My Synopsis: Cordelia Kane and her dad had always been close. It was as if he felt the need to be a super dad to make up for the loss of her mother whe...moreMy Synopsis: Cordelia Kane and her dad had always been close. It was as if he felt the need to be a super dad to make up for the loss of her mother when she was only two. While some would leave their child at home with a sitter, he took her to work and taught her the mechanics of what goes on under the hood of a car. By the age of 5 she had enough knowledge to give advice on what was wrong with a car.
Her father, while she was growing up, went from being just another mechanic under the hood to owning a million dollar company when he retired. Later, he helped out at the school where Cordelia taught, he himself teaching an automotive class, and becoming a favorite among the students. He earned the respect of all and even became the mentor to kids who would have otherwise made poor choices which would have landed them in trouble with the law. His funeral was packed with family, friends, and students alike.
Cordelia thought she knew all there was to know about her father, but just before he died he made a startling request that she not be like him--waiting for a love that would never be. His request revealed her mother hadn't died like he'd always told her, but had abandoned them shortly after she was born. The revelation sparked a curiosity about the woman who birthed her. What she never expected, was that by tracking her mother down, she'd be putting her own life in jeopardy.
My Review: One of the things I love about Ms. Garwood's books is that many have a fairy tale type of charm about them. I love how we get a glimpse into Cordelia's childhood before we see the woman she grows up to become and how she and Aiden first met. It's something you rarely see in romances, but I think it gives us some added insight into the character and endears them to us.
When Cordelia hears her mother is alive, she wants to know more about her, which is only natural. Upon trying to track her down, however, she finds her mother doesn't exist. She used a false name to marry her father and on Cordelia's birth certificate. Her mother never wished to be found and had never intended for the marriage to Cordelia's father to last. Unlike most people, Cordelia isn't discouraged by this, if anything it spurs her on to meet the woman who could do such a thing to her husband and newborn baby. What she never expected, was that in doing so, she'd unleash a Pandora's box full of trouble on herself. Thankfully, she has good friends with great connections to help her out.
Aiden Madison is the man whom Cordelia has had a crush on since she was little. He'd always indulged his sister's best friend, but had never encouraged her. There was a sizable age difference between the two and he'd never really seen her as anything other as his little sister's friend. One night, however, changed all that when an accident paired with an unlocked door left him to find Cordelia wearing a skimpy nightgown paired with an open robe. That spurred a spontaneous kiss which opened his eyes to the woman she'd become. Aiden is the serious type who rarely smiles and tends to hide his emotions. He reminded me of the story a friend told me of how her and her husband came to be engaged. We'd been exchanging stories of how we'd met our husbands and how they'd proposed and her story made me laugh.They'd dated for a year or two when one day he told her he'd been offered a position out of state and was moving. She thought he was breaking up with her until he starting talking about where they'd live. That was her first clue he was assuming she'd be going with him. As she started to question things and wonder how to handle the situation it eventually came out he expected they'd get married. I'm not even sure if he actually proposed. He just assumed that through his actions she'd know what he was thinking. That's the kind of logic that Aiden seemed to display and I have to admit it made me giggle as I read.
Overall, I gave this one 4 out of 5 roses. There was suspense, drama, humor and, of course, a happy ending. I loved that in the end Cordelia's family got what they deserved. If only that always happened in real life. lol On the Lisarenee Romance Rating this one gets a STEAM rating--too hot for a fan, but you still have a handle on things. You should use extreme caution when reading a book with this rating in public. People may inquire as to why you looked flustered and flushed.(less)
“This ring is the key to your destinies,” (...) “This ring . . .” the Gypsy intoned, “belongs to a prince.”(...) “The rightful master of...moreMy Synopsis:
“This ring is the key to your destinies,” (...) “This ring . . .” the Gypsy intoned, “belongs to a prince.”(...) “The rightful master of this ring,” she said soberly, “is not of your blood.” (...) “One of you will wed this prince. Upon this wedding, the secret of your past will be revealed.” ('I Married the Duke' by Katharine Ashe)
Twenty-two years ago, a mother sent her three daughters to England in the accompaniment of their nanny when their ship sank. They were the soul survivors. The villagers of the area tried to find their parents, but their search was in vein. The nanny they'd been traveling with had drowned and, with no one to claim them, the girls were sent to a foundling home. They were later adopted by Reverend Caulfield who had lost his wife and daughters just months earlier to fever. The only clue as to who the girls might be is a ring worthy of a king.
While the Reverend was a good, but somewhat strict parent, Arabella, the middle Caulfield sister, was desperate to learn about their real parents. That is what led her to approach a gypsy in the hope she could shed some light on who they might be. The gypsy's response, however, was as mysterious as their past. She foretold of a prince who would have the answers they seek which he would reveal upon his wedding to one of the sisters. While many would think the prediction of a gypsy was nonsense, Arabella, grasp on to it, and years later was still determined to see one of her sisters, as she was happily wed, married to a prince. That was how Ravenna, the youngest of the Caulfield sisters, came to find herself at the bride-hunting party of Prince Sebatiao of Portugal. Ravenna, unlike her sister, didn't believe the gypsy's prophecy and had planned to never marry. Tricked into attending the function by her sister, Ravenna soon finds herself at the center of the handsome Lord Vitor Courtenay's attentions and in the middle of a murder mystery. An uninvited guest is found murdered in a suit of armor with a note in his pocket suggesting he was there to rendezvous with one of the young ladies attending the festivities. With a house full of potential suspects, the question upon everyone's mind is, "Who did it?"
Created with a nod to the classical style of murder/mysteries by Agatha Christie, Ms. Ashe has spun her own delightfully enchanting historical murder/mystery with an added dash of romance. Set in France, at a winter gathering at the Chateau Chevriot, not everything is as it seems as secrets abound. Ravenna is not new to mysteries and has, in the past, assisted in discovering the who and what of a murder. She's ahead of her time as a smart independent woman who is knowledgeable in both veterinary and human medicine with a keen eye for details.
Having discovered the body, Ravenna is not going to let Lord Vitor dismiss her from helping solve the crime just because she's a woman. Using the logic that she, as a woman, is more likely to be able to extract information from the ladies in the party as they'll be more willing to talk to her than a man, she convinces Vitor and the local police that they need her help. As they question the suspects and attempt to piece together what happened, Ravenna finds her own life in jeopardy as she gets closer to the truth.
Lord Vitor Courtenay has secrets of his own. Celibate for two years, he was on the verge of taking vows and joining the monastery before he changed his mind. As his attraction to Ravenna grows, he knows he made the right choice. While originally not happy about her joining the search for the murderer, he finds it a convenient way to get closer to the object of his affection. As the two work together, he comes to admire not just her beauty and spunk, but her intelligence as well.
Overall, I gave this book 4 out of 5 roses. It was fun, at times sweet, and contained quite a few twists. I enjoyed the mystery and the romance even more. I thought Ravenna and Vitor made a cute couple and loved how Vitor liked her just the way she was. It was fun seeing these two worked together as a team to solve the murder. I could definitely see this turning into a husband and wife crime solving team spin-off, in the vein of a historical 'Hart to Hart' (the TV show) series. If you haven't read the previous book, you can get away with reading this one first. Be forewarned, however, you're probably going to want to read it after you finish with this one. On the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale, this one a STEAM rating--too hot for a fan, but you still have a handle on things. You should use extreme caution when reading a book with this rating in public. People may inquire as to why you looked flustered and flushed. (less)
Kate Donnelly has been avoiding the ocean and diving for nearly fifteen years. Her childho...moreNotes: Received a print copy from the publisher.
Kate Donnelly has been avoiding the ocean and diving for nearly fifteen years. Her childhood was spent aboard the decks of the Golden Bough with her family exploring the ocean depths looking for the mother load of lost treasures-- the wreck of the Moon Rose. Reported to be carrying a King's ransom in jewels and gold when it went down, finding it has become her family's obsession. Now her grandfather and brother have asked for her help to get them out of a financial bind that resulted from the signing of a contract that her brother had no business signing. His judgement had been clouded by the dream or, perhaps more accurately, the sickness attached to treasure hunting and signed a contract that didn't offer enough compensation to cover their expenses. She's agreed to help out if her one stipulation is met--she can stay on shore and never step foot upon the Golden Bough.
Holden Cameron has been hired by his company to see if any funny business is going on with the dive recovery company that was hired to excavate the wreck of a ship. As items from what they believe to be the remains of the Moon Rose have started showing up on the black market, Holden's been charged with proving that the crew or the owners of the Moon Rose LTD are stealing the treasure out from under the British government's nose. When he meets the owner's sister, Kate, he wonders if she was sent in to distract him from his task because if she was, she's definitely doing a damn fine job of it.
One of the things I love about Elizabeth Lowell's books is they each seem to appeal to the adventurous side of me that loves exploring. When I was little I use to watch Jacques Cousteau and dream of going deep sea diving. Of exploring the mysteries of the ocean and finding sunken treasure.This is another fun filled mystery/adventure which luckily didn't end with a story about the one that got away. Kate Donnelly has managed to separate herself from the family's addiction for fortune hunting, a very fun but not very lucrative occupation. Her parent's deaths cured her of that and helped her view the family's chosen profession in a different, more realistic light. To this day she is haunted by the events that led up to their deaths and has not set foot on a boat or in the ocean for the past fifteen years.
Holden Cameron is a former British dive bomb specialist who, due to injuries he sustained, now stays mostly out of the water. Under the guise of a consultant to evaluate Moon Rose Limited's operation, he's come to St. Vincent for one reason--to catch Moon Rose Limited in the act of stealing the artifacts they were hired to uncover for British government's Antiquities Office. When Holden meets Kate he's not sure if she's in on the scam or an innocent bystander. While he tries to keep a professional distance from her, he and she both find themselves having a hard time fighting their mutual attraction. This creates for a fun story with a relationship that slowly grows and develops as the two begin to get to know and trust each other. They each have to accept the possibility things may become difficult if, as the evidence begins to suggest, Kate's family is involved in the stealing.
Overall, I gave this one 4 out of 5 roses/b>. I loved the mystery associated with the artifacts that were being put on the black market. I liked the twist that I didn't see coming. Additionally, I adored the complicated relationship which slowly gained momentum and strength like a wave until it crested and peaked into something neither Holden or Kate could deny. Fast paced, fun, and enjoyable. On the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale, this one earned a STEAM rating--too hot for a fan, but you still have a handle on things. You should use extreme caution when reading a book with this rating in public. People may inquire as to why you looked flustered and flushed.(less)
Notes: I received an eARC loan from the publisher.
The zombie apocalypse is go...moreNotes: I received an eARC loan from the publisher.
The zombie apocalypse is going strong. Duncan is adjusting to his new role as Vampire King and is trying to keep moral up while attempting to keep the peace between the humans and vampires. Humans are volunteering to become blood donors for vampires in exchange for protection. They're also becoming restless and resent being cooped up and unable to get out. While their confinement is for their own protection, it does get a bit monotonous, but when even the smallest runs to get supplies more times than not ends in someone dying, it can't be helped.
While tensions are running high, Kimber feels responsible for the apocalypse and keeps trying to figure out what caused it so she can reverse it. One thing appears clear--the darkness that escaped during a reanimation gone wrong has to be pushed back into the Unseen. In order to do that, she needs to experiment on zombies. Afraid to confide in Duncan her theory of how to reverse the situation, their relationship will be put to the test. If a reversal of what happened can't be accomplished, the whole world will be doomed. While it sounds simple--cure the zombies save the world--it's anything but and Kimber will put her life on the line.
Another entertaining read by Ms. Garner. Vampire's Thirst picks up shortly after Vampire's Hunger left off. If you haven't read Vampire's Hunger, I recommend you do. It's a quick read and will make the reading of this book more enjoyable.
Things look bleak as the number of humans decreases as the number of zombies increases. As supplies begin to grow short, alternative methods of gaining food are explored. Safety is the priority and everything done takes careful planning. Meanwhile, Duncan's human donor plan is starting to gain the attention of other vampire leaders. Willing donors are a novelty, and while vampires seem to enjoy and benefit from it, humans are only agreeing because the alternative almost surely would lead to death by zombie.
I like the stress and tension everything brings to the oh so new relationship between Duncan and Kimber. Insecurities and misunderstandings develop between the two as obligations and loyalties pull them apart and make them see how different their lives are. As with any good relationship, it takes work, commitment, and communication. I like that Ms. Garner didn't make things super easy on this couple.
Overall, I really liked the story and gave it 3 1/2 out of 5 roses. There was one discrepancy I found between the first book and this one. In the first book it was stated vampires couldn't become zombies. They just suffered horrible pain. In this book, it was said they'd become a sort of super zombie retaining all their vampire speed and strength. It didn't affect the outcome of this book, but I'm curious about any future books. Of course, as I was reading an ARC, the author may have righted this error before the book goes to print. I'll be curious to see if she does. If not, I supposed in the third book she could claim at first they thought they couldn't be turned until they found out differently. On the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale, this one earned a SHOWER rating--a cold shower is necessary (need I say more?). Some books should come with a warning--make sure your significant other is handy or your shower is in working order. lol As with the first book in the series, Vampire's Hunger, I felt the love scenes combined with the colorful language used had this one leaning toward an erotic read, but poised precariously on the fence.(less)
Notes: Received a copy from the publisher. This oldie but goody is being re-released on April 29th. It's been included on several best romance books o...moreNotes: Received a copy from the publisher. This oldie but goody is being re-released on April 29th. It's been included on several best romance books of all times lists.
Merry Wilding grew up dreaming of white knights and unicorns. Never in all her imaginings had pirates ever entered into the picture. Through a series of unfortunate event she finds herself prisoner on a pirate ship, tied up like a Christmas goose, and naked in a pirate's bed. Shortly after boarding a ship that was to sail her to England with her aunt, she'd been kidnapped and spirited away. Now she's about to face the pirate who mere months before let her go without incident. Will she be so lucky again? Perhaps the real question is will she want to escape him? Devon's the kind of man who turns heads wherever he goes and he's rarely ever turned down. Will a handsome young pirate be her undoing or will a beautiful proper English maiden be his?
I just adore pirate romances and when this book found itself on the receiving end of my mail box I had to read it. The book literally called to me. I admit part of the allure of this particular book is that it's on several lists as being one of the best romances ever, and I wanted to find out why. Thankfully for me, it lived up to its reputation.
So what is it about this book that makes so many people love this book? Well, think about all the characteristics you'd want in a guy, even if some of those traits would appear to conflict with one another. For me he'd be smart and devilishly handsome. He'd be equal parts bad boy and gentleman. He'd be loyal, kind, and respectful of my wishes and viewpoint yet not be a pushover and would occasionally argue on points. You get the idea. Devon's a little bit of everything you'd want in a man. Plus, just when you think you know all there is to know about him, he surprises you and you find out there's more to him than you expected.
Merry has spent her life sheltered by her aunt; yet surprisingly, she's smart, resourceful and good under pressure. While she could have spent her captivity wallowing in self pity, she joins the crew and tries to learn all she can and thereby gains the respect of all aboard. She still wishes to escape, but she makes the most of what she has. I admit, the allure of living like a pirate is rather appealing.
Another thing that makes this book stand out is it was written in the 80's. If you take a walk down memory lane, it was a time when romance novels were full of heroines being raped by their male counterparts. I remember one of the first romances I ever read was a Harlequin romance about a flight attendant who was raped by one of the male passengers. He assumed all stewardesses were easy and fair game.To his utter dismay and shock the woman was a virgin, and he spent the rest of the book wooing her and making her fall in love with him. I remember being appalled at the time. Even my favorite romance author, Lisa Kleypas, went down that awful path with one of her first books, Where Passion Leads, now out of print. She had the hero raping the heroine. Another book I had recommended to me to read in a secret Santa book exchange, Royal Seduction by Jennifer Blake, came from this same time period and low and behold another shocking rape turned romance. As you might guess, I didn't read any more of the books that individual recommended. What caused these authors tor write such books and their readers to read them? I'll never know nor understand. One person suggested that it was a time when woman were starting to flood the work force and while enjoying independence, they were also experiencing a lot of the stress that came with it. Therefore, someone else taking over the reigns and not being held accountable might have sounded appealing, they just might not have thought it all the way through. Regardless, this book stands out because it went against the popular trend of the time and proved a romance could be romantic without going there.What caused this trend to end? Who knows, but I thank the book gods and goddesses that it did.
Overall, I gave this one 4 1/2 out of 5 roses. It was fun with a dash of whimsy. There was plenty of drama, fun situations, misunderstandings, and sexual tension between the two main characters. I liked that Merry didn't give up her values and ideals for Devon, and that the secondary characters were as equally charming and appealing as the primary ones. My favorite one being, Cat. I wonder if any of them appear in any of Laura London's later books. I'm going to have to do some searching.
Notes to keep you in the know: The book gets its name from Merry's nickname which was given to her by Cat when he states, "Would you stop being so sensitive? Even for me, it's a little unnerving to communicate with someone who's skittish as a gingered filly." He straightened an errant fold in the gold scarf over her shoulder with the flip of one finger. "It's like trying to talk to a windflower." According to Hubpages,"The name, anemone, or wind-flower, some writers claim, was given because it is so fragile that it withers when the wind blows over it; others say that it only blooms when the wind blows it open. The botanists describe this flower as a natural barometer, because as night approaches, or just before a shower, the dampness in the air causes the petals to curl over tent fashion, but peasant lore tells us that this is done by the fairies who cuddle down in the heart of the flower and pull the leaves over them like curtains." If you'd like to learn more about myths and legends associated with the windflower (for which there are several) check out the article I quoted from on Hubpages: http://varenya.hubpages.com/hub/Anemo... (less)
>>>>>>>>>>>>My Synopsis: He was sent to assassinate her husband for...moreNotes: Received an eARC loan from the publisher
>>>>>>>>>>>>My Synopsis: He was sent to assassinate her husband for his treasonous ways.
She was in the wrong place at the wrong time and witnessed said crime.
He could not see his way to kill her.
Now, thrown together by extenuating circumstances, hostage and captor find themselves unreasonably attracted to one another.
While Élise's marriage had been far from a love match, can a relationship survive such a questionable start?
Unbeknownst to Élise Sam may be the key to her survival.
This is the third book in the House of Trent series. While you can probably get by without reading the previous books, there are a couple of facts you may wish to be aware of before starting this one. Sam's mother, the Dowager Duchess of Trent, has been missing for a year and he and his siblings have been desperately searching for her ever since. Since her disappearance, rumors and accusations have been flying regarding their mother and some of Sam's sibling's parentage. He and his siblings are desperate to find their mother and lay to rest the gossip that has been drifting about. Even if the rumors prove to be true, their number one priority is their mother's safe return. So if any information surfaces about her, they'd pretty much drop everything to find her. I'm happy to say, the mystery surrounding her disappearance will finally be revealed in this book.
One of the things I love about Ms. Haymore's books is the delightful characters she creates. Élise is a surprisingly strong young woman who, because of the time in which she lives, has been stifled by her husband. Trapped in a loveless marriage, she'd tried to make the best of it, but living in a country that is not on the friendliest of terms with your homeland is not easy. While many think she'd be loyal to France, the country unto which she'd been born, she holds no love for it. The majority of her family, former aristocrats, had been sentenced to the guillotine and she had barely escaped a similar fate. When Sam kills her husband she guiltily feels relief because at times, when he wasn't ignoring her, her husband could be quiet cruel. The dynamics of her marriage were unknown to outsiders and to many they had appeared to be an ideal loving couple.
Sam may be a bastard by blood, but he's a gentleman by nature. He works for a secret government agency and does the deeds they don't want to get caught doing--like assassinating well liked citizens who've been found to have committed treason. Over the years the job has satisfied Sam and he's never had a problem doing it. You'd think he'd be a cold hard killer, but he can't seem to bring himself to murder a woman and ends up kidnapping her instead. Waiting for the agency he works for to hand down its judgment on her, he and Élise come to know each other better and an overwhelming attraction develops which they each try to deny. With a the murder of her husband lying between them, a relationship is the last thing either wants, and it is the sexual tension created by their circumstances that makes this book so much fun.
Overall, I gave this one 4 out of 5 roses. There was plenty of action, suspense, drama and steam. I enjoyed how the initial attraction between Sam and Élise was strong, and while each was tempted to give in to their feelings, they proceeded with caution and took things slow. I liked how a mutual respect for one another developed before they allowed a relationship to form and grow. Each had good reasons not to trust the other and they had to get past that before moving forward. I liked how each had issues to work through and helped one another to do so. Plus, I loved the drama associated with Élise's fate. It made for a great story. Additionally, finally learning the details of Sam's mother's disappearance was also fun. On the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale, this one received a STEAM rating--too hot for a fan, but you still have a handle on things. You should use extreme caution when reading a book with this rating in public. People may inquire as to why you looked flustered and flushed. I absolutely adored the chemistry between these two and look forward to reading more romances by Ms. Haymore.(less)
Notes: I was given an eARC by the publisher, but I also bought it because I wanted a print copy for my keeper collection.
My Synopsis: We've all experie...moreNotes: I was given an eARC by the publisher, but I also bought it because I wanted a print copy for my keeper collection.
My Synopsis: We've all experienced moments in our lives when we've wished there was a do over option. A part of our own history we wish we could rewrite or erase. For Willow Ambrose the time period she'd like to forget includes the majority of her life. Fighting a life long battle of the bulge, she's finally won the good fight and now sees the world in terms of 'The Before' and 'The After'. Anyone whom she'd known from 'The Before' time period she's broken ties with leaving them to lie buried like the life she's put to rest and never wishes to remember. Unfortunately, the past has a way of coming back to haunt us and when a guy from her past finds his way into a wedding party being held at Barefoot Bay, she's forced to deal with her inner demons. Sometimes the best way to deal with the past is to face it dead on, see it for what it is, accept it and move on because our pasts are a part of us that make us who we are.
I always love Roxanne's books and this one's no exception. I was a little leery at the beginning because Nick Hershey, a gorgeous Navy Seal on medical discharge with the nickname Kiss (get it--hershey's kiss?), was a guy Willow had once propositioned to be her first lover. At the time Willow had been twice her present size and the humiliating answer had been a definite 'No'. I couldn't help but wonder if Willow's weight hadn't been the part of the equation that had tilted the balance towards Nick's answer of no. Luckily, that did not end up being the case.
Willow is strong, smart, brave, and more forgiving than I am. Granted, as she walked in on the man as he was butt naked (along with other things) she didn't have much of a choice but to face him in that moment of mayhem and confusion. Over the past several years, she's taken control of her life and managed to lose a lot of weight which is admirable because it takes a lot of self control and will power. She's realized she can't rewrite her past so she's opted to erase it.
Nick is a sweet, sexy, nice guy who always tries to do the right thing. He's gorgeous and has a tendency to wander around his rental naked. He's been nicknamed by the majority of the women at the resort "the man of dishonor" because they all want to do dishonorable things with him. He has things in his past he'd also like to rewrite. In fact, he's literally attempting to do just that by writing a semi autobiographical book where he rewrites events the way he'd wished they'd turned out. He's suffering from an overwhelming sense of guilt about events that were pretty much out of his control. He's agreed to step in for one of his best friend's sister's, as man of honor, because his friend is out on active duty and won't be able to fill the position himself. He's hoping that by coming to Barefoot Bay he'll be able to find his creative muse and finally write the ending of his true life story his way.
What I adored about the story was the repeated theme that you can't rewrite history. It is what it is and can't be changed. That is so true and I love how Willow and Nick are each other's trigger for coming to that realization. I also loved the way Nick handles things this time around. You may not be able to rewrite history, but you can definitely learn from it.
I gave this one 4 1/2 roses. It's a great uplifting light read that will leave you with a smile on your face and an extra step to your walk. A funny, lighthearted, and sweet combination perfect for reading this summer on the beach or by the pool. Granted, it may make the temperature seem a little hotter than it truly is and make you sigh once or twice, but you can probably get away with blaming it (if someone should chance to notice) on the sun. On the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale, this one earned a STEAM rating--too hot for a fan, but you still have a handle on things. You should use extreme caution when reading a book with this rating in public. People may inquire as to why you looked flustered and flushed.(less)
Notes: I received and eARC loan from the publisher.
"Hear me Richard Whitcomb. I call you fr...moreNotes: I received and eARC loan from the publisher.
"Hear me Richard Whitcomb. I call you from beyond. I call you to journey from the Unsee to the Seen. By blood and magic I summon you. Arise, Richard. Arise. Come to me now."
Kimber Treat is a necromancer who works with the police to solve murders which might otherwise go unsolved. She reanimates the dead and is able to gain the answers to questions no other person could know. Sometimes gleaning the motives and name of the killer. Once information is acquired, the dead are laid to back to rest. Reanimations are not always pleasant or easy as sometimes the dead have a hard time remembering what happened or dealing with their demise. With her latest reanimation, Kimberly immediately senses something isn't right. She feels a surge of power course into her from the Unseen, the shadowy place where all life begins and ends. She senses John Whitcomb isn't the only one residing in his body. With some extra help and effort from the Medical Examiner's staff Richard permanently enters his eternal slumber, but not before one of the doctors is bitten. What no one realizes at the time, however, is the beginning of a zombie apocalypse had just been set into motion. The world as we knew it has just come to an end.
Awakening is an interesting new series, and I'm curious to see how it will evolve. From the first pages of the book, we get a first hand account of how the zombie apocalypse begins. Something in the Unseen is wrong and has brought darkness into the human realm via the reanimation of the dead. While a vampire can't become a zombie, no one is completely immune to the zombies. Vampires are the least vulnerable but can die a horrible death from whatever infects/possesses the zombies. Additionally, they are able to use their strength, agility and speed to their advantage. In a short period of time, the condition spreads as zombies bite and infect more people.
Kimber is put in a very difficult situation as Duncan, a vampire she's known for the past two years, tries to convince her to resurrect a vampire who's been dead for over a hundred years for the vampire Queen. Already knowing something isn't right with the Unseen and compounded with the fact reanimating someone who has been dead as long as Eduardo (the vampire Queen's mate) has been would not bring back the individual back as they once were, she refuses. Now Duncan will have to decide where his loyalties lie--with his Queen or with the woman who he feels strongly for and has let down in the past. He has a clear cut decision to make because most likely one will have to die.
Overall I gave this one 3 1/2 out of 5 roses. I enjoyed the book, but didn't feel we got to know the characters as well as I'd like. The mutual attraction is very strong and I wish we'd gotten to see it develop from the very first moment these two met, or at least got the full story of what originally happened. I kept wondering if this couple were somehow connected to Cynthia's other series, Warriors of the Rift, but after racking my brain I couldn't recall them. I'd love to see a prequel novella about how these two met and what happened. Perhaps we'll learn more in one of the next books? On the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale, this one earned a SHOWER rating--a cold shower is necessary (need I say more?). Some books should come with a warning--make sure your significant other is handy or your shower is in working order. lol I felt the love scenes combined with the colorful language used had this one leaning toward an erotic read, but poised precariously on the fence.(less)
My Synopis: Every teen who comes to Shadow Falls has a story. A past they left behind. Perhaps a family member who wouldn't and/or couldn't comprehend...moreMy Synopis: Every teen who comes to Shadow Falls has a story. A past they left behind. Perhaps a family member who wouldn't and/or couldn't comprehend what was happening to their child, their sister, their brother, or their grandchild. There are a select few whose parents sent them knowing it was the best place for them to hone their powers, but that is not the norm. Most are sent to Shadow Falls because their parents don't know about their supernatural tendencies and think they're making bad choices, hanging with the wrong crowd, or doing drugs. While the virus which creates vampires runs in Della's family, it needs to be activated by someone who's been turned. A family carrying the virus could potentially live their lives never knowing it lay dormant for generations. To Della family is everything and when she was turned and lost the love and support of her family it devastated her. She tends to shy away from relationships, always worrying they too will abandon her just like her family and former boyfriend, Lee, did when she was turned.
Now, through her sister, Della's learned her father had an identical twin who died under mysterious circumstances. Circumstances that Della believes could indicate he was turned. Could she have family out there who could understand her? She hopes her cousin Chan can help answer some of her questions.
Meanwhile, as she searches for answers, a new kid arrives at camp, and he and Della start out on the wrong foot. Chase is a fellow vampire, but something about him just doesn't sit well with Della, and it doesn't have anything to do with how quickly Burnett has accepted him and invited him to help with FRU cases (Fallen Research Unit--think the FBI of the supernatural world). While a vampire can sense a lie by monitoring another's heartbeats, Della suspects Chase may be able to somehow manipulate things. If her suspicions are correct, he could pose a potential threat to Shadow Falls.
I wasn't sure how I'd like the spin-off series of Shadow Falls focusing on Della. I personally was hoping Miranda would have her story told. Something about the dyslexic witch whose spells go awry has always appealed to me. Figuring Ms. Hunter knew what she was doing, however, I eagerly anticipated the arrival of Reborn. I can happily and surprisingly say I liked it more than Kylie's books.
Della is a girl who isn't the easiest of people to get to know. She's put up a wall of protection and lets very few people in. She's smart, she's strong and a survivor who knows what she wants and what she wants is to be an agent for FRU. She has a 6th sense which helps her figure things out and will no doubt help her eventually become one of the FRU's top agents. When a murder occurs near the school and the person who is responsible decides to make their getaway through Shadow Falls, Della wants in on the investigation. We learn a touch more about how the FRU operates and about their glass ceiling--that invisible, unbreachable barrier that keeps, in this instance, females from rising to the upper ranks. Something tells me that in the foreseeable future, Della will have a huge role in smashing it.
This book has a lot going on. Della has a ghost following her around that she can't communicate with but whom Kylie and Holliday are convinced must have some sort of connection to Della. There is the search for a missing uncle that may or may not be dead and, if not, might be a rogue vampire. There's the new guy at camp who seems to love pushing every one of Della's buttons and stealing her thunder in regards with the murder investigation. Then there's Steve, the lovable shape shifter who's been trying to beat down Della's barriers and admit they're a couple. The first step, however, in Della taking the plunge into a full blown relationship is perhaps loving and accepting herself just the way she is--fangs and all. But boy troubles are the least of her worries; Della's powers are occasionally failing her. Could the new boy have something to do with her power failures or is something seriously wrong with her? All of these mysterious happenings combine together in a delightfully entertaining way that kept my attention and made me adore this book. Plus, there's an awesome cliffhanger at the end that makes me wish I had the next book right now. I ended up giving this one 5 out of 5 roses. I absolutely loved this one.
Notes: Received an ARC from the publisher and am a member of CC Hunter's street team (which means I love her books enough to attempt to spread the word about them). (less)
>>>>>>>>My Synopsis<<<<<<<< Ned 'Nate' Dunkle is a smart, brilliant and sweet guy, but when it comes to...more>>>>>>>>My Synopsis<<<<<<<< Ned 'Nate' Dunkle is a smart, brilliant and sweet guy, but when it comes to women and relationships he's a complete and utter mess. Think Eliza Doolittle meets Clark Kent with a dash of nerd mixed in for good measure. He can't walk the walk, can't talk the talk, and his attire could win an award for being a complete and utter wardrobe malfunction--with clothes that don't fit right and do nothing for the wearer. Pair his botched attempt at self tanning, which gave him a freakishly unnatural orange glow, with the strong odor of a cologne gone wild, and for some strange reason, the opposite sex is not falling all over themselves to be near him. Hmmm...go figure. It was his fumbled attempt at speed dating that led to Kennedy Ashe singling him out to have a nice little chat. Thinking he was a Grade A class jerk, she'd been prepared to chew him out for almost making one of her clients cry, but as she starts talking with him she quickly realizes the sheer magnitude of the man's cluelessness. Now she's determined to help him find his perfect match.
When all is said and done, and she discovers how much the two have in common, will she still be willing to pair him up with someone else?
Her name ripped from those lips in a husky growl. She blinked and tried to find her footing, startled by his referring to her so intimately, but not entirely sure she minded. "Yeah?"
"What about us?"
Brain alert. She tried to break the weird spell, but he slid his hands up to cup her cheeks and thunder shook the ground, and somehow his body was pressed tight against hers. He engulfed her with a quiet, intense presence that demanded her response. As though on cue, her body lit up and begged for more. She grew damp between her thighs, and her nipples hardened to tight little points, and within those few seconds, she was completely turned on by her geek rocket scientist.
"There is no us. I'm your matchmaker."
Her victory of sane speech was short-lived. Those thumbs stroked under her jaw and began to trace the lines of her mouth. The fascinated, intense look on his face thrilled her. Had a man ever looked at her so...hungrily? As if he craved to feast on her for hours without end? A shiver bumped through her.
"Eliza and Professor Higgins hooked up at the end of the movie."
It's no wonder after reading this book that Jennifer Probst has quickly become one of my favorite contemporary romance authors. She writes romances that are smart, funny, real and oh so sexy. In Searching for Perfect, Jennifer Probst takes us on a journey of discovery that will have some women giving those slightly unkempt, conversationally challenged guys a second look.
On the surface Kennedy Ashe seems to have her act together, but deep down she has relationship issues that can be tracked back to her high school years. She has major problems with self esteem that keep her from investing in long term commitments. Over the years she's tried to make herself look perfect to mask the imperfections she sees in herself. While she believes in love for others, she just doesn't see it in the cards for her.
In many ways Kennedy and Nate have a lot in common. Perhaps she singles him out to be her pet project because she sees a little of herself in him. He's got all the essential ingredients that will make him a good match for someone. He's got a good heart, knows what he's looking for, and is open to love. He's also gotten some bad advice from the big brother he's looked up to all his life. It was interesting to watch Nate transforms from zero to hero in the span of 341 pages.
Throughout the book we witness Kennedy and Nate's attraction for one another grow as they open up to each another on a very personal level. Kennedy has never been in a relationship that's lasted longer than a few months. She knows Nate's looking for someone to settle down with, and she does not see that happening with her. Sometimes people don't see themselves as worthy of happy endings, and Nate is just the guy to show her she is.
Interspersed with all the serious issues Kennedy faces is the underlying humor that makes Jennifer's books so enchanting and fun to read. It lightens up the mood of the subject matter and softens the hard edges. The infusion is a heady combination that endears the characters to the reader and makes them seem all the more real and believable. Plus, there are the swoon worthy moments and dialogue that make you sigh. My favorite moment is when Nate makes the following declarations:
"This isn't about me, baby. It's about you. I can chase you forever, promise you the world, but until you take the leap with me, I can't win. I don't just love your body. I love your incredible mind, and your sweet soul, and your inner strength. I love the life you built for yourself with your friends and your career. I love every part of you--good and bad--dark and light--and I want to share it all. But you have to let me."
I gave this one 5 out of 5 roses. I never would have believed I'd end up liking the hero in this story so much. The relationship which evolves between Kennedy and Nate has a enviable foundation to build on. It's the kind of story that if you've given up on love and romance, it'll encourage you to give it one more try. On the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale, this one get a SHOWER rating - a cold shower may be necessary (need I say more?). Some books should come with a warning--make sure your significant other is handy or your shower is in working order. lol Please note that while I'm giving this a shower rating, I wouldn't necessarily label this one erotic. It's definitely has some steamy scenes and there is a touch of colorful language used, but it doesn't have the feel of most erotic novels.You can see the mutual respect and feel the love between them. I guess what I'm trying to say is it goes a little deeper than most erotic reads. It was a total an utter book seduction and I highly recommend this one.
Notes: Received a copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.(less)
My Synopsis: FBI Special Agent Kate O'Hare is a woman who lives and breathes her job. For the past several years her job has been to hunt, find and sto...moreMy Synopsis: FBI Special Agent Kate O'Hare is a woman who lives and breathes her job. For the past several years her job has been to hunt, find and stop a criminal mastermind--Nick Fox--whose creative, innovative and over-the-top schemes have conned millions from unsuspecting wealthy victims. Every time Kate gets close to nabbing the infuriating man, he slips from her grasp like the slippery snake that he is. Learning from her mistakes and goaded by the man who dared to breach her hotel room and raid her minibar while she was off looking for him, she's determined this time she'll get her man. Once she's got him, however, the sweet thrill of victory will be short lived as her life will take an unexpected twist...
“Okay, now I am really confused,” Kate said. “We’re going to be chasing him?”
“Of course,” Bolton said. “He’s a federal fugitive.”
“But we’re the ones who set him free,” Kate said. “He’ll be out there doing missions for us.”
“We don’t know that,” Jessup said.
“Yes, we do,” Kate said. “That’s the deputy director of the FBI sitting next to you.”
“It was worth getting arrested just for this moment,” Nick said.
“Fox is still going to be on our Most Wanted list,” Bolton said to Kate, “and every agent except you will be on the lookout for him.”
“What will I be doing?” she asked.
“Keeping him from getting caught,” Bolton said. “While pretending to be pursuing him, of course.”
My Review: This is the first book in a new series written by the dynamic duo of Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg. It contains Ms. Evanovich's trademark sense of humor, and while the outlandish situations she tends to create for her character are still present, they've been slightly tamed (I dare guess by Mr. Goldberg's influence) giving it a more realistic and sophisticated feel. I didn't think I could love anything created by Ms. Evanovich more than her Stephanie Plum series, but after reading this one, I believe I was just proved wrong. Of course, teaming Ms. Evanovich up with the very talented Lee Goldberg (the creator of the Monk series) was utter brilliance.
Kate O'Hare is a smart, beautiful, by-the-book agent who doesn't play well with others. An ex-Navy SEAL, she's got a quick temper which got her honorably discharged when she decked her commanding officer after he tried to cop a feel. She's dedicated herself to truth, justice, and the American way. Okay, not quite superman, but she runs a close second. *smirk* She's also obsessed with taking down one of the FBI's 10 most wanted fugitives, Nick Fox. A man she's willing to take down dead or alive.
Nick Fox lives up to his name, as he's clever and has a prize winning combination of personality, good looks, wit and charm that can steal the rug right our from under you while you thank him for the privilege--that is, until you come to your senses and realize what he's done. By that time, however, he's long gone. His IQ has got to rate in the genius level, and he reminds me of Frank Abagnale Jr who was played by Leonardo DiCaprio in the movie 'Catch Me If You Can'. His love of messing with Kate is second only to his love of planning and executing the perfect heist. Ironically, he finds himself attracted to the smart young woman who seems to be able to keep up with him on a mental level that few can. She, however, is off-limits for obvious reasons.
For their first mission together, Kate and Nick have been assigned to take down Derick Griffin, a big-time investment banker who went into hiding after making off with five hundred million dollars of his client's money. They need to uncover his location, locate the stolen money, and steal it back before he knows what happened. And they need to do it without anyone else being the wiser. With two such mismatched individuals working together you can bet you're in for a fun time.
This one gets a full 5 out of 5 roses from me. With humor, suspense, action and a dash of a possible romance-in-the-making, this ones has the perfect blend for one delightful new series. I highly recommend this one. I'm forgoing my Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale because this one wasn't so much aimed at romance as setting the building blocks for what could be one delectable delightfully complicated relationship. (less)
My Synopsis: It's been mere months since Special Agent Kate O'Hare and Criminal Mastermind Nicholas Fox were paired together by the FBI for an under-th...moreMy Synopsis: It's been mere months since Special Agent Kate O'Hare and Criminal Mastermind Nicholas Fox were paired together by the FBI for an under-the-table set of missions--to go after a class of criminals that operate outside the reach of the law. People so rich and powerful that they can manipulate the legal system so they never have to answer for their crimes, assuming that they are ever caught at all. While the pairing seems to be a match made in heaven, the risk involved is staggering. If either is caught, the FBI will not acknowledge they are acting on behalf of the government and Kate will be considered an agent gone rogue.
Kate and Nick's latest assignment is to retrieve a politically charged/tainted one-of-a-kind piece of art dating to the Qing Dynasty which ended up in the Smithsonian. The piece is part of a collection of 12 Chinese century-old zodiac figure heads which were once mounted on a fountain in the Imperial Gardens. The figures disappeared in 1860 when British and French soldiers pillaged the area. The artifact is estimated to be worth 20 million dollars and unbeknownst to anyone but a trusted few, was stolen from the Smithsonian ten years ago and replaced with a fake. With the Chinese requesting that the figure head be returned to their country as an act of Good faith on the part of the US, its imperative the original rooster be reclaimed. With China being one of the US's biggest lenders, the political fallout if the statue isn't returned could be devastating to American and Chinese relations.
My Review: This is the second book in the Fox and O'Hare series written by the fabulously talented authors Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg. On a personal level, straight laced Kate is having issues with Nick who appears to be attempting to seduce her with his wit and charm. With each new assignment, he appears to be setting up situations to throw the two together whether it be posing as a married couple or a couple having an affair. He can see the affect he has on her and seems to be unable to stop himself from teasing, tempting and flirting with her. Kate is resisting, but as the two keep getting close and personal she admits to herself it would be easy to fall into his trap and let her defenses fall. She, however, is determined not let that happen.
With each new case, Nick submerges Kate further and further into his lifestyle and world to the point that even her boss notices the effect Nick's influence has on her. She seems to be emerging from her shell and growing as an individual as she quickly learns to adapt to each new situation Nick throws the team into. In some ways I think he's testing her and trying to find out what she's capable of. I kind of liken Nick to what I imagine 007 would be like if he'd lead a life of crime instead of espionage, and I can't help but wonder if he's looking to make Kate his latest bond girl or perhaps something more? For now, however, the relationship is about as platonic as one can get.
In addition to the two main characters having great chemistry, there is also wonderful cohesion among the secondary characters who Nick has hand picked for their unusual talents and abilities. There is Boyd Capwell, a struggling actor who couldn't follow a script to save his life, but can improvise like nobody's business. Wilma 'Willie' Owens is a 50 something divorcee who, as Kate puts it, could be turned on by grass growing and has never met a vehicle she couldn't drive. She just has a knack for it. Then there is Joe Morey, a tech expert who was black balled from the industry after being fired from his job for being a whistle blower. He was down graded to a lowly Geek Squad employee when his life was shot to hell by the experience. Yes, I don't deny there are some similarities between the series and Ocean's Eleven, but this group is utilizing their talents for things on a somewhat grander scale.
Overall, Evanovich and Goldberg did an awesome job of creating a funny, fast paced series that grabs the readers attention and doesn't let it go until the last word is written. I gave this one 5 out of 5 roses. A highly entertaining and delightful series that I recommend to anyone who wants a series that lifts their spirits and puts them in a good mood. Something I was desperately in need of, so thank you Janet and Lee for creating such a fun and wonderful read.
Notes to keep you in the know: According to an article entitled 'Talking Heads' published on May 18, 2013 in The Economist, there do exist 12 politically charged bronze Chinese-zodiacal figures which were looted when foreign troops burned the Yuanmingyuan imperial gardens outside Beijing in 1860. The reason the figures once again became newsworthy is that French billionaire, François-Henri Pinault, whose family owns Christie’s, stepped in after a botched auction (the highest bidder refused to make good on his bid) and announced he would take on the two statues (the rat and the rabbit) as losses in order to donate them to the government of China. To read more, check out the full article at: http://www.economist.com/blogs/analec...
I can't help but wonder if this portion of the story was inspired the above events. Here's a picture of the statues in question:
(Picture credit: Wikimedia Commons)
According to Wikipedia, "The Qing Dynasty (Chinese:清朝; pinyin: Qīng Cháo;Wade–Giles: Ch'ing1 Ch'ao2;IPA: [tɕʰíŋ tʂʰɑ̌ʊ̯]), also Empire of the Great Qing, Great Qingor Manchu Dynasty, was the last imperial dynasty of China, ruling from 1644 to 1912 with a brief, abortive restoration in 1917. It was preceded by the Ming Dynasty and succeeded by the Republic of China. The Qing multi-cultural empire lasted almost three centuries and formed the territorial base for the modern Chinese nation." You can read more at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qing_Dyn... (less)
My Synopsis: Jake Titus is an arrogant, self absorbed, playboy millionaire who goes through woman like they were kleenex--something many a young woman...moreMy Synopsis: Jake Titus is an arrogant, self absorbed, playboy millionaire who goes through woman like they were kleenex--something many a young woman has needed after he had broken her heart. A one night stand is his standard mode of operation, never letting any woman get too close. Over the years his behavior has gotten worse and worse and his grandmother has taken note. At first she thought it was a phase he'd eventually grow out of, but as time passed and the years went by she finally came to realize he wasn't going to change his wicked ways unless somebody forced him see the error of it all. Grandma's got a plan, and when she finds the woman she thinks is perfect for her grandson, someone whom she thinks can keep him in line, she sets her plan in motion. She's gonna bring her grandson to heel by striking where it hurts him the most--his pride and his pocketbook.
"Karma: It was finally coming for him. And it was in the form of an eighty-six-year-old woman with lipstick on her teeth."
My Review: This is the second book in Rachel Van Dyken's The Bet series. Grandma Nadine loves nothing better than to play the role of matchmaker, and she's on a roll. She's a Grandma with a mission, and I absolutely adored her crazy plans and antics. In 'The Bet', Grandma Nadine managed to get her eldest grandson, Travis, engaged and in 'The Wager' she's going after her youngest and when she gets something in her mind, nothing is gonna stop her. Grandma's a force to be reckoned with. This book starts off approximately two weeks before Travis' and Kacey's wedding.
Char Lynn is a TV news reporter who is pretty, smart, and unfortunately one of Jake's one night stands. She'd known Jake for years, and he'd never explained the "rules", but they were crystal clear in the morning when she woke up alone with a lame thank you note on the pillow beside her. He'd never called her, and now they were being put into the uncomfortable position of having to work together because her best friend, Nadine, was marrying Jake's older brother, Travis, and the two of them were the designated Maid of Honor and Best Man.
Now, I have to admit that in the beginning I truly didn't like Jake all that much, and I didn't fully embrace him until the end when he started to show some redeeming qualities. Additionally, I thought his Best Man speech was a little inappropriate once I heard all the details about his and Kacey's past relationship. I did, however, enjoy how he seemed to mature before our eyes into the person his grandmother always knew he could be.
Why is the book entitled 'The Wager'? Well, it's because Grandma and Kacey/Travis have a bet about what the outcome will be from Grandma's meddling.
Overall, I gave this one 4 1/2 out of 5 roses. It was laugh out loud hilarious, and I couldn't help but love it. I enjoyed all his grandmother put him through and the way Char handled him. If you're looking for a book to make you laugh, you may want to check this one out. On the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale, this one scores a STEAM rating--too hot for a fan, but you still have a handle on things. You should use extreme caution when reading a book with this rating in public. People may inquire as to why you looked flustered and flushed. (less)