too.

You can find out more at Sourcebook's L.M. Montgomery page.

Anyone else excited? I admit, I'm more of an Emily of New Moon fan, but I enjoyed all of LMM's books as a young girl.


Quickie Review: Guarding a Notorious Lady by Olivia Parker

Format: Mass Market Paperback
Pub Date: June 2011
Publisher: Avon
Length: 372 pages
FTC: Library book sale

It's been a long while since I've read an Avon historical romance. To be honest, I've become a little bitter about the homogeneity of that publisher's offerings. They seem to be a bit like the Borg in that every author who joins them starts to sound exactly like all of the others. Avon has a strong brand and style, which can be helpful for debut and midlist authors, but it comes at a cost of strong authorial voice.   And while I enjoyed Guarding a Notorious Lady by Olivia Parker, I wish it had a more of the pizzazz I found in Parker's debut novel, The Bride Hunt Ball.

The only thing that sets this book apart is the humor. Although not as funny as the author's previous book, there is still a bunch of situational humor here. The main characters are interesting, even if the conflict seems a bit thin. And while the main characters are believably drawn, the secondary characters are little more than names on a page.

I wanted more emotion, more real danger earlier in the book, more of everything. Despite the caper-ish nature of the novel, it's a very passive book. Things happen to the heroine, but she doesn't really DO much. Unfortunately, this is a fun, but forgettable book. 

My Grade: C+

The Blurb:

Exquisite trouble . . .
A woman of pristine breeding, Lady Rosalind Devine is also an unrepentant meddler and snoop—which is why her brother refuses to leave her to her own devices while on his wedding trip. But Rosalind will not make things easy for any unseen,unwanted “nursemaid”—and vows to use her considerable wiles to expose her mystery guardian.
Nicholas Kincaid, the Marquess of Winterbourne, agreed to secretly guard his friend’s spoiled, stubborn sister, though her infuriating penchant for mischief is causing him to question his decision. Though bound by the rules of society—and friendship—Rosalind’s spirit and sensuality have sparked a fierce desire in Nicholas to play a very different role in her life,one that entails passion, ecstasy . . .and unavoidable scandal.


Review: Hajar's Hidden Legacy by Maisey Yates

Format: ebook
Pub Date: December 1, 2013
Publisher: Harlequin
Length: 190 pages
FTC: Was a free promo on Kindle

Despite interacting with the author on Twitter, this is the very first book of hers that I have read. I was waiting for the book with the heroine named Amber *ahem* but this one happened to be free, so there ya go.

Full disclosure: I'm not normally an HP reader. I'm not normally a category romance reader when it comes down to it. So there are probably things that regular readers of this line would notice that I did not.

Hajar's Hidden Legacy is pretty much a straight forward Beauty and the Beast book. It's even part of the "Beasts of the Desert" series, which means it's not trying to be subtle about it. Since it's been so long since I've read a Harlequin Presents novel, I wasn't sure what to expect. But I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of story Yates manages to squeeze into such a short page count.