Oh, how I missed Hall's writing. Great start to a series, I must know how their story ends -- and I know it's only going to get rougher before it getsOh, how I missed Hall's writing. Great start to a series, I must know how their story ends -- and I know it's only going to get rougher before it gets to the final HEA. While this one isn't a cliffhanger (they are together when the final page ends) keep in mind it is book 1 of 3 for them.
I'm so glad that I finally listened to @gimmethosebooks (Twitter) and picked up Glitterland. What an amazing, emotional roller coaster ride. And I lovI'm so glad that I finally listened to @gimmethosebooks (Twitter) and picked up Glitterland. What an amazing, emotional roller coaster ride. And I loved every damn page.
Ash is suffering from bipolar and anxiety. His life has been giant waves of ups and downs. Because of that, he's always had a hard time connecting with others, of allowing himself to care. Allowing himself to believe someone else could care for HIM and handle all of his issues. He never expected to find all of that and more in Darian. But will he push Darian away like he has everyone else in his life? Or will he finally find his joy?
I loved Darian and Ash together. They really complemented each other, even though at first glance they're complete opposites. Darian doesn't fix Ash, and his love and attention doesn't suddenly cure Ash. But he helped Ash, and they had so many great moments together. Passages that made me smile, and some that made me laugh-snort.
It's a very emotional read, and Hall does a great job at capturing the turmoil. It's real. It's not always pretty, or easy, or happy, but it is real.
But there's also sexy moments and fun, dry wit mixed in as well, to balance it out.
Be warned, you will also need to grab the epilogue novella. The minute you finish Glitterland, you'll want to read Aftermath. But don't worry, it's free!
This is my second time reading Hall, and I can promise you I'll be back for more.
I really liked the story idea, and of course Dare writes lovely historical romps. But, for various reasons, RomancingBetween 3 1/2 Stars and 4 Stars!
I really liked the story idea, and of course Dare writes lovely historical romps. But, for various reasons, Romancing the Duke was simply a "good" read. It's hard for me to pinpoint why, and it is partly due to my mood, I believe, which has been very picky towards many books of late.
I listened to this as an Audiobook, and the narrator did a pretty good job with the story, easily 4 stars for her performance. I will try another book by her.
I'll still read Dare again, and continue this series, I'm sure, because what girl doesn't dream of being left a castle of her own? :)...more
Admittedly, it took me a bit to get fully into this one (maybe 10% or so?) and then I quite liked it. I liked how the two met -- she saved his grandfaAdmittedly, it took me a bit to get fully into this one (maybe 10% or so?) and then I quite liked it. I liked how the two met -- she saved his grandfather's life, and then later visited him while he was in the hospital, thus meeting Spencer. As their story unfolded, I liked how sweet and careful Spencer was with Caitlyn. For the most part, this "yes, this is good" feeling continued for the larger part of the book and I was certain this would be a 4 star read for me.
But then . . . well, things started to annoy me and fall apart towards the end, and combined with a few minor inconsistencies (including some from earlier in the book) it changed my rating.
For inconsistencies: Things were brought into the story and then promptly dropped to the wayside. For example, his grandfather's wish to visit the places in the city that his late wife wrote about in their letters. Because he just got out of the hospital (and also to give a reason for Caitlyn and Spencer to be together, of course), he asks them to visit the places for him instead. They do one, maybe two places (out of the dozens of letters!) and then it's never spoken of again. I'm not saying it had to be the main issue of the book through to the last page, but the careless dropping of it is jarring and could have been handled much smoother. If they weren’t going to visit the other places, fine. But how about mention that on page, and give a reason? It’s not much to ask for.
Also: Spencer is strongly anti-relationship/hookups during the season, spending most of the year celibate to focus on his games. Okay, fine. But then when Caitlyn gets back from her work trip, a month or so into his season, he picks her up from the airport and promptly starts screwing her -- no hesitation, no internal debates or considerations, nothing. Just jumps right in. Look, I'm all for the "Damn it I don't do this but I can't resist you and I care about you so I'll change" thing, but I NEED an actual explanation of this, I need to see him changing his mind, not just the flipping of the switch from off to on with nothing discussed or mentioned. That lack of any hesitation on his part made for a character inconsistency instead.
As I said, things were going pretty well until about 80%, when a lot of things fell apart for me. Spencer punches a player during a game -- common with sports like rugby, let's be honest, and he did have a reason (the guy called him a rapist -- a very touchy subject for him... -- and tried to attack his eyes and face first); Caitlyn, who has her own backstory that's slowly revealed to us, doesn't like violence. Which I get! But she freaks out too much from this punch, in my opinion, especially since she literally hears the reason why Spencer punched (the other player attacking first) and she tells him she'd like to go find him and hit him with a shovel herself AND THEN IN THE NEXT BREATH TELLS HIM SHE CAN'T TRUST THAT HIS ONE PUNCH DURING A GAME IS NOT PROOF OF HIM BEING AN ABUSIVE MAN OFF THE FIELD. FFS, I wanted to smack some sense into her here! He's spent the entire book proving that he's not like the two men in her life that caused her to think this way, but one punch during a game, a punch that she both approves of and then hates, and now she can't trust him at all? Bullshit, that was overkill and I hated how she wouldn't listen to him, wouldn't talk to him. (Doesn't it always come back to communication problems? Ugh.)
Then there's his Giant Secret, which the reader knows about from the prologue but she doesn't until, you guessed it, a few chapters from the end. First off, he SHOULD have told her long ago, especially since she was sharing so much of her own past and issues with him. I blame him for holding that secret in so long. BUT even worse was how she finds out. Her "Friend" -- and I say that because a good friend would not have done this, I refuse to believe that -- chooses the mere minutes before their quickie wedding to pull up the shitty articles from 11 years ago and shove them in Caitlyn’s face. The fact that her friend didn't know who she was dating, didn't put together that Spencer Bailey, a rugby player, was THE Spencer Bailey, rugby player, is so eye-rolling-ly unbelievable that I wanted to scream. All these months of Caitlyn being with him, and even after the friend talked to him (even if it was on the phone) while Caitlyn was out of the country for work, and yet she didn't know who he was until she first sees him at the courthouse? AND THEN DECIDES TO SHOVE THE 11 YEAR OLD STORIES IN CAITLYN'S FACE? Fuck that. And again, she wouldn't listen to him as he tried to explain, just looked at the headlines and left him. Ugh ugh ugh ugh ughhhhh this was the part that pissed me off the most.
To round it out, I felt like Caitlyn had so much (legitimate!) baggage from everything in her past and what she really needed was some therapy. No, that's not a snide remark (first off, therapy is nothing to belittle and make fun of, it's important and there's no shame in it), it's the truth. So much of what she went through needed to be unpacked with a professional, not buried for all these years and allowed to mess with her views on everything. I felt empathy for what she went through but also couldn't stand how she overreacted to things because of all that, and I truly believe therapy, at some point over all that time, would have really helped her.
Overall: I liked Knowing the Score -- the beginning more than the end -- and it had its fun, sexy, and sweet moments. But I also had issues with it and felt too many things were dropped without further mention, stuff was pulled in that made my eyes roll and added unnecessary conflicts, and it wasn’t as smooth and complete as it needed to be. Unfortunately, the annoying things overshadowed the good and brought my rating down to a 3. Not horrible, but not a hit for me. Now I've read another by Latham and absolutely loved it, but this one was too hit-or-miss. Of course I’ll still try more from her.
To give you another perspective on the book, my reviewer loved this one and gave it 5 stars. So there’s that. ...more
First, I have to say this: Because I skimmed much of the last 100 pages, it may be more accurate for me to write this book off as a "DNF". But for myFirst, I have to say this: Because I skimmed much of the last 100 pages, it may be more accurate for me to write this book off as a "DNF". But for my own records, I am choosing to rate it instead, though I'm afraid the rating is below average.
The first few chapters I found fairly entertaining, and I had high hopes for the book. But as the pages went by, I became more easily distracted, and found myself pulling away from the story and characters. As much as I hate to admit it, I had many moments of "I don't care...I don't care....*skip a page*... Nope, still don't care".
To be honest, I probably shouldn't have read this book. I have tried Kramer's writing before, and I had to DNF that one, as I just wasn't interested enough to continue it. For me, personally, the story, the characters, the writing—it just didn't work for me. Now, I happen to know others who LOVED this book, and her previous novels, and that's great! But for me, I won't be reading any more by this author, as I don't wish to waste my time or bring down the author's ratings when it's clear that I'm not the right reader for her books.
There were a few things that bothered me in Say Yes to the Duke. The most important was the lack of connection I felt with the hero and heroine, and more importantly the lack of connection and chemistry I saw between the two. They were quick to start kissing and meeting in the barn for secret trysts, but I had not clue why. Why was she willing to throw away her reputation and virtue? I kept asking myself this--why, Janice, why? I saw no clear reason why, and honestly didn't care much for the hero.
But then again, that's just my opinion. I will say this--lately I've had a much harder time getting into a book, especially historical, which was actually the first genre I fell in love with. So perhaps I'm simply burned out on this genre. Perhaps I've become a bit more selective over the years. Perhaps I'm just in a really foul reading mood--who knows! But whatever the reason, this particular book didn't work for me.
If it sounds like something you'd enjoy, or this is an author that you are already reading, then please do not let my opinion change that. To each her own and all that... ...more
Only a very special book can make you fall in love with a genre again. It Takes Two to Tangle did just that, rekindling my love of historical romance. Only a very special book can make you fall in love with a genre again. It Takes Two to Tangle did just that, rekindling my love of historical romance. Theresa Romain has a talent, a rare ability to blend beautiful writing, great characters, delicious banter and a lovely romance, all in one perfect package.
ITTtT is simply beautiful, inside and out; the cover sweeps you away to Regency England as does the story contained inside. Within a few chapters, I knew it was to be a favorite of mine, and I look forward to enjoying Romain's books again in the future.
I loved how the sparks flew between Henry and Frances. There were more than a few such passages that I marked, though I won't be sharing them today, as they were fairly long--sorry! You shall just have to trust me--if you love wit and banter in your romance (and who doesn't?) then you will love this book!
As wonderful as the story and characters are, it is Romain's writing that captured my attention the most. She has a way of writing that turns a seemingly simple scene into a powerful one.
Truly, her writing is gorgeous and it made me feel as if I were there with Frances and Henry. Well done, Ms. Romain, and thank you for this delightful story!
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For my full review, including favorite book quotes, please visit my blog, TBQ's Book Palace.
I received an e-ARC of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for my honest opinion.
The Untamed Mackenzie is a quick, enjoyable read, although it is not my favorite of the series. However, reading about the crazy Mackenzie family agaiThe Untamed Mackenzie is a quick, enjoyable read, although it is not my favorite of the series. However, reading about the crazy Mackenzie family again made me want to re-read the earlier books. I felt like the part where Lloyd and Louisa fell in love was missing, which is the best part of any good romance novel. Perhaps if I had read the last novella and novel I would have liked this one better, as I did feel like I had missed out on some of the family drama and backstory. When will I learn to stop reading out of order? Ahem...
All in all, The Untamed Mackenzie was pretty good, but it would not be the book I would recommend to new readers of this series. I will be reading this author and series again though, and I will also be recommending the first 3 books in the series, as I loved them! ...more
I've been a fan of Stephanie Laurens since I picked up “Devil's Bride” years ago (back whenReview originally posted on TBQ's Book Palace
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I've been a fan of Stephanie Laurens since I picked up “Devil's Bride” years ago (back when I was still a teenager and had to sneak my romance novels...). I quickly devoured most of her books, and while I liked some more than others, overall I really enjoyed her books.
I haven't read one of her books in a few years now; I'm behind on many of her series. And so I was looking forward to reading The Lady Risks All. But, after a few chapters, I found myself losing interest in the book. Oh don't get me wrong—it wasn't a bad book, but it simply wasn't one that I loved. In the end, I was flipping pages, as the story seemed to drag on and I just wanted to move on to a new book.
I think reading The Lady Risks All showed me that a reader can love an author without necessarily loving every book that she was writes. Despite the fact that this particular book was just “okay”, I'll still come back to read Laurens' other books in the future, as well as reread her previous books. But, for me at least, The Lady Risks All was missing something—whether it was in the writing, the plot or the characters, it's hard for me to say. Instead of diving into the book and not wishing to come out of it, I found myself just skimming this one, waiting for it to change, hoping that by the end I'd be in love. Sadly, this didn't happen.
3 STARS! Here's the thing: if you are already a fan of Laurens' novels, you may like this one, perhaps even more than I did. If you have yet to read any of her books, this is not the one I would personally recommend for you to start with—many of her previous novels are, I feel, much better than this one. Start with her backlist; leave this one for a later date. ...more
This was my first time reading Caroline Linden's work, and The Way to the Duke's Heart was actually a good book. I was intrigued by the blackmail and family secrets, and I flipped the pages to find out how everything turned out.
I liked the hero and heroine—they may not be in my top 10 list, but I still enjoyed reading their story. Tessa was very strong, very intelligent, and I respected her for that. I also came to respect Charlie for understanding her, and not just seeing a beautiful woman, as many other men have seen.
The romance was great, very passionate, and I loved every minute of it. I was happy when Charlie realized that he had made a mistake when he was younger, thinking himself in love with Maria; the fact that it took finding Tessa, and realizing that he not just wanted her, but needed her, to realize that he had never really loved Maria...I loved watching him come to terms with this!
4 STARS! A wonderful historical, with just the right amount of mystery and romance, but also with a dose of wit and sexy, The Way to the Duke's Heart is a great choice for any fan of the genre! Now I'm only sorry that I didn't wait and read the previous two books in this trilogy, but I will definitely be doing so soon. I look forward to seeing what Linden will write next! ...more
The review that follows is a partial review. To read the full text, please visit TBQ's Book Palace
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Cath Talarico's life has been one hugeThe review that follows is a partial review. To read the full text, please visit TBQ's Book Palace
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Cath Talarico's life has been one huge train-wreck, damaged and twisted. She's made mistake after mistake, and they've all cost her, emotionally and physically. She decides to turn her life around and start anew, never again to make such mistakes.
Until she met Nev.
Nev Chamberlain has lived the life expected of him. A respectable—and well-paying—job in the family business, the proper wardrobe, the right friends. But he doesn't want to live like this, never has. He's been trying to break out of the mold his family has placed him in for years. This point is driven home once he meets Cath. He realizes that he needs to find himself, change his ways, live his own life. But will Catch allow him to live out his new life with her?
About Last Night is one of the most emotionally charged books I have read in a while! I am not one to cry while reading, but watching Cath open up to Nev, and learn to put her past behind her—well, my eyes were a bit misty, I'll admit. And I loved every minute of it!
Cath makes for a great heroine, tortured, scarred (emotionally and physically), but strong, much stronger than she thinks. She's been through hell, but she's turned things around. And after Nev enters her life, she finally realizes that, yes, her past helped to make her who she is today, but it isn't who she is. I really enjoyed Catch, and I wouldn't turn down having her as a friend if given the chance. :)
And Nev...oh Nev! I never thought I'd fall for a stuffy, wealthy banker, English accent or not. But I fell for Nev—hard, just like Cath did. Not because of the character we were first introduced to (the stuffy, wealthy banker). Nope. It was the man he became for Cath that made my heart flutter and my pulse race. His creativity, his talent, his devotion and love for Cath—all these things and more made me love him. And his sexy, passionate side didn't hurt, either. :) Not to mention that accent... *sigh*
~ * ~ * ~ * ~ This review is property of TBQ's Book Palace (The_Book_Queen)...more
Laurel McKee may be a new author to me, but she is now officially on my list for wickedly sexy historicals!
One Naughty Night lives up to its title (again...and again...and, well, you get the point)! As the first book in McKee's new series, we are introduced to the very interesting theater family, the St. Claires, and the family they've been feuding with for centuries, the titled Huntingtons. Based on how entertaining this book was, I have no doubt this will be a great series to come!
Lily and Aidan are perfect for one another. Both are more complex than it seems, and very different from what Society thinks they are. I loved Aidan, he was a hero the reader can lust for. And Lily was a great heroine, one that many readers, including myself, would be thrilled to have as a friend. Watching the two finally realize they love each other—ah, great times!
Banter and sparks both fly wildly when they meet, and only increase as the pages turn. There isn't a lukewarm moment to be found anywhere in this book; this is one fiery novel, and I loved every moment of it!
“I must be mad, then, for I like your arrogance. You're always who you truly are. You never pretend.”
“And you shouldn't either.” Aidan lay down beside her on the pillows, his body stretched out so that he curled around her protectively, and bent his head to kiss her shoulder. “You should never be anyone but you, Lily. Just as you are.”
4.5 STARS! If you enjoy your historicals with fire and wickedly sexy romance, then One Naughty Night is the perfect book to pick up. I am anxious to continue the St.Claires story, to see who falls next, and in the meantime I will be picking up McKee's previous novels.
^Quote belongs solely to the author. I do not claim it in anyway....more