Undeniable Rogue – a Review

Annette Blair’s Undeniable Rogue is the first in the Rogue’s Club Series. Preparing to go into the battle of Waterloo, a group of rogue men make promises to one another to take care of the families of those lost in battle. One such promise was made between Hawksworth and Gideon St. Goddard. Gideon promised Hawksworth on the battlefield that he would marry Hawksworth’s widowed sister, as Hawksworth lay dying in Gideon’s arms. Sabrina Whitcomb isn’t exactly what Gideon was expecting, though, from this marriage of convenience. To say the least, he is pleasantly surprised. Sabrina, though, is just looking to marry someone with money, so she can make sure her and her children will be provided for. She’s not looking for love. She’s been living a life of cruelty and poverty up to this point. Gideon finds himself wishing that Sabrina would want him even if he was broke. He has no idea what torture she’s experience. Can he make her love him? Can he win the trust of her and her children?

Annette Blair made her first sale as an author in 1998. She has since made the New York Times Bestsellers List with her 5th Vintage Magic Mystery.

My Thoughts…
I read a lot of reviews about this book. Some loved it, but there were others that had a hard time believing this “heartless” rogue could fall so easily for Sabrina. I, however, believe the tougher they are, the harder they fall. I have a close friend this happened to, so I’ve seen it first hand. I liked that it wasn’t the traditional romance about two people who ultimately end up together at the end. Sabrina and Gideon start out together. It was definitely an enjoyable read to me. That being said, it’s not one that I would describe as unforgettable.

Happy Easter

Good morning and Happy Easter. I’m about to head to church with my family and then to a family fish fry. I had kindle issues Friday night, but I got them straightened out, I think. I finished Annette Blair’s Undeniable Rogue last night, so I’ll have a review up for that either tonight or tomorrow. Hope you all have a wonderful day!!

FREE E-Reads for the Weekend

I’m always being asked how to find free e-books. So, I thought I’d make it easier for some of you. I’m gonna post the top 10 best selling free e-books on Amazon right now – just in time for the weekend! Hopefully you’ll find something to your liking. I haven’t read any of today’s top 10, so I can’t give my opinion on any of them unfortunately. But, here you go:

http://www.amazon.com/Nailed-ebook/dp/B004U362DC/ref=zg_bs_154606011_f_1

http://www.amazon.com/Across-Creek-Jesse-Sarah-ebook/dp/B008C3JR6U/ref=zg_bs_154606011_f_2

http://www.amazon.com/Chattanooga-ebook/dp/B0052G9M4C/ref=zg_bs_154606011_f_3

http://www.amazon.com/Delicious-Dressings-Gabrielles-FUSS-FREE-ebook/dp/B00BQTE3PW/ref=zg_bs_154606011_f_4

http://www.amazon.com/Fifth-Avenue-Series-Boxed-ebook/dp/B0077J5FNY/ref=zg_bs_154606011_f_5

http://www.amazon.com/Dawning-Power-Godsland-Series-ebook/dp/B001LRQKA0/ref=zg_bs_154606011_f_6

http://www.amazon.com/Allegiance-Thriller-Marquez-Thrillers-ebook/dp/B007XE1QX6/ref=zg_bs_154606011_f_7

http://www.amazon.com/Rusty-Nail-Thriller-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B00BBE4E5Q/ref=zg_bs_154606011_f_8

http://www.amazon.com/The-Truth-Cross-ebook/dp/B001YQF3H4/ref=zg_bs_154606011_f_9

http://www.amazon.com/Champagne-Toast-ebook/dp/B00AYH543W/ref=zg_bs_154606011_f_10

There’s the top 10 Freebies on Amazon for today. Enjoy!!

Ch. 13 – 15 Punished ~ Arelia LaRue Series

Here’s the next 3 chapters!!

Ch. 13 Rage and Gris – Gris

Arelia walks back to the house & Lucus can tell something just isn’t right. She shrugs him off, though, claiming she’s fine. Mrs. Dreaux wastes no time in digging her claws in.

“I see nothing has changed, still unkempt as ever.”

I do NOT see how Areila bites her tongue so easily! Lucus politely stands up for her, but then excuses himself. Mrs. Dreaux then starts in on Sabrina. She is obviously one of those people that has to cut others down to pick herself up.
After the fiasco with Mrs. Dreaux, Arelia talks to her Aunt Mae about what took place in the cabin.

“…I can sense that he’s an angry soul and tends to act violently at times. Those rats were a manifestion of his rage…Louis was able to successfully enter your conscious and make you feel his fear and helplessness.”

Mae then advises Arelia to protect herself by making a gris-gris she’s to wear at all times & to place red brick dust around her room.

Ch. 14 I Wanna Marry a Billionaire So Frickin’ Bad

Arelia takes another spiritual bath & then walks in on Sabrina arguing with her parents on the phone. Henri interrupts with a gift box. There’s a new credit card and 2 new dresses that are meant to be an apology to Sabrina. Her parents have been nonexistent in her life since her sister died. Sabrina tosses Arelia one of the dresses & decides they’re gonna dress up for the night. Sabrina fixes Arelia up & Arelia heads downstairs while Sabrina finishes up.
Sabrina definitely gets on my nerves, but you can’t help feeling bad for her…

Ch. 15 Somebody That I Used to Know

Arelia ends up slamming right into Tony on her way down – the one person she wanted to avoid. He ends up apologizing & all the while I’m thinking, “It’s a little too late!!!” Tony had let his parents verbally rip Arelia to shreds and then went and hooked up with another chick.
Arelia makes her way to the ballroom. Sabrina starts dancing with the plump and drunk Mr. Dumpty while his wife is occupying Lucus. Mrs. Dreaux picks this moment to sink her teeth into Arelia again. Tony actually steps in and tells his mother that she’s said enough. Big step for Tony, but I’m still not feeling it. Arelia decides to head outside for some fresh air while barely restraining her tears. She calls out to Bade just to have someone to talk to.

“I’m crying because I loved Tony, but he never loved me. He never stood up for me. His stupid parents don’t think I’m good enough for him just because I’m not rich or whatever.”

Tony picks this time to walk up. Tony lays it on thick. He tries to wipe her tears, tells her he misses her, that he did care for her, and that he was just afraid. Arelia tries to walk off, but he pulls her back close.

“I miss you, the way you smell, your smile, the way you always put me in my place. I miss us. I’m an idiot for letting you go. Melissa was so dull, and the whole time I was with her, I couldn’t stop thinking about you. I shouldn’t have kept you a secret. I was terrified of my parents, but I’m learning how not to be. I promise I won’t let them get in the way of us ever again,”…”I never stopped loving you. I love you, Arelia.”

Arelia couldn’t help give in to the kiss that followed. Goodness, I imagine that would be tough to fight. She did, though. She managed to pull back away and tell him that “nothing’s changed”. YOU GO GIRL!!!

Continuing Punished Ch. 10-12

We’ll be picking up at chapter 10. For those just joining in we’re discussing Kira Saito’s Punished and not leaving out any details. I don’t want to ruin it for ya if you haven’t read it yet! Go read it & let me know what you think! Don’t forget to start with Bound, though, the first book in the Arelia LaRue series.

Ch. 10 New Guests Arrive at Darkwood

Who are these new guests? None other than the boy Arelia has been upset over from the previous summer, Tony, and his obnoxious parents – The Dreaux’s.
Arelia does the only thing she usually does – run. She runs all the way to the river where she encounters another spirit. It’s Ayida Wedo, giver of blessings, and she wants to help. She informs Arelia that she needs to go to Louis’ slave cabin.

Ch. 11 Louis Beau

Arelia makes her way to the cabin and discovers a rat pass over her left leg, and soon she’s completely consumed by them. Arelia begs Erzulie for help, but it doesn’t come. Then she has a vision of a boy with caramel skin that looks vaguely familiar, and he was scribbling in a journal. Then the rats are gone, and Arelia knows she’s supposed to find that journal. She does and page after page is filled with his love for a girl that made him forget all his suffering.

What got me through each and every one of those lashes was the thought of your smile and your sweet embrace.

Arelia was enraptured with the story. She read and read wondering who this girl was until she eventually fell asleep.

Ch. 12 Forgive Me Father For I Have Sinned, I Think…

Arelia is awakened by Lucus, and she’s immediately thrilled that he’s absolutely fine. No ill effects are left from his run in with Sousson Pannan. Lucus decides to tell Arelia about the one man that had challenged him – Lucus. The year was 1853 and Lucus had yellow fever. He was on his deathbed, and his mother had a priest read him his last rights. He was at peace, but his father wasn’t. He turned to Marie, Louis’ mom, for help. Instead of Marie showing up, Louis had. Louis had gotten on top of him and dealt blow after blow until the sheets were bloodied. Then he said he awoke the following day to discover that Louis was dead and he was healed. He didn’t realize anything else was amiss until he later broke his neck. He wasn’t supposed to ever walk again, but he healed. Then he began to notice that he wasn’t aging.

After your great great-great grand-mere was hired, it was confirmed. I was cursed, and my fate was forever tied to Louis Beau. I deserved to die several deaths. I was supposed to die.”

Arelia and Lucus continued to talk through everything. Arelia tries to help Lucus absolve himself of his guilt. He believes he’s paying for his sins. Arelia then wonders aloud what they were missing. Why would Louis attack Lucus?
[I’m obviously saying, “BECAUSE OF THE GIRL!!”]
Arelia shares with Lucus the dream she had had a few days ago and about how her & Mae believed Louis to be alive. [It has to be Ivan!!!] They talk some more and have a heart to heart moment, when guess who barges in. Sabrina!! UGH!!! Doesn’t that just irk you every time!!

Review of Brewer’s Playing at Forever

Since I had just finished reading Punished, I was looking for a new book to start on my kindle last night. I read the first chapters of several books and a few more chapters in a couple books, but nothing was really grabbing me. I wanted to just find a book to get lost in for the night. Then, I started Playing at Forever, and I just couldn’t put it down. My husband so kindly asked if I knew what time it was at 3 this morning.
Penelope “Penny” Lang has just been dumped by her husband Kevin, for Gina. Gina is the woman that Penny had hired to help run her restaurant so that she would actually have more time to spend with her husband. Now Penny is stuck trying to run the restaurant of her dreams, The Seaside, with her soon to be ex-husband and the woman he cheated on her with. Penny is upset, but really she’s more concerned about the restaurant.
Penny had been staying with her best friend Amy ever since she had discovered Kevin & Gina in the parking lot of her restaurant one night. Penny was struggling, but making it. Amy decides to walk with her to work one morning, and they stop when they see the cover of a magazine. It’s Tommy. Tommy – Mr. Tall, Dark & Handsome. Tommy Davidson, or Thomson Davis as he was now known, had moved out to L.A. to be an actor, and he had made it. But, before that, he had been Penny’s very best friend in the world. Penny looked at the cover of the tabloid and remembered their last night together. She had finally kissed him. It was just a brief kiss, but one she had never forgotten.
Apparently it was one he hadn’t forgotten either, because he showed up one night while she leaving the restaurant. She didn’t want to let him back in after he’d disappeared these last ten years, but she just couldn’t help it. Kevin takes witness to this, and Gina takes witness to his jealousy. She now wants Penny to buy Kevin out or sell, but Penny is not in the position to do either.
Graham, Tommy’s manager, has a plan, though. Wholesome Penny needs to act like she’s Tommy’s new love interest to help clear up his image and fix his career, and she’ll be compensated enough to buy out her restaurant. This is where the fun all starts. I’m gonna hold out on the ending. I don’t want to completely give it away. I’ll say that there are some fun surprises along the way and plenty of times that you’ll want to pull your hair out!!
Happy Reading,
Alison

Ch. 7-9 PUNISHED ~ Arelia LaRue

*SPOILER ALERT*
Moving along in our discussion…pick up where you want to. Feel free to comment on the older posts if you’ve just started reading. I always love discussing a book!

Ch. 7 Cinnamon and Cayenne Pepper

Ivan helps to get Lucus settled in his bed & Arelia is freaking out a little because he’s unresponsive. She was also shocked that Lucus didn’t seem surprised by anything he’d seen. She tries to get Ivan to go after Mae, but he won’t budge. Mae arrives anyway. She sends Ivan off to get dressed – typical. Arelia brought Mae up to speed & confessed she wasn’t going to run anymore; she wanted to help. Mae rushes off to get supplies, and Arelia apologies to the still unconscious Lucus. Mae comes back with the supplies – among these are cinnamon and cayenne pepper – to do a healing ritual & gives Arelia a lesson in calling on other spirits.
Mae finishes with Lucus and then takes Arelia to the bathroom to take a “spiritual bath”. It looked like blood. YICK!! Arelia hesitantly climbed in only to have Mae shove her head under water. For a few frantic seconds she swore her Aunt Mae was trying to drown her.

“If my interpretation of your swamp dream was correct, Louis Beau is still lingering around this plane.”

Arelia and Mae discuss all the possibilities and what they already know. Then Mae confesses to Arelia that Erzulie had appeared in a dream to notify Mae that Arelia was needed. Erzulie herself had given Mae the thought to ask for Erzulie’s blessing.
Arelia finishes her bath and goes back to check on Lucus. She found herself humming Dream a Little Dream to him and noticed a smile creeping on to his face. She, of course, freaked and fled the room.

Ch. 8 Red Chrysanthemums

Arelia awakes the next morning, and her first thoughts are of Lucus. I would have had to run to his room to check on him, but she doesn’t. She then notices that she’s pain free and her dagger wounds have healed. Sabrina’s lying next to her mumbling about Lucus in her dream. Arelia’s still too big of a coward to say how she feels. This really irks me! Then she goes on to question how she actually feels about Lucus. Seriously??
She scribbles a note to Sabrina that she’ll be staying and heads off to the kitchen, where she runs into Henri. She chats briefly with him about the loa, and he tries to encourage her.

“I suppose what I’m trying to say is , that the people who truly love you will always accept you.”

Arelia thinks about Sabrina, questioning what Henri has said – no wonder, she is interested in the guy her supposed best friend has staked a claim on. Arelia heads out to the garden. Guess who’s there…Ivan. Surprise. Surprise. This is where the red chrysanthemums come into play. Ivan asks if she knows what they stand for. Arelia says, “Death.”

“They’re Papa Ghede’s pom-poms, when he cheers on souls to the afterlife.”

Why doesn’t Arelia question this? This seems like a lot of knowledge for a common guy to have about the spirits! She does, however, question him about his lack of a reaction to the craziness the night before. He claims he thought it was the vodka. Yeah, right! Ivan reminds Arelia of the promise and takes off.

Ch. 9 Les Mysteries or the Loa…

Arelia spends some time studying the spell book to learn about the different loa. She doesn’t want to end up in the same predicament as last night again. She notes how they appear much the same as humans. Mae comes out to join her and lets her know that Lucus is okay. I still can’t believe she didn’t go check for herself!! Arelia starts questioning Mae about the spirits.

“How many times do I need to tell you that there isn’t a distinct good or evil in voodoo?”

Seriously?? If you say so!

If evil didn’t exist, how could I explain Ivan?

Arelia does crack me up sometimes! Mae shares a few tricks about how to distinguish between some of the loa. Then explains how some of Arelia’s qualities come from Erzulie: kind, loving, and with a bitter temper to balance it out. Then Sabrina comes out.
Sabrina starts on about having the worst nightmare ever – her way of coping when she doesn’t like reality. Arelia feels the need to clue her in to the fact the Sabrina did indeed sleep with Ivan. Here’s where I wouldn’t feel bad about liking Lucus anymore and would have had to speak up! Sabrina even has the nerve to fuss at Arelia for not stopping the whole fiasco!

Is Arelia getting on your nerves at this point?

Discussing Punished – Ch. 4-6

If you’re new here – WELCOME! I have to warn you, though, that we’re discussing this book in depth, so you’ll want to stop here if you don’t want to know all the juicy details yet.

Alrighty….Ch. 4 Sousson Pannan

Arelia and Lucus make it to the gate, but Arelia has a visitor.

“Arelia,” the voice hummed. “I can free your lover from Darkwood.”

The first thing I would have thought here was, “REALLY?!” But, no, she’s freaked about the word “lover”. The spirit goes on to taunt her about how she doesn’t want to free Lucus, because then he’ll want nothing more to do with her. She’s not good enough. Blah! Blah! Blah! Lucus asks if it’s a spirit & she notifies him that it’s an annoying spirit.

“Are you calling Papa Legba annoying?”

So, Papa Legba is supposed to be this extrememly powerful spirit of crossroads and controls the gateway between the living and dead. Now she’s definitely tempted.

I had always assumed Lady Gaga had offered her soul to Legba…

Yeah, that cracked me up! Then this supposed Legba says he’ll help but for a price. Lucus is so not okay with this. He pleads with Arelia, but she’ll have none of it. She invites the spirit to help and immediately recognizes her mistake. This is no Legba! Lucus tries to grab Arelia to free her from this spirits clutches, but he’s slung back against a tree. Turns out this spirit is Sousson Pannan. Arelia wracked her brain for a moment and then recalled that Sousson had sucked a neighbor dry of his blood last year. Sousson Pannan started clawing at Arelia, but…

“Take mine, you can have all the blood you want,”…

Yep! Lucus to the rescue. He yells at Arelia to run, and she calls Erzulie for help. Erzulie explains that she’s going to have to get a black candle and seven bottles of rum, so Arelia takes off towards the house.

Ch. 5 Ivan, I Promise I Will Try to Understand

Arelia quickly finds the black candle, but where is the rum?

“Queen, what a lovely surprise,”…

Ivan – and he’s only wearing boxer briefs! Arelia asks him where to find the rum, but he’s not helping. She knows he knows where it is. He drags her along for a while, and she’s panicking.

“Promise me that you’ll understand.”

What is he talking about??? Arelia doesn’t have a clue either, but she promises. She has to get to that rum and quick! What’ll happen if Sousson sucks Lucus dry? Ivan takes her to where the rum is locked up. He has the key, but he makes her promise again before he opens it up. Arelia grabs the bottles and heads back out.
So what is the promise all about???

Ch. 6 Seven Stabs of the Dagger

Arelia starts to trot towards Lucus, trips, but Ivan catches her and grabs some of the bottles.

“You’re awfully uptight, queen. Did you have a lover’s quarrel with Prince Charming?”

You gotta love Ivan! Arelia was so tempted to just pass Ivan off to Sousson Pannan. Turns out that Sousson isn’t even interested in the rum, so Arelia calls Erzulie back. Arelia has to chant & has Ivan open the bottles of rum.

Seven stabs of the knife, seven stabs of the dagger,
Lend me the basin so I can vomit my blood,
Seven stabs of the knife, seven stabs of the dagger,
Lend me the basin so I can vomit my blood,
My blood is pouring down.

Pretty gross! Erzulie stabs her palm seven times, and Arelia has to place her blood in each bottle of rum. Sousson Pannan is now satisfied. But, is Lucus okay???

“Ivan, I promise I'll try to understand if you help me take Lucus inside.”

What is she supposed to be understanding???

Ramblings on Reading

Today we read some more of The Door in the Wall. My boys were thrilled that there was finally some action. They still, however, don’t like the book as a whole. We only have one more chapter left to read tomorrow.

My oldest son just finished Patterson’s I Funny. He really enjoyed it. He LOVES the Diary of a Wimpy Kid Series, so if your kids like those and are looking for something new, try out Patterson’s Middle School series. Here’s Patterson’s newest & my sons next “To Read”:

What children’s books would you recommend, or not as my kids would say about The Door in the Wall?

Discussing the 1st 3 Chapters of Punished

*SPOILER ALERT*

As I mentioned previously, we’re going to be discussing the first 3 chapters of Punished by Kira Saito in depth. So, if you don’t want all the details, don’t read any further. If you have read the book, then I’d love to hear your thoughts!!
Ch. 1 Major Trust Issues
We start off with Arelia stopping by Lucus’ room to let him know she’s going to be staying on.

Lucus placed his smooth hand over mine and took the crystal glass out of it. He raised his other hand up to my cheek and grazed it softly with his fingertips. His touch sent consuming chills through my body, all the way from my split-ends to my non-pedicured toenails.

HA! How does she continue to deny she has any feelings for him? She tends to freak out everytime things start getting intense with him. She continues to question his motives & has no trust in him. He asks why she can’t trust him, but she refuses to open up about her past. The chapter ends with her agreeing to a walk with him.

Ch. 2 Bade’s Warning
Arelia steps out onto the porch with Lucus and Bade shows up.

“Tonight’s not a good night for a walk,” he advised.

Bade goes on to inform her that one of the spirits lurking about is thirsty, but he refuses to let her know this spirit’s name. Arelia decides to ignore Bade at this point and asks Lucus how this whole thing got started.

“Come with me and I’ll tell you everything.”

*SIGH*

Ch. 3 Lucus LaPlante

Somewhere deep inside of me, I wanted to trust Lucus, but I knew that fairytales weren’t real. They were an epic fable created by parents who were too afraid to explain reality to their children. Ivan was right. Prince Charming always ended up with Barbie.

This girl needs some self-confidence!!
So Lucus starts his story in 1830. His father, Jacque LaPlante, was a wealthy merchant that moved from France to New Orleans & met his mother at a ball – proposing the same day. She was already betrothed, but ended her engagement and married Jacque the very next week. Arelia was dumbfounded at this.

“LaPlante men simply know what they want.”

Yeah, double sigh! HINT! HINT, Arelia!! Followed by:

“Forever means nothing without love.”

Yeah, so what guy talks like this??? NONE!! I guess that’s why I love books!
Lucus continues with his story…His parents had it all, except a child, and it took them 5 yrs to conceive. During those five years their marriage was stressed, and it was rumored that Jacque had a few mistresses on the side. But, Lucus came along in 1836.
Wait! What?! Yep, he’s 176 years old!! EW! But apparently still looking mighty good to Arelia.
Lucus then talks about being all those things that Arelia has stereotyped him as: spoiled, ungrateful, entitled. Arelia teases him about his hair.

“The wealthy led lives of incomparable luxury…I felt invincible, wealth and privilege were my greatest weapons. There wasn’t a man in New Orleans who was crazy enough to defy or challenge me…Except for one.”

AH! But Lucus won’t tell who! Ivan maybe? Another woman??? He’s afraid Arelia will think less of him if he tells, because he thinks less of himself. So, now they both have secrets…
Arelia changes the subject and asks why he doesn’t have pics of the family up anywhere. Lucus shares about how obsessed he was. He had been going insane. He had voodoo dolls made of his loved ones that he actually sang lullabies to, and had tried to kill himself twice. Over the deep end?! But all that changed when she came along – or the knowledge of her. Aunt Mae had been confiding in him from the beginning and Mae’s enthusiasm was infectious.

“I confess when I first heard about your powers, I was infatuated with them and what you could do for me. But then you came to Darkwood and ripped through it like a fierce hurricane. You breathed new life into this old place.”

Just what Arelia needed to hear! She was so thinking that he just wanted her for her powers.
Arelia then asks why he hasn’t ever just left the place, and he’s surprised that she doesn’t think he wouldn’t have tried already. She convinces him to try again. He knows he won’t be leaving Darkwood, but follows her anyway.
So what are your thoughts at this point???