When a case of mistaken identity goes deliciously right, Jillian and Kyle both get more than they bargained for!
Kidnapped for Christmas is a quick, fun erotic read with a happy ending... hee hee I highly recommend it to fans of erotic fiction who are looking for a sizzling hot read with a dash of seasonal spice Enjoy!(less)
This book was well written, well played out, and I believe will be well loved by romance fans of all kinds. I'm sure there are many amnesia themed romances out there, but this was my first one and I really enjoyed it. I felt like this book really stood out from the masses of historical romance out there in that the characters were wonderfully developed and the circumstances keeping our heroine and hero apart were more realistically observed. There was no magic solution. Society doesn't just look the other way like they do in most historical romances. Georgia actually has to work and make sacrifices in order to be with the man she loves.
I loved the incorporation of classic literature. It completely endeared the hero to me that he woke up from his accident thinking he was Robinson Crusoe. I respected the hero. Once he got his memories back, he didn't have a miraculous change of character. He was the same basic person who happened to learn some lessons about life and love. He didn't delude himself that he could make the ton accept lower class Georgia. He didn't say "Oh, what the hell!" in the name of love. He unselfishly considers the ramifications it would have on Georgia's happiness and well being. This wonderful fact gave Georgia the opportunity to be one of the strongest heroines I have ever read. I was so proud of her by the end. She never swooned and got her way. Everything she got, she had to bust her butt for.
Aside from the main characters, the supporting characters were also well written and well loved. From the hilariously creepy neighbor suffering from a bought of unrequited love, to Georiga's rough and tumble son-in-law, I found myself loving every character in this book.
My only complaint is that the ending was rushed. The majority of the book was fleshed out perfectly, engaging readers in the lives and circumstances of the characters. Georgia's plan to inflitrate the ton was such a fun idea. I really thought it could have been its own book, but wouldn't have minded Marvale making her book a bit longer to incorporate more of how Georgia and Roderick deceive the ton together. I felt cheated out of that part of the book.
Recommendation: Get cozy, make your favorite beverage, and get ready for a romance read that will take you across the emotional spectrum and leave you cheering for a strong heroine. No wilting violets here!(less)
Henry VIII is at the height of his reign and he's hungry like the wolf...
King Henry VIII is infamous for his ability to go through wives like dirty underwear with his fickle attentions and desire for a male heir. This book tells a tale untold until now.Henry's Europe is characterized as a land balancing precariously between human and demon kind. The Vatican acknowledges the existence of demons and even promotes their existence because, "..frightened people are more likely to attend church." Seriously, that's what they're going with. The Protektorate is an organization overseen by the Vatican that attempts to keep the demons in check to an extent, but in all honesty is pretty useless. Henry contracts lycanthropy and spends most of the book loping through England at night tearing into peasants with his great big teeth and hiding random body parts in his closet.
The title says it all, really I think readers will find an enormous lack of direction and misplaced humor. There are definitely some funny parts, but there are fairly few truly laughable moments. It is easy to see where the author tries to get a twisted laugh out of his reader and fails completely leading to much head shaking and exasperated sighing. I am a huge fan of dark humor, horror, and novel ideas. However in this case I just didn't like it. I think it is mostly because I have been incredibly spoiled by Christopher Moore and his fantastic books that mix dark humor, horror, and quirkiness superbly while still offering the reader an emotionally charged plot. His stories make you question just how fucked up your sense of humor actually is one minute and then show you that no matter how dark it gets, there is always heart at the center of it. I guess what I'm trying to say is there is a method to Mr. Moore's madness, whereas Henry VIII: Wolfman is just mad.
The pages of this book are soaked with blood and guts. I can get into that for zombies and the like, but when it comes to cracking jokes during the graphic slaughtering of children, I tend to be revolted. At one point, wolfman Henry digs up the grave of a recently deceased child, pulls of its head and limbs, and buries his snout in the gaping neck hole to feast. This is all after sinking his teeth into the ample breasts of the dead child's mother and ripping them off of her while she screams in agony. I am in no way debating morals here, I have read and enjoyed many a blood fest with novels like Z.A. Recht's Plague of the Dead and darkly humorous tales like Christopher Moore's A Dirty Job. If you can write your gore and humor with a satisfying storyline I commend you, it just doesn't happen here.
I won't lie though, the reading experience wasn't entirely unenjoyable. The text is well written and for all its sillyness keeps your reading at a brisk pace. I was brought to tears laughing at two different parts because of how absolutely ridiculous they were. That was honestly the thing that kept me reading, the twisted desire to see what crazy thing the author would come up with next. After all my criticisms for this book I did have the pleasure of reading the best irreverent death scene ever. I almost feel like bearing with the rest of the book is worth it just to read the death by fat ass scene. Don't have a cushion to smother your poor suffering patient with? Have the fattest man in the room sit on his face. Genius. I honestly mean that.
So Wicked reader, are you confused? Are you wondering right now "Did she like it or not?" The only answer I can give you is this. I didn't enjoy the story so much as I enjoyed the way it fucked with my head. I'm giving it 2.5 stars because of the butt death scene and because this book made me really think about what I liked in a book and how far someone can mess with historical accuracy before I stop taking it seriously. And that brings me to my final advice about this book. Don't take it seriously, enjoy the insane, twisted ride it takes you on. If you are not into the darker side of fiction, this is probably not the book for you. However if you enjoy a good mind fuck now and then, I suggest you give Henry VIII: Wolfman a read. And then tell me what you thought because I am dying to discuss this book with someone. (less)
I need to clear something up in response to all the negative reviews.
This is not a book you can read without having read the first one! The world is intricate and fantastic just like any other deep fantasy book. The Ice Song books are also very dark and at times strange, but no less beautiful for these elements' existence. If that is not something you are into, and you are not a fan of deep fantasy then you probably won't like this book. So before you make a harsh 2 star or lower judgment on it, I suggest you take the time to read book 1, it is only fair to this amazing author's hard work.
With that out of the way,Tattoo is a beautiful follow up book. The characters and the morbidly beautiful world are just as wonderful and developed as you remember them. My only complaint is that the plot wasn't as well fleshed out as Ice Song. I felt like book one had a solid plot. We knew what the objective was and we were emotionally invested in the outcome. In book two, it is less clear what exactly is the objective. Soryk wants his own life free from his primary Sorykah who just wants to live a quiet life with her children.
Readers get a better understanding of some of the supporting characters like Sidra the Lovely and Dunya the dog-faced girl. We also get lessons in some of the more concrete mythology of the world. I found these aspects very enjoyable and a nice distraction from the uncertainty of the major plot line.
Overall, it is worth a read for those who have read the first book. Laying the groundwork for other prospective installments, Tattoo will continue your journey through this vividly strange world. (less)
Chloe Duncan is your average teenage girl who has found herself living a life she has always dreamed of. Everything seems perfect with her dreamy boyfriend Evan and close friends as the new school year opens, however the addition of a new student to the mix, Logan, sends Chloe reeling. Whenever Logan is around, she sees visions of another life, and when these visions start seeping into her dreams, Chloe starts to seek answers.
Dreaming of Beauty is the shockingly good indie retelling of the tale of Sleeping Beauty accompanied by a cast of wonderfully colorful characters. This was by far the best young adult book I read last year. The majority of the mainstream titles were extremely disappointing, lacking in quality and substance. Dreaming of Beauty is smart, funny, and offers a realistic portrayal of teens and their families. You know how in many YA books the parents seem to never be around, allowing their teens to have adventures with vampires, faeries, angels, and the like? Well the parents here are actually very involved and extremely likable.
The pacing feels a bit strange as it is split up into three sections, and each section feels like a new story. However, I was so taken in by the story and interested in finding out what was really going on, it didn't slow me down significantly. By the time I was half-way through section two, I was so enthralled in Camille's side of the story that I stayed up until 1:00 am to finish the book.
I very much enjoyed the juxtaposition between what was happening in Chloe's present day lifetime, and the events that happened to her as Camille. The backdrop of France was described in lovely detail and the bittersweet tale that unfolds there will capture your heart.
Overall, a fun read to cure your YA blues. I'm very much looking forward to a sequel which appears to be featuring a different fairytale princess.
Recommendation: A must read for YA fans and lovers of fairy tales and happy endings. (less)
Caroline Broadhurst is a loyal wife and has been since the day she married her MUCH older husband at 14. Now that she is 28 and he is nearing his end, Mr. Broadhurst desperately wants and heir. After years of being unable to conceive not only with Caroline, but also with his two previous wives, he has a proposal for his dutiful wife. Become impregnated by a well standing gentleman or lose everything that should be rightfully hers once he dies.
This isn't a new concept to period romances, however Katy Madison writes her interpretation with great style and emotion. I enjoyed the characters and the overall read of the book, but I just couldn't get past all the unconsensual fooling around Caroline is forced to do. I understand that it is part of the plot and that she has to endure a certain amount of it to be convincing to her husband, but Caroline spends more time being fondled by these disgusting brutes than she does romancing with our hero Jack Applegate. Honestly, the romance doesn't even really get going until the last third of the book! For this reason, I didn't enjoy it as much as I thought I would.
There is a lot to like about All About Seduction. It was a fast paced read, with great detail of the time period and well thought out characters. Caroline is not your average wealthy lady, she actually cares about the people who work the cotton mill that makes her and her husband rich. She advocates for the workers and even does her best to keep young children from participating in the difficult and dangerous labor. I really enjoyed this about her character.
I believe most readers will enjoy this book, but may be caught off guard by the indecency that Caroline is forced to endure. There really wasn't enough romantic development between the Jack and Caroline for my taste, but there you have it. This book is an enjoyable read with a sweet ending, but leaves something to be desired in the way of romance.(less)
This was just ok for me, but then again, it was a freebie so I can't really complain. Not going to cover this one for the blog, just something to read...moreThis was just ok for me, but then again, it was a freebie so I can't really complain. Not going to cover this one for the blog, just something to read when you don't know what to read next. (less)
Sir Ivor Mackintosh, known as Hawk, is summoned by His Grace the King of Scotts to secretly escort his son Jamie to safety from the greedy Duke of Albany. Little does he know that Jamie's nursemaid is actually the young prince's cousin Marsi, a ward of the crown fleeing from the prospect of a forced marriage.
I really enjoyed reading this book. I have been looking for a long time for a series that gave me a similar feeling to the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon, and Highland Hero fit the bill. Now I'm not saying this is anywhere near as epic as Outlander however, it was very fun and had a similar adventurous feel to it. The author really did her homework when she put this book together. The settings and cultural feel authentic; readers who appreciate history will be sucked right in. It does drag on a bit towards the middle while they are making their way to Saint Andrews, but picks up again right in time for the closing chapters. The only real complaint I have is that the constant use of Scottish Colloquialism is very distracting and slows down the pace at times giving the speech an unnatural feel for American readers. I can't imagine what it must have been like to write "I ken fine!" and "In troth!" a few hundred times while putting this book together.
I would recommend this for Highlander Romance fans, history lovers, and anyone who wants a romantic adventure. The characters are very lovable especially young Jamie and scrappy Marsi. Ivor kind of fell flat for me as a hero, but then again I also like my love scenes a bit juicier than the ones provided in this book. (less)
There's something wrong when your final thoughts about a book are, "Thank God it's over!" I wasn't sure if I would make it through this mess of a book, but I am very proud to say I stuck with it all the way to the craptastic end.
The author's bio at the back of the book says Ayers likes to infuse her stories with humor... If this is Ms. Ayers' idea of humor, then I am sad to say it never matured past middle school. Completely horrible and unnecessary instances of phrases like, "See ya, wouldn't wanna be ya," clutter the story with juvenile interruptions that both distracted me and lessened any chance of me actually liking the book each time one popped up. Just so you know, they pop up a lot.
The main characters are flat and boring. Serah, the heroine, is a pretty two dimensional character with a bratty streak. Every time she had one of her abrupt and uncalled for outbursts, I honestly wondered if the author was channeling a teenager rather than a grown woman. Our hero Mathias is little more than a walking, talking slab of beef cake. Literally no personality. Supporting characters are what made this bearable, though still not good enough..
Reading this book made me feel like Ayers read a lot of romance novels and decided to take a crack at it by combining all the most cliche aspects of romance writing into one massive muscle rippling fest. And I don't mean that in a good way. Mathias' personality has such a low pulse that the author tries to make up for it by making his muscles ripple and his eyes burn with desire every other sentence. The man can't breathe without a pec or a bicep popping suggestively.
Recommendation Don't waste your time with this one unless you want a good example of what not to do when writing a paranormal romance. : (less)
This was just ok for me. Nothing really special honestly. It just seems to be another drop in the historical romance bucket that has been dumped over...moreThis was just ok for me. Nothing really special honestly. It just seems to be another drop in the historical romance bucket that has been dumped over my head this year. I enjoy historical romance very much, but so many of these books are the same. The plotlines, concepts, and scandals seem to meld together in one big gooey historical romance fondue pot, giving me the constant feeling I'm pretty sure I've dipped my bread in this cheese before. (less)
When I first started reading this, I was a bit put off by how rushed it felt. Much of the time the characters spend together is off page leaving weeks unaccounted for. I felt disoriented, almost like there wasn't enough thought put into the actual events of the book, but once I hit about a third of the way through, the story really opened up to me. Details about the world, the catastrophe it has suffered, and its characters are revealed slowly as Avry travels, a bit against her will, to heal a sick prince who could save the fifteen realms, but has left a scar on more than one aspect of Avry's life. Her traveling companions must convince her that Prince Ryne is worth saving, and worth giving up her own life for.
I was intrigued by the magic woven throughout Avry's world and ultimately how the rare healers came to be. The mystery of the Death and Peace Lillies kept me interested, and when I finally found out what they had to do with the overall plot, I was pretty impressed. Some aspects of this book were easy to anticipate, but I seem to get that with almost every book I read.
The thing that really makes or breaks a book for me are its characters and Snyder does not disappoint. Avry's band of misfits were so endearing, especially Poppa Bear. Their interactions with Avry and slow but satisfying development are what really invested me in this story.
What I genuinely appreciated about this book is that it wasn't focused on forcing the romance between Avry and Kerrick. It just fell into place while Snyder focused on the goal of saving the realms, introducing fantastic characters, and offering the reader a genuinely enjoyable experience. Although the book could have stood on it's own, I can say that I am truly looking forward to further installments of this series. (less)
A sexy gladiator and his master getting sweaty? Yes please! The cover is gorgeous and so are the men, so you'd think this book would have blown my mind. Unfortunately not so much.
This book was just ok for me. Usually my next phrase would be, "and here's why..." However, in this case I have to say I couldn't quite put my finger on why this wasn't a great read for me. The premise was fairly new to me and the characters were likable enough. The story is truly heartfelt and the love between Cealius and Gaidres is both fiery and sweet. There is just something here that is missing for me, some essential spark that isn't tangible, the story either has it or it doesn't. I found myself becomign easily distracted and taking frequent breaks to read something else. I have to give the authors props for writing such hot and steamy sex scenes, but even these fell flat for me at times.
Lot's of people who have reviewed this book seem to love it, so I feel kind of weird saying it was just ok, but there you have it!(less)
Puck is quite literally a sexy bastard. Women want to bed him and men want to be him. However, after returning to London after a long stay in Paris, Puck finds the English are a bit more concerned with his bastard status than his Parisian fanbase.
Regina is the daughter of a status seeking merchant who intends to profit off of marrying her to a title. Only seen as a commodity by her father and left to fend for herself by her alcoholic mother, Regina just wants to have a little fun before she is sold off to the highest bidder.
This was a very quick and entertaining read. Puck was charming and completely lovable living up to his namesake nicely. His interactions with Regina were fun, but I felt she gave into him a bit easily. I was also irritated that she seemed to obey whatever he said without much of a fight. I like my heroines to be a bit spunky and not so easily attained, but I guess if my dad were about to sell me off like a horse I would run off with Puck in an instant too!
The two meet at a masquerade ball which was a bit cliche and common in these types of stories, however there was an interesting plot twist. Regina's cousin Miranda is kidnapped at the ball and she must find her with the help of Puck before Miranda is sold off into the sex slave trade. Pretty different for a historical romance, but still very predictable. If you don't catch on to who is behind it all almost immediately I will be surprised.
Recommended to romance and historical romance lovers. Fairly typical, but with a delightfully fun hero. Let's just say Puck will make you love life!
Whitney Forbes is your average 15 year old girl about to turn 16. She goes to high school, has awesome friends, and is being pursued by IT boy Reid Wallace. While she enjoys her adolescence to the fullest, there is one thing that lingers at the edge of her happiness giving it a bittersweet taste. When Whitney turns 21, the CIA will own her and force her to work for them as a remote viewer, a psychic who uncovers the secrets of hostile nations.
There are just so many wonderful things about Sundial I hardly know where to begin. First off, it is very well written making it a smooth enjoyable read. The authors obviously put a lot of thought into how Whitney and the other psychic's abilities would work and how the American government would be able to put them to use. The Clarion program fits seamlessly into what the average American perceives the CIA to be and doesn't feel made up or forced. On top of being totally awesome, the psychics of this book also have food allergies as part of their genetic makeup. In Sundial, people who have a food allergy are more evolved and develop psychic abilities. The science is actually pretty well developed and explained throughout the book. What a neat way to highlight a condition that has become more pronounced throughout the years!
I think my favorite part of the world the authors have placed their heroine in is the unique use of Kung Fu in Whitney and Reid's training. I haven't seen this in any of the YA books I have read recently and felt it was both appropriate and really neat to learn about. It was a treat to see such clashing cultures twine together to make such capable people.
The characters in Sundial are strongly constructed and very likable. Whitney is really like no other YA heroine you will read about. She knows exactly what she wants from life before the CIA gets their hands on her and she is determined to have no less. She is confident, capable, and far from the often self-destructive example we see in today's YA books. If you are a parent, and want a good read for your teen where the heroine isn't completely self-centered, whiny, and out-of-control, I would highly recommend Sundial. Don't get me wrong, I love YA fiction so much, and enjoy the racier books immensely,, but I am also an adult and understand how to separate fiction from fact. Let's be honest here, a good majority of YA fiction features teen girls ready to give up their lives, futures, and even families to be with some hot, sparkly, Emo vamp. While this is all fine well and good in a fictional world, it sends a bad message to impressionable teens who have yet to figure out what a real, healthy relationship entails. Sure, we all have to make sacrifices for the ones we love at one point or another, and it is pretty romantic to think someone loves you so much they would sacrifice everything for little old you. However, when you love someone, you don't expect them to give up everything they love and value just so they can be yours. This is where Sundial gets it right. Whitney and Reid's relationship revolves around their mutual attraction for each other of course, but also contains a respect and intelligence that teen relationships often lack. The authors offer a healthy and realistic example of what teens should expect out dating.
As for pacing, the book begins out slow and doesn't quite get to the action until the last third,, however once I got to the action, I understood exactly why. The authors are setting up Whitney's world and getting the reader familiar with the characters, how they think, and the way the interact with each other. This is the first book in a series, and like any other first, needs to take the time to set up the world and its characters.My only real complaint about this book was that things seem almost too easy and what I mean by this is that Whitney and Reid seem to always have the answers. Things almost always go without a hitch and that irked me a bit. I understand these people are psychics and can see what is going to happen and all, but everything can't go perfectly all the time. At some point, something has to go wrong. Obviously this wasn't a big enough problem to keep me from enjoying Sundial, but I do look forward to things not always falling perfectly together in book two.
I was approached by the authors to read and review Sundial. I am so grateful that I got the opportunity to be a reviewer for such a neat book. The authors had this to say about their debut novel, "We have tried to show girls in a positive and capable light and to give a boost to kids who feel socially isolated because of a food allergy through an exciting mainstream adventure." Well, with that being said, Fruzzetti and Pearsall succeed in this endeavor brilliantly. I recommend Sundial to all of you YA lovers and to teens looking for something that has both supernatural excitement and substance.(less)
Yes, this is a book about zombies overrunning the planet. Basically, the American military is experimenting with viruses in Africa for possible future biological warfare. They call it, the Morningstar Strain, and what do you know, some of it just happens to get out and infect the general population. Nice job guys. Countries from all over the world pitch in their soldiers to help evacuate uninfected civilians and barricade the "carriers" inside the continent. Of course, we all know this can't possibly work, but it's a neat idea. Recht puts an interesting spin on the zombie apocalypse making this a thought provoking read. Is this something that could happen in the foreseeable future?
I really liked the author's explanation for slow and fast zombies. Fast zombies are called "sprinters" and are living carriers of the virus that have been taken over by its parasitic nature. Slow zombies or "shamblers" are reanimated carriers whose bodies are bogged down by the effects of rigor mortis. Cool huh? There are some pretty neat concepts in this book and calling the virus Morningstar was just ingenious because it really does just pulverize everything in its path.The virus is a blood-borne disease and therefore can infect everyone if they get bitten or scratched making the story that much more tragic. Many characters almost get away and then are infected at the last possible moment. I have to admit, there were times I got paranoid over how easy this virus would be to spread around the U.S. Many coughing strangers incited me to consider the merits of my household items as zombie bashing weapons.
Plague of the Dead is well written and fun to read, however the emotional side of the story fell flat for me about a third of the way in. Most of the characters are in the military and therefore are being addressed by their last names. That would have been fine if half their names didn't sound the same and start with similar letters. I found myself flipping pages back to figure out who the hell just ate it and if I should care. "Was it the guy I was starting to like? Nope, never mind, nobody important to the story." Of course I was sad when people got infected and either killed themselves or succumbed to the virus, but really many of the characters lacked depth for me. Almost all of the lower ranked soldier characters were the generic smart-ass sarcastic, foul mouthed soldier which is important to have a similar character to lighten the mood, however it just gets annoying after the second guy. It was almost like the author said, "Hey, people will like this character so much, that when I kill him off, I should have a handful of characters to replace him!."
I guess my point here is, I enjoyed this book and all its zombie methodology, however I felt like the heart of the story was missing. The characters basically just bounce around from place to place avoiding zombies. They don't seem to have much direction until near the end and the characters are so emotionally detached from the reader that it is hard to feel much. Of course you will want them to survive, but your heart won't pound in anticipation of their fate. (less)
Marie Antoinette gets a revival and a more flattering coat of paint in this first installment of the new Marie Antoinette series by Juliet Grey.
What can I say? I have always been fascinated with a handful of historical leading ladies and Marie is one of the top 5. When I thought of her before this book, I pictured lush, scrumptious desserts and wispy cotton candy hair piled high on an overly pampered and exceedingly empty head. Think the Kirsten Dunst movie adaptation, which I loved by the way. After reading Becoming, which chronicles Marie's story from childhood to her husband's rise to the French throne, I feel like historians and poorly informed high school history teachers have been pulling the wool over my eyes. I realize this is historical fiction, however the author leaves us readers a note at the end about what is historically accurate and what she embellished for story's sake.
Written from Marie's perspective and supplemented by journal entries and correspondence between the major players in her accession to dauphine, Becoming Marie Antoinette allows the reader to feel a kinship with this infamous historical figure. Another thing that struck me as unique and pleasing was Grey's characterization of Louis Auguste. Rather than the cold, indifferent husband he is most commonly represented as, Grey offers us a shy, and painfully socially awkward boy. The way she progresses the relationship between him and Marie is both frustrating and achingly sweet.
This book would be a great way for anyone interested in learning more about this wonderful heroine, to become better acquainted with the young Marie Antoinette. I enjoyed reading this book very much and look forward to the next release, Days of Splendor, Days of Sorrow, which is expected to be published sometime in 2012. (less)
Mara just can't seem to catch a break. Her witchy ways are getting her into trouble left and right and just when things start to look up, she realizes the cozy country cottage she inherited from her Aunt Tillie has a few dark passengers. Will Mara be able to survive her legacy with the help of her own power, a tricky toad, and a flamboyantly fearless best friend?
This was so much fun to read I didn't want it to end! Christiana Miller weaves a captivating spell with a whole lot of humor, a generous portion of thrill, and just a dash of heat.
By no means would I call this a paranormal romance, however I feel it fits into the urban fantasy category nicely with its magical and chilling elements.Right from the start I knew I was going to love this book. The humor, sometimes quirky, sometimes dry, is non-stop and often offers relief from some of the scarier moments of the story. I had to stop reading this at night because Mara's dreams and her interactions with the cottage's other inhabitants were seriously creeping me out.
Miller's grasp of creating memorable and nearly palpable characters is incredible. As much as I love Mara, I'd have to say Gus was my favorite character. He is honestly just so funny and crazy you never know what he's going to do next. Gus is also a great friend to Mara. I teared up when they had to part ways for our girl to go live in Aunt Tillie's house. I missed Gus right along with Mara and felt her joy whenever he popped back into the story.
If you are looking for a paranormal story that has it all, this is it! You'll laugh, you'll cry, and you'll probably pee your pants at some point whether it be from laughter or fear or both. I just can't begin to emphasize how well this book integrates humor and drama in just the right amounts. Whatever emotions, or bodily functions, this book evokes in you, there is no doubt you will have a great time. (less)
Beldon Stratten is the epitome of the perfect English gentleman and he just so happens to be in the market for a bride. He knows exactly what he wants, a perfectly proper English rose, that is, until Lilya Stefanov waltzes into his life and takes him for a wild ride. Liliya is the bearer of a rare diamond that many dangerous men would kill to get their hands on. Now Lilya must choose between protecting her family's legacy or embracing a happily-ever-after with the man she loves.
I don't feel like the title does this book justice. It suggests that Lilya is scandalous and improper. Her character is actually quite the opposite. She is sweet, intelligent, and courageous as she secretly protects her family's legacy from those who would use it to gain power. Of all the Harlequin titles I have read, Secret Life's heroine has to be my favorite. She was such a strong willed, unselfish model that I couldn't help but like her. Beldon's character came across like a weak cup of tea for most of the book, until near the end when he faces losing Lilya. He really steps up at this point in the story and takes charge of things. Beldon isn't the alpha male I usually enjoy, however he does have his sweet English charm.
The story is really what sets this book apart from others within the Harlequin-Historical lineup. The romance feels like it was built to fit around the story, instead of the story facilitating the romance, which was really nice. Many other books like this have left me feeling like the author created the situations in this story just to give the couple an excuse to get steamy. Scott manages to make every encounter between Lilya and Beldon feel spontaneous and realistic; loving and sultry as their relationship grows through the dangers hey encounter.
Overall, this was an engaging quick read with a memorable couple and a very sweet romance. You can pick up a copy for your reading pleasure September 6th. (less)
I was graciously provided with a copy for review by Netgalley for Harlequin. Having never read this series before with the exception of a short story, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that this book could easily be read on its own. I absolutely loved the setting, characters, and sultry situations the couple gets themselves into.
Bennedick Rohan is in the market for a new wife after the loss of his previous two to childbirth. He is also in the market for a mistress. Rohan knows what he wants, a subservient wife to provide him with an heir, and an adventurous mistress to please him in bed. When he meets Melsande Carstaris, widow and good Samaritan, he finds neither, and both.
I love the contrast of these two characters. Melisande is sweet and naively virginal to the pleasure of the flesh as her first marriage was to an elderly man. She spends her days helping former prostitutes find a better life for themselves by teaching them a trade and giving them a place to stay while they get on their feet... and off their backs. Sorry couldn't help it! Benedick has set out to dedicate himself to experiencing all the pleasure and depravity he can until he meets Melisande and finds himself annoyingly infatuated with her. These two are so different from each other that they are absolutely perfect together rattling off dry quips and finding themselves in compromising situations.
This was a great read. It really had it all, humor, romance, and a few thrills towards the end. I will most definitely be starting the series from the beginning so I can find out more about the Heavenly Host, a secret deviant society. I also am interested to read the stories of some of the couples briefly mentioned in this story. So I guess while I wait for the next installment to come out, (I hope it's about Brandon and Emma!), I will be catching up on what I missed out on! (less)
Sir Mark Turner is the very picture of respectability. He's the most eligible bachelor in London and a celebrity for writing his practical guide to chastity. Behind all the fame and fortune, Sir Mark longs to be seen as the man that he is, imperfect just like everyone else. When he meets fiery Jessica Farleigh, he gets just that; Jessica despises him for his fame and Mark is determined to make her like him. Behind her beautiful facade, Jessica has a secret, she is actually a courtesan tasked with seducing the virginal Sir Mark and ruining his reputation, but will she find love instead?
Unclaimed is an absolutely delightful twist on the tale of seduction in the 1800s. This time, the man is the virginal, innocent one and the woman is set on bedding him. This was very well written with a unique take on regency style historical romance. You will get your silk and scandal style romance fix with a few surprises. First off, there is so much depth behind both Mark and Jessica's tales. They have each suffered society's demands in their own ways and have survived their dark pasts.
All Jessica knows how to do is survive, but Mark shows her something completely different and it frightens her. I have to say I liked Jessica a lot. Have you ever noticed that the majority of characters named Jessica in literature and film are all either stupid, bitchy, slutty, or a combination of the three? I was so happy when I picked this book up and found a Jessica who is intelligent, courageous, and loyal. Yay! I finally have a literary Jessica I can look up to!
In summation, the passion between Mark and Jessica made chills run down my spine throughout most of the book and that's saying a lot as they don't actually do anything but kiss for 3/4 of the book! Their chemistry is smoldering and their shared painful pasts will make your heartache. A wonderful tale for any romance lover. (less)
Brooke's coffee shop visit becomes a naughty, grown-up game of truth or dare when sexy barista Dylan leaves her a mysterious message on a napkin.
The setup for this erotic short story was flawless building up the reader's anticipation of how the sexy rendezvous would play out. I was pretty much convinced this was going to be my favorite of Mica Jade's short stories, right up until the love scene. This is where the story loses me. It felt like every other word was ass. I totally understand the sexiness of grabbing, spanking, and even some biting every once and awhile, but licking? There is a point where Brooke tells Dylan, "I want your tongue in my ass." Everyone has their quirky turn-ons, and I respect them for it. However in my personal case, this completely turned me off. There is no way my tongue would ever get anywhere near the place poop comes out. It's just plain wrong. Once again I will reiterate that this is my personal opinion and that I think no less of those who participate in this particular activity. It's just not for me.
Besides that particular part, the rest of the love scene is seriously hot, I just had a hard time getting back into it. The end of the story has a cute and surprising little twist that made me smile and really proves that love can reinvent itself infinitely. Love's Delight wasn't my favorite, but Jade certainly has a way with creating sexy situations her readers will be fantasizing about for years to come. The creativity and the variety is what will keep her readers coming back for more. (less)
I have individually reviewed each of the stories in this set. All I can say is, this is a really great collection of erotic romance that focuses on no...moreI have individually reviewed each of the stories in this set. All I can say is, this is a really great collection of erotic romance that focuses on not just the sex, but the love the couple has for each other. I wouldn't even call this smut, although the love scenes are amazingly hot, they are just that love scenes. The couples in this collection are committed to each other completely. So, if you would like your sexy literature to have a little depth, this is the way to go!(less)
Callie McFay has taken a job teaching at Fairwick College that she wasn’t sure she wanted in the first place, and has bought an old Victorian house that her instincts are screaming for her to stay away from. Something has drawn her to become a part of the community that is not what it appears to be at first glance. Just when she feels she is settling in, Callie is visited by a demon lover that is determined to suck the life out of her. Night after night, the insatiable demon brings her to new heights of pleasure and ever closer to death. As time goes on, Callie becomes less and less sure she minds.
There is really only one word that describes The Demon Lover accurately and that is lush. This book is filled with deliciously ripe detail that echoes my fondest memories of classic gothic literature while utilizing the trend of today’s popular paranormal fiction. The academic atmosphere of Fairwick College and Callie’s scholarly analysis of her situation are engrossing and give this novel the intelligent edge that a great deal of today’s paranormal fiction is missing. Juliet Dark’s attention to detail is truly what makes this story so breathtakingly beautiful and heart wrenchingly real.
The writing style and Callie’s character can be a bit frustrating, at times. She is constantly changing her opinion on her present situation and for the first half of the book she is in denial, coming up with a logical explanation for everything that happens to her. This frustrated me to no end until I hit a moment of clarity the same moment Callie did in the story. The writing style and content are meant to be confusing and frustrating at points to reflect Callie’s state of mind as it has been altered through her interactions with the incubus. Once I realized this I was completely enthralled. It was like a slap in the face and I had to admit to myself that the demon lover had hypnotized not just Callie, but me as well.
It is difficult to describe the romance of this book. Callie falls in love with many things through the course of its pages. She begins to feel at home in Fairwick and finds a mish mashed sort of family in the people that she interacts with on a daily basis. The magic and mystery of the town beckon to her deeply buried roots until she finds a piece of herself she didn’t know she had to begin with. Finally there is the incubus. I easily felt the same indecision towards him as Callie did. At first she thinks him a dream, but as he becomes more and more real to her, she can no longer deny his appeal. I will not spoil any of this story for you all, but eventually you will have to ask yourself, just as Callie does, “Is it possible that he could truly love her and become flesh?”
It was pointed out to me about half-way through this book that it was the same book as Incubus by Carol Goodman published by Ebury Press on July 21st, 2011. The only real reason I could come up with in my research for why two different publishers would publish the same book, under different titles, and authors six months apart from each other would be to maximize marketing. Incubus was published in the UK and therefore the publishers probably felt that particular title and its cover art would appeal to the European audience whereas the U.S. requires a bit more of a sexualized title and mysterious author pseudonym. Whatever the reason, it was a bit confusing, but did not divert from the overall appeal of the book itself.
These days, it has become excruciatingly popular for authors to end their books on a huge cliff-hanger, forcing you to read the next just to find out what happened, even if you didn’t really like it that much. The Demon Lover wraps up its loose ends nicely and all major plot points are developed so that the reader is satisfied. This book doesn’t need any cliffhangers to get its hooks in you; it’s just that good. I look forward to a sequel, which is all but promised by the subtext of the Incubus version declaring it as Fairwick Chronicles #1. Juliet Dark, and by extension Carol Goodman, has a new loyal fan in this Wickedly Bookish reader. (less)
While perusing the aisles of my favorite local used book store, I came across this one and picked it up because of the pretty cover, but bought it because the words "highland" and "rogue" appeared on it. Lately I've found I can't resist anything promising me a roguish alpha male with a Scottish accent and Highland Rogue, London Miss delivers a fairly decent portrayal.
The basic concept of this novel is finding out what happens when you take an opinionated, virtuously headstrong women, and a freewheeling handsome rogue and place them in a situation where they must pretend they are married. As you can imagine, it's a tough situation as it is, but then place them in 1800s England and Scotland and it becomes scandalously interesting.
The plot behind the romance is a bit weak and seems to be forced in order to set up steamy situations for our hero and heroine. Besides this flaw, it really is just a quick read with fun characters and decent love scenes built up with sexual tension fueled by what is or isn't proper. Don't get me wrong, that can be a great formula when it comes to 1800s romance, but it is only so-so in this particular case. (less)
I have been eagerly anticipating Pride & Passion ever since I finished its predicessor Seduction & Scandal this summer. The characters are endearing and the plot promises to always offer Masonic excitment. Charlotte Featherstone has quickly become one of my top authors to watch! Her smooth and scintilating way with words is sure to captivate and please readers of romance.
The Duke of Delicousness does not dissapoint! Adrian is absolutely wonderful and his back story connection with Lucy was so sweet and heart wrenching. This book focuses more on the romance between our hero and heroine more than the developing series plotline. I actually felt it was a bit lacking in that part. I got the sense that this was really a book written to bridge the series plot over to the next book. Not much happens here in the way of Masonic doings, but the romance between Sussex and Lucy makes up for it. I was actually pretty greatful to just sink into the romance and take a break from all the running around and investigating.
Pride & Passion leaves us with a cliffhanger that will leave fans of the series dying to get their hand son the next book. Temptation & Twilight which will be Elizabeth and Iian's story! I love me some highland rake and will finally get the chance to indulge when the next book comes out in July 2012!(less)
Don't let the cover fool you! This book has a lot more to it than your average sexy romance novel.
"The first time I met Death, it was at a ball and we danced a waltz, and I feared him, feared the things he made me feel, made me want. That night I ran from him, but Death was right behind me, chasing me and I wanted him to catch me."
Isabella has a scandalous past and a family reputation she is determined to prove wrong. Her mother's past mistakes and their consequences have made Isabella hide her passionate self. Lord Black, the dark and mysterious neighbor, is also determined...determined to seduce her! This tale is full of scandal, seduction, ancient templar secrets, and sexy Freemasons!
Seduction & Scandal is the first installment of the Brethren Guardian series and is not to be missed. I read through this very quickly and had a hard time convincing myself it was time to put it down and get soem sleep. Lord Black is one of the hottest alpha males in the Harlequin lineup!
Underneath the sexy surface, Charlotte Featherstone has woven in touches of Masonic lore and has carefully entwined her characters' fates. The next installment is set up very nicely and will be on my shelf as soon as it releases. Isabella's cousin Lucy's story, Pride and Passion, comes out in November.(less)