Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Bare it All (and gardening adventures)

Bare It All                                

by Lori Foster is part of the ‘Love Undercover’ series and continues where “Run the Risk” leaves off, but changes the focus to the intriguingly eccentric and resourceful neighbor, Alice Appleton. Alice has formed a tentative relationship with Detective Reese Bareden because of the stray dog that he has adopted and named Cash. Reese is fascinated by his reclusive neighbor and his instincts lead him to explore the reasons behind her possession of a surprising number of defense tools. His growing attraction to the skittish woman is complicated by the danger that she seems to attract but fortunately there are plenty of allies to call upon in his quest to keep safe the woman who is becoming increasingly important to him. Of course, he also has to break down some of her defensive walls but he has never shirked a challenge, especially when the stakes have been so high.

This fun romantic suspense tale combined characters from two of this author’s very enjoyable series even as it continued to touch upon a serious underworld which threatens women. It is fun watching the alpha males interact with each other as they struggle to subdue their dominant natures enough to protect the women in their lives. A new perspective of several of the characters, including the intimidating Lieutenant Peterson, gave an entertaining spin and provides fodder for potential stories in the future. I enjoyed the opportunity to get more insight into Rowdy Mullins as he gradually begins to accept that he will have a policeman for a brother-in-law and Alice was a poignant blend of former victim and increasingly secure woman who enchanted the intense detective who constantly demonstrates both his protective instincts and his compassion. It was great to get a brief glimpse of several familiar characters and one can only hope that there will be plenty of additional stories about these deliciously alpha males and the essentially powerful women who capture their hearts. Another delightful read.

© Night Owl Reviews

I received a copy of this title in return for an honest review. 


 Adventures in gardening...

Ok, last year my hubby had the brilliant idea that he wanted to grow tomatoes so we tried our hand at cherry tomato plants.  We bought the plants and raised one in the high desert where we live (think triple digit temps) and took one down to the more moderate climes where the MIL is.  Both plants were very generous at giving us fruit (until the MIL drowned the one at her house) but hubby wasn't thrilled that the skin was a bit tough (don't ask me, I am not a tomato connoisseur--they tasted like tomatoes to me, lol).  So, this year we decided to try to raise full-sized tomatoes.  

It gets pretty cold here so we started seeds indoors (did I mention I am a procrastinator?) but evidently should have started them earlier in the year.  I, of course, wondered what on earth we were going to do with all of the fruit from the 6 plants that survived my less than assiduous attentions so my best friend very kindly accepted one, we took one down to the MIL's house (with instructions that she NOT water it, lol) and kept the others.  We have been anxiously watching and were thrilled when the blooms started appearing.  

The problem...the blooms came and went...but NO FRUIT!  Uh-oh.  Hmm, perhaps not enough water...after all, I tend to hibernate indoors when the temperature exceeds 98 F because I am heat sensitive and believe me, it has been much hotter than that for the past several weeks.  Ok, I have been slinking outside when it is only high 80's at 9:00 p.m. or so and watering more.  Probably not the ideal time to water but hey, at least they are getting water.   I have a liquid fertilizer that indicates that it is specifically for tomatoes (and yes, I tried using it on the cherry tomato plants) so I tried adding that.  Still sadness...blooms come and go, but no fruit.

Sigh.  Ok, when desperate...research.  Oh, this is a common problem amongst novice tomato farmers.  Hmm...calcium...seaweed extract...ok, trip to home improvement store.  Stern warnings about not getting things too close to the main trunk.  A little difficult since we are growing these things in a pot.  (Yes, I know...but if you saw the sand that is considered the soil in our yard, you would understand why I am not anxious to try to put in enough potting soil to change the ground to an arable bed).  So, I have been adding measly amounts of the new 'food' to the outer circumference of the pots...but I am a coward so it has been a very gradual process.  I still anxiously peer nearsightedly (yes, I still hate my bifocals) at the ugly dead blooms and I was frustrated enough yesterday to start removing some of them...only to discover that one in my hand had a microscopic bud...that was no longer attached to the plant that would have nurtured it.  So...elation and sadness...yes it is POSSIBLE for us to get fruit, if Ms Impatient will leave things to take their course.  (Oh yes, the plant at the MIL's house?  It's THRIVING...beautiful leaves, thick sturdy trunk which is quite crooked since I didn't get it into a support system quickly enough...and...fruit...but it had black spots on it so I picked it off.  We will have to research that as well!)

So...I am hopeful...maybe sometime in September, I will get a tomato before the weather starts getting cold, lol.  Now, if only I can figure out how to make the lettuce survive in this heat...


  1. I love Lori's books. I am behind and have not read this series yet.

    I do not try to take care of plants. My brother on the other hand is really good at gardening and brings me fruit each year from his garden.

    I stopped trying when I killed a cactus plant I had. Yeah, how on earth I did that I'll never know. I probably watered it too much.

    1. I have discovered that less is more when it comes to watering (of course you are in the desert also so that can also be an issue!), one of these days I will figure out how to post my African Violet pictures, I am SO proud of the fact that I have not only kept them alive but that they have bloomed! (of course that is NOT here, and I gave the MIL strict instructions NOT to water them, lol).

  2. Sounds like a good book, thanks for the review.

    You gardening adventures sound like something that would happen to me. If it was up to me we would never have plants, I always kill them. However Mom can grow just about anything she sets out to grow.

    1. All it takes is one in the family, lol. That way you get the benefits (and hopefully none of the frustration!).