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Paradise Valley by Rosanne Bittner

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Paradise Valley

Rosanne Bittner
Historical Romance/Western
Pub date: July 2nd, 2013 (ARC review)

H/h - Sage Lightfoot/Maggie Tucker
Setting: Wyoming, 1886.

Read in June, 2013
My rating:

                                                    [spoiler alert]

Paradise Valley was my first book of Rosanne Bittner. I’m a fan of western romances, and this book certainly was interesting. I liked the author’s writing style, and her description of the wild west of the 1880’s. But unfortunately, there were things that bugged me in the story too and it would have to start with the h, Maggie. Let me elaborate in my review in the following.

Night Vision by Charming Man

Night Vision (novella)

Charming Man
Published in 2013

H/h - Name not specified.
Setting: In someone's wet dream. :p

Read in June, 2013.
My rating:

                                               [might be spoilerish]

Night Vision by Charming Man is a very short story that I finished in about 15 mins., and must say this was my initial reaction while I was reading it >>

Ooh boy!

Reluctant by Kerrigan Byrne

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Reluctant (novella)
Highland Historical #6/The Mackays #3

Kerrigan Byrne
Medieval Romance/Fantasy/Paranormal
Published in 2013

H/h - Soren Nielson/Kamdyn MacKay
Setting: Medieval Scotland.

Read in June, 2013
My rating:

                                                    [spoiler alert]

In my review of Redeemed, I mentioned that finding out what’s next in Kerrigan’s book is like unwrapping a gift. And that Reluctant truly was. At the end of that book, I had no clue as to what is going to happen to Kamdyn, the last MacKay sister. But I was more than surprised to find who it is Kerrigan made Kamdyn’s H. Surprises were aplenty in this book; some definitely good, some... not so much. I’ll try to explain as I go.

Guest Post and Giveaway: Sex and the Viking Woman: The Noteworthy Three by Gina Conkle, author of Norse Jewel

Sunday, June 23, 2013

I'm so excited to welcome debut author Gina Conkle on my blog today. She has written this fascinating piece of Guest Post on Sex and the Viking Woman that I can't wait to share in the following! This tour is a part of Entangle's Norse Jewel Official Blog Tour. My review of Norse Jewel will be up on June 27th in this link.
Don't forget to comment to enter the big Giveaway (below)!
Sex and the Viking Woman: The Noteworthy Three

Sex played a definite role in the sagas, and Norse women embraced pleasure. But, what about romance?That’s when I remind you men committed the sagas to paper.

Sure, there was a smidge of romance. But, it’d be more accurate to say there was sex. Lots of it.

But, even with male writers recording their history, Norsewomen defied diminishment. Their passion reached across the ages with thought-provoking differences.

So with that in mind, let’s dive into what I call the noteworthy three:

1. The Pleasure of Beholding – Roman and most western European traditions lean toward the masculine viewpoint, placing women as erotic objects. Desire, and the joy of witnessing a fine form, are largely the province of men ogling women.

Not so the Norse. Iceland’s sagas spread the visual wealth. Women quite often take delight in viewing a handsome male form. Of course, the scale tips the other way with men delighting in lovely women.Yet…

According to historian Jenny Jochens, when it comes to the sagas and sex “…an almost identical vocabulary was deployed for both sexes.”

Talk about equality!

2. Hair and Clothes – Poignant moments show up in the sagas. A popular topic found is men laying their heads in a woman’s lap. Just like other primates, this displays a show of trust. And like other primates, grooming occurs. The sagas tell of women washing their man’s hair…just a part of love, courtship, and sex.

Another way women showed affection? Sewing shirts for their man. Of course, the task often turned to comical drudgery after the wedding. Leave it to men to write that in the sagas!

3. Enjoyable Sex – Admonishments of duty in the vein of “…lay back and think of England…” won’t be found in the sagas. Women liked sex. In fact, their extra-curricular activities caused as much trouble as the men’s.

And the sagas ran the gamut of euphemisms:

*to amuse oneself (at skemmtaser)

*crowding together in bed (hviluprong)

*enjoy him (njotahans)

Norsewomen enjoyed their sexuality, reveling in an earthiness seldom seen in history.

I’ll close with a quick retelling of one Norse drama…a tale of two women and a man:

On Iceland, handsome Hrutr and Unnr fall in love. Business demands that Hrutr sail to Norway. While there, he encounters the ageing, lusty Queen Gunnhildr, whose antics spread across the sagas. She provides beautiful clothes for Hrutr --- probably didn’t sew them herself. But, Hrutr accepts these gifts and the queen informs him: “You shall lie with me in the upper chamber tonight; we two alone.” They went upstairs and the queen locked the door from the inside. (Nj 12.3:11-15)

They carry on for a year but Hrutr grows homesick. The queen asks him if there’s a woman waiting for him in Iceland. “No,” he lies. But, she doesn’t believe him. When he leaves, she places a bracelet on him laden with a curse: he’ll be able to satisfy other women, but not his intended in Iceland.

Hrutr and Unnr marry, but they meet with sexual frustration. They couldn’t “travel together” (samfor --- another euphemism). After several years, Unnr tells her father she wants a divorce because she cannot “enjoy him” (njotahans). They divorce and sadly go separate ways, but not without additional drama.

It wouldn’t be a “saga” with it! 

Thank you Punya for inviting me to be part of your review blog and to share part of the day with your readers.

The Seduction Hypothesis by Delphine Dryden

Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Seduction Hypothesis
The Science of Temptation #2

Delphine Dryden
Contemporary Romance/Erotica (light BDSM)
Published in 2013 [requested review]

H/h - Ben/Lindsey
Setting: Present time.

Read in June, 2013.
My rating:

                                                     [spoiler alert]

The Seduction Hypothesis is the second book of Delphine Dryden’s The Science of Temptation series. TBH, it was fun and I mostly enjoyed it.

This book was definitely much better than the first installment, The Theory of Attraction, as I was not fond of that one. I was disappointed largely because the premise was promising but IMO, the delivery wasn’t. I didn’t think there’d be a series. When I started reading, I remembered from book 1 that Lindsey and Ben were having some trouble in their relationship. It was hinted at but not explored.

Norse Jewel by Gina Conkle

Norse Jewel
Norse #1

Gina Conkle
Medieval Romance
Published in 2013 (ARC review)

H/h - Lord Hakan Lange/Helena
Setting: Svea, AD 1022.

Read in June 2013.
My rating:

                                                [spoiler alert]

Reading Gina Conkle’s debut novel, Norse Jewel (Norse #1), felt indeed like discovering a jewel. When I requested for the ARC, honestly it was because of the nice cover as GC was a new-to-me author. But, she totally had me at Hakan and Helena’s first meeting, so much so that I think I spend the whole time in a trance. Norse Jewel was a pure feel-good romance, from top to bottom... till the end. I loved the storyline, the era, GC’s writing and her portrayal of the ancient Vikings. Lest not forget about our H Hakan the Tall (and Sexy *heehee*) and the adorable h, Helena who also made my reading worthwhile.

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I'm a simple girl. I love to read in my spare time and do reviews the books I read. I also write, mostly songs/poems, though I'm not published. I love music and traveling. Sometimes, I wish I could live inside a book, having my own HEA. :)
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