I will admit to being a bit of a Scrooge during the holiday season. Bah Humbug and a fa la la la la tOriginally published on Not Now...Mommy's Reading
I will admit to being a bit of a Scrooge during the holiday season. Bah Humbug and a fa la la la la to you too is my standard greeting to all Christmas well wishes. It's just something about this time of the year that doesn't quite put me in the best of moods and I can't wait to see it come and go. On top of combining the two things I despise the most - crowds and shopping - my family circle seems to get smaller this time of the year and if we're lucky enough not to receive a visit from the Grim Reaper, the memories of those who've went on before us tend to make the holiday a little less cheery. With that said, I usually avoid books with any sort of Christmas-theme whatsoever. This is such a well-known fact that Kristin called me out when I recently received a request to review a Christmas novel and accepted.
Kris: You did read the title of the book, right?
Kris: It has Christmas in the title.
Me: I know.
Kris: That means there's a good chance it will have something to do with Christmas.
Me: I know.
Kris: You don't like Christmas stories.
Me: I know.
Kris: You don't like Christmas.
Me: I know.
Kris: Are you feeling alright?
I don't know exactly why I decided to add a Christmas story to my TBR list - it might have had something to do with crossing something or another off of my bucket list before 21 December 2012 or it might have been that the author mentioned that it was a "short read" and the blurb mentioned something about a witch in London and I piqued my curiosity just enough for me to have a go at it. Whatever the reason, I am so glad I read this book.
As mentioned previously, The Magick of Christmas by Susan Mac Nicol is a fairly quick read that I lost myself in within moments of reading. It tells the story of Stacey, a young witch in London with a serious crush on a guy who happens to frequent the same coffee shop she does. Stacey admires him from afar until a chance encounter puts her face to face with her crush. Being a witch who normally plays by the rules, Stacey can't help but to cast an attraction spell in hopes of making him notice her. When the spell seems to work, Stacey is elated but soon starts to wonder if her Mr. Right would think she were so wonderful had she not cast him under her spell.
I don't want to say too much more about the plot because I don't want to give anything away but this story had me grinning from ear to ear throughout! I adored the character of Stacey, a down-to-earth witch with a big heart and a wicked sense of humor. I really like how her powers revolved more around simple spells and mischief making and how she knew that pretty much whatever she put out was going to come back to her so she regulated her spells with a conscience. Stacey also has what she perceives to be a serious flaw - she has a limp - and because of it she is very self-conscious when it comes to her ability to make her crush notice her. This made her so much more real to me because who among us doesn't have some flaw that others barely take notice of but we allow to keep us from going after what we really want? I see this more among younger women like Stacey. I'm too old to care any longer about any perceived flaws I may have but I so identify with these feelings.
Nick, Stacey's crush, is so...wow. I mean, sure the guy has a great 'arse' and all but the lengths he went to to show Stacey how he felt about her - I actually sighed out loud as I clutched my Kindle to my chest and smiled.
This was a great book that I enjoyed reading and would recommend to anyone looking for a holiday read that is sure to tug on your heartstrings. This is definitely a feel-good romance! The love scenes were hot, the dialogue was so well-written that the characters seemed to come alive on the pages and by story's end I found myself believing that there might actually be a bit of magick in Christmas.
The Seduction of Phaeton Black by Jillian Stone is a delightful romp through historical London with a dashing rogue of a hero, a bright and beautifulThe Seduction of Phaeton Black by Jillian Stone is a delightful romp through historical London with a dashing rogue of a hero, a bright and beautiful heroine and a motley crew of secondary characters all in pursuit of a lusty Egyptian goddess who leaves a trail of bodies in her wake.
I wasn't quite sure how to classify this novel: paranormal romance or urban fantasy. In my opinion, a paranormal romance is largely based around the romance between the hero and the heroine and their tale is usually summed up on one book. An urban fantasy is largely based on the story surrounding the hero and heroine and their romance usually takes a backseat and more often than not, there is a series of books where the reader watches the romance between the two evolve. I could be wrong but that's how I normally distinguish between the two. With that said, The Seduction of Phaeton Black could easily fall in to both categories.
When we meet Mr. Black, he's taken up residence in a brothel of all places having recently been dismissed from Scotland Yards for his declarations that the Ripper murders were of a supernatural nature. Phaeton is a clairvoyant of sorts and while hot on the tail of a phantom, he runs into the delectable Miss America Jones who promptly holds a knife to his throat and demands he ravish her. A Cassanova of the worst kind, Phaeton is all too eager to oblige Miss Jones who it turns out is actually running away from pirates. Once Phaeton is assured of Miss Jones' safety from the pirates, he releases her only to narrowly miss being decked by the outraged Miss Jones for taking his liberties with her a bit too far. Miss Jones fails to hit her mark and instead knocks herself unconscious and is taken back to Phaeton's flat so that he can get to know more about the mysterious miss.
I adored Phaeton Black! There was no telling what would come out of his mouth!
"I'm too angry for chit chat. In fact, I cannot bare to listen to the sound of your voice." America pressed her lips together, hoping to hide the amusement. He growled, or was it a grunt? "I have never roomed with a woman. I am sure I will dislike it immensely." he said. "It seems to me you live with a houseful." she said. "Clever, Miss Jones, but incorrect. I do not room with the ladies. I fuck them."
That's just one of many of the quotes by Mr. Phaeton Black that had me either laughing or quirking a brow. Another favorite of mine:
"I mean to taste you tonight, Miss Jones. I wish to savor all of your spice, your tang, your sugar."
AAAHHH!!! Could he BE any sexier?!? I normally can not stand the usage of "sugar" used in any form of love talk but Mr. Black knows just how to use it! Phaeton Black, paranormal investigator, is indeed an intriguing character that this reader could not seem to get enough of.
America Jones was a breath of fresh air to me! A femme fatale who knew how to use her wits and her womanly charms to get what she wanted. Known as a 'high yellow Cajun' back in her home of Louisiana, America also has 'the gift' passed on to her by her Cajun mother. I really enjoyed reading about a woman of color in this time setting as most historical romances are sorely lacking in this area. I also liked that the issue of discrimination that America faced due to her "coppery complexion" was addressed. Bravo on both counts to the author! American Jones was no simpering maid in the bedroom. No. Her curiosity and lack of inhibitions led to some veeery hot and steamy scenes between her and the ever eager, Mr. Black.
On a final note, I love names that are different yet have an issue with names that are so different that I can't pronounce them thus taking away from my reading enjoyment. Not only were the characters in this book all so different in appearance and stories but the names - I loved em! America, Phaeton, Layla, Ping, Jin, Qadesh! So original yet I loved the way they rolled off my tongue.
I can't wait to get more of Phaeton Black and America Jones in the second installment of this series, 'The Moonstone and Miss Jones'!
A Demon and His Witch is my first read by author Eve Langlais, but it is definitely not my last! I absolutely loved this book!
The story opens with ourA Demon and His Witch is my first read by author Eve Langlais, but it is definitely not my last! I absolutely loved this book!
The story opens with our heroine, Ysabel – I love the name! – being burnt alive after being accused of being a witch. I purposely omitted being falsely accused because…well, she IS a witch. However, she has used her abilities mainly for the good of those involved and although her lover’s mother leads the crazed mob, Ysabel knows that her beloved will come to her rescue at any moment.
But he doesn’t.
Instead he stands by silently while Ysabel is murdered and in a fit of hurt and rage, she curses those directly involved in her death to Hell.
Great opening! From there the reader is reintroduced to Ysabel who is now Lucifer’s assistant and quite the handful. She’s at the end of her contract with Lucifer when he informs her that five of the souls she’s condemned have escaped from their hellish prisons and until they are recaptured, she will relive the moment of her death again and again. Ever helpful, Lucifer lends Ysabel assistance in the form of Remy, a demon whose specialty is tracking.
Remy and Ysabel were a hoot together! I haven’t laughed out loud so many times while reading a book as I have when these two shared the pages – a perfect combination of sexual tension and humor! But Remy isn’t all gorgeous looks and great abs – this man, er, demon…has a heart. I don’t want to give away any spoilers but one scene made me just fall in love with Remy. I mean, I love my alpha males and Remy is indeed all alpha…almost to the point of being caveman-like…but he’s such a lovable jerk. Ysabel is strong with just the right touch of sexy and feminine. These two were just perfect for one another. Also, Felipe, Ysabel’s pet cat? I can’t wait to see where that goes!
Having been raised as a good Christian girl, I felt almost guilty that I found so much enjoyment in reading a story that took place in Hell and that made me actually like Lucifer as much as I did. Almost guilty, I said. Not enough to stop reading this series, of course. In fact, I can’t wait to begin Book Two, A Demon and His Psycho. I really can’t say enough about this story but I will encourage anyone who may be considering adding it to their “to be read” list to grab it and move it to the top of the list. You won’t be disappointed! (Originally Reviewed for Blackraven's Reviews)...more
**spoiler alert** Lothaire has been one of my favorite characters of the IAD series for awhile and so I was uber-excited when his book came out. I abs**spoiler alert** Lothaire has been one of my favorite characters of the IAD series for awhile and so I was uber-excited when his book came out. I absolutley adore Lothaire, the ultimate bad boy! When I first read that his Bride was a murderous goddess trapped in the body of a woman on death row - I was like WTH?! But then, it started to work and I really liked the idea. Very unique. I loved the interaction between Lothaire and Elizabeth and despised Saroya. The sex scenes were hoooot and overall I was very pleased with the story. And then...
I really wanted to give this book a 5-star rating and had every intention of doing so but somewhere towards the end it started to fall flat for me. If it had stopped once Saroya had been banished then maybe it would have been better for me but then it seemed as though another conflict came up and I was like come on with it already. I absolutely loathe the Valkryies. They are just too over-the-top for me. All except Nix. I like Nix. And I even have a complaint about Lothaire (gasp!). Normally I adore him and have fought his cause with friends and co-workers alike who seem to think he's a jerk. "Not a jerk - just bad", I would argue. Well at one point of the story I had to agree that he was indeed a jerk...although I chose to use a much stronger choice of word.
In order for me to give a romance novel a 5-star rating I have to love the story and the hero. And although I still do adore my Lothaire, the story had me on a high one minute and then let me down in the end.
All in all, it may not be a great read but it's a good read nonetheless....more
This series just keeps getting better and better! I really enjoyed this latest installment by Kresley Cole. Quite a few laugh out loud moments and theThis series just keeps getting better and better! I really enjoyed this latest installment by Kresley Cole. Quite a few laugh out loud moments and the scenes between Declan (aka Aidan) and Regin were H-O-T!!! I have to admit that my new favorite bad-boy in this series is Lothaire - he just exudes sexiness! I can't wait for his story!
The only thing that kept this from being a five-star for me is that although I loved the story between Regin and Declan from beginning to end...Declan was not my ideal hero. Perfect for Regin but not for me. In other words, this was a GREAT book but a five-star romance for me is when I fall in love with the hero as well as the story. ...more
**spoiler alert** I really enjoyed this urban fantasy - far different from many of the novels touted as vampire romance novels today. These vampires a**spoiler alert** I really enjoyed this urban fantasy - far different from many of the novels touted as vampire romance novels today. These vampires are vicious and get downright ugly. It took a minute for me to warm up to the main character - or any of the characters, to be honest - but the more I read, the more intrigued I was by the story. Although I couldn't see how Carrie could have feelings for her sire, Cyrus, his need to be loved was heartbreaking. The revolving eye thing was very revolting to me. *gag
I hate that Ziggy died and hope *fingers crossed* that he's brought back later in the series. Nathan is swoon-worthy but that fact that he hasn't gotten over his wife AND wears his wedding band is a turn off.
Great story - on my way to the library to get book two: Possession! =)...more
**spoiler alert** I so love this series and Bones is hands down my favorite hero! I mean, could he BE any more awesome?!
I have to admit that one of m**spoiler alert** I so love this series and Bones is hands down my favorite hero! I mean, could he BE any more awesome?!
I have to admit that one of my favorite scene was when Cat confronts Max and tells him that he's about to do the only decent thing he's ever done for her as her father and that is give away the bride. I mean, that was so bittersweet to me. I could feel her rage towards him and yet you can't help but feel for the little girl in her who's denied the love of her father.
Cat is slowly starting to grow on me and I wish Jeanine Frost would write me in as Tate's love interest. *lol Cat does seem to have a bit of a drinking problem and half-vamp or not, she really should reconsider drinking and driving. *dodging bottles as I step off my platform