Obsessive billionaire is not as bad as it sounds


The Billionaire’s Obsession: The Complete Collection: Mine For Tonight, Mine For Now, Mine Forever, Mine Completely ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

 

Synopsis

Kara is a single woman going to school for nursing. As the story begins, she is being evicted because her ex roommate failed to pay the rent. She has nowhere to go and she is extremely sick. Simon, her boss’s son, convinces her to go to his house where she can get well. There is some attraction between the two of them, but Kara is wary of the whole situation. She has learned in her life that you cannot depend on others.

Simon is a billionaire computer programmer that has made his wealth selling video games. He has had a crush on Kara for quite a while. When he sees her in distress, he is quick to help her. She is his obsession; nonetheless he does his best not to let her know how deep his feelings are.

Opinion

When I read the first book, I did not realize it was the first installment a set. I rated the first book 2 stars on Goodreads and thought no more about it. I was annoyed that the book file was not a complete story and I thought Simon was a creeper. A stalker that was preying on a girl with unfortunate circumstances.

When I bought the collection Beyond Desire, I did not connect the two stories until I was halfway through. As I was reading, I thought to myself that it sounded very familiar and that’s when I looked in my library and realized I had bought the story on its own. Since I now had the rest of the books, I decided that I might as well read the whole story to see if the entire collection improved the story line. I am so glad that I read the entire story. My feelings have changed for Simon.

I still agree that he was obsessive, but at least he was self-aware enough to try to control his inner feelings. Although he had an intensity warring within him, he tried to keep it reigned in so that she did not feel as though he was trying to control her.

He cared more about Kara that he wanted to… And it scared the ever-loving crap out of him.”

Kara did not have a stress-free life before Simon, so it was easy for her to have trust issues. Despite it all, she recognized the sweetie beneath the gruff exterior. While they try to navigate their relationship, external forces motivate them to appreciate what opportunity that they have been given. Kara did not have a blind love for Simon. She put her foot down to make him deal with his inner demons.

I loved it when she said “I want you. And it has nothing to do with your money.”

That was so sweet!

To me, Kara and Simon’s story was a contemporary version of the classic Beauty and the Beast story. I enjoy stories where the layers of the strong, masculine, alpha-male are peeled back to reveal a big, teddy bear softy.

The whole story was decently paced with balanced with drama, tenderness, and comedy.

In the end, it can be summed up by this “she loved her primitive, protective, possessive male who had a heart of gold”.

My only criticism of this story is that the love scenes are very explicit and there is a lot of profanity. It can be a little kinky, but not for the reasons you would expect. Still not for those under 18 audiences though.

 

 

I love a story with heart


The Heart of Devin MacKade (The MacKade Brothers) ♥♥♥♥

Synopsis

In the small town Antietam, Devin has loved Cassie for 12 years. When they were younger, he hesitated to make a move, not knowing that she would marry the first man who showed her interest in an effort to escape a miserable home life.

Fast forward to the present day: Cassie is now divorced with two children. Her family carries the emotional scars from the domestic abuse that was a daily occurrence. Her ex-husband is in prison and Cassie is trying to heal.

Still hopelessly in love, Devin is now sheriff and has a list of reasons/excuses to see Cassie every day. Cassie is ignorant to the depth of his feelings.

A friendly gesture ignites the passion between them but can their love last?

 

Opinion

Devin has everything going for him: looks and charm. In my mind, I think he is probably a hotter version of Andy Griffith. It was sweet that he had loved Cassie for so long. When he sees his chance to make a move, he tries but thinks that he might have unintentionally friendzoned himself. I understand that he does not want to make the same mistake he made years ago, but she is not the same person she was years ago either.

“Was he going to have to settle-always- for protecting, for watching over, for being the dependable friend, the favorite honorary uncle?”

Cassie likes Devin’s company but thinks that is all it could be in their relationship. There is the added embarrassment (in her mind) that he is the sheriff and knows more than anyone else about the mistreatment inflicted by her ex-husband. She has only known abuse when it comes to physical relations. When she experienced tenderness from Devin, she does not know what to think. He makes her feel things that she did not know were possible.

“Why did you kiss me like that?”

 

I loved this story because the characters were so lovable. I could empathize with Devin’s frustration and impatience when things did not go according to his plan. He knew he had to maintain that delicate balance to help her move forward with her life while she healed from the past hurt. Additionally, Devin had to be concerned about the emotional well-being of Cassie’s two children. They were dealing with the consequences of their father abusing their mother. As for Cassie, I admire her strength. She was emotionally abused by her mother and physically abused by her ex-husband, yet her spirit was not completely broken.

In the end, The Heart of Devin MacKade is not a love story between a man and woman. It is a love story between a man, a woman, and her two children.

Great story! Loved it. This is a classic romance to be expected from Nora Roberts.

FYI: While The Heart of Devin MacKade is available for $7.99 on Amazon, I saw The MacKade Brothers Bundle: The Return of Rafe MacKade\The Pride of Jared MacKade\The Heart of Devin MacKade\The Fall of Shane MacKade available for $9.99. What a steal!!!

Papi’s World Famous Travellin’ Tacos

Papi’s World Famous Travellin’ Tacos

Looking for something different in the downtown Greenville, I found Papi’s. This restaurant is located below Lazy Goat and I think it has the same owners. Like Taco Boy in Charleston, this is expensive Mexican food.

Tacos are $3.

I am a traditionalist. I knew I had to pass on ordering tacos when I saw that the taco al pastor had pineapple in it. I do not know what part of Mexico that is from, but that is not what I had in Mexico City or Cancun. And that is not how the local taqueria makes theirs either.

I decided on a torta al pastor. Sandwich with the chopped cubes of marinated seasoned pork, tomato. lettuce, avocado, queso fresco, jalepeno, minus beans and onions. I cannot eat Mexican street food without drinking a Jarrito (the only soda I drink since I usually ask for water).

What I like about Papi’s -the atmosphere – it is a cute place with a lot ambiance and character. The walls paintings are bold and colorful. There is Spanish music (salsa, bachata, merengue) playing that makes you want to get up and dance.

The food was okay. I did think they were stingy with the jalapenos. If you never ate real Mexican food at the house of somebody’s abuela (translated grandmother) or at an authentic restaurant (the local Mexican restaurant that serves tortilla chips before your meal does not count) where someone’s abuela is the cook (she will not think she is a chef), you might think Papi’s is awesome. If you do not want to venture into the barrio (translated ‘hood) for $1.75 tacos, Papi’s is your place for tacos and tortas.

In any other case, you will probably think like me. I thought the flavors were muted. Toned down for a different palate. Do not misunderstand me. I think that Papi’s is a nice place to eat. However, for me, there are more traditional, bolder flavors at other Mexican restaurants.

You may go for the Mexican food, but (to borrow terminology from my hubby)….

One Lovely Blog Award

Extra post alert!!

BIG Thanks to , I have been awarded the Lovely Blog Award.

https://cicisrant.files.wordpress.com/2014/09/one-love-blog-award-two1.jpg?w=179&h=213

I guess she gets my weird.

Since I choose to accept this nomination, I have to follow the instructions (that’s how they get ya) and I will try to do my best to keep this going…

Rules of the one lovely blog award…

  • You must thank the person who nominated you and include a link to their blog.
  • You must list the rules and display the award.
  • You must add 7 facts about yourself.
  • You must nominate 15 other bloggers and comment on one of their posts to let them know they have been nominated.
  • You must display the award logo and follow the blogger who nominated you.

Rule 1 & 2 & 5 already done.

7 Facts about myself

  1. My favorite romance author is Amanda Quick. Her heroes are always so dreamy, even when they are trying to be dour. I like the strong silent type. I think that is what attracted me to my hubby. I digress…
  2. I like camping. My hubby introduced me to the outdoor life and I love it (as long as I have electrical hookup, running water, my kindle, ipad, and decent phone reception :))
  3. I am in love with food (but you probably could tell that already).
  4. I read my poetry at open mic events in my hometown.
  5. I made it a personal goal this year to read the entire Bible in less than a year. I am 75% through so I think I will make my goal.
  6. I like to play tennis. Sometimes when I serve, I pretend to be Serena Williams.
  7. Sometimes I read the dictionary for fun. I admit I am a logophile (word lover)
  8. An extra fact: Today 9/5/2014 is my 3 year blog-aversary!!!!

Nominating bloggers for this award

This is me right now 

soooooo I am only nominating 9 blogs.

Breaking the rules hoyden style


The Harlow Hoyden: A Regency Romance♥ ♥ ♥

Synopsis

Emma is known as the Harlow hoyden because she flaunt society’s expectations of the core for young ladies. She prides herself in engaging in adventures that would not be becoming of a young lady.She enlists the help of Alex, Duke of Trent, to woo the affection of her engaged sister Lavinia.

What good is a libertine if he won’t toy with your sister’s affections and then ruthlessly drop her?”

Alex is a bored Duke that humors Emma because she intrigues him. On one hand, he is a very proper person that tries to follow the rules of polite society. But on the other hand, there is something about Emma that keeps him coming to her rescue. He tries to justify his behavior by thinking that she needs someone to keep her out of trouble.

Opinion

When I read the synopsis, I thought that this would be like an Amanda Quick novel. When I finished the first chapter, the opening scenes emphasized my first impression. As I continued reading, the similarities between Emma and Amanda Quick’s character were there but not as profound.

I have mixed feelings towards Emma. She had spunk and energy that I like. However, her irrational behavior meant that she had a less than credible reputation. She would blow things out of proportion to such an extent that she came across as being high strung. There were many times that she would act before she knew the full story. In the situations where she had all the facts, she did not elaborate, filling people in with the information that would be useful for them to make a decision. Therefore, when there was a verified threat, no one believed her.

I wish I could have shaken her.

The only reason why Trent went along with her harebrained schemes is to be able to save her when things inevitably went wrong. It could all be summed up when he said, “I have a vested interest in keeping that beautiful body of yours safe”. Mmm hmmm. He did it all for the nookie.

At least by the end, she acknowledged to some extent her limitations because of society’s expectation of women.

Overall, while Emma was not one of my favorite characters of all time, her antics did make for an entertaining story. She found true love and her happy-ever-after ending. The Harlow Hoyden: A Regency Romance is a good read if you like Victorian and Regency style romances. Just be prepared for Emma’s antics to drive you a little batty.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

 

Montagues- my favorite restaurant in Greenwood SC

I have come to realize that Montague’s is my favorite restaurant in Greenwood. As much as I would like to say, I like all my local restaurants equally, when it comes to fine dining, my go to place is Montague’s.

While all of the waitstaff and crew do a fantastic job, I think that TJ’s efforts over the past few years have done a lot to change my perception of the restaurant. I used to think that Montague’s was a stuffy place with an air of pretentiousness . cave_snooty.gif

In retrospect, I was rating the restaurant, not based on my own experience, but on what I knew of type of people that frequented the restaurant. I am glad that I saw the error in my judgment. My taste buds are delighted like this. tumblr_m1rkzpHj1n1r6aoq4o1_500.gif

There is a seasonal menu as well as some restaurant favorites. There is also a weekly menu feature that the chef creates based on what ingredients are available. He uses a lot of produce from local famers. I think that is one of the reasons why the flavors are so rich and complex. While I could probably do a post a week about the different dishes I have ordered, this post highlights some of my favorite dishes over the past 6 months.

You will be able to tell from my food selections that I like trying new things. If you have not been to Montague’s, I think you owe your tastes buds the experience. Prices are comparable to chain restaurants like O’Charleys and Outback but the food is way better.
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When I go to Montague’s, I try to get there by 5:30- 5:45pm so that I can get at least one or two drinks at Happy Hour prices. Happy Hour is from 2- 6pm. House liquor drinks and cocktails are half off and there are specials for beer and wine as well. I usually do a screwdriver, pineapple+vodka, cranberry+vodka, or skittle-tini. Nothing fancy, but something to begin the evening. If it is Wednesday (Ladies’ night), then I will split a bottle of wine with a friend. Select bottles are half off all night. Rufino Pinot Grigio (pictured below) is one of my favorites because it is light, fruity and goes well with fish and chicken.

While I am sipping on my drink, I mull over the weekly menu features. So many options. If only my stomach was bigger.  tumblr_m9obwoK6VF1rcfputo1_500.gif

Hands down my favorite dish EVER at Montague’s was the BBQ salmon (BBQ sauce was more like a tomato gravy) over mashed potatoes. This is comfort food at its best. The salmon was perfectly cooked so that the meat was tender and moist. The tomato gravy was a little sweet with a hint of onion flavor. The handmade mashed potatoes were firm enough to be the proper conveyance for all the gravy. Mmm mmmm mmm. Just looking at the picture makes me reminiscent for that tomato gravy.

If you ever see the Scallop mac and cheese on the menu, you should order it. Chunks of scallops and creamy cheesy goodness. What else to you need?

If you like fried green beans (yes that is an actual dish), then you will love fried broccoli. It is the same concept. The broccoli is tossed with flour seasoned with salt and pepper and then fried (I’m guessing that is how it is done). The broccoli still has some firmness and crunch. Best way to get my daily serving of veggies.

I ordered the potato fritters on night because I was curious to taste the sweet relish. This was not the standard relish you might get for your hot dog. This was classy. It tasted freshly made with sweet peppers. The light vinegar helped to balance the fried potatoes. If you like vinegar with your fries, you would have definitely liked this. If you never tried vinegar with your fries, you are missing out.

The stuffed pork chop with green beans and mashed potatoes was good. This is a tasty dish but I do not have that much to say because I am still dreaming about the salmon with tomato gravy.

Bacon wrapped monkfish with fingerling potatoes was also quite tasty. But then again, bacon wrapped anything is good. This was my first time having monkfish. I like the texture, as it is firm white meat. The flavor is mild and paired well with the bacon. Although, I was too stuffed to eat all my fingerling potatoes, they were delicious too.

Last but not least, spinach artichoke dip is my go-to appetizer when I do not want to try anything new. A bowl of hot, creamy spinach artichoke dip is full of chunks of artichoke hearts. I love to eat marinated artichoke hearts. Having them swimming in cheese and spinach only makes it better. The tortilla chips are fried to order and lightly salted. Can you tell I am a fan? Team spinach artichoke dip.

Camping at KOA campgrounds

KOA campgrounds – Anderson/Lake Hartwell

Through a series of unfortunate events and a frantic evening before Memorial day weekend where we had a fully packed car and were not sure if we would have a camping site, KOA came to our rescue. They were the only campground within a 3-hour radius with available camp sites. I have driven by the road that goes to KOA Anderson numerous times and did not know there was a campground there. It is about 5 minutes from Interstate 85, but we could not hear the road traffic. It is also about 5-10 minutes from grocery stores and Walmart. That was important when we needed to make a run to the store for additional supplies.

Before everything drastically changed, our plans included a lakefront lot, where we would to take the boat out on the lake sometime during our stay. We also planned to go fishing.

The KOA campground was close to the lake (driving distance not walking distance) but there were no lake front lots. Other than that, the KOA campground had everything we needed. They have sites for tents ranging from no electrical hook up to sites with electrical and water hook up. I am not in to the total rugged experience, so I need electricity and water.

Campsite Amenities included

Internet – the internet speed is not fast enough to do any major web surfing or movie streaming. I had not planned on using the internet anyway, so it was not an issue.

Indoor Showers and Bathrooms – very clean. I still wore my sandals in the shower because that is what you do in a campground bathroom. The bathrooms were centrally located so it was not a far walk from anywhere in the campground.

Pool – looked nice but there were a lot of kids playing in the pool. Opted to relax by the campfire at our lot and read instead.

Game room – again I did not use because of all the kids.

Basketball – again I did not use because of all the kids.

Playground – again I did not use because of all the kids.

Miniature golf – again I did not use because of all the kids.

It is not that I am against kids, but my idea of relaxing does not include being around them. Thankfully, since there were so many kid-friendly activities, they did not terrorize our campsite.

One little boy did approach me and ask me to be his girlfriend. So brazen! To which I replied, “No for 2 reasons. 1- I’m three times your age and 2- I’m married.” He shrugged his shoulders, laughed, and scampered off. I looked for his parents but did not see them. After that, I was determined to have no more interaction with kids during the weekend.

Overall, I had a fantastic time. We were there 3 days and I felt like that was not long enough. While I did read many books, I did not get to go to Lake Hartwell to put my kayak in the water or go fishing. Because of the reasons we had for choosing KOA, we are grateful that they had available sites. It saved our weekend. We will definitely stay at another KOA campground in the future.