Nicole Flockton

Be whatever you want to be.

28 February 2006

Books 15-17 of Challenge

Still ticking along nicely at the moment. This catching the bus each morning is working out really well with giving me lots of time to read. It's actually really good because it means I really get into the book whereas before I might have gone, nope not for me and put it down. Wonder how many good books I've missed doing that. But I'm also still buying new books which I need to stop doing. LOL Need to wait for the ones my sister reads.

Book 15 - Bedding His Virgin Mistress - by Penny Jordan

Another first book in a series. I also have the second which I haven't read but looks like the 3rd hasn't been released here in Australia. Most frustrating that. Will have to find it on Amazon I think. Hmm just found it was released in the Christmas pack here in Australia. Dang 2nd hand book shops here I come.

Anyway this is about Carly and Riccardo. Carly works for a party organising company and Riccardo is a self made millionaire interested in purchasing the business. Now Riccardo has received some words about Carly, suggesting she is a gold digger and rather 'loose'. However, by the title you can see that she hasn't slept with anyone.

It's been a while since I read a Penny Jordan book and I have to admit I rather enjoyed it. Both Riccardo and Carly had issues that had to be sorted out and the issues were solved very nicely. Now onto read books 2 and 3 (since I started this post I've found the last book in the series and read the 2nd one, while I comment on down the track).

Book 16 - The Rich Stranger by Bronwyn Jamieson

This is her second book in her "Princes of the Outback" Series. I have to say I loved this book. I really enjoyed the sassy herione, Cat and our sexier, charming rogue hero, Rafe. The dialogue between these two characters was just brilliant. I really really enjoyed their verbal sparring.

Cat was a tough heroine, in that she managed a cattle station by herself. She knew how to look after herself and if it was me in the outback I'm not sure how I'd cope.

Rafe literally falls out of the sky. His plane had to land on her ungraded strip and it wasn't a pretty landing but he made it down safely.

Rafe's growth from a carefree playboy to a man prepared to give his heart to one woman was handled beautifully. I truly can't wait to read the third book in this series. The hero Alex is probably going to be the most intense of all the brothers. And I don't have long to wait until I can buy it.

Book 17 - Goes Down Easy - By Alison Kent

This is the second book in the Red Letter Nights series. My husband thought the title was very interesting. LOL

This book is about Jack and Perry and a side story about Perry's psychic aunt. Jack is a PI and is an ex-special ops marine. You know he has seen something pretty bad. It's hinted there quiet early on. Perry's main job is looking after her aunt's shop and her aunt after she has had a 'vision'.

Jack is chasing down a missing man and Perry's aunt "sees" him. The connection is there in the beginning between Jack and Perry. Perry makes Jack feel again and he isn't sure that is what he wants. Jack makes Perry feel again as well and after spending most of her time focusing on her aunt she's not sure how to handle this attraction.

Jack's mysterious past comes out after Perry's aunt (for the life of me can't remember her name although I'm thinking Violet and I know that's not right. LOL forgive me Alison) gives him a reading.

The thing I discovered later on in the book is that Jack was involved in an ensemble in High School. Randy, who appeared in the anthology "Red Letter Nights" was also in the ensemble. So to was Quentin who made his appearance in the "Hush" hotel series also by Blaze. So I've read about most of the people in the ensemble. Jack was the last one. Now I will have to check out Amazon to get the first book. I love it when I stumble across a series. LOL

As you can see this blog was all about mini series'.


21 February 2006

Books 12-14

Book 12 - Give Me Fever by Karen Anders - Blaze

This is the first book that was born from the Red Letter Nights anthology. It involves Tally and Christien.

Tally is a descendant of the man, Gabriel, who built the apartment complex where most of our characters live. In fact it is reported that Gabriel haunts the court. Which is proven true in this story.

Gabriel has been cursed to spend his life stuck in the court unless he can break his curse. Getting Tally to fall in love and choose love before ambition is the first step.

Christien is the brother of the H of the second story of the anthology. A man who has a complex past.

Tally's brother has gone missing and she hires the services of Christien who is a PI to find him. The sexual tension between the two is strong and some of their scenes together are quite steamy.

I really enjoyed the Ghost aspect of the story. Wanted to see him more and more and it will look like he will appear again in Tally's twin sister's story, Bree, which is the last one in the series.

Hopefully in the last story we will get to see all characters from the previous books.

Book 13 - Prince's Passion by Carole Mortimer - Sexy/Harlequin Presents

This is another book in a series and actually follows on from a series that Carole wrote in the late 90's. I've been waiting for these books for ages. LOL

This is Nik's story, the oldest of the Prince Brothers. Their youngest sister Stazy married Jordan Hunter who starred in the "Bachelor Brothers" series.

Nik is an multi Oscar winner as a director and maybe as an actor, not really elaborated on here. Nik is chasing the rights to make a movie on a best seller novel. The author is being very obstinate and not budging. In fact the publishers haven't even met the author.

Using his charms he finds out an address of a post box and has it watched by a man. Through connections with his sister he manages to meet the owner of the box, our herione Julia. Julia is hiding the true writer of the book for personal reasons, which when you find out about you can understand her desire to keep things quiet. But having said that, she was a bit naive about certain aspects.

I really enjoyed this book and enjoyed seeing Nik fall. Julia is a great character for him and doesn't make life easy for him at all.

A great read all round.

Book 14 - Bought: One Bride by Miranda Lee Sexy/Harlequin Presents

Yet another series. The last few of my books have been series which are great. I love series, but I'm thinking I might have to search out the next two for this series and the two for the Carole Mortimer series, not sure my sister got them in her subscription.

Our H, Richard, decides that he has been wallowing in his grief/anger/hate for his deceased wife and wants to find a wife. But he doesn't want to date so he approaches a good friend of his who went to an agency and 'bought' for a better term, a wife.

Our heroine is a florist and good friends with the Richard's mum, although they've never met. When she decides to deliver some forgotten flowers to his mother, they meet up. He decides there and then that Holly is the wife he wants.

He sets about pursuing her, but Holly is a romantic and wants a marriage of love, not one which Richard describes. That is until her stepmother advises that her deceased's father's flower shop is sold and the owner wants vacant possession. Our Richard has bought the shop in a hope that somehow Holly would turn to him. She does and in her shattered state begs Richard to buy the shop for her and in turn she'll marry him.

This is another great read, I read this book in a day I enjoyed it that much.

I've just realised that I tend to give away the whole plot sometimes with my reviews here so I'm not going to do that anymore. LOL

Until next time, happy reading.


19 February 2006

Books 9 - 11 of Challenge

Well I'm doing pretty good so far with my reading. I've managed to read 17 books since the beginning of the year. I had a great week last week, reading nearly a book a day then the weekend hit. LOL

Anyway here we go.

Book 9 - The Rugged Loner by Bronwyn Jameson - Desire

This is the first book in her "Princes of the Outback" Series. Now it was released in the US in the latter part of the year. Around, September, October & November (I think). This book is about the youngest of 3 boys and in fact the 'natural' son of the father who dies. His other two sons are from his wife's first marriage. Confused?

Okay a bit of background. The story starts off with the father having just been diagnosed with an agressive cancer and he changes his will, in effect saying that a grandchild has to be produced within 12 months. The lawyer questioned that each son is included. Tomas the youngest has lost a wife to a plane crash. He has basically been living with his grief for the last 2 years. So his father decided he had to start living so that is why all sons were included.

Angie is a friend of all the brothers. Her father was the family chef so she and her two brothers grew up with the Carlisle boys. She has always had a thing for Tomas and it was a friend of hers that Tomas married. She told him before the wedding that marrying Brooke would be a bad idea, she couldn't cope with the outback. That proved to be true. Angie couldn't face the wedding so set off on a 2 year trip around Europe, only returning just prior to the funeral.

She volunteered to help Tomas fulfil the terms of the Will as all brothers agreed "One in All In". Initially he was reluctant but gradually warmed to the idea. Only his idea was for IVF whereas Angie was natural method the whole way. In the end Angie won and Tomas finally started to live again.

It was an excellent read and again flowed well. Really really enjoy Bron's writing style and am looking forward to reading the next instalment as the glimpses of Rafe were tantalising. I've read Rafe's story now but its a bit further down the list for me to comment on.

Book 10 - Boss Man by Diana Palmer - Desire

The downside with the Desire line here in Australia is they are released in a duo format. So you buy it for one book and get another thrown in. Sometimes that can work out to be a bonus other times not so lucky. I admit 9 times out of 10 I usually don't read the second story. But this time I thought I would. I'd heard people commenting that Diana Palmer was a must read for them.

This is the classic example of what suits one reader may not suit another. I don't think I'll be using my money to buy any of Diana's books again and no disrespect to the author either.

I found the dialogue stilted. Felt like I was back in the late 70's. Calling the H "Mr Kemp" throughout the book and then later on as "Boss man". This was usually between discussions with the h and her mother.

I'm really not going to go much into it because I really didn't enjoy it. I made myself suffer through it thinking surely it has to get better than this. Even now I cringe at some of the dialogue that was spoken.

But most of all can someone please explain to me what on earth an Ankle Length Long Sleeve Cardigan which you have to wear a blouse under, looks like????


This is a 2004 release I think, I don't have the book here to check. Anyway it was a reunion story and a very sweet one at that.

Sam and Amy were married quite young. Sam had an idea that he wanted a marriage just like his parents. His father basically told his mother what to do. He thought it was an ideal arrangement of course Amy didn't agree and left him. His ideal was shattered when his parents divorced a while after he split from Amy.

He has made it big with a fast food franchise and Amy went and joined a ballet company but an injury forced her to return back to her home town after a 12 year absence to start her dance school.

She has been back a year and they had failed to meet up, until he has to take his niece to her dance lessons.

Anyway most of the parents of the students of Amy's dance school conspire to get Amy and Sam back together.

Both have grown up and changed and realise that their hearts belong to each other.

We don't get American Romance released here in Australia so it made a nice change to read.

Only another 6 books to comment on and then I'm up to date.


14 February 2006

Back to the Book Challenge

Okay so I've been reading up a storm lately. In fact with the change in our circumstances I have a long morning bus trip so I get to read for longer, WOOHOO! LOL

Anyway here we go

Book 6 - At the Italian's Command by Cathy Williams

I won't say it kept me riveted to my chair with a need to read until I finished, but it wasn't one I gave up on either. Actually so far I've managed to keep reading all the books I've started this year. Although I might put it down and read something else I have been going back. But I digress.

This could be classed as a sort of reunion story. The h (Sophie) and H's (Rafeal) mothers know each other. Sophie has started a job with a magazine but the magazine isn't making too much money so she really needs a great interview to help it along. So both mothers were talking and it was decided that Sophie would follow Rafe for 2 weeks to get a look at the man behind the business.

Rafe is far from impressed with his mother's interference, she of course would like to see him settled down and married to a good woman. His last impression of Sophie was as a young girl who had no dress sense and a girl who had a bit of a crush on him.

Sophie isn't impressed either and she is older now and determined that she doesn't feel anything for him. Although her fashion style has improved marginally since she last saw Rafe, but she still doesn't spend a fortune on clothes.

Anyway they spend time together and obviously the close proximity means that the attraction Sophie thought dead and Rafe didn't realise existed ignites and they start an affair.

This affair continues after the article is finished and then Sophie works out she is pregnant. She is very up front and tells him and he is all "lets get married". Of course there was the whole don't marry me just for the baby but it did finish nicely.

Book 7 - Third Sight by Suzanne McMinn

This is a SIM and the second in her "Pax League" series. What a brilliant read. I read it in just over a day and that included going to work! The book flowed and I found I was turning page after page and not really realising that one minute I was on page 20 then next page 70. That is how well the writing and story flowed.

Nina (h) and Riley (H) have a past, they broke up over a year ago after Riley had suffered a car accident. Nina is assaulted at her place of work and instinctively calls Riley. He is a policeman who would be dead if it wasn't for the Pax League. The put a chip inside his head which enabled him to 'see' evil.

Nina is an anthropologist who discovered some ancient tablets. When the tablets are put together a great evil is unleashed. There was some press recently suggesting that it was all a big fraud and the tablets were fake. Of course they had been stolen when Nina was assulted.

Riley feels the evil the moment he walks into the room. But the journey begins. The first journey is finding their way back to each other and the second is getting the tablets back as it seems they have fallen into terrorists hands.

Its a brilliant read and one I truly recommend. As I said I couldn't put it down. It had action, mystery and romance.

With books like this I fail to see why people still continue to disparage the romance genre.

Book 8 - Red Letter Nights by Alison Kent, Karen Anders & Jeanie London

An anthology of Blaze stories, do I class it as one book or three. Guess seeing as it all came in one book it should be just one. LOl

Based in New Orleans around an apartment complex, complete with a ghost which we see feature in one of the books that was born from this anthology.

Each read was fast paced, obviously sexy and steamy.

Sometimes I just like a good Blaze and looking at my TBR pile I'm seeing a few more of them. Once I start reading a story that is part of a mini-series I have to read them all. In fact the second book born from this Anthology was in a Blaze pack released in Australia. In that pack is the first book of the White Star mini series so I can see myself purchasing Blazes over the next couple of months.

I like the appeal of an anthology. Quick, exciting reads but still a great story.

I recall an anthology a couple of years ago that had a Michelle Reid book in it. My goodness the emotion and action and romance she packed into that story was excellent. Might have to give myself a treat and dig it out and re-read it.


12 February 2006

Curve Ball

Life has to throw little curve balls, how you handle them is completely up to you.

We just got handed a curve ball on Friday.... DH got made redundant or laid off. Totally unexpected and out of the blue and now maybe a little like they wanted to oust him. His branch of the Company is doing fine, financially.

I think its the whole possible fact that they wanted to get rid of him that is giving me a sick kind of feeling.

I'll be honest and say that he tends to call a spade a spade and then some but he knows his stuff. He has helped this Company become a real leader in the industry. If they had a problem with him they could have perhaps called him in to discuss it. I guess we'll never really know the real reason.

But as they say one door closes and another opens. As it is, he has arranged to start some casual work on Wednesday that could lead to a more permanent role. Also he is studying at the moment, looking at an alternative career. So maybe it's the universes way of giving him a gentle nudge in the right direction.

All I know is that my baby is really hurting and when I spoke to him, he is at his office going through his stuff and he says its heartbreaking. Actually as I'm typing this I'm trying hard not to cry for him.

I know this is for the best for us as a family but it's hard to see it at the moment.


08 February 2006

Proud Kindergarten Mum!

Well my baby girl Skylar started kindy last week. It was so cute to see her in her school uniform and yes I'm unashamed to admit I was shedding a few tears as I was driving home after I dropped her off.

So she was happy to see me when I picked her up. The next day she went off and gave the teacher a hug and I left her again.

Now in one of my earlier blogs I'd mentioned that she was going to my old school. I never realised just how proud I was to actually attend that school until I saw her in the uniform and I dropped her off there.

I won't say that I loved school, in fact until recently I would have told you that I didn't like it. But looking back I'd have to say that I enjoyed the school I just wish things could have a been a bit different on the friend front and I hadn't flitted so much and if I could do things over I'd do them differently. But I probably would have a finished school at the same time as I don't regret leaving school at 15.

Today Skylar had her first Japanese lesson. Yep she is learning Japanese and she is only 3 1/2. But they say that this is a great time to teach a language as their minds are like sponges and just soak everything up.

So I was looking at her journal and there was a sticker in there saying that she'd learnt to say hello to her teacher "Sensei Ohayou" (Sensay O-High-O). So I pronounce it and she proudly says it back to me.

Later on I looked again at the sticker and it mentioned that they learnt the song "Head Shoulders Knees and Toes". So again I pronounce the words only to hear her start to sing it. She sang the whole song!

I couldn't believe it I was amazed and proud and just bursting wanting to tell someone. DH is away so I couldn't tell him.

So after a week I think about what might have been. The scenario is if I hadn't been working fulltime I probably would have settled for the school up the road even though I didn't like the teacher. I would have reasoned, its only for one year. But because I'm working fulltime and something the director of the daycare centre that the kids go to said to me some months before I looked into sending her to my old school.

Yes its expensive. Yes I have to buy a school uniform and accessories. Yes I miss out on taking her and picking her up from school. But and its a huge BUT after one week she can sing a song in another language. Sure its only Head Shoulders Knees and Toes but still its an amazing effort.

So to me it's her education and it's worth the sacrifice I have to make to work fulltime. I'd give up work tomorrow but at the moment that's not a likely scenario.

I know that in the future I will be able to take her and pick her up and then later on take my son and pick him up too.

But seeing her at my old school, in a uniform, although different to the one I wore and was proud to wear, that she is proud to wear also it is the best feeling.


04 February 2006

Book Challenge Books 3 - 5

So this time I'm just going to do a brief overview of a few more of the books I've read recently. Unless there is one or two that I will have to elaborate on.

Book 3 - Virgin for Sale by Susan Stephens

Well this is the first book in the new 'Uncut' series of Presents. When I started reading it I didn't think it was much different to the other Presents. All that I noticed was that the heroine, even though she was a virgin, she was quite open with the fact that she pleasured herself. That is to the reader. Anyway the gist of the story is the heroine is a CEO of her father's engineering company and the hero is a Greek billionaire looking at buying one of the smaller branches of the h's company.

Both have dubious backgrounds, she was bought up in a commune and it starts with her escaping that place. He was an orphan bought up in an orphanage.

I'm not a huge Susan Stephens reader but this one did flow okay with me.

The "Uncut" part of it was the willingness to delve deeper into the sexual side of the story. The h got turned on by the idea of a spanking from the H. So when it came to their first time, there was a bit of spanking. Not sure how to take that one. LOL

But I will look forward to reading more "Uncuts" when they get released downunder.

Book 4 - Winning Back his Wife by Barbara McMahon.

Released in Australia as a "Sweet" but is a Harlequin Romance. Now I believe the title is all wrong. Not once, until right at the end, does the H think of winning his wife back. Heroine works for uncle's advertising company and the account she is working on happens to be the advertising campaign for her ex-husbands camping/hiking equipment store. Although she doesn't know it at the time. Basically the highest 5 companies bidding for the advertising account go on a 5 day hiking trip. She hasn't ever hiked and goes to the store to buy her equipment. That is where she sees the picture of her ex-husband.

The married in college but she left him because her parents had a car accident. Father died and mother was left wheel chair bound. She thought she was doing the right thing by leaving him. Anyway he is rather shocked to see her on the trip, he wasn't supposed to go but his marketing manager broke his leg and couldn't continue.

No one knows they have a past, except one guy suspects and when he says a light hearted banter between them guesses that they were once involved. She manages to keep up with the crew as they hike. This is where the title is a bit wrong. She realises early on that she still loves him and starts to think about trying to win him back. Problem is her mother. Her mother is totally reliant on her, perhaps a bit too much. Playing on her daughters good side.

So a near death accident by the h makes her realise that she really does want him back. He rebukes her declaration of love after the trip is completed.

She returns home bruised and sorry but determined to try and get her man. But he has also realised that she is important to him and he still loves her. Hence he moves the company to where she lives and they get a bigger house all to live in.

Book 5 - The Millionaire's Secret Mistress by Kathryn Ross

Another Presents novel. Quite a good read actually. The H and h see each other at her work. Her comapny has just been taken over by the H's company although she doesn't know that. She thinks he is just a representative from the company.

She has agreed to go on a speed dating night with her friend. The H happens to see her in the lobby and is curious as to why she is there. Incidentially the night is held at one of the hotels he owns.

So even though he isnt involved in the speed dating they hook up and end up spending the night at her place. Monday she is all business and not wanting to take their relationship any further. She still has no idea that he is the boss and when it does come out she is less than happy about it.

He offers her a job to work in their Barbados office overseeing the merger of the two companies. She reluctantly agrees and once there they once again share a bed. Its on the 2nd night on the boat that she works out she might be pregnant.

Like a typical h she decides that she will save the H any feelings of obligation and leave him. He follows her and she annouces that she is pregnant. He declares that he does want a family and proposes and declares his love.

I dont mind this author's books.

Back soon with more.