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27 March 2010 @ 01:05 am
50BookChallenge Vol. IV.I  
50bookchallenge is a little community that challenges it's members to read fifty books in a single year. I thought I'd try it out again and see how it went! Besides reading fifty books this year, I'm also trying to read at least fifteen thousand pages.

1. Cream Puff Murder - Joanne Fluke


Bakery owner Hannah Swensen has a dress to fit into and a date with her sister, Andrea, at Lake Eden's new health club, Heavenly Bodies. Dragging herself out of bed on a frigid Minnesota morning for exercise, of all things, is bad enough. Discovering the body of man-eating bombshell Ronni Ward floating in the gym's jacuzzi? Okay, that's worse. Nor does it help that there's a plate of The Cookie Jar's very own cream puffs garnishing the murder scene.

Trying to narrow the list of Ronni's enemies down to fewer than half the town's female population, Hannah has her plate full. Trouble is, when it comes to cookies - and to murder - there's always room for one more...

333 pages

This book was definitely by far my favorite in the series so far! I'm having mixed feelings about Mike, but I still love him. Even more character development - especially for the Swensen sisters - and as always, Hannah's stringing Mike and Norman along. The plot was solid, though, and the ending was quite the shocker! It moved at quite a quick pace, but not so quick as to seem rushed. I managed to read it very quickly and enjoyed it thoroughly.

All in all, I give Joanne Fluke's Cream Puff Murder four stars out of a possible five. I highly recommend it to anyone who would like a good, albeit warm and fuzzy, mystery novel!

2. Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief - Rick Riordan

Young Adult Fiction/Adventure

Percy Jackson is about to be kicked out of boarding school... again. And that's the least of his troubles. Lately, mythological monsters and the gods of Mount Olympus seem to be walking straight out of the pages of Percy's Greek mythology textbook and into his life. And worse, he's angered a few of them. Zeus's master lightning bolt has been stolen, and Percy is the prime suspect.

Now Percy and his friends have just ten days to find and return Zeus's stolen property and bring peace to a warring Mount Olympus. But to succeed on his quest, Percy will have to do more than catch the true thief: he must come to terms with the father who abandoned him; solve the riddle of the Oracle, which warns him of betrayal by a friend; and unravel a treachery more powerful than the gods themselves.

375 pages

I loved this book. It was a very nice, quick, easy read. The plot was fantastic, exciting and moved at a good pace with nothing tossed in to needlessly fluff up the storyline and nothing critical left out. The characters were very dynamic and lovable. I loved all of the mythology, too. It's like something educational was slipped in there so subtly amidst all of the fun that I almost didn't realize I'd learned a lot until the very end.

All in all, I give Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief five stars out of a possible five. An all-around great book that I would recommend to adventure fans of all ages and that I will gladly read again and again!

3. Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Sea of Monsters - Rick Riordan

Young Adult Fiction/Adventure

Percy Jackson's seventh-grade year has been surprisingly quiet. Not a single monster has set foot on his New York prep-school campus. But when an innocent game of dodgeball among Percy and his classmates turns into a death match against an ugly gang of cannibal giants, things get... well, ugly. And the unexpected arrival of his friend Annabeth brings more bad news: the magical borders that protect Camp Half-Blood have been poisoned by a mysterious enemy, and unless a cure is found, the only safe haven for demigods will be destroyed.

In this fresh, funny, and wildly popular follow up to
The Lightning Thief, Percy and his friends must journey into the Sea of Monsters to save their camp. But first, Percy will discover a stunning new secret about his family - one that makes him question whether being claimed as Poseidon's son is an honor or simply a cruel joke.

279 pages

I very thoroughly enjoyed this book, if possible, even more than the first book. The characters had grown and matured a little and became even more dynamic, adding great depth to the personal aspect of the story. The plot was darker and more exciting, making for an intense read. It moved at a great pace and kept me turning pages, desperate to find out what was next. The ending was a total shocker, too, which is a wicked bonus.

All in all, I give Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Sea of Monsters five stars out of a possible five. A wonderful second book in the series that I'd highly recommend to everyone out there and will most definitely be reading over and over in the future!

4. Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Titan's Curse - Rick Riordan

Young Adult Fiction/Adventure

When Percy Jackson receives an urgent distress call from his friend Grover, he immediately prepares for battle. He knows he'll need his powerful demigod allies at his side; his trusty bronze sword, Riptide; and... a ride from his mom.

The demigods race to the rescue to find that Grover has made an important discovery: two new powerful half-bloods, whose parentage is unknown. But that's not all that awaits them. The Titan lord, Kronos, has set up a devious trap, and the young heroes have just fallen prey.

Hilarious and action-packed, this third adventure in the series finds Percy faced with his most dangerous challenge yet - the chilling prophecy of the Titan's curse.

312 pages

Another wonderful book in the series! The characters are older in this one, more mature and the story is darker. I really enjoyed the new characters who were introduced, particularly Zoe, and I loved the character development the others went through. The plot was another amazing one with twists and turns at every corner. There were things revealed that really had my head spinning. It was a very quick read, too. I laughed, I cried and I was absolutely shocked, all of which made for a wicked adventure.

All in all, I give Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson & The Olympians: the Titan's Curse five stars out of a possible five. Another riveting book in the series that I would very highly recommend to everyone! You won't be disappointed!

5. Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Battle of the Labyrinth - Rick Riordan

Young Adult Fiction/Adventure

Percy Jackson isn't expecting freshman orientation to be any fun. But when a mysterious mortal acquaintance appears on campus, followed by demon cheerleaders, things quickly move from bad to worse.

In this fourth installment of the blockbuster series, time is running out as war between the Olympians and the evil Titan lord Kronos draws near. Even the safe haven of Camp Half-Blood gorws more vulnerable by the minute as Kronos's army prepares to invade its once impenetrable borders. To stop the invasion, Percy and his demigod friends must set out on a quest through the Labyrinth - a sprawling underground world with stunning surprises at every turn.

361 pages

Another amazing book in the Camp Half-Blood series! Fantastic adventure, laughter, tears and even budding romance make for a great read. I'm starting to be a little annoyed with Annabeth, but the other characters are all growing on me, even Niko. The plot was exciting and suspenseful, the ending shocking and brilliant. There were some seriously funny moments, and some awfully heartbreaking ones, which made for a nice balance.

All in all, I give Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Battle of the Labyrinth five stars out of a possible five. A must read for everyone!

6. Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Last Olympian - Rick Riordan

Young Adult Fiction/Adventure

All year the half-bloods have been preparing for battle against the Titans, knowing the odds of victory are grim. Kronos's army is stronger than ever, and with every god and half-blood he recruits, the evil Titan's power only grows. While the Olympians struggle to contain the rampaging monster Typhon, Kronos begins his advance on New York City, where Mount Olympus stands virtually unguarded. Now it's up to Percy Jackson and an army of young demigods to stop the Lord of Time.

In this momentous final book in the New York Times best-selling Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, the long-awaited prophecy surrounding Percy's sixteenth birthday unfolds. And as the battle for Western civilization rages on the streets of Manhattan, Percy faces a terrifying suspicion that he may be fighting against his own fate.

381 pages

An absolutely phenomenal ending to a brilliant series. The storyline was suspenseful, exciting and emotional in every sense of the word. We learned some new things about some of the characters that made me love them even more and we became more familiar with some of the smaller, less dynamic characters. The battles in this book were epic and the ending was incredible. I cannot even describe it.

All in all, I give Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Last Olympian five stars out of a possible five. A must-read for absolutely everyone!

7. Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder - Joanne Fluke


Hannah already has her hands full trying to dodge her mother's attempts to marry her off while running The Cookie Jar, Lake Eden's most popular bakery. But once Ron LaSalle, the beloved delivery man from the Cozy Cow Dairy, is found murdered behind her bakery with Hannah's famous Chocolate Chip Crunchies scattered around him, her life just can't get any worse. Determined not to let her cookies get a bad reputation, she sets out to track down a killer. But if she doesn't watch her back, Hannah's sweet life may get burned to a crisp.

431 pages

This book was a nice, quick read. It moved along nicely and I finally got to see how we're introduced to all the characters, seeing as I read the books out of order. It was a fun plot with a good ending that tied up all the loose ends well. There were a few good twists and turns in the story which kept me turning the pages.

All in all, I give Joanne Fluke's Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder 3 stars out of a possible five. Not my favorite in the series, but still a good read. I'd recommend it to all the foodies and mystery fans out there!

8. Dark Lover - J. R. Ward


The only purebred vampire left on the planet, Wrath has a score to settle with the slayers who murdered his parents centuries ago. But when one of his most trusted fighters is killed - orphaning a half-breed daughter unaware of her heritage or her fate - Wrath must usher the beautiful female into the world of the undead...

Racked by a restlessness in her body that wasn't there before, Beth Randall is helpless against the dangerously sexy man who comes to her at night with shadows in his eyes. His tales of brotherhood and blood frighten her. But his touch ignites a dawning hunger that threatens to consume them both...

393 pages

Reluctant as I am to admit it, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. While Ward's misspelling of words for names (such as Rhage and Vishous) still annoys me to no end, I've warmed up to her writing style. I got to know the characters in this book fairly well and I felt very connected to them throughout. There was a lot of action packed into the plot, but it didn't feel rushed - it moved at a good pace.

The lore that Ward makes her own in this book is very interesting. It's a fresh perspective on vampires that's quite amusing to read. In addition to that, the culture and customs she's dreamed up for the brotherhood are wonderful.

All in all, I give J. R. Ward's Dark Lover three and a half stars out of a possible five. A very good read that I'd recommend to anyone looking for a new take on vampire lore.

9. Lover Eternal - J. R. Ward


Within the brotherhood, Rhage is the vampire with the strongest appetites. He's the best fighter, the quickest to act on his impulses, and the most voracious lover - for inside him burns a ferocious curse cast by the Scribe Virgin. Owned by this dark side, Rhage fears the times when his inner dragon is unleashed, making him a danger to everyone around him.

Mary Luce, a survivor of many hardships, is unwittingly thrown into the vampire world and reliant on Rhage's protection. With a life-threatening curse of her own, Mary is not looking for love. She lost her faith in miracles years ago. But when Rhage's intense animal attraction turns into something more emotional, he knows that he must make Mary his alone. And while their enemies close in, Mary fights desperately to gain life eternal with the one she loves...

441 pages

I thoroughly enjoyed the second book in this series. Rhage is definitely one of my favorite brothers - tied closely for first with Vishous. In any case, the plot in this book was a good one - definitely had me turning pages at every chance I got! I really liked Mary, too. She was a very dynamic, very strong character.

There were moments where I felt like the author had packed in too much unnecessary filler regarding the lessers, but overall it still read well. Heck, I've even gotten used to the language. The storyline, combined with a healthy dose of secondary characters to support the main cast really made this book a good read.

All in all, I give J. R. Ward's Lover Eternal three and a half stars out of a possible five. I very highly recommend the book and the series in general!

10. Lover Awakened - J. R. Ward


A former blood slave, the vampire Zsadist still bears the scars from a past filled with suffering and humiliation. Renowned for his unquenchable fury and sinister deeds, he is a savage feared by humans and vampires alike. Anger is his only companion and terror his only passions - until he rescues a beautiful female from the evil Lessening Society.

Bella is instantly entranced by the seething power Zsadist possesses. But even as their desire for each other begins to overtake them, Zsadist's thirst for vengeance against Bella's tormentors drives him to the brink of madness. Now Bella must help her lover overcome the wounds of his tortured past and find a future with her...

434 pages

After reading more about his character in this book, I'm absolutely head over heels in love with Zsadist. The way the author builds his character and tells his back-story is fabulous. He's got a lot of darkness in his past, but it almost makes him seem more human than the others. I very much enjoyed delving into the depths of his psyche and into his relationship with Bella.

The storyline was great. Plenty of action, heartbreak, laughs and everything in between. A little too much filler with the stuff about the lessers, but still enjoyable.

All in all, I give J. R. Ward's Lover Awakened four stars out of a possible five. I very highly recommend it!

11. Lover Revealed - J. R. Ward


Butch O'Neal is a fighter by nature. A hard-living ex-homicide cop, he's the only human ever to be allowed in the inner circle of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. And he wants to go even deeper into the vampire world - to engage in the turf war with the lessers. He's got nothing to lose. His heart belongs to a female vampire, an aristocratic beauty who's way out of his league. If he can't have Marissa, then at least he can fight side by side with the Brothers...

Fate curses him with the very thing he wants. When Butch sacrifices himself to save a civilian vampire from the slayers, he falls prey to the darkest force in the war. Left for dead, he's found by a miracle, and the Brotherhood calls on Marissa to bring him back. But even her love may not be enough to save him...

455 pages

This was probably my least favorite book from the Black Dagger Brotherhood series so far. While I like Butch and Marissa, the dynamics of their relationship throughout this book irked me. No, I wasn't expecting a perfect relationship, but where love was concerned, their characters felt almost like whiny little children. Marissa's expectations of Butch and Butch's melancholy over Marissa just felt very depressing and stood in an awkward contrast to the action in the book.

The plot itself was good, though. I thoroughly enjoyed learning more about John Matthew, seeing more of the fight with the lessers and watching the plot thicken. There was a lot of good action and plenty of hot sex (as one would expect from vampire erotica).

All in all, I give J. R. Ward's Lover Revealed three stars out of a possible five. I'd still very highly recommend it, but it wasn't one of my favorites.

12. Lover Unbound - J. R. Ward


Ruthless and brilliant, Vishous, son of the Bloodletter, possesses a destructive curse and frightening ability to see the future. As a pretrans growing up in his father's war camp, he was tormented and abused. As a member of the Brotherhood, he has no interest in love or emotion, only the battle with the Lessening Society. But when a mortal injury puts him in the care of a human surgeon, Dr. Jane Whitcomb compels him to reveal his inner pain and taste true pleasure for the first time - until a destiny he didn't choose takes him into a future that cannot include her...

502 pages

This was my second read through of this book, though the first time I'd read it out of order of the series so I didn't understand a lot of it and therefore didn't enjoy it nearly as much as I did this time around.

I love Vishous, he's definitely my favorite brother, and Jane is a great, strong female character. Together they're perfect. I loved the insight we got into V's past and the surprise twist there was with regards to his parentage. It was an exciting, action-packed plot line with some major laughs and a lot of heartbreak as well. The ending kind of threw me a bit as it was unorthodox, even for a vampire novel, but it was still a great read.

All in all, I give J. R. ward's Lover Unbound four stars out of a possible five. A very good read that I'd highly recommend - just be sure to read the books in order!

13. Lover Enshrined - J. R. Ward


Fiercely loyal to the Black Dagger Brotherhood, Phury has sacrificed himself for the good of the race, becoming the male responsible for keeping the Brotherhood's bloodlines alive. As Primale of the Chosen, he is obligated to father the sons and daughters who will ensure that the traditions of the race survive, and that there are warriors to fight those who want all vampires extinguished.

As his first mate, the Chosen Cormia wants to win not only his body but his heart for herself. She is drawn to the noble responsibility behind the emotionally scarred male. But Phury has never allowed himself to know pleasure or joy. As the war with the Lessening Society grows grim, tragedy looms over the Brotherhood's mansion, and Phury must decide between duty and love...

534 pages

I liked this book. It took a while to get going and it was often frustrating how Phury continued to push Cormia away, but in the end it seemed justified. I really loved Cormia's character and I enjoyed finding out more about Phury's past and his inner workings. The whole "wizard" thing was a bit off-putting, but it was easy enough to brush aside in the grand scheme of things.

Getting to know John Matthew, Qhuinn, Blay and some of the other characters a bit better was fantastic. The twists and turns were absolutely crazy in this book, too. I can't wait to see what happens in the next installment.

All in all, I give J. R. Ward's Lover Enshrined four stars out of a possible five. A good read, though not the best in the series. I still highly recommend it!

14. Lover Avenged - J. R. Ward


Rehvenge is used to living in the shadows and dealing with the roughest nightwalkers around - including the Black Dagger Brotherhood. His fearless reputation is why he's approached to kill the race's king, and his bad side is dying to rise to the occasion. As his secret identity as a symphath is threatened, he turns to the only light in his ever darkening world - a female vampire untouched by corruption and the only thing standing between him and eternal destruction.

642 pages

I very highly enjoyed this book. Rehvenge's character is definitely one of my favorites and his shellan, Ehlena, is very sweet. The action in this book was very well balanced with the romantic element and secondary plot lines. It moved along at a good pace, kept me guessing and ended in a satisfying, though still suspenseful way.

Learning more about secondary characters like John Matthew, Qhuinn and Blay was once again a pleasure and I find myself impatient to read the next book to see how things with Xhex and John Matthew go.

All in all, I give J. R. Ward's Lover Avenged four stars out of a possible five. A fantastic book, and series, that I would highly recommend.

15. Just One of the Guys - Kristan Higgins


Being one of the guys isn't all it's cracked up to be...

So when journalist Chastity O'Neill returns to her hometown, she decides it's time to start working on some of those feminine wiles. Two tiny problems: #1 - she's five feet eleven inches of rock-solid girl power, and #2 - she's cursed with four alpha male older brothers.

While doing a story on local heroes, she meets a hunky doctor and things start to look up. Now there's only one problem: Trevor Meade, her first love and the one man she's never quite gotten over - although he seems to have gotten over her just fine.

Yet the more time she spends with Dr. Perfect, the better Trevor looks. But even with the in-your-face competition, the irresistible Trevor just can't seem to see Chastity as anything more than just one of the guys...

376 pages

This was my third or fourth read through of this book. I'm just crazy about it! I absolutely adore the characters, especially Chastity, Trevor, Matt and Elaina. The storyline has enough action and humor to keep me interested time and time again, and it moves at a good pace. While it is a little bit formulaic in the typical romance novel fashion, there are enough other elements to the story to balance it out. The ending makes me cry both happy and sad tears.

All in all, I give Kristan Higgins' Just One of the Guys five stars out of a possible five. A warm, fuzzy, unforgettable story you'll want to read again and again!

16. Are These My Basoomas I See Before Me? - Louise Rennison

Young Adult Fiction

For Georgia, the more things change, the more they stay the same. Just when she thought she was the official one-and-only girlfriend of Masimo, he's left Georgia all aloney on her owney - again. The one person she wants advice from is Dave the Laugh, but does he have the hump with her too? It's time for Georgia to get to the bottom (oo-er) of this Dave the Laugh spontaneous puckering business once and for all.

296 pages

This was by FAR the best book in the series. That's not to say it was great, but it was decent. Jas hardly made an appearance and as such wasn't completely annoying. Georgia has matured a bit, so the humor was a bit better in that regard. Dave the Laugh was fabulous. There was just enough randomness to amuse me, and overall it was a quick read. Still, I'm glad it's over!

All in all, I give Louise Rennison's Are These My Basoomas I See Before Me? two and a half stars out of a possible five. A good book (and series) for preteens and younger teenagers, but nothing worth rereading.

17. Burned - P.C Cast & Kristin Cast

Teen Fiction

When friends stop trusting each other, Darkness is there to fan the flames...

Things have turned black at the House of Night. Zoey Redbird's soul has shattered. With everything she's ever stood for falling apart, and a broken heart making her want to stay in the Otherworld forever, Zoey's fading fast. It's seeming more and more doubtful that she will be able pull herself back together in time to rejoin her friends and set the world to rights. As the only living person who can reach her, Stark must find a way to get to her. But how? He will have to die to do so, the Vampire High Council stipulates. And then Zoey will give up for sure. There are only seven days left.

Enter BFF Stevie Rae. She wants to help Z but she has massive problems of her own. The rogue Red Fledglings are acting up, and this time not even Stevie Rae can protect them from the consequences. Her kinda boyfriend, Dallas, is sweet but too nosy for his own good. The truth is, Stevie Rae's hiding a secret that might be the key to getting Zoey home but also threatens to explode her whole world.

In the middle of the whole mess is Aphrodite: ex-Fledgling, trust-fund baby, total hag from Hell (and proud of it). She's always been blessed (if you could call it that) with visions that can reveal the future, but now it seems Nyx has decided to speak through her with the goddess's own voice, whether she wants it or not. Aphrodite's loyalty can swing a lot of different ways, but right now Zoey's fate hangs in the balance.

Three girls. playing with fire. if they don't watch out, everyone will get Burned.

323 pages

This book was loads better than it's predecessor in the series. It was interesting to read things in a perspective other than Zoey's, for once, although the ping-pong point of view sort of got confusing at times. I'd often forget whose eyes I was supposed to be seeing things through and would have to flip back a bit to remember.

Overall, though, I really enjoyed the storyline. It moved quickly and had a few nice twists in it. Seeing what was going on with Stevie Rae and Rephaim was interesting, as was what happened with Stark in this book. I can't wait to read more of this series!

All in all, I give P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast's Burned four stars out of a possible five. A great book, and series in general, that I'd highly recommend!

18. Sugar Cookie Murder - Joanne Fluke


When it comes to holidays, Minnesotans rise to the occasion - and the little town of Lake Eden is baking up a storm with Hannah Swensen leading the way. The annual Christmas Buffet is the final test of the recipes Hannah has collected for the Lake Eden Holiday Buffet Cookbook.

The recently divorced Martin Dubinski arrives at the buffet with his new Vegas showgirl wife - all wrapped up in glitter and fur. His ex-wife, however, seems as cool as chilled eggnog. And when Hannah's mother's antique Christmas cake knife disappears, its discover in the decolletage of the new - and now late - Mrs. Dubinski puts the festivities on ice.

With everyone stranded at the community center by a blizzard, Hannah puts her investigative skills to the test, using the ingredients at hand: half the town of Lake Eden - and a killer. Now, as the snowdrifts get higher, it's up to Hannah to dig out all the clues - and make sure that this white Christmas doesn't bring any more deadly tidings...

I enjoyed this book. It was a bit shorter than most of Fluke's works, but it was well done. It still moved along well but didn't feel rushed. I really got ticked off at Mike in this novel, and the more I read, the more I hope Hannah ends up with Norman. The plot was a good one, the ending surprising and the characters warm and sympathetic.

All in all, I give Joanne Fluke's Sugar Cookie Murder three and a half stars out of a possible five. Good book, I'd highly recommend it!

19. Ice Cold - Tess Gerritsen


In Wyoming for a medical conference, Boston medical examiner Maura Isles joins a group of friends on a spur-of-the-moment ski trip. But when their SUV stalls on a snow-choked mountain road, they're stranded with no help in sight. As night falls, the group seeks refuge from the blizzard in the remote village of Kingdom Come, where twelve eerily identical houses stand dark and abandoned. Something terrible has happened in Kingdom Come: meals sit untouched on tables, cars are still parked in garages. The town's previous residents seem to have vanished into thin air, but footprints in the snow betray the presence of someone who still lurks in the cold darkness; a someone who is watching Maura and her friends.

Days later, Boston homicide detective Jane Rizzoli receives the grim news that Maura's charred body has been found in a mountain ravine. Shocked and grieving, Jane is determined to learn what happened to her friend. The investigation plunges Jane into the twisted history of Kingdom Come, where a gruesome discovery lies buried beneath the snow. As horrifying revelations come to light, Jane closes in on an enemy both powerful and merciless, and the chilling truth about Maura's fate.

322 pages

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I'm already a big fan of Maura and Jane's characters, as well as the supporting cast such as Gabriel Dean and Anthony Sansone, and this book just elevated them to an even higher level for me. The conflicts in the story were interesting and the relationships instrumental to the plot.

There were lots of twists and turns, it had a ton of suspense and it kept me turning pages. I got through most of it in one sitting! The worst part is that it was so short and now it's over!

All in all, I give Tess Gerritsen's Ice Cold four and a half stars out of a possible five. It was amazing and I highly recommend it to any suspense/thriller fan out there!

20. Undead and Unwed - Mary Janice Davidson


It's been a helluva week for Betsy Taylor. First, she loses her job. Then, to top things off, she's killed in a car accident. But what really bites (besides waking up in the morgue dressed in a pink suit and cheap shoes courtesy of her stepmother) is that she can't seem to stay dead. Every night she rises, with a horrible craving for blood. She's not taking too well to a liquid diet.

Worst of all, her new friends have the ridiculous idea that Betsy is the prophesied vampire queen, and they want her help in overthrowing the most obnoxious, power-hungry vampire in five centuries - a badly dressed Bela Lugosi wannabe, natch. Frankly, Betsy couldn't care less about vamp politics, but they have a powerful weapon of persuasion: designer shoes. How can any self-respecting girl say no? But a collection of Ferragamos isn't the only temptation for Betsy. It's just a lot safer than the scrumptious Sinclair - a seductive bloodsucker whose sexy gaze seems as dangerous as a stake through the heart...

255 pages

Oh man, I laughed so hard. Davidson really has a way with wit and humor. The book was fun, lighthearted, interesting and easy to read. There wasn't a crazy amount of action, but it was a nice storyline nevertheless. I enjoyed Betsy's character tremendously, despite her relatively shallow personality. Sinclair was sinfully delicious, too.

All in all, I give Mary Janice Davidson's Undead and Unwed four stars out of a possible five. I recommend this book to anyone looking for a good laugh!

21. Billionaire Doctor, Ordinary Nurse - Carol Marinelli


Nurse Annie Jameson is having a bad week. Not only must she squeeze herself into a bridesmaid's dress, but she also has to deal with her new boss, Dr. Iosef Kolovsky - and his family. The doctor's famous family is single-handedly keeping the Melbourne tabloids in business!

Annie is determined not to succumb to the gorgeous billionaire doctor's charm - until she realizes that Iosef has turned his back on his family's lavish lifestyle and dedicated himself to his work.

But if their relationship is to survive the Kolovsky family secrets, Annie and Iosef must ignore the glare of the paparazzi and simply follow their hearts...

187 pages

God-awful title and overly chauvinistic male protagonist aside, this book wasn't too bad. It was a typical, formulaic Harlequin romance, but sometimes that's just what I need. Besides, aside from being a little naive and needy, Annie was sweet and personable, which helped to hold my interest. The plot was fairly bland and the overall pace of the book felt too rushed, though.

All in all, I give Carol Marinelli's Billionaire Doctor, Ordinary Nurse two and a half stars out of a possible five. Not the worst book ever, but not award winning literature, either.

22. The Rebel Doctor's Bride - Sarah Morgan


Sexy but dangerous! That's how the residents of Glenmore Island remember Conner MacNeil - and now he's back. He may be a top-notch surgeon now, but the twinkle in his eyes promises he's still as rebellious as ever. It will take every ounce of his charm to win over his patients... and his practice nurse, Flora Harris.

Flora was convinced she was the only girl at school who hadn't been kissed by Conner MacNeil. now roguish Conner has returned, and awakens a longing within her that she just can't ignore.

Conner never imagined that Glenmore could feel like home - but is the rebel being tamed by idyllic island life? With Flora by his side it seems anything is possible!

184 pages

I liked this book. Both of the main characters were very lovable and the plot moved along nicely. There was a little bit of everything - laughter, tears, drama, action, adventure, etc. While it was still essentially your typical formulaic Harlequin romance, there was an endearing quality to it overall.

All in all, I give Sarah Morgan's The Rebel Doctor's Bride three stars out of a possible five. A cute, quick, fluffy read perfect for anyone looking to escape reality for a bit. I'll be keeping it around for rereading!

23. His Island Bride - Marion Lennox


Hotshot doctor Sam Renaldo has traveled to Ocean Spray to make amends for his twin brother, who abandoned a woman pregnant with his babies. But Sam is immediately struck by Susie Mayne. She is the island's only medic, and a single mother of twins. She gives everything she's got.

Susie is equally struck by Sam. Yet while he's nothing like Grant, he is still Grant's twin brother. How can she trust Sam not to break her and the twins' hearts? But Sam knows that Susie and her kids could give him the love and family he's always wanted, and he'll do anything to have the chance to take care of them forever.

187 pages

Okay, the first thing I'm going to say is I can't take the name of the town this takes place in seriously. It makes me think of cranberry cocktail. Besides that, though, it's an okay novel. It seemed to move very quickly, though, even for a Harlequin. The ending felt rushed and forced, even though it was cute. The characters were well developed, at least, and both lovable.

All in all, I give Marion Lennox's His Island Bride three stars out of a possible five. A nice, easy, fluffy read.

24. The Night Shift - Dr. Brian Goldman


In The Night Shift, Goldman shares his experiences of working through the witching hours at Mount Sinai, as well as the other hospitals where he has spent his long career. We meet the kinds of patients who walk into an E.R. after midnight: late-night revellers injured on their way home after last call; teens assaulted in the streets by other teens; and one woman who was punched by another out of jealousy over a man. But Goldman also reveals the emotional, heartbreaking side of routine E.R. visits: victims of sexual assault; adult children forced to make life-and-death decisions about critically ill parents; police officers searching out injured suspects; and mentally ill and homeless patients looking for understanding and a quick fix in the twenty-four-hour waiting room. While the rest of the world sleeps, nurses, doctors and other health-care practitioners administer to the city's sick and unfortunate, fuelled by coffee and the collective desire to help those often unable to help themselves as they await diagnosis in the charged confines of the E.R.

263 pages

This was an interesting read. It was nice to be able to see into the mindset of a real ER physician, biases and all. Dr. Goldman tells it like it is in this book. I felt like, as an allied health professional, I gained some insight into what goes on once I hand the patient off to the ER team. I think patients would gain some valuable insight into why wait times are so long and why some staff seem so cold, too.

All in all, I give Dr. Brian Goldman's The Night Shift four and a half stars out of five. I very highly recommend this book to everyone.

25. The Lost Hero - Rick Riordan

Teen Fiction/Action/Adventure

Jason has a problem. He doesn’t remember anything before waking up in a bus full of kids on a field trip. Apparently he has a girlfriend named Piper and a best friend named Leo. They’re all students at a boarding school for “bad kids.” What did Jason do to end up here? And where is here, exactly?

Piper has a secret. Her father has been missing for three days, ever since she had that terrifying nightmare. Piper doesn’t understand her dream, or why her boyfriend suddenly doesn’t recognize her. When a freak storm hits, unleashing strange creatures and whisking her, Jason, and Leo away to someplace called Camp Half-Blood, she has a feeling she’s going to find out.

Leo has a way with tools. When he sees his cabin at Camp Half-Blood, filled with power tools and machine parts, he feels right at home. But there’s weird stuff, too—like the curse everyone keeps talking about. Weirdest of all, his bunkmates insist that each of them—including Leo—is related to a god.

Join new and old friends from Camp Half-Blood in this thrilling first book in The Heroes of Olympus series.

553 pages

Wow, Riordan has done it again! I was worried that this series wouldn't quite live up to the Percy Jackson books, but it definitely did! The new characters were just as dynamic and sympathetic as the characters in the original series, and the new plot is an exciting one with plenty of twists and turns.

This book also welcomes back some old favorites and incorporates them brilliantly into the new story. It moves at a good pace, not too fast or too slow, and keeps the reader on the edge of their seat. The ending is a good one, with plenty of room left open for a sequel.

All in all, I give Rick Riordan's The Lost Hero five stars out of a possible five. An absolutely brilliant book that I highly recommend to readers of all ages!

26. The Red Pyramid - Rick Riordan

Teen Fiction/Action/Adventure

Since their mother's death, Carter and Sadie have become near strangers. While Sadie has lived with her grandparents in London, her brother has traveled the world with their father, the brilliant Egyptologist, Dr. Julius Kane.

One night, Dr. Kane brings the siblings together for a "research experiment" at the British Museum, where he hopes to set things right for his family. Instead, he unleashes the Egyptian god Set, who banishes him to oblivion and forces the children to flee for their lives.

Soon, Sadie and Carter discover that the gods of Egypt are waking, and the worst of them —Set— has his sights on the Kanes. To stop him, the siblings embark on a dangerous journey across the globe - a quest that brings them ever closer to the truth about their family and their links to a secret order that has existed since the time of the pharaohs.

516 pages

As always, Riordan has outdone himself. Twisting away from his works on Greek and Roman mythology, this book puts a wonderful spin on Egyptian legend. The characters are dynamic and the insight we get into them through the ping-pong point of view between chapters is great. The storyline is exciting and the action is fast-paced, making for a very quick read.

All in all, I give Rick Riordan's The Red Pyramid four stars out of a possible five. I definitely recommend it to anyone looking for an exciting read!

27. Lover Mine - J. R. Ward


John Matthew has come a long way since he was found living among humans, his vampire nature unknown to himself and to those around him. After he was taken in by the Brotherhood, no one could guess what his true history was - or his true identity. Indeed, the fallen Brother Darius has returned, but with a different face and a very different destiny. As a vicious personal vendetta takes John into the heart of the war between vampires and their enemies, he will need to call upon both who he is now and who he once was in order to face off against evil incarnate - and rescue his one true love.

615 pages

Another amazing book in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series. Before this one, I wasn't really a big fan of John Matthew, but after reading this book he's really grown on me, as has Xhex. Unfortunately we didn't see much of the other brothers, but it was still fairly well balanced.

The storyline was fantastic and the ending was satisfying. It moved at the perfect pace and kept me turning pages. The author made all of the tension and the emotions so tangible that I found myself laughing out loud, crying and everything in between as I read.

All in all, I give J. R. Ward's Lover Mine five stars out of a possible five. I'd highly recommend this book (and the whole series) to anyone looking for a little darkness, a little eroticism and a lot of action. I can't wait to read the next installment!

All titles behind the cut come with summaries, a few thoughts I have about the novels I choose to read, a page number and a rating out of five. Check out my list, see if anything sounds interesting! If you've read anything I've listed, please feel free to comment on it and we can discuss it all!

Just putting up a meter here to track my progress!

Here's how many books I've read out of my total goal so far.

Here's how many pages I've read out of my total so far.

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