Lady Ayla is threatened with either marriage to the powerful, conquering lord Margrave von Falkenstein or for her lands to be confiscated and...more Synopsis
Lady Ayla is threatened with either marriage to the powerful, conquering lord Margrave von Falkenstein or for her lands to be confiscated and her people killed in war. With her father ailing from a long-term degenerative condition, she has assumed command of his lands in his stead. She refuses the Margrave's offer of marriage, knowing that it will mean war, because she realizes giving into him is the wrong decision to make for herself and her people. On a trip through a nearby forest to notify her vassals of her need for men to protect Luntberg Castle and its villagers, she is robbed by the fearsome, dreaded, red-armor-wearing Robber Knight, who dares to take her money, property and her beloved horse, although he spares her life and doesn't harm a hair on her head. Lady Ayla vows to see him caught and hanged.
When Ayla and her steward find a sole-surviving, wounded man in a field of bloody, mutilated bodies, they bring him back to the castle. His name is Reuben, and he claims to be a merchant, but he is really the same Red Knight. If he reveals his identity, he will be hanged as a thief. And he is too weak to flee for his life from his wounds and a subsequent fever and infection. As he is nursed back to health by the beautiful Lady Ayla, his cynicism and overpowering self-interest gives way to love. Can Ayla keep her people safe from a deadly siege, and avoid falling for a man below her station who she believes is not telling her the whole truth about his identity?
The Robber Knight is an entertaining trip back in time to the medieval era. The narrative voice is lively, with subtle humor and vivid characterizations. Reuben is the perfect rogue character, a man who hasn't decided if he wants to take the trouble to be a better man again, until Lady Ayla shows him he is capable of it. Ayla is sweet and determined, a woman of her times. Beneath her ladylike exterior, she has the heart of a lion and a backbone of steel. The secondary characters, such as the old vassal but still capable knight and fighter, Sir Isenbard, are well-developed.
Mr. Thier clearly has a background in medieval history, and a talent for writing a story that is enlightening about the period, but in a very entertaining, readable fashion. The depiction of medieval castle warfare is lifelike and realistic without being overly graphic. The reader learns the ins and outs of protecting a castle against invaders alongside Lady Ayla, and her people, most of whom have lived in a time of peace and whose war skills are limited to non-existent. I cheered along with them as they survived numerous assaults due to the advice of the injured Reuben.
Readers who enjoy romance stories will appreciate the slow build of attraction and feelings between Ayla and Reuben. The author makes the most of their every moment together to show romantic tension and growing love between the characters.
The Robber Knight is a story that will appeal to readers who have interest in the medieval period. It's an edifying read, flows and keeps the reader's interest with engaging characters and a well-paced narrative. This reader recommends it, despite the fact that the cliffhanger ending pricks at one of the biggest pet peeves of mine.
As always, I enjoyed this book by Ms. Thomas. Her writing is warm and sweet and beguiling. Her characters are distinct with interesting layers. I feel...moreAs always, I enjoyed this book by Ms. Thomas. Her writing is warm and sweet and beguiling. Her characters are distinct with interesting layers. I feel like I am an honorary member of Harmony, Texas. I am always happy to go back there for a visit.
This was a very enjoyable reading experience! I especially appreciate how much they just talked to each other and got to know each other at the beginn...moreThis was a very enjoyable reading experience! I especially appreciate how much they just talked to each other and got to know each other at the beginning. I miss that in romances. Constant is a wonderful heroine, and it was great for Kameron to realize how much he didn't deserve her, despite the fact she loved him dearly. The story is quite interesting, but a twisty-turny path to happy ever after. I recommend it.
Wow. I love this series. Miles has such a duality to his nature: sweet, loving teddybear, and steely, ruthless warrior. Definitely worked for me. Ador...moreWow. I love this series. Miles has such a duality to his nature: sweet, loving teddybear, and steely, ruthless warrior. Definitely worked for me. Adored Lara and the psychic storyline too.
How much can a person survive before their humanity is destroyed?
Cassie is a young woman who will learn exactly what makes her human and what would ca...moreHow much can a person survive before their humanity is destroyed?
Cassie is a young woman who will learn exactly what makes her human and what would cause her to lose the intrinsic element to her nature. She goes from being a normal teenager who has nothing more to worry about than whether her epic crush on Ben Parrish will be returned, to losing nearly everything, and living in a earth decimated by an alien invasion that is nothing like the ones showcased in movies and books thus far.
The aliens want the earth, and view humans as pests, much like we view cockroaches. Their solution, to kill off the majority with cataclysms and world-wide pestilence, and let hysteria and suspicion do the rest of the work.
What happens when humans can't trust each other and start viewing each other as the enemy? It's not much longer before humanity becomes extinct.
Cassie learns the hard way that she is safer alone, trusting no one, but she made a vow to her brother, and she will do anything to keep that vow. When her life is saved by Evan Walker, every hard lesson she learned to stay alive in the earth devastated by the alien invasion will be tested. Can she trust, when trust has led to betrayal?
This is a bleak and heartbreaking read. I listened to the audio, and I would highly recommend this medium because it makes the story that much more personal. The narrators, Phoebe Stohl and Brandon Espinoza allow us to view the story through their eyes, and feel their pain. Their voices portray the passion and pain, the angst and longing, and the violated innocence of young people who are in a horrible situation that they cannot escape.
While this is okay for the older end of the young adult audience, I don't feel that subject matter is appropriate to kids younger than 14. The atmosphere is dark and desperate, and people die in this book. Lots of them, and many in horrible ways. Not only that, but people are forced to kill others to survive or as part of the consequences of the invasion. But don't misconstrue me to be saying this is full of gratuitous violence. Many who have read Yancey's Monstrumologist series know that Yancey is not afraid of gore, but he doesn't take that tactic in this book. Instead, his tone is frighteningly realistic. Don't think that just because the majority of the characters are children, that he will take it easy on them. You'd be lying to yourself.
As a reader, I was sucked into this world, and I asked myself how I would adapt or deal with the circumstances that our characters faced. I am amazed at the resilience of the young. That Cassie could stay strong in heart and her mind whole after seeing what she's seen and being forced to make decisions she never would have faced before. That Ben could find the strength to keep living under his burden of guilt for surviving when his family and many others didn't. That they both could deal with the massive betrayals they suffered.
While clearly science fiction, the use of technology is minimal, but it feels credible. Enough that the presence of the alien invaders is undeniable. But not so much to blunt the realism of the novel.
The tension is neck-breaking, sustained until the last words of the book. I honestly had to take my time listening to this. It's so bleak and depressing at times, it doesn't make for 'fun' reading. But at the same time, I can say this was a fantastic and moving book. I think this book shows what can be achieved in young adult literature. Showing teenagers and young people in a scenario where as much is demanded of the reader as is of the characters. Not lightening the subject matter just to get a YA rating, or fantasizing or sensationalizing the story either to get more readers. From the beginning, I was engaged in this novel, and even when things got harrowing and I feared for what would happened next, I couldn't turn off the CD player and refuse to finish the book. I had to know what Cassie would do next, how she would handle the next situation. If she would find her brother and save him.
Yancey made me care about these people. He made me rage that children had to make these kinds of decisions, but at the same time, he didn't give me a convenient villain, not in the easy way that can happen in fiction. Instead, I was continually forced to reevaluate the situation and my hypotheses, along with the characters. There were times, I just gave up on making a guess on what was going to happen and I just kept listening and decided to let the chips fall where they may.
You wonder what an author feels when he puts his characters through the depredations seen in this book. Does it hurt like he's hacking off a limb? Does he smile gleefully at the computer screen? Or does he feel the grim determination of a surgeon who is cutting into their patient to save its life? This is a question that books like this make me ask. In a strange way, I feel more connected to the writer of a book like this, because I can imagine that the creative process was a demanding one. The they sweated and shed their own blood to write a book just for me to read.
I recommend this book fully to readers who are prepared to face the bleak, upsetting content of this novel. To walk in the shoes of these young people who have to face the end of the world head on, and can't close the book and read something else when it gets too painful for them.(less)
Happy Sigh! Lots of angst, passion, and true love. And a hero who reminds me of Edward Fairfax Rochester. I'm not sure if that was deliberate or not....moreHappy Sigh! Lots of angst, passion, and true love. And a hero who reminds me of Edward Fairfax Rochester. I'm not sure if that was deliberate or not. Declan is a nice mix of wounded, grumpy and tortured. Even at his worst, I couldn't hate him. I guess I could see pain behind his actions. With his brother's death and his feelings of guilt that he had failed him, it was hard to see clearly. On the other hand, I could see why Chloe couldn't settle for what he had to give her. She had fought too hard to claim a sense of self-esteem in her life.
I loved how the courtship between Declan and Chloe bloomed. I got that feeling of Jane Eyre in their interchanges. How Chloe might be his employee, but she won't kowtow to him. And also how Chloe is the light in the darkness to Declan. I found that bond and growing feelings between them very romantic. And the sexual tension and sensuality culminates beautifully.
After Declan finds out just who Chloe is, I wasn't sure what would happen next. I respect that Ms. West managed to keep the story on a mature level, even though Declan does act like a jerk. I loved how Chloe was able to hold her own and keep her dignity even in the way Declan was treating her. He might be her boss, he might seem to have the upper hand, but he didn't, because deep down, she wouldn't be allowing him to be control her.
And yes, the end might be sappy to some, but I found it deliciously romantic.
I started reading this early this morning when I couldn't sleep, and I finished the whole book in that short time. This is really one of those unputdo...moreI started reading this early this morning when I couldn't sleep, and I finished the whole book in that short time. This is really one of those unputdownable reads. I was compelled by and drawn into the dramatic situation that Oceans and Marshall faced.
I always enjoy a good survival on the elements book, and Pace excelled with this novel about two people who end up being stranded on a Caribbean deserted island and have to make a life there for the time being until they are rescued. This book is incredibly realistic about survival on a deserted island, including the risks and privations that people would face. Emotionally, Pace goes there. She involves you with Oceans and Marshall, makes you fall in love with them, and walk in their shoes in a way that doesn't leave you unaffected when the book is over. I can honestly say that Marshall is the kind of man I would want to be stranded on an island with. He steps up to the plate in so many ways. While he isn't a chest-thumping, stereotypical alpha, he shows all the traits that a mature man should have in a desperate situation and when he has a family to protect and care for. Oceans was also an incredible character. Her ability to adapt and survive and to use her knowledge of the islands to help them both survive really made me admire her. She is the kind of more realistic heroine I would like to see in romance novels. Not perfect, but perfectly lovable.
One aspect of this story was utterly heartbreaking. I felt the pain and anguish that both Oceans and Marshall faced, and I didn't think I would recover (it really hurt me on a deep level). It was one of those situations where I didn't agree with the choice made, but I still love and respected the person who made it, and like the other party involved, I had to decide if I was going to move past it for the greater good. I was so glad that things ended up working out in the end. While I still would have loved this book, I love it more the way things ended than if they had gone in a different way, just because that is such a tough, wounding situation to read about. I don't think either party in this book could have walked away whole from that. I can imagine it's even worse if you lived it.
I loved the fact that love blossoms realistically and intensely, and the sexual content wasn't the focus, although it was a big part of the novel. There were so many emotional depths to plumb that I would have felt cheated if this book was mainly sex scenes. I think a very good point was made about how sex is a way to express intimacy between two people, but certainly not the only way. And the fact that Pace shows the real consequences of sexual intimacy on a couple, good and not so good.
This is one of those books that lingers on the mind, making an indelible imprint on the emotions. I was very glad I got the opportunity to read Stranded, and Pace has upped the bar for stranded/marooned/survival romance for me. While not a perfect read, it's very close for me.
When The Riccione Pregnancy starts, Zito shows up on the doorstep of Roxane, his estranged wife. Roxane left Zito because she was feeling stifled and...moreWhen The Riccione Pregnancy starts, Zito shows up on the doorstep of Roxane, his estranged wife. Roxane left Zito because she was feeling stifled and strangled by his treatment of her as a porcelain doll. She felt that her sense of identity was being absorbed into that of only one role, his wife. She tried to communicate this to Zito, but he didn’t listen. Her only option in her mind was to leave him.
When this couple reunite, at first it felt tedious. The continual rehashing of why they separated, but never clearing anything up in reality wasn’t to my taste. In all honesty, I didn’t initially understand why Roxane kept pushing Zito away. I am not keen on the theme of estranged married couples, so that’s why I didn’t appreciate this novel initially. However, as the real issues came to light, and both Zito and Roxane did some thinking and listening, I could see the strong bond of love between them. And I could understand Roxane’s issues and why she left him. What I really loved about this story was that Zito truly did love Roxane. He just didn’t know how to show it. He was stuck in his ways because of his culture and what his ideas of loving meant (protecting, guiding, and yes, controlling). He didn’t realize that although Roxane was young, she had her own mind, and she needed to be her own person, even if she did love him and love being his wife. She wasn’t by nature a combative person, so it was hard to stand against his stronger personality and demand what she needed from him. So she started to fade like a flower out of the sun. And she left for her own survival. I came to the conclusion that their year apart was good for them both. Roxane was able to gain experience in being independent, and discover a sense of her own identity as a grown woman, and she was able to see Zito’s love in a new light.
I also liked (view spoiler)[ that Zito get’s Roxane pregnant on purpose. I know that’s wrong in real life, but some reason, I like this theme a lot. Probably because it shows a hero’s desperation to keep the heroine with him by any means. I love a hero that is desperate for the heroine. I like that although Roxane was mad at first, she acknowledged that she also had a responsibility in preventing a pregnancy if she didn’t want to be pregnant, and she was able to see why Zito did it. And the pregnancy had a way of uniting this couple, forcing them to work out their issues. It helped them to see how much they had in common and how much they needed each other in their lives. I would imagine in real life, that doesn’t necessarily keep a marriage together, but it worked in this story. (hide spoiler)]
So overall, I did enjoy this read. Even though I found the recriminations a bit tedious at first, merely a matter of taste--since I prefer books where the couple initiate their relationship at the beginning of the book, not when they get back together after they are/were already lovers/married--they had an important role. I believe that they helped to show why this marriage between two people, who loved each other very much and belonged together, fell apart for that short, painful time. I would recommend this book to Harlequin Presents fans who enjoy lovers reunited, married couple romance, pregnancy, and a steadfast/besotted hero themes in their romances. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I had no expectations for this one, and I'm getting where I'm a bit burned out on YA. However, I ended up liking this a lot. I liked the simple narrat...moreI had no expectations for this one, and I'm getting where I'm a bit burned out on YA. However, I ended up liking this a lot. I liked the simple narrative, but the author's ability to convey a lot on the emotional front. I loved Jason!!!! And never did Rachel annoy me or make stop supporting her as a heroine. Okay, I have to keep this a mini-review, so I'll stop here.
If you like the stories where the heroine is hopelessly misunderstood by the hero, then you’d like this one. The hero is drawn to her, but he knows sh...moreIf you like the stories where the heroine is hopelessly misunderstood by the hero, then you’d like this one. The hero is drawn to her, but he knows she’s a ‘bad girl’ in some way. In this case, Grant thinks that Devon’s demanding, spendthrift ways lead to her father embezzling money from his company to keep her in the style to which she had become accustomed. He showed up on their doorstep the night before Devon leaves for Sweden, not for an extravagant vacation like he thinks, but for a surgery that promises to give her full use of her hip, which was injured in the car accident that killed her mother. Devon comes back from Sweden to find that her father has been terminated from his job at Grant’s business, and will likely be prosecuted. She approaches Grant and asks him not to prosecute her father, and she’ll do anything he wants in return. His proposition is that she live with him as his mistress. Devon is willing to do this so that she can save her father from prison.
I liked that Grant wanted to be the ruthless seducer, but he didn’t really have it in him. He was clearly in love with Devon early on. He was kind of grumpy about it, but he had every opportunity to seduce her, but he didn’t take them, after he finds out that she had a bad hip and the money was spent to get her well. From that point, he does everything he can to get her to rest as she’s supposed to so she can get the all clear at her follow up.
I thought it was cute how Devon kept throwing herself at Grant so he would go ahead and fulfill his part of the bargain before her father comes back from the business trip in Scotland that Grant sent him on. Grant seems to come up with excuses for them not to be ‘together.’ Although Devon was clueless about Grant’s feelings for her, I as the reader, was not.
I really liked this book. It was a fun read. Devon was a nice girl, and Grant finally looked past his cynicism to see that, because Cupid’s bow had struck him dead center in the heart. (less)
Books like this in the Harlequin Presents line make me want to reach for more vintage romances. I like that this book had a rich story. The hero and h...moreBooks like this in the Harlequin Presents line make me want to reach for more vintage romances. I like that this book had a rich story. The hero and heroine are complex individuals who come together and find a compelling attraction between them. Neither of them are perfect. Adam was delightfully surly, kind of take charge and rough in a way, and very compellingly masculine. He's also a bit insecure about his partial blindness. When Lenore literally bumps into him, they exchange mean words with each other, that Lenore feels bad about when she finds out that he's vision-impaired. Days later, Lenore gets stranded at his house during a freak snowstorm, after injuring her knee. They end up going to bed together, and it felt right to me. The passion and the connection and sharing between them felt authentic. However, Lenore runs away, only to return when her heart draws her back. But that's not their happy ending. They have to deal with some things first. Lenore was in a long-term relationship with a guy I felt was using her. He was Orthodox Jew and while she was good enough to shack up with, he wouldn't marry her unless she converted. When she said no, he broke it off. Now, she is dealing with the heartbreak of being dumped, and she's not ready to let herself be vulnerable in that way to a man. It's even more devastating when she has a powerful, intense attraction to a man like Adam.
Lenore's music ends up bringing them back together, when she's asked to see if the local music group can hold their performance at his house. Adam makes demands on Lenore that she's not ready to deal with, and they end up parting again, not under the best terms. However, he agrees to letting the concerts take place at his house. This brings them into close, tantalizing proximity, showing Lenore and Adam that their feelings are very real.
Although this is all from Lenore's viewpoint, I was able to get a fix on Adam. He's a tough guy who was gravely wounded in a war-torn country, where he lost part of his sight. He's not sure how to rebuild his life without being visual, since that's a big part of his self-esteem, allowing him to pursue his dangerous career is a videographer/journalist. He finds himself drawn to Lenore, and wants all of her. However, he's not good with words in showing his love. They both have to decide if they can love each other and find everything that they need in life together as a unit.
This was a quick, fulfilling read. I'm sure I read Flora Kidd growing up. But I feel the urge to hunt down more of her books, since I like her writing style. Recommended to fans of the older Harlequin Presents books.(less)
Not a terribly exciting story, but Destined to Meet has a charm to it. I love the British Harlequin Romances. They are nice fare to take me away from...moreNot a terribly exciting story, but Destined to Meet has a charm to it. I love the British Harlequin Romances. They are nice fare to take me away from my existence and to read a nice love story.
Bevin meets Jarvis when she's horribly sick. She approaches him to do a survey on the street as part of her new job, and faints right in front of him. Jarvis ends up taking her home to his apartment to recover, for lack of anywhere else to take her, and the fact that he's drawn to her. She seems to be what was missing in his life, and she falls right into his arms. His sister shows up and assumes that Bevin is Jarvis's new squeeze. This is timely since his late grandfather's will requires him to marry before his next birthday. Bevin is still confused and sick when she answers the door and meets his sister, and unwittingly agrees when Rosalind suggests that she's Jarvis's fiance. This is good and bad news for Jarvis, because it gives him a buffer between him and his pushy relatives, although it also puts pressure on him to move up the wedding date.
What follows is a bit of comedy of manners, although it's not particularly humorous. Bevin's tendency to be tongue-tied when she's on the spot, and her gentle nature has her inadvertently agreeing to what the very pushy Rosalind suggests regarding her relationship with Jarvis, digging their hole deeper each time. Jarvis gets frustrated each time, but can't stay mad at the sweet angel he ended up bring home with him. Bevin and Jarvis go along with their "fake" engagement, and spend time together, coming to realize that they make each other's lives complete.
I have a weakness for these British Harlequins, so it was enjoyable to me on those grounds, although a bit slow-paced and drama free (I like my Harlequin drama--what can I say?). I felt Bevin needed to be more assertive, in general. She seemed to go along with things too easily, although she showed backbone with Jarvis, for the most part. I didn't like how she took so much crap off her stepmonster, who had neatly stepped in and stole her inheritance due to her cheap father's refusal to get a lawyer to do his will. The lady pretty much stole her house away, and was using Bevin as an unpaid housekeeper/cleaner. I also wished that she would have communicated more clearly with Jarvis. She gave out a lot of mixed signals. Thankfully, he was a gentleman and didn't take advantage of her, although he easily could have. He was a genuinely nice guy, and I appreciated that about him. Not too many people would have taken a sick stranger home to their house and nursed her back to health, expecting nothing in return, although he did appreciate her cooking when she was on the mend.
This was a short, entertaining read, although a little on the dry side. It's definitely a sweet/"both feet on the floor" romance, which has an appeal nowawadays if a reader feels oversaturated with too much "nookie" in romance. For readers who have to have "nookie", I'd recommend skipping this one. I liked the charm of the very British elements, so I'll probably keep it for those reasons.(less)
I found myself really clicking with Ms. Mikels' writing style. She has a way of an interesting story. I was drawn into this book, and I felt a connect...moreI found myself really clicking with Ms. Mikels' writing style. She has a way of an interesting story. I was drawn into this book, and I felt a connection with the characters. I was intrigued with what made Max Henderson such a cold, unapproachable man. When I found out, it totally made sense. I could see why he had withdrawn from others. His emotional pain made him unexpectedly tortured. Although he was a businessman-type, he also had a rugged, manly appeal that I liked. I could see why Sam fell for him. I thought that Sam was a good counterpart for him. Determinedly cheerful, yet strong and independent, but not without her own baggage.
Their love story was straightforward, but it had its bumps along the way, as they dealt with their emotional issues, moreso on the part of Max. There was a nice, strong vibe of attraction and an appeal to this story. But it wasn't a dramafest in the bad way. It was nice to see their love grow as they spent time together and realized that there was more between them than patient and caregiver.
Since this is part of a series written by different authors that all ties together, there is a bit of vagueness in the description and the characterization of the supporting characters, and loose ends with the mystery of who killed Max's sister Christina, with little resolution on that front. This didn't bother me, because I knew that going into it, and I was more interested in seeing the relationship between Sam and Max unfold. In the end, I was glad I pulled this one off the shelf for my Clean Off My Category Romance Challenge. It turned out to be a very good read.
This wasn't a bad book. It just didn't inspire any particular fire in me as I read it. I did like that the heroine was a physical therapist. That part...moreThis wasn't a bad book. It just didn't inspire any particular fire in me as I read it. I did like that the heroine was a physical therapist. That part resonates because I have been in PT recently. Also the hero recovering from physical injuries. I did find the interactions between Kat and Matt cute. I felt the reasons for them breaking up were a bit contrived, and their getting together seemed rather quick and not well-plotted. I really like reading this author, and I've read some very good books by her, so that's probably why this one didn't impress me that much. I think if this was a book by a new to me author, I would have thought it was good and made a note to read more by her. But in the case of being a long-time fan of this author, I think my expectations were higher than what this book delivered.
In the end, this was okay, but it didn't have enough HP zing factor. A pleasant weekend read, but not anything that hit my reading satiety centers.
Fire of Spring has some beautiful, descriptive writing, and it hooked me emotionally. The imagery was very vivid, with the descriptions of the Colorad...moreFire of Spring has some beautiful, descriptive writing, and it hooked me emotionally. The imagery was very vivid, with the descriptions of the Colorado landscape under the grip of a cold spring in which snow is still on the group, and the promise of a warm Spring lurks around the corner. The title of this book really ties into the storyline in a number of ways, relating to the weather, the emotional intensity between the characters, and the tapestry that Dawn is working on that reflects her hopes for her relationship with Logan. Additionally, anyone who has read Elizabeth Lowell’s romances knows how well she writes sensuality. She never gets too explicit, but there is a fire and a power in her descriptions of the attraction between her characters, and their eventual lovemaking.
Both Dawn and Logan have suffered in their lives, and the cause of their suffering is in part due to the same woman. However, Dawn chose to put that pain behind her and get on with her life. In contrast, Logan hangs onto the hurt of seeing his brother kill himself with alcohol, and after years of feeding him full of nonsense about how bad women are and how they will destroy you, because his brother fell for the wrong woman---Dawn’s mother.
Logan hurt Dawn very badly by taking her young love and turning it into something dirty, offering her the position as his mistress until he tired of her. Instead of taking him up on that, she left and moved on with her life. Three years later, Dawn’s friend Kathy, Logan’s sister begs her to come and take care of Logan, who is sick with walking pneumonia. Dawn doesn’t want to go back down that painful path, but she owes Logan a debt, and she intends to pay him back. She hopes that she can keep herself from loving him again, knowing that he will only break her heart.
This is definitely a well-written story, and I zoomed through it. However, Logan is a mean bastard. He is deliberately cruel to Dawn, and I think most women would probably have beaten him to death with a frying pan. Dawn takes a lot off this guy, probably too much, out of her love for him. She tries to break down the corrosive wall of anger and bitterness that Logan has around his heart so that he can be free, even if she won’t be able to claim his love for her own. Part of me wondered that he was even worth the effort. But deep down, Dawn knows that Logan does love her. He just has to overcome that bad programming that his brother entrenched into his mind and spirit. She tries her best to help him, even though she weeps from the wounds that Logan’s ugly words inflict on her vulnerable heart, and she stays until he tells her to leave. She was a strong woman to put up with that. Strong in that yielding and standing sort of way that is underappreciated. I really liked Dawn. Logan, not so much, especially after he humiliates Dawn in front of the ranch hands. He comes around, realizing how much he loves Dawn, but I would have preferred some extended groveling and an epilogue in which Logan shows how much he adores Dawn. Because these essential elements weren’t on offer, this couldn’t be a five star read for me. However, this is a very good book, if you can tolerate a jerky, cruel hero who needs some remedial lessons in love and groveling. (less)
*Listened to audiobook from 6/23-6/29/11* My thoughts:
*I thought the narrator was pretty good. I think she tried to vary her speech to signify that di...more*Listened to audiobook from 6/23-6/29/11* My thoughts:
*I thought the narrator was pretty good. I think she tried to vary her speech to signify that different people were talking. Her Russian accent was pretty good. Sometimes her female voices (for Rikki's 'sisters', particularly Blythe) sounded a little hokey. But overall I was happy, because she brought the characters to life. I could easily picture them in my mind as I listened. She made Rikki adorable and fierce and loving. Lev was the sexy, awesome lethal man I know and love! *I have never listened to an audiobook with sexual situations, so I admit I giggled on some of the love scenes, hearing the descriptive words. I admit they were pretty stirring as well (blushing). I'm glad I was not in mixed company while I listened. *Although Ms. Feehan has a tendency to use three words when she can use one, I am a stone cold addict for her books. Being able to listen to this during some pretty heinous commutes was a blessing from God. I am definitely appreciative. *I still like reading books more than audiobook, but I admit this kept my interest and kept me awake even when I was driving at 4am in the morning and after a very long day yesterday with a nearly 2 hour drive home to deal with.
I'd rate the audiobook as 4.5 stars, but the book still stands as 5 stars. I'd recommend this audiobook to Feehan fans or for newbies looking for a good book to listen to on CD.
Original Review Below:
Ms. Feehan, you've done it again. This is now one of my favorites by you.
This was such a beautiful, gorgeous book. Ms. Feehan's descriptive writing brings things to vivid, lush, captivating life. Seeing the world through Rikki's eyes was like nothing I've seen. People tend to think of autism as a liability. It does make it harder to integrate into the usual world. But, being in that place of beauty that belongs only to you, how wonderful that must be. I appreciate Ms. Feehan for the time she took to write this story and open my eyes to Rikki's world.
I've always been a water person, and I felt the affinity and love of water that Rikki felt. Since she was an outcast in many ways, it was good that she had the ocean, the water to be her home, to be her safe place that settled her.
Rikki is probably one of the most special and unique heroines I've encountered. She was created with such love and devotion that I can't help but love her. I liked that she is so complex, and has such a strength to make a life for herself, despite the many obstacles she faced. She knew that Lev had a past as a cold-blooded killer, and was a dangerous man--but she looked into his heart and saw the true man that he was. She was never afraid of him. She was willing to give him a chance to be the man who he yearned to be. She didn't realize that to Lev, she was his chance.
The love story in this book affected me deeply. Rikki and Lev found that connection that I crave in romance novels. The scene where they are under water, and their eyes meet, and it keeps Lev from succumbing to the fierce anger of the ocean. Her eyes anchor him. For the first time in his life, he feels like he has a home. Rikki might disturb or upset others because she doesn't know the social cues, with her piercing black gaze, but she gives him peace when she focuses those eyes on him. The way in which their love story unfolds has won this book a place on my keeper shelf as an all-time favorite romance. The intense love between Lev and Rikki shouts off the page. The sensuality is so powerful, as Rikki and Lev explore that magic that unites them as soulmates. The way that Lev would take care of Rikki, and vice versa. Their humorous exchanges. How they could be real with each other. It all comes together to make an unforgettable love story. Utterly sighworthy! This sappy girl was in heaven.
I loved how Lev didn't try to change Rikki to fit him. He found his place in her life, and adjusted himself to hers. She needed constancy and routine, and he understood that. But he enhanced her life by giving her that emotional bond that she'd never had, even with her fiance. Their love was so mutual and so beautiful. Making something stronger and enduring through their union.
Lev is the dangerous hero fangirl's Christmas gift. But, he's also a gentle, loving man with Rikki. That's my kind of hero--completely lethal, but like a Golden Retriever puppy dog with his woman, unless she's in danger, then he's like an fierce wolf protecting his mate. I never thought I'd love you more than Ilya, Lev. But I do!
I have a feeling I'm going to enjoy this new series by Ms. Feehan. I think that each of Rikki's adopted sisters are interesting. They bring unique gifts and personalities to the table. I like their created bond of family for each other. How they accept each other for who they are. I'm dying to meet more of the Prasenkii brothers. What is it with me and dangerous Russian men?
I appreciated how Ms. Feehan touched on the issue with Lev being on the boat while Elle was being held captive. Jonas did exactly what he should have done. Yet, I could understand why Lev did what he did. He was in a really tough situation. No question there. There's going to be some fallout, but I have a feeling it's going to work out.
I wish that Sea Haven was a real place. I would so move there. It's a happening place with the Drake sisters and spouses, Rikki's adopted family, and the Prasenkiis. Yet another favorite by an author who has won my devotion, book by fantastic book. Thumbs way up!(less)