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  • LAS Reviewer "The Long and the Short Of It Re... - Great Read

    A breath-holding air of expectancy ripples through Silk is for Seduction. Like the subtle whisper of silk brushing against a trouser leg, the hum of sexual tension charges the atmosphere around Marcelline Noirot and the Duke of Clevedon.

    The Duke, known as a seducer of only the crème de la crème of aristocratic beauties, gets blindsided by "of all things" a dressmaker, albeit a dressmaker that turns heads and snarls traffic during Passion Week in Paris. Jaded and knowing he must return to England and take up his responsibilities as Duke, Clevedon finds he is fascinated by the plain-spoken, beautiful, gambling businesswoman who is in Paris to promote her dress shop in London, even though she is the most aggravating woman he has ever met.

    The Noirot sisters: Marcelline, Leonie, and Sophy as well as six-year-old Lucie are born manipulators and hone that talent regularly. Leonie is their money manager and organizer. Sophy does public relations and writes enticing advertising, while Marcelline designs out-of-this-world clothing for ladies and brings in business in a most unique manner.

    Marcelline's primary mission in Paris is to snare the Duke's attention so he will want the Noirot Shop to dress his duchess--supposedly Lady Clara Warford who has waited patiently in England while Clevedon sowed his wild oats all over the continent. He has bedded the "best" but finds Marcelline's grace, beauty, and style unforgettable. She is a tempestuous masterpiece who tells him upfront her intent is mercenary. She runs a business to support her family and has no designs on him other than to lighten his pocketbook as he pays for his duchess's style-setting attire from the Noirot Shop. She even tells him that he has no purpose in life. He just drifts along looking for entertainment. Yet, in her heart she feels he is not a "mean-spirited" man.

    The stir and magic they create, the delightful humor, and the guessing of who is "outfoxing" whom swirls the reader along through the pitfalls of Paris and London Society, churns up the stomach with a savage sea storm, and makes adrenaline pump with a thief and a fire. However, the bond that forms and binds Marcelline and the Duke is the centerpiece of the story. There is nothing boring about these two special people that ultimately unleash the best in each other.

    The secondary characters function for the most part to highlight the hero and heroine. However, the indomitable little Lucie, aka Erroll, wraps everyone around her little finger, more especially the Duke of Clevedon. She brings out the very best in him and awakens true feelings that had be crammed deep down ever since the death of his mother and sister. Lucie is indeed a little minx--a chip off the old block. With her beautiful blue eyes, she charms in such a manner that she just might be a princess.

    Loretta Chases descriptions, metaphors, and characterizations make the story sparkle and her love scenes are earth-shattering. I invite you to read and see how silk seduces--exciting.

    Originally posted at The Long and Short of It Romance Reviews

  • PennyPincherJenny - Love the Leappad Ultra!! New Kid Favorite!

    Disclaimer: I was provided a sample of the LeapPad Ultra through a review program. The opinions expressed are my own. We own the Leapster Explorer and the first Leappad for comparison. This is based off my 8, 6, and 4 year olds experience with the Leappad Ultra
    The first thing about the Ultra i loved is the size!!! The screen is so much later then what we are used to on the Leapster Explorer or the first leappad. The graphics are right, sharp and clear! All three of my kids love to use the camera to record plays and songs they put on and gather around the screen to watch them!
    The battery being rechargeable is amazing. We have the battery packs for our Leapster explorers but our Leappad one never had that option, I would have to use Duracell rechargeable batteries and remove and reinsert them each time was quite a hassle with the case that was on it as well. It’s quick and easy to plug in and it seems the battery life lasts quite a while.
    My kids are in love with the improvement on the camera and the built in apps. My kids love singing the punctuation song and the other jingles!
    We probably won’t ever use the wifi but I love that I can turn the wifi off with a parent log in to control the kid’s ability to get on the internet on a screen they can’t get into!
    The best part is that the pen is attached to Leappad Ultra!!! I can’t count how many times we lost the pen on the first one however the ultra has its own pen compartment like the explorers do!
    We love this Ultra and the kids in our neighborhood that have played with it as well love it! It feels very much like a tablet and is great to use!

  • Cary L. Tyler - Best Grill Purchase Ever

    My wife got me this grill for Father's Day (well, a week before, so I can try it). First, we had the best burgers ever, and then the chicken and steak I threw on for Father's Day came out better than ever. Gas grills were okay, but for some reason I had problem keeping some of my cuts juicy.
    The electric version is relatively easy to assemble, and although it is initially more expensive than a standard grill, a propane tank purchase narrows the cost, and then in time, it becomes cheaper.
    I am more excited about grilling than I have been in a while (which makes my wife happy as well).
    Well worth it (my friend has the larger RED 3-burner for those who need more space and he absolutely loves it)!

  • M. Feldman - The rule of law, suspended

    Dave Eggers's account of Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath, the first story in "Zeitoun," is immensely readable. However, there has been a lot of well-written reportage on the storm and the Bush administration's botched handling of the rescue efforts. What's extraordinary about "Zeitoun" is the second, intersecting story, Eggers's narrative of the arrest and imprisonment---without charge, without representation, without even the ability to make a phone call--of Abdulrahman Zeitoun, Syrian immigrant, successful businessman, and American citizen. Incredibly, in "Zeitoun," the War on Terror merges with the Katrina disaster to produce a truly stunning example of what happens to xenophobia in the hands of petty officialdom.

    I've read several novels in which writers as diverse as Andres Dubus II, Claire Messud, and, most recently, Lorrie Moore, attempt to incorporate the events of September 11, 2001. None of these writers is, to my mind, particularly convincing with this material. (Don DeLillo, in "Falling Man," comes closest, I think.) Eggers, on the other hand, a master of narrative nonfiction, simply (artfully) gets out of the way of his material, letting it speak for itself. And his depiction of the weeks after the storm, a period when Zeitoun's wife, Kathy, at first does not know whether he is dead or alive and then struggles with callous officials to free her unjustly detained husband, is powerful indeed. So too is the narrative thread that traces Zeitoun's family history. Most painful and revolting, however, are the scenes in the jail-cages of "Camp Greyhound," the temporary prison constructed outside the New Orleans bus station. As with the photos of Abu Ghraib, the emotion a reading of "Zeitoun" is mostly likely to evoke is shame.

    M. Feldman