(Nov) "We should have gone to school together. We should have been high school sweethearts. We should have lived happily ever after." Sigh...if only!(Nov) "We should have gone to school together. We should have been high school sweethearts. We should have lived happily ever after." Sigh...if only! Reyes is just so delicious! This is a story told from Reyes's point of view, from his beginnings on earth up until he encounters Charley in real life (end of book 1?). It really is not meant to be read on its own, as it'd probably be somewhat confusing, but if you are a loyal Charley reader, you really should read this. First of all, it's Reyes. That alone should be enough. Second, we revisit some familiar scenes from a different point of view. We learn to hate evil step-monster Denise even more than we already did, and (at least for me) Charley's dad as well. The violence visited against poor Reyes from the incredibly evil Earl is told in parts from a child's point of view, so while you know what is happening, it is not in too much detail, thankfully. The best part of the book was seeing Reyes meet Amador, and his love for Kim. And his all consuming love for Charley, which was evident from day one, even when he didn't believe she was real. For a book of 100 pages, overall this packed quite a punch for me. But OMG... (and seriously, there are spoilers and there are spoilers. This one is kind of a doozy, so click with caution! (view spoiler)[Uncle Robert? Ubie? Cookie's new husband? "Too bad he dies in the most horrible way possible. Too bad he goes to hell." WTF is that all about? I hope that somehow Reyes and/or Charley are able to stop this from happening - or if they can't he goes to hell and helps Reyes perhaps finally defeat his father and/or win his and his family's freedom. (hide spoiler)]...more
(Jul) Well, 13 books (and a few short stories) into the Undead world of Queen Betsy, and the end is actually in sight. I’m honestly not sure how I fee(Jul) Well, 13 books (and a few short stories) into the Undead world of Queen Betsy, and the end is actually in sight. I’m honestly not sure how I feel about it. On the one hand, the humor and charm of the first few books disappeared many books ago (as with most series, the first 6 or so were good, then a noticeable decline in the quality of the storyline and characters who used to charm suddenly begin to annoy). On the other hand – it’s Betsy! Sinclair! Mark! Jessica! I have loved Betsy from the first page of Undead and Unwed – and if you read that book and didn’t see the humor, well, then…I’m kind of sorry for you. It was fun and sexy and different (sure, now vamp books are so-5+-years-ago, but 10 years ago they were new and exciting – sexy fun vamps instead of horrible brooding, murderous, villainous monsters ala Anne Rice – blech! ). Through the ups and downs of the series I’ve stubbornly refused to give up. Like with Sookie, Eric, & Bill – I kept reading, dreading each book as they got worse and worse, hoping for some upswing or at least a satisfactory ending. I didn’t find that with Sookie, but my fingers remain crossed I will with Betsy and Sinclair.
So, we’re finally past the nonsense of the changed timelines, the confusion that wrought, and when we left off (sorry, spoiler, but honestly, no way did you read this without having read the previous books – no one jumps into a series 13 books in!) Betsy has killed Lena Olin (aka Satan, the Devil, etc.) and somehow has gotten hoodwinked into co-running Hell with her half sister Laura, daughter of the Devil. Betsy is trying everything she can think of to avoid taking on the responsibilities of Hell. The usual chaos reigns at Vamp Central – Zombie Marc is still trying to keep his mind busy to avoid becoming more Zombi-fied, Sinclair is reveling in his puppies and ability to go outside, and Jessica and Dick (notNick) are the sleep deprived parents of nameless twins. A whole bunch of stuff happens – or nothing happens, depending on how you liked the book. I fall somewhere in the middle – yes, there was a lot of nothing, but in between the story line did shift closer to the finish line. Sure, there was rambling, flashbacks, repetition and references to things we’ve read in previous books, but in between all of that there was substance, I promise! Betsy did finally get to Hell and discovered new abilities, a new relationship with The Ant, and they all learned some terrifyingly interesting facts about the twins. There was some sex, some charm, some sadness and some heartfelt moments-and after an internal debate, I decided that yes, I did actually like this! Ooh, Laura is such a bitch, Betsy’s dead Dad is a bastard, and can someone please explain to me why Cathie, who was a good person and died at the hands of a serial killer and was then a ghost on Earth, is in Hell? Glad she is though, she’s a nice addition to the series. As for Sinclair – he was quite neutered in the last couple of books, but here we can see his quiet strength and his undying (ha!) love for Betsy. And Jessica, who also has been on my nerves in the last few books, makes up for all her annoyingness in this book – she is something else!
Yup, overall a surprisingly good addition to the series. The synopsis for the next one is a bit horrifying – and then there is Undead and Unnamed, which according to the “synopsis” will be The Final Chapter in the Betsy Series! I think that’s good – it’s time (probably past time). ...more
(Jul) Christmas in July! And the end to a mostly really enjoyable series. Yes, there have been a few wrenches thrown into the mix, but overall Robyn C(Jul) Christmas in July! And the end to a mostly really enjoyable series. Yes, there have been a few wrenches thrown into the mix, but overall Robyn Carr's Virgin River series deserves a prominent place in Romance, as one of the best contemporary series out there - 20 books and most of them were winners. In this final book, Patrick Riordan, brother of 4 of the previous Heros, stars front and center. A Navy pilot, he's in VR to recoup after the devastating loss of his best friend Jake. The last thing he expects to happen is meeting Angie La Croix, niece of bartender (and star of the first book) Jack. Sparks fly from the first meeting, but Paddy finds himself wary of the young woman. Angie is recouping from a terrible car accident that left her questioning her future in med school and fighting with her mother. A brief getaway is what she needs to get her head on straight - and some flirting with the hot guy she sees in the bar on her first night in town. There are plenty of sightings of the regular VR crowd, with Jack, Mel, Brie, Colin, Luke, and other assorted favorites. Unlike the previous book, where the intimacy was on hold until the end, this book has Paddy and Angie (both were really great characters - I don't always love RC's heroines, but Angie was super - and so was Paddy, better than his brothers!) heating up the sheets pretty much from the get-go. Feeling guilty about telling his Jake he'd look out for his widow and son if anything happened to him, Paddy thinks the right thing to do is go to the widow and propose marriage. Angie, meanwhile, is thinking about the Peace Corp and gets involved in helping find medical care for a young girl in town who has a horrible scar on her face. Both Paddy and Angie know this is a temporary thing, but the ties between them grow strong and fast, as often happens in VR. In the end, love wins and they find their HEA. The series ends with the knowledge that the Sheridan and Riordan families, the two strongest and most prominent families throughout, will now be united by marriage.
I give credit to RC for writing such great characters and making me love this pretend town. I've said it before - I don't get small town living, in the middle of nowhere, no Target in sight! But for VR, I might be able to give up my comfortable suburban living and try a little mountain life! I'll miss these characters, this town, the strong sense of community and family and love that was evident in each book. My only disappointment was the very ending. I think the last scene in the book should have featured Jack and Mel in their home, just musing about the day and their happiness for Angie and Paddy and how wonderful their lives have been since finding each other lo those many years ago. It would have given me a true feeling of completion, of coming full circle, of ending where it all began. But...still and all, it was a great ride and overall this is a wonderful series that I would recommend to anyone who likes or even wants to try contemporary romance. So, with a little tear in my eye, I bid a fond adieu to Virgin River and Jack, Preacher, and the rest of the gang. ...more
(Jul) What a lovely book. While I have been disappointed in some of the VR books, I found this one to be really nice. Tom, who we met when he was dati(Jul) What a lovely book. While I have been disappointed in some of the VR books, I found this one to be really nice. Tom, who we met when he was dating Brenda many, many books ago, is home from the Marines and working his family apple farm. Nora, a struggling single mother, is a character we've met before - she was dumped in VR by her addict boyfriend. Nora applies to be an apple picker on Tom's farm. Small and inexperienced, Nora swears she can do the hard work, but Tom does not want to hire her. Enter Maxine, his formidable grandmother, who insists that Tom hire her. At first, Tom is not particularly nice to Nora, but she perseveres and slowly a friendship between them develops. Meanwhile, a Marine widow, Darla, comes to visit Tom. Beautiful, bright, driven, she is all that Tom thinks he wants in a wife, and the wooing commences. Tom realizes that Darla is also spoiled, selfish, and he hates himself for keeping one eye on down to earth (but super cute) Nora. Of course, this is VR, and Tom removes the blinders he's been wearing and finally realizes Nora is the perfect woman for him, even with her ready-made family (cute kids, very age appropriate, not annoying). There is a brief part of the book where we meet Hank Cooper, who becomes the first Hero in RC's Thunder Point series. There are a few very brief cameos by our VR friends - Preacher and Paige, Mel and Jack, and Luke and Colin. I gotta say, Nora is one of my favorite VR heroines - I have hated so many of them, Nora was a true breath of fresh air! One thing did confuse me at the end...(view spoiler)[it really seemed like Tom had no clue his grandfather was not his bio grandfather. I mean, Max said she told him and they discussed it - once, when he was young - but for him to go on and on about how Nora has children from a jerk, etc., made it seem like he no longer remembers that his grandmother too was knocked up and homeless when she went to work on the apple farm and met his grandfather. I kind of wanted Max to slap him on the head and remind him! (hide spoiler)]. Also - weren't Tom and Brenda in high school just a few short books ago? It it really supposed to be 12 years since that all happened?
A few warnings...1) if you hate the Hero of the book to be with anyone else in the book once he meets the Heroine...well, Tom does some kissin' with Darla. 2) If you like your books to be steamy...well, this book is pretty much a G rated book outside of one sex scene about 95% into the book! Usually that's a deal breaker for me, but I just enjoyed the story and never found myself bored. Yes, other VR books are definitely more descriptive and sexy, but here, I was surprised I didn't really miss the heat.
I'm kind of sad that I only have one more VR book to go. I'm going to try the Thunder Point books, but I will definitely miss Jack and the gang!! ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
(Dec) 4.5* Naasir is one of Raphael’s 7, his innermost circle of trusted friends and support staff. From his first introduction, I, along with everyon(Dec) 4.5* Naasir is one of Raphael’s 7, his innermost circle of trusted friends and support staff. From his first introduction, I, along with everyone else, has wondered what exactly is Naasir. He’s a sort of kind of vampire, but not exactly. He’s innocent and child like in his behavior and understanding of some things, but he is lethal and sexy and has decided he wants a mate (because he’s decided he wants a mate and can’t find her, he has decided she must be hiding from him – ha!). While he is searching, he is assigned the job of watching a female angel who is a scholar. Andromeda is the granddaughter of one of Raphael’s foes, Charisemnon, another archangel, one who runs his domain by way of intimidation and pain. She knows she has to go back soon to take her place in her grandfather’s court, but avoids thinking about it. Instead, she goes off, using her research, to find the Sleeping place of Alexander, an Ancient archangel. Lijuan and her cohorts are also searching for Alexander, hoping to kill him before he resurfaces.
Naasir and Andi are adorable together. She is as innocent as he is, but without the lethal component. Lijuan – well, it is time for her to go. She is eerie and mean and nasty – but honestly, in my mind she is Yzma, from The Emperor’s New Groove! That’s how I picture her looking and sounding which does make her a bit less scary. It’s time to wrap up her storyline –hopefully in the next one we can be done with her and her evil court and move on to the more important story arc – the coming of the Cascade. There is not a lot of sex in this book, mainly because virginal Andromeda has taken a vow of celibacy, one that frustrates Naasir but he ultimately respects. It doesn’t matter, though, because the characters are engaging and the action is exciting and, as usual, the reader wonders until the very end how NS will solve what appears to be an unsolvable situation so Andromeda and Naasir can be together.
I liked finally knowing what exactly Naasir is (no spoilers – read it to find out!), although how he came to be is heartbreaking (and I loved the scene where he goes back to where he came from; it was sad and sweet and touching and teary). As usual, we are treated to many of the other 7 as well as Raphael and Elena. And poor Illium. What exactly is happening to him, and what will become of him if he keeps getting major power surges he is too young to handle? I ended this book as I do most of Nalini Singh’s Angel (and Psy-Changling) books – satisfied with another great read and anxious for the next one. Write faster, please!!! ...more
(Jul) When I read the previous book in this series, I mused about how one goes about quitting an author. Well, after this, I think I finally got my an(Jul) When I read the previous book in this series, I mused about how one goes about quitting an author. Well, after this, I think I finally got my answer - you just give up. You realize what you always enjoyed about a series just isn't there anymore. While I never loved all the books JC wrote, I enjoyed following the displaced-in-time Highlanders who now live and work and love in Maine. However, the series has gotten more and more convoluted, with more and more characters - many of whom pop up in book after book. I don't remember who most of them are at this point, and the stories seem to just drag a bit more with each book. This series is considered 3 separate series, but to me they are all part of one whole. I checked this book out of the library almost an entire year ago,and it just sat and sat (thank you library for continuous renewals!) - I just couldn't get excited about reading this. But, as always, I worried if I skipped it maybe I'd be missing something, missing some of the magic that made the first several so good. I should have trusted my instincts, because once I finally got into it, it was basically a book with no story and no point and didn't need to be written.
Rena (who also has another name - can't remember what it is, not sure they ever explained why she has two names) has left her home in Atlantis and her husband of 40 years, with no explanation, and come to live in Maine near her children, grandchildren and many of her friends. Titus comes after her and settles in, waiting for his wife to explain what is going on. What he does not know is Rena is pregnant (at 55) and freaked out that Titus will become overbearing and difficult, so she just needed some time away. I cry bullshit. After 40 mostly wonderful years, she can't either say "I need some time or some space" or just talk to him? No, instead she runs away and decides she is going to live in a gross old house and learn to make metal sculptures. Okay......! A bunch of characters interact with them, there is a cult in town trying to raise a new God, a bunch of other unrelated and mostly unimportant stuff happens, Rena tells Titus the truth, and then (view spoiler)[she learns she is not, in fact, pregnant, and all of a sudden is thrilled she is menopausal; Titus gives up his immortality so he can grow old with his mortal wife, and he gets rid of Atlantis and hands over the running of the world, so to speak, to his son Max (hide spoiler)]. It was a completely pointless book, I hated Rena (but I did totally enjoy Titus, as usual), and I can honestly say I think I am done. The next book, which is already out, jumps from this book of 289 pgs to over 400 pages - and with it's mediocre reviews, I just don't care to continue. Good bye and good luck to the folks of Spellbound Falls - I wish I could say I'll miss you, but I don't think I will. ["br"]>["br"]>...more
(Jun) This was my second book by Celia Kyle. I love Shelly Laurenston, and read that if you like SL, you would like CK. She's ok, but not as funny or(Jun) This was my second book by Celia Kyle. I love Shelly Laurenston, and read that if you like SL, you would like CK. She's ok, but not as funny or as fleshed out as SL. That's ok. This was just alright - and I'm glad it was a short story. Basically, Maya goes to a party where shifters are planning on having an orgy, the head Lion sees her, desires her, screws her, marks her, and without her knowing, changes her to a lion. She leaves the club the next morning, craves raw meat, almost eats her bff who is a shifter bunny, head lion Alex finds her, sexes her up, and they live together as the alpha pair of his pride. It was a bit crude and something was just lacking, but it was ok. I will give other books by her a try. ...more
(Jun) My first book by CK, and I liked it. Mia moves to a new town and finds a shifter bear cub in her pantry. She senses that he is afraid of his unc(Jun) My first book by CK, and I liked it. Mia moves to a new town and finds a shifter bear cub in her pantry. She senses that he is afraid of his uncle who comes to get him, and hides him. Ty, local sheriff (and Itan (head) of the local bear shifters) comes to find the cub, realizes that Mia is hiding the cub, but then agrees to help her when they discover the little boy is covered in bruises. He also falls for Mia and wants to make her his mate. His brothers are fun, as are most of the rest of his den. He bungles his way along romancing Mia, but of course in the end they find true love and figure out how to make things work for both themselves and Parker, the little boy cub. What I never understood though is if the uncle (don't have the book near me, so short on names) didn't just kill Parker. What was the point of beating him up? And why could't Parker tell them about the woman who was helping his uncle? So yeah, there were plot holes, but I still liked it enough to want to read the second one. ...more
(Jun) This was a quick read, a freebie, and I thought it was very well done. Adrian awakens to find himself in the hospital. A motorcycle has rendered(Jun) This was a quick read, a freebie, and I thought it was very well done. Adrian awakens to find himself in the hospital. A motorcycle has rendered him paralyzed. I like how the book takes us through the first several months of his recovery, watching him learn to adjust to his new life. He develops a crush on his PT guy, who is straight. However, Jim's associate Nate is gay and has eyes for Adrian. Adrian is realistically awkward about his feelings, not trusting Nate at first, not sure what to do with his withered body. A few dates move them to a sexual point in their relationship, and they discover they are both interested in mild BDSM. Adrian subs for Nate, and their relationship continues to grow and mature. It has a sweet lovely HEA. Overall, a nice read and I'd definitely try Amelia Bishop again. ...more
(Jun) If we'd met Rainie and Jake before they didn't register on my radar. However, I really enjoyed them. Rainie is a big girl with a big heart (pupp(Jun) If we'd met Rainie and Jake before they didn't register on my radar. However, I really enjoyed them. Rainie is a big girl with a big heart (puppies!) who is not sure she really wants a permanent thing with anyone, let any sexy Jake. Jake takes his time showing Rainie how good they could be together. They have some kinky intense scenes (candles - ouch!) and Rainie slowly begins to see that she can use her skills and degree to stay right where she is and work for Jake and love Jake. As always Master Z and the others are awesome and the bachelorette party was so much fun! A very believable HEA ends the story - and I believe there is one more story to go (Mistress!) and we'll be saying goodbye to Shadowlands. ...more
(Jun) Quick sweet sexy story about two guys who meet by accident, spend a night and a day together, get to know one another, and ends with a HNF with(Jun) Quick sweet sexy story about two guys who meet by accident, spend a night and a day together, get to know one another, and ends with a HNF with a strong possibility of a future HEA. ...more
(Jun) 3.5* Ok, so when my bookclub picked this book I said OMG, I have no interest in reading a long, old, "classic" (not a fan of old classics), what(Jun) 3.5* Ok, so when my bookclub picked this book I said OMG, I have no interest in reading a long, old, "classic" (not a fan of old classics), what to do?!" But, being a dedicated bookclub member, I promised myself I'd try to at least read a bit. So...I started. And the first chapter I kind of went "what on earth is going on??" But I persevered and slowly the story started unfolding. It was a while before we met the Hunchback of the title (I truly had no idea what exactly the story was about - never saw any of the millions of adaptions of the book, including Disney), and there was a completely irrelevant chapter about Paris and the church which I skipped completely, but I actually surprised myself by getting into it. There was a second chapter that also didn't pertain to the book, but it was actually quite interesting, about how the written word was slowly ending the communal importance of the church. The author spoke to the reader as if we were friends, and there were a lot of lines that made me smile, a few that made me laugh. Who knew to expect humor?! I also felt that if you'd tweaked the story a bit, this could easily be turned into a contemporary story - the gossiping women in town, the priest with lust in his heart, the good-for-nothing wastrel brother of the priest, the jerky soldier, and the poor Esmerelda whose love for the jerky soldier led to her doom. And of course, poor Quasimodo, who also loved in vain. Not a 5*, but I liked it and am so glad I read it. Of course, that doesn't mean I'm jumping the Old Classics bandwagon again anytime soon, but this was a fun ride. ...more
(Dec) Poor Madeline Gracechurch – she suffers from intense social anxiety, so much so that she pretty much freezes when in a large crowd. The idea of(Dec) Poor Madeline Gracechurch – she suffers from intense social anxiety, so much so that she pretty much freezes when in a large crowd. The idea of coming out in London, going to balls and being expected to dance and socialize, is enough to make her want to run and hide. Instead, she invents a pretend love interest – Captain Logan Mackenzie. She tells her family she met him at the beach, they promised themselves to one another, but he’s off fighting the war so they are stuck being pen-pals. The letters she writes to him are filled with her innermost thoughts and feelings, and she shares with her pretend lover all the happenings of her life. After several years, she conveniently kills off her fiancé, goes into mourning, and is left alone by her family to live her life as she chooses – alone. She inherits a castle and lives there with her maiden aunt, drawing nature pictures on commission. Until one day she receives a visitor – Captain Logan Mackenzie!
I absolutely loved the premise of this story. From the first letter Grace writes, I enjoyed learning about her life and her secrets. Her shock at learning her letters reached a real man named Logan Mackenzie was so honest and painful and funny. What to say about Logan? There are many reviews here that dislike him because he shows up and basically blackmails Grace into marrying him. But he’s truly not a bad guy. He’s wounded, alone, and feels responsible for the men who served under him, the men who he brought home with him, the men who have no families left and are landless because the English have sold off all their land. He tells Maddie he will make her letters, many of which contained unkind observations about London’s elite, pubic unless she marries him and allows the men to start building homes on the land around her castle. He’s desperate and while he does not want to admit it, he’s half fallen in love with Maddie through her letters. The scene where he reads aloud one of the letters “he” sent to Maddie made me LOL. Maddie hopes to hold off Logan long enough (he agrees to wait for consummation, per Maddie’s request, but as the wait gets longer, his men help him figure out how to entice his lass into his bed (grin)) to get a permanent commission for drawing nature pictures and then she can leave Logan and his men, let them keep the castle, and go home to her family. However, as we all know, best laid plans…!
There are plenty of laughs in this book and Maddie’s quirkiness is delightful (hello Rex and Fluffy, resident lobsters who she is waiting to watch mate!). Logan has a good heart, his men are great, and the HEA is both well deserved and feels so true. Tessa Dare penned another Castle winner with this book (there are 3 so far – all can be read in any order as there is no connection between them). Can’t wait for the next one! ...more
(Jun) The premise sounded cute, so while not a huge fan of chick lit, I figured it'd be a nice, quick book. This book is well over 400 pages, and for(Jun) The premise sounded cute, so while not a huge fan of chick lit, I figured it'd be a nice, quick book. This book is well over 400 pages, and for long parts it just dragged. Polly and her boyfriend part after their business fails. No money, no income, no idea what to do - Polly heads off to a small island where she rents a ramshackle home. She meets the local fisherman and slowly starts to rebuild her life. She starts baking bread and adopts a baby puffin (who was so incredibly cute!) and finds a lover. She also befriends a bee keeper, an American named Huckle. The story sort of drags along, and includes a death and a new love and a happy ending. It was ok, and I see there is a sequel, but I have no real interest in going back to Little Beach Street. ...more