Ramada Plaza New Yorker Hotel

Ramada Plaza New Yorker Hotel

481 8th Avenue, 34th St. & 8th Ave, New York City, NY 10001

I booked my trip on Hotwire (of all places) and said I was looking for a 4 star hotel with double beds. I used Hotwire because I did not want to spend $300+ on a room. Every other website seemed to want to make me pay through the nose for a long weekend (but I digress).

I chose the area I wanted (midtown Manhattan) and the price I wanted with the amenities I thought best – after paying my hotel was revealed: THE NEW YORKER HOTEL

Fancy fancy! With taxes, we paid $155 per night in NYC in December! I thought it was a great deal for the hotel and the location in comparison to the other options we had.

We arrived about 1 pm and I was prepared to have to wait until check-in at 3pm. Fortunately, our room was already available. Check-in was a breeze. We headed up the elevator to the 20th floor to our room. I like that they have elevators specifically for the 20-40 floors. For us, it was as if every elevator was express. Lobby to 20th with no stops in between.

The room was cute but super small. If you have ever travelled to London, the room size was on par with what you find there for midgrade hotels. Since we did not go to NYC to stay in the room, I was fine with me. It was very difficult to get a good picture of the entire room. Plus the lighting was not conducive to taking pictures. So using the one good picture I was able to take of the one of the beds and your imagination, you can figure out what the room looked like. There were 2 double beds that completely filled most of the room (I stood in the bathroom to get the picture of the one bed). The bathroom was small as well (about as big as an office cubicle). There was a little glass shelf above the sink but below the mirror on which the lotion, soap, and shampoo was placed but there was not much room for anything else. The sink was a pedestal sink with Kohler fixtures. LOVE!

The television was a flat screen on the wall so that took up minimal space. There was a small desk in the room that we could have done without. We spent most of our time walking around it. If the closet had been bigger, we probably would have put the desk in there.

The only drawback to the hotel room was that there was not a lot of power outlets. Given the age of the hotel, I understand but it was still an inconvenience. We all had cell phones, laptops, iPads, and camera batteries that needed to be charged each night. I thought about buying one of those 99 cent power strips but decided against it since I did not want to burn down my room from a power surge. Electrical fire in a confined space on the 20th floor? Yea, I’ll pass. I ended up charging my phone in the bathroom while we used the rest of the outlets for laptops.

Overall, I was happy to be situated in the middle of everything. The A train was at the corner. Penn Station was across the street. Times Square was a few blocks away. There were plenty of restaurant options for every time of day. Duane Reed was across the street for those essential items that we forgot to bring. Even though the room was small, it was comfortable and fit what we needed for the long weekend. I would definitely stay at the Ramada Plaza New Yorker Hotel again.

 

Can’t buy me love

Can’t Buy Me Love (The Eligible Billionaires) (Volume 1) ♥♥♥

Synopsis:

Meg is Cole’s executive personal assistant and the lead working on closing a deal that would be a major win for Cole’s company. Due to an unstable childhood because of a mother who was not discerning with her bed partners, Meg has a rule not to engage in a physical relationship with her boss.

Cole is CEO and his executive assistant has been getting under his skin. Although he suspects that he might be in love, he does not want to succumb because of his major trust issues. Yes, they are justified concerns, but he cannot assume every person is out to get him.

Opinion:

Both main characters are emotionally damage, but Cole’s distrust is almost the downfall of the relationship. At least in the end, he addresses those issues in the correct romantic way. Meg was a good, strong female. She was spunky enough to stand up for herself and walked away when she needed to do so. She might have been crying when she left, but she made her exit with her head held high. She was the ultimate professional and thought a lot about safeguarding her reputation.

Overall, I totally liked Meg. She had her principles and she stuck to them so that she would not be accused of ending up like her mother. Cole was okay, but even better once he realized that what a gem he had in Meg. For most of the book, he was the stereotypical alpha-male who did not know what to do when love had his life spiraling out of his control. Plus, Cole’s lack of empathy for the position he put Meg in was slightly annoying to me. While he might have lost money if she was a gold-digger, Meg would lose her professional reputation, and possibly future career opportunities, if people thought she was sleeping with her boss.

In many ways, Can’t Buy Me Love was your typical boss-secretary romance. The story was entertaining and the conflict was well played. I gave the book 3 hearts instead of 4 because it took a while for Cole to learn his lesson.

First Cari and now Jess- Valendran males are falling in love


Finding Jess (Men of Valendra) – ♥♥♥

Synopsis

This book is the sequel to Hunting Cari (Men of Valendra).

Amun felt a connection to Jess when he found out she existed. After a year of searching, Amun is still determined to find her so that she can be his mate.

Jess is a hybrid Valendra-human who was at the mercy of the Relians (evil enemy aliens) since she was a child. For many years, she suffered unspeakable physical and emotional abuse. During it all, she helped others to safety. She cannot understand what Amun would want with her since she is damaged.

Opinion:

In Hunting Cari, Jess played a major role in making sure that Cari survived her abduction and abuse. I got a glimpse of her personality and gift. Because of Amun’s reaction to Cari’s bracelet, I had a feeling that he would be her mate. Because of those points, I wanted to read her story and experience her happy ever after ending.

With any abuse survivor, there are feelings of doubt of their own self-worth. It was evident that Jess thought herself to be unworthy of Amun. Amun’s attempts to treat her delicately had the opposite effect since she thought he did not want her. Jess has to heal physically and emotionally in order to accept Amun’s love without question. I thought the author did a decent job delving into the issues that Jess faced because of her trauma. When something like that happens to a woman, it is necessary that her love interest be very understanding in helping her come to terms with what she is up against.

Although the story was mainly focused on Amum and Jess, there was so many other things going on.

1. Traitor in their midst
2. Finding the rest of the hybrid women and children scattered around the earth
3. Dealing with Relian threats
4. Budding romances between two other couples

Overall, Finding Jess (Men of Valendra) was a very endearing book to me. It was a sweet story, and by the end of the book, I was even more interested in the Valendran people and hoping for the rescue of more hybrids in coming books. The book could be read on its own, but I think to get the full effect, Hunting Cari should be read first. I am ready for the next book!!!!

Hunting Cari – Aliens & Romance = All together good story


Hunting Cari (Men of Valendra) – ♥♥♥♥

Synopsis

Cari has known she is different from most girls her age. She is half human and half Valendran. For most of her life, she has thought that meant she has to be on the run with her uncle. After being captured by Valendrans’ nemesis the Relians, a series of events causes her to begin to understand what it means to be Valendran. When she is saved by Valendran male Scaden, she feels emotions she never knew existed.

Scaden is a Valendran commander responding to a distress call from earth. Once he has met Cari, he feels in his whole being that this hybrid woman is his mate. It is increasingly difficult to follow Valendran cultural traditions and rules if that means being separated from Cari.

My Opinion:

Hunting Cari (Men of Valendra) is an entertaining book with a creative storyline. Valendran males are alpha males who think all females should be coddled and protected. The nemesis alien race Relians wreak havoc wherever they go and provided the conflict for the story. There is a lot going on in the story, so I can only say “Read it” if you want to get the full picture. I do not think you will be disappointed.

Cari lived a very sheltered life but adapted well once she was rescued by Scaden. He was a hunky alpha-male who would do whatever it took to be with his soul mate. There were so many sweet, tender moments in the book. But there was some humor too. To me, some of the funniest parts of the book were when Scaden’s inner beast was getting out control. For their race, irrational jealousy was one side effect of identifying but not yet claiming a mate.

I was in the mood to read an alien romance and found this. What a great find for me! The author told the story in such a way that was easy to follow. It was as if the author gave just enough breadcrumbs to keep me engaged but not so many that I was bored with the story. When I finished Hunting Cari , I was interested enough to want to read her follow up book Finding Jess (Men of Valendra) because I wanted to read more from this author.

Celler 56 – Buckhead Atlanta

What do you call tapas if it is not at a Spanish restaurant? Small plates.

This is what Cellar 56 is all about. The nibbles. >>something to know before you go<<

Hubby and I went because we had a Groupon for 2 entrees and 2 drinks. Sounded great. I checked out the menu online. Oooo weee yummy options.

I ordered the lamb chops with balsamic vinegar glaze reduction. I asked the waiter what side accompanied the dish. At this point, I was still thinking this is a regular plate. He said “a bed of arugula”. To me, that response sounded like a fancy way to say “there is no side”. However, I kept an open mind because this was our first visit. Hubby and I ended up ordering additional plates. See picture for my plate #2 which was a BBQ pork eggroll. It was tasty as well. One plate is not enough to fill you up unless you are a bird OR you eat before you come.

For my drink, I ordered a margarita. It was salty, a little sour, and sweet enough for my tastebuds. I enjoyed it.

Each plate is in the price range of $5-10, so it was not too pricey. There are a variety of dishes for every palate. Our server was attentive and helped us decide what we wanted. By the end of your meal, you will still probably spend about as much as you would have in another restaurant with standard size dishes. The only difference is that at Cellar 56, you would have had the chance to try several different mini plates.

Overall, we have a good time. I would go again. I recommend Cellar 56 to anyone looking for something different in Buckhead area in Atlanta.

If you like Fifty Shades of Gray, then read this

In my opinion, these are all one heart stories. I know that other people might have a different view. The main reason why I did not like these stories is because I am not into the extreme dom/sub behavior. I do not understand the desire to be totally controlled, punished, humiliated all in the name of love? It is not that I am totally against soft bondage per se (difference between silk ties and handcuffs) in a storyline, but the dom’s attitude has a lot to do with how it colors the whole story. The commanding do-what-I-tell-you-to-do attitude is a major turn off. In my view, physical violence has no place in a healthy loving relationship.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Yes, Mr. Collins (Natasha and Mr. Collins) ♥ by Anna Antonia (writing as Charlotte deCorte):

Synopsis from Amazon: Brilliant, yet demanding, billionaire boss Mr. Collins will stop at nothing to get his assistant Natasha Reynolds.

Opinion: Natasha should have sued Mr Collins for creating a hostile work environment and for sexually harassing her. Part of the time, I think he forced her into do things because he was her boss. In some twisted way, the author wants to reader to believe his controlling attitude was supposed to turn her on.

Heidi and the Kaiser (Alpha Boss Secretary Office Romance) ♥ by Selena Kitt:

Synopsis from Amazon: When wanna-be designer Heidi accidentally stains fashion mogul Warren Kaiser’s pants, she gets two things she didn’t expect.

Opinion: Kaiser was a supreme TOOL and JERK. Heidi needs her head examined to be for not filing a law suit. Seriously!?!? Why is she willing to do whatever he asks her to do even when her conscious tells her otherwise? Kaiser became her pimp and she was his number one ho. That is not romance.

What He Wants (A sexy New Adult romance) (My Alpha Billionaire) ♥ by Tawny Taylor

Synopsis from Amazon: Billionaire Shane Trant always gets what he wants. He wants Bristol Deatrich, but only complete possession .

Opinion: I read some other books by Tawny Taylor and I was not prepared for the way the story developed. Thankfully in this book, this was not a boss/employee unhealthy relationship. But it was creepy story to me for other reasons. Shane was a friend of the family years ago. She used to call him “Uncle”. Now that she is “all grown up”, he is going to make a move? But he wants to know if she is trust him enough to be his sub. He has an entire room with devices dedicated to him twisted desires. All that was going through my mind was wondering if he lusted after her before he lost contact with her family. She would have been underage and he would have been a perv.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Why did I choose these books? I was on a billionaire romance kick, and bought all of these in addition to some others. I was looking for light cheesy romances. These were some of the darker, twisted ones that I skipped through most of the book because I was not entertained. These were more about sex than romance. It is not that I do not like a good, steamy love scene, but I want there to be more to the story than that.

I do realize that other readers (especially those who loved Fifty Shades of Gray) will probably give these 5 hearts for being steamy billionaire romances.

Married by Monday


Married by Monday (Weekday Brides Series) – Married by Monday ♥♥♥♥♥

This is the second book in the series from this author. The first book Married by Monday was the story of Blake and Sam. This story is about their friends Carter and Eliza. Carter is running for governor and is the best friend to Eliza’s best friend’s husband. Eliza has taken over more of the business responsibility since Sam got married.

In the 2 years their friends have been married, they have verbally sparred so much that Eliza thinks he hates her. So when he proposes marriage as part of damage control during his campaign, Eliza thinks he is out of his mind. But then her past catches up with her and his proposal is appealing in more ways than one.

This book gets my highest score because it was an awesome story. The plot was so original with many twists and more twists. There was an unexpected suspense element that left me on the edge of my seat, holding my breath for what was going to happen. I do not think it is even possible to tell too much of the story without giving anything way. Be assured, it all ends well.  I got my happy-ever-after, and the author did it all without some outlandish or ridiculous ending. It seemed farfetched but still in the realm of possibility.

I liked Married by Monday (Weekday Brides Series) even more than Wife by Wednesday and I thought that was a pretty good book. I am stingy with my 5 heart ratings, however this book deserves it. I am hooked with this series and I do not even mind. It is not like I feel I have to read the next book in the series to further the story. I like this author’s writing style and want to keep in touch with her characters because they are so great.