"Indy Savage (cop’s daughter, rock chick and used bookstore owner) has been in love with Lee Nightingale (once badBlurb, for those who are interested:
"Indy Savage (cop’s daughter, rock chick and used bookstore owner) has been in love with Lee Nightingale (once bad boy, now the man behind Nightingale Investigations) since she was five years old. No matter what ingenious schemes Indy used to capture his attention, Lee never showed an interest and Indy finally gave up. Now, Indy’s employee, “Rosie”, has lost a bag of diamonds and bad guys are shooting at him. When Indy gets involved, Lee is forced to help. Complicating matters, Lee has decided he’s interested, Indy’s decided she’s not. But, she can’t seem to keep Lee out of her life when she’s repeatedly stun-gunned, kidnapped and there are car bombs exploding (not to mention she’s finding dead bodies). Indy’s best bet is to solve the mystery of the diamonds before Lee. Lee’s challenge it to keep Indy alive and, at the same time, win back her heart."
**spoiler alert** Burning Alive was a book that pulled me in from the beginning. For that, I definitely give it points. I liked the storyline about Se**spoiler alert** Burning Alive was a book that pulled me in from the beginning. For that, I definitely give it points. I liked the storyline about Sentinels and their war against the Senestryn, a race of demons. The origins of the Sentinels are fascinating to me. There is an element of the futuristic, teamed with the ancient in their conception and their millenias-long war with the Senestryn. It had me thinking of Flash Gordon--and the various races that Flash encounters when he goes to Space in Dr. Zarkoff's rocket--for some reason. Don't ask! Humorous aside: I kept thinking about Sinestro, who is an arch-nemesis of Green Lantern from the DC Comics Universe. Anyone else make that connection? I do have to say that Ms. Butcher charted a course along familiar ground, but somehow made this story interesting and distinct from the other series, in my opinion. As I read, I could definitely see how she was influenced by other writers that I enjoy, but I don't feel that she was trying to copy them. As my sister likes to say, "There is nothing new under the sun." But what I appreciate is seeing an author take a familiar concept and give it a new approach or new life. I feel that Ms. Butcher did that.
I really liked the aspect of the warriors pining for their mate, and how they have the tattoo of a tree on their chest that grows as they age, and eventually starts to die, unless they find a mate. The leaves on the tree die and fall off, and the closer they get to the tree being completely denuded of leaves, the closer they are to their souls dying. I thought that was pretty interesting. I liked the fact that the warrior is full of energy and his mate taps that energy and uses it to fight the Senestryn in tandem with him. Very cool. I love a strong, powerful warrior who longs for a true love. Sigh! I felt so bad for all the warriors who will die, never finding their mate, since most of the Sentinel women were killed. I hope that more women will be found. The hope will keep me reading this series.
The characters in this story drew me in, and I cared about them. Maybe too much. It broke my heart when a character I fell in love with died horribly. I almost threw my book across the room. I rarely do that. I felt intense pain, and disbelief. Part of me still wants to believe that it's not the truth. The circumstances of the death really cast a pall over this story. I had trouble caring about Drake and Helen's romance, knowing that this person was dead. But at the same time, I think it showed the cost of this war. The scene in which Drake shows Helen the Hall of the Fallen, in which the sword of the dead warrior is hung in remembrance, was very profound. I felt the awe and the anguish at seeing how very many swords hung there. It added to my grief that I felt at the beloved character's death.
As I said, I wanted to find someone to blame for this person's death. It is easy for me to blame Helen, because she flaked at a crucial moment, her lifelong fear such a burden that she couldn't come through and tap her power to defeat the demon in time. It was a dilemma for me. I could see that Helen was just human, full of frailties and flaws. How many times have I failed someone who counted on me? More than I wanted to. Fortunately, it hasn't cost anyone a life, but poor Helen has that on her conscience. Although she will go on to fight in the war at Drake's side, basking in his love, I think she'll always feel grief that she couldn't save this person. The grief I share. I think that the reasons behind this courage-crippling vision of burning to death were not explained as well as I like. I hope that this will be explored further in the next books.
Drake and Helen's romance was good. They had good chemistry, with some steamy love scenes. I liked that Helen was an average girl with a normal, perhaps too-curvy figure, but Drake thought she was the sexiest woman alive. I liked the powerful chemistry between them when they met. I did want things to work out for them, although I was still depressed about the death of that person I was in love with. I admit, I'm more intrigued to see what will happen with Zack and Lexie than I was drawn into Helen and Drake's romance. Why is the first in the series always the least compelling? To keep us reading! I'm wondering what's going to happen with Logan. Will he find a mate as well? More questions than I have time to list in this review.
The cast of secondary characters has caught my interest, and I look forward to reading more about them. I'd like to see where this war with the Senestryn will go. I think that Ms. Butcher will continue to add dimensions to this interesting series she had created. I just hope she doesn't get me to fall in love with anymore characters and then kill them off. I don't think my heart can stand it.
**spoiler alert** Having read The Sheikh's Bartered Bride by Lucy Monroe, I was eager to read another sheikh book by her. I started this book and it k**spoiler alert** Having read The Sheikh's Bartered Bride by Lucy Monroe, I was eager to read another sheikh book by her. I started this book and it kept mentioning an older brother who lived with his wife prior to marriage, and so I was thinking he must have a book also. So my gaze focused on the short story collection Hot Deserts Nights with a Lucy Monroe story, and sure enough, it was about Khalil and Jade called Mistress to a Sheikh. So I took a break and read this story first to get a frame of reference. Then I jumped back into Hired: The Sheikh's Secretary Mistress. I enjoyed this book, but I had a couple of issues with it. For one, I thought the heroine Grace was a little too self-deprecating. Yes, I know she was slender and shy and didn't think much of her looks, but I didn't like how high she put the hero Amir on a pedestal above her. I wish she had a little more self-worth. Don't get me wrong, I love the shy, unassuming, plain Jane heroines, but I like the ones with a little more spark and self-love. It is clear that she has always been shy and in the background, so I guess it makes sense that she would be so down on herself. But it bothered me. She was a very capable person and she wasn't ugly. But she had this opinion like she was worthless other than her skills as a PA. Even as a shy sibling in a large family, I am sure that Grace's parents showed her enough love to know that wasn't true. I was about to get disgusted when she goes to get a makeover to get Amir to see that she was a worthwhile bride candidate, when he had propositioned her in a prior scene. Obviously he liked her already. For some reason, makeovers in romances rub me the wrong way. I don't mind if the heroine never got to spend time on herself and does go and do that, but when she feels like she needs to change herself to make herself more acceptable, that bugs me. The only thing that saved it for me was that a) the hero said she looked great before and didn't all of a sudden notice her just because she got her hair fixed and wore more revealing clothes. I know men are that shallow in real life, but I don't like shallow heroes in the books I read. b) It was made clear that she had possessed inner beauty before and was just bringing out the real her. Okay, if you insist. The other thing that bugged me about this book was the hero's insistence on not allowing himself to care for Grace in a meaningful way. He had loads of girlfriends, and paraded them in front of Grace, getting her to shop for gifts for them. That was rather unfeeling of him, as he knew that she was attracted to him, if not in love with him. I think he should have tried to be more discreet in this case. And to compound matters, he asks Grace to make a list of suitable bride candidates for him. How callous is that? In his mind, he thought he was doing the right thing because he cared for Grace and loved her as a friend, but knew he couldn't allow himself to love his wife since he had loved and lost his first fiancee when she did. Okay, I understand your fiancee died, but you were eighteen years old. Get over it. And then he decides he's going to have a sexual relationship with Grace but still not marry her, knowing that she's a virgin, but not marry her. That's really lowdown. I admit that I am old fashioned. I like heroes who do care for the heroine and do have honorable intentions. I don't mind if they seduce the heroine into marriage, or seduce her with the intention of marrying her for certain. But I hate when the hero seduces a heroine just for a sexual relationship and has no intention of a permanent relationship (marriage). That's my issue and so I was annoyed at Amir's behavior. He confides his intentions to his older brother, Zahir, who is a confidant for him. Zahir seems to see that he has feelings for Grace that he isn't owning up to, and doesn't tell him that he's being a selfish jerk, probably because he thinks it will lead to him marrying Grace. And Grace just falls in with his plans, because she loves him. It bothers me in some of these romances that the heroine loves the hero so much she'll throw away her self-respect and negate her own self-love. Personally I don't want anyone to love me to this degree. You should love others as you love yourself, so obviously caring about yourself and having self-esteem is important. I guess I'm a masochist. I read these books because they inspire strong emotions in me. Well this one definitely did inspire strong emotions. So I will keep this book and possibly reread it, because it was well-written, but I can't help feeling aggravated with the heroine and the hero for their attitudes. Frankly I wish that Grace had told Amir to kiss her anatomy where the sun doesn't shine. Maybe he would have got a clue earlier. Hopefully Zahir will be a lot more gallant than his brothers and not act so dishonorably towards his woman like his brothers did....more
I liked this book initially, but I didn't like the ending. I felt that Cristiano did not really make any compromises with Samantha, knowing her fears,I liked this book initially, but I didn't like the ending. I felt that Cristiano did not really make any compromises with Samantha, knowing her fears, and why she had them. She ended up being the one who gave in to make up with him. And he just took her back like that. He makes an aside to the effect that he might retire from the thing that scares the life out of Samantha in a year or so. More because he's tired of it, not because he loves her. I am not saying that a person should always give up what's important to them to make his loved one happy, but I don't think he tried to meet Samantha halfway at all. It was good for her to conquer her fears, but I would have preferred that Cristiano meet her halfway.
It's too bad because I thought it was beautifully written and I really was drawn into the story. I realize that Cristiano is written as an alpha man who shapes the world to his needs and desires. But, I don't see why an alpha hero can't learn and give compromise. Alphas should love and take care of others. He knew what Samantha's needs are, but I am not sure he made an effort to meet them. For that reason, I couldn't give this book more than three stars. ...more
The Moon: Dravian’s Seer is an imaginative fantasy erotic romance. It is the story of Lilya, who views her gift of prophecy as a curse, and in some waThe Moon: Dravian’s Seer is an imaginative fantasy erotic romance. It is the story of Lilya, who views her gift of prophecy as a curse, and in some ways, it is. She has been horribly mistreated by everyone she knows yet used for her abilities. In addition, her abilities cause enormous pain and wreak havoc on her health, often putting her in a trance for days on end. She is a seer, born in a time where seers are no longer treasured. As such, she travels from place to place, earning her living as best as she can, and fending for herself in a violent world where her kind are despised. The last thing Lilya wants is the so-called devotion of another warrior who states that she should be treasured and cared for, even though she finds herself irresistibly attracted to this warrior. Her experiences taught her to trust no one, so she views his attempts at loving care as evidence that he is crazy, and only desires to help him so she can get away from him. Over the course of this story, Lilya grows to not only trust and love the warrior but also to embrace her destiny as a powerful seer.
Dravian is the prince and heir to the throne of a magically cursed, war-torn land. His father was wounded and kidnapped from the battlefield, and he is determined to go after him and rescue him, despite the fact that his mother, the queen, and the advisors of his country want him to ascend to the throne and accept the fact that his father is dead. Dravian is half-wolf caller through his father; in other words, he is able to call and communicate with wolf shifters, who are his friends and royal guard. Dravian learns that there is a seer who can help him in the quest to find his father. Dravian finds himself attracted to the seer, even in the vision that he first has of her. When he meets her in person, the attraction is even more intense. He comes across the seer as she is about to be raped and murdered by village bullies, and saves her, although she clearly believes she can take care of herself and doesn’t want his help. He is dismayed that she has been so disparaged and mistreated by others when his people believe that seers should be cared for and treasured. The tenderness and desire he feels for Lilya soon makes it apparent that she is his longed-for mate. But before they can be together, he has to rescue his father from the dark forces rising in his world.
I enjoyed this story because it was imaginative and interesting. I liked Lilya and Dravian and definitely felt the chemistry between them. I felt for Lilya and the sorrow and tragedies she had suffered in her life. It was very nice to read about her coming into her powers and developing confidence in her abilities and her place in the world and her coming to see that she was worthy of love. I really liked that Dravian wanted to take care of her and wasn’t just out to use her for her powers like others. Another element that I enjoyed about the story was the intricate mythology that Ms. Illyria created. In some ways, this story favorably reminded me of Robert E. Howard’s Conan stories. I did find the very modern language used distracting and not fitting for the pre-historical/Dark Ages-esque setting. But overall, I found The Moon: Dravian’s Seer to be an enjoyable, imaginative, and steamy read. I look forward to reading more stories by this author.
This was pretty good, but I got tired of Jeremy and Jillian's back and forth about their relationship, or lack thereof. I think it could have been resThis was pretty good, but I got tired of Jeremy and Jillian's back and forth about their relationship, or lack thereof. I think it could have been resolved fairly quickly with a bit of honest conversation. Alas, they both had issues with rejection and feeling they weren't loved. I think the action could have been more intense, and I wish there was more shapeshifting. Since the romance was a bit tedious, and the action wasn't as intense as I wanted, I was a bit disappointed. Plus I really don't like the heroes that go back to doing the player bit since they can't have the women they love. Why cant they just try a little celibacy on for size, since their women usually do?...more
Games for Sophisticates is a good name for this book, because it is about playing love like it's a game. Of course we know someone always gets hurt inGames for Sophisticates is a good name for this book, because it is about playing love like it's a game. Of course we know someone always gets hurt in that particular game. Quilla is put in the difficult situation of being asked by her brother to attract the attention of powerful businessman and ladies man Fraser McGill so that he will end his affair with her brother's wife. Quilla loves her brother and would do just about anything for him, but she knows she's out of her league making a play for Fraser. It turns out Fraser falls for the bait. His eye is on Quilla and he spends the rest of the book pursuing her, in various ways.
Quilla doesn't like Fraser at all. She has contempt for his love 'them and leave them ways' and she has to balance that dislike with the need to keep him on the hook so that her brother can repair his troubled marriage. Yet the more time she spends with Fraser, it grows harder to resist his seductive allure, and her feelings of dislike are conflicted by growing feelings of attraction to him. Occasionally, glimpses of the gentle, good man show through and gain her affection. However, she soon reminds herself that everyone knows (and he says it himself) he's incapable of staying with a woman and loving her. Quilla is a love and marriage (eventually) girl. She has no time or inclinations for an affair, even with a sexy man like Fraser. So, she makes it clear that all she feels for him is contempt as soon as she can. But Fraser is not a man to be played with. He gives her an ultimatum that ups the ante, and she has to show her hand or fold. But no one walks away from Fraser McGill.
This book is quite full of emotional/sexual tension. I liked that about the book. Set in the 80s, you can see the change in social mores and dynamics. While Quilla isn't sexually active, she doesn't come off as anachronistic in her personal morals. Instead, she's shown as a careful, somewhat introverted woman who has been focused on career and family, not playing the dating game. In that sense, it is not unbelievable that she would be susceptible to Fraser. However, she uses strength of will and cruel words to keep herself from becoming sexually involved with Fraser for most of this book. I didn't blame her for not wanting to get her heart broken by him. However, I did feel she was very mean and cruel in a lot of things she said and did to him. Usually, I feel that the hero is the one who is being mean to the heroine. In this case, Quilla takes that role. Fraser actually is quite nice to her. Of course, he's trying to get her to sleep with him, but he's not given the opportunity to truly know Quilla and her value system because she's stringing him along. He thinks she's up for the usual sort of relationship dynamic. When he finds out she won't be easily brought to heel, he resorts to some manipulations that aren't fair play, but considering the way she shuts him down continually, I didn't hold it against him. I felt that compared to how mean Quilla was to him, it was fair play.
I didn't rate this one higher because of the mind games and mean things Quilla said and did to Fraser. I understood why, but I winced at poor Fraser when he gives her something very beautiful and from the heart and she rejects it cruelly. I also didn't like how her brother was using his fairly sheltered sister against a known rake instead of manning up and saving his marriage the right way instead of manipulating his wife and her so-called lover. I felt that part was pretty immature and silly.
Overall, this is a good book. I liked Quilla's friend and business partner Nico. I couldn't quite figure out how he felt towards Quilla and wondered what his intentions were. I'm assuming he was respecting the friend barrier, but he would have taken things further if he had any indication Quilla was willing. That was one part I didn't mind, Fraser's jealousy about Nico, although it was mean on Quilla's part at the same time (she told Fraser a lie about their relationship). As I've said before, I like a jealous hero. I think that despite a lack of an on-the-page consummation, this was sensual and full of sexual tension. The end is very good, and I liked that for once, Quilla had to do the work in their relationship. Poor Fraser deserved as much.
A pretty good HP for readers who like their 80s output.
Hard to Hold is a good start to a three book series about a trio of brothers (from another mother/father) who are all SEALs. This Navy SEAL-loving girHard to Hold is a good start to a three book series about a trio of brothers (from another mother/father) who are all SEALs. This Navy SEAL-loving girl definitely appreciated the portrayal of these characters who are members of my favorite Elite Special Forces unit. While this wasn't a perfect book, I definitely feel it was worthy of the four star rating I gave it. Here are my thoughts:
What I Liked: * I liked the message about family being more than just blood. Family is a group of people who watch out for you, love you, and have your back. Sometimes your blood lets you down, but that doesn't mean there aren't people out there who love you even more than your real parents didn't. I liked the close bond between Jake, Chris, and Nick, and their 'dad' Kenny. They were bros and friends, and they had each others' backs. * As I mentioned, I love the Navy SEALs, so I'm always game to read well-written stories about characters in this dangerous role. I liked the military aspects very much! * Although the hero is definitely the alpha type, he is also a sensitive, caring man. I liked how he really cared for Isabelle, and put her needs first. He had reasons to keep his heart closed to her, but in the end, he didn't let that stand in the way of giving her the love and support she needed. Jake has a vulnerability that he doesn't wear on his sleeve, but I could feel his pain and anguish, and it spoke to me. * Isabelle was a realistic character. She wasn't too perfect, and she wasn't annoying in that falsely strong way that is unfortunately over-used in contemporary romantic fiction. She made/makes mistakes, and she owns those, and uses them to grow. *(view spoiler)[ I think the rape was handled very well. Isabelle doesn't get an instant heal just because she's attracted to Jake, he's her savior, and she falls in love with him. Her situation with Rafe was a very complicated one. She started out in a consensual relationship with him that she knew was wrong because of her engagement. She broke it off, but then he became her stalker and abused and raped her. She had lots of issues about the situation because of the fact that initially she was involved with Rafe, and she felt some guilt that she didn't fight him after he kidnapped her. He earned her trust and took advantage of her, stealing her ability to trust and the belief that she is control of her life. That is a big morass of emotions to deal with, and 'instant sexual healing' would have been a bit insulting for the reader. (hide spoiler)] *I really felt the intense and real emotions in the relationship between Isabelle and Jake. It was a big draw in this novel. They spent time getting to know each other, talking and building the intimacy between each other. When I read a romance, I want to see that, so that when they take the relationship to the physical level, it feels real, true, and intense. * I liked that all the characters were complex. They were flawed, but they were also people you could feel for. (view spoiler)[ I even felt bad for Rafe, although I didn't like what he did to Isabelle or how he went about getting revenge for his father. What Isabelle's dad and uncle did to Rafe's father was wrong, but two wrongs don't make a right. I also feel that he didn't know what love was if he could hurt Isabelle that way, claiming he loved her and wanted to be with her. I liked that there was a parallel drawn between Jake and Rafe. They both suffered horrible abuse by people who were supposed to love and protect them, but Jake found a way to use it to make him a stronger person; whereas Rafe let his past destroy him. Granted, Rafe didn't have the support of two 'brothers' and a loving adoptive father and mother. I feel like Rafe really wasted himself. It made me very sad. (hide spoiler)] *I loved seeing Isabelle do her work as a doctor. I always get a kick out of the medical aspects in a story, and it's great to see the heroine as a medical professional with a dynamic, successful, and challenging character. It helps to round her out as a person. I also liked how Chris was a very talented medic. He knows his stuff.
What I Think Could Have Been Better: * I think there were too many POV shifts in this story. It made it hard to get a fix on the main characters, and the side stories were short-changed. Once a scene started, it seemed to end too abruptly, with the emphasis misplaced, taking away the impact of the interactions between the characters. The relationship between Sarah and Clutch was very compelling, but I would have preferred they had more time spent on their relationship. I hope that we see more of them. * The action sequences needed more life. The execution made them seem anti-climatic. I noticed this because this is romantic military suspense, with high-octane heroes and dangerous situations. As an action fan, I like to see these elements pop in a book, but that wasn't quite the case with this book. I suspect that Ms. Tyler will improve on this as she finds her feet in this genre. *(view spoiler)[ I loved the "I Love Yous" between Isabelle and Jake. However, the book ends with a bit too much of a happy for now, where you didn't really see a firm commitment between Isabelle and Jake. Maybe we will see more of this in the next book. (hide spoiler)]
Overall Thoughts: * This book ended up pulling me in, hard. I cared about the characters, and I found the storyline interesting. I liked the characters a lot, and I liked the emotional complexity of their struggles. I am definitely hooked into this series. I would like to see a lot more of Chris (really liked him), and Nick was cool too. I hope he's not going to continue to be a womanizer over this series (don't care for them). I'd like to know what his deep dark secrets are. This series has the potential to be a favorite of mine. Fingers crossed.
Nightsong has languished on my tbr pile for years. I started it but put it down because I wasn't been in a mood to finish it at the time. Yesterday, INightsong has languished on my tbr pile for years. I started it but put it down because I wasn't been in a mood to finish it at the time. Yesterday, I felt this strong urge to read a western. Those urges come on me, and I felt it best to indulge. My eyes fell on it tucked into the large bookshelf in my room, and I started reading it again. It was the right book for my present mood.
Nightsong has that feel that I enjoy in a historical western. Strong people living their lives, facing adversities, and adhering to their personal sense of honor. Debra is a woman of two worlds: her mother was Indian and her father was white. Both worlds have rejected her to some extent. As a result, Debra has found her own world to live in. When hard-eyed Ethan Tyler comes along, determined to live with her at her homestead, she doesn't like the idea, but she can't make him leave. Before she knows it, they are married. And she falls in love with her husband, a man with torment and dark memories in his eyes. Before they can found a future, Ethan has to face his past. He is a fugitive, having killed the man who killed his wife and young son, and a bounty hunter has come to take him back. Honor dictates that Ethan go back and prove he was right to kill that man. Will this man she has come to love as her husband return to her, or will she be forced go back to living alone, on the edge of two worlds?
I liked the steady narrative, which was light on dialogue and heavy on description. Admittedly, this doesn't always work for me, but it did for this book at this moment in time and space. It showed rather than told who Debra and Ethan were. They are characters in which actions speak louder than words, so it was fitting. Through their interaction in the world around them, with each other, and with other pivotal characters. (view spoiler)[ I especially liked Gray Wolf, Debra's brother who shows up. I wonder if he had a story. I'd read it. (hide spoiler)]
It's an interesting thing how much reading depends on mood, at least for me. At times, this sort of book wouldn't be what I wanted to read. Other times, like yesterday, it was what the doctor ordered. It satisfied my craving for a western, and left me wanting more. That's why I gave it four stars.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
I enjoyed this, even though I don't care for Antebellum setting at all. I think a shovel was in order for the overbearing hero (to hit him over the heI enjoyed this, even though I don't care for Antebellum setting at all. I think a shovel was in order for the overbearing hero (to hit him over the head with), though....more
Well, this was certainly a dramatic book, Harlequin Presents-style. At times, it seemed over the top. The hero Gabriel would say the most outrageous tWell, this was certainly a dramatic book, Harlequin Presents-style. At times, it seemed over the top. The hero Gabriel would say the most outrageous things, and it seemed to make Rhiannon equally angry and burning with lust. I didn't know whether to laugh or say, WTH. But this book ended up sneaking in on me. Underneath the brash, uber-dominant hero's demeanor is a man who is in love, and has a master plan to get his woman, even if he has to steal her away from her fiance.
Rhiannon had a very traumatic experience with her last boyfriend, which made her bury her nascent sexuality. With Bobby, her fiance, it was easy to maintain a platonic relationship, since he's in cold storage with all his Mommy Issues. But Gabriel Stone is larger than life. He's a "Dominant Man" who calls to the intensely female part of her, the part that wants to be submissive. I was pretty surprised when I found out what Rhiannon's dark secret was. Not something I expected to read in an older HP book.
To be honest, I had a few eye-rolling moments with all the Dominant/Submissive stuff. At the same time, I was pretty surprised to see this in a Harlequin Presents that's at least ten years old, probably older. That part kind of missed the boat with me. But I liked the devotion and love that Gabriel showed for Rhiannon. I liked their bantering too (eye-rolling moments included). It was pretty sexy, if I may say so. Good book. I hope to read more of Sarah Holland's books. She has a very lively style that definitely kept me entertained with this quick read--it only took me about 1.5 hours to finish it....more
Morgan Wade’s Woman took me back to the category romances I read back in the day, from the library growing up in the Chicago suburbs. They had a shelfMorgan Wade’s Woman took me back to the category romances I read back in the day, from the library growing up in the Chicago suburbs. They had a shelf of them, and you could take them, read the books, and bring them back, trading them out for other ones. My sister and I must have read every Harlequin-type book they had. Although I never read this one, it brings back fond memories.
Storyline: Samantha’s father has just died, and she found out that obtaining the five million dollar inheritance her father left her depends on her getting married before she turns twenty-five. If she doesn’t get married, she gets nothing but a monthly allowance, and a home with her stepmother. Samantha hates the fact that she is going to be forced to get married, but she doesn’t want to be dependent on her step-mother. When she goes to visit her old school friend Barbs in Nevada, she meets Barbs' husband’s friend, Morgan Wade. He’s not like the usual type of guy that she dates. He’s rugged, tough, and dangerous. He makes her feel uncomfortable, and alive in the way none of her previous boyfriends have done. Barb suggests asking him to marry her, and she agrees, although she has serious misgivings about it. She thinks that Morgan has agreed to a passionless marriage of convenience, but Morgan has other ideas all along. Soon, he has seduced her into his bed and her heart. Can she deal with the fiery love and desire she feels for her husband, and the loss of control that being Morgan Wade’s Woman brings her?
My Thoughts: Sam was a bit too remote and controlled for me, except for when her temper erupted (I usually like this sort of heroine, but something about Sam didn’t quite appeal to me as much as I would have liked). She was the finishing school, polished, rich girl type, which works for me sometimes, and other times, not so much. Morgan was somewhat hard to get a fix on. He definitely had that hard as granite Western man thing going on that I like. He’s in the old school mode, the tough alpha hero who answers to no one, and takes what he wants. That’s not to say he’s rapey. He isn’t, although he’s probably a little too forceful for some readers, especially those who prefer the modern heroes. When he takes Samantha to his bed, she’s reluctant emotionally, but willing otherwise. So it’s more of a seduction scenario. He definitely has a jealous streak a mile wide, threatening to kill any man who touches Sam. And he doesn’t let Sam walk all over him, although she gives as good as she takes from him. And with their mutual fiery tempers, that can end up making for some blazing rows between this married couple. That’s when they aren’t hardly even talking to each other, and spending long time periods apart. I wanted for Sam and Morgan to communicate more than they did about their feelings. They didn’t quite have a big misunderstanding, just a phenomenal disconnect about the feelings they had for each other. They both can't believe that they are loved by each other, and they do foolish things to prove they don’t care about each other, like trying to cause jealousy when they spend time at their society dos with other people in their social circle. Sometimes, I’m cool with that storyline, but it was a tad tedious as I read this story. Not enough to ruin the book, but enough to keep this one from being a five star book.
Of course, this was written in the early 80s, so the hero and heroine both smoke and drink quite a bit. It may be shocking to modern readers that Sam both drinks and smokes while she’s pregnant. I admit it threw me for a loop, as I thought about how bad that is for a fetus. Back when this was written, they didn’t really know that, so I can’t hold that against Sam.
Sam’s life seemed kind of aimless. She didn’t do anything really. She was the daughter of a rich man, so she was definitely the socialite type. It was clearly a big change to be the wife of a hard-working rancher. She cooked and cleaned a little, smoked, swam, and visited. I think I would go crazy if I had that kind of lifestyle. She did seem to be going crazy at times.
What I liked: • I liked that Morgan was the tough, Western type (which I said above). He was a very alpha kind of guy, but he wasn’t unlikeable about it. At least, he wasn’t too rough and hard for my tastes, and I never got a cruel vibe from him. Yes, he was on the controlling side, but Sam wasn’t the wimpy kind of heroine, so she could handle a guy like Morgan very well. After they have a really rough sexual encounter, he feels bad about it, and apologizes, although Sam gave as good as she got (she might have gotten bruises, but he had scratches and a bite). I also liked that he adored Sam (although of course, he doesn’t vocalize that until the end). You find out towards the end how much he didn’t need to marry Sam, but he did it because he felt an instant love/lust for her. In a way, his controlling, demanding way with her showed his love (Yes, I know that sounds messed up, and I know in real life that doesn’t equal love, but in this book, it did show Morgan’s feelings of love. He was the kind of guy who took care of what was important to him. So, his taking care of Sam was his way of showing his devotion to her). Sam was likable too, for the most part. I liked her pluck and her kindness, and the way she went home to face the music instead of running away from her husband and her feelings for him. • Although the love scenes aren’t descriptive, the author manages to convey all the intense passion of their relationship. Nowadays, when books are so much more open door about sex, too often, I find there just isn’t real chemistry between the characters, even with the vivid, color by numbers love scenes. Sex seems too casual and kind of empty as I read a lot of the modern romances. I admit I like a lot of things about the current romances, but this is not one of those things. • There’s just something about these old school romance books that is so much more intense, making for a more exciting read. I felt this way about this book, although I did wish the characters actually talked about their feelings more. • It’s kind of funny reading the older books and seeing what fashions were in vogue then. I admit I do change the hair styles and update some of the clothing that seems really lame. There are a couple of scenes in which Morgan is wearing a white denim suit, and I just couldn’t go there. I’m sorry! And it sounds like Sam got her hair cut in a mullet, so I had to fix that in my head too.
I’m glad that one of my friends recommended this book to me. It was definitely worth tracking down and reading. I have a soft spot for jealous/possessive heroes, and Morgan definitely fits the bill. Thanks, Jennyg! ...more
This was a fun, passionate book for lovers of the Elizabethan period. Of course Queen Elizabeth and the bard William Shakespeare make appearances. InThis was a fun, passionate book for lovers of the Elizabethan period. Of course Queen Elizabeth and the bard William Shakespeare make appearances. In fact, they are both heavily involved in the plot of this book. It's also a good book if you like unrequited love, and friends/enemies to lovers. Rosalind was a good heroine, and I admired her determination to live her own life, even if that meant remaining unwedded. Drake was complicated and had some motives that might have made him seem amoral, but Beard did a good job of making him sympathetic. I loved that he was helplessly in love with Rosalind, and had been since he was a child. Of course love denied turns to spite. Be even at his worst, he was not cruel to Rosalind. I enjoyed that both characters grew and had to made a determination about what was really important to them in their lives. The passion between them was fiery, yet the consummation came right on time. I enjoyed the look at the bawdy, intrigue-filled, and complicated lives that people led back in the 16th century. Not always pretty or pristine, but definitely interesting. This book is a keeper....more
James Malory, rogue, rake, and pirate. And very sexy guy. This guy is an original. You know he's something special when you meet him in Love Only OnceJames Malory, rogue, rake, and pirate. And very sexy guy. This guy is an original. You know he's something special when you meet him in Love Only Once, and I was eager to read his book. Well I definitely enjoyed seeing James meet his HEA with Georgina.
This was a fun, sexy book. I tell you, James Malory is a guy who goes after what he wants. Once he figures out that his cabin boy is a girl, she's in his bed a very short time later. Little does he know that she has lots of big, strong, angry brothers. But he's not about to let them take about the woman that he has claimed all for his own.
James is such a funny guy. I love his rivalry with his brother Anthony, and his comraderie with his crew. It was nice to see him get to know his long-lost illegitimate son, Jeremy, who resembles the Malory clan more than he does. Actually Jeremy looks a lot like his brother Anthony. I love his raunchy nature, but how he is actually very gentle and loving with George.
The love scenes in this book were singe-worthy back in the day. Nowadays, I think they would be tame as far as how explicit they are not. But I feel the attraction and chemistry between James and George make this book sizzle for me. Gentle Rogue is a winner....more
This started out a bit slow, but wow, this was a very good book. I loved the interactions between Mackenzie and Emma. They had fantastic chemistry, anThis started out a bit slow, but wow, this was a very good book. I loved the interactions between Mackenzie and Emma. They had fantastic chemistry, and a powerful bond that drew them back together when circumstances threatened to push them apart. Mackenzie is very much a manly man, and it was in an utterly appealing way. He didn't come off as macho and neanderthalish at all, even though Emma interpreted him that way at first. Instead he had a lot of the positive alpha hero traits that I hope to find in a so-called alpha hero but find lacking instead.
I loved the descriptions of the Outback, all the imagery that contributed to the theme of Heat and Fire. There was a drought and Mackenzie is part of the fire brigade, which plays a major part in this story, but it also underlines the fiery sexual tension between Mackenzie and Emma. Even though the love scenes aren't descriptive, there is plenty of heat because of the manner in which the author builds up the attraction between the couple. Also, you can see that they really grow to love each other. Emma's issues with marriage could have been annoying, but I could understand her reluctance, and it showed how much Mackenzie wanted to be with her, that he was willing to be patient and work through those with her. Her love for him helps her to realize that she wants more, and to consider what she might be giving up out of fear.
I found this book very satisfying, despite the slow start. I didn't want to put it down last night and go to bed. I had to finish it. And I was keyed up after I finished, so it took a while to go to sleep, but this is one of those books that's worth missing out on a little sleep for. I recommend it to readers of short category contemporary romance. I don't think it will disappoint. I also enjoyed Married to the Man and Titan'S Woman, and off to find more of her books. I can see she is really good at writing the manly type of hero, which is a definite plus!
I'd give this 4.5 stars if I could. Although it took me a while to finish this book because of outside factors, I thought it was pretty awesome. My onI'd give this 4.5 stars if I could. Although it took me a while to finish this book because of outside factors, I thought it was pretty awesome. My one complaint is I think the ending was a bit rushed. This might be the hottest book that I have read by GS so far. The love scenes were pretty steamy. One thing I liked is that Gray has a very large POV in this story. It's really cool to see a romance from the guy's perspective. And I feel that his viewpoint read pretty authentic for a guy. He did and said, and thought exactly the way I would imagine a man would think. Now I have never walked in a man's shoes, so I might be disputed on this. Nevetheless it felt real to me.
As typical for GS, there was an aura of sweetness and good-naturedness to this story. It is difficult to describe, but in the books I've read by Ms. Showalter with the exception of Awaken Me Darkly there seems to be this upbeat tone. Now that doesn't mean that bad things don't happen and people don't die in this book or her others. But you get the impression that in the end, everything will work out and good will prevail. I must say I like that about her books. Life can seem pretty dark and hopeless. It's nice to read a book with an overall tone of optimism. I love my angsty, dark romances, but it's also nice to read some that are on the upbeat side as well.
The mythology in this story is pretty interesting. It borrows from Greek myths, but there are some extra things added. I have never thought of vampires as being a large aspect of the Greek mythology, and I believe the Formorians are from ancient Celtic mythology. Thus I feel that there is a potpourri of folklore used to develop Showalter's Atlantis universe. As always, I am a folklore/mythology geek, so I enjoyed seeing the mythological creatures that populated this story.
It was also nice to revisit Darius and his bride Grace, and see the intriguing Layel (can't wait to read his story). Those demons are just gross and don't sound the least bit attractive to me.
I really did like Jewel. She was a sweet person but also formidable in her own way. She had been in love with Gray from afar for many years, seeing him in visions in her mind. I thought it was sad that she had seen the profusion of women he'd been with in her mind in excruciating detail, but she didn't let that bother her, but took her opportunity to be with him the capacity available to her. I appreciated her love for others, and how she often tried to sacrifice her well-being to help others. She had a rough existence, but in a way that is rather different from other romance heroines.
I must say that this is a great book to read if you are a fan of the paranormal genre. It's not dark and intense in the way that a lot of the popular series right now are. But it's very good and fun, but has depth that will fill your hours until the last word has been read....more