I am a fan of Krentz's work but I suspect she should stick with contemporary over delving into paranormal. She is not well practiced at world developmI am a fan of Krentz's work but I suspect she should stick with contemporary over delving into paranormal. She is not well practiced at world development not 'rules' for her psychic manifestations.
The romance storyline is even a little lackluster for her normal work. Too heavy on the thrown together thru tragedy and light on why other than fate they work.
Not super interested in reading the rest of the series. Small nice nod for longtime Krentz fans.
Was most interested in Jones and his subplot (which was unresolved) than the main couple. ...more
I picked this up as an Amazon free book of the day and I now am looking for a way to give this author money because I wish I'd paid for it.
Usually, wiI picked this up as an Amazon free book of the day and I now am looking for a way to give this author money because I wish I'd paid for it.
Usually, with Kindle Freebies, the quality is meh. This was a full fledged novel, that spanned a long period of time in the characters lives and was in many ways not a traditional romance novel. I actually hesitate to call it a Romance because those that have ghettoized that genre will miss out on a great (love) story, and those that have strict requirements (Boy Meets Girl, etc.) may be put off by ways this novel breaks out of the box.
This is an 'Historical Novel' though I'm not an expert on 1850s Ireland so I don't know how accurate it is. This is the story of (English) Lord August Grayson & (Irish) Maeve O'Connor. They've known each other since childhood and August is the landowner of the cottage that Maeve shares with her father at the beginning of the novel. But the novel spans several years in their adulthood with flashbacks to childhood.
What I liked about this was how real some of the decisions were. This isn't a bodice ripper or a sudden marriage due to pre-martial sex. It has a developing physical and romantic attraction that has to consider the relative stations of the participants. It captures the small town feel, where everyone knows your business, and the racism that occurred in Ireland. It has consequences, sometimes tragically, to the actions of the characters who are real and flawed. While it stays within the conventions where a romance novel should end up, there were times where I questioned how the characters would be able to get there. A Complicated layered love, instead of the courtship we see in most novels....more
Very run of the mill historical romance. The writing was not exceptionally clever and the romance was paint by numbers. The obstacle to overcome was vVery run of the mill historical romance. The writing was not exceptionally clever and the romance was paint by numbers. The obstacle to overcome was very much manufactured by both parties and there are some much simpler solutions than the less than legal ones employed.
Lizzie was a nice girl, interesting but very Mary Sue. Rage was not nearly the brute/devil that he was supposed to be, except when needed by the plot. I was left a little cold by (view spoiler)[the end and the lesson that it is okay to love a man who gets EXTREMELY violent as long as he has 'a good reason'. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>...more
This is the second book in the Eclipse Bay series. The first book concerned Hannah & Rafe, who fell in love (and bed) even though their families hThis is the second book in the Eclipse Bay series. The first book concerned Hannah & Rafe, who fell in love (and bed) even though their families had been feuding for 3 generations. Dawn concerns Hannah's sister [Lillian] & Rafe's brother [Gabe]. Both of whom do not fall in the family stereotypes: Hartes are supposed to be practical people with well founded financial sense, and Lillian gave up her successful match-making business to become an artist. Madisons are reputed to be impulsive and unable to deal with the financial rigors of corporate life, but Gabe has poured his life & dedication into making a successful company. The two met at the wedding of Hannah & Rafe. Gabe got it into his head to try out Lillian's matchmaking service to find the perfect wife to help him with his business. Lillian tried and failed 5 times and tries to close the business while Gabe still has one date outstanding. As such, the two have an easy early conflict with an easy to see resolution.
While I enjoyed this book, I enjoyed the first in the series better. Eclipse Bay had more character, interesting plot twists and overall better writing. Dawn in Eclipse Bay retread a lot of the same ground, so characters who were interesting and fresh in the first book became stale & cardboard characters in the second (Arizona Snow, frex). Furthermore, the mystery that threatens Lillian's life was less interesting, to me, and also more see-through. Also: Little to no Winston. I know I'm comparing the two books here, but given a high standard I expect a high standard for following books. I'm probably spoiled from fantasy books where the plot continues rather than being retold with new characters in following books. If judged on its own merits, I think this book is better than some. However, when held up against the first in the series, this book pales in comparison. 2.5 artist brushes out of 5....more
I liked this book. I think I liked it enough to eventually pick up the next couple of books. I don't know hDisclaimer: Read before True Blood existed.
I liked this book. I think I liked it enough to eventually pick up the next couple of books. I don't know how to classify this one. In a lot of respects, this is a Romance. Sookie is a virgin, doesn't think much of herself, falls for Bill upon his entrance into her world, he's dark & mysterious with a shadowed past, he saves her from certain death, etc. At the same time, there is no marriage or babies. The series continues, and I know from the excerpt of a further book that (view spoiler)[Sookie & Bill break up, which is very not Romance. The series is actually a continuation of Sookie's story, and there are at least 3 guys introduced in the first book who are likely to be courting her. (hide spoiler)] The world is very well developed and vamps are a part of our world, akin to Dead Witch Walking. But in a much more "normal" version of world than Harrison's. Instead of a GMO related high mortality rate of humanity that allows the vamps/elves/etc. of the world walk in it, Harris allows the Japanese to develop synthetic blood that meets the needs of vamps. And so, the vamps step out into the light of our world, suffering from a "plague"; there are also shapeshifters, psychics, and other horror flick/mythos species running around, but they are waiting to see how humanity deals with vamps before they step out. Also, side note: Charlene HARRIS, Kim HARRISON & Laurel K. HAMILTON all write "Vampires in Our World" books and are all shelved in H in the Fantasy/Horror section gah!.
Sookie is a likeable character, though I didn't understand her falling for Bill. I much preferred Sam, her boss, over Bill. Bill is a little too much on the dark & mysterious for my tastes. The mystery is good, though I figured the WHO way early on even if I didn't get the why (which wasn't actually easy to deduce). I'm interested to see where the author goes from here and what further adventures Sookie has.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
This book was so short I finished in over the course of day, starting in the morning and staying up past my bedtime that night [couldn’t sleep]. It waThis book was so short I finished in over the course of day, starting in the morning and staying up past my bedtime that night [couldn’t sleep]. It was cute and fun, but a little on the bubblegum side of romance. Gen is a very attractive young woman who grew up in the backwoods of Tennessee, but was moved by her mother to Hawaii at 15 and tries to hide her hillbilly past. Jackson aka Jack is the resident genius of Rainbow Systems which does something with computers and Jack is a programmer, though we never really find out of what flavor. Jackson took the job with Rainbow Systems after seeing Gen, who works there as a secretary, but has never managed to work up the guts to really talk to her. She sees Jackson as a fumbling geek and tries to help him catch a girl, while eyeing Nick an upper level exec.
All three leave on a plane together for a big meeting, [spoilers] happen and Gen & Jack end up alone on a deserted island together after he saves her life by “landing” the plane. Gen is grateful and discovers Jack isn’t a boring geek and there is much with the sex. However, of course, there are problems and it is fun to see the two main characters work out their inner issues with the paradise relationship versus reality relationship disconnect. However, it is also somewhat predictable. There’s some good laughs, some steamy sex and a happily ever after. I found out this author has a whole line of “nerd” books, but I doubt I’ll pick up anymore. I didn’t really believe in Jackson as a nerd. It is clear that the author doesn’t really know a lot about nerds so she just went with the normal sterotypes of losing track of time while programming, being perennially late due to late nights, lots of video games and not good at cooking. Which is fine, except that it lacks originality and, being a geek girl, I really wanted personality quirks and specifics....more
I read this out of order due to library due dates juggling. Short & sweet review: This book closes the trilogy. Of the 3 I've reaReally 3.5 stars.
I read this out of order due to library due dates juggling. Short & sweet review: This book closes the trilogy. Of the 3 I've read (books 1, 2 & 4) I feel like this book had the best love story and I enjoyed Rafe, but it was the least interesting journey or interactions with the Black Cobra.
The end was also very much a trope of the author having held back information to specifically mislead the reader, which annoys me. but the very end with all the Cynsters, Bastion Club & Black Cobra soldiers and their wives and children made for a lovely reunion....more
This is book 3 of the Black Cobra Quartet, though I ended up reading it last. I think I would have been happier with The RecklessThe best of Quartet.
This is book 3 of the Black Cobra Quartet, though I ended up reading it last. I think I would have been happier with The Reckless Bride if I had read this first as there was a spoiler in the 4th that was less 'ha ha look what I've been keeping from you' with the info from this novel in place.
This is the story of Linnet, the 'virgin' queen of her island community and Logan, the bastard son of an Earl and courier for the scroll damning the Black Cobra. The book opens with Logan on the high seas fighting 3 assassin's during a storm and then promptly falling overboard and being smacked over his head to result in amnesia. I felt this allowed Stephanie Laurens to concentrate on building the love story between Logan & Linnet for the first third rather than being consumed with the mission & mystery of the Black Cobra Cult.
Linnet is an engaging strong woman and I had a much easier time believing her taking an abnormal female role given her history than other Luarens' heroines. Logan was a pretty standard cut with less of the personality of Rafe or Devil, but for all that he was a pleasant hero.
This book balanced the mystery and showcase of the Black Cobra movements well against the tapestry of the journey and love of Logan & Linnet. I found Logan's desire to keep his bastard status hidden annoying, but it was a small flaw in an otherwise great love story.
I think I'm one of the outliers on this as I prefer more sex than not (hence my trend toward paranormal romance) so I'll admit the sex scenes are heavier here than in most regency novels.
Additionally Spoilers for Reckless Bride Ahead(view spoiler)[having read the 4th book to know that Alex is a female made my read of the Alex/David scenes very different. I'm not sure how I would have responded if I had thought they were gay and then found out that Alex was a woman instead of man would have made me more angry that the revelation did in Reckless (hide spoiler)].
Format note: There were a lot of strange line breaks and odd comma placements in the Kindle version.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
First off: HOLY POV SWITCHING BATMAN. I almost put down this book several times as the author switches viewpoint characters mid scene (mid paragraph??First off: HOLY POV SWITCHING BATMAN. I almost put down this book several times as the author switches viewpoint characters mid scene (mid paragraph??) several times in the course of a chapter. And not just between the heroine and hero, but roughly six different viewpoint characters.
I picked this up as a library borrow book based on the reviews on Goodreads from the potential selection of ebooks. As per the above, the author's handling of the view point storytelling was irksome. Additionally, the author felt the need to tell 4 separate love stories (one of a loving marriage already well advance, two servants courting, the sister of the hero and her interest, and the actual hero & heroine). I don't mind a beta love story, but I minded three.
All that aside, the romance between David & Jocelyn, after the marriage of convenience where David accidentially didn't die, was quite lovely. David is a likeable character, and Jocelyn also finds this to be true after getting to know him. Jocelyn was a likeable lady, but her 'deep dark secret' was not well telegraphed and I felt too little to justify all the drama she had as a result. The resolution was also far too quick and tied up in a bow, which was unfortunate as the blossoming love between David & Jocelyn in both London and the country was well done....more
This was an enjoyable book, though I ended up treating as a slightly alternate history/fantasy tale instead of an historical romance. Widow Anna endsThis was an enjoyable book, though I ended up treating as a slightly alternate history/fantasy tale instead of an historical romance. Widow Anna ends up becoming a secretary for the mysterious Earl of Swartingham due to a pronounced need of funds and the Earl managing to scare off every secretary he's ever had. Edward de Raaf, the Earl, is possessed of a firey temper, a need to issue orders to all those around him, a deep interest in agriculture and the land, and a scarred heart from his first marriage to match the scars on his face for the pox.
The romance develops, somewhat as expected, between these two. Anna can withstand the blasts of temper and finds them almost endearing and Edward's outlook on life softens due to her feminine presence and refusal to wilt in front of him. The matter is somewhat complicated by the fact that Edward is engaged, due to a desire to have a family, and Anna still suffers from the knowledge that her late husband was driven to adultery by her barrenness.
Then things go a little sideways. Anna takes in a prostitute she finds on the road, to the scandal of the village, and learns of Aphrodite's Grotto in London, a high end brothel where ladies of stature don masks to play at being whores. Of course Edward decides to visit the Grotto to rid himself of his desire for Anna, only for Anna to travel to London to lie in wait for him at the Grotto. But they are hounded by the adulterous woman from Anna's past, who fears that Anna has figured out her secret and is trying for the first strike. All in all the hidden identity of the woman and the brothel and prostitutes rings very false for this time period, but is an interesting way to bring about premarital sex for the couple of interest and add the requisite mystery and danger.
The book is interwoven with passages from a fictional book in the novel, The Raven Prince, which tells a Beauty & Beast fairy tale mixed with some Rapunzel for good measure. The fairy tale is lovely, and my favorite part of the story....more
This is the first book of the Black Cobra Quartet, though I read it second. Colonel Del takes a quick leave of India and has an uneventual travel to EThis is the first book of the Black Cobra Quartet, though I read it second. Colonel Del takes a quick leave of India and has an uneventual travel to England, which is where he meets Deliah and his battles with the Black Cobra take place.
It was interesting read these out of order as my opinions of some of the characters (notably the enemies) had be colored by the 2nd book, which had different descriptions of the scenes and was that information was found out by the antagonists. However, I was able to ignore the niggling feelings, but anyone with a keen eye for detail may be troubled by this mismatch.
Deliah is an 'old maid' at 29 and one of Laurens' more interesting heroines as a result. I liked that the sex was more spicy and had earlier on than in the 2nd novel, as it was well written and interesting to read. Deliah is very much her own person and doesn't put up well, in a believable way, with Del's heavy handed command nature.
It was also precious to spend time with the Cynster wives, of whom I've read some of their stories before.
One of Laurens better romances with a lot of callbacks to fan favorites....more
This is has been on my To Read list for a while and was finally available from the Library. I enjoyed this semi-historical semi-fantasy novel. A youngThis is has been on my To Read list for a while and was finally available from the Library. I enjoyed this semi-historical semi-fantasy novel. A young girl marked by the God of Death and abused by her father and the man she was sold as a bride to manages to find herself in a convent and is trained to be an assassin. Ismae's training and missions are very interesting, as is her developing relationship with the bastard son of the late Duke of Brittony. The overall mysterday surrounding the traitors to the Duchess is somewhat seethrough, though the reasons are kept a mystery from both the reader and Ismae until the end. I was also interested that while there was a redemption at the end, it was not necessarily as neatly tied up in a bow as it could have been so that was nice. I'm interested to read the next, which seems to concern the same events from another young assassin's point of view. ...more
This was the Second Book in the Quartet by Laurens focusing on the four gentlemen who are ferrying damning evidence against the Black Cobra, though IThis was the Second Book in the Quartet by Laurens focusing on the four gentlemen who are ferrying damning evidence against the Black Cobra, though I read it first of the set.
I read this first knowing that the young lady was the one who brought the evidence to the original set of four. This book was light on the actual physical intimacy, which took place over a long journey. I enjoyed the suspense and tension being drawn out. Gareth & Miss Ensworth traveled from India to England while traveling the path of infatuation to love.
I was honestly not that overly fond of Emily's journal entries and I found her character a little to flightly and given to extreme romantismism, but she was also sweet and determined. Given that Laurens tends to write semi-alpha males, Emily was a lens as to why such alpha & domineering might be proof of love and cherishment.
The Black Cobra mystery/violence edging around lent a good spice to the novel and I did like viewing the 'other' side through the eyes of Uncle....more