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
Wow. I really liked this book. The intensity and character development was fantastic. I like how the layers pull back and you can see more and more abWow. I really liked this book. The intensity and character development was fantastic. I like how the layers pull back and you can see more and more about both characters. Daniel was definitely a deep guy. He was like the Beast to Holly (even though she didn't consider herself beautiful)'s Beauty. He was super-grumpy and angry and initially, it gave me a way different impression of him, but as Holly's perception changes, so did mine. That was very clever storytelling.
As I get older, I get jaded about the power and the allure of romance. I really crave a true blue romance with deep, powerful emotions and a strong bond between the couple. I always go back to Harlequin Presents because they are short novels, but they have the desired intensity in the short format, when done right. This one was done right. On the surface, Daniel doesn't seem as accessible a hero to the one in Pulse of the Heartland, but he's ten times the man that Nick was. I love characters who feel things deeply, especially when still waters run deep, or when they are just intense by nature. Daniel was a little of both. I liked how he challenged Holly to come out of her safe zone and to see the world deeper and differently.
I like heroes who are very strongly attracted to the heroine, but I want it from a "Can't Live Without Her" perspective as opposed to just scratching an itch. At first you can't tell which is driving Daniel. But the reveal gave me goosebumps. The end was so touching and it really ends this book on a high note. I'm not afraid to admit I did cry a little.
Mixed feelings about this one. I think that it's a lot of fun reading vintage Harlequin Presents, because it's a window into the past. I get a kick ouMixed feelings about this one. I think that it's a lot of fun reading vintage Harlequin Presents, because it's a window into the past. I get a kick out of the characters wearing clothes that will never (let's hope) be in fashion again, and I can visualize they way they look. For instance, Alexis is quite fond of velvet suitcoats and silk trousers. Not something that you can get away with now unless you are deliberately channeling 70s pimp.
Overall, this is pretty strong writing. I just didn't like Alexis, at all. I thought he was manipulative to the extreme. While I will be the first admit I like stalkerific heroes, I felt like he was stalkerish in a very unsexy and offputting way. I know the difference between fiction and fantasy, and it's appealing when the hero is obsessed with the heroine, as long as he's not controlling and manipulative about it, and he's clearly not stalking every mode she makes. After Rachel helps him the first night, he is pretty much following her every day or has his servants doing it. He knows where she works, who her roommate is, and other pertinent information that made him seem like a scary guy who might do Rachel harm. I also didn't like how sexually aggressive he was. Rachel made it clear she was engaged, and Alexis did everything he could to destroy her relationship with her fiance'. While her fiance' was a big time tool, that wasn't right. I guess for me, the difference in why a hero can be stalkerific in a good way or just a plain old creepy stalker is unselfish love and concern for the heroine. I still didn't really believe Alexis loved Rachel at the end of this story. I think he was strongly attracted to her and obsessed, but I didn't get a sense of "I would die for you" kind of love from Alexis.
I agree with another reviewer that the descriptions of the Arab people in Alexis' family and his servants was a bit on the racist side. At least stereotypical. That was a turnoff as well.
So let's talk about what I liked. I did like Rachel, although I wish she wasn't such a pushover. It was pretty odd how the author hints at the fast that her fiance' is selfish enough to expect manual gratification but doesn't reciprocate. He doesn't seem to find Rachel sexy to me. I wondered about that. I felt like maybe he wasn't attracted to her, or that he was possibly gay. I still don't know about it. But I did like Rachel. I think she deserved better than both her ex and Alexis, personally.
I think the love scenes were pretty good, but too bad I felt like Rachel was coerced into sexual situations moreso than truly voluntary. So that did take the blush off the rose for me.
I'm sure many vintage HP fans will like this more than me. The hero really kind of killed it for me. Otherwise, it was a diverting blast from the past. ...more
Wow! I loved this book. Yates has always been a writer that struck me as having a lot of promise. I feel she nailed it far and away with this book. ShWow! I loved this book. Yates has always been a writer that struck me as having a lot of promise. I feel she nailed it far and away with this book. She has a written a romance between a Very Bad Man and a Hero Who Isn't a Good Girl. Oh she's a virgin, but that doesn't make her a good girl. I like that she flipped that around where virginity doesn't equate with innocence. I love when the heroine is a virgin, but I don't think that having a V card makes a woman more worthy. So yay to Ms. Yates for how she wrote this book with Charity showing some traits that make her less likely to qualify as a Disney Princess. Having said that, she's perfectly sympathetic. Her father was a con artist who raised her with his morals, which are very gray. She always knew deep down that something wasn't right about that life. But she didn't have access to another way of life to establish an alternate or better since of right and wrong so she could reject her father when he comes back and gets her help in pulling a con on Amari. When he runs off, he leaves her holding the bag and dealing with a coldly vengeful Amari who doesn't take kindly to anyone stealing what belongs to him. I loved how Yates sensitively depicts Charity's character evolution and identity crisis. It was excellent writing.
Oh my goodness! I loved that it's pretty obvious that Charity is biracial, if not racially mixed. Kudos again. It's nice to see brown skin as an object of beauty in a mainstream romance that isn't slated just for a multicultural audience.
Rocco Amari is a Class A villainous hero. In his own way, his morals are as flawed as Charity. His treatment of her is on par with an Anne Stuart hero. He is fearlessly cutthroat with Charity, but in a way that shows he's not as cold and lacking in feelings towards her as he would like. From the beginning, something about her gets beneath his armor and he can't dismiss her or deal with her in the way he would typically deal with his enemies. The reader gets a bird's eye view of this hero falling like a ton of bricks for his heroine, even though he can't allow himself to accept it. Amari also goes to an evolution. He realizes that Charity is not a possession, but a flesh and blood woman who he has to love in a deeper, selfless way and not like an expensive acquisition. Oh my goodness, some of his dialogue is priceless. Yates shows that she is a modern writer in how these characters express themselves. I've never heard a hero use some of the terms that Rocco does in this line before.
I could probably go on and on about how much I loved this book, but I won't. I like how Yates plays around with tried and true motifs in this line and breathes new life in them. I normally don't like the mistress storyline at all. The relationship between Amari and Charity doesn't feel like a rich man-mistress scenario, and while Amari seems to hold all the power, it's clear that he's equally vulnerable to Charity. I appreciate that very much. I definitely recommend this book to readers who either are Harlequin Presents fans or modern romance fans who like the billionaire hero or even Anne Stuart villain heroes motif. ...more
It took me a while to process my thoughts after reading this. I love Christine Feehan's books. She's got her quirks, for sure, but she is one of my auIt took me a while to process my thoughts after reading this. I love Christine Feehan's books. She's got her quirks, for sure, but she is one of my autobuy authors for a reason. I liked this book, but I disliked some prominent aspects enough that I had to knock my rating down to 3.5 stars. I will try not to get too graphic in describing why, but I hope that no one is offended by any content in this review. I will refer to the hero as "the hero", because if I call him something else, it's a spoiler.
I am not an erotica fan when it comes to romance. This book has definitely crossed the line into erotica. In fact, some love scenes actually felt downright porny to me. There is actually too much sex in this book, and not because sex is not good or wrong, but it doesn't really add to the story after a certain point. Plus, some of the sex scenes were not appealing to my taste. Thankfully, there is no anal sex or content, but there were still some sex aspects I felt were not necessary in a romance novel. A lot of it ties into the hero's dominant proclivities. I know a lot of romance fans really like that D/s stuff, but I don't like it. I think it's counter to what I love about a deep, strong romantic bond. I like a mutual submission and I like that there's give and take and that both parties can be strong and gentle instead of one person always having the reins. I think that if a hero always wants control in the bedroom 100%, that says a lot about his personality as a partner, and that comes across loud and clear with the hero. I'm not for that in a relationship. If the author goes there, it needs to be well done, and so far, I don't think it's been done in a book to my satisfaction, not that I'm looking for that, because I'm not. In this book specifically, it was a big turnoff for me, more than anything else. Frankly, I love when the hero is all tough and lethal and growly, but the heroine has him wrapped around her little finger. That's really sexy to me. Not a hero who's always giving orders and wants control, even in the most intimate and safest of places, the bedroom. The bedroom needs to be a place of trust and absolute security. Not a place where the roles are so locked into place that it's all taking from one party (and I don't mean orgasms).
I have no problem with oral sex, but I don't like the forced/aggressive kind of aspect to it that has a certain name that won't go into on this review. There was another oral sex act that is straight out of a porno that I was like, "Not so much." I also don't like spanking used as punishment for a grown woman included in sex. Even if the heroine likes it, it feels wrong to me. Your mileage may vary.
I love stalkerific heroes like a house on fire. I like when the hero is crazy and even obsessed with the heroine. I find that highly appealing. But there is a limit to it in this way: I don't like when the hero is super-controlling or dominant. Especially in bed. And also in that he wants the heroine to live life according to his rules. I'm not against a hero who wants to protect the heroine and feels like he knows best. Especially if he does know more about keeping the heroine safe than she does. But he shouldn't feel like he has the right to administer corporal punishment if she fails to follow his instructions. I mean, Really???
I don't like that a hero always wants sex to be his way and feels like he has to train his heroine to accommodate his needs. In that sense the hero crosses the line with me. He made a point of saying that he was a rough man and he had certain needs. He had already determined that was his woman, and he would have to train her to his way of doing things. To me, that's not really showing love. Love is when you accept people for who they are essentially. You don't try to change them, making the assumption that they will like changing for you and doing things your way. He knew how Catarina grew up, but he didn't even try to gentle himself for her, considering that she had been in a controlling situation her whole life before him. While the hero did love Catarina, and he cared for her and made sure her needs were met, I felt their relationship was a 60/40 relationship, with the balance his way. Catarina is very young, and I can't help wondering if she's happy with the hero just because he's all she's known other than the life she ran away from. She loves that he focuses on her, compliments her and takes care of him, and is willing to accept his need for control. She loves what he does to her sexually, but how does she know she wouldn't like a more gentle lover? She doesn't. As she grows, I feel that she will eventually find that control to be a stranglehold on her. I could be wrong, but I don't think I am.
I loved Catarina. She was a cool heroine. I liked the aspect of her being a master chef and barista, and that she taught herself to read. I liked that she had found a home at the dojo and working in the cafe shop, her own life, what she deserved.. The hero frankly ruined that for her. I didn't mind that she was complaint and submissive. Truth be told, she was way too good for the hero. I think he needed to work harder to be worthy of her in my eyes. To clarify, I felt like she needed a different hero based on her past. The hero was a bit too much like the man she was running away from, and if that is the case, I think the resolution could have been stronger than how it occurred. There was one aspect I loved, because you could see how deeply the hero cared for the heroine at what happens near the end. I'm sorry that it took this, frankly. I think there needed to be more of a confrontation between the hero and Rafe, the man she was running away from. Instead, there was the big smack down but no words exchanged as humans. I would have loved seeing the hero hand the jerk the beating he deserved. I feel that Feehan always writes awesome heroines and I usually love her heroes, with rare exception. This hero is definitely an exception for me.
I always like the parts of this series where the hero and heroine run as big cats. I think that part was too short. I'm a cat fancier, and I always get a kick out of the H/h running free together. I would easily have sacrificed one or more love scene for more of this. It's one of the best aspects of this series. The animal nature is so integral to the characters, and it should be more of a plot element than making the hero require rough sex.
It was great to see Emma and Jake again. It made me want to reread Burning Wild again. I just might!
Despite its issues, this was a very readable book, and I couldn't hardly put it down. Feehan knows how to write paranormal romance and compelling stories. I think I expect a lot from her, so that's part of why I was disappointed with this book. I feel that the hero just didn't work for me, and the sex aspects were unnecessary and unappealing. I still have high hopes for Elijah's book. I have been wanting his story for a long, long time....more
A nice introduction to the Leopard series. I'm late reading this, but I finally got an opportunity. I splurged and downloaded Fever (a duology of "TheA nice introduction to the Leopard series. I'm late reading this, but I finally got an opportunity. I splurged and downloaded Fever (a duology of "The Awakening" and Wild Rain, which I've already read. This took me a while because I was listening to it on Kindle Text-To-Speech at bedtime, and I kept falling asleep and having to rewind.
We learn about the Leopard shifters and how their society and physiology works. We're along for the ride as Maggie Odessa goes to the Borneo rain forest to find out about her birth parents. She's been lured there by Brandt Talbot, the man who happens to be her destined mate. He's known for some time that she was his mate (in their race they spend lifetimes looking for their mates). Maggie has no idea that she's a Leopard shifter. She's getting some feelings and physiological changes that don't make sense and are actually quite embarrassing, including some amorous feelings when that wasn't a problem before now.
At first, Brandt seems a bit stalkerish. I don't mind that if it's done well. It was a little weird in this book. He was stalking along beside Maggie in panther form when she arrives with some of the Leopard Men to their village. I was like, could you just say hi already? I was glad he finally introduced himself, and I think that he did come a little too strong at first. However, I liked that he realized that his love for Maggie meant that he had to make sure she was happy with being with him. I like that it wasn't going to be a foregone conclusion that she would accept him. He gave her the choice. Interestingly enough, I found Brandt quite a desirable contrast to the hero in Cat's Lair, who assumed and was willing to force his mate to accept him. I think that Maggie and Brandt are a really excellent match, although I didn't feel that way at all about the couple in "Cat's Lair."
I really liked that Maggie gained control of her change on her own, and I loved the scene when she changes for the first time. That was very well done. I felt like I was seeing and feeling everything along with her. The rainforest and its flora and fauna was beautifully rendered in Feehan's descriptive pose. I wouldn't love the humidity or the insects, but I would love seeing so much vibrant life firsthand.
This was pretty darn steamy. Less of the off color words that are in the newer books, but no less steamy. Great chemistry between Maggie and Brandt. Not hard to believe they loved each other, even in this short format.
The suspense aspect was a little weak, to be honest. Feehan was a bit preachy about the environmental message. Don't get me wrong. I'm 100% on board with conservation and environmental awareness, but I don't like when it comes off as a Public Service Announcement in a fiction novel. But overall, this was a satisfactory short story. I'll give it the full four stars....more
Another really good Sarah Morgan book. This really reminded me of the story of Red Ridinghood and the big Bad Wolf. Selene is sweet as pie and very inAnother really good Sarah Morgan book. This really reminded me of the story of Red Ridinghood and the big Bad Wolf. Selene is sweet as pie and very innocent, with incredible belief in Stefan, based on their chance meeting five years prior. He is the glimmer of hope that she can escape from the figurative and literal prison where her father has kept her and her mother. She sneaks out and meets him and asks for a business loan for her company. To which Stefan agrees, but he also wants to exploit the association to revenge a past insult against his family by her father. Selene believes only the best about Stefan, and when they go to bed together, she is completely willing, excited to experience passion for the first time with a man she views as the only friend she's ever had. But everything backfires when a picture of them ends up in the press and her father finds out about it. Selene realizes that her knight in shining armor is actually the Big Bad Wolf, and her poor innocent heart is broken. Stefan realizes he wronged Selene in his quest for revenge and he wants to make it right.
Selene is such a sweetie! She cracked me up how excited she was with Stefan that first night. I could see how she was putting tiny cracks in Stefan's armor and making the Bad Wolf into her very own adoring Wolf Protector. Stefan was the first to admit he had no conscience, but the truth is that he had turned his conscience off to achieve his goals of success. Selene made him come back to life, but he did it kicking and screaming. He really doesn't want the vulnerability of love, but Selene reached his heart. And when she loses faith in him, it really bothers him. I liked that Stefan has to win back Selene's trust and show him that he was worthy of her faith in him. At the same time, Selene gains a balanced view of him, that he is neither an angel or a demon, but a human being.
As usual, the dialogue is a huge draw to this story. The sometimes inane things that the characters chat about feels realistic. Sometimes you do have strange conversations with people and they know what you're saying, even if it comes out of your mouth in a very bizarre way, because they know you. I think that Selene's parents were less developed, moreso her mother. Her father seems so sinister, and he's clearly an abusive lowlife. But Selene is able to put him into perspective as well . It helps that she has a faithful Wolf to guard her, and she's one Red Ridinghood who can take care of herself, gaining needed independence, that is not compromised but facilitated through her relationship with Stefan....more
I think this could have easily been a New Adult novel. I can't say I'm a huge fan of the genre, but if I could find more like this book, I might readI think this could have easily been a New Adult novel. I can't say I'm a huge fan of the genre, but if I could find more like this book, I might read more of them. The reason why I feel this has a NA vibe is because both characters are in their twenties and they have the values of the Millennial generation, and they way their lives unfold, but not necessarily just in a negative way. Technology is very prominent in this story, and the fact that Nathan is a self-made billionaire in a novel way that fits the 21st Century. He also seems to be disconnected from the more traditional values that those of us of the previous generation have at our roots, but it's understandable considering his situation. Riya does have more of the traditional values of family and that might be due to her Half-Indian heritage. She's a very smart young woman, and she's had so much pressure and burdens on her, she doesn't know how to act like a person of her age. Nathan takes it up on himself to teach her that and is arrogant enough to believe that his heart won't be touched by her in the process.
Nathan is really quite cruel to Riya in some points in this book. He does it out of self-protection and in his mind trying to protect Riya, but it is still mean. I can understand why he's that way, but it doesn't mean I liked it. Overall, I did think he was sexy hero and he definitely has an impact. I like the way his dialogue and body language is described. I feel that if you met him in real life, he definitely wouldn't be easily dismissed.
Riya's mother is a hot mess. She really had some nerve the way she was talking to and treating her daughter. She had a bad habit of taking advantage of Riya and she betrayed her in a way that was almost unforgivable, and didn't seem to get why. I like that Riya still acts like a grown up with her mom, despite that. I really liked Riya. She's a young woman with a lot of sense, values, and heart and a work ethic that speaks volumes for her young age.
Another reason this feels like a NA is the very spicy love scenes. They feel pretty modern, even for a new Harlequin Presents. I would recommend this to readers who want to try a Harlequin Presents and are used to the typical contemporary romances (ebooks) out nowadays....more
I was surprised how much I liked this one. I had been disappointed with the other book in this duology, An Heiress for His Empire. This book, it hit aI was surprised how much I liked this one. I had been disappointed with the other book in this duology, An Heiress for His Empire. This book, it hit all the right notes.
I really liked the discussions that Romi and Maxwell had. It was clear that they were actually friends in addition to lovers. I am 1000% over playboy/womanizer heroes, but I think this worked for me because Maxwell did have some vulnerability. He may have seemed like he was holding all the cards, but Romi was someone he really wanted and needed in his life, despite his fear of falling in love and his belief that love didn't exist. Romi is nicely independent and straightforward.
I did think the whole, "I'm tired of being a twenty-four year old virgin" comment was a bit eye-rolling. That really is not that old to be a virgin. If you're a virgin, it's probably for a reason. Just be honest and admit that you really want to be with Maxwell, no qualifications on it. The way that writers play virginity is either like it's a burden or some kind of special status. It's neither. It's just a state of identity that a person has or doesn't have. Yes, losing one's virginity is a momentous occasion, so treat it that way and move on.
I really liked Maxwell's Russianness (big surprise). Even though he had lived in America most of his life, it was clear this an important part of his culture. He reflects many of the values that Russian men value highly. He felt more Russian to me than Viktor in the first book. I liked him better as a person, other than his slamhound tendencies. I don't think I would have been as sanguine as Romi was about staying in his apartment where he brought all his conquests, even if they didn't share his bed (he used the guestroom).
This feels like more of a modern romance than some HPs, with a heroine who is very millennial (Not in a bad way though), and that did appeal. The wedding was really sweet and how devoted and adoring Maxwell becomes towards the end of the book really worked for me. I like that they do understand each other and accept each other as they are. The marriage between this couple feels strong, like it will last for many years.
The love scenes are steamy and descriptive, but Monroe is a bit coy about the BDSM, with Maxwell having dominant tendencies and Romi being somewhat sexually submissive. I did like that she wasn't willing to be tied up until she felt like she could trust him again. That made a lot of sense to me.
The strong bond of friendship between Romi and Madison (from the other book) is a prominent aspect of this book, which I also liked. Romi and Madison both feel like women I might have known or interacted with in my real life. It's cute that SBC (sisters-by-choice) married friends/business rivals.
A well-written book but almost zero tension. Everytime I thought the author had managed to build an angle for HP-style tension, it was quickly diffuseA well-written book but almost zero tension. Everytime I thought the author had managed to build an angle for HP-style tension, it was quickly diffused. I feel that there was a lot of potential here. Tough-minded executive hero of Russian heritage, poor little rich girl with daddy issues, forced marriage scenario. But it turns out where everyone is really nice to each other, and even though Viktor blew off Madison years ago and they weren't friends in the interim, it takes a short discussion to clear all that up. A slightly longer discussion has them agreeing to get married. Sex works out perfectly, and while Viktor has sowed his wild oats, Madison has kept her aged hymenal status for an incredible to believe twenty-four years. I'm being a bit sarcastic, but that was a big irritating that such a huge deal was made about her being a virgin so long. Yeah, I know that most people aren't virgins into their twenties, I think that way too much of a deal was made of it. And I found it irritating that while Madison couldn't feel that way about other men, Viktor was able to have his share of sexual attachments in the interim. When asked why he didn't take her up on her offer at eighteen, his answer is too glib for my tastes. "It's marriage or nothing with you." But I guess women who aren't Madison can be used to slake his sexual urges with no emotional entanglement. *Rolls eyes." I'm all for virginity. I like virgin heroines. But I really hate that double standard for men. It sticks in my craw. Your mileage my vary. Of course after marriage, declarations of love occur equally smoothly. It's all too smooth for me.
Yeah, that's the problem. Everything felt too copacetic in this book. I guess that would be fine if you were looking for an easygoing romance where everything is assured, despite a sticky beginning. I wasn't.
I did like the descriptions of Viktor's grandparents Russian marriage customs, and the family drama aspect almost created more tension, almost.
I think this is a perfectly fine book if you're in that headspace where you don't want too much drama and tension. But usually, I reach for a Harlequin Presents because that's exactly what I'm looking for. So it failed to meet my needs.
I would say that this is worthy of 3.5 stars. I took off a star and a half because there's practically no tension and the obnoxious virginity hype/double standard was irritating.
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.
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)
I haven't decided how I feel about this book. One one level, it was a very satisfying read. But there is something I felt didn't quite ring for me. II haven't decided how I feel about this book. One one level, it was a very satisfying read. But there is something I felt didn't quite ring for me. I pretty much loved Tiffany from page one. She was a real person. She had emotions that were authentic considering what she'd gone through. I liked that while she had valid reasons to run in the other direction from a relationship (especially the one he was offering) with Ryzard, she was also brave enough to come out of her half-life she'd lived since her terrible accident on her wedding day. Also the cocoon her family kept her in. I like that Tiffany is a modern woman but her values aren't too out there where I can't sympathize. I'm not here to judge, but I don't like promiscuous heroines who don't have any twinges about casual sex. In all fairness, I don't like that in a hero, and I'm not into double standards. But as a woman, I think it bothers me in a different way and more personal when it's the heroine. I was worried at first that the book would go in that direction, considering the way she and Ryzard first got together. But surprisingly, I didn't have any qualms about it.
I am not a fan of affair romance stories. I like to know that the couple will stay together, and they don't have one foot out the door the whole time they are together. I think that was one thing that bothered me about this book. I could understand both characters were deeply wounded emotionally, but I felt a pang every time they would reference that their time together was a short-lived affair. I feel that Tiffany deserved better than a man who couldn't give her love or his heart because he was hung up on a dead woman. Especially with all she'd gone through and the double standards her family forced on her.
Yes, I think that was the issue I had with this book. Ryzard didn't realize until the end how much he was shortchanging and cheating Tiffany out of. While she wasn't a punching bag and she showed a lot of maturity and self-possession, it was clear she fell in love with him, and he was holding that back, while demanding everything he could get from her.
Ryzard wasn't a bad hero, but he's not a great one either. I like a hero who is completely head over heels for the heroine (or at least has strong feelings for her that develop reasonably early), and I didn't feel that from Ryzard until later on. There was something that compelled him about her, and while he kept telling himself to walk away, he couldn't. But I think it felt mainly sexual to me for most of the book. In some ways, Tiffany needed the confidence of having a man who was so attracted to her, but she needed a man who loved her deeply (with the attraction part flowing out of the emotion), considering her past. So he didn't quite live up to my expectations in that regard. I did like that he was a different sort of hero. The survivor of a revolution, who was trying to put his country back together.
I'm kind of confused about the Q Virtus club. The author's descriptions left me in the dark about how the club worked. I think the descriptions could have been clearer. It's an interesting concept to build a book series around. I hope it doesn't end up being too much of a sex/illicit encounters storyline throughout this series, because that doesn't appeal to me. If there is a way to build a story that goes beyond that idea of sybaritic luxury and discretion used for sexual gratification, I think this will turn out to be a fun concept. I would love to see some sort of spy angle involved with this series, considering the high tech nature of the club.
With all my misgivings, I was very drawn into this book and I couldn't put it down. So I would give this one 3.5/5.0 stars. Overall, I think Dani Collins is a new writer with promise. Collins can write a very effective, sexy love scene and she also writes a passionate love story, and I like the way she developed Tiffany. I will read more of her books....more
I am working my way through a reread to get ready for the next books in the series, and I also just plain love the Prakenskii bReread in January 2016.
I am working my way through a reread to get ready for the next books in the series, and I also just plain love the Prakenskii brothers (they're Russian, enough said!) and the Sisters of the Heart, the found family of women who buy a farm together and are united by personal tragedy and their gifts of power over the elements.
I can easily say this is still my favorite so far (out of the first 3 books), although I loved to the third power Water Bound and I really did enjoy Spirit Bound. I think that this has the best action and the romance between Airiana and Maxim is so natural in its progression. Although they seem to start as enemies, the mutual alliance they found becomes a bond of trust and love.
It hit me hard like for the first time how lethal Maxim is. He doesn't play around! Airiana is sweet, but she has the capability to dive into the fray and do what needs to be done. She's feisty too and she definitely tells Maxim what she thinks. They're such a great couple!
The children are integral to the story and adorable, but it's so awful and heartbreaking what they have experienced. The subject matter here is definitely not for the faint of heart.
I'm super jazzed to finally be able to start reading Earth Bound and excited about Fire Bound coming out in April! I've a feeling that Casmir is like Maxim on steroids.
****************************************************************************** Previous Review I loved this book!
I am seriously in love with the Prakenskiis, and I have to say that Maxim is my favorite now. He's a mad, bad, dangerous man but he loves so good! I had no clue that this tough, lethal man that we met at the beginning of this book could be such a sweet, gentle, loving guy to Airiana. I think that is Feehan magic, how she creates this guys who are lethal and ruthless, but then they are so deeply in love with their heroines, that I end up sighing as I read the book. Now this won't work for some readers, but I am such a sucker for the mix of action and suspense and romance, and Feehan has delivered both in such a delicious combination in this book.
I will confess that she's autobuy for me and I didn't even read the synopsis. I was there because I knew it was a Prakenskii hero. I didn't read the blurb until I opened the book to read it, and I was like, 'cool.' So I didn't have much preconceived notions, but I was just in it for the ride, and what a fun, wonderful ride it was.
Most of the book takes place away from Airiana's sisters, but I didn't mind that. I think that the situation was crafted very well to the lead characters. While somethings will always be the same about Feehan's books (but those things are why I read her), the situation felt different in an appealing way. Maxim is in no way a carbon copy of his brothers. And Airiana is also distinctive from her 'sisters'. Despite her air element, she's actually quite cerebral and far from flighty and hippie-chick, like I was suspecting. I liked the backstory of her life and how it ties into Maxim's story. Airiana is a tough young woman. For such a small, delicate person, she can hold her own and she was quite the action heroine in this book. She's really a very cool, down to earth, mature for her age woman. She gets my seal of approval.
I feel that Feehan does a good job of plotting and tying her stories together. and this fits very cohesively into the series. She makes the idea of the 'Sisters of the Heart' all ending up with Prakenskiis a lot more plausible than one would expect. I'll admit that I am fine with it because I can't get enough of these guys.
I liked that the love scenes come later in the book. Considering how dangerous Airiana and Maxim's situation was, it made a lot more sense. I can't stand when they take an inappropriate 'sex break' in romantic suspense novels. When the the love scenes come, they are blisteringly sexy but also very romantic. Although both are wounded, the 'getting busy' part isn't implausible. the love scenes say so much about the love journey of these two characters. You can see how much Maxim cherishes Airiana and you can also see that Airiana truly trusts Max and gives her heart unreservedly. That makes me sigh happily.
There is a really cool twist in this book that I really liked, and it adds to the believability of Maxim settling into a normal life, which he never had because of his family and their tie to the Russian government. There was some horrible tragedy and wrongness in this book, but I think that Max and Airiana were in exactly the right place at the right time and they will make things right.
I really can't say enough good things about this book. I wanted to read it again right after I finished it. Lately, I've felt less sucked into books, and this book certainly breaks that trend for the better. I rejuvenates my romance novel juices and makes me want to go on a reading tear. I have a need for more high octane romance novel action books like this, with a yummy hero and heroine I really like for this long, hot summer I am facing! Please write the next book soon, Ms. Feehan!...more
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.
I think I would have rated this book higher had I not read it sandwiched between two really intense HP books. This story is a thoughtful one about twoI think I would have rated this book higher had I not read it sandwiched between two really intense HP books. This story is a thoughtful one about two lonely souls who build a powerful connection after a chance meeting and realize they are the soulmates they were searching for. And they realize what home really is. It's a person and a relationship, not a building.
Markie grew up in a series of foster homes and it made her a careful nomad who never allows herself to get too close to anyone or stay in one place too long. By chance, she camps on land owned by Daniel, and when a surprise blizzard hits, she's forced to seek shelter in his house. Over the time of being snowed in, casual strangers become cautious friends, and love develops slowly and intensely.
There really isn't anything wrong with the writing in this book. It just didn't touch me as emotionally as I would have liked. I hate to think I am becoming a drama addict. But I admit I do prefer the more intense Harlequin Presents. I also feel that it's just because of when I read this in my reading schedule (during a Harlequin Presents binge). If I had reached for this separately, I think it would have hit the spot more.
Markie is a very likable character. Considering or because of her tough life, she has a lot of character and fortitude. She has a habit of denying connections with others and she spends a lot of time initially feeling like she had to pay Daniel back because she didn't like feeling obligated. I can completely understand that. I liked how Daniel patiently breaks down the walls between him and Markie, earning her trust, slowly but surely. He gives part of himself to her in exchange for taking parts of her. I really liked the mutuality of their relationship, and how caring Daniel was. Initially, he was gruff, but I think he's a marshmallow hero deep down (can't resist them). He is the kind of hero you can't help but love because he is 'all in' with the heroine as soon as he realizes there is something worthwhile about their connection.
I liked that they were both creative people with public personas that they tried to keep separate from their private lives. I won't say any more because I don't want to spoil the book. But it was fun seeing them hang out and be creative together.
This is actually a good book, and I feel I am slightly underrating it. Unfortunately, I am an emotional reader, so I rate based on how much a book impacts me emotionally when I read. I didn't feel that impact I would have liked, although the writing was good and I liked the characters a whole lot. As such, I would give this book 3.5/5.0 stars I do plan on tracking down a copy of Morgan Patterson's other book when I get a chance....more
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.