I finally finished this. I have been so busy and distracted, it took forever. However, I enjoyed this a lot. Sexy for sure and with memorable characteI finally finished this. I have been so busy and distracted, it took forever. However, I enjoyed this a lot. Sexy for sure and with memorable characters and welcome diversity. If you like American Victorian historicals, check out the Knickerbocker series.
Alex Hunter, the Arcadian, goes back to Antarctica, or at least, beneath it, and faces an old menace. And we, the readers, are along for the ride. ThiAlex Hunter, the Arcadian, goes back to Antarctica, or at least, beneath it, and faces an old menace. And we, the readers, are along for the ride. This book is as much horror as action. I have always thought as the polar ice caps melt, something will be revealed that we may not want unleashed in the modern world. Pathogens that could wipe out humanity. This book touches on these fears, both at a macro and micro level. The world beneath Antarctica as a whole seemed out to get to the explorers. There are moments in this book that made my skin crawl and made me wince. I didn't read this before bed, but I can imagine it might have given me some night terrors. I do admit to a phobia about infection and pathogenesis.
Alex is a complex character. As much a hero as a man on the brink of psychosis. He received a treatment that saved his life and made him a super-soldier, but has also awakened an Other inside of him that is basically a deranged psychopathic killer. It takes an incredible amount of effort to Alex to surpress that part of himself. Alex had to leave behind his loved ones, including Aimee his ex-lover and the child they made together. But he will have to come out of the dark when they are both in danger.
But a huge problem is that China and United States may start a global thermonuclear war because of the conflict arising from their altercations at the South Pole and a lost US submarine. In order to neutralize this conflict, Alex has to go find that sub. The sub search will put them in the crosshairs of an ancient and powerful beast, a creature of biblical fame, and a species that has adapted over millions of years to its sub-oceanic/sub-Antarctica environment.
This is not the second book in the series, but it's actually fine to read this after Beneath the Dark Ice. Stuff happens in the books before this, but the author does a good job of not letting that be an issue to understanding the events of this book.
The gore factor is fairly high and so is the gross out level. Some of the stuff in this place literally made my skin crawl. I'm a germaphobe, and this has plenty of triggers for folks like me. Like I said, this whole habitat is out to get the humans who trespass. To the environment and its inhabitants, humans are just prey. High body count, so be warned about that as well. I liked all the high tech gadgets. I am not a gun person in real life, but I enjoy reading about hardware in books. There is also plenty of excellent action sequences, of many kinds. Try going man to giant kraken and see how well that turns out for you. Generally not good. And don't think that you can hide from it. Oh no. There's no hiding.
Recommended to readers who like action/adventure with sci-fi horror elements....more
I enjoyed the motif of classic literature running through this cozy mystery, and any person who loves books as much as I do feels like a friend. ThisI enjoyed the motif of classic literature running through this cozy mystery, and any person who loves books as much as I do feels like a friend. This was a good book and a well-plotted mystery, other than a bit of a pacing issue. The villain is a real nasty one (considering). I'd definitely continue to read this series.
This was an interesting exploration of what it must be like for a man to fall in love with someone who is a lot younger than him and to have to allowThis was an interesting exploration of what it must be like for a man to fall in love with someone who is a lot younger than him and to have to allow her to grow up so they can be together. There is nothing dirty here. While Leon does fall in love with Bea when she is a young teen, he doesn't act on it. In fact, he deliberately stays away from her. When he realizes she knows about his sexual escapades as a younger man, it shames him. He doesn't want her to see that side of him. When she turns eighteen, Leon is eager for them to begin their life together, but what Bea perceives as a betrayal leads to a broken engagement and a three year separation. When Bea turns 21, she is a college graduate and she's ready to take up her role in the company that Leon's father and her father forms together. Leon is back in her life, and he seems to want to have a hands on role that she isn't at all interested in. Not knowing what he did, and believing he was romancing her just to get control of the company. Leon gets kidnapped, and it has a profound effect on his psyche that leads to further problems between them, but also opens the doors to truth-telling so they can have the relationship that they both want.
I liked this book a lot. While Bea is younger, she's not callow or facile. She has a maturity despite her young age. It was interesting that the age gap is presented realistically. Leon is 35 and she's 21, and there is a huge gap in interests between those ages. Bea plays the age card to make Leon back off, but what she doesn't realize is how deeply in love with her he is and can't easily let go of her. I like that Leon does feel a bit of chagrin about the age difference. It seems as though men are cavalier about being with much younger women and it's no big deal. I think it very much is. I liked seeing the evolution in Bea's view of things. She comes to realize how much she means to him when it's almost too late, but fortunately, she listens to some good advice that makes her willing to take a chance on Leo.
This is a good HP, with plenty of passion and intensity, and the drama isn't contrived. Baird has been one of those authors that I have read plenty of, but I tend to take for granted. She's a good writer. ...more
I have to be honest. I did not like the hero William, much at all. He was a selfish prick, in my opinion. He did come around slowly. He felt betrayedI have to be honest. I did not like the hero William, much at all. He was a selfish prick, in my opinion. He did come around slowly. He felt betrayed by his wife, but for good reason, but then he becomes a bad husband, visiting brothels and getting drunk, and when he decides to focus on his marriage, his wife has fallen into a depraved lifestyle. I know he was young, but he was old enough to know better. Then he goes into hiding in a small town, Loves Bridge. He sees his old flame, Belle, and decides he deserves to start hitting that again, and says something really mean to her when she says no, before they can do the dead. She had every right to stop things with a married man. Also, I didn't like that he was perfectly okay with cheating on his wife with prostitutes, but not with a respectable woman. I think prostitution is reprehensible. I don't think prostitutes deserve any less respect than any woman (even if they're paid sex workers), and I think less of a hero who believes that. While William does apologize for what he said to Belle, it left a bad taste in my mouth. As well as his double standards about his wife's behavior. She was acting out and he couldn't be a man and love her and commit to his marriage, even if she wasn't what he thought she was.
This novella pushed my buttons in the worst way about male and female relations and societal double standards that still exist today. The woman gets into trouble, and is forced to deal with it alone, and the man skips out blissful and free from responsibility. Young William didn't deserve Young Belle, and I'm not 100% sure that Old William does. She gave him her virginity and he goes off and forgets her, and leaves her to deal with a situation he definitely contributed to. Then when he sees her, he assumes she's going accommodate his horniness despite his wife back in town. Ugh. Belle definitely loved more than he did. I like that Belle is a normal woman with normal needs. I'm so glad that her conscience kicked in and she won't go through with sleeping with him, even if he's in a bad marriage. I think it would have been a dealbreaker if she did sleep with him while he was married. Women do have sex drives, and while she was celibate for many years, she still had those feelings. I hated that she was made to be the fallen woman by her awful father (a vicar of all things) while William goes off and sows plenty of wild oats, before and after his marriage (and going to prostitutes doesn't make it better than his wife's more public, less discrete behavior).
I'm really glad this was a free read. I would have been a lot madder if I hadn't read for free. I normally like this author a lot. I couldn't get past William's behavior and the blase' attitude about prostitution, which I know she's not alone about. It's treated as a casual thing but it's a social ill and it's a terrible life for those women (and often men and children). I would like to see more heroes who realize how wrong that it. Like another reader, the high point was the cat, Poppy, who becomes not just a matchmaker but a protector of the spinsters. I'm crazy in love with cats so that worked for me.
Having said that, if a reader wants to get a prequel for this series, it's free on Kindle. I have the Kindle, but I read this as a bonus novella with How to Manage a Marquess.
My sister and I listened to this on Playaway in the car. It was very enjoyable. The narrator was really good. She was able to endow her voice with difMy sister and I listened to this on Playaway in the car. It was very enjoyable. The narrator was really good. She was able to endow her voice with different personalities. The heroine is refreshingly quirky. She hears the voices of her puppets in her head. The fact that she's a puppeteer alone is a different touch. Add that onto a story that is rife with Gothic atmosphere and that her puppets are real personalities to her, and that makes this feel very unique.
I totally pictured Kirsten Wiig as Annie. She's Annie until proven otherwise.
Kristen fits Annie's personality from her some of her roles. She plays quirky and kind of normal, nerdy but very pretty.
Annie is down on her luck and ends up back on Peregrine Island, a place that has nothing but bad memories for her. To her surprise, she encounters Theo Harp, the first boy she loved, but one who did her irreparable harm. I was not surprised that she didn't trust Theo until very late in the book. He really did need to prove himself.
Theo was the perfect Gothic hero with an extremely dark past. I wanted to believe the best of him, although it was almost like SEP wanted us to hate Theo in some parts. Deep down, he was a sweet guy and a bit of a victim to some of the darkness in his family and with his deceased wife.
I liked that Theo really accepted Annie and was attracted to her the way she was. He admired her spunk and that she didn't take crap from him. Theo was pretty delicious. Definitely for those of us who like our heroes a bit dark, tortured and mysterious (Bryonic hero). I pictured Aiden Turner, who is one of my newest crushes.
Theo is described as devastatingly handsome and very hard to resist. That's Aidan to a tee.
I didn't really like the tone of their relationship (sex with no commitment), but it makes sense of Annie since she really doesn't trust Theo and wants to get him out of her system. I could tell that Theo was really deeply in love with her, but he was afraid to be with her because of tortured past.
The Gothic tone was interesting. You don't see that much in contemporary romances that aren't suspense. I think it got a little confusing with some of the things that happen. My sister speculated like nobody's business as some mean pranks are taking place against Annie, considering the past and what she suffered. We had some really interesting theories. We were both very surprised at who the culprit was. I think it spoiled the Gothic tone a lot. But oh well.
I feel like there was a huge aspect that wasn't handled well, in my opinion. That's why I didn't give this five stars. My sister agreed with me. But overall, this was such a fun read, and I loved the relationship between Annie and Theo, and the look at the island, and how claustrophobic it can be to live in a small town, especially one that's an island! Theo is definitely my favorite SEP hero and I liked Annie. She had a great heart and was really her own person, although she had some self-esteem issues. I love the career path she chooses eventually. It's a big sign of accepting who she is and not feeling like she has to fit some unrealistic standard. You could see she was way on the road to being self-actualized. I wanted them to be together big time.
If you can, definitely check out this on audiobook.
This was very enjoyable. Susana and Andrew have fantastic chemistry and their love is believable. Isobel, Susana's daughter is a very pivotal and funThis was very enjoyable. Susana and Andrew have fantastic chemistry and their love is believable. Isobel, Susana's daughter is a very pivotal and fun character. Excited to read Lana's book soon.
Ms. Burke gave me just what I was asking for: a great interracial spy romance. And the heroine is Grade A Certified Kickbutt Artist. She reminds me faMs. Burke gave me just what I was asking for: a great interracial spy romance. And the heroine is Grade A Certified Kickbutt Artist. She reminds me favorably of one of my all time favorite heroines, Charly Baltimore from "The Long Kiss Goodnight." There's even a line about her joining the PTA and making pretty good cookies. Happy sigh!
Seriously, Indigo is the real deal. She is hardcore. She's an ex assassin who goes off the grid to raise her son by her ex-partner, Beckett. They are reunited when he's sent to retrieve her from a Mexican jail. She cannot go back to their ex-agency. She has to save her son from the people who kidnapped him. Beckett finds out he's a papa in a very explosive way. And Beckett quickly chooses that he's going to help his ex-partner and lover get their son back. They make a killer team (literally).
I love that Burke makes the action authentic. Sometimes with romantic suspense, the action takes a backburner. The spy stuff will make a spy fan happy. Indigo and Beckett really do act like operatives. It also reminded me of "Alias", which is one of my all time favorite shows. Indigo has many of the traits I loved about Sydney Bristow, although she's more emotionally closed off. The scenes in which Indigo does what she needs to do to get her son back are well-orchestrated. I liked that even though there are plenty of steamy scenes, they are appropriate to the story. No extraneous sex breaks. And while it's clear that Indigo and Beckett love each other, they have to work through their issues and put the past into perspective. You can see that they were always good together. Their romantic relationship was built on a solid foundation of mutual respect and friendship, and despite the way things ended, that didn't change, except maybe for the better.
While this read a little slow at times (It was probably me and not it. I'm a bit short attention span right now), it ends with an explosive action sequence that will make any bonafide action lover happy. And the operations felt pretty authentic to me (not that I have a spy background!).
I gave this 4.25 well deserved stars because it's a very good story. The writing flows and it has a cinematic feel. Burke know show to bring on the sexy without being kinky or off-puttingly raunchy. The characters are three-dimensional (although I wish that Indigo's physical features were more described). Beckett is likable despite the fact that he acted like a commitment-avoiding Peter Pan in the past. I couldn't hate Indigo for her choice to disappear and have her baby without Beckett, based on their situation and the way Beckett acted in the past. It was good that she got to hear Beckett's side of things and to see that Beckett had changed. He deserved the right to know his son, and clearly he would die protecting both of them.
Burke delivers on the spy romance and with a dangerous couple to boot. Pick this up when you need your kickbutt heroine action romance fix.
I admit I found the characters too jaded for my tastes (twenty-three going on forty-three). I think that there could have been more opportunities to eI admit I found the characters too jaded for my tastes (twenty-three going on forty-three). I think that there could have been more opportunities to establish emotional connection to the characters in lieu of some of the focus on erotic sex. Readers who like New Adult themes may enjoy this more than I did. I'm not fond of the idea that very young people would act with these kinds of attitudes and destructive lifestyles.
Having a Russian hero is always a nice start. But it has to meet other qualifications, and I'd say Theodora Taylor did that very well. The beginning hHaving a Russian hero is always a nice start. But it has to meet other qualifications, and I'd say Theodora Taylor did that very well. The beginning has one of the best openings I've read in a romance for a while. The language is almost lyrical in those scenes. I have to say that Alexei is just about scrumptious. He's fierce and dangerous/lethal-vibed, but he's also a teddy bear deep down. That combination is so irresistible. I liked very much how Alexei was three-dimensional. While part of him really despised Eva, and was determined to hurt her and get revenge, his heart didn't want that, and he'd never truly stopped loving her. He was very sighworthy. There is no question that Eva is the right woman for him, and I felt his pain and unresolved feelings over their breakup deeply, even though I wasn't sure that Eva was 100% to blame as he thought.
Eva was very likable. She is one of those people that you can't help but like if you spend more than five minutes together. I think her parents didn't realize how lucky they are to have her, considering how terrible they acted towards her. I figured she had a good reason for leaving Alexei, but my jaw dropped when it's revealed why she did. For some reason, I wasn't expecting that. You might say, 'well, duh,' but it was a surprise to me. I normally don't like the plot that is a huge aspect of this book, but I can understand why Eva chose to make that decision, and I like how it was dealt with between Eva and Alexei.
Deep down, I will always be a Harlequin Presents geek. I loved that this has many of the HP tropes that I dig, but with a dangerous twist. And with a black heroine! That's just about perfect for me. I liked how Alexei was wining and dining Eva, but he was also wooing her by doing couple stuff. And having South Padre Island as a rendezvous was a bit novel.
So why not five stars? I doesn't quite feel like a fiver to me. I think a large part was the rough sexual language. I am not a big fan of that, honestly. I think the love scenes were very steamy, but I could have done without the big words that seem obligatory in a steamy romance book nowadays. Personal preference. Thankfully, Taylor keeps the love scenes kink-free (wipes brow). I would have regretted if I had never gotten to meet Alexei just because the book was too kinky for me. Also, it could have been a tad longer. I think that for its shorter length, it was a satisfying story, but this easily could have been longer with more depth.
I'm so picky with five star ratings lately. If I wasn't getting so stingy, this could have been a five. But it was darn close.
Overall rating: 4.5/5.0 stars.
Thanks so much to Teneatha for the Kindle Loan!...more
I like the style of this series. An armchair adventurer with an interest in history and culture will get their desires well satiated as they accompanyI like the style of this series. An armchair adventurer with an interest in history and culture will get their desires well satiated as they accompany Jaya on her adventures. To anyone who is a Francophile, look no further.
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 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.