Tess is quite shocked when she runs into the new owner of the garage in the village she lives in and discovers that he’s the spitting image of her bro...moreTess is quite shocked when she runs into the new owner of the garage in the village she lives in and discovers that he’s the spitting image of her brother-in-law. She knows that he has to be closely related to Montgomery, who her sister Pippa married not two months earlier, but she’s hesitant to tell John that she knows where he came from because she’s afraid he’ll bolt.
John is immediately taken with Tess’s looks and when he gets to know her he likes her even more. But John is afraid to get to close to Tess for fear that she’ll figure out something is amiss with him. She is, after all, an expert in medieval times. John, however, can’t seem to keep himself away from Tess, though, especially after he begins to believe that someone is stalking both of them. He’s determined to protect Tess, his feelings for Tess as well as his secret no matter what it takes.
This one started off really great for me. The budding romance between John and Tess was so great - very sweet and a bit hesitant but it really made my romantic heart go pitter-patter. John was not afraid to speak his mind to Tess and let her know that he wasn’t sure it was a good idea for them to be together but he couldn’t stop himself from coming by her castle, calling her and saying some of the sweetest darned things to her. He was really wonderful and they were a good couple.
My problem started when the pair accidentally went back in time to the 13th century. The romance was kind of put on hold for the sake of John’s family reunion and while that was all right for a while and the reunions were touching it was just disappointing that the wonderfulness of the first part of the book didn’t continue. Oh, sure, there were a few times that the couple escaped the family to steal a few moments together but with the boundaries of propriety that they were now thrust in to those moments were few and far between.
So while I loved the first part of the book the second half wasn’t as good for me, unfortunately. Still a good book and an enjoyable read.
The three previous novels in this series have introduced a panoply of characters that continue to play an important role in each succeeding novel. Fir...moreThe three previous novels in this series have introduced a panoply of characters that continue to play an important role in each succeeding novel. First and foremost, the women of The Rarest Bloom are each one, in their own right, the heroines of their own stories. All are women with a past, a euphemism often used in that historical time period for either a woman of questionable morality, or who had become disgraced by unwise social practices of one sort or another. Some were haunted by evils perpetrated against them by others, while others were hiding from spouses or relatives seeking to do them harm. Some were both haunted and hunted. Daphne Joyes has her own secrets and has opened her home to these women for whom society has no place. All of them together have entered into the flower business which brings in sufficient income to maintain their home and provide for their needs. It is a household free of men--at least that has been the case in the past until the Duke of Castleford shows up to examine the property which has been bequeathed to him by Daphne's former landlord. Being a distant relative of the now deceased landlord, Castleford assumes that the property was important because the tenant was one of the old duke's "soiled doves." He couldn't be more wrong, but Castleford, instantly desiring Daphne, determines that she is now fair game for him.
And so the romp begins . . . and Daphne is pulled into the machinations of Castleford, but she is no fool, either. Their encounters are full of humor and sexual tension, their attempts to outwit one another fascinating and in many ways endearing, their attraction growing and on Daphne's part it is unwanted on some levels but compelling in others. Castleford is enthralled with her but his behavior puzzles his friends because he appears to be changing the way he lives--something he has never, ever done before for an object of his lusts. Wanting to see how all this was resolved had me rushing from one page to the next. And then their Latham, a man who has been Castleford's best friend in the past and who is now the object of his derision, a man who has some hidden participation in Daphne's past and for whom she has only loathing. When no other aspect of their growing relationship seems to be bringing Daphne and Castleford together successfully, their mutual hatred of Latham appears to the one thing on which there is no disagreement. And Castleford comes to believe that Daphne, naked and clothed only in a king's ransom's worth of diamonds is a dangerous woman indeed.
This is a truly enticing historical romance, full of wit and winsome love scenes, characters that almost jump off the pages, and filled with the tidbits of living in this historical period which make such novels so interesting for historical romance fans. Hunter keeps the pressure on, keeps the reader involved in the story to such a degree that it was painful when I had to put the book down to go pick up a grandchild from school or take a granddaughter to her martial arts lesson. When I got home, I was back in my room with my nose in the book and it didn't come out until I was done. It was somewhat of a miracle that hubby got his dinner! It was delightful to become re-acquainted with characters that had populated the previous novels in this series, to read how their relationships were evolving sort of as an epilogue to their stories, and to find them to be continuing their involvement with The Rarest Bloom. All in all, it is one of those books that I set aside to go back and re-read, revisiting characters that have become friends, and taking the time to savor the story, more the second time since I know how it all comes out but enjoying the way it plays out just the same.
I think historical romance fans will enjoy this book alot, and Hunter fans will not be disappointed. I give this book a rating of 4.5 out of 5.
The hysteria of the Salem witch trials has spread throughout the world. Women who are accused or even suspected of being a witch are rounded up and in...moreThe hysteria of the Salem witch trials has spread throughout the world. Women who are accused or even suspected of being a witch are rounded up and incarcerated. Shea's aunt was convicted and burned at the stake in a public spectacle. Since then, Shea's been on the run from her past, hiding who and what she is from both the world and herself. But it all goes to hell in a handbasket when she zaps a guy trying to rob her. A mob gathers, ready to kill her on the spot when a stranger shows up, envelops her in fire and flashes her away, saving her life.
Torin, her savior, claims to be her Eternal, destined to love her, protect her, and be with her forever. And he wants to mate (yes, he uses the word "mate") with her almost immediately. When I got to that part, I felt my eyes roll and breathed out a heavy sigh of disappointment. Really? Another story where there's an instant connection because their love is destined? Another one where the guy is pushing this whole insta-love thing and the girl's protesting the whole time until, of course, she falls in love and then falls into his arms?
But wait! With this story, there's a twist—Torin and Shea have actually known each other for hundreds of years. It's not insta-love; it's a love that's lasted despite Shea's multiple reincarnations, despite her not remembering Torin until the Awakening of all the witches of the coven, happening in this lifetime. Being an immortal, Torin could only watch and wait for his witch to remember him and return to him. Ah, now that…that works.
Once Shea starts to remember, she not only remembers him and their love but the terrible thing she and her coven did for power as well as what they had to do to fix it. It's the reason her whole coven of witches had to forget and live without power for hundreds of years and why she has to trust Torin or fail at the task she must complete to help right the wrong.
Okay, back to the whole mating thing. Turns out that it's a month-long affair of lust and copulation which will then bind the two of them together, making both of them stronger and giving Torin a soul. A month of hot, steamy, do-it-anywhere-anytime sex. Even while they're being hunted by people who want them for a variety of purposes (including the President, who wants Shea as the face of change and acceptance of witches and an evil scientist who wants the witches' power for himself), they're ready to jump each other at the drop of a hat. Um, don't you all have a task to complete? Magic to learn? Spells to remember? Witches to save? Hot sex will only get you so far, people. Back to the plot, please.
Because there's so much time spent mating and becoming one, the ending, which could have been totally kick-ass, what with the task and a magical foe trying to stop them, felt really rushed, which was kind of disappointing. There's a ton of set up for the rest of the series (we never find out exactly how many witches were in this coven but it seems they each have their own Eternal and their own task to complete), which also leaves a lot of loose ends flapping in the wind. However, the potential for a really good series is there, and I'm definitely going to check out the next book to see how it all develops.
Caroline had one experience with Sir Grant Dunsmore when he kidnapped her but she seemed to bond with him in some strange way. Since that time, 4 year...moreCaroline had one experience with Sir Grant Dunsmore when he kidnapped her but she seemed to bond with him in some strange way. Since that time, 4 years, she’s not been able to get the man out of her head. Telling herself that she’s going to see him on his desolate island to see a book, when she’s really going to see him, she heads off to his island home. But when she gets there things are not as she thought they would be. There are rumors of ghosts in his castle and the townspeople are more than scared of their Lord.
Grant is not happy to see Caroline as he’s expecting “guests” soon and he didn’t want her there when they arrived. But deep down he’s thrilled that she’s there as Grant couldn’t stop thinking about Caroline while they were parted. Their eventual coming together is quite engrossing and a bit magical and they both find themselves falling hard for each other.
But Grant is involved in something that he can’t involve Caroline in and when danger comes knocking at his door he needs to get Caroline to safety.
Like book two I really liked the setting for this story. I think the desolation and isolation of Muirin Inish had just the right feel for these two very different characters to find what they were looking for in each other.
Unfortunately the story itself, besides the romance, fell a little short for me. Though there was quite a lot going on in the story at any given moment it just didn’t have a great pace to it and I felt my mind wandering while I read and that’s never a good thing. I know that the slower parts of the book were meant to have Grant and Caroline get to know each other better but they just weren’t enough at times.
In the end the story was pretty good and I do feel like I want to go back and read book 1, which I haven’t done yet and see how it all began. If you love a good romance with lots of Irish history involved then this one would be great for you.