****My Synopsis**** Once upon a time Dominick 'Dom' Manton had the world by the tail. He was on the fast track to becoming a barrister and had a fiance****My Synopsis**** Once upon a time Dominick 'Dom' Manton had the world by the tail. He was on the fast track to becoming a barrister and had a fiance he loved and adored. Then his vindictive brother, George, made him choose between the life he was meant to lead and the half brother he loved. George decreed that if Dom didn't help him find the whereabouts of Tristan, their illegitimate half-brother, he wouldn't support him. Dom refused and that effectively ended his endeavors to become a barrister. Tristan had stolen a horse bequeathed to him in their father's codicil which George burned so he wouldn't have to honor it. The punishment for horse thievery is death and if Tristan had been found he'd have been sentenced to the hangman's noose. Along with Tristan's inheritance, Dom's own and that of their illegitimate sister also went up in smoke when the codicil was burned. So by not aiding George, Dom's path was irrevocably changed until now.
With George's recent demise, Dominick is set to step into the roll of Viscount which will allow him the opportunity to get some of what he lost back. Will that include the fiance he had to let go when his path in life took a drastic curve? As the two pair up to find out what happened to Nancy, Jane's cousin and George's widow, they'll get the opportunity to become reacquainted. Will Jane and Dom finally have a shot at the happy ever after that never was?
**********My Review********* This is sadly the last book in The Duke's Men series, but Ms. Jeffries saved the best for last. For years we've known the sacrifice Dom made for his family, but we never knew the full extent until now. Ms. Jeffries does an excellent job of capturing the emotions that would accompany a broken courtship that neither party truly wanted. The heartache, the questions, the feelings of betrayal and regret are all beautifully portrayed within the pages as the tale unfolds.
Dom is the exact opposite of his late brother George. He's loyal, caring, noble and the type of man who when he falls, he falls hard. He's never gotten over Jane, but never did anything to renew their courtship even after he made a name for himself as the successful owner of Manton Investigations. He honestly felt she would be better off without him. The problem was he never really gave Jane a chance to decide what she wanted for herself. He made that decision for her.
Jane knew some of what happened all those years ago, but never the full extent. She'd figured out what Dom had done to end their engagement and waited patiently for him to come to his senses. Yet in all those years he never had. Finally believing he hadn't felt the same way as she, she agreed to marry another man. When she and Dom start working together to find Nancy, however, it becomes clear that old feelings run deep.
I couldn't help but give this one 5 out of 5 roses. I loved seeing these two work through all the feelings they had and sort through everything that did and did not happen between them. The chemistry between this pair was combustible and I loved the merry dance these two did before all was said and done. If you're worried about disliking this one because one of the pair is engaged to another, don't. That was more of a platonic relationship built out of mutual respect for one another than love and there were no hard feelings so it didn't distract from the romance. In addition to the romance, I loved the mystery of what happened to Nancy. 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.
Notes: I received an eARC loan from the publisher. I am part of Sabrina Jeffries Street Team which means I love her books enough to volunteer to help get the word out about upcoming releases....more
So good. Review to come on or closer to release day due to publisher's wishes. Let me just say it was as good as you'd expect it to be based off the fSo good. Review to come on or closer to release day due to publisher's wishes. Let me just say it was as good as you'd expect it to be based off the first two books. In other words, it was awesome. :)...more
Once upon a time a young woman had the world at her beck and call. She was beautiful, wealthy, and came from a family of priv******My Synopsis:*******
Once upon a time a young woman had the world at her beck and call. She was beautiful, wealthy, and came from a family of privilege. It was predicted she'd make the match of the century, but that was not to be. For the girl was lonely and did the unthinkable--she thought herself in love and fell for the wrong man. Abandoned and with child, she became a pariah of society, an outcast looking into the world that once held her in such high esteem. With the world no longer at her feet, she vowed to get her own form of vengeance and did. For out of the ashes she rose, building a new life for herself where she lived on her own terms, not those of society. She reinvented herself into someone who was rich and powerful, who knows almost all of the tons dirty little secrets and isn't afraid to use them. With a mere word, she can ruin a man. Only a trusted few know she is the woman behind the man known to London society as Chase, the mysterious club owner who has never been seen, but whose presence is always felt. But every day has its dawn, and Lady Georgiana Pearson has decided its time to put an end to her wayward ways and find a man to make an honorable woman of her.
She's about to do what no one has ever done before--rise from the dead of elite society. And if anyone can do it, she can.
This is the fourth and, sadly, last book of The Rules of Scoundrels quartet, and let me just say, Ms. MacLean saved the best for last. If you were disappointed to find out Chase wasn't a man, I think after reading this book you'll be glad he wasn't. Finally, Chase's identity is revealed and he is a she. Lady Georgiana Pearson, Simon's strong but ruined sister in Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke's Heart, is Chase. We finally get the full story of what happened to her over the years and she's been quite busy. London society still remains clueless to her connection to Chase and Lady Georgiana intends to keep it that way. She's prepared to give up her share of the Fallen Angel, one of London's most lucrative gaming hells, in order to secure a match for herself to a titled gentleman which will, thereby, shield and protect her daughter, Caroline, from the scandal associated with her birth.
Georgiana doesn't believe in love and is not in search of a happily-ever-after for herself, but she's going to make sure that her past does not rob Caroline, her daughter, of a shot at one. Georgiana's a smart woman who's managed to survive and thrive in a male dominated world. She's no wilting violet, and instead of being devastated by her fall from grace, she sees her ruination as something that has liberated her from society's rules. After all one can only truly be ruined once. She's determined to make a better life for her daughter and that makes her quite dangerous to anyone who stands in her way. For everyone knows if you cross the path of a lioness trying to protect her cub, the outcome could be fatal.
Duncan West is devilishly handsome, rich, smart, and Georgiana's male equal in power. He owns 5 newspapers and his stories can make or break a man or woman's reputation. He's also the first man that Georgiana has been attracted to since Caroline's father, and we all know how well that went. Georgiana has only three requirements for a husband--that he have a title, that he be a decent man, and that he be good to Caroline. While Duncan meets two out of the three requirements, the main one, having a title to shield and protect her daughter from the viciousness of the ton, is the one he lacks. Georgiana will need to decide if she's willing to take another chance at love and trust Duncan with her deepest and darkest secret, or stick with her plan to marry an aristocrat. For as Duncan uncovers some of her secrets, she realizes that once he finds out she's Chase, he'll have the power to ultimately save or destroy her. After the betrayal she experienced at the hands of the last man she trusted, it may be too great a leap of faith for her to take.
I couldn't help but give this one 5 out of 5 roses. The story was fun and exciting with plenty of drama as well as humor and smooching. *grin* I loved Duncan's back story and the way he was with Georgiana and Caroline. Georgiana and Duncan, as a couple, were well matched and fun to watch. The chemistry between them was undeniable. On the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale, 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. I highly recommend reading this one. Ms. MacLean did a fabulous job of capturing the emotions of the characters on paper, and her novels are always highly entertaining, well thought out, and make you feel like you got your money's worth. I'll definitely be purchasing a copy of this one to add to my keeper shelf....more
Special Agent Kate O'Hare is once again about to team up with her former arch rival, criminal mastermind, Nicholas Fox. Paired***********MY SYNOPSIS:
Special Agent Kate O'Hare is once again about to team up with her former arch rival, criminal mastermind, Nicholas Fox. Paired together by the FBI, they've been recruited for a series of under-the-table missions to go after a class of criminals that operate outside the reach of the law. People who are so rich and powerful that they can manipulate the legal system so they never have to answer for their crimes, assuming that they're ever caught. This time, however, the case takes on a personal note. Lester Menendez is a smart, vicious, and sadistic drug lord who enjoys torturing and playing with his victims before killing them. If he finds your services no longer needed you more than likely will meet with an agonizing death. Menendez believes, like the Boy Scouts, in leaving no trace. Menendez, however, has expanded that to include anyone who could recognize or pin something on him. He's like a ghost which everyone knows about, but is invisible in many ways. No photographs, fingerprints, or DNA evidence exists to link him to his crimes.
When one of Fox's former team members alerts him of the death of her brother at Menendez's hand, he and Kate decide it's time for Menendez to be taken down. With the unofficial support of the FBI behind them, they're about to take down one of the world's most wanted, elusive, and dangerous criminals or die trying,
This is the second book of the Fox and O'Hare series and once again Evanovich and Goldberg have created a wonderful and highly entertaining story that has you wondering what will happen next while laughing your you know what off. In this book, Fox and Kate pose as a married couple who have found sunken treasure on the high seas and need someone to secretly bankroll the operation to retrieve the treasure without anyone being the wiser. Know your mark is the first rule of thumb a con man learns and Nick Fox is no novice in the art of conning. He'll use what he knows about Menendez to capture the man.
So what makes this series special besides the incredibly intricate and funny cons? Well, part of it is the underlying sexual tension between Fox and O'Hare. Kate is a straight laced, by-the-book type of agent who never deviated far from what is right. Nick's influence, however, is starting to wear off on her and he's slowly corrupting her, but in what appears to be a good way. I would have loved to be a fly on the wall when Nick and the FBI hashed out their plan to use him to go after the criminals who were untouchable. I can't help but think if Nick truly wanted to get out of anywhere he could have managed it on his own. He strikes me as an overly intelligent rich man who was bored and found pleasure in conning people. Not quite a Robin Hood, but I have a feeling as the series progresses, we're going to find out many more surprising things about Nick. I think the Topkapi Daggar theft, is only the cutting edge of what is to be revealed.
Another aspect of the series I love is all the little trivia like facts that are included within each story. I actually watched one episode of the Man from Atlantis and didn't realize at the time it was Patrick Duffy who played the main character. Plus, many of the artifacts, such as the Topkapi Dagger, actually exist. Others, such as the sunken ship, Nuestra Senora de Santa Maria, have a slightly altered name and history from what I can only guess to be their real-life counterparts. While I could find nothing on the Nuestra Señora de Santa Maria, a ship bearing the name Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes, which sank off Cape Santa Maria in Portugal, had a similar lawsuit which was won by the Spanish government against the salvage team who found and recovered its treasure.
Overall, I gave this one 4 out of 5 roses. It well paced, funny, and smartly written. I love the chemistry between Nick and Kate and hope we'll see this relationship evolve in the near future. I look forward to the next installment of this series and the next crazy scam these two will pull in the name of justice. Definitely the type of series I recommend reading to put you in a good mood.
Dean Mulligan never had much of a childhood. He grew up being moved from one foster home to the next. Christmas was not a day to*********My Synopsis:
Dean Mulligan never had much of a childhood. He grew up being moved from one foster home to the next. Christmas was not a day to look forward to as it was never any different from any other day. If anything, bad memories from childhood Christmases past lingered with him as an adult. It's no wonder he didn't grow up to have any Christmas holiday spirit. But it was more than that. Dean grew up thinking he wasn't worthy of being showered with gifts, didn't deserve to find happiness, didn't merit being loved. This year, however, Dean is going to realize the hard way that he has something to celebrate and that he's finally found the place where he belongs.
When an author tries to take a bit of an old classic and work a bit of its magic into their own story it usually goes one of two ways--it's either a hit or miss. Luckily, Ms. Bernard managed to zero in on the essence that made the classic, It's a Wonderful Life, such a wonderful story and use it to her advantage to create another memorable and enjoyable read of her very own. I absolutely adored the story and felt it captured the spirit of the original very well.
Dean Mulligan is a giver. After all he's been through he somehow managed to turn out to be a pretty great guy, but he doesn't see himself that way. He's been told by various people over the years that he'd never amount to much, that the world would be better if he'd never been born, and that he is no-good. While he's tried not to, a part of him has always believed that and so he's kept his distance from others. When he and Lizzie meet, he feels something for her he's never felt for anyone else, but doesn't feel worthy of her. He's even warned her that their relationship can't go anywhere. When he finds himself ironically trapped in a burning Christmas store, he figures it's just his luck he'd die in such a way. Christmas had never been kind to him. But as he lies there struggling in and out of consciousness, he's made to see what life would be like if he hadn't been around for the ride.
I couldn't help but give this one 5 out of 5 roses. It was the type of feel good story that makes you warm and fuzzy all over and is a perfect read for this holiday season. It was full of humor, touching scenes, and a happy ending. I loved the relationship between Dean and Lizzie and how she never gave up on him. 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. ...more
****MY SYNOPSIS*** He's a wanted man with many secrets trying to clear his name.
She's the toast of London's theater district with secrets of her own wh****MY SYNOPSIS*** He's a wanted man with many secrets trying to clear his name.
She's the toast of London's theater district with secrets of her own which could ruin her.
Thrown together by fate, will they prove to be each other's down fall or each others saving grace?
This is the seventh book of the Maiden Lane series. It can be read without picking up any of the previous books in the series. You won't feel lost or like you've missed anything, although, after reading this book, I can't guarantee you won't feel the urge to pick up its predecessors and emerse yourself in some great stories. Sorry, I just can't. *Smirk*
Lily Stump, who performs under the stage name Robin Goodfellow, is one of London's best comedic actresses of her time, but she's been blackballed by her former employer for taking an offer from one of his competitors, Mr. Harte had offered Lily an exorbitant amount of money, twice her current salary, to work exclusively for him. If all had gone well she would have done quite well for herself. Fate, however, had other plans when six months ago a fire broke out in the theater and spread to the surrounding pleasure garden burning the majority of the theater and garden to a crisp. With no means to make an income, she was forced to give up the elaborate rooms she, her son Indio, and his nurse maid, Maude, had shared. Mr. Harte feeling responsible for the blackballing had taken pity on them and was allowing them to stay in a portion of the theater which had the least amount of damage and was still safe to dwell in. What Mr. Harte had forgotten to do, however, was inform the other occupant of the area, Apollo Greaves, aka Viscount Kilbourne of the arrangement. This made for a humorous first meeting between the two.
Apollo has been lying low and attempting to avoid notice after he escaped from Bedlam. Accused of murder, he's attempting to find out who did the deed so he can clear his name and get his life back. The key to his being able to do so is to keep anyone from finding out he resides on the ground of the pleasure garden. He's posing as a gardener which suits him as it's something he loves to do and is good at. Ms. Goodfellow's presence is bound to attract unwanted attention to the area and possibly cause someone who knows the Viscount to start poking around. As Apollo is the type of man who stands out like a sore thumb--over six feet tall and broad in the shoulders, he's the type people notice.
What I loved about this story is that while the two were instantly attracted to each other, they didn't immediately fall in love. Apollo, by the way, had suffered an injury while in bedlam that had taken away his ability to speak. His inability to speak created some fun situations which allowed him to see a side of Lily he might never have been privileged enough to have seen had they been introduced in polite society. Lily doesn't hold a high opinion of the aristocracy, with good reason, and would probably have never given Apollo the time of day had she known who he was. Likewise, his patient interaction with her son shows Lily a side of Apollo she'd never would have seen because she keeps Indio hidden from the rest of the world.
Now, I have to mention the tale which is told piece by piece at the beginning of every chapter--The Minotaur. I recommend reading the pieces all together after reading the main story instead of piece by piece as the story progresses. I found it difficult to follow and figure out the link between the two when I attempted to read it that way. When I went back and read the Minotaur in its entirety all at once, I saw the similarities between the two stories much more clearly and I adored how the two fit together. Granted, Ms. Hoyt changed the tale from it's original version, but I found I quite liked her clever twist to the tale.
I gave this one 5 out of 5 roses. This one held a wonderful combination of humor, suspense and mystery all wrapped up within a fabulously steamy love story. I loved how Apollo saw Lily for who she truly was and loved all of her, despite what the ton might have thought. I have to admit, however, she seemed to be held in high esteem by both the ladies and gentlemen in her audiences, which I'm guessing would have been unusual at the time. I also enjoyed how Lily was a bit more independent than most woman of her time which made the story that much more fun. On the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale, this one gets 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 Definitely a book I Highly recommend. Just be warned, Ms. Hoyt cranked up the heat in this one. :)...more
****MY SYNOPSIS**** Raine Cameron has been gifted with visions--glimpses of the past and the future--for most of her life. What they mean is up for int****MY SYNOPSIS**** Raine Cameron has been gifted with visions--glimpses of the past and the future--for most of her life. What they mean is up for interpretation, which are sometimes easily distinguishable and other times easily misconstrued. She's been having one recurring vision which started shortly after her father's death when she was fourteen, In it, her mother is young and plotting to run off with a man who is not her father. Rumors have abound since her birth that she's not her father's daughter, for Raine looks nothing like her mother or father who were both fair haired. She believes the vision of the past is allowing her a glimpse of her true father, Torcall MacMurchaidh. With war breaking out in the Highlands and Torcall being part of a group of rebels that King Scotland has ordered to be captured, tried, and hanged (if found guilty which they undoubtedly will), she fears this may be her last chance to get to know the man who sired her.
To make a trip into dangerous enemy territory, Raine plans on tricking Laird Keir MacNeil, a formidable warrior and reputed womanizer, into escorting her into the thick of things. If anyone can get her in and out of the area safely, it's him.With a strong attraction between the two, however, is her life the only thing she has to worry about losing? For she has had a vision of the future, Keir was in it, and she's determined to never allow what she foresaw come to past.
This is the third and final book to the Highland Lairds trilogy, and I must say I thoroughly enjoyed it. It can be read as a standalone, but you'll probably be tempted to read the previous two books. Raine was such a fun character. Her antics had me wholeheartedly laughing and grinning. I didn't realize how much I miss this type of heroine until I started reading the book. She's smart, cunning, and charming enough to wrap men around her little finger. Plus, she's extremely headstrong, which makes for a dangerously fun combination. I kept wondering to myself what she was thinking and shaking my head as she pressed forward with her plans--skirting one obstacle after another--till she got what she wanted. There are times when I wish I was more like that. *grin*
Laird Keir MacNeil was a surprising character that totally deserved Raine. She's one of the few women who's ever rejected the man. He's attempted to find another to distract him from what he feels for Raine, but has never accomplished the feat. For an intelligent captain who is used to being in charge and keeping his men in tow, a determined, misguided young woman seems to be his undoing. I found this a fun thing to watch. I loved seeing him struggle to keep his jealousy in check because he had no right to be jealous.
Overall, I gave this one 4 out of 5 roses. It was fun and lighthearted read that made me smile. I liked how these two seemed to have so little in common at the beginning, but ended up having quite a bit by the end. I liked seeing these two grow into a couple, and Keir come to the realization there was something to the visions Raine saw. I enjoyed how everyone seemed to know before these two that they belonged together. On the romance rating scale, 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. ...more
"Almost two centuries had passed since Scion arrived. It was established in response to a perceived threat to the empire. The******MY SYNOPSIS*******
"Almost two centuries had passed since Scion arrived. It was established in response to a perceived threat to the empire. The epidemic, they called it—an epidemic of clairvoyance. The official date was 1901, when they pinned five terrible murders on Edward VII. They claimed the Bloody King had opened a door that could never be shut, that he’d brought the plague of clairvoyance upon the world, and that his followers were everywhere, breeding and killing, drawing their power from a source of great evil.
What followed was Scion, a republic built to destroy the sickness. Over the next fifty years it had become a voyant-hunting machine, with every major policy based around unnaturals. Murders were always committed by unnaturals. Random violence, theft, rape, arson—they all happened because of unnaturals. Over the years, the voyant syndicate had developed in the citadel, formed an organized underworld, and offered a haven for clairvoyants. Since then Scion had worked even harder to root us out." (from 'The Bone Season')
Scion, however, was a lie. It was a puppet government set up to hide what was really happening. The government sold Clairvoyants out in an effort to save the rest of the population. What truly happened all those years ago was that the Rephaim began to populate the world after the etherial threshold between our world and theirs broke. This exposed Earth to a dimension called the Netherworld where the Rephaim resided. Now they are slowly taking over out world one country at a time with the goal of total control. Clairvoyants play a role in all of this because the Rephaim can feed off their auras, but no one is truly safe from the Rephaim.
After six months spent in captivity, Paige Mahoney has finally escaped Sheol I, the Rephaim stronghold. She, the seven seals, and those who escaped with them during the night of the bicentennial celebration may be out immediate danger, but they're not safe yet. Paige and her fellow escapees are Scion's most wanted fugitives and the predictions made by the clairvoyants and psychics in the Rephaim employ are getting closer to figuring out she and the seals reside within the I-4 district of London. While she may wish to escape from being under Jaxon's power, she'll need his protection now more than ever. For the Rephaim will do whatever it takes to keep their presence a secret.
Can such a powerful foe be defeated? Paige believes if the syndicate can be united against them, the human race may just stand a chance.
One of the things I love about this series is the incredible world building. I know some are a tad bit overwhelmed by the complexity of it, but I enjoy that feeling of stepping into a familiar yet very different version of our world. Plus, it's that very complexity that makes this series so great. Set in an alternate universe primarily around London and the surrounding areas, this series blends the familiar with the unfamiliar in an eloquent way that brings the story to life and makes it easy for the reader to picture and relate to. Additionally, I adore how Ms. Shannon has created her own supernatural beings, the Rephaim, that are a combination otherworldly beauty, intelligence, power, strength, and cruelty.
In this installment, we learn more about the workings of the syndicate and of the I-4 Mime lord, Jaxon Hall. The syndicate lives in a constant power struggle. The head of the organization always needing to watch his or her back, The Syndicate is only as powerful as the person who heads it. They can strengthen or weaken it depending on how they rule. The current Underlord/leader, Haymarket Hector, does not always do what is in the best interest of the majority, and while Paige wants to address the Unnatural Assembly, which consists of the thirty-six mime-lords and mime-queens of the citadel who oversee the London syndicate, and inform them of the existence of the Rephaim, Jaxon believes to do so would be unwise. This causes additional friction between the two.
Jaxon is a complicated individual that I loved learning more about. He's a hard man to get a fix on because he hides himself within his role of mime-lord. He truly seems to care for those who work under him and is much more lenient than others who rule in the underworld. The conflict between him and Paige seems to profoundly affect him, and I wasn't sure what to make of him until the very end. I think there will be even more surprises regarding Jaxon in the future, and I look forward to reading about them. Could he be one of the survivors of the failed uprising against the Rephaim that happened twenty years ago? I kind of hope so.
I couldn't help but give this one 5 out of 5 roses. It was one of the best sequels I've read and couldn't put it down once I started reading. So be warned that you need to give yourself plenty of time to read this one. One of the best parts of the book was seeing Paige start to come into her own and grow as an individual. I can't wait to see what she'll do in future. The ending had a great twist that left me grinning and wanting the next book immediately. I only had two minor complaints about the book. The first is that we didn't get to see a lot of Warden ( although having Jaxon's story made that forgivable). The second is that I wish the glossary was located in the front for eBook readers instead of the back. It'd make it easier to maneuvering between what I'm reading and what terms I need to look up. On the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale, this one earned a BLUSH rating--at the beginning stages of romance where something is just starting to be stirred. I look forward to seeing the relationship grow between Paige and Warden grow. Is it doomed to end tragically like Romeo and Juliet or will Ms. Shannon allow for a happy ending? I guess we'll just have to wait and see.
Notes: I got an advanced eARC from the publisher. Thank you....more
Della Tsang is finally working for the FRU, Fallen Research Unit (think paranormal FBI), and she's just been handed her next assign****My SYNOPSIS****
Della Tsang is finally working for the FRU, Fallen Research Unit (think paranormal FBI), and she's just been handed her next assignment--by a ghost. Della recently worked with FRU in bringing down and capturing Craig Anthony and his crew who were illegally enslaving newly made vamps by using his family's funeral home as a front. Now a vision bequeathed her by a ghost has let her know that two newly made vampires are trapped and buried underground. As not all the vamps that Craig Anthony enslaved are accounted for, Della's betting the two vamps she saw in the vision are part of that missing number. If the two vamps are truly alive, then Della and Chase will be in a race against time to save them. For vampires can only survive for a few weeks without a fresh blood source. With only the first names of the victims to go on and very little else, the ghost makes it crystal clear what she wants....
This is the second book in the Shadow Falls: After Dark trilogy. For those of you unfamiliar with the series, Shadow Falls is a school for kids who are supernaturally gifted. The school runs under the guise of a drug rehabilitation center, for most teens who go through a supernatural transformation tend to display symptoms similar to that of a drug user. They tend to distance themselves from friend and family, are secretive, and, for some--vamps in particular, stay awake at night and are exhausted during the day. Supernatural beings have a species identifying pattern which hovers in front of their foreheads and can be seen by other supernatural beings. This helps the administration of Shadow Falls easily identify which kids to select for their program. Della has been a student at Shadow Falls for several years.
Della is an honest to god vampire with remarkable powers because she is one of a rare breed known as reborns. She wasn't born a vampire and she wasn't bitten, but Della, and the majority of her family, are carriers of the VI virus which, when it goes live, turns people into vampires. If a person with the VI virus has an open wound that is exposed to the blood of someone with the active virus (ie someone who's been turned), they themselves will become a vampire. Among those who get turned, a small percentage go through a second turning process which, if they survive, they'll come out with stronger powers than the average vamp. These vampires are known as reborns because, in a way, they've gone through a second vampire birth.
Many who go through a rebirth never complete the process and die. Reborn vamps can increase the odds of survival of another vampire going through their vampire rebirth by bonding with them. It's sort of like a blood transfusion where antibodies are exchanged, but the process also links the two vampires together in a rather disturbing way. The two can sense each others emotions. Della is still trying to figure out just exactly what bonding with another vampire means. Chase, the vampire who bonded with her in Reborn, keeps hinting that they're fated to be together. That doesn't fly with Della who is not one to just take someone at their word whom she's only recently met. Besides, Chase has admitted he'd previously bonded to another vamp when he was reborn, so she's pretty sure a relationship and bonding doesn't automatically go hand in hand. While she does feel an attraction to the guy, she doesn't fully trust him and with good reason. Chase is holding on to a lot of secrets. Of that Della is quite sure.
In this book, Della is contacted by another ghost, but the whole vision is confusing. She doesn't know if she's seeing something from the past or the present. In the vision, she is literally dropped into another person and sees and feels what they do. A pair of newly turned vampires are trapped underground and are surviving on each other's blood. Vampires can only survive so long doing this and Della doesn't know if the ghost is showing Della her past or if she is showing Della someone else's present, but Della has a strong sense the girl she jumped into is alive. She must find out who exactly the girl is to save her. Additionally, she'll have to work with Chase to accomplish it.
Della is not the easiest person to get to know. She's been betrayed and hurt by many of the people she's loved. For one so young she's suffered a lot of disappointment in her life. So she guards and protects herself and doesn't give a person the benefit of the doubt, instead they have to earn her trust. For many, this would put them off. For Chase, it kind of presents a challenge and Chase never passes on a challenge.
Chase is a secret person who works for the Vampire Council. Ms. Hunter does an excellent job with his character development because I, like Della, keep waffling as to whether I like him or not. Is he what he seems or is he a manipulator playing Della for a fool? Is he trying to use the bond between them to recruit her for the Vampire Council? It's hard to say.
Overall, I gave this one 4 1/2 out of 5 roses. I love that Della is such a strong female character who doesn't compromise herself for anyone. I liked the mystery of finding out who and where the missing vamps were and the surprising link to Della. This one ends in a cliffhanger, but it wasn't the type that leaves you frustrated that the author left some part undone, instead it leaves you looking to the next book with anticipation. I do admit I am a little sad there's only one book left. I wonder if we can look forward to another spin-off from the Shadow Falls series? I'm crossing my fingers.
Notes: I received an ARC from the author, and I'm on her street team. What that means is I love and support her books enough to try to spread the word about them. ...more
“I see things.” Adam’s eyebrows formed either concentration or uncertainty. “More than one thing. It’s like — like the animals at
“I see things.” Adam’s eyebrows formed either concentration or uncertainty. “More than one thing. It’s like — like the animals at the Barns. I see things … sleeping.”
“Dreaming,” Persephone agreed.
As soon as he’d called her attention to the sleepers, they came to the forefront of her consciousness.
“Three,” she added.
“Three in particular,” she murmured. “To be woken. Oh, no. No. Two. One should not be woken.”
For years Gansey has been putting together his motley crew while searching for the ever elusive Glendower. Now beneath a mountain in a cave, the presence of three sleeping entities have been sensed. Could one be the man they seek? If so, who are the other two and why should one not be woken? If the wrong one does awake, what will happen?
One thing is finally clear--Gansey and his friends are a part of something big and Blue is right in the middle of it all.
“Queens and kings Kings and queens Blue lily, lily blue Crowns and birds Swords and things Blue lily, lily blue”
This is the third book of the Raven Cycle series, and I HIGHLY recommend you read the previous books. Each book builds upon the other, and if you don't read its predecessor, you'll be missing out on some pertinent information and facts. What I love about Ms. Stiefvater's books is, that by reading one of her stories, it's like entering into another world or another dimension of our own that you seldom wish to leave. They say a picture can paint a thousand words, likewise, a good book can generate a thousand pictures and make you feel as though you've entered another realm and that is exactly what Maggie manages to do.
Besides the phenomenal world building, Ms. Stiefvater's books make you think and consider everything that she throws your way, as well what she leaves out. She doesn't spoon feed the reader or the characters the answers, and they have to puzzle out what everything means or suggests. This, in my humble opinion, is a magical device that pulls the reader into the story and makes it appear interactive. I admit, however, there are some readers who prefer to sit back and let the author do all the work, and if that's the kind of book you prefer, this might not be the book for you. For you there are plenty of books out there that will let you veg out for several hours while you read. This one however will bring out your creative nature while stimulating your mind. So beware.
For those of you unfamiliar with the series, it is told in the style of the old fairy tales with a bit of the hero's journey added in, and the flavor of a coming of age story. Gansey, Adam, Ronan, Noah, and Blue are attempting to find "Owain Glyndr — Owen Glendower to non-Welsh speakers — a medieval Welsh noble, who had fought against the English for Welsh freedom and then, when capture seemed inevitable, disappeared from the island and from history altogether." Glendower is rumored to have had some magical abilities such as the power of invisibility, but that is not why Gansey is so obsessed with the ancient noble. Seven years ago Gansey should have died, but didn't. He was and is deathly allergic to bee/wasp stings and one day he literally stumbled upon a nest and was stung repeatedly. Instead of dying, which should have happened shortly thereafter, he heard a voice which stated, ‘You will live because of Glendower. Someone else on the ley line is dying when they should not, and so you will live when you should not.’ Gansey believes Glendower will grant a favor to whoever wakes him and that he was saved so he could wake the ancient warrior. This is his quest and by association that of his friends'.
The fairy tale portion comes into play via a few routes. First, you have Blue who comes from a line of psychics who has been told by, not one, but many psychics that if she kisses her true love, he'll die. Secondly, you have Cabeswater--a seemingly timeless, mystical, and magical place that exists upon the ley lines and at times disappears. It seems to exist outside our world with seasons that can differ from our own, has trees that can talk, and can alter its appearance depending on what it wants revealed or found. At times it appears to be a living entity. Lastly, we have Ronan, who isn't an average person; he's a Greywaren. He can take items out of dreams and make them real.
This book starts up almost a month from where The Dream Thieves leaves off. Maura, Blue's mom, has gone off in search of Blue's father and everyone is beginning to worry. With all that has gone on and Blue's senior year starting, they're wondering whether or not they should start looking for her for surely she wouldn't miss Blue's graduation.
With each book in the series we learn something new and significant about one or more of the friends Gansey has surrounded himself with. At one point, Gansey said that with each person who was added to his inner circle he felt a sense of rightness about it. Well, with this book there seems to be no doubt that each will play an important role in whatever will transpire, but now it's beginning to look like each was fated to do so. In this book we find out Blue, just as Ronan in the previous book, is more involved in everything than anyone could ever have imagined. We'll find out exactly who her father is and how he is connected to everything thereby connecting Blue. With what we learn in this book, I can't help but think that Blue may be the key to waking Glendower.
Besides learning more about Blue and her powers, we're also starting to learn more about Adam's connection to Cabeswater. I've been wondering since he made the deal to be its hands and eyes just what he'd gotten himself into, and we're slowly starting to see what that bargain entails. Originally I thought it was a foolish thing to agree to, but now I'm not so sure. While Ms. Stiefvater is no doubt holding information back, she's throwing us lots of breadcrumbs which keep us, the readers, fully engaged and wondering what will happen next.
Additionally, we finally meet the elusive Colin Greenmantle and he is nothing like I expected him to be. He's the man who hired Mr. Gray in the previous book to get the Graywaren. We're also introduced to several new characters including Greenmantle's wife, and I look forward to seeing how they'll effect things. Some seemed destined to shake things up.
I confess that I adore this series and couldn't help but give this book 4 1/2 out of 5 roses. I expect great things from Ms. Stiefvater's books, and she never seems to let me down. I adore the intricate web that the author is weaving, and I am totally ensnared. I am curious as to how this tale will end, but I'm nowhere near ready for it to be over. *Sniff* What's exciting is that we're finally starting to see some of the visions from the first book come to fruition, so it truly does feel like we're seeing the beginning of the end. FYI, this one ends in a cliffhanger and I can't wait to get my hands on the next book.
Notes: I received an eARC loan from the publisher....more
My Synopsis: Lady Zoe Keane is not your average Lady of the ton. She stands to inherit a sizable fortune, title and all the land that goes with it, pluMy Synopsis: Lady Zoe Keane is not your average Lady of the ton. She stands to inherit a sizable fortune, title and all the land that goes with it, plus a seat in the House of Lords. Regardless of who she does or doesn't marry, as her father's only direct heir she will become a Countess. That is, unless the seeds of doubt her aunt planted about her parentage turn out to be true. In a desperate attempt to get to the truth of the matter, she hires Manton Investigations, nicknamed the Duke's Men, to find out if the deep, dark secret her family has supposedly been keeping from her since birth has any grain of truth to it. Her one hope in hiring the prestigious agency is that Tristan Bonnaud, one of the agency's investigators, is not the person who will end up working with her. He has a habit of rubbing her the wrong way.
Tristan Bonnaud is a man with a mission--to dig up some dirt on his half brother, George, the Viscount Rathmoor, and drag his name through the mud. The feud between the two has been going on for years and came to a head thirteen years ago when George deprived his siblings, both legitimate and illegitimate, of their rightful inheritance when he burnt the codicil their father had written on his deathbed. The only thing that might stand in Tristan's way of getting his revenge is Lady Zoe Keane and her silly quest to find a gypsy woman named Drina who may hold the key to the family's skeleton in the closet. A man used to having women fall for him, the fact that Zoe show's no sign of doing so unsettles him.Working for her is not something he is looking forward to. While his view of London society, with their better than everyone else attitude, is not a high one, he soon realizes her case may be the perfect guise to hide his own inquiries from his family.
Sabrina Jeffries has created another wonderful romance that left me smiling and wanting more. Thank goodness the next book is scheduled to come out in January. While you could probably get by with diving directly into this, the third book of the series, I highly recommend you don't and read the books in their proper order. The growth in Tristan's character is more apparent if you start with the first. Additionally, you'll miss out on Lady Zoe's and Tristan's first meeting if you don't read the second book in the series.
Tristan Bonnaud is from the wrong side of the tracks. A bastard by birth accused of horse thievery with a reputation of being a scoundrel with the ladies. In a nutshell, he's a father's worst nightmare. However, not everything is as it appears and that is certainly the case with Tristan. He's truly a complicated and misunderstood individual with family issues that need to be resolved. Years ago he did what he needed to to survive and keep his family (mother and sister) from being homeless and left to starve. As his father had meant for him to have the thoroughbred named Blue Blazes (the horse had been left to him in the codicil his brother burnt), he sold the horse and used the money to get his mother, sister, and himself to France where his mother's family resided. While we've heard of the events which transpired that fateful night when their father Ambrose Manton, the former Viscount Rathmoor, died, we finally get to see exactly what happened and I rather enjoyed this.
Zoe is an interesting character. She's grown up knowing her place in society was secure. Because of this, she's colorful, outspoken, and surprisingly well respected among her peers. All that could change if what her aunt told her turns out to be true. Instead of marrying whom she wants, to keep her standing in society she may need to marry her cousin who is next in line after her to inherit the family title and whom she's never met. Not one to wait in the wings, she expects Tristan to take her with when he does his investigating. What ensues is a delightfully fun situation where Tristan attempts to seduce Zoe only to show his true colors and have the tables turned on him. I simply adored this.
I couldn't help but give this one 5 out of 5 roses. It was fun and smartly written with a dramatic ending. I loved the sexual tension between Zoe and Tristan. Each was attracted to each other, but knew giving into that desire could have major consequences. On the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale, this one gets a STEAM rating leaning toward a SHOWER--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.
Notes: Received an eARC loan from the publisher and am part of Sabrina Jeffries street team....more
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 wheMy 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....more
“This ring is the key to your destinies,” (...) “This ring . . .” the Gypsy intoned, “belongs to a prince.”(...) “The rightful master ofMy 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. ...more