This book is pretty darn awesome. Zsadist is definitely one to seduce a reader if you love tortured, sexy heroes. The only disadvantage is too much LeThis book is pretty darn awesome. Zsadist is definitely one to seduce a reader if you love tortured, sexy heroes. The only disadvantage is too much Lesser narrative. Otherwise I love it! It is full of passages that wrench at your heart as you read Zsadist's sad but ultimately triumphant story. You really root for Zsadist to accept the unconditional love that Bella has for him, as you see him give all of himself to her because he cannot help but love her, even believing he is far from good enough for her. And the relationship is not one-sided as Zsadist helps Bella to heal from her captivity with the Lesser. He is the only one that can help her through this ordeal. But long before she was kidnapped, she was drawn to Zsadist. You see the seeds of their connection start in Lover Eternal, and to be honest, that's what made me keep reading Lover Eternal. I was so fascinated by the interaction between essentially The Beauty and the Beast played out in this sophistocated, urban vampire universe. I knew that their relationship would be explosive and captivating, and I was right. The scenes of Bella and Zsadist during her needing are enthralling and sexual, but also tender and poignant. I don't think any man could love a woman more than Zsadist loves Bella. The ending will make the sternest, most cold-hearted person tear up as Zsadist very clearly shows just how much Bella means to him. And the gift that Bella gives Zsadist is just the icing on the cake. This is a wonderful love story....more
I think this was my first Anne Stuart book. It was love at first sight. I really gravitated towards this story about a reclusive woman who is tormenteI think this was my first Anne Stuart book. It was love at first sight. I really gravitated towards this story about a reclusive woman who is tormented by her psychic ability to see dark events, and the mysterious, clearly dangerous, and very ruggedly-attractive man who comes to her hiding place from the world to get her help solving a kidnapping that may have national security implications. I don't really enjoy romance books where the characters are tracking a serial killer, unless they're really good. And this one was. For me they are too gritty, and the blood and death really overwhelms the book, and drowns out the romance. Not this one. Ms Stuart does a great job of weaving this story, making the focus is on the growing love between Elizabeth and Sam, but carrying the plot along so that you're invested in solving the murders taking place.
Elizabeth is reserved and quiet on the surface, but inwardly haunted by those terrible visions. Sam is a strong, enigmatic military man who's all about the mission. His vitality intimidates her, but also seduces her back to life again. Sam isn't too happy he has to work with such a quiet little mouse to get his mission accomplished. But he ends up falling for this mild-mannered and plain spinster woman when it's really at cross-purposes for his mission. He is not prepared for how much she comes to mean to him, especially when he has to put her life at risk to catch the killer he is after. Although Sam isn't as in your face dangerous as Ms. Stuart's later heroes (particularly in the Ice series), he is definitely a lethal man who will not hesitate to kill without mercy to protect Elizabeth and to achieve his mission.
It was great to read this story and watch Elizabeth come out of her shell, and see the strong, intense attraction between this unlikely couple unfold. Early on, Elizabeth has a vision about her and Sam, and a certain red dress that is pretty spicy, and you know that things are going to heat up. And Ms. Stuart really delivers on the romantic relationship in this book. That's what kept me reading despite the dark subject matter. It is really interesting how passionate the love scenes in these oldies can be without being explicit like the newer books. You feel all the emotions and the intensity even though a lot is left to the imagination.
I was hooked on Anne Stuart when I read this Silhouette Intimate Moments I checked out from the library so many moons ago (I used to read every single Silhouette Intimate Moment I could find at the library, and enjoyed almost all of them. Those were the days). It started a twenty-plus year relationship with my favorite author. She has brought so many hours of joy into my life. Nobody does romance as well as Anne Stuart in my book....more
One of those books that sucks you in from page one, Angels Wings is a unique treasure, a book set in the 1930s. For some reason, I am fascinated withOne of those books that sucks you in from page one, Angels Wings is a unique treasure, a book set in the 1930s. For some reason, I am fascinated with the early 20th century, and I love books set in this time period. Anne Stuart is my favorite author, so put those two elements together, you can't help but have a winner. Another wonderful thing about this book is the heroine is a pilot. I'm not sure there are that many women pilots now. Imagine being one in the 30s. Angela has met her match in Jack, so period that he could have stepped out of Robert Mitchum Noir film. He's rude and brash and rubs her the wrong way, but she finds him irresistibly attractive, although she has buried her heart since her fiancee died in a plane crash. Jack isn't looking to settle down but he cannot resist the prickly, independent, so called woman pilot. Yes, ladies, Jack is not a New Age man. He's a bit of a chauvinist, but you won't hold it against him. As I said, he's a man of his time. This book is not overtly sexual like books written nowadays. The love scenes are subtle, but the tension and the sensuality is sizzing. This book is great, it's one that I had to buy another copy when it was released, although my original copy is in fine shape. I couldn't bear the thought of one copy biting the dust without a replacement. If you want to read a romance with the charm of movies from the 1930s and 1940s, you should read this book. Please, Ms. Stuart. I am begging you to write more 1930-1940s books!...more
Now normally most rakes do nothing for me. But Rafe, ah, Rafe is a rake I might find myself having trouble resisting. This book was delicious. The rakNow normally most rakes do nothing for me. But Rafe, ah, Rafe is a rake I might find myself having trouble resisting. This book was delicious. The rake who gets hoisted by his petard by the man-hater. Silver feels like she is resistant to passions for a man. She tried love and it didn't work for her. She's all about being a good movie critic like her somewhat spiteful, Truman Capotesque mentor. He is teaching her to write acerbic, cruel reviews. Unfortunately she reviews Rafe's production and he's not happy. He decides to teach her a lesson, and ends up kidnapping her to his cabin in the mountains. It has a bit of the captive theme I like. And it has hot passion and hotter romance. The end is great because they both show sacrifice (sort of like Gift of the Magi). This is a great book to read if you can find it, a real treasure. As a matter of fact, I need to pull out my copy....more
This is my second read of this book, and my first attempt to review it. I couldn’t write a review before, because it had been years since I read it, a This is my second read of this book, and my first attempt to review it. I couldn’t write a review before, because it had been years since I read it, and my feelings were so all over the place. I didn’t think I could write an honest review at the time unless I did reread it. Don’t get me wrong. I love this book, and it’s definitely a five star read, but it challenged me in ways the first three books didn’t.
Bowen is a character we got to know in A Hunger Like No Other, and we followed up on him in No Rest for the Wicked. I was already emotionally involved with him, so it was exciting for him to get his own story. Despite that fact, Bowen could be a major jerk at times. I mean a serious clod. Some of the thoughtless things he says and does towards Mariketa are just loutish. I really winced at one particular misstep. An epic fail. I was just thinking: Wow, Bowen. You’re like the guy who caught the ball that cost the Cubs their first chance at the World Series in a long time! Yeah, that bad!
Despite the fact that Bowen commits some serious relationship nonos with Mariketa, he also has some heart-meltingly sweet moments where you can’t imagine not being bowled over by a guy like him wooing you. I think that combination of ineptness and fan yourself appealing hotness makes him an unforgettable hero. It means so much that despite the numerous obstacles he faces in his relationship with Mariketa, that he is able to win her heart and keep it, and leave behind all his preconceived notions and reservations about being involved with her. And I can’t blame him for some of those, just about how insensitive he was in addressing or dealing with them.
Mariketa is quite interesting as a heroine. Although she’s younger than Emmaline, she’s a lot more modern-thinking and less sheltered. She embodies the modern twenties-something girl in a more recognizable way than Emmaline, although they both have that dynamic. I liked that she was more street-smart than Emmaline because Bowen really needed someone who could handle him. Now, that’s not to say that he doesn’t wound Mariketa, or sorely challenge her. At times, I could see why Mariketa definitely was not feeling the idea of a relationship with him. She had very good reasons, especially with her abandonment/not measuring up issues and his disdain for witches. On the second read, I was cheering her on a lot more. When she called him on his selfishness, she hit the nail right on the head. I could see why she wasn’t about to let her sexual attraction and maybe a little more feelings for Bowen deter her from the path she’d chosen, especially when Bowen felt like she had to give up something that was so vital to her identity.
It struck me that this book has a lot more relationship drama than the previous books. I think that although this is paranormal, some of the relationship dynamics would feel very familiar to a modern person with an active dating life; and they are trying to decide if someone is the ‘one’ they want to spend their life with. Many readers seem to dislike the ‘love at first/fated to be mated’ concept, but Cole doesn’t use it as a crutch to get out of building a genuine bond between her characters, or as a foregone conclusion. They still have to work out and through the particulars of cementing and committing to that relationship despite their instincts that they belong together. Particularly in this book, I seriously wondered how Mariketa and Bowen would work things out. Their problems are pretty enormous despite their volcanic sexual chemistry and growing love for each other. Since this is a romance, logically I know we’ll get a happy ending, but there is a good haul to get to that destination.
As always, Cole blisters the pages with the powerful sexual chemistry between her characters. She tantalizes and teases the reader so that they are just as highly expectant for the promised consummation as her main characters. And she doesn’t disappoint when it happens. I love the fact that Mariketa doesn’t make it easy for Bowen sexually. She needs his respect as much as the sexual release he clearly can give her. She also needs trust, and that is something a reader can definitely identify with. It just feels right. Even though the reader can love all the hot stuff, you can also get a connection between the main characters that makes sense intellectually and ethically (if that makes sense). You don’t want a character who doesn’t respect herself enough to expect respect from a hero.
Wow, this review turned out pretty long. I guess I did have a lot to say. Everything I love about Cole’s writing is here. She challenges me in ways, but that’s good. While this book has a bit more angst than the first three books, it also has some good humorous bits. The suspense storyline is intense, and it ties together very well. I liked that I didn’t remember exactly how everything goes together, which is a mark of a good book, that you can see more in the story with each read. Wicked Deeds on a Winter’s Night is a worthwhile read for fans of well-written, sexy paranormal romance.
Final Shoutout: Bowen, I’m glad you finally got your act together. High five! Mariketa, you go girl!
This book excels because of The Warlord Wants Forever, the first Immortals After Dark story by Kresley Cole. I actually read this one second because IThis book excels because of The Warlord Wants Forever, the first Immortals After Dark story by Kresley Cole. I actually read this one second because I read A Hunger Like No Other first. I remember reading A Hunger and being like, "Who are Myst and Nikolai?" When I realized that there was a prequel short story, I was on the hunt to get it. Finally I found it at a Half Price Books in San Antonio. I bought it and read it when I was in Denver for training. I actually read it about 2 and 1/2 times. I love this story so much. It's short but it's very hot and sweet. So well written, with characters that jump off the page at you. I thought I loved Lachlain, until I met Nikolai. The man is so delicious to me, and like Myst, I can't resist his scars and his warrior essence. It has a captive theme, so that might not work for some. As the saying goes, I would not kick Nikolai out of bed for eating crackers. Yet honestly, Nikolai is not a gentle lover, but Myst doesn't exactly play fair either. In the IAD universe vampires are unable to have sex until they meet their Bride who 'bloods' them. And then, watch out. Well, Myst is Nikolai's bride, despite the fact that as a valkyrie she hates vampires and kills their kind. She actually exploits the fact that she can 'blood' vampires and has killed them by almost seducing them. Well she feels an attraction to Nikolai despite her hatred of vamps. When she 'bloods' him, she leaves him hanging, in desperate need that only she can assuage for five years. Talk about frustration. This story has excellent chemistry, and the skill of Cole's writing shines in this short story. She is so good at combining humor, action, and writing characters that burn for each other.
Although I do love Sherrilyn Kenyon, I have not been enthralled by her BAD stories. They are just too ordinary for me. I really like what she does with paranormal in contemporaries, and I miss it when it's not there.
The Jaid Black story was pretty unique with the modern vikings who steal women to take underground. This is one is also a captive/kidnapped story with a bit of forced seduction if that is not a person's cup of tea. It was good, and I enjoyed it. However, I would say read this collection for the Kresley Cole story!...more
James Malory, rogue, rake, and pirate. And very sexy guy. This guy is an original. You know he's something special when you meet him in Love Only OnceJames Malory, rogue, rake, and pirate. And very sexy guy. This guy is an original. You know he's something special when you meet him in Love Only Once, and I was eager to read his book. Well I definitely enjoyed seeing James meet his HEA with Georgina.
This was a fun, sexy book. I tell you, James Malory is a guy who goes after what he wants. Once he figures out that his cabin boy is a girl, she's in his bed a very short time later. Little does he know that she has lots of big, strong, angry brothers. But he's not about to let them take about the woman that he has claimed all for his own.
James is such a funny guy. I love his rivalry with his brother Anthony, and his comraderie with his crew. It was nice to see him get to know his long-lost illegitimate son, Jeremy, who resembles the Malory clan more than he does. Actually Jeremy looks a lot like his brother Anthony. I love his raunchy nature, but how he is actually very gentle and loving with George.
The love scenes in this book were singe-worthy back in the day. Nowadays, I think they would be tame as far as how explicit they are not. But I feel the attraction and chemistry between James and George make this book sizzle for me. Gentle Rogue is a winner....more
When I heard about Marriage Most Scandalous was about I was intrigued. The hero was described as a mercenary which made my ears perk up. I love dangerWhen I heard about Marriage Most Scandalous was about I was intrigued. The hero was described as a mercenary which made my ears perk up. I love dangerous romance heroes. What can I say? I was tempted, despite my limited financial funds to buy the book when it came out (from Walmart at a considerable discount), but since money wasn't good I elected to wait. And lo and behold, my patience was rewarded when I found it at the library. I finished the book in 2 days (because I saw three movies also in that time period), and I was totally satisfied. Sebastian Townshend is in a word, a fantastic hero, despite his flaws: broody, rude, short-tempered. But also principled, vulnerable, and heroic. I pictured Christian Bale with a ponytail: tall, brawny, beautiful, brownish eyes, brooding. Perfection. Although I could not find an actress who fit Maggie's description, I had a very good picture of her in my head. This book definitely had elements that I love in my romance novels: dark, brooding hero, with an air of danger, who is disgraced for a past event that isn't totally his fault. A strong-willed, intelligent heroine who can handle him. And loads of chemistry. Sebastian's sexuality fairly erupted off the page. He makes such a very determined assault on Maggie's virtue that I know if I were in her shoes I would find very hard to resist, especially since their pretend marriage puts them in very close quarters. I felt the need to fan myself as I read the book. Lovely in a word. The secondary characters were also quite interesting and well-drawn. Of course there's never enough time to delve too deeply but JL tantalized the reader enough to wish that the book was 300 pages longer. As I finished this book I knew that my Johanna Lindsey slump was broken...more
Be prepared for a dangerously sexy and heroic hero in Reece Lambert. He really got my heart beating. I thought the storyline was good and enjoyed theBe prepared for a dangerously sexy and heroic hero in Reece Lambert. He really got my heart beating. I thought the storyline was good and enjoyed the strong-willed, independent heroine Catherine. But this books is all about Reece....more
This book was amazing in a lot of ways. Who would have thought I would go ga-ga over a bisexual, seriously dominant, kinda scary guy like Vishous? WelThis book was amazing in a lot of ways. Who would have thought I would go ga-ga over a bisexual, seriously dominant, kinda scary guy like Vishous? Well I fell, flat on my face. This guy is amazing. He is extremely attractive, imagine big, tall, ice blue eyes, black hair (I'm a sucker for blue eyes and black hair), and extremely intelligent also.
The way that JR Ward wrote this book did it. She put so much love and effort into telling this man's story that you couldn't help but love him. I love his selfless love for Butch. I love how he looked at Jane and saw his soulmate. I love that he fights for the Brothers and helps them out in manifold ways.
Also I cry for the torture and abuse he suffered at the hands of his so-called father. And what amounts to neglect from his mother. And then she wants him to step up as Primale and leave behind all that he loves.... Man. And not to mention having to give up Butch but always be there for him.
This book really ripped away at my heart. I couldn't put it down.
I really liked Jane. She was very down to earth and likable. But tough at the same time. Most people would have flipped out when they were exposed to a world that was so different from what they knew. She took it like a champ. And she never even blinked at the fact that Vishous was in love with another man and was seriously into bondage and stuff. She accepted him for who he was. Jane fits into the Brotherhood's life like a long-lost puzzle. She is the half to Vishous' whole that he was missing. She doesn't replace Butch but she still gives Vishous the love and acceptance he deserved for so long.
If I had one complaint, then it was how things were resolved with Jane. Don't worry. They end up together. I can't give it away because it will spoil it. I am still feeling a little uncertain about that. Otherwise, I loved this story. Even writing about it makes me get an ache in my chest....more
Nightsong has languished on my tbr pile for years. I started it but put it down because I wasn't been in a mood to finish it at the time. Yesterday, INightsong has languished on my tbr pile for years. I started it but put it down because I wasn't been in a mood to finish it at the time. Yesterday, I felt this strong urge to read a western. Those urges come on me, and I felt it best to indulge. My eyes fell on it tucked into the large bookshelf in my room, and I started reading it again. It was the right book for my present mood.
Nightsong has that feel that I enjoy in a historical western. Strong people living their lives, facing adversities, and adhering to their personal sense of honor. Debra is a woman of two worlds: her mother was Indian and her father was white. Both worlds have rejected her to some extent. As a result, Debra has found her own world to live in. When hard-eyed Ethan Tyler comes along, determined to live with her at her homestead, she doesn't like the idea, but she can't make him leave. Before she knows it, they are married. And she falls in love with her husband, a man with torment and dark memories in his eyes. Before they can found a future, Ethan has to face his past. He is a fugitive, having killed the man who killed his wife and young son, and a bounty hunter has come to take him back. Honor dictates that Ethan go back and prove he was right to kill that man. Will this man she has come to love as her husband return to her, or will she be forced go back to living alone, on the edge of two worlds?
I liked the steady narrative, which was light on dialogue and heavy on description. Admittedly, this doesn't always work for me, but it did for this book at this moment in time and space. It showed rather than told who Debra and Ethan were. They are characters in which actions speak louder than words, so it was fitting. Through their interaction in the world around them, with each other, and with other pivotal characters. (view spoiler)[ I especially liked Gray Wolf, Debra's brother who shows up. I wonder if he had a story. I'd read it. (hide spoiler)]
It's an interesting thing how much reading depends on mood, at least for me. At times, this sort of book wouldn't be what I wanted to read. Other times, like yesterday, it was what the doctor ordered. It satisfied my craving for a western, and left me wanting more. That's why I gave it four stars.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
The hero in this book is a hard man and is on the cruel side to the heroine, blackmailing her for sex. But man was it a book that was hard to put downThe hero in this book is a hard man and is on the cruel side to the heroine, blackmailing her for sex. But man was it a book that was hard to put down. ...more
I loved this book. Lucas was one unique (for me) hero. He is a bonafide dandy, but very much a man. That was odd for me at first. I haven't read as maI loved this book. Lucas was one unique (for me) hero. He is a bonafide dandy, but very much a man. That was odd for me at first. I haven't read as many Georgians, so the spiffied up, lace-bedecked, bewigged, powered, high-heel wearing hero was a different thing for me. But this man makes it look good. And he's got this long, black hair. (Fanning myself). Okay back to the review: He is rather ruthless, but at the same time, is a good husband for tormented Anna. He makes mistakes but manages to love her and to help her to heal.
I love the scene where they meet. Their eyes connect across the ballroom floor. Anna is not ugly, but is rather modest in her looks, but something about her appeals to Lucas. He pursues her very determinedly, and desperate to escape her situation, and swept off her feet by this handsome, sought-after duke, Anna quickly says yes to his proposal.
Anna was in a terrible situation that marriage to Lucas helped her to escape. But now she has to deal with a husband who thought she played him false. Boy that scene was pretty hot (that makes me feel kind of guilty to say that, but it was). Her prior situation keeps threatening to destroy her marriage, and she is counting down the time until it does. Poor Anna. You really feel for her, and you wish for her to open up to Lucas about her issues, but she's afraid to. And Lucas takes that to mean she's likely to be another faithless wife. It's a complicated situation, but Ms. Balogh writes it so well.
I love the books where the couple gets married early and has to get to know each other, and you watch their love grow over the course of the book. This marriage starts off a bit rocky, but I love how committed both of them are to the marriage. Lucas sowed his wild oats with other men's wives, but he is committed to fidelity with his own. That made me like him more (not the sleeping with other married women before his marriage, but his willingness to be faithful to Anna). He's a great reformed rake. Very arrogant and commanding as a duke is wont to be. They are raised for it. Sigh! Lucas--the best duke ever written in romance novels.
It's probably pretty clear that this is still my favorite Mary Balogh novel. I hope she writes more like this. If you know of some that are similar, please let me know.
Lucas is such a great dad. I love how he's always carrying around his baby daughter. Something about daddy heroes for me. Those are my favorite scenes in the book.
This is a book that could be reread many times and I doubt it would get old.
Update: When I went home for Christmas, I saw that my mother had found my copy of this wonderful book. I was so happy. It was like another Christmas present! ...more
This book was incredible. I love the premise of a race of humans who can transform into dragons (or vice versa). Christoff was a sexy, dangerous heroThis book was incredible. I love the premise of a race of humans who can transform into dragons (or vice versa). Christoff was a sexy, dangerous hero who stakes his claim on his Smoke Thief Clarissa right away. What a vivid, wonderful book....more
Summer Knight starts with Harry in a very dark place. He is reeling from the fact that his girlfriend has left him, and she's been changed into a nearSummer Knight starts with Harry in a very dark place. He is reeling from the fact that his girlfriend has left him, and she's been changed into a near-vampire by the Red Court of Vampires. He feels personally responsible, and is desperate for a way to help her. This despair has affected him to a deep level, and he's barely functioning, living in a pig-sty, and not even taking cases or taking care of himself. It was very hard to see him like that. And things don't get better for Harry. Because he's facing judgment by the White Council of wizards, who are out for his blood, and he has to prove that he's not a troublemaker or they're going to deliver him signed and sealed to the vampires, who won't sit him down for tea and sandwiches. They'll kill him, and make it hurt. His only way out is to prove his allegiance to the White Council by opening up routes into Faerie so they can get away from the vampires. In order to do that, he has to make nice with the Faeries. Luckily, or unluckily, the Winter Queen Mab shows up at his office, 'asking' his help to solve the case of who killed the Summer Knight, thus stealing away some of the Seelie's Court's power and upsetting the power balance between Seelie and Unseelie Courts. Trust me, that's not a good thing, and could very well lead to the end of the world. By asking Harry, that means he doesn't get to say no, since his faerie godmother sold his debt to her to Queen Mab. Complicated? Yes it is. But that's par for the course for Harry.
Harry Dresden doesn't get it easy. He just gets it not as hard, sometimes at least. Life for him seems to go from one battle to the next. And he has plenty of battle-scars. But, he doesn't give up. He keeps on trucking. I couldn't love him more for that. Harry is at his snarkiest in this book. The man's mouth is a sharply-honed instrument, and he knows how to use it. And, he shows that he's definitely an alpha male, with his take charge, 'try to stop me' attitude, despite his endearingly self-deprecating manner. He might seem like a ne'er do well, but he's resourceful, strong-willed, and at heart, definitely a white knight.
Summer Knight wasn't an easy read for me. The print in my book was way too small, and Mr. Butcher has a very descriptive, detail-oriented writing style. But, it was a fantastic read. Mr. Butcher takes faerie and concocts a delectable story around it. I've read quite a few faerie stories, and he still managed to bring some new images and concepts to the table. I love what he does with Faerie. And I loved the Faerie smackdown at the end of this story. I felt like I was right there, with a ringside seat on the action. I was cheering for Harry and his gang of werewolves and faerie changelings, and wincing as he takes his share of licks. And if you've ever read a Dresden novel, you know that Harry is always, always getting hurt. But, he just keeps on going. Gosh, I love this man!
Mr. Butcher really took me on a nonstop ride. I was feeling all Harry's pain. I didn't enjoy seeing him suffering the way he does in this book, and I hope that he does find peace over Susan. Even still, with all his personal anguish, he manages to save the day, yet again, and give me more than a few laughs in the process. It was great to see tough as nails Karrin Murphy, the Chicago Police Detective that he consults on 'weird' cases with, fight at his side against an ogre, chlorofiend (plant monster), and ghoul assassin at the local Walmart. Hats off to Mr. Butcher for yet another grand adventure with Harry Dresden. I better rest up so I can be ready for the next one!...more
Great way to spend a Saturday evening reading about Simon's determined pursuit of Louisa, and how the pursuer really was the pursued all the time. SimGreat way to spend a Saturday evening reading about Simon's determined pursuit of Louisa, and how the pursuer really was the pursued all the time. Simon has some issues from his cruel grandfather that take things to the next emotional level. I'm glad to see that things worked out for Simon and Louisa, and it's so refreshing to read a book with a hero who isn't sleeping with every woman he can prior to the heroine....more
Great way to spend a Saturday evening reading about Simon's determined pursuit of Louisa, and how the pursuer really was the pursued all the time. SimGreat way to spend a Saturday evening reading about Simon's determined pursuit of Louisa, and how the pursuer really was the pursued all the time. Simon has some issues from his cruel grandfather that take things to the next emotional level. I'm glad to see that things worked out for Simon and Louisa, and it's so refreshing to read a book with a hero who isn't sleeping with every woman he can prior to the heroine. Simon was a really hot hero, although he tried so hard to keep his emotions under control. I loved that Louisa was the only woman who could get under his skin, and how that fact drove him crazy. I loved that Louisa helped Simon to heal from his emotional wounds and taught him how to love. This one goes onto my favorites list. ...more
This book reminds me of how much I love westerns. All of the authors in this volume are dependable writers of good romance, and they don't fail you. CThis book reminds me of how much I love westerns. All of the authors in this volume are dependable writers of good romance, and they don't fail you. Cheryl has the wonderful beta hero in Seth that she is so good at writing. You will fall for him, just as Marvel does. I also like the Marvel is not immune to issues of vanity or insecurity. She fears aging poorly because of having much older parents she had to take care of in their ill health. She is also about seven years older than Seth. But they are the perfect couple in many ways. Seth is such a sweetie and he deserves to have a woman he loves and truly wants to be with.
Jenna also writes a powerful romance. Ford is a bounty hunter who specializes in bring back violent killers dead (not alive) after his family was savagely killed by a criminal. He accidentally shoots single mother Abby and takes personal responsiblity for nursing her back to health and caring for her son in the meantime. He falls deeply in love with them both, and has to choose between opening his heart to love and possible loss or living on the edge and waiting for his death.
And lastly, Pam's story involves Sonja, who has a bad reputation in the small town because people don't understand why she keeps pigeons and often meets with the army. She is a good woman who is doing a dangerous job, but has been unjustly judged. She helps Beau by nursing a found fox kit back to health, and thus gets intertwined into the lives of Beau and his father Chet, whom she is deeply in love with. This story reminds me that the unsung heroes will be rewarded, even if the world doesn't recognize the sacrifices they make for the welfare of others. Poor, misunderstood, lonely Sonja is justly rewarded with a real family who love her as much as she loves them. I am very glad I read this, because it's a nice, warm book to read for the holidays. It has a winning combination of family and children, the warmth of Christmas, but also the uncertainties and dangers of western life with a promise of a happy future. This is a great book to read at Christmastime for a genuine lover of western romance....more
This is one of my all time favorite Harlequin Presents. It has the elements that I love about this line: passion, revenge, strong personalities clashiThis is one of my all time favorite Harlequin Presents. It has the elements that I love about this line: passion, revenge, strong personalities clashing in the arena of life, until they fall in love (and bed).
Jane and Ryan are enemies, for numerous reasons. For one thing, he ruins her father and his business (her father destroyed his family many years earlier and he has been biding his time to take his revenge). Also she ruins his wedding to her good friend, by arriving at the wedding and claiming to be his mistress that he's been having an affair with. Her meek friend has fallen in love with another man and is afraid to cry off from the wedding, so Jane steps in to help her at her own expense. After that, daggers are drawn. Ryan destroys Jane's business prospects and pretty much her life, and makes it impossible for her to find a job.
So it's her turn to get revenge. It sounds like a vicious cycle, but the fiery chemistry between them makes this story worth reading. Jane is tall and buxom (I sort of pictured her looking like Lucy Lawless as Xena or Jane Russell (40s-50s pinup girl and actress). Ryan is a big, tall, blue-eyed, black-haired guy who probably looks like a viking except with the dark hair. They make a striking couple.
There are few love scenes, but they are pretty blazing, and the first one definitely has a naughty vibe (you can read if you want to find out what I mean).
This book shows the strength of Napier's writing. She might have a heroine who's temporarily down on her luck, but she's more than a match for the hero as far as intellect, abilities, and personal fortitude. She isn't a pushover, and she's not going to let him treat her like she's beneath him. I also love that she has heroines who may not be model beautiful and have some insecurities about themselves that they might struggle with, but manage to live productive lives otherwise. You get the impression that they would be successful in life, but it's nice to have the love of a good man to complete them. I love her heroes because they are very alpha and somewhat domineering, but equally caring, and not so bullheaded that they cannot come to see the error of their ways or express their love and caring for the heroine. Plus she has a lot of big, muscular, dark hair, light eyed heroes, which I find very attractive. And they are New Zealanders (Not Italian, Greek, or Latin) and not necessarily billionaires. A lot of them are self-made men and/or have very down to earth values and lifestyles, even if they are wealthy. And usually they are very much heroes in pursuit, who go after the heroine who's not the typical immaculate, society beauty that every other man wants (although they are definitely appealing in their own unique way).
I think you'd have to be a fan of Harlequin Presentseque storylines, at least to a mild degree, to like this one. But I happen to love the revenge and powerful desire between enemies theme that is a staple of Harlequin Presents, so this book was a winner for me, especially in Susan Napier's masterful hands....more
This was a fun, passionate book for lovers of the Elizabethan period. Of course Queen Elizabeth and the bard William Shakespeare make appearances. InThis was a fun, passionate book for lovers of the Elizabethan period. Of course Queen Elizabeth and the bard William Shakespeare make appearances. In fact, they are both heavily involved in the plot of this book. It's also a good book if you like unrequited love, and friends/enemies to lovers. Rosalind was a good heroine, and I admired her determination to live her own life, even if that meant remaining unwedded. Drake was complicated and had some motives that might have made him seem amoral, but Beard did a good job of making him sympathetic. I loved that he was helplessly in love with Rosalind, and had been since he was a child. Of course love denied turns to spite. Be even at his worst, he was not cruel to Rosalind. I enjoyed that both characters grew and had to made a determination about what was really important to them in their lives. The passion between them was fiery, yet the consummation came right on time. I enjoyed the look at the bawdy, intrigue-filled, and complicated lives that people led back in the 16th century. Not always pretty or pristine, but definitely interesting. This book is a keeper....more
Boy, I am so glad that I had read one of Nalini Singh's Silhouette Desire novels, and was searching for some more paranormal romances to read and finaBoy, I am so glad that I had read one of Nalini Singh's Silhouette Desire novels, and was searching for some more paranormal romances to read and finally picked this one up by her. I kicked myself for having waited so long. I loved this book. Lucas is to die for. He's totally yum. I loved the combination of paranormal with science fiction. I typically find science fiction a little bit dry at times, since I am more of a fantasy person. But there is a perfect mix of science fiction and paranormal fantasy in this book. I love how Singh created this future world where there are three types of people: Psy (completely cerebral with enhanced psychic abilities, reject emotions), Changeling (part human/part animal, embrace emotion), and Humans. This story focuses mainly on the Psy and Changeling dynamic. In Singh's Psy/Changeling world, race is not an issue. Most of the characters are of various ethnic backgrounds and interracial relationships have no stigma. I found this very refreshing. Singh's worldbuilding is so plausible that you don't doubt that in the future humans can reject emotions and build their psychic abilities to the penultimate. It takes a leap of faith to believe in changelings (shapeshifters), but if you don't have that, then you shouldn't be reading this book. If you do, then hang on.
Lucas doesn't care for the Psy. To him, they are soul-less, conscienceless beings. But for the sake of business, he deals with the Psy. When he meets Sasha, he is drawn to her. She doesn't have the stink of Psy (they have a cold, deadly metallic smell to the Changeling breed). The Psy are hated because they have ruthlessly gained control of society and are not above killing those who stand in their way. So at first, Lucas is off-put by his attraction to Sasha. Not for long though. It doesn't take this very confident cat to recognizes she is his mate, and he doesn't wait much longer to claim her as his. Their relationship was blistering hot. I was fanning myself during the love scenes. Sasha has had issues with her powers, having blackouts and feeling scary losses of control of her emotions that she has been hiding from her parental units, because Psy who lose control and break Silence (the lack of emotion) are sent for rehabilitation, eventually becoming mindless vegetables. Lucas inspires violent passion in her which is unheard of in a Psy. She has no idea how to deal with this, yet she is required to work with him. Lucas seems to enjoy teasing her and inspiring sensual feelings in her. I loved their interactions.
I am a big fan of shapeshifter stories, and I loved the descriptions of the pack of big cats of which Lucas is the alpha. I also enjoyed reading about their new allies, the pack of wolf shapeshifters, who is alphaed by the enigmatic Hawke (can't wait for his story). Really, I cannot recommend this series enough. If you are like me and typically get a little bored with hard science fiction, but want to expand your horizons, I would suggest this book and the Psy/Changeling series. The romance is the focus, and the science fiction elements teamed with paranormal is like marshmallow sauce on chocolate, just the right touch. Singh is a gifted author who has won my devotion as a fan....more
This book was fantastic. I thought that this series would get less interesting as it continued, but it seems to get even more intriguing. I loved theThis book was fantastic. I thought that this series would get less interesting as it continued, but it seems to get even more intriguing. I loved the hero Dorian. He is full of contrasts: ice cold, but hot, violent but controlled, and deeply sensual. He is unable to change into a leopard, which he has mostly made peace with. Instead he has honed his skills as such a formidable warrior, that being unable to shapeshift is not a liability. However, being unable to shifts makes him no less in touch with his animal nature. As a lover of shapeshifter romance, I love how Singh depicts the feelings and thoughts of the leopard that dwells inside the man. Dorian is a totally hot hero, although he is an ice cold sniper for the Snow Dancer Leopard pack. He sets his sights on Ashaya Aleine, a member of the hated Psy race, but his leopard recognizes his mate. I love fated to mated books, so it totally worked for me that Dorian decides early on that he has to have Ashaya. And once he recognizes her as his, he will move heaven and earth to protect her and her child.
Ashaya is a Psy who never accepted Silence, the nonemotional protocol of the Psy race. Instead she has continued a charade. She is a scientist with a woman's heart who saves children being subject to horrible scientific experiments. When she delivers them to the Snow Dancer pack for protection, she asks that they extract her son who is being kept hostage to keep her working on a high priority project for the Psy Council. This how she encounters Dorian. Dorian hates the Psy since his beloved sister was savagely killed by an insane Psy Councilmember. His heart is full of vengeance against the Psy for what was done to his sister. Dorian almost shoots her, but his leopard recognizes his mate, although at first he is unable to accept this. Although in theory she is his enemy, the conflict doesn't get drawn out too long because the mating bond is much stronger between Dorian and Ashaya.
The attraction between Dorian and Ashaya is red hot and drives this book. You want to keep reading to see the fire between them. I loved the banter and interactions between Dorian and Ashaya. However, the plot is very readable as well. Ashaya has a twin who is a best a sociopath, at worst extremely dangerous. I felt for Ashaya's burden of trying to keep her twin under control, and how this has affected her life in many ways. Ashaya is rational and scientific, but is equally loving and loyal to those who matter to her.
Hostage to Pleasure was definitely a joy to read. I had trouble putting the book down, and was impatient to finish it. Nalini Singh has definitely earned my loyalty as an author by writing this fantastic series that mixes science and fiction that is a delicious package. Science fiction can be dry at times to me, but not the way that Singh writes it. She understands that the love story and the sexual chemistry, along with strong depiction of interpersonal relationships, has to be the glue in a paranormal book with science fiction elements, and succeeds without question. I also love how racially and ethnically diverse her characters are. Ashaya seems to be of European and African ancestry, while Dorian has predominantly Nordic features. As long as she continues to write these books with sexy, alpha heroes, and the women they love, I'll continue to eagerly read them....more
I'd give this 4.5 stars if I could. Although it took me a while to finish this book because of outside factors, I thought it was pretty awesome. My onI'd give this 4.5 stars if I could. Although it took me a while to finish this book because of outside factors, I thought it was pretty awesome. My one complaint is I think the ending was a bit rushed. This might be the hottest book that I have read by GS so far. The love scenes were pretty steamy. One thing I liked is that Gray has a very large POV in this story. It's really cool to see a romance from the guy's perspective. And I feel that his viewpoint read pretty authentic for a guy. He did and said, and thought exactly the way I would imagine a man would think. Now I have never walked in a man's shoes, so I might be disputed on this. Nevetheless it felt real to me.
As typical for GS, there was an aura of sweetness and good-naturedness to this story. It is difficult to describe, but in the books I've read by Ms. Showalter with the exception of Awaken Me Darkly there seems to be this upbeat tone. Now that doesn't mean that bad things don't happen and people don't die in this book or her others. But you get the impression that in the end, everything will work out and good will prevail. I must say I like that about her books. Life can seem pretty dark and hopeless. It's nice to read a book with an overall tone of optimism. I love my angsty, dark romances, but it's also nice to read some that are on the upbeat side as well.
The mythology in this story is pretty interesting. It borrows from Greek myths, but there are some extra things added. I have never thought of vampires as being a large aspect of the Greek mythology, and I believe the Formorians are from ancient Celtic mythology. Thus I feel that there is a potpourri of folklore used to develop Showalter's Atlantis universe. As always, I am a folklore/mythology geek, so I enjoyed seeing the mythological creatures that populated this story.
It was also nice to revisit Darius and his bride Grace, and see the intriguing Layel (can't wait to read his story). Those demons are just gross and don't sound the least bit attractive to me.
I really did like Jewel. She was a sweet person but also formidable in her own way. She had been in love with Gray from afar for many years, seeing him in visions in her mind. I thought it was sad that she had seen the profusion of women he'd been with in her mind in excruciating detail, but she didn't let that bother her, but took her opportunity to be with him the capacity available to her. I appreciated her love for others, and how she often tried to sacrifice her well-being to help others. She had a rough existence, but in a way that is rather different from other romance heroines.
I must say that this is a great book to read if you are a fan of the paranormal genre. It's not dark and intense in the way that a lot of the popular series right now are. But it's very good and fun, but has depth that will fill your hours until the last word has been read....more