Oh man, I loved the hero in this book. He was scrumptious. He reminded me of Sebastian, Lord St. Vincent from Devil in Winter in that he's a long, leaOh man, I loved the hero in this book. He was scrumptious. He reminded me of Sebastian, Lord St. Vincent from Devil in Winter in that he's a long, lean panther who talks like a panther purrs. He screams "I'm Bad For You, but I'm So Good!" He was delicious. He definitely goes on my lickable hero shelf. I fell hard for him because he is so super-sexy, and because he gave Hattie steadfast love in a way she'd never had before. At one point, he withdraws from her, and Hattie can't deal with that. He does it because it was difficult for him to deal with the fact that she refused to be honest with him. Hattie doesn't know how to deal with him not being in her life the way he's been for over ten years, and that is the impetus for change. That was when he realized she didn't know how. She didn't know what unconditional love was and the concept of being accepted no matter what. She spends most of the book pushing him away emotionally, and being a bit of a brat, so that tiptoes on the edge of being a bit tedious. Crews managed to change the tone soon enough that I was just burned out on it. I think the reveal for why Hattie has behaved the way she has so long was a pit too rapid in its delivery (and it felt a bit lightweight to be honest), and I would have liked better pacing in that regard. I did love the surprise that Nicodemus gets. I was really surprised myself. I like a good twist in a story.
This book is pretty heavy on internal dialogue and that probably wouldn't work for some. But I felt it was well done, and I think the characters are wonderfully complex. I think this is a nice mix of modern cultural awareness but with the old school intensity dynamic that makes many of us Harlequin Presents readers such advocates of the vintage novels. The sensuality is intrinsic and hot and underlined by the fact that these two people really love each other and can't imagine a life without each other.
I'm hoping that I enjoy His for Revenge, about Hattie's brother, as much as I did this book.
This was a pretty good historical romance, a story of reunited lovers, with plenty of steamy romance. However, I never felt that zing, that sense of cThis was a pretty good historical romance, a story of reunited lovers, with plenty of steamy romance. However, I never felt that zing, that sense of connection with the characters and that compulsion to keep reading. I felt like it was fine to pick this book up when I had a free moment, and to put it down when I had more important things to do.
I'm not a big fan of lovers reunited stories, but I liked that Heath and Julia are older and wiser, and have lived their lives, and know very well that what they have together is very good and it's worth committing to this time around.
There were some fun moments, especially with the salacious sketch of Heath that falls into the wrong hands. I really liked when Heath realized that he wasn't going to let Julia get away from him this time, no matter what. I love a hero in pursuit! I wasn't that into the whole "Boscastle Antics" aspect of the story. It reminds me unfavorably of how there is a tendency to wink and nod at a family in a series, and to draw readership for the later stories by reminding the reader of how crazy the family is. Of course, I love series books. No question. I just think that the author's job is to make a storyline so compelling that we can't help but race for the next book. I'm not that intrigued with the other Boscastle rogues at this point. I'll keep reading because I like this author a lot. But it's not an urgency for me right now.
This is a solid B read for me. A nice past-time with plenty of sexual tension between Julia and Heath that I'm sure many readers will really enjoy.
Although Laurel seemed intolerant initially, I really liked this romance book. It's very meaningful, and Laurel and James truly love each other. I appAlthough Laurel seemed intolerant initially, I really liked this romance book. It's very meaningful, and Laurel and James truly love each other. I appreciated the vantage point of Laurel and James, during this period in history. This series reminds me of Jo Beverley's Company of Rogues in a good way.
I loved this book from beginning to the end. I was so excited to get this as a review ARC, even though I haven't had a chance to read the first two boI loved this book from beginning to the end. I was so excited to get this as a review ARC, even though I haven't had a chance to read the first two books in this series yet. Alexander is a scoundrel, but you definitely want him to catch Sophie. Great chemistry, and wonderful romance. A five star read!
I loved this book for the chemistry and obvious love between Elizabeth and Garik. Garik is eminently lickable. The mystery wasn't quite as well plotteI loved this book for the chemistry and obvious love between Elizabeth and Garik. Garik is eminently lickable. The mystery wasn't quite as well plotted, but it was still good. I liked the small-town atmosphere of Virtue Falls.
I'm torn on the rating for this book. It was cute, indeed. I expected a lighter romp when I reached for this, but it wasn't quite as light as I expectI'm torn on the rating for this book. It was cute, indeed. I expected a lighter romp when I reached for this, but it wasn't quite as light as I expected. It's one of those books that it's hard to age. The storyline is more on the modern side, but there are aspects that make it feel more vintage. I didn't expect for Darcy's absent-minded facade to hide serious emotional scars from an event that happened six months prior.
It took me a while to figure out Reed. I thought he was hiding feelings for Darcy, but it seemed like he was still tomcatting around. At least, he had stuff at his recent ex-girfriend's house that he had left there. That implies they were sleeping together. I'm hesitant to believe in people being in love when they are still sleeping with other people. Some may feel differently, but when it comes to romance, I'm a stickler for that sort of thing. In the end, his beautiful gesture to Darcy won me over. He's actually quite the closet romantic.
I like how even in her older books, Carole Mortimer manages to write very sensual even when things aren't descriptive. That was another reason why it was hard to date this book. I was surprised at Reed's family's acceptance of him bringing over girls and sharing a room with them. That's part of why I was questioning the age of this book. I didn't think this would happen much in a pre-1990s book.
I really liked Darcy. I think that her struggles to recover from a very traumatic experience are poignant. I also liked her because she was very sweet.
It's a silly thing, but I get a little disapointed when the hero in a HP book is American. I think Reed is about half and half, but I figured he spoke with an American accent. I miss my British heroes. It's part of why I like HP books.
Overall rating: 3.5/5.0 stars (I wasn't quite as satisfied with this, hence the lower rating)
Gavriil Prakenskii, be still my heart. The man knows how to make an entrance. Wow, Ms. Feehan. Really, did you have to have him walk out of the cornfiGavriil Prakenskii, be still my heart. The man knows how to make an entrance. Wow, Ms. Feehan. Really, did you have to have him walk out of the cornfield to kick lowlife butt in a long black coat? Are you trying to kill me? Well thank you for that. I do mean it. I never get enough of ruthless, lethal Russians who fall head over heels for their women, that's for sure. So, maybe you can find more Russians to write about. I've only got two more Prakenskiis left to wait for. I heard a rumor you were writing a series about some of the guys from the Russian spy schools. Yes, please! (I digress..)
If you thought about the 'right man' for Lexi, I don't know, you might be tempted not to pick Gavriil, but it turns out that he's perfect. The strategy to win Lexi was to need her. While Gavriil might be the boogeyman to evil men that he gets assigned to eliminate, he is a protector and guardian angel for those who need him. I love how he has watched over his brothers, specifically Ilya over the years. Aww! And he loves his dogs. Most of all, he loves his woman, Lexi. His scene where he makes his intentions for Lexi known to his brothers had me tickled pink. Gavriil is all that and a bag of jalapeno chips.
Lexi's such a sweetie. I loved her. She's a lot stronger than she thinks she is. Her heart is so big and good and I think that the plants respond to that more than her earth elemental power. Plants like pets love being nourished and loved on. I think that if I had any elemental power, it would probably be either Rikki's or Lexi's. Maybe both. Since I love plants and water so much, I think having both is awesome. Lexi feels like she isn't strong or brave like her other sisters, but her ordeal is so much worse and she managed to go on with her life and make something of it, and that is true bravery. Also to meet her fears face on. And to take a chance on a wounded, hurting killer, the man who came in from the cold, Gavriil. Even in the face of what he had been, she saw a man who needed a safe haven and love and gave it to him.
I still give this five stars because it's awesome sauce, but I wish it had been longer. I guess you can't win them all. I love this series and these men and women. It was wonderful to follow up with the sisters and their Prakenskii men. And the Prakenskii mini-reunion (including Ilya) was what I was waiting years for. I think that Gavriil and Lexi are beautifully paired and I was hoping they would end up together. This book is full of some wonderful set pieces and imagery that I loved. I also like the fact that Gavriil can be gentle for a woman who was abused like Lexi, but brutal to evil men who deliberately and willfully harm others with no remorse.
I'm so happy that Lissa's book is coming out next month, and even though she leaves Sea Haven to avoid the last two single Prakenskiis, she finds one in Russia. Lissa is really cool. I appreciated how she bonded with Gavriil in a way that felt totally natural. She saw him as her equal and they were drawn together by the mutual love for Lexi. I would think she would have thought twice about going to Russia, but maybe she was subconsciously hoping to run into a Prakenskii. In that case, who could blame her?
I would apologize for the random stream of consciousness nature of this review, but that's what came out of me when I started writing it....more
This was an ongoing read that I started almost exactly a year ago. I checked the date, and wow, that's symmetry. I have made an effort to do some rereThis was an ongoing read that I started almost exactly a year ago. I checked the date, and wow, that's symmetry. I have made an effort to do some rereading because I want to recapture the magic of romance books in my life. Anne Stuart is the best, in my opinion. I could do worse than spend a year with her. I squeezed these in when I could, so that's why it took me a year. :)
I wrote reviews for each of the books as I read them. I won't post all the reviews here, because they are quite long. I will instead give my brief thoughts, and you can look up the long reviews if you are so inclined.
Night of the Phantom: This was never one of my favorites by Ms. Stuart, but it stands up to a reread. There are aspects I appreciate more than I did when I read it initially. It definitely captures the magic of "Phantom of the Opera" and the Beauty and the Beast motif. 4/5 stars.
One More Valentine: I was really feeling this book when I did my reread. I have a fondness for the early 20th century and the idea of one of the victims of the St. Valentine's Day Massacre getting a happy ending appeals to my die hard romantic. 4/5 stars
The Soldier And The Baby: Definitely one of my Anne Stuart desert island keepers. I love romance where the H/h is on the run and have to use their skills and wits to survive nature. I also liked that the heroine was a novice nun and the hero was a dangerous man. Such chemistry. 5/5 stars
Overall, this comes out to 4.5 stars (since it was 50/50 in the ratings).
I highly recommend getting this volume for your Kindle. It's not as inexpensive as it was, but it's still a good bargain, considering that all of these are out of print, and if they were in print, it would cost more to get copies of each book. If you're a fan of Anne Stuart, it's a must have. If you want to see what some of her older category books are like, this is a good opportunity. The prospects are good for all these to get reissued, at least as ebooks, so you might be able to get these individually again. I definitely want these all to come back in print, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it's soon.
I'm officially in love with this book! It was a great way to break a rather long interracial romance fast. JJ Murray has managed to take an book aboutI'm officially in love with this book! It was a great way to break a rather long interracial romance fast. JJ Murray has managed to take an book about ordinary people and make it an extraordinarily romantic and delectable read. It has a Lad Lit feel that I rather liked, despite the fact I'm not a fan of either Lad Lit or Chick Lit. Highly recommend it.
Ms. Archer has written another lushly sensual historical romance that entertained me, but also made me think. It was more suspense than action-orienteMs. Archer has written another lushly sensual historical romance that entertained me, but also made me think. It was more suspense than action-oriented outside of the romance, but readers who like espionage fiction will probably enjoy that. I liked the depth she gives her characters with quirks like Marco cursing beautifully in Italian and teaching Bronwyn rude Italian hand gestures, as well as Bronwyn's incredible violin-playing skill. It's worth a read.
Intangible Dream is the kind of Harlequin Presents that old-school fans will enjoy. Despite the lack of descriptive love scenes, there is plenty of paIntangible Dream is the kind of Harlequin Presents that old-school fans will enjoy. Despite the lack of descriptive love scenes, there is plenty of passion in this novel. And enough true love to make a diehard romantic sigh when they finish the last sentence.
It has a strong, fascinating hero who's pretty much obsessed with the heroine. Readers who love heroes who are stone cold in love with the heroine will find this book very romantic and James irresistible. Wilson maintains the tension of the reader sensing the hero's feelings, although we don't get his point of view. You feel like Gemma has underestimated his feelings for her, even though you don't find out how much until later on. Despite that, he conveys just enough and says enough to make it clear that he's crazy about Gemma. While Gemma puts up quite a fight against falling in love with James and into his plans for her, I could understand her reasons, even though I knew just how crazy James was about her. She was a bit too hurtful at times, although I think it was because she felt like she was a mouse caught in the lion's paws, out of self-defense.
Gemma has a sweet shyness and awkwardness about that I found really appealing. I could definitely see myself in her shoes, especially when I was younger. I am sure I would feel a bit overwhelmed by James' powerful personality, especially if I was youngish and very sheltered by an overprotective father (she's a very sheltered 24-yr-old) . The scenes in which James teases Gemma and draws her out of her shell are really appealing. They have a warmth and made me smile. Some readers don't care for young and innocent heroines, but they don't bother me, especially if their naivety makes sense and feels authentic. While Gemma is definitely naive, she wants to gain some agency in her life, and she has a lot of courage considering. After a life of being in a gilded cage with her dad, she doesn't want to change it to a gold cage as James' trophy wife. When she realizes his love is genuine and that she feels the same, that makes a big difference to her, and it shows in the denouement.
I think this might be one of my favorites by this author so far. I think James is a Class A Stalkerific hero (shows the possessive/jealous/obsessed traits I find a guilty pleasure, but not in a really psycho way that's too disturbing). I also liked Gemma a lot. They make a good couple and they made me root for things to work out for them. I recommend this to fans of the older Harlequin Presents, and for any fan of stalkerific romance novel heroes.