Renowned scientist Peter Whitney is working on a classified experiment to enhance the psychic abilities of an elite task force. If it succeeds, the mi...moreRenowned scientist Peter Whitney is working on a classified experiment to enhance the psychic abilities of an elite task force. If it succeeds, the military will have a new and unique weapon – mental powers.
But not all is as it seems. The subjects have been dying in freak accidents, and the squadron leader, Captain Ryland Miller, knows he‘s next in line to face his Maker. When Dr. Whitney is murdered, Ryland leans on the only person left to trust, Whitney’s brilliant and beautiful daughter, Lily.
Lily is special as well. With unique psychic abilities, she shares Ryland’s fears, betrayals, and suspicions. And since she shares his telepathic abilities, the two are instantly, potently drawn to each other.
The two will have to work together to unravel the secrets of her father’s past and try to stay alive when a ruthless enemy breaths down on their necks.
A fan of Christine Feehan's Dark Series, I was not disappointed with this book. In this new series, Feehan focuses on different supernatural powers than in her Carpathian novels. She explores the deepest recesses of human mind and the unbelievable power of the psyche.
This book is a great twine of action, supernatural, high sensuality, and witty dialogue. Though the plot might be a little slow and improbable at times, and the little twists leave quite a few loose ends, whetting the reader’s appetite for more (hence – the series), this is still the kind of book her fans adore.
In true Feehan form (exploited shamelessly in her other series), the two protagonists are immediately drawn to each other, resulting in multiple sex scenes (even a shared erotic dream, another wink at her Carpathians) that seem gratuitous after a while and draw the attention off the plot and danger the two are in.
If you like sci-fi stories with a drop of romance, a whole lot of suspense, smart characters and an erotically charged romance, this book is definitely something you might want to read.(less)
I loved Sherrilyn Kenyon's Fire and Ice. It's obvious the woman knows how to write, so what the heck is wrong with her books lately? Maggie Shayne's st...moreI loved Sherrilyn Kenyon's Fire and Ice. It's obvious the woman knows how to write, so what the heck is wrong with her books lately? Maggie Shayne's story is a normal, a bit paranormal romance. Suzanne Forster also writes enjoyable tales. And we finally arrive to Virginia Kantra. Now, that story did nothing for me, absolutely nothing. No spark, no enlightenment, nada, zilch.
Overall, the anthology is an enjoyable read (in parts).(less)
Although everyone believes Bailey Wingate is yet another throphy-wife, her marriage to Jim Wingate was merely a business arrangement. Jim needed someo...moreAlthough everyone believes Bailey Wingate is yet another throphy-wife, her marriage to Jim Wingate was merely a business arrangement. Jim needed someone to oversee the trust funds of his two adult, good-for-nothing children and Bailey, as his PA and quite investment savvy, was the perfect choice. Now Jim's dead and Bailey has to suffer through endless tantrums from her step-children, who hate her guts.
Apparently they hate her enough to kill her, since, while flying to her two-week vacation, her Cessna runs out of gas and it's only thanks to the calmness of her pilot, Cameron Justice, the Bailey, the plane and the pilot don't splatter over a mountaintop.
Now the two are stranded in the snowy wilderness with (almost) zero chance of being rescued, having to rely on their own ingenuity and each other...
This was one heck of a book. In someone else's "hands" the almost claustrophobic atmosphere with just two characters and a whole lot of wilderness would have buried the story, yet Linda Howard skillfully maneuvered the plot, masterfully twining the scenes with Bailey and Cam with little tidbits about the secondary characters.
While the romance did seem a little rushed at times, specially toward the end (the two didn't even like each other at the beginning!), the explanation was utterly plausible and believable. Stranded for six days with only one person for company, one is bound to develop some feelings toward their companion... Bailey and Cam were nicely drawn and Bailey's development extremely well done, adding a tad more to making the story-arc believable.
I was surprised by how well the suspense part played out. The author masterfully led the reader to assume who the bad-guy was (wonderful delineation of the character, his inner turmoil, the hide-and-seek of clues), making the grand finale with its humongous and completely unexpected twist that more jaw-dropping.
Kudos to the author. This is definitely a keeper.(less)
As a renowned archaeologist, Dr. Daria McGowan is invited to prepare an exhibit of priceless artifacts unearthed a century ago by her great-grandfathe...moreAs a renowned archaeologist, Dr. Daria McGowan is invited to prepare an exhibit of priceless artifacts unearthed a century ago by her great-grandfather.
As she starts cataloging the artifacts, she makes a shocking discovery. Some are missing. With her back against the wall, she calls the FBI, actually an FBI agent, Special Agent Connor Shields, she's met a few months back in Morocco...And he is more than happy to accept, since she's been "haunting" his dreams ever since their (one and only) encounter.
Now, working together, Connor and Daria are quickly swamped by dead bodies of the collectors who used to own the stolen artifacts, and the two race against the clock to unmask the murderer, find the stolen loot and keep Daria safe.
A romantic suspense my patootie! It was neither romantic nor suspenseful. I was bored to tears by the end of the first chapter and not even a "beautiful man" FBI agent could spark my interest.
The story was severely hampered by the boring, and extremely repetitive details of the ancient city of Shandihar, its culture, history, religion, and the blood-thirsty wench that was the goddess Erishkegal. Additional hampering was brought forth by the terrible and somewhat amateurish narration. I felt like I was reading something written down by an eighth-grader (no offense to all the eighth-graders).
So, the suspense was lacking - the book was so boring, I didn't care whodunit, I just wanted it to END ALREADY! The romance was something you could find only in a laboratory under a very good microscope. The two seemed more like life-long friends than two adults apparently pining for each-other. And when they finally did the deed, it was so short and unspecific... *snore*
Yeah, this is another one of those sleeping-pill-substitutes.(less)
Jordan Buchanan, the ultimate computer nerd, attends yet another brother's wedding and is charged to keep an eye on her sister-in-law's nineteen-year-...moreJordan Buchanan, the ultimate computer nerd, attends yet another brother's wedding and is charged to keep an eye on her sister-in-law's nineteen-year-old sister who's practically doing back flips to gain the attention of Noah Clayborne, an FBI agent with a score list longer than the Good Book. Not that he's interested, he knows the girl is too young for him, but still, it's better to be safe than sorry.
An uninvited guest crashed the party, a nutty professor that's been communicating with Isabel, the nineteen-year-old "acrobat", about her family roots leading all the way back to Scotland. The professor claims the wedding between the two families should never have taken place, since they've always been feuding.
Since he's a MacKenna, the saintly family, according to him, and the Buchanan's are the vile barbarians, Jordan feels she should defend her family from such slander, and is soon sucked into the professor's story about the family feud. And a treasure.
Intrigued, Jordan follows the professor to a small Texas town, Serenity, where everybody knows everybody, everybody is friendly and accommodating... Until professor MacKenna's dead body ends up in Jordan's trunk.
She manages to contact Noah with her predicament, before she's knocked out cold and arrested for murder.
Noah and her brother Nick come barreling into town, clear her of all the charges, get the incompetent chief of police fired, and even more tongues wagging.
Nick is called home, leaving Noah behind to get Jordan safely back to Boston. But another dead body in the trunk keeps them in town for a little while longer.
This book was an obvious improvement from Murder List. The mystery stayed constant and the romance never got in the way of the main plot.
The setting in the small, God-forsaken town in the middle of Texas was refreshing and also served as a sometimes comedic backdrop to the humdrum of murder and mayhem.
Jordan was fun to read. A strong, yet nerdy woman who's more at ease with computers than people. Her trip to Serenity was an attempt to shake up her life, the life many called boring, while for her it was just safe and secure - her comfort zone. Soon, though, her insecurities, again about her appearance, started getting on my nerves. Why does Ms. Garwood always portray her heroines as shallow? I've read only two of her books, yet in both the heroine was always so self-conscious about her appearance, thinking no one could be attracted to her, because of her looks.
Noah was the typical romantic suspense hero. A playboy (at the beginning) with a soft heart that always changes his way at the end, thanks to his woman.
Yet again, the romance did seem a little forced. They were friends, suddenly, cooped up in the small town, she starts seeing him in a different light. We learn he's always been attracted to her, yet refrained from acting on it, because she was his best friend's sister, so he went on romancing other women... And suddenly, after resisting so long, they just cannot anymore and fall helplessly in love with each other. Maybe it was something they ate.
The main mystery plot was much stronger than in her previous book, yet once again she just couldn't do without the deus-ex-machina end effect. While the mystery was driving and keeping the reader at the edge of the seat, the final explanation seemed diluted and far-fetched at best. While the story built on mystery, the ending left much to be desired.(less)
Hotel heiress Regan Madison life turns for the worst when she agrees to join her two best friends in a scheme to nail a self-named help guru that sche...moreHotel heiress Regan Madison life turns for the worst when she agrees to join her two best friends in a scheme to nail a self-named help guru that schemes lonely, depressed women in giving him their life savings. The three join his seminar in hopes of collecting proof against him, but things are never that simple.
The seminar‘s first exercise is to compile a so-called murder list, a list of people you want erased from your radar. Regan, thinking it might be fun, compiles the list.
What started as a joke, soon turns into grim reality as people on Regan‘s appear at the morgue, and she starts receiving disturbing photos and e-mails. It turns out Regan Madison has a stalker.
Her protection detail is assigned to Alec Buchanan, a Chicago cop about to switch to the FBI. It‘s his last operation for the Chicago P.D. and though he‘s not overly enthused about the bodyguard duty, his resentment doesn‘t last long.
I was disappointed with this book. The plot was all over the place as if Ms. Garwood couldn‘t decide whether she wanted to write a thriller, a romance, or something else entirely.
Don‘t get me wrong, the beginning was great and the general premise of a deranged man with a blood-thirsty demon inside him had lots of potential, but by the first few chapters the interlocking subplots turned the story into gumbo, and the deranged killer was forgotten as last year‘s snow.
By the middle of the book the plot took a head dive into an average romance between the two leads and the suspense disappeared entirely. And yes, the romance was average, because the two seemed more like good buddies than potential lovers, but for the one (and only) love scene spanning a few pages toward the end of the book.
In short, the main plot, of the deranged serial killer / stalker, was too far fetched to be believable with a huge deus ex machina at the end that just plain made me laugh. The romance was completely out there, and the subplots remained unexplored and unfinished. (less)
The Belvedere Center for Sleep Research caters to the demands of two mysterious clients with the ability of lucid dreaming - the state where the dream...moreThe Belvedere Center for Sleep Research caters to the demands of two mysterious clients with the ability of lucid dreaming - the state where the dreamer knows he/she is dreaming and can alter the dreamscape to their own wishes.
Isabel Wright, herself a Level Five (the highest level of lucid dreaming) is the one in charge of interpreting their dreams. She is so intrigued by the Client Number Two that the man eventually starts appearing in her dreams. She dubs him Dream Man.
Enter Ellis Cutler, Client Number Two a.k.a. Dream Man. A Level Five lucid dreamer who uses his dreaming ability to solve crimes, and who‘s been having fantasies of his own regarding his dream analyst, Tango Dancer.
After so many books, with other authors I'd say "been there, done that, have the bookshelf to prove it", but that is never the case with Jayne Ann Krentz (or her alter ego Amanda Quick). Though the plots might be similar, there is always a different twist to the storyline to make it interesting. And believable.
Falling Awake is no exception. It's her usual cocktail of suspense, action, and romance that will keep you at the edge of your seat and turning page after page, because you have to know just what happens next. Though the "technical" descriptions did slow the pace down.
What I like most about her contemporaries is the fact she never gives a detailed visual description of the male lead, leaving the better part to the reader's imagination.
P.S. In this case, the dark sunglasses Ellis Cutler can't seem to take off just add to the mystery, intrigue, and his appeal.(less)
Since escaping from Dr. Whitney's terrifying lab, Saber Wynter's been on the run. She finally found a haven with Jess Calhoun, but is she really safe...moreSince escaping from Dr. Whitney's terrifying lab, Saber Wynter's been on the run. She finally found a haven with Jess Calhoun, but is she really safe there and is Jess really what he appears to be?
After losing use of his legs during a special op gone bad, Jess has continued his highly classified GhostWalker work. His friendship with Saber quickly grows into something deeper, yet with both their shielding abilities, they don't realize each other's enhancements.
When Saber slips, projecting her thoughts into his mind, Jess begins to wonder who she is and what she really is doing with him. Was she sent there to spy on him and kill him? Was their chance encounter truly a coincidence or are enemies conspiring behind their backs to kill them both?
I've been a die-hard fan of the GhostWalker Series since the very beginning and it is with deep regret for me to say, this book was the worst of the bunch.
At the beginning the plot was so slow and boring, really, I barely skimmed the pages to get to the more important parts. And although I liked the camaraderie and banter between Jess and Saber, and the chemistry between them was obvious, my heart just wasn't in it.
I don't know, exactly. Maybe it was because the whole book was so slow, maybe it was because of the veiled hypocrisy of the other GhostWalkers toward Saber, maybe it was because of the absurd stalker/observer ploy, but I just couldn't commit to the reading as I usually do.
Despite the fact it was the worst in the series, this book still delved a little deeper into the world of the GhostWalkers and their evil-genius creator, so it was still a worth-while read, but definitely not a keeper.(less)
Hannah Drake's been in love with Jonas Harrington since... forever. But since the tall, dark and handsome sheriff can't seem to lay off the insults an...moreHannah Drake's been in love with Jonas Harrington since... forever. But since the tall, dark and handsome sheriff can't seem to lay off the insults and his overbearing attitude, she prefers to keep her mouth shut and continue loving him from afar.
Jonas Harrington's been a part of the Drake family since he was little. And that's how long he's been in love with Hannah Drake. But first her elusiveness and then his dangerous lifestyle kept him away... Until now.
After barely escaping the Grim Reaper for the second time in weeks, Jonas can no longer keep his heart shut off, he's decided to leave the moonlighting crime-fighting job and win Hannah's heart forever... And she doesn't seem to object to the plan.
But both their lives are shattered with a brutal attack that leaves Hannah's at death's door. She slowly starts gluing the pieces of her life and heart back together, trying to keep Jonas at arms length, but he wants nothing of it. They've shared their bodies, minds and souls, and he'll be damned if he lets her get away again.
But a dark and deadly enemy has different plans...
Although the plot was a little slow somewhere in the middle, and until the end didn't make much sense (who would hate Hannah so much to destroy her completely), this book was still a good read for me.
We could finally read about the resolution of this romance that's been building since the beginning of the series, and Hannah and Jonas have always been my favorite couple so far. The perfect example of kindergarten love, if you ask me. Boy likes girl, but doesn't want to show it, so he teases her. Girl likes boy, but he's mean to her, so she retaliates.
They were cute and so in love at the beginning, I wanted to clap my hands in glee. Then that love just grew stronger and stronger with all that happened to Hannah and I couldn't help but cheer every time Jonas refused to be pushed away or bullied by her sisters.
The other sisters were the major problem with me in this story. They were supposed to know everything about each other and yet it took Jonas to open their eyes about Hannah and her problems. And the whole pitying thing... I know they felt sorry for her, who wouldn't, but they were supposed to protect her, offer her solace, not drown her in their emotions.
I loved the small interlude with Ilya Prakenskii in the middle of this book. The incident was a leftover from the previous book, Dangerous Tides, and it gave us a huge insight into the psyche (and heart) of the presumed hit-man (a great preview of what the next book, Turbulent Sea, might bring.
Even with some serious thrilling suspense, this book was all about self-discovery and self-appreciation. It took an attack on her life to shake Hannah into reevaluating her life and priorities and make her see who she really is and what she wants from life.(less)
Libby Drake, fourth of the seven magical Drake sisters, is the compassionate one, a doctor with a heart of gold, unable to say no to anyone. She can't...moreLibby Drake, fourth of the seven magical Drake sisters, is the compassionate one, a doctor with a heart of gold, unable to say no to anyone. She can't seem to be able to say no even to people who are vegetating in their hospital beds, more dead than alive, with their brain resembling scrambled eggs.
Well, that's Tyson "Ty" Derrick for you. The daredevil genius researcher slash firefighter's harness had broke while he was trying to save a teenager.
Libby goes against everything she's been taught, risking her life and that of her sisters when she attempts to save Ty, but she does it and survives to live the tale.
But the two might not survive to the end of the book, since obviously there's someone who is adamant at keeping them apart at all cost.
The fourth installment in the Drake Sister Series was quite a disappointment for me. I just couldn't grasp at the presumed chemistry between the two main characters.
The dialogues, mostly between Libby and Ty, were another turn off. There was just a tad too much data and "science-talk" to make the dialogues and the romance between the two much believable. Both Libby and Ty seemed a little too bland for me to really make the whole shebang between them real and plausible.
What I loved, and is probably the only redeemable trait of this book, was the fact Ty, the leading man, didn't believe in magic and tried at all costs to find a logical explanation for the gifts the sisters share. He went so far, that he contemplated hooking them up to machines to find the answer. He claimed he was joking, but I wouldn't count on it.
The serious problem with this book was the resolution of the suspense sub-plot. The author just didn't deliver as well as she could and the explanation of the motive just seemed a little off for me.
For me this was the worst book in the whole series.(less)
Abigail "Abbey" Drake, the third in the series of seven sisters, after a tragic incident four years ago, doesn't trust her magic anymore. The traumati...moreAbigail "Abbey" Drake, the third in the series of seven sisters, after a tragic incident four years ago, doesn't trust her magic anymore. The traumatic experience has turned her into a loner, and she spends most her time with her sisters and even more swimming with dolphins.
One evening, after returning from one such swim, she witnesses a murder, resulting in her being briefly held at gunpoint, staring into deep blue eyes she left behind four years ago.
Alexandr Volstov, Interpol agent and then some, had two reasons for coming to America. One was to uncover the criminal organization smuggling antiques from Russia. The other was to try and win back the heart of the only woman he's ever loved, the only woman who could bring him peace, Abbey.
On the adventurous journey to find the smugglers... and the path back into each other's embrace... they'll have to deal with six meddling sisters, one meddling aunt, a Russian crime lord trying to get a dirty bomb into the US and a Russian hotshot hit man with his own agenda.
I've been a fan of Christine Feehan's for a long time and though I've grown quite bored lately with her Dark Series, the Drake Sisters still hold a certain appeal.... Mostly, because I'm dying to read Ilya Prakenskii's (Joley Drake's) book, but I have to catch up first.
There is not much I could say went wrong with this book. The story was plausible (yes, even the magick part), the characters three-dimensional and "real", the dialogue was snappy, and the funny scenes, though sporadic at best, were to-pee-your-pants-funny.
I'll admit I read this kind of stories, because of the heroes (although I never thought a Russian accent sexy - but I guess you have to look at the whole package *wink*) and Alexandr "Sasha" Volstov was a hero with a capital H. I just love it when they go all stubborn and male and refuse to back down. He came for the girl, he would get the girl or die trying.
It was the girl in question that was (a little) annoying. I know, she's lived through a traumatic experience and what she thought was betrayal by the man she loved, but the whole "I'm hurting so I'll hurt you as well" got a little old a little too fast. I mean, cut the guy some slack, read his letters, for Pete's sake!
Other than that little hiccup in the story (eventually she came around and the two had two extremely scorching scenes together), I have absolutely nothing to object.
I got my Prakenskii fix, so I'm happy, I guess.(less)
I expected a little more from this anthology since the blurbs promised a bang that the stories just didn't deliver. Sherrilyn Kenyon's contribution wa...moreI expected a little more from this anthology since the blurbs promised a bang that the stories just didn't deliver. Sherrilyn Kenyon's contribution was typical SK. A goody-two-shoes heroine with no life whatsoever that needs just the right guy to unleash the temptress that's lurking just beneath her holier-than-thou facade. A tall, dark, and dangerous hero with a shady past and a murderous "family" bossman on his tight ass, that just happens to have a penchant for the Dairy Maid thing the heroine has going on. The premise was promising, but the acting-out-a-book scenario and the slowness of the pace ruined it for me. Luckily Joe Public, BAD leader, made a small appearance in the end, bringing a much needed ray of sunshine in this rather boring story.
I'm growing rather tired of Jaid Black's Viking stories. There's nothing interesting about a bunch of Vikings buried underground because of a crazy prophecy. They might appear interesting for a while, though the softness-of-heart could be toned down a bit - getting old and boring, but whenever I start enjoying the story, bam, there goes the mention of them living underground because of a crazy prophecy, and my interest withers and dies a slow and agonizing death. This one was no exception...And it was too short to even make it believable (despite the living underground because of a crazy prophecy).
I'm not sure about Kresley Cole's novella. One moment I liked it, than something the hero or heroine (or both) did got me disliking it with a passion. I just couldn't relate to neither of them, not fully. They were quite perfect fiction characters, both with major flaws, both with huge chips on their shoulders, so reading about them and their journey should've been quite a ride, yet I just couldn't go past the fact she was a psychotic nutcase and him a jealousy-prone, possessive jerk. But that's just me. The sneak peek for Ms. Cole's next novel, the first full installment in the Immortals After Dark series was quite promising, so I'm truly hoping for the best.(less)
This was a rather disappointing read and I can't help but notice the thicker these books are the worst they get. Ms. Feehan should definitely cut the...moreThis was a rather disappointing read and I can't help but notice the thicker these books are the worst they get. Ms. Feehan should definitely cut the page count, this one would not have suffered from it, and made it a tad more interesting and gripping to read.
It is becoming some kind of a ritual for these supposedly suspenseful books to throw the suspense through the window and leave the two leads to have their wicked way with each other. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with steamy sex scenes, but when the sex gets the upper hand on the book's main genre (in this case - suspense), it just gets on my nerves.
I started reading this series because it was a mix of two of my favorite genres - suspense and paranormal, but this one unfortunately severely lacked in both. There was too much sex, too little action scenes and too much page count between them, too much oily-sludge infested glimpses into the heroine's mind (and let me tell you if those were supposed to heighten the suspense and adding a thriller effect, they fell quite short) and it was just too damn much repetitive. Okay, when the heroine feels the violence, her mind fills with oily sludge. Gotcha! The hero is a block of ice with icy water running in his veins when he isn't with her. Gotcha! The heroine smells and tastes of cinnamon. Gotcha! The victims locked behind that mind door wail constantly and beg for help. Gotcha! The main villain is a puppet master. Gotcha! (Has anyone else notice the uncanny resemblance to the author's other series? The vampires also have a puppet master. Hm.) Even the sex scenes started repeating themselves...When that happens, yikes.
There should've definitely been less pages, a more consistent plot (this one just plainly lagged behind), and a more interesting and involving leading pair. I apologize to all Tansy and/or Kadan fans, but these two were plain boring to me. Luckily we had the pleasure of entertaining some oldies but goodies GhostWalkers (I just love their banter - and the off-key rendition of Cinnamon Girl, hilarious). And the pace did pick up toward the end, though I wished the eight "cleaning actions" were a bit longer, that would've been worth the extra pages.(less)
Mad Dog Love is "vintage" Angela Knight and much, much better than her contribution in Beyond the Dark. Despite the futuristic setting, the story and...moreMad Dog Love is "vintage" Angela Knight and much, much better than her contribution in Beyond the Dark. Despite the futuristic setting, the story and characters maintain a rather realistic feel, and the combination of action and excitement is spot on and complimenting the plot, instead of (so many times) deterring from it.
Lora Leigh's A Jaguar's Kiss merely confirmed my "suspicion" the Breed series should be added to my TBR pile (which I'm working on). I love any kind of paranormals (vampires, shifters, witches, demons...), but there is just an extra kick when the paranormal stuff begins in a lab (like Christine Feehan's GhostWalkers) and the heroes and heroines have to fight with the dark nature thrust upon them by (more or less crazy) scientists...When there's a "mating" issue thrust into the mix, so much the better. There's just something about an Alpha going all soft and cuddly because of a (mere) woman that makes me grin with glee. In this instance, Saban is one of those Alphas, but he's met his match in Natalie. I liked her, she had spunk, and I was just waiting for her to kick his ass. Not that she could hurt him, but I bet he would let her win. *evil grin*
Shifter’s Lady was a little hard to follow in the first chapter, since it’s a part of a series (Warriors of Poseidon) I am not familiar with and Ms. Day’s take on the history of Atlantis, and the interaction and relationships between established characters was utterly foreign. I expected (since it’s a series) a little more background to the workings of the world, but alas, I was left in the dark...Anyway, the story was a decent shifter novella with the usual (in all things Alpha) rivalry subplot, but the ending had lots to be desired. It was probably meant to be a cliffhanger for the next book, but I’m sure not dying to find out.
Sea Crossing sounded a little recycled to me. Been there, done that, have the bookshelf to prove it. While the initial scenes applied it was a historical, the tone was a little modern at times. Also, the heroine, though a teacher (aren’t teachers supposed to be perceptive and have a little intelligence?), came out as an utterly clueless creature as to what was going on around her.
Overall, this is a pretty good anthology, but the first two novellas are what’s earned it 4 stars.(less)
Dragon Dance by Angela Knight One word: ENTERTAINING I don’t particularly like stories about super-power infected humans, but Angela Knight does it with...moreDragon Dance by Angela Knight One word: ENTERTAINING I don’t particularly like stories about super-power infected humans, but Angela Knight does it with such style and certain panache, I just can’t hold the theme choice against her. As with all things Knight the steam is up in the stratosphere, and the leather-clad hunks and that chops licking tiger sticking his head out of Tracker’s chest more than compensate for the whole aliens-did-it hoopla.
Caught by the Tides by Diane Whiteside One word: DISAPPOINTING While anthologies are a great way of discovering new authors, this is not the case with this story (and author). The magickal AU take on the Regency period and the Napoleonic threat was a major stretch, and might (big emphasis on that might!) have worked if the author decided on a little less harrypotterish approach...I love historicals (Regency being one of my favorites) and paranormals, yet this particular combination left me cold – and bored.
Queen of All She Surveys by Emma Holly One word: PASSABLE While the first few chapters promised one heck of a novella (there’s just something about hunks wearing only a loincloth and a smile), the story quickly diluted into a weird May-September (the September woman looking like a May woman) quasi-relationship with a helluva lot of furniture-breaking sex including god-touched liquid and a funky appendage with a not-explained purpose...Hmmm.
In a Wolf’s Embrace by Lora Leigh One word: STUNNING This was the first Lora Leigh story I've read, and my first encounter with the Breeds, and it made me crave for more. As I wrote when I started reading it, the foreword sounded pretty darn good, but the story was (thankfully) even better. I laughed and I cried, tears (not of laughter!) are a great indicator of a good book for me, my hands were freezing cold (another good sign), and by the middle of the novella I was hot all over. Can't wait for the rest (my TBR pile is soon going to get even larger).
This collection gets four stars only thanks to Lora Leigh's contribution. It's the last novella of the bunch that makes it all worth it - no wonder they put it last. After the bitter aftertaste the two middle ones left, it was a relief to "rest my eyes" on the Breed story.(less)
Joley Drake, rock star sensation, has been growing a little fed up with her life of late. Despite the carefree picture she paints of herself, she crav...moreJoley Drake, rock star sensation, has been growing a little fed up with her life of late. Despite the carefree picture she paints of herself, she craves for normality and a life away from the limelight. She hides her true feeling from everyone, including her sisters, but she cannot hide them, or herself from one man she knows should keep her distance from.
Ilya Prakenskii is a man of many secrets and Joley is one of them. When he first heard her voice, she brought light into his barren world of darkness and shadows. And when he saw her for the first time (in Oceans of Fire), he's known she's his destiny.
When someone starts to send Joley warnings in the form of murdered members of her crew, she has no one to turn to but Ilya. Ilya with his mesmerizing voice, hypnotic eyes, dark aura, and an inexplicable power over her senses. Ilya, whose song merges with hers in a perfect harmony.
But as she seeks his protection, is she really safe, or has she given her heart and soul to a man who would destroy her?
I have one word for this book. FINALLY!
After years of waiting and speculating just what might be brewing between these two, we finally got our answers. And those answers are scorching hot!
A leading man just doesn't get better than Ilya Prakenskii. An impassive face that hides deep turmoil, ice veneer over a white-hot volcano. And the fact that we don't really know whose side he's on merely ads to his allure. Whew!
Although this is supposed to be her book, Joley pales in comparison with this Russian hottie. If I'm quite honest, I didn't get the girl. And that's pretty understanding, since she didn't get herself either. She's spent most of the book brooding on the fact she was attracted to bad, dominant guys, while hating them for their domineering way all the same. While it was understandable to a point, it quickly grew old and repetitive.
Although this issue was resolved soon, thanks to some finger-burning pages of sex, I just cannot overlook the somewhat absurd plot-moving devices, with missing girls, battle for supremacy between criminal clans and a gay head of the Russian mafia. Oh well, maybe it's just me.
I loved the "hand-thing" and I would definitely put it on the pro side of the list and I adored the little twist in the end with Ilya's bloodline. Hysterical.
And the ending, with the Drake house recognizing him and welcoming him home, offering a home to someone who's never had one... Juts plain heart-melting.
This book is definitely a keeper (and re-reader).(less)
Seth Mackey, a surveillance expert, is trying to settle a score with Victor Lazar, an unscrupulous tycoon, partially responsible for the death of Seth...moreSeth Mackey, a surveillance expert, is trying to settle a score with Victor Lazar, an unscrupulous tycoon, partially responsible for the death of Seth's half-brother ten months ago.
In order to get his revenge on Lazar, Seth has put the apartment of Lazar's ex-mistress under video surveillance. But that apartment is quickly occupied by Lazar's new employee, shy and timid Raine Cameron.
Despite Seth's conviction she's Lazar's new plaything, he falls for her - hard. What he doesn't know is that Raine has her own reasons for seeking Lazar out, her own agenda.
Raine suffers from recurring nightmares focused on her father's suspicious death (17 years prior). By what she's been able to deduce from this dreams is the fact her father was killed by her uncle, Victor Lazar.
When these two strangers with the same goal finally meet, there's instant attraction between them.
I still cannot fully fathom just how much this book has going wrong. Although it started promising enough, it soon got pulled under by all the unnecessary baggage Ms. McKenna thrust at it in order to make it more appealing. Less is more, Ms. McKenna, you should remember that in the future.
The major problem is with the pacing. I'm sorry, but psychoanalysis in a suspenseful erotica book is a big turn-off for me. Cut our the long, winding pages of internal monologues and inner angst-filled debates and you have yourself a decent little novel. The suspense and oodles of hot scenes are enough for me to keep the pages turning. If I wanted psychobabble, I'd read Freud, thank you very much.
Also, I had a real problem with the two leads. Most of the time Raine came off TSTL. I hate to say this, but in her description of Raine, Ms. McKenna sounded more like a man than a woman. She's created a wonderful stereotype of a woman. Blond, big-chested, shy on the outside, but real tigress in the bedroom (despite her almost virginity), and not the brightest bulb in the box. As soon as she indicated some signs of backbone-growth, Shannon McKenna pushed her into another stupid situation just to show us how braincell-free Raine really is.
Although I like an Alpha male as much as the next gal, Seth made me want to run him over with a monster truck, put it in reverse, and repeat the exercise. Apparently sex is a good substitute for social skills, because this stupid brute was all brawn and thrusting pelvis. And when he did open his mouth, other then get down on Raine, nothing overly intelligent came out, and he was just a dumb, hung brute with a possessive streak a mile wide and a chest-thumping, hips-pumping attitude.
As for the sex part - there were many of those in the book. Well, it was hot, but I was bored after a while. I don't know about you, but when I'm reading erotica, I would like some story behind the act. The sex scenes in this book seemed more like PWP to me. Although the author did try to put some emotion and even romance behind them, the power-games grew old pretty quickly.
Also, the language also made me suspect that it was a man really writing this. Call me a prude, but I hate the C word for female genitalia. Maybe it's appropriate for certain scenes, but not for the entire length of the book. After a while it just made me want to gag, and it was just another porn-reference to me.
Although the suspense is more of a subtle chess-game than a real mystery, it is one of the rare good points of this book. I liked Victor Lazar, he was loads of fun in a megalomaniac-murdered kind of way. And his little stint as Cupid for his niece was quite heart-warming, again if you overlook his true motives.
So, despite the dimmest heroine (and her dumb, hung brute of a hero) I've encountered so far and the disturbing amount of internal bitching and moaning, this book is all-right, I guess (no recommendation intended - you read it at your own risk!)(less)
When Connor McCloud uncovered the real culprit (his onetime boss) behind his best friend's murder (and his own stint in a coma) in Behind Closed Door...moreWhen Connor McCloud uncovered the real culprit (his onetime boss) behind his best friend's murder (and his own stint in a coma) in Behind Closed Doors and sent him to prison, he lost all hope in winning the girl of his dreams, Erin Riggs, said two-faced bastard's daughter.
Or did he?
Erin Riggs has been in love with Connor McCloud since she was sixteen (more than eleven years) and has never thought she had any chance whatsoever with him - especially now, that he's sent her father to prison.
But now an old enemy is stalking her (or is he?) and Connor is her only hope (or so he claims). But is Kurt Novak really on the loose? Or is that just a convenient excuse for Connor to get close to Erin? And what does Connor really want with Erin? Is he really only after her heart, or is it her very life he covets?
Great news, folks. This one is a quite an improvement since the previous book ( Behind Closed Doors), although at first it seems Shannon McKenna has only changed the names and mixed up some scenes and so recycled the previously mentioned book.
But on closer inspection, it is an altogether different book, albeit closely tied to the previous one, although the pacing still has a lot to be desired. The plot mostly brakes under the weight of the numerous sex scenes. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against steamy scenes (even chapter-length ones), but there are so many and so tightly spaced, that the reader completely forgets what the story is all about in the first place. After all, it is categorized as a contemporary romance, not erotica.
At least the romance was there (Connor and Erin did know each other for a decade) and it was evident in some scenes, but whenever I grew comfortable and quite content that at least this would be a romance (of some sort), the power-plays resurfaced. What is it with Ms. McKenna's men having to be brutes to be loved? I just don't get it. And I loved the fact Erin had some spine of her own, although she came off as far too naive for her own good.
At least the two didn't appear as mental as Seth and Raine did, although someone was trying really hard to make everyone around them insane, Connor included. That insanity plot was a little far-fetched if you ask me, but I've never claimed to be a criminal mastermind, so who I am to judge.
Yeah, it still isn't a great example of a novel, but still a vast improvement. Once again, read at your own discretion.(less)