This book is pretty darn awesome. Zsadist is definitely one to seduce a reader if you love tortured, sexy heroes. The only disadvantage is too much Le...moreThis book is pretty darn awesome. Zsadist is definitely one to seduce a reader if you love tortured, sexy heroes. The only disadvantage is too much Lesser narrative. Otherwise I love it! It is full of passages that wrench at your heart as you read Zsadist's sad but ultimately triumphant story. You really root for Zsadist to accept the unconditional love that Bella has for him, as you see him give all of himself to her because he cannot help but love her, even believing he is far from good enough for her. And the relationship is not one-sided as Zsadist helps Bella to heal from her captivity with the Lesser. He is the only one that can help her through this ordeal. But long before she was kidnapped, she was drawn to Zsadist. You see the seeds of their connection start in Lover Eternal, and to be honest, that's what made me keep reading Lover Eternal. I was so fascinated by the interaction between essentially The Beauty and the Beast played out in this sophistocated, urban vampire universe. I knew that their relationship would be explosive and captivating, and I was right. The scenes of Bella and Zsadist during her needing are enthralling and sexual, but also tender and poignant. I don't think any man could love a woman more than Zsadist loves Bella. The ending will make the sternest, most cold-hearted person tear up as Zsadist very clearly shows just how much Bella means to him. And the gift that Bella gives Zsadist is just the icing on the cake. This is a wonderful love story.(less)
**spoiler alert** I really shouldn't give this book four stars, because the violent rape of the heroine Bettina by the hero Tristan really disturbed m...more**spoiler alert** I really shouldn't give this book four stars, because the violent rape of the heroine Bettina by the hero Tristan really disturbed me. However I liked the pirate setting and the vivid descriptions of the Caribbean settings. I am a pirate romance fiend, and since this is one of the first ones I read, and it was good other than the above issues, it's a keeper for me. Plus this is part of my original collection of books that I've had for over twenty years.
I thought Bettina was an interesting heroine, and had Tristan treated her more kindly, I would have liked him as well. She was very young and innocent. Certainly not old enough to handle an unscrupulous hero like Tristan. Also it was unfortunately that she was treated as a possession instead of a human being with feelings and needs and aspirations. During the time period, a well-bred virgin of good family was a highly prized commodity, so that is realistic for the time period. I have to take this book into the perspective of the time it was written in. Rightly or wrongly, it was very common to have hero rape of the heroine in romances, hence the term 'bodice ripper.' That certainly doesn't justify it. This book has scenes that you can't even say are forced seduction. They are fairly violent rape. And this is the kind of story that non-romance readers like to use to justify their belief that romance is trashy and has no redeeming value. However they neglect to see that a fair amount of these books are very well-researched and provide an eye into history that informs and entertains the reader.
I'm hardly the person to get on a moral soapbox about this. If I was that morally offended, I probably wouldn't own the book. To me, it is what it is. But I do feel very disturbed when I read those scenes. If I could erase them from the book, I'd probably give it five stars. But I cannot in good conscience make this a five star book for the reason of those scenes.(less)
I love this book. Samuel Gerard is three of my favorite heroes in one: virgin, warrior, and tortured. And Leda is a unique and likeable heroine. She i...moreI love this book. Samuel Gerard is three of my favorite heroes in one: virgin, warrior, and tortured. And Leda is a unique and likeable heroine. She is principled and kind, and can see past the surface to the man that Samuel is. It's a very touching book and my only complaint is I would love an epilogue about two of my favorite characters and their life together.(less)
This book was amazing in a lot of ways. Who would have thought I would go ga-ga over a bisexual, seriously dominant, kinda scary guy like Vishous? Wel...moreThis book was amazing in a lot of ways. Who would have thought I would go ga-ga over a bisexual, seriously dominant, kinda scary guy like Vishous? Well I fell, flat on my face. This guy is amazing. He is extremely attractive, imagine big, tall, ice blue eyes, black hair (I'm a sucker for blue eyes and black hair), and extremely intelligent also.
The way that JR Ward wrote this book did it. She put so much love and effort into telling this man's story that you couldn't help but love him. I love his selfless love for Butch. I love how he looked at Jane and saw his soulmate. I love that he fights for the Brothers and helps them out in manifold ways.
Also I cry for the torture and abuse he suffered at the hands of his so-called father. And what amounts to neglect from his mother. And then she wants him to step up as Primale and leave behind all that he loves.... Man. And not to mention having to give up Butch but always be there for him.
This book really ripped away at my heart. I couldn't put it down.
I really liked Jane. She was very down to earth and likable. But tough at the same time. Most people would have flipped out when they were exposed to a world that was so different from what they knew. She took it like a champ. And she never even blinked at the fact that Vishous was in love with another man and was seriously into bondage and stuff. She accepted him for who he was. Jane fits into the Brotherhood's life like a long-lost puzzle. She is the half to Vishous' whole that he was missing. She doesn't replace Butch but she still gives Vishous the love and acceptance he deserved for so long.
If I had one complaint, then it was how things were resolved with Jane. Don't worry. They end up together. I can't give it away because it will spoil it. I am still feeling a little uncertain about that. Otherwise, I loved this story. Even writing about it makes me get an ache in my chest.(less)
**spoiler alert** Although Forbidden is still my favorite because I loved Frances and Serena as a couple so much (plus Francis is a virgin hero), this...more**spoiler alert** Although Forbidden is still my favorite because I loved Frances and Serena as a couple so much (plus Francis is a virgin hero), this is an incredibly effective book. There are so many reasons why this story could have gone the wrong way for me: First and foremost, the hero commits the unthinkable for me in a romance, adultery. However, he has reasons that I could not argue with. He has been asked to cozy up to his former mistress who is actually a morally bankrupt spy, and in order to do that, pillow talk is essential. Also, Eleanor and Nicholas do not have an emotional commitment (this alone would not have been enough for me). Eleanor is dealing with the trauma of having been raped, also living in a household with a brother who is a complete libertine, and never feeling safe. She is way too traumatized to be a 'real wife' to Nicholas initially. Then there's the fact that Eleanor was drugged and offered out to be raped from a person she should have been able to trust, her brother. She is raped by Nicholas' titled brother, who is actually gay, but is hiding it. He rapes her to help preserve his reputation as a heterosexual (there are questions). So you would think, okay, this is a romance? But yes, it is. It's a bit different for a romance. And the relationship between Nicholas and Eleanor develops very slowly. There is a sexual enconter between them on their wedding night, but it's fairly passionless. Nicholas felt that they should have this so that in their mind, the child that Eleanor could be carrying could be her husband's. Okay, I had no quarrel with that.
I liked the aspect of seeing this couple come to know each other and build a marriage together on what should have been a very shaky foundation. But somehow, a strong bond develops between them. It is nice to see them in later books as they form a happy family and love each other deeply.
Of course, Eleanor has issues with Nicholas' brother. I can't blame her at all. I think he was a loser and a jerk. In a way, he seemed surprised at how much Eleanor despised him. Hello! Not only did he wrong Eleanor terribly, but then he begged his untitled brother to marry her in case of consequences. I have nothing against him as a closeted gay person. I just thought he could have been a man and owned up to what he did.
Okay Richard Armitage is so Sebastian Reyne in this book. I am like Hope. Sebastian is giving me the shivers. He is dark and brooding, and totally yum...moreOkay Richard Armitage is so Sebastian Reyne in this book. I am like Hope. Sebastian is giving me the shivers. He is dark and brooding, and totally yummalicious. Why are so many of my favorite heroes named Sebastian? What a coinkidink!
This was a touching book. There are multiple scenes that made me tear up, and I don't typically do that while I'm reading. I just loved Sebastian. He was this big, brawny guy who was as soft as a marshmallow inside. His heart is so full of love, but he felt that he was condemned to loneliness because of the tragedy in his past. Hope was absolutely the right woman for him. She is full of light and joy, yet at the same time, she knew about the darker side of life, from the horrible abuse she endured from her evil, cruel grandfather. Although she is wary of large, powerful men, she instantly feels a connection to Sebastian and is unable to be afraid of him. Sebastian sees Hope and feels like he has seen his heart's desire. But he knows that he had to seek a wife who can be a good mother to his sister, and he thinks he's found her in older, plain, and practical Lady Elinore.
There is a social consciousness aspect of this book that I enjoyed. Sebastian in a mill-owner, but a conscientious one, since he had to work in the mills as a child to support his family. The book touches on child labor and abuse in the Regency England times, as well as the plight of orphaned children. But it is not done on a heavy-handed manner. Instead it is an integral part of the storyline, as Sebastian seeks a peaceful home for his sisters, and thus a wife, and we learn of their pasts as orphans. The woman he is courting, Lady Elinore, is a child crusader, so it plays heavily into the plot of the book.
It was nice to revisit the Merridew sisters and to see how life has progressed since Prudence's story The Perfect Rake. We also get to meet Sebastian's troubled younger sisters Cassie and Dorie, who have vivid and unique personalities of their own. My heart goes out to Sebastian and his sisters at the situation they faced, and Sebastian's anguish at his perceived inability to reach and to help his sisters. It's great that Hope is able to help them to grow closer together and to heal from their pasts. I really enjoyed the unlikely secondary romance between Lady Elinore, and Sebastian's outgoing, carefree friend Giles. I was rooting for them to end up together.
Once again, Anne Gracie has captivated me and touched me with another of her emotional, deeply-layered romances.
This book was an enjoyable read. I must admit that Kieran's determination to debauch himself into the grave was a bit annoying at times. He had some s...moreThis book was an enjoyable read. I must admit that Kieran's determination to debauch himself into the grave was a bit annoying at times. He had some serious guilt over an infraction he committed against his brother many years ago, and was horribly abused by his uncle guardian. Fundamentally, he has a lot of self-hatred which drives his cycle of drinking, carousing, and not taking care of himself. One thing I liked is that although it appears that he is saving Camille, she is actually saving him. He never even rethought his lifestyle until she came into his life and gave him something to live for. He carries on the act (minus the carousing) into the marriage, but Camille's backbone and determination are the factors which help him to turn his life around. Carlyle is an exquisite writer. I do enjoy reading her books. Her love scenes are pretty hot but tasteful. I didn't like the first love scene because it felt tawdry, but then maybe that was the point. This is rather early on into their relationship, and Kieran hasn't faced that his feelings for Camille are deeper than sexual. The other love scenes have more of the emotions that were missing from the first one. It was nice to see Kemble in this one. He's a fixture in the Carlyle books. This is actually the third in the trio after Never Decieve a Duke and Never Lie to a Lady, so we meet the two prior couples after the fact. However this doesn't spoil the book. This works well as a standalone, although you will probably be tempted to go back and read the other books, as you will probably find the supporting characters interesting and engaging enough to read more of their stories. I would say that this book shines because of its heroine. She is strong and a survivor. She's very intelligent and pragmatic. She's not a whiny, insipid, stupid heroine that makes you want to throw the book down out of frustration. In fact, her balanced, mature personality is a saving grace for Kieran, and ultimately it is why I did like this book so much. She's had a rough life, but she is determined to succeed in having a better future. Her grit is irresistible. I also like that she is so very French, but not in a stereotypical way (at least not to me). I also liked that Carlyle uses the slavery culture of Barbados as a major plot point, as Kieran grew up there. It plays a role in shaping why Kieran has the issues he does, and becomes part of his mission for the future once he turns his life around. While this was not my favorite book by Carlyle, it was engaging and a keeper. I have an issue with prolonged self-pity (everyone is allowed five minutes and then you need to move on), so I think that is why this wasn't five stars.(less)
What a great read. I found Emma to be a wonderful heroine. She saved the hero numerous times, survived harrowing situations, and fought to be strong w...moreWhat a great read. I found Emma to be a wonderful heroine. She saved the hero numerous times, survived harrowing situations, and fought to be strong when she was bred and raised to be weak by a bully of a father. I liked Jake, but this book stands out because of Emma. Jake was a little too preoccupied about being trapped into marriage for my tastes. I was like, "get over it." Otherwise he was a great hero, who knew how to live off the land, and could get himself and Emma out of a tight fix.
I like the way Emma stood toe to toe with him and had just as valid a reason not to want marriage. She kept him guessing and made him have to reevaluate his perceptions about womankind, and didn't demand his love. In fact, he fell in love with her because of the incredible woman she was. I loved how she moved on to find a life for herself and he found his way to her, because he couldn't live without her.
This story is vivid with scenes of surviving the elements as Emma and Jake crossed the frontier. There are moments that make you hold your breath and wonder whether they will persevere in the situations they end up with. It's why I enjoy westerns and frontier reads. Each time I felt more admiration for Emma's strength. If you like romances full of adventure and facing the elements, living in the wild, with character who persevere together and to find a great love in the process, you'll love this book.(less)
I'd probably give this one 4.5 stars. I thought it really was an excellent book, but the whole confict between the Native Americans and the settlers i...moreI'd probably give this one 4.5 stars. I thought it really was an excellent book, but the whole confict between the Native Americans and the settlers is just heartwrenching. I think the characters in this book were driven to their brink in many ways. It was so well-written and I loved it, but because the tragic elements hit so close to home, and this affected my enjoyment factor, it's hard to give it five stars.
There are incidents that occur in this book that I found downright disturbing. Maybe I'm too sensitive, or I read it on a week where my life stress level was too high, but I found it hard to get past some of that.
I take the whole Native American situation deeply personal, partly because that is part of my heritage, but also because I hate persecution and unfairness. I can totally see what drove the Natives to fight back so hard against the settlers, but I can never condone the murder of innocent people on either side. History is brutal and tragic, and it shows that humanity does not have the best motivations. Again and again we see nations and civilizations conquered by cultures that are more powerful in an integral way that allows them to decimate the so-called "weaker culture." It is something that I do not like facing, but unescapable. It's one of the reasons I love historical romance, but at times it is hard to deal with in the scope of a book about a romantic relationship between a couple.
I do love that Clare always presented a balanced perspective. She didn't make the Natives always the good guy and she didn't make the settlers always the bad guys. There were atrocities committed on both sides, as she is unflinching in describing some of those acts in this book.
I found Nicholas and Bethie both to be characters I liked, admired, and wished well for. They were both strong survivors who had gone through hell and back. What they suffered in their lives was almost too much to deal with at times. I love angst, so don't get me wrong, but probably I just read this during the wrong few days where my angst tolerance level was lower. Nicholas was just a delicious hero. I couldn't get enough of him, but I like that he wasn't a perfect, plaster saint. He didn't always do the right thing, although he was deeply principled in his own way. Survival had motivated him for so long, but when it came down to it, his moral compass did not forsake him.
I am curious about Nicholas' parents and his young uncle Jamie, so I hope to read Sweet Release and Carnal Gift soon. Clare definitely is an author that I want to read more of.
--------------------- If you're already a Pamela Clare fan, or interested in learning more about her and her books, be sure to stop by our Pamela Clare Fan Group here on Goodreads! (less)
Oh my goodness, I just loved Cory. He is my dream of a cowboy. He's a really good guy and a knight in shining armor. He's good-looking but very down t...moreOh my goodness, I just loved Cory. He is my dream of a cowboy. He's a really good guy and a knight in shining armor. He's good-looking but very down to earth. He thinks he's no good with women, for all the things. If he was real, I'd be chasing him down. He takes in a woman and her child who are obviously running from someone, and his heart recognizes his true love in her. He also falls in love with her young child. Race doesn't even factor in. I just love how Shara Azod manages to write a very steamy read but doesn't leave the romance and the true love story by the wayside. I wish that more modern cowboy books had this feel to it, and that more cowboys were like Cory in real life. Cory is a sexy cowboy, but he's not a womanizer who takes advantage of his rodeo skills to bed saddle bunnies. I really like that about him. I guess my pet peeve is that too many romance novel heroes are portrayed as womanizers who'll sleep with any woman who's willing. That's really not sexy to me.
I liked Stephanie, also. She's the vulnerable type, having come from a bad home and having low self esteem, but found the strength to leave behind the really bad guy who was using her and hurting her, and to get her child away from him. She knew a good thing when she found Cory, and didn't let her baggage cause her to walk away from the man who is the love of her life. Some of the things her ex-boyfriend did to her were just horrible. Her ex was a lowlife, and Cory didn't hesitate to give him what was coming to him. I didn't feel any sympathy for the man considering how lowdown he was.
This is a short read, but everything's there that would make a romance novel fan happy. I am so glad that I took a chance and downloaded this gem of an ebook.(less)
I'm not sure how to write this review without excessive gushing. Gushing hurts my credibility as a reader. Well, I think it's clear that I'm not above...moreI'm not sure how to write this review without excessive gushing. Gushing hurts my credibility as a reader. Well, I think it's clear that I'm not above a little gushing if I love a book. But I do try to be objective. However, sometimes a good book deserves gushing, and lots of it. Such is the case with Cry Wolf. My tastes are somewhat simple when it comes to a book. I want to be involved and entertained. When I read a book that takes me to that next level of pure emotional enjoyment, catching me where I live and feel deeply as a human, I wish I could rate it higher than five stars.
Patricia Briggs is an author that I was not expecting to come into my life and rock my perception of what I consider good urban fantasy. Now, the standard is much higher. She has found a way to make the werewolf tale that much more enjoyable to this lover of the genre. She writes characters that convince me that there must be werewolves out there, and that they aren't all ravening beasts. That there is an entire spectrum. That they are lonely, in need of love, always fighting a battle of control against their animal natures, or that some have completely given into their animal side. That they form bonds of family and love that wrap around them, and when those bonds are taken away, it has the power to destroy them. Conversely, the bonds of love and pack, can heal a long-broken heart.
The characters in this story show that spectrum of wolves very well. By the end of the story, they felt like people I knew. Oh, and there were some characters that I crossed myself in hopes that I never encountered their likes. Mariposa, oh, how she gave me the shudders. Oh, and Bran.... Could I love him more now? Even though he has some really scary aspects to his personality? Although that just increased his appeal to me. What control this man has. How tortured he truly is. Ms. Briggs, do write a separate story for Bran, I humbly ask.
Charles and Anna: More continued goodies with their nuanced, layered relationship. It's a symbiotic relationship, almost. It would seem that Anna is the weak one, and Charles is the strong one. Not so. Anna's presence brings strength and calmness to Charles. She saves his life numerous times in this story, in fact. And Charles gives Anna that reason and that purpose she had not found before. She loves him so much it scares her. He heals the broken places deep inside of her with his love and devotion. And, he brings her to a home where she had been lost before. I love that not only does this couple come together, but Anna comes to form deep, important relationships with other wolves in this story, who are in need of the peace that she can give them as an Omega wolf.
There were scenes that clutched at my emotions and wouldn't let go. When Anna sings to Asil and Bran, and they fall with their heads in her lap. These troubled wolves finding the peace that an evil adversary had denied them. It was just wonderful to watch.
There are dark and scary moments in this story, as Charles, Anna, and Walter, a wolf they encounter, face a very malevolent entity from the old wolf, Asil's past. Oh, there was plenty of horror in this story. Of the more subtle, not in your face, but very unnerving variety. And the power of this person, powerful enough to take over a character who is known for his absolute strength and control. Shuddering thinking about it.
Yes, I'm gushing. I waited a few days to write this review, trying to get my thoughts in order. For me, this is urban fantasy at its best. Cry Wolf truly is an exemplary werewolf story to me (and that's saying a lot from me). It's the kind of book that you don't want to put down for anything. Ms. Briggs with her misleadingly simple way of telling a story, will have likely a profound effect on you, if you appreciate really good storytelling. Watch out if you haven't read her yet. In the end, I can't speak for other readers. I won't even try. I can only speak for myself. This was a fantastic story. I hope that others who read this enjoy it as much as I did.(less)