"Then Comes Seduction" - Mary Balogh - 2010

"Then Comes Seduction" follows "First Comes Marriage" and continues the Huxtable Quintet of novels.  
Thankfully, no  iconic television  names this time, and I enjoyed the second book quite a bit more than the first, and will continue with the series.  That's not to say it was a perfect read by any stretch of the imagination, there were some plot twists and time jumps that nearly made this a wallbanger for me, however I stuck it out and am glad I did because no one writes a gradually building summertime romance at a house party like Mary Balogh.

Inspiration Board

Mr. Yuk (as a flower)

"George and the Virgin" - Lisa Cach - 2002

Yeah, that's a dragon.  

And you know what, the hero was a time traveling pro-wrestler. 

And I still liked it.  

"First Comes Love" - Mary Balogh - 2009

Okay, here's the thing.  I've been sitting on this book since it first came out back in February of 2009.  That's two years in a crate beside my keeper shelf.  That's not unheard of, I'm sure that I have had other books in there longer, but I went out and paid full price for this one, and still it sat.  Once or twice I picked it up, but never made it past the prologue.  Until last week.  
Let's start with the major issues I had with this novel...

1) The heroine's name is Vanessa.

Vanessa Huxtable.  Yeah. 

Sure that's just her maiden name, but still, pop culture loving copy editor, where were you?  

2) The prologue introduces the reader to an interesting male character, 
who IS NOT the freaking hero.  

3) It's slow, and I mean it drags, and the H/H don't really even like each other.

4) The hero, Elliot, Viscount Something, is an uptight ass, and the heroine is like bottled sunshine or some shit - at least that's what we're supposed to think anyway.  I actually had high hopes, as Balogh has used this formula (i.e. Pride and Prejudice) well in two of my favorite novels, "Slightly Dangerous" and she reversed the gender roles but maintained the feeling for "A Summer to Remember" which features an uptight lady and a carefree hero.  Unfortunately, this book had none of the chemistry or charm of her past novels.

"First Comes Love" (pretty obviously) opens a new family series from Balogh, the author of the hit or miss "Slightly" series,  The inside cover preps you for the release of the sibling's stories in short order, and I've found them all secondhand in the two years since the "First Comes Love" release.  "First..." is all set up - to the point where you care about all the other characters more than the two you're supposed to care about.   I'll muddle through the rest just to get to Con's story, you know the interesting make on PAGE ONE of "First Comes Love" - better be worth waiting for!  


I've been thinking about today for months now, strike that, years now.  I don't feel any different.  I don't look any different than yesterday.  A customer said he thought "early 20's."  Well, that's nice to hear!  I would try to swing that one but I'm pretty sure my 80's pop culture knowledge would give me away.

"Gunn's Golden Rules -Life's Little Lessons for Making it Work" Tim Gunn - 2010

Dear Tim Gunn, I love you on Project Runway, 
but I couldn't finish your etiquette book. 
However, you were great on Millionaire last night - TV is your medium!

A Terrible Mix Tape

Why does the mail carrier think I'm a woman of loose morals?  
She doesn't even know me!

"The Cheapskate Next Door" - Jeff Yeager -2010

 Thanks to this book I learned I'm not so much a "Cheapskate", as a "Bargain Hunter." It seems garage sales lead people to buy things they do not need.  Well, I guess that's true - but I'll still argue I needed that 3 foot inflatable bottle of Italian dressing!  

So, they're starting to cast the Hunger Games Movie.  I don't know who the boys are (they've been announced, but I don't recognize their young faces) and apparently there's been a fan uproar, but I for one approve of Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss.  Some people seem to think she's too old at 20 - which is a bit of a joke -  I'm from the 90210 and Buffy Generation after all, where 20 somethings routinely played high school students, I am unaffected.

More Victorian Ladies

Somehow when the pig was put into the photoshop pattern maker function, it came up like this background, which I then twirled and layered with another image.  Then it became this: 

Hey, L-Cat! My pig is way cuter than yours!

Altered Polaroid (2006/2011)

I spent most of Friday morning scanning in some paper ephemera and photos 
I've been holding onto forever, 
then most of Saturday playing in photoshop.  

Another altered image, this time from a set of tiny postcards. 

"Her Best Man" - Crystal Green - 2007

 Did Not Finish.  

Wow.  I learned that three favorite plot points (brothers, best friends, long-unrequited love) 
and a heroine who is a painter were not enough to keep me interested.

"Too Hot to Sleep" - Stephanie Bond - 2000

Predictable and a bit cheesy, but also strangely just what I was in the mood for.  

18th Century cigar shop.  
Doylestown, PA is like Ligoneer, PA on steroids.  
Great show, a fun drive and I crossed a book off of my 'looking for' list!