Okay, this is a five star book. I can't lie to myself about it. Loved it so much. The kind of fated romance makes me feel gooey inside. My KryptoniteOkay, this is a five star book. I can't lie to myself about it. Loved it so much. The kind of fated romance makes me feel gooey inside. My Kryptonite is a lethal and scary hero who is really soft and sweet and vulnerable inside. And the way that Farah and Dorian have loved each other their whole lives, I can't even.
Kerrigan Byrne packs so much story in this short book, with so many delicious moments that will make a romance fan beg for more. Lovely sexytimes when it was appropriate, and a delicious surprise in there. If you like tortured heroes and steadfast heroines who are independent but sweet, you need to check this out. Although the love story makes one's heart melt, there is a dark and edgy quality that is part and parcel to this story. Byrne doesn't shy away from the seedy aspects of London life, nor the ugliness of humanity that would subject children to the unspeakable. She speaks to social inequalities and the failures of the legal system in seeing justice done equally, regardless of social status. Historical romance remains one of my favorite genres because of the window it provides into the past with characters you can connect to.
Dorian might be my favorite hero of 2016. He's so very. And I loved Farah so much as well.
Dark, delicious, heartwarming and oh so satisfying. Highly recommend this book. Check out this series. Not one to miss....more
"Heart of the Season" is the second book in the Loving Hearts series by a Goodreads friend of mine, full disclosure. I can honestly say that I enjoyed"Heart of the Season" is the second book in the Loving Hearts series by a Goodreads friend of mine, full disclosure. I can honestly say that I enjoyed this novella outside of being friends with the author. I can't say what I loved more, the hero, Zachary, an Afghanistan US Marine war vet or his dog, Akilah. Well honestly, their relationship is at the heart of this story. Julianna is clearly an animal lover, and she understands the power of the human animal bond. How having a pet can add so much to one's life and save one both physically and emotionally. That foundation of this story is a very strong one, and built on top of it is a believable romance. While this has somewhat of a happy for now feel, I do believe in the love between Zach and Jeannie. I think they are soulmates and they have a strong bond that is friendship, mutual respect, and a meeting of minds and hearts, on top of sexual attraction.
I love that Zachary is truly a very gentle man. While he's a soldier and a warrior, he's also a sensitive person. And it's okay for men to be sensitive. It's nice to be able to see that vulnerability in a hero without it seeming to compromise his masculinity. I could appreciate Jeannie even more that she respected the gentle man that Zach was. I loved how the narrative shows why Zach is the man he is due to his being raised by his grandmother, a sweet, caring woman who loved him deeply and raised him with strong values. Seeing male characters who have been raised by strong female figures depicted in a positive way doesn't get old.
I won't even lie. This book made me cry several times. I am so in love with both Akilah and Zach, and their deep friendship. I do have a weakness for beta heroes and Zach with his scars and his disability definitely snuck into my heart from practically the first page of my Kindle as I read it. Akilah is a precious furry baby. I wanted to give her a hug. The thought of what those poor dogs go through on the frontlines is heartbreaking.I can definitely see why the soldiers fall in love with them and want to bring them home. A relationship forged under those conditions will stand the test of time.
I haven't talked much about Jeannie. In a work, she was a great heroine. She's a principled, warm, caring young woman who is putting her principles to action. Going to work in an animal shelter in Afghanistan is not for the faint of heart, especially for a young woman who comes from a privileged environment. I like that she is a deep person and has the ability to look deep. Her love for animals and people is very obvious and made me loved her more.
This book even has some good action scenes on the frontline. They were well-written and it's obvious that Julianna did her research. Kudos to her for bringing a situation to light where people and animals could use some help.
While I personally am not a big fan of happy for now endings, I think this one works pretty well. I hope that we get to see more of Zach and Jeannie's developing relationship, and definitely more of Akilah.
This is just what the avowed Scottish highlander historical reader would ask for: a steamy, emotional love story set in a well-researched Scottish hisThis is just what the avowed Scottish highlander historical reader would ask for: a steamy, emotional love story set in a well-researched Scottish historical setting. I enjoyed Alexander and Hannah's journey to love, and Alexander is scrumptious enough to substitute for a nice hot fudge sundae. I look forward to her sister's stories, particularly young and quirky Lana's.
I enjoy the heck out of the All Star Western/Jonah Hex graphic novels. Hex is such a character. Not at all a Boy Scout, but he dives into to the frayI enjoy the heck out of the All Star Western/Jonah Hex graphic novels. Hex is such a character. Not at all a Boy Scout, but he dives into to the fray to defend those who need defending. It sure was interesting to see Hex as a fish out of water in the present. He's not a man to fall in with authority just because, which becomes, well, problematic. However, Hex gets on his feet fast, with the help with a young woman with a taste for older rough and tumble bad boys.
The sex and violence are pretty prominent, but it's not as skeevy as one might think. I also liked how not one story is alike in this volume, but the story arcs have plenty of surprises and twists and turns. I was not expecting what happens in the last story at all. There are lots of cool cameos in this. I never thought I'd see Hex and The Man of Steel in the same comic, but I did!
I'm so glad that some of my discerning buddies on the Harlequin Presents Reader group raved about this book. It was an excellent short and sexy romancI'm so glad that some of my discerning buddies on the Harlequin Presents Reader group raved about this book. It was an excellent short and sexy romance to read before the end of the year. At first, I was thrown by the writing style, very descriptive and emotive to the degree that it was hard to get a feel for the tone initially. But it didn't take long before I was soaking this book up like a sponge. Parker taps into my need for an intense, escapist, passionate romance book. It definitely gave me my angsty/dramatic romance fix.
Thane is all that and a bag of chips! Intense, honorable, grumpy, dedicated to his one and only woman (that alone made me swoon over him), and sexy as all get out. I could totally see why Luciana found him irresistible. He touches on all my hero qualities that I love. Luciana is a great heroine. Her motives are sound and her heart was good. She's strong in the best ways. Even though I did want her to cave and fall in with Thane's plans head first ('cause he was just so very...), I could understand her misgivings and her pain and anguish because of what she'd seen in her parents' marriage and scars from her own childhood. She made the best decision she could have at the time, even though she did deny Thane four years of his child's life. She regretted that she had cost him that and understood how wrong she was about him. While I don't care much for secret baby romance, this was well done. Scenes of Thane bonding with his son made me all cartoon starry eyed.
This is the kind of Romeo and Juliet tale I love. Honestly, I didn't care much for the original play, but Parker has given die hard romantics the version of that tale of young lovers and feuding families that they will love.
The sexual chemistry and tension was off the charts, but what made it so powerful was the delirious and intense love that Thane and Luciana found together and never got over. You could tell it was a once and a lifetime connection and you wanted them to get their happy ending.
Parker has convinced me that she's an author to watch for in the Harlequin Presents line. If she has more heroes in the vein of Thane (no rhyming intended), I'm sold!
Definitely recommend this book. Overall rating: 4.5/5.0 stars....more
This volume doesn't feel as cohesive as previous volumes (and I'm not merely speaking of the variety of stories). The Jonah Hex narrative doesn't seemThis volume doesn't feel as cohesive as previous volumes (and I'm not merely speaking of the variety of stories). The Jonah Hex narrative doesn't seem to go as well together, although I do appreciate getting Hex's backstory. I can see why he's so grumpy. However, I still liked this a lot. Tons of rip-roaring action, and it has a nice Gothic twist as a certain Mr. Hyde arrives in Gotham to wreak havoc. There's even a nice shoutout to Jane Eyre that made this fan smile. I have a feeling the writer had a lot of fun with these stories, although they are really quite dark, moreso than previous volumes, in my opinion. As usual, I really enjoy the artwork in this series. It's interesting how the male faces tend towards rugged to sometimes ugly, but the females look like dolls. Not an insult. I like the way the artist draws women. They look very pretty, even Tallulah Black, with all her facial scars and eyepatch. (since my interest is drawing/painting women, that stands out for me). The historical fiction story about the Native American freedom fighter, Tomahawk made me sad. One of the darker moments of American history (along with slavery and centuries of institutionalized racism against black Americans), and one that we need to be reminded of, although it's never pleasant to consider the systematic extermination of the Native peoples. Tomahawk is an angry man, and I can see why he's angry. While it was well-written, its inclusion doesn't fit the rest of the book very well at all.
This series never fails to appeal to the western action lover in me!...more
This was a good read. Jonah Hex is a hero whose demeanor is as disreputable as his appearance. He's not afraid to get his hands dirty, and probably enThis was a good read. Jonah Hex is a hero whose demeanor is as disreputable as his appearance. He's not afraid to get his hands dirty, and probably enjoys violence too much. But he's not an amoral killer either. He makes his way to Gotham, and that place is definitely in need of a tough hero like him. Set in the late 1800s, more than a 100 years before Bruce Wayne is born, but Gotham is already a cesspool of corruption in the making. There is already a secret society who really runs things, and they are committing murders to send a message. Jonah teams up with the future founder of the Arkham Asylum, a psychologist who cannot help analyzing him, and there's a lot to analyze. He eventually comes to respect Hex for his methods, because there is no better man to have at your side or cutting a swathe of destruction in front of you to clear the way.
I'm not sure how much Bruce Wayne would respect or get along with Hex. Probably a certain level of respect, but I'm sure Batman wouldn't be as fond of all the killing that Hex does as a matter of course.
Other stories feautured different western heroes like El Diablo and the Barbary Ghost. I liked the Barbary Ghost because she is a kickbutt Chinese woman who takes on the crime syndicate who wiped out most of her family. How could I not like her?
This graphic novel is fans of good, old-fashioned western action. The supernatural elements are light here, but that's okay. There's plenty of action to keep this reader happy.
Disclaimer: You cannot take these Deadpool graphic novels seriously. Deadpool is a wise-cracking mercenary who is also cracked in the gourd. His graspDisclaimer: You cannot take these Deadpool graphic novels seriously. Deadpool is a wise-cracking mercenary who is also cracked in the gourd. His grasp of reality is tenuous, and thus, through his eyes, our view of the world is as well.
I think that Marvel uses this character for some comic relief (although I think Spider-Man as well to a lesser extent). Of course, readers have to have a twisted, darker sense of humor. When I started reading this, I was hoping that Deadpool wouldn't do any killing of innocent people, and he mostly doesn't. It's complicated. He has a conscience in the form of a dead SHIELD agent who shares his mind with him, and I think that deep down, Deadpool isn't a bad guy. Maybe that's wishful thinking on my part. No, seriously, he does try to minimize collateral damage and help people, showing a strange sense of ethics.
The artwork was bright and reflected the craziness of Deadpool's mind and his adventures. Another great thing about this book was the prodigious cameos it had: Iron Man/Tony Stark, Luke Cage/Power Man, Daredevil, even Spider-Man.
The story is seriously whacked, so I wouldn't recommend it across the board. It's for folks who have a strange sense of humor (I can count myself among those, even though some of it was on the edge of my own tastes). And for those who like a seriously kickbutt main lead who can go all ninja on his enemies, even while he's spouting foolishness and who is quite obviously insane....more
Non-stop adventure and intrigue with very poignant human drama. Like a good spy/adventure novel with a healthy dose of weird/supernatural/sci-fi fictiNon-stop adventure and intrigue with very poignant human drama. Like a good spy/adventure novel with a healthy dose of weird/supernatural/sci-fi fiction thrown in.
A good tertiary addition to the Baltimore graphic novel series. Readers who love classic horror fiction can't help but enjoy this series, and this oneA good tertiary addition to the Baltimore graphic novel series. Readers who love classic horror fiction can't help but enjoy this series, and this one just cements the classic horror sensibility of the work by Mignola and Golden. Forgive the pun, but they are a bit of a Golden Team for me. I think their writing is seamless where I can't figure out which part Mignola wrote and what was written by Golden. The artwork is sober and dark in color, matching the unrelenting darkness of the literary tone of the stories. Baltimore is a lone hunter who travels with one goal in mind: finding Haigus, the vampire who turned him and destroyed his family. Along the way, he will destroy evil he encounters. His relationship with God is complicated. He still calls him Lord, but he has a palpable anger towards Him. Baltimore seethes with it. He shakes his fists at God, but doesn't curse him. He only asks that he be left alone to seek his vengeance. To my mind, God manages for him to be in the right place at the right time, a fierce warrior against darkness and evil creatures of all kinds. I am not saying I like an invincible hero all the time, but I appreciate how Baltimore always ends up in tight spots where I would expect him to be a goner, but he manages to survive, even if he adds a few more scars to the landscape of his body and face.
It's hard to rate this as a good book, in the sense that it's not at all feel-good. It's very depressing in a lot of ways. The vampire plague has left destruction in every place, and all manner of foul creatures prey on the humans who manage to survive the plague and aren't turned into vampires. So, no, it's not an uplifting read. However, the writing and the artwork are beautiful and has a penetrating effect on me as I read. An excellent example of how successful the graphic novel medium can be for storytelling. And since I don't get to read much Gothic/classic horror, lately, it satisfies my palate for the stories in a quick reading format, and the art-lover/artist in me.
I'm ever so grateful that I am able to get this from my library. These volumes would cost a pretty penny to buy new.
So, yes, I do recommend it to readers who aren't averse to a dark read. It's violent and at times visceral, but not at all over the top or graphic. As I said earlier in the review, it has the Gothic and Classic horror sensibility that any fans of 18th-early 20th century horror will appreciate.
Oh my goodness. This is one of those that has a sappy romantic like myself sighing. A lonely, isolated man. A woman who 'has it together' or so it seeOh my goodness. This is one of those that has a sappy romantic like myself sighing. A lonely, isolated man. A woman who 'has it together' or so it seems, but is a wreck on the inside. And they find each other.
The Beauty and the Beast retelling doesn't get old for me. After all, I am a die-hard romantic and a die-hard fairy tale lover. Pepper Pace does both so well here. Yet, instead of the Beast being grumpy and surly, Christopher is the sweetest teddy bear (although he probably resembles a Grizzly bear) imaginable. I loved him!
Pace challenges the reader here. Our Beauty has a significant weight problem. And the weight problem isn't her issue, but the emotions underneath it, the ones that caused her weight issues, and the results of them. If you've ever been overweight, you know how it is for Ashleigh. The comments that hit like barbs, because someone thinks they have the right to say something or the fact that they are insensitive, because they've never struggled with weight problems. The assumptions made about you because of your weight.
On the other side, she doesn't make Ashleigh into a completely harmless victim. Ashleigh has some shallowness issues to work through. But that's the beauty of this story. She is able to see the beauty beneath the horrible scars and disfigurement that Christopher has. I truly loved the emotional connection between Christopher and Ashleigh. And there was also a very sensual component to this book, for romance readers who need that in their stories. Lots of spice and hot love scenes to go with an emotional love story that feels so authentic and timeless.
When I got to 38% on my Kindle and love declarations were made, I wondered what else could happen in this book. Well, plenty. This is a love story about not just two people finding each other, but also also finding their way to healing. Making a life together in spite of obstacles they both face.
When you read these kinds of stories, the stubborn person in you is determined to be upset if the problem is fixed, such as the heroine losing weight, or the hero getting his disfigurement repaired. But is that truly fair to the story for the characters not to go through that passage 'just because'? After all, it's easy to stay where you are. Even harder to take that step of faith to change something about yourself for the right reasons. In this case, the resolution made so much sense and only added to this story.
If I could change anything? That's a matter of personal tastes, and I'm sure many will disagree with me. However, I could have done without some of the graphic language in the love scenes. While they were scintillating and the chemistry powerful, I guess I didn't need to read certain terms when it came to body parts. That's a small quibble.
I'm personally no grammar stickler, but there were a couple issues there. I feel bad even pointing them out because a 100% accurate book doesn't necessarily tell a story that I love, like this somewhat imperfect one does. Overall, I found the writing very poised, professional, and so emotionally-stirring that I couldn't help but give this a five star rating.
This was a beautiful love story. That's kind of ironic, because this story is about how what's on the surface doesn't show you everything. That what is at the heart is worth fighting for in the end.
Highly recommended to romance readers who enjoy a more sensually descriptive love story, or just any old sap who can't resist a tried and true love story....more
Mauranie Wells is breaking her back working to keep her family ranch in New Mexico, and living day to day in the shadow of her younger, more bSynopsis
Mauranie Wells is breaking her back working to keep her family ranch in New Mexico, and living day to day in the shadow of her younger, more beautiful sister, Tennyson. Tennyson is constantly angry and demanding more money, when there is little money available. Especially when Mauranie finds out from the bank manager that her father's investments failed since his death and their inheritance is gone. Next she finds out that the mortgage is about to go into default for non-payment.
Mauranie is working to breed and train horses to turn her family ranch into a productive enterprise, but that takes time she doesn't have to meet their overdue mortgage payment. She doesn't have much hope to get through the day until handsome, well-dressed cowboy Stemson Arroyo Smith comes to their ranch. Instant chemistry ignites between her and Stemson, and Mauranie is shocked that he overlooks her more feminine, well-dressed sister to give her the time of day. Mauranie is self-conscious about her hearing disability, which she compensates for, although it makes it difficult to be around other people. Stemson is the new banker in the nearby town of Aqua Gulch. He came to look at her property in order to find a place to stable his horses and genuinely seems to like Mauranie, but Tennyson plants seeds of doubt in Mauranie's mind that he could truly care about her; that he's out to steal their ranch instead.
Mauranie is troubled by the tensions of trying to keep her sister satisfied, and heartsick at the growing distance between the sisters. Can she remain true to her vision for the family ranch, and keep her sister happy? Is a future possible with Stemson, or is that just a distant dream, far removed from the ugly reality of trying to keep their ranch afloat with little help from her sister?
Breaking Point is as much about family as it is a romance. Mauranie has made incredible sacrifices for her sister since her parents died. And her sister seems increasingly ungrateful. Love has made her bend over backwards for her sister. She hates that her sister is always angry and unhappy with her. I felt Mauranie's anguish at the growing gap between the sisters, her desire to succeed at turning their ranch around, and her hope that she could find a man of her own and a family.
I very much appreciated the manner in which Ms. Beggs incorporates Mauranie's hearing issues into the story. Mauranie works hard to live as normal a life as possible, and doesn't allow those hearing issues to get in the way of living a productive life. Mauranie is a great heroine. She is strong, but also loving. Her heart is very good, and she truly cares about others. I hated the way Tennyson treated Mauranie, always demanding and never thanking her for all the sacrifices she made. I was glad that Mauranie did stay true and consistent in her love for her sister; although I wish that she didn't let the younger woman walk all over her the way she did, and would force her to share more of the burdens of running the ranch.
Stemson is an intriguing character. He's a dapper cowboy businessman with a caring, down to earth heart. It spoke highly to me that he could appreciate Mauranie for her unspoiled, unpolished goodness and inner and outer beauty. He also struggles with demons from his family life, although the author focuses less on these overall. The tension between them resides in the trust and self-esteem issues they both have, and in the process of learning to open up to each other. Their loving bond and romantic chemistry kept me reading. I wanted things to work out for Mauranie and Stemson to be together, and I appreciated how the story unfolds on this front as well as with Mauranie's problems with her sister.
Ms. Beggs packs a lot of emotional impact into this short novel. She has a descriptive and emotional writing style that drew me into the story. Her imagery of historical ranch life spoke to the western lover in me. I felt for the characters and rooted for a positive resolution for them all. This was a well-written, enjoyable novella, although I wish it had been full-length; I feel that Ms. Beggs could have explored the issues presented more deeply. I would love to continue reading this series to revisit the characters and see what happens in the future with them.
I am torn about this one. I almost gave it four stars, but it seems a bit too much like the story arc of one of my favorite paranormal couples, and II am torn about this one. I almost gave it four stars, but it seems a bit too much like the story arc of one of my favorite paranormal couples, and I had a hard time getting past that. I did like the relationship dynamic between Gray and Dillon. How her jaguar nature is drawn to him and sees him as her mate, but she continually fights it. I liked them both, although Dillon was annoying at times. The sexual language is too raunchy for my tastes, another drawback. Overall, a pretty good installment in this series.
A quick and enjoyable read that I pulled out of the pile because I am a sucker for the plain jane, marriage of convenience, and scarred hero themes. CA quick and enjoyable read that I pulled out of the pile because I am a sucker for the plain jane, marriage of convenience, and scarred hero themes. Captain Caine Morleigh is an heir to an earldom who was badly scarred in the Napoleonic Wars. His fiancee' repudiated him after the bandages came off. She even screamed and fainted. That was enough for Caine to know he wouldn't be marrying her. Now Caine needs to find a new bride. This time around, he will choose an unattractive bride, a wallflower desperate for marriage, one who won't mind his unpleasant visage and make few demands on him, happy to be married. His eyes fall on Lady Grace, and he decides she's the one. She's very thin and unprepossessing in appearance. But she has spirit, which he finds out when he asks her to dance and then to marry him. Grace says yes, only to get away from her uncle, who has been mistreating and threatening her. But she is going to make sure that her marriage is to her benefit as well. She wants a real marriage in which her husband respects her and allows her to be true to herself and in which he demands no less than they both deserve in a marriage. Caine comes to realize that his wallflower bride will require a lot more of him than he expected, and give a lot more in return. And that he loves her for it.
I've missed reading Lyn Stone's historical romance books. I'm glad she's writing them again. This book has a trad regency feel, with authentic characters and actions that take me back to that period. Although not G-rated, it is not very explicit in sensuality, but the chemistry, attraction and bond between Caine and Grace is apparent and appealing. I loved Grace's spunk. She wasn't passive or willing to allow herself to be treated as less than she deserved. Her situation with her uncle put her in the position of being a victim but that wasn't natural for her. When she accepts Caine's proposal, she blooms with the freedom and safety he offers, and her real personality comes back to life, and in the process, Caine falls head over heels for her. I was glad that he came to appreciate his bride for the pearl that she was. I liked Caine a lot too. Although his initial plan seemed cold-hearted, he treated Grace kindly and respectfully from the beginning. There was never a question that he was a good guy. He just had some wrong idea about controlling his life by marrying the kind of woman who wouldn't demand too much from him. Fortunately, something in him choose the right woman in the end, and she was exactly what he needed, if not the convenient wife he expected.
Not a ground-breaking book or a foundation-shaker, but a good read. A pleasant love story that kept me reading. Write more please, Ms. Stone. 4 stars!...more
The Gods of Gotham was an impulse audio read from my trusty library, and it was definitely worth the read. The narrator really took this book where itThe Gods of Gotham was an impulse audio read from my trusty library, and it was definitely worth the read. The narrator really took this book where it needed to go. His voices were subtly different for each character. He endows Timothy with the integral mix of hardened cynic and stubborn idealist which defines his persona. For Valentine, Timothy's jaded older brother, his tone is more sardonic and poised, what I would expect of a borderline shady rakish fellow such as Valentine. The narrator also does the voices of women well. He doesn't fall into the trap of endowing all women with a high falsetto, but instead their voices are higher than men and have the feminine softness expected of women, without each one sounding like a clone. Even the children's voices are well done. I would give the narrator five stars alone, although I am not committed to giving this whole book that rating.
Readers who have watched the television series Copper or the movie Gangs of New York will find this world familiar. Set in New York City in the mid-19th century when the influx of Irish into the country reached an epic high, the author doesn't hesitate to be real with the situation. Each chapter begins with an excerpt from historical documents of the time, including some horribly bigoted written statements against Catholics and particularly the poor Irish that came over in the wake of the Potato Famine in Ireland. It paints a very vivid picture of the realities of this time with all the depths of the ugliness of human nature on display.
There were more than a few wince-worthy moments, from the rampant racism against Irish and blacks (among other marginalized groups, even Jews), and not to mention the horrible bigotry towards Catholics. All these are crucial to the story, although Faye focuses more on the Irish-phobia and the racism against other groups is a realistic backdrop. One aspect that I found the most chilling was the casual acceptance of existence of child prostitution. This was just one of the many extant social ills of the time, but the idea is so abhorrent that it did make this read a little more difficult for me. I was grateful that Timothy in his own way takes a hard stance against this.
Some readers might find the portrayal of women in this novel quite jaundiced. I can't really point fingers in that area, since most of the characters have their share of stains on their soul. Having said that, I really did not like Mercy Underhill. Although I realize that Timothy is deeply in love with her, I hope he gets over her, because she does not deserve him, and not because of her failings but the callous way she treated him. I liked Mrs. Boehm and young Bird a lot. Their characters help to give texture to the story and to further define Timothy's own characterizations. Despite his cynicism, his deep sense of justice is shown in how he interacts with their characters in particular, but also in other ways.
It's obvious I really liked Timothy and with good reason. He's a good everyman hero. Imperfectly perfect as a lead for this book. I liked that he has a keen detective mind, but his reasons for having it have to do with his background as a bartender and his own hard life in New York City. He's very down-to-earth, but honorable at the same time. His conflicted relationship with his older brother is a very important aspect of this novel. Readers who enjoy the theme of familial relations (often troubled) will appreciate their relationship. There is a deep seed of bitterness between them that tarnishes many of their interactions, and I was glad the author took the time to delve into that, and the reasons turn out to be very crucial to the story. I rather liked Valentine, even though he has some very questionable morals and his behavior is quite debauched even at the best of times. Deep down I think he's a good man who truly loves his brother, despite his admittedly flawed moral compass.
Overall, Gods of Gotham is a gritty, atmospheric historical mystery/thriller that made for very good listening. From a stellar narrator in Steven Boyer, to well-crafted historical details, to characters that are far from one-dimensional, this has all the ingredients for a good read. Although not a five star book, it's definitely a four star read with my thumbs up to it and recommendation to readers who enjoy historical mysteries and thrillers. I will be picking up the sequel, Seven for a Secret very soon....more
Happy Sigh! Lots of angst, passion, and true love. And a hero who reminds me of Edward Fairfax Rochester. I'm not sure if that was deliberate or not.Happy Sigh! Lots of angst, passion, and true love. And a hero who reminds me of Edward Fairfax Rochester. I'm not sure if that was deliberate or not. Declan is a nice mix of wounded, grumpy and tortured. Even at his worst, I couldn't hate him. I guess I could see pain behind his actions. With his brother's death and his feelings of guilt that he had failed him, it was hard to see clearly. On the other hand, I could see why Chloe couldn't settle for what he had to give her. She had fought too hard to claim a sense of self-esteem in her life.
I loved how the courtship between Declan and Chloe bloomed. I got that feeling of Jane Eyre in their interchanges. How Chloe might be his employee, but she won't kowtow to him. And also how Chloe is the light in the darkness to Declan. I found that bond and growing feelings between them very romantic. And the sexual tension and sensuality culminates beautifully.
After Declan finds out just who Chloe is, I wasn't sure what would happen next. I respect that Ms. West managed to keep the story on a mature level, even though Declan does act like a jerk. I loved how Chloe was able to hold her own and keep her dignity even in the way Declan was treating her. He might be her boss, he might seem to have the upper hand, but he didn't, because deep down, she wouldn't be allowing him to be control her.
And yes, the end might be sappy to some, but I found it deliciously romantic.
Hajar's Hidden Legacy is a book for fans of the Beauty and the Beast fairy tale. It plays out a lot like that much-loved story, although that is not tHajar's Hidden Legacy is a book for fans of the Beauty and the Beast fairy tale. It plays out a lot like that much-loved story, although that is not to say there is no innovation or unique touch here. Maisey Yates careful touch with writing romance and the manner in which she builds a layered, emotional story is evident here. Her characters are real life, both struggling with emotional wounds from their past.
Zahir is a tough nut to crack. He doesn't want to be married to Katharine, and he definitely doesn't want to love her. He's afraid to let her in, and he is unable to let go of his guilt about surviving the attacks against his family. He hates himself, and that is very evident. He also fears his life is over. He exists because he must protect his country. But he is in a world of pain. At first, I wondered why if he thought his scars were so hideous, he didn't get plastic surgery. I came to realize that his disgust with his appearance was more about his disgust about how he survived when his parents and brother didn't. He felt like he was the unworthy one who lived. His truly believes he is unable to heal emotionally. He is like a lion with a thorn in his paw, and that requires some real nurturing and persistence from Katharine. Katharine was just the heroine to soothe his savage breast.
While Zahir has the bulk of torment, I liked that Katharine had her own angst to deal with. She was dismissed, sidelined, and marginalized by her father. He truly does not value her, and he shows it. But she craves his approval and moves mountains to get it. I loved how Zahir stood up for Katharine to her father. I also loved how Zahir helps to validate Katharine and build up her self-esteem, despite his own struggles.
Yates carefully builds the tension, both romantic and sensual. The love scenes are quite steamy, but it's very natural to the story. You can see that the connection between Zahir and Katharine has entwined itself between them on many levels. Before they both know it, their match is very much one of love and devotion, as well as a marriage of state. Their mutual fears of not being enough are assuaged by the fact that they are just what each other needs.
Hajar's Hidden Legacy is very much a novel about the healing of emotional wounds and the development of love between two hurting people. It lacks the drama of some book in this category series. Instead, it's more of an introspective novel about the development of a relationship that turns into a deep love between two people who weren't even looking for love, but needed it the whole time....more