Anastasia Lockhart gets sent to stay with her grandparents after yet another incident of getting into trouble. Labeled as a bad girl, she is fSynopsis
Anastasia Lockhart gets sent to stay with her grandparents after yet another incident of getting into trouble. Labeled as a bad girl, she is frustrated with the fact that that is all she's seen as, not given a chance to forge a different path. As a result, she's cautiously optimistic about going to Cedar Falls, a small town in Ontario, Canada. Once she's arrived in Cedar Falls, she encounters Frost Stone, an incredibly good-looking outcast who seems as drawn to her as she is to him, despite her determination not to fall for the wrong guy again. Anastasia encounters her old friend Chloe Fairbanks and faces bullying from local queen bee, Kate McKinley, whose clique Chloe has joined. Once again, Anastasia finds herself being labeled the bad girl as Kate blackens her reputation, and things get more sinister when a series of animal attacks escalates public hysteria. Could the animal attacks be related to Frost, and can Anastasia find the strength to stand up for herself against bad gossip and bullying?
Frostbitten has lots of atmosphere, with its cold winter setting and the eerie yet seductive beauty of the Canadian wilderness. Anastasia is a sympathetic heroine, due to her history of bad mistakes and her struggle to stand strong against mean-spirited gossip and bullying. Frost is both gorgeous and sweet, with a nice dose of alluring mystery. What's problematic with this book is that it seems to tread into too familiar territory in young adult paranormal romance, the girl falling for the bad boy who may or may not be hiding paranormal origins. I would have liked the characters besides Anastasia to be better developed. I felt as though I was merely seeing Frost through Anastasia's eyes and he never solidified into a standalone character in his own right.
The struggles Anastasia faces in her new high school were poignant, especially as terrible, hurtful lies are being told and she's put into the role of outcast, despite her hopes to escape her past similar situations. I would have liked to see more development of the relationship between Anastasia and her grandparents, especially since it's so pivotal to the storyline.
The action and paranormal elements are well done, and I liked the folklore foundation for the story, although it feels fairly thin at this point. I feel that with better development and more fortification of the world-building, it could definitely carry this potential series well into subsequent books.
Overall, Frostbitten is a good young adult paranormal novel. The feelings between Anastasia and Frost seemed genuine, and I liked them as a couple. I would have liked more character development all around, except for Anastasia, and a stronger story. But I think readers who enjoy young adult paranormal romance will like this book.
This was definitely a unique Harlequin Presents. Aiesha really is a bad girl. She's not a very nice person, and while I felt sympathy for her, at firsThis was definitely a unique Harlequin Presents. Aiesha really is a bad girl. She's not a very nice person, and while I felt sympathy for her, at first, she was not easy to like. As time went along, it was clear that her outrageous behavior and caustic personality was a defense mechanism against the deprived nature of her childhood and all its attendant disappointments. She used sex as a weapon, and I'm not ever a fan of that kind of behavior. At the same time, it was refreshing to have a bad heroine and a nice hero. Milburne flipped the usual HP script around, giving Aiesha many of the HP hero traits. I think it would have been cooler if she was independently wealthy so that 'gold digger' aspect was not part of the equation.
The sexuality was a lot more blatant in this book, probably because Aiesha is quite sexually experienced and rather callused about sex. James tends to be more circumspect about sex, although he definitely knows what he's doing in the bed. I would have loved to see him as an inexperienced hero, which would have made the role reversal more thorough. Although James does have a condemning attitude towards Aiesha initially, I really did respect and like him. He was seriously harmed emotionally by Aiesha's antics ten years ago, and had a reason to be angry. I liked that he was able to put that behind him and evaluate Aiesha more thoroughly and he had learned to see past her offensive behavior and sex kitten armor to the wounded woman underneath.
The ending was pretty cool. Aiesha gets her dream come true and her man, and realizes that she doesn't have to be ashamed of her childhood, because none of that is her fault. At the same time, I think she did learn that treating people badly because of what she'd been deprived of wasn't good behavior either.
By the end of this book, I did believe that Aiesha and James truly loved each other, and were more than willing to take a risk and go after a life together, regardless of what had taken place in the past. James showed that he was for her and she showed that she loved him in a very demonstrative way.
I would give this four stars. It was well written and thoughtful. Despite the way it seemed, this is a very angsty and rather pathos-inducing. It made me feel a bit melancholy after I finished it, so that's why I didn't rate it higher....more
I wanted to like this a little more than I did, but I did find it a pleasant and enjoyable read. Readers who enjoy spinster/rogue romance, tortured heI wanted to like this a little more than I did, but I did find it a pleasant and enjoyable read. Readers who enjoy spinster/rogue romance, tortured heroes with a bad reputation, and heroines who finally get their day in the sun, along with the fairy tale theme, will probably like this book.
Loving Lord Ash does the estranged married couple theme very well. I had some happy surprises reading this book, including two main characters who I fLoving Lord Ash does the estranged married couple theme very well. I had some happy surprises reading this book, including two main characters who I found thoroughly likable. Lighter historical romance, but the tone and the storyline are very engaging.
Eh, it's safe to say that I didn't like Inside Man as much as the first volume in this series. I still enjoy the idea, because metafiction is very fasEh, it's safe to say that I didn't like Inside Man as much as the first volume in this series. I still enjoy the idea, because metafiction is very fascinating to this avid reader. I just had too many moments of trying to figure out what where the writer is going with this book. I feel that this volume lacked the clarity I could see in the first book.
As before, the artwork is lovely. I liked the use of mixed media and textures to convey the story. The layout includes illustrated representations of articles, screen caps from message boards, and images of news reporters, which add texture to the narrative. The exploration of folklore and fiction versus reality. Tom is still a sympathetic character who has had his whole life uprooted and his character destroyed by the recent events in his life. This book seemed to much like a detour, and the tone was very dark. In fact, one part of this book irritated me enormously and I still don't see the point in writing that.
Will I continue reading this? Yes. I want to know where this series is going, and since my library has these, I can check them out at my leisure and explore this series between other books.
I wasn't exactly a happy camper with Inside Man, but I think it does have something to offer a graphic novel reader....more
Lynne Graham excels in getting the reader's juices flowing, particularly in her older books. I pulled this one off the pile as part of my Harlequin PrLynne Graham excels in getting the reader's juices flowing, particularly in her older books. I pulled this one off the pile as part of my Harlequin Presents Binge because I knew I'd get something cathartic. I wasn't disappointed.
I liked the fact that Vito is quite sympathetic. He is actually a nice guy, although he does tend to want things his way. He did and said things the wrong way to Ashley, but He had no idea about how traumatic her upbringing was. So I can't really hold that against him.
Even though Ashley was hard to get along with, I liked that about her. I get tired of the heroine who is the hero's dumpbucket, there to be kicked around except for in bed. Ashley isn't shy about standing up for herself or telling Vito what for. Her aggressiveness about certain topics is 100% linked to her past, and I think that if she had felt free to open up, I don't think they would have broken up in the first place.
I think Ashley is definitely one of Graham's most tortured heroines, despite her flaws. Frankly, her homelife sucked, and the abandonment she faced by her family was lousy. Because of her parents highly dysfunctional marriage and her father's abuse (both mental/emotional and at times physical), she has a low opinion of marriage and any sort of commitment, and she was raised to disdain anything feminine. I like to think that Vito could have been the family she lacked, if he had been given full disclosure on her past. Instead, he thought the worst of her instead of digging to the deeper issues beneath her posturing. He took her aversion to commitment and marriage as a sign of a moral failing in her, instead of a sign of emotional scars. They missed out on three years together as a result.
While Ashley is still argumentative and abrasive, she genuinely loved Vito and was heartbroken about their breakup and a loss she suffers shortly thereafter. She has the time to revisit her past strong opinions about marriage and family, realizing a lot of them weren't her own. But now Vito has cast her in the role of heartless jade, although he never got over her. I like that Vito still went after her, even though he thought the worst of her and knew she could hurt him. It showed that his love for her hadn't died. And this time, he wasn't going to settle for a non-committed sexual relationship. He wanted marriage, as he had before, and he wasn't afraid to blackmail to get it this time around.
There is a lot of tension, both sexual and relationship, and plenty of drama in this book. I don't know if I ever read this back in the day. I didn't own it, and I think I would have remembered if it had read it. The feels like Classic Lynne Graham and is worth having in the collection of serious fans of hers. ...more
I enjoyed this story of an aging Hollywood actress trying to get her life back on track after her husband's mysterious disappearance. I wish that Meg'I enjoyed this story of an aging Hollywood actress trying to get her life back on track after her husband's mysterious disappearance. I wish that Meg's TV show was real! It sounds fun!
Since the hero in this book, Vladimir shows up as a peripheral character in the last Jennie Lucas book I read, A Night of Living Dangerously, I decideSince the hero in this book, Vladimir shows up as a peripheral character in the last Jennie Lucas book I read, A Night of Living Dangerously, I decided to reach for this one. It also happens that the hero is Russian (and I swoon over Russian heroes). Talking about drama, wow!
Man, this book was sizzling. The whole scenario and the dialogue and action was crazy. I couldn't believe the bet that Bree makes. I completely understand why. I loved that she isn't the typical, sweet, butter wouldn't melt in her mouth heroine. She has a history of being a card shark and con artist from childhood, but decides to go straight when she falls in love with Vladimir. Even though he abandons her and turns his back on her.
Their reunion is titillating, to say the least. There are some pretty outrageous moments in this book. A couple of scenes are just all kinds of inappropriate, but I couldn't tear my eyes away from the page. It works for the book, and I like that the author wasn't afraid to go there.
I liked the descriptions and imagery of St. Petersburg. I wanted to be there, feel the cold on my skin and experience the over the top luxury with my own eyes. The Hawaii scenes were good, but since I am a contrarian who'd rather be walking around in a snow-covered vista than on a beach, I liked St. Petersburg more. Plus, it's Russia. Enough said.
Vladimir could throw money at Bree like nobody's business. He really doesn't get that she didn't want his money. That she loved him and wanted to protect her sister. That she had changed and wanted to do the right thing, but she was between a rock and a hard place. Vladimir is the real deal. He's really ruthless, ambitious and cutthroat (in the boardroom). He doesn't change over night. A broken heart made a fundamentally decent young man into a shark, and it takes time for reunited love to change him back. I felt that his character was very three-dimensional and I liked that. Bree was also well-developed. Towards the end, she had me worried. I really thought she was going to go through with something that was just so wrong, even if she was doing it for the right reasons.
This was another book I couldn't put down. I give it a thumbs up on the drama and the sizzling romance. Lots of romantic tension and also tension in hoping that the characters get a clue and eventually own up to their love for each other and doing what's right out of love. I thought this was a very good book....more
This was a pretty intense read. One of those romances where extreme hate between the main couple is really suppressed longing and desire. In real lifeThis was a pretty intense read. One of those romances where extreme hate between the main couple is really suppressed longing and desire. In real life, I don't know if I think that suppressed love translates into hate, but "Hope deferred does make the heart sick." My goodness, Andreas and Sienna are super-duper mean to each other. And Andreas is a hypocrite. He's the kind of guy who calls a woman a whore because she doesn't do what he wants her to do and she doesn't fit his mold for what he wants a woman to be. I didn't like that about him at all. I did like the fact that Sienna could easily trade insults with him. It took me a while to think that I even wanted these two to be together. There were times when I didn't particularly like either character. Sienna says and thinks some really mercenary and selfish things, and I didn't like that about her. However, I could understand why she was so prickly and thick-skinned, considering her tough life and living with an arrested development mother with terrible morals and being rejected by her married father. I wish that Andreas had shown more sympathy and empathy for Sienna. When he finally starts acting like a decent man, it was almost too late for me to feel I wanted him to be with Sienna. I did like that he went after her when she left him.
I thought that despite the meanness between them, there was good chemistry and I did see their relationship change, develop and blossom. With the conclusion of the book, I had hopes that they would not take each other for granted any longer, and that love had changed both of their hearts and lives.
I don't know if this book will work for everyone. The leads are at times unlikable and mean-spirited. However, I did see a change in both characters and that their feelings for each other weren't just reluctant lust, but real love. For that reason, I gave it four stars....more
While this was slow-moving at times, it has a depth, complexity and richness that called to me. I was immersed in the time period, and the sensualityWhile this was slow-moving at times, it has a depth, complexity and richness that called to me. I was immersed in the time period, and the sensuality and veracity of the complex emotions the characters felt.
It took me a while to read this because of other stuff going on. This was pretty good. I think the name is hugely misleading. That's not what this booIt took me a while to read this because of other stuff going on. This was pretty good. I think the name is hugely misleading. That's not what this book is about at all. It's nothing that exciting. Beau Garrett is a talk show host who is recuperating in the boonies after a life threatening accident. He hires female landscaper, Jaz Logan, who is living under the shadow of her mother running off with someone else's husband. They strike up an uneasy friendship that turns into love.
Beau is a bit of a misanthrope. Jaded and sophisticated, and fairly grumpy. Jaz is highly stressed with all the burdens she's had to carry her life, dealing a shame forced on her just because she is the daughter of her mother. They find an unlikely connection that isn't just physical. Beau knows he's too old for her, and Jaz feels that she's not sophisticated enough for Beau. But there seems to be something that continue pulls them together.
I didn't think this was terribly exciting. It was okay. Not bad, but not particularly distinctive. Books like this make you wonder how the writer felt when they were writing it. If I'm not excited as a reader, are they while they are writing it. Being creative is hard and lonely work. You need to feel a drive to finish that work. If the results turn out blah, doesn't the author feel that when they are in the midst of its creation? I digress. So, yes this is just a three star read from me. It kept my interest, but not in a spectacular way. It was a good read before bedtime. ...more
Sweet and evocative. This book took me back to the 1930s. Roxie was fierce and kind, and Luke made me want to hug him tight. Recommended to readers whSweet and evocative. This book took me back to the 1930s. Roxie was fierce and kind, and Luke made me want to hug him tight. Recommended to readers who enjoy sweet (lightly sensual) historical romance.
Fire and Ice is one of Diana Palmer's older books that I hadn't gotten the chance to read until now. I loved the humor and the snappy dialogue betweenFire and Ice is one of Diana Palmer's older books that I hadn't gotten the chance to read until now. I loved the humor and the snappy dialogue between the characters. Margie is fiesty enough to handle a man like Cal, even if he did have the ability to find her weak spots with pinpoint accuracy. However, she did the same for him. You could tell that if there was any spellcasting, they were both mutually affected. Both Margie and Cal had bad first marriages that scarred them and made the both hesitant to seek commitment. For Cal, it was a wife who cheated on him more than once; and Margie had a controlling, rapist husband who had given her fears of sexual intimacy. Now, they were both pretending to be footloose and fancy free: Cal limiting his interactions with women to one night stands with sophisticated women, and Margie, keeping men at a distance, and cultivated a notorious persona that fit her job as a romance author.
They enter each others' spheres through their mutual siblings. Cal's brother falls in love with Margie's sister. Cal's brother has to convince him that Margie's sister is suitable for marriage, which ends up with them spending time at the family's summer house in Florida. Under close proximity, the powerful feelings between Cal and Margie blossom, not only attraction, but genuine liking, leading to a love that neither feels is safe, but they can't imagine living without.
Although Margie is largely sexually inexperienced, she felt like a mature, confident woman in many ways. I liked that she was able to keep Cal on his toes. I also liked that he had to acknowledge her as a woman who he couldn't push around, a woman worthy of his respect and love, nothing like his ex-wife.
For die-hard Diana Palmer fans, all the things that attract one to her stories are there: the sizzling sexual tension, the funny dialogue, the very manly hero, and the sweet, good-hearted, and this case, fiesty heroine. Although not my favorite by this author, definitely a solid read, and it will go on the keeper shelf with all my other Diana Palmer books....more
This was a lovely little contemporary western romance with a prominent Gothic feel. Stormy Jones has not seen her father since she was five years old.This was a lovely little contemporary western romance with a prominent Gothic feel. Stormy Jones has not seen her father since she was five years old. In fact, she was told he died. She has spent the majority of her life in her mother's women-centered commune, with little to no contact with men. Yet she feels something missing from her life. When Jonathan McBride enters her life, she is blown away by his rugged male appeal, and has a sinking feeling he is just what he was waiting for. He's like the proverbial forbidden fruit, a virile male, and the epitome of what scares her mother and her followers about men.
Jonathan came to Los Angeles to meet his employer's daughter and deliver important news. Her father is sick and wants to see her before he dies. One look at her tells her she's trouble. He saves her life and ends up in her bed. He is sidetracked by an unfortunate attraction to Stormy that leads to a night of passion. He wakes up the next day, determined to put Stormy at a distance. His experience with love in the past taught him that women could only destroy a man. He feels enormous guilt at sleeping with Hugh's daughter, and just wants to forget about it. Unfortunately, Stormy is a hard woman to forget or to push away. Plus, Stormy still needs to see her father, and when she blurts out a confession of her involvement with Jonathan, the conniving old man changes his will to require a marriage between the two at his death. Jonathan doesn't want another wife, but he does want his inheritance from her father, and marriage is the only way to get it now. Stormy feels deep inside that Jonathan is a man capable of love, no matter how hard he pushes her away. And she's carrying his child, so she doesn't want to walk away. The problem is, someone keeps trying to kill her. Stormy refuses to believe it's Jonathan, despite the cloud of rumors about his last wife's death hanging around him.
I really liked this book. It had a lot of emotion and intensity. I liked the Gothic vibe, and I enjoyed the push/pull between Jonathan and Stormy. I love when the hero is hard and rough and wants to push the heroine away, but needs her and the love she shows him. Jonathan was really quite tortured. He'd had a very rough life and it had taught him that loving and trusting others was a dicey proposition. Stormy's innocent hope and vital passion was just what he needed in his life. While he fights his love for her throughout the book, it was enjoyable to see him fall for her.
The western atmosphere was very well done as well. I felt like I was on a cattle ranch in Southwest Texas, where the land is closer to desert than anything else. This book had a lot more suspenseful vibe than I associate with the typical Silhouette Desires, with someone trying to kill Stormy, and Jonathan's dark past. I miss these old vintage Harlequins which are full of lots of drama and intensity. The newer books just don't have that zing.
I am glad I was able to read this book. Definitely worth looking up if you want a good vintage modern western contemporary romance.