Riley Fitzgerald is a twenty-five-year-old bronc rider in the rodeo circuit who comes from Kentucky whiskey and horse-breeding money. He know...moreSynopsis
Riley Fitzgerald is a twenty-five-year-old bronc rider in the rodeo circuit who comes from Kentucky whiskey and horse-breeding money. He knows he is fortunate that he doesn't have to work for a living, and can pursue his love of rodeo, but his father is leaning on him to join the family business. Riley wants one more Rodeo Championship win behind him before he'll think of moving on from rodeo, even though he doesn't know what career he'll ultimately settle on. When his plane sustains in-flight damage, he is forced to land near a derelict parts warehouse outside of Albuquerque, New Mexico. There he meets Maria Alvarez, who warns him he is in gang territory.
Maria is a thirty-five-year-old Latina teacher who works with disadvantaged students to help them to get their GEDs, since she believes education is the only way to save them from the dead-end lifestyle of gangs. She is at the warehouse looking for three of her latest students at the gang hangout, and encounters Riley. He's definitely one sexy cowboy, even if she knows he's too young for her. Not to mention he is white and comes from money. How on earth can he understand her values and what it's like being raised in the Albuquerque hood, where she works to keep youngsters from befalling the same fate as her deceased younger brother? She is determined to help to save Cruz, Alonso, and Victor from the cycle of poverty and violence that led to her brother's demise.
Riley becomes a close friend and something more, as he helps her work with the young men. He arranges for them to work and live on a friend's horse ranch while they study for their GEDs. He is intrigued and impressed with the beautiful, sexy, and together older woman, and he's not bothered in the least by the age difference or their different backgrounds. Not only does Riley intend to qualify for and win the Rodeo Championship, but he also plans to win Maria's heart. Maria finds it very hard to resist Riley, because he is gorgeous, fun to be around, and has a good heart. Can she get past the seemingly insurmountable barriers of race, age, and background to find the love of her life with Riley?
A Rodeo Man's Promise was a quick, involving, fulfilling read. Marin Thomas has a breezy style that keeps the story flowing. Riley was a sweetheart. I appreciated the vigorous and vital impact of his youthful masculine energy, but also the fact that he was mature, confident and generous. I loved the fact that he didn't let issues of race and social status stand between him and the woman he wanted. Equally important was the fact that although Riley recognized he was born to privilege, he lacked a sense of arrogance and entitlement because of that. He embraced the fact that he was blessed in his background, and was willing to get outside his privileged upbringing and its accompanying mindset to help to mentor three young Latino boys from the rough part of town.
Maria was a compelling and likable character. The pain of losing her brother had driven her to help youngsters. She was realistic in her wants, needs and desires. I could understand why she would have some fears and reservations about becoming involved with Riley, considering her past hurts and their disparate backgrounds. I loved that Riley was determined and committed to win her trust and to convince her to give them a chance together.
The sparks fly between Maria and Riley and make a great romance. I felt the strong bond between them that transcends any obvious differences. Sometimes you find ‘the one' and they are nothing like you, and that can be a very good thing. In addition, the inclusion of the three teens, Cruz, Victor, and Alonso, with their troubled lives, and hopes and fears for the future, helps to round out the romance and make for a deeper read. The rodeo elements were interesting, and I loved how they became a bridge between Riley and Cruz, the most troubled of the trio of teens. Rodeo is a metaphor for hanging onto one's dreams in life, even when the going gets tough. If you can stay on the bronco for eight seconds, then you can do just about anything. That's a great take home message. A Rodeo Man's Promise is a book I thoroughly enjoyed, and would recommend to readers of romance.
This was a really good book. I was completely sucked into this story, and I couldn't put it down. I like JA Jance's no-nonsense writing style, with a...moreThis was a really good book. I was completely sucked into this story, and I couldn't put it down. I like JA Jance's no-nonsense writing style, with a good mystery with no loose ends. I will be reading more of this author.
Magnificent Folly was a quick, pleasing read from back in the day by this prolific author. It continues the story of the Clanad, a group of people wit...moreMagnificent Folly was a quick, pleasing read from back in the day by this prolific author. It continues the story of the Clanad, a group of people with powerful telepathic abilities who have found a refuge in the Middle Eastern country Sedikhan. This story is about Andrew, who is the brother of Mariana, from A Tough Man to Tame. Andrew donated his sperm so that Lily could have a child, only she doesn’t find out that he’s her daughter’s father until he finds them nine years later. Andrew bonds with their mutual daughter, Cassie, telepathically. Although Cassie is considered latent, she is able to communicate with Andrew, who she says, “Brings beautiful music to her.” Cassie is a musical prodigy, and the main focus of Lily’s life. Lily resents Andrew’s appearance in her life for a number of reasons. First of all, she hasn’t trusted or desired a relationship with a man since she was betrayed by one before she got pregnant with Cassie. Also, she can’t believe that Andrew has these special gifts. Lily is a realist, only believing what is tangible and real to her eyes and senses. Other things are as evanescent as sand castles. And then there is the fact that she has to share Cassie now with her father. However, Cassie is in danger from the people who want to track down and experiment on the Clanad and their descendents.
I loved Andrew. He is such an adorable, warm, loving, and sexy guy. I kept thinking of Spencer Reid (played by Matthew Gray Gubler) from “Criminal Minds”, who I have a lustful crush on, even though Andrew doesn’t look like Spencer. He just has that brilliant but sweet vibe that I love about Spencer. Andrew is steadfast in his love for Lily, who he saw on campus (where her doctor was) and fell in love at first sight, even knowing that it was hopeless that he could have had a relationship with her. If he could help her by donating his sperm for her to get pregnant, at least he could be in her life in that way. Andrew stays out of her life for nine young years (since he was in his teens at the time he first saw Lily, and only seventeen or eighteen when she got pregnant by him via artificial insemination). But when he realizes she and Cassie are in danger, he can’t stay away. He also realizes that he needs to take the chance to convince Lily that they belong together.
I found Lily frustrating for the majority of this book. Her past issues made her way too distrusting. She refused to see that Andrew was the real deal, although he was always as honest as he could be, and very genuine. Plus, Cassie trusted and had bonded with Andrew early on, which was good evidence that Andrew was a good person worthy of her trust, at least in my book. I can understand trust issues, but she took hers too far, and said some very hurtful things to Andrew, which seemed like shooting fish in a barrel, because he was so sweet. I did like the gesture she made at the end. It was perfect and poetic.
Although Lily’s character was annoying at times, I did like this book quite a bit. I was in a dark emotional place when I read it, and the book helped me to focus on something else other than my issues. So I appreciate that. Plus, I was glad I got to meet Andrew. (less)
This book passed my good book test. I loved the characters, I was involved, and I enjoyed the storyline, and it made me feel good and optimistic when...moreThis book passed my good book test. I loved the characters, I was involved, and I enjoyed the storyline, and it made me feel good and optimistic when I finished the book. Not all books have to have a feel good quotient, but it's certainly nice when they do.
Evan and Kathy were both struggling to do right by the boys they were raising: Evan was a single father with a three-year-old son, and a big farm to run. Kathy was raising her orphaned nephew.
Evan used to be a wild child, raising you know what, and living life in the fast lane. When he got his girlfriend pregnant, he did the right thing, and married her. But she didn't want the settled life of a wife to a farmer, and a mother. She ran off with Jesse and broke Evan's heart. He finally got his son back, and he's determined to do the right thing by him. But, he's still insecure that he's not a good man or role model for his son.
Kathy decided that small-town life would be better for Mac, because he was getting to be at the age where trouble was calling his name. She was thirty-four and still a virgin, and thought her chances at love has passed her by. In fact, she didn't even date. Evan is too gorgeous to ignore, and he has an adorable young son. Could this man be the answer to her dreams, able to be husband to her, and father to her nephew, who badly needs a male influence?
This couple met when Mac vandalized Evan's truck. Evan recognizes the plea for help in Mac's actions, and sentences him to two weeks shoveling manure on his farm. It turns out to be a really good decision on his part, helping to bring these two people and their sons together to form a family. The kids are pretty cute: Jesse and Mac hit it off and become honorary brothers. It was nice to see Mac's sullen teen angst get melted by an adorable kid. Mac's vulnerabilities were realistic in light of losing his mother, and his father rejecting him before he was even born. He feared that Kathy didn't truly love him but saw him as an obligation, and he acted out because of it. Evan did a great job of setting boundaries with Mac, and showing him that parental love is often in the form of loving discipline, an area that Kathy had trouble. Working on the farm gives Mac something to focus on other than his sense of inadequacy and his fears.
This was a really nice, sweet story. It's probably too sweet for some readers. Things wrap up in a nice bow at the end, and that's a-ok with me. Since life isn't really like that, it's nice to read books where that happens.
Kathy and Evan are a good match. They have passion and understanding, and can work past their disputes and uncertainties to keep their marriage going. I like that their love encompassed their children, proving that there is infinite room in a person's heart for people to love. They are two people I can see happily married fifty years from now. It was great spending a couple hours with them and reading about their romance.(less)
This was a book where patience proves to be a virtue. It started very slowly, with an almost tedious amount of detail. As I continued to read, it star...moreThis was a book where patience proves to be a virtue. It started very slowly, with an almost tedious amount of detail. As I continued to read, it started to make sense.
This is a book about the battle between two opposing forces: chaos and order. The tedious amount of detail really ties into this story, for it defined the foundation of Recluce. Recluce is a city of almost pure order. Everything is so perfect and ordered that it is perceived as being boring to our hero, Lerris. Any persons who compromise that order are exiled. Our hero is such a person. But, like any good heroic fantasy, this reluctant, unlikely hero does save the day.
Lerris was a bit annoying at first, like one of those eternally bored youngsters that made my life miserable when I taught. I don't think I've ever seen the word 'boring' so much in my life. When I was a kid, I was not allowed to be 'bored', so I don't have much patience for people who go through life bored with everything. Fortunately, I came to see how this plays a role in the story. Lerris is looking for answers. He's like the kid who always asks 'why' about everything, wanted to be told instead of finding out the answers for himself. His exile from Recluce turns out to be the making of him. He finds a strength and a purpose over the course of this novel that can only be gained the hard way, through action and practice.
At first, I didn't think Mr. Modesitt's style of writing was going to work for me, but then I began to appreciate it. His attention to detail is very important to the narrative. I especially liked his descriptions of woodworking. I am not very good with my hands, despite being a decent artist and gardener. I do respect those who can build functional things with their hands. Lerris's approach to woodworking--initially one of boredom and disinterest, which changed to one of intense focus and commitment to perfection--was a metaphor for his maturation from boy to man. He has a hard, often lonely road ahead of him in this novel. Seeing that slow, often painful growth made me come to love him as a hero. He showed that his heart was in the right place, although he seemed so disinterested and self-absorbed initially.
The magic system was very interesting. It turned a a big thing on its head as far as conventions: the black wizards are the good wizards, and the white wizards are the evil wizards. That was an unique twist that I liked. I was surprised that I figured out some of how the chaos versus order dynamic worked. I was putting the pieces together along with Lerris. I liked how the order in persons and things were manipulated by Lerris and his eventual mentor, gray (mostly black but a little white) wizard, Justen. That was their power as order-masters. And it wasn't just a matter of creating things to solve problems. If done wrongly or for the wrong motives, this could become an act of chaos. Lerris had to continually weigh his actions to make sure he wasn't doing that. As I read, I wondered what could and couldn't be done and stay on the side of order.
Although this story is focused on Lerris, there are some interesting secondary characters, and quite a lot of strong, well-developed women characters. I liked that the women were in powerful roles, often serving in the military and as soldiers. Krystal turned out to be a good character, showing her own evolution in character for the best. And I loved Lerris trusty mountain pony, Gairloch. He's quite the boon companion.
I am the risk of being long-winded, so I'll bring this review to a close. This was a very good book. I'm glad I hung in there and kept reading past the slow beginning, and that I paid attention. Mr. Modesitt lays a powerful foundation for this story, and everything ties in together. I appreciate being recommended this story by a fellow Goodreads friend. I will definitely continue reading this series. Recommended to readers who like an intricate fantasy story. (less)
At first I was just reading this because I got it for Tell Harlequin. I was somewhat interested because of the dynamic between Axel and Tara. Then it...moreAt first I was just reading this because I got it for Tell Harlequin. I was somewhat interested because of the dynamic between Axel and Tara. Then it became very interesting to me. I tend to enjoy book set in small towns, and books that show the interactions of people in those towns. I also liked the way Axel's very large, extended family spend time together, watching out for one another, teasing and loving each other. I really like books with big families interacting. Maybe because my family bickers so much I don't want to be around them. The tension between Axel and Tara builds slowly. This is no Harlequin Blaze, but I did feel there was good romantic tension and pretty good sensual interactions for a Silhouette Special Edition, not one of the hotter series in HQN/Silhouette.
Axel really grew on me. He was a good guy, and had conflicting loyalties, all intersecting at the same time. Should he have called? Yes. Did he have a good reason for not calling? Yes. He was pretty yummy I thought.
I liked Tara a lot. She had good reason to be wary and hold herself back. She had been subjected to endless moves throughout her young life, and then her life imploaded when her brother went undercover in a gang and became a wanted man through testifying against them. She finally established herself in a new place, although she was still trying to keep her distance out of fear of losing those connections again. Then she has the weekend with Axel and he doesn't contact her again for four months, that's after her brother stood her up when they were supposed to meet on her birthday. I could definitely understand her cold feet. Was she wrong about keeping her and Axel's baby secret? Yes. Did she have a good reason in her mind? Maybe. But I was glad she finally told him before the baby got here. I can deal with a secret pregnancy and a secret infant. Secret child and teenager really annoy me. That's just plain wrong unless the baby's father is the antichrist. Maybe then, I might take that into consideration.
Although this book about small town life and a wary heart learning to trust probably wouldn't be for everyone, I have to say I really enjoyed it, although it got off to a bit of a slow start. But then, I like the small town slice of life and family books a lot.(less)
Brandon is a one of a kind hero. His story is heartbreaking. At one point, I almost put the book down, thinking why? How could someone be cruel to the...moreBrandon is a one of a kind hero. His story is heartbreaking. At one point, I almost put the book down, thinking why? How could someone be cruel to their own grandson like this? If you like tortured heroes, you must read this book. I like that Ms. Reinke threw out the rule book when she wrote this book. She was not afraid to make Brandon vulnerable and the opposite of what a lot of romance novel heroes are. That doesn't make him any less appealing. Brandon has been abused and mistreated by his family after he was horribly wounded and almost died during a botched robbery. The scene where we see this happen just broke something inside of me. The aftermath is that he is a deaf-mute. His family is intolerant of his imperfection, yet they won't let him escape to find a better life. They hate that he is different, and want to crush his individuality in every way. Like I said, heartbreaking. Despite this, Brandon shows an inner strength, kind of in a Zen way. He is the tree that doesn't break because it bends. He refuses to give into the bloodthirsty ways of his people. He refuses to let go of the love in his heart for Jackson, the man who taught him how to read and to sign. And for Angelina, and he puts himself in jeopardy to save them, when he family set it up for them to be murdered. Brandon is very young when this book starts, only twenty-one. He's actually several years younger than Angelina, the woman of his dreams. I thought it might be weird that he was so young, and it was certainly different. But again, I like that Reinke wasn't afraid to do this. I also liked that in some ways he is more vulnerable than Angelina. But at the same time, he has an inner strength. Now I did have an issue with Angelina's character. I don't think I truly got to know her. I wish more time had been spent on her backstory, but realizing the shortness of this book, and how compelling Brandon was, I can see why the author chose to focus more on Brandon. I loved the connection between Brandon and Angelina. I do think they were soulmates, complementing each other. Although Angelina was the more experienced, and harder character, Brandon had an inner strength that brought a calm and peace to Angelina. Another pet peeve I had was how beat up Brandon kept getting in this book. He was a really good fighter, but his evil, awful brother was always just that little bit stronger than him. This wasn't really bad in itself, just different. I liked the mythology of this series, although it's a bit different from a lot of the vamp paranormals out right now. That's a good thing. I do feel that there is much more to learn about the Brethren. Right now, they are not really nice vamps in my mind, except for Brandon, Tessa, and Remy. I'm eager to read Remy and Tessa's book, and to find outwhere things unfold after this book was over. Although this wasn't a perfect book, I do love it because of the wonderful character that Reinke has created in Brandon. I just sigh thinking about him.(less)
Okay, there are tons of reviews on this book, and I can't add too much to the review ether that hasn't already been said. But, I promised to write a r...moreOkay, there are tons of reviews on this book, and I can't add too much to the review ether that hasn't already been said. But, I promised to write a review for every book I read, so I'll do this in an different kind of way. How about a Q&A session about this book?
Question and Answer Session With Danielle Regarding Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
1. So, you finally read it. How does it feel to read this 850 page magnum opus?
I feel a profound sense of accomplishment. I'm glad that I 'womaned-up' and faced this super-duper long book. This is the longest book I've ever read (other than the Bible, which I've read in parts, although I haven't made it through all the way yet). I'm verra, verra glad I chose this book for a challenge, thus had to read it in a certain time period. I might have put it off longer, and missed the marvelous book that it was.
2.What do you think of Jamie Fraser?
Are there words to describe him? He is just fantastic. I can't imagine how D. Gabaldon created such a wonderful, wonderful character. I have standards for my "heroes to die for", and he meets all those standards. What a beautiful, wonderful man! Claire is a lucky woman.
3. Was this a difficult read?
I have to say that it wasn't. I did have to apply myself. This was more because I don't care for long books. I like to read shorter books so I can move onto the next book faster. This book felt like it could be 2 1/2 books. However, it wasn't boring. It was interesting seeing life back then, and how Claire, who is from the 20th century, reacted to it. I love books about Scotland and Scottish people. Their way of life sort of resonates with me. And the characters were very vivid and fascinating. And the romance was to die for. And Jamie is just awesome!!!
4. What was your favorite aspect of this book?
Jamie Fraser! My second favorite aspect for the powerful love story between Claire and Jamie. They are definitely a couple that was meant to be together. I thought that the fact that she was married in the future would bother me, but it didn't. I thought of Frank as being her past life, and although she truly loved Frank, he wasn't her soulmate like Jamie was (can I write a review without using that 'S' word? Apparently not). I so wanted her to stay with Jamie. There was no contest. And Claire was used to rustic living, since she'd grown up on digs with her uncle. I also liked seeing Claire do her medical treatments (I love medicine). I also liked the adventure and the fighting.
5. What didn't you like about this book?
Well, I hated Randall, but I was supposed to! He was one sick puppy! I can't imagine how Claire felt to meet her husband's ancestor, and to know what a truly awful man he was. I hated some of the situations that Jamie and Claire faced and what they had to do. It made me sad that one evil man had caused this.
6. Would you recommend this book to other readers?
Absolutely, providing that one was committed to reading a book that is nearly 900 pages, and one enjoys historical books. No book is for all tastes, but I think those who might be interested in a story with a fantastic hero like Jamie, and an outstanding heroine like Claire, and those who are crazy about Scottish subject matter, should read it.
7.Has the bar been raised for Scottish Highlander romance?
Most definitely. I try not to compare books, because, well it isn't fair. But, now that I've read Outlander, I know in the back of my mind, an image of Jamie will crop up when I read future Highlander books.
8. Were parts of this book hard to read?
Oh, there was a couple of parts that made me wince. One part nearly broke my heart, but Claire really came through for Jamie, and it made me almost cry. It was beautifully done. I tend to read romance books for the hero moreso than the heroine, but I love a great heroine, and Claire is definitely that.
9.Okay, what if I don't like romance, and I think it's sappy nonsense. Can I still enjoy this book?
Well, I think this might convert you, if you don't enjoy romance. Barring that, I still think you'd enjoy this book. Not only is it a great romance, it's great historical fiction. And the time travel element, although not a huge part, is very intriguing. So, give it a try.
10.Danielle, what are you going to do, now that you've read Outlander?
Go to Disney World???? Just kidding! Honestly, I'm going to continue my reading adventures in my massive, ever-growing tbr pile, and I know eventually I will be drawn back to this series. But, I think I'll read some shorter books for a wee bit. I might take a break from Scottish Highlander romance for a while. I don't want to be disappointed because the book isn't Outlander.
11.It's about time to wrap this up. Anything you want to add?
Just a few things: The praise for Jamie Fraser is well-deserved. Ms. Gabaldon wrote a fantastic book, and I'm very glad I read it. I can now pat myself on the back, since I read this book. I'll consider it my War and Peace, in fact. I hope that those who are hesistant to read this book take the plunge. It was worth the time spent on it.(less)
Lady Lyte was a bit of a knucklehead initially, but I warmed to her. I really liked Thorn. He was an unusual hero in that he was a virgin and he was t...moreLady Lyte was a bit of a knucklehead initially, but I warmed to her. I really liked Thorn. He was an unusual hero in that he was a virgin and he was the pursued in the relationship. But it didn't make him any less manly to me. He actually tipped this story over the edge of liking it and just thinking it was okay. Read about Lady Lyte's nephew Oliver and Thorn's sister Ivy in The Love Match short story collection. (less)
I read this book by an author I had become a fan of after reading The Wicked Truth, and I was struck by the uniqueness and the beauty of this romance....moreI read this book by an author I had become a fan of after reading The Wicked Truth, and I was struck by the uniqueness and the beauty of this romance. Jonathan is considered an idiot savant because of his incredible abilities as a composer but his lack of social skills. Knowing this initially, I wasn't sure how things would go before I met him, but I fell in love with him. I really like books with unusual heroes and heroines. Jonathan is that. He's perfectly intelligent, he just has a different way of looking at things. He doesn't care much for what's going on in the world, and has a tendency to be wrapped up in his music. I would use the phase, "He needs a keeper," to describe him. He bonds almost immediately with Kathryn and in a very sensual way. It involves a piano bench. Definitely a wow moment for me. I knew I'd like this book at this point. Another truly enjoyable thing about this book was how capable and practical Kathryn is. If you are a fan of Jessica Trent from Lord of Scoundrels, I think you would like Kathryn. She is slightly older than Jonathan, and has taken care of herself for many years. She is the perfect match for Jonathan, tempering his passion with reason, although he brings out the latent passions in her. He gives her what she needs, the desire to nuture and love him and his children. Kathryn gently encourages Jonathan, supporting him in his music, but giving him nudges to remember that there is a world outside there beyond his music. There are poignant moments that involve how he was farmed out to women to father their children so they could have children who were musical geniuses. Kathryn helps Jonathan find all his children, and they bring them to live with them, and start a ready made family. I enjoyed seeing their family moments and the marital intimacy between Jonathan and Kathryn. I found it very touching. I really love this book, although most people have never heard of it. If you want to read a wonderful love story with a different kind of hero who will endear himself to you very quickly, I think you'd like this book.(less)
This book reminds me of how much I love westerns. All of the authors in this volume are dependable writers of good romance, and they don't fail you. C...moreThis book reminds me of how much I love westerns. All of the authors in this volume are dependable writers of good romance, and they don't fail you. Cheryl has the wonderful beta hero in Seth that she is so good at writing. You will fall for him, just as Marvel does. I also like the Marvel is not immune to issues of vanity or insecurity. She fears aging poorly because of having much older parents she had to take care of in their ill health. She is also about seven years older than Seth. But they are the perfect couple in many ways. Seth is such a sweetie and he deserves to have a woman he loves and truly wants to be with.
Jenna also writes a powerful romance. Ford is a bounty hunter who specializes in bring back violent killers dead (not alive) after his family was savagely killed by a criminal. He accidentally shoots single mother Abby and takes personal responsiblity for nursing her back to health and caring for her son in the meantime. He falls deeply in love with them both, and has to choose between opening his heart to love and possible loss or living on the edge and waiting for his death.
And lastly, Pam's story involves Sonja, who has a bad reputation in the small town because people don't understand why she keeps pigeons and often meets with the army. She is a good woman who is doing a dangerous job, but has been unjustly judged. She helps Beau by nursing a found fox kit back to health, and thus gets intertwined into the lives of Beau and his father Chet, whom she is deeply in love with. This story reminds me that the unsung heroes will be rewarded, even if the world doesn't recognize the sacrifices they make for the welfare of others. Poor, misunderstood, lonely Sonja is justly rewarded with a real family who love her as much as she loves them. I am very glad I read this, because it's a nice, warm book to read for the holidays. It has a winning combination of family and children, the warmth of Christmas, but also the uncertainties and dangers of western life with a promise of a happy future. This is a great book to read at Christmastime for a genuine lover of western romance.(less)
The Jo Beverley story, "The Demon's Mistress" is one of my favorites. It's loosely connected to the Company of Rogues. The demon, Lord Vandenmeiden, o...moreThe Jo Beverley story, "The Demon's Mistress" is one of my favorites. It's loosely connected to the Company of Rogues. The demon, Lord Vandenmeiden, or Van, is one of the three Georges in this series. Ruined by the memories of what he did and saw in the war and by his family's loss of fortunes, he is about to kill himself when he is saved by Maria. Maria is wrong for him in many ways, but absolutely right for him. He finds he won't give her up for anything. The love scenes are sizzling. The other stories were more of an afterthought.(less)
There is something about this series that feels like sinking into a comfortable, well-loved pair of shoes, or d...more2nd Read Completed Between 8/11-8/12/13
There is something about this series that feels like sinking into a comfortable, well-loved pair of shoes, or diving into your favorite comfort dish (think Mac N' Cheese). These books absorb me like few others. I was excited to reread it, and hopeful I would feel more connected and like Kaderin more this time around. It actually happened, so yay!
Before, I felt like she was just so mean to Sebastian and it bothered me. This time, I could put her into context of her life, and what she'd suffered. Her sorrow and her guilt at losing her sisters. How she couldn't bring them back, and had to live so many years without them. So she dedicated herself to wiping out those who had taken them from her. I could see why she was so armored against Sebastian. And yet, he found his way into her heart. That was a beautiful thing to experience, and it made me love Sebastian even more. I also realized that I did respect Kaderin. I think it's really easy to judge people for their mistakes and shortcomings (especially when we really don't know them). At church this Sunday, the pastor talked about the fact that people are 'holey' and we see all their holes and not the beauty of them as people. It was such a good message to remember. Sometimes, we are so 'holey' and those holes our own hurts cause us to become emotionally callous. As a result, we see others through jaundiced lens and just see what they do wrong, instead of how they are hurting as we hurt. This time around, I saw Kaderin for her pain, and what that pain made her do and act. The great thing about this story was that Sebastian loved her for who she was, and even when she pushed him away and hurt him, he didn't give up. That made me love him even more.
I also saw Sebastian in a deeper and even more beloved way. I have much love for Sebastian. He's everything I would love in a man: a powerful warrior, equally powerful intellectual, thoughtful, caring, and loving! He's as deep as an ocean, and I find that so sexy. Absolutely sigh-worthy. I loved the scene when Sebastian was turned on by the highly intellectual discussion of time paradox with Kaderin, that she could hold her own. My kind of man. Nerdtastic--my Kryptonite! Like I said, Lachlain has some stiff competition!
The concept of the Talisman's Hie was fun and exciting. I loved the globe-trotting adventure with a supernatural/fantastic twist. I liked the intense competition between Kaderin, Bowen, and Lucindeya. They all did some dirty tricks that made me wince. The Lore is so fantastically interesting, so learning more about it was fun. I felt bad for Bowen, even though I wanted Kaderin to win. I'm excited to see the sparks fly between Bowen and Mariketa. Of course, I love the interactions between Kaderin and her Valkyrie sisters, and Sebastian and his brother. It was great to see Nikolai and Myst (happy and together) so much in this book and to hear from Emma (and more obliquely Lachlain). As always, Cole has me laughing at the Valkyries' antics.
Man, I love those Wroth brothers! *Thud* Times Four!
It's exciting and lovely to see that I love these books just as much (if not more) the second time around.
Another great book in the Immortals After Dark series. Can I be honest and say that I really disliked Kaderin at first? She is one valkryie with a Valhalla-sized chip on her shoulder (Bad pun, I know). I felt bad for how she had suffered, and normally I love a strong, kickbutt heroine. But she came off massively unsympathetic and heartless initially. I didn't like the way she treated Sebastian, who was the sweetest guy. I'd love a guy like him. But over time, I grew to like Kaderin as I came to understand why her heart was so cold. She had watched her three sisters get slaughtered by vampires, unable to do anything to save them. All she had left for over a millenia was a sworn oath to destroy all vampires. In her mind, they were all of the Horde, which are the vampires who have given over to Bloodlust. She didn't realize that there were good vampires who fought the Horde.
Sebastian is a very loving character, but also a formidable warrior. He is one of the Wroth brothers, and was turned into a vampire by his oldest brothers Nikolai and Murdoch to fight in deposed Vampire King Kristoff's army to regain his kingdom. He was never good with women, being freakishly tall and lanky growing up. He had only been with two or three women in his life (compared to his playboy brother's Nikolai and Murdoch). He hated being a vampire, and was considering ending his miserable afterlife. But first he was going to try to win the Talisman Hie and get the Key, which would allow him to go back into the past and save his sisters who had died of plague back during the wars in their homeland Estonia. And then he sets his eyes on his Bride. Vampires are dead from the neck down, essentially. They cannot lust or feel desire for women until they meet their true Bride and become Blooded. It turns out that Kaderin the Coldhearted is Sebastian's Bride.
He is in love and lust. He cannot think of anything other than wooing and having his bride. He follows her around like a lost puppy. For those readers who like the alpha male bad boys, that may not sound very appealing, but it really is. Sebastian is a delicious hero. His determination to win Kaderin was very appealing to me. Kaderin is pretty annoyed and vows to kill this annoying vampire, who keeps trying to protect her, and is helping her to win the Talisman's Hie. But soon, his attractive intensity, his warrior prowess, and his masculine appeal starts to melt the ice around her heart.
So I started out this book holding Kaderin in dislike. However, seeing the way that Sebastian wins her over, and also how she is so tortured about the loss of her sisters, helped me to open my heart to Kaderin. She's not my favorite IAD heroine, but I do like her now.
No Rest for the Wicked is a great follow up to A Hunger Like No Other. Although Kaderin's cold-hearted demeanor may not be to every reader's tastes, this book is a must read for fans of paranormal, especially vampire romances. It certainly opened my eyes to the appeal of a vampire lover.(less)