Dark Celebration (Dark #14)


Dark Celebration is a special book within the Dark / Carpathian series. Rather than featuring one couple, it is a reunion story that features chapters on most of the characters we have been introduced to so far, as well as some hints as to the upcoming heroes/heroines. And it takes place at Christmas, so it is perfect for my December reviews :)

I have read this book multiple times, and each time I am astonished at how seamlessly Ms. Feehan writes. There was plenty of opportunity for this book to feel choppy with some many key characters, but it remains fluid and perfectly balanced. Nothing felt like it was forced in for the sake of including a specific individual.

Dark Celebration is one of the funnier books in the Carpathian series. There are cooking disasters, kids, and the “jolly red elf”. There is also danger, mystery, intrigue, adventure and lots of sex.

It was fun to get an update on couples who rarely show up as secondary characters in this series. I personally love to see when characters interact with each other in a world. I am not a fan of romance where the hero/heroine seem to exist in a bubble, devoid of other people.

If you are looking for romance, with a bit of comedy and action, this is the perfect Christmas story to pick up… something that is still themed, but doesn’t shove Christmas down your throat. And hey, if you are new to the series, you might be inspired to pick up book one, Dark Prince, and start there.

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Simon Says Mine

Simon Says Mine is a novella by Cherise Sinclair, and it is a part of the Dark Haven/Mountain Masters series. I originally read this as part of an anthology by three different authors, however Sinclair’s was the only story I liked of the three so I was ecstatic when it was re-released on its own. It is considered to be book 1.5 in this series.


With an empty nest and divorce in hand, Rona decides it’s time to explore the fantasies that nourished her through a long, tedious marriage to a man whose idea of outrageous sex was leaving the lights on. At the top of her fantasy list is touring Dark Haven, the BDSM club, but she isn’t prepared for the effect of a powerful Dom. When Master Simon takes control and introduces her to toys and sensations she’s never felt before, she realizes he could fulfill every fantasy on her list all by himself. But she’s vowed to never get trapped in a relationship again.

One of the most popular Doms in Dark Haven, Master Simon has had his fill of eager, shallow, young subs. Rona is older, intelligent, independent…and sweetly submissive. After an evening of intense pleasure and despite her obvious attraction, she refuses to see him again. He needs a way to change her mind. She’s not the first sub he’s taken on a journey of exploration, but he’s beginning to think she might be the last.

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I liked Simon and Rona. Even though this story was considerably shorter than the first in the series – it is a novella after all – I felt like we still got to know the characters just as well. Jake, Logan and Rebecca all turned up with cameos.

Simon and Rona are an older couple for a romance novel. Rona is in her late thirties and Simon in his forties. Both are divorced parents of college-aged boys who are looking for kinky lovin’. Simon likes to call Rona “lass” because her name is Scottish and it makes me swoon every time he does it. His strong and polite attitude mix with a ton of patience and genuine interest in other people.

Rona is a very straight-forward women who isn’t out to play games. She is a professional hospital administrator with a history working as a nurse and is usually game to take charge of a situation and care for other people. She has read lots of bdsm-themed novels but isn’t prepared for the impact of a true Dom’s stare … or frown .. or command … in real life. Simon sets her heart and mind at war with one another. She was determined to capture the youthful experiences she lost by marrying and having children young, and along comes this handsome, kinky, sweet man intent on sweeping her off her feet!

I don’t want to imply that Simon isn’t a powerful dom by calling him sweet, but he really is! He’s the guy who you know is always going to be there to support you, even if you’ve been kinda a jerk. He is going to do the right thing. He is responsible and has his head on straight and the older I get, the more attractive those qualities become. One of my pet peeves is reading about grown-ass characters who behave like teenagers and thankfully, that isn’t a problem in this book!

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North Pole: Open for Christmas – film review

Open for Christmas is the 2015 sequel to last year’s Christmas movie, North Pole. It stars Lori Laughlin (Aunt Becky from Full House) and the adorable Bailee Madison.

A successful businesswoman, Mackenzie, inherits her beloved aunt’s inn, and chooses to restore the hotel to its original grandeur only to sell it right before Christmas. Unbeknownst to Mackenzie, she receives some unexpected help from a team of elves headed by the cheerful Clementine, who help Mackenzie rediscover the true meaning of Christmas.

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This is such a cute and entertaining Christmas movie! I really loved it and am so thankful I recorded it on television. I liked it much better than the first movie.

First-off, way better Santa. Why do producers keeps casting homeless looking Santas??? Santa is Santa people. It works for a reason. Don’t mess with my Santa.


Secondly, Clementine’s positivity and laughter are just infectious. She raises my spirits and I really hope they make another movie in this series for next Christmas. I think Bailee Madison (who plays Clementine) and Candace Cameron Bure would make a great pairing.

Open for Christmas has a more unique plot than most Christmas movies have so I won’t ruin it by discussing in depth here. I loved the idea of the red ribbon game throughout the inn and the reminder to slow down and enjoy every moment.

It is important year round but especially this time of year, when we are so frantic, it can be easy to lose track of the real meaning behind the season.

I definitely recommend tuning into this film!

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On Strike for Christmas (film review)

On Strike for Christmas is a tv movie that airs often on the W network this time of year. Starring Daphnie Zuniga, David Sutcliffe, and Julia Duffy, it was released in 2010.


Essentially, a group of neighbourhood women band together and go on strike for Christmas to show their families how much work it is to put together the magical holiday experience. They are attempting to gather a little empathy for the time and energy spent doing things for loved ones and encourage said family members to keep in mind the true meaning of Christmas: to give thanks for what you have, and give of yourself unto others.

A lot of tv movies are pretty blah. Not something to hold my attention certainly, but a nice bit of companionship/distraction to play in the background while doing something else, whether that is writing, decorating, cleaning, baking, etc. However, On Strike for Christmas is hilarious.

I was laughing out loud. I LOVE the boys’ baking scene in particular. This movie is genuinely funny and actually has a pretty heartfelt message.

In particular, the women’s realizations that maybe it isn’t such a black and white situation. Sometimes others don’t help in the way we want, maybe they don’t do things how we would, but it doesn’t matter. If someone serves with a gentle and giving heart, appreciate their efforts in the spirit with which they were given.

I’m probably not who anyone would describe as a feminist, but in my own way, I am. I firmly believe that women should just be true to themselves and follow their hearts. As I tell my teenage niece, just “do you”. If you are a career woman, girl take on the world. And if that means being a stay at home mom, then change the world through your kids, by teaching them to be shining stars and empowering them to follow their own hearts too.

In terms of the “holiday effort” referenced in On Strike for Christmas, most of the time we ladies could do a lot less at the holidays and our guys and children would still be perfectly happy. There is something in me that drives the need for perfection, as if I am failing otherwise and the holidays are ruined. We as women, put a lot of pressure on ourselves to make sure that everything is perfect. But it’s not really the external demands of others causing this pressure, it’s in us. Maybe we learn that as young’ins, but it definitely is something that burns hot and hateful in me, and most of the other women I know as well.

If the tree isn’t perfectly decorated and fluffed, I doubt my Dad would notice. My uncles won’t care if I make both regular and sweet mashed potatoes. If I don’t perfectly pipe chocolate name-cards for the dining table, my family probably won’t boycott the next holiday I host.

So kick back with loved ones and enjoy a great movie. Try not to let the little things tear you down with holiday stress. Because life is short and it really doesn’t matter. If it isnt something you are going to think about on your deathbed in eighty years, it doesn’t matter now. Let it go and relax!

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Merry “Bookmas”

I saw this on facebook today and loved the look so I thought I would share.

book tree

** I blurred out the family pictures on the right for privacy reasons.

I definitely don’t have enough books to construct a Christmas tree, at least not anymore. I sold and donated most of mine because I got tired of moving them all! Mostly an e-book gal now. But it is beautiful and definitely something I would consider if I could. I would love to see a library try it!

Seem like anything you would try?

And how many books do you think are in it?!! I’m guessing a minimum of a thousand.