"The chit seemed determined to stick to him like glue. Because she liked him. He'd admitted to murder, and she'd given him that adoring expression aga...more"The chit seemed determined to stick to him like glue. Because she liked him. He'd admitted to murder, and she'd given him that adoring expression again."
I started this book on the plane, back from my holiday location. I was having a heavy cold, surrounded by loud idiots with too much luggage and even louder children. I was also still hopelessly obsessed with my other read (Special Forces). So to be honest: I thought this book wouldn't do it for me.
But I was pleasantly surprised. The story captivated and charmed me. I loved both Ethan and Maddie. Ethan is another one of Cole's typical brooding wounded alpha male heroes and Maddie is his feisty counterpart. The story was sweet, hot and funny. It did drag a little towards the ending, but it was a good read nonetheless. And the best of the MacCarrick trilogy. 4 stars. (less)
Secrets of a summer night is the first in the Wallflowers series by Lisa Kleypas. This book told me: 1) much about the peerage: and how the upper ranks...moreSecrets of a summer night is the first in the Wallflowers series by Lisa Kleypas. This book told me: 1) much about the peerage: and how the upper ranks of British nobility were organized 2) that historical romance is not really my thing.
The thing is: I like my romance with an edge (JR Ward) or with lots of humor (Kresley Cole) and with this book I had to plow through quite a lot of flowery speech, much ado about nothing and blushing over exposed ankles and the likes. My lack of patience might have been due to the fact that I had been reading Kresley Cole and two m/m stories simultaneously with this story, but all in all I think historical romances are just a bit too saccharine for my taste.
Don’t get me wrong, this book was not bad at all. The story about upper-class girl Annabelle Peyton finding love with the rich commoner Simon Hunt was engaging, sweet and quite sexy too. And the bantering by the Wallflowers (especially Lillian’s comments) gave the story a little bit of a bite and lifted it above the level of a ‘typical romance’ . But it just wasn’t for me. Although I must admit I might pick up Evie’s book if I happen to stumble upon it….
After reading Secrets of a Summer Night (Wallflowers #1) I found that, even though I enjoyed the story, the book was too saccharine for my taste. I wa...moreAfter reading Secrets of a Summer Night (Wallflowers #1) I found that, even though I enjoyed the story, the book was too saccharine for my taste. I was advised to read this book (which is the third book in the Wallflowers series) partly because it’s a series favorite and partly because the story is somewhat darker and grittier than the rest of the books. I was ensured I'd love the story more. And it turns out I did.
So, was this story that much more dark and gritty and much less sweet? No, not really. But the likes of Sebastian and Evie more than made up for it.
In the beginning of the book we see Evie (the most shy wallflower) seek out Sebastian (notorious playboy) in an attempt to be safe from her family. Evie is desperate to marry so her family can’t harm her and live off of her inheritance. Sebastian is desperate for a rich bride. And so a marriage out of convenience is born and we’re taken on a (sometimes literal) journey with the characters.
To my surprise, Sebastian showed his sweet and caring side pretty much from the beginning. But he kept alternating between knight in shining armor and a heartless bully. I loved how mean he could be. And I liked how ‘mean’ turned to ‘naughty’ which turned to ‘sweet’. Evie, in her turn, made the transition from a shy and silent girl to a strong woman verbally standing up for herself. And she could be quite the sexy vixen too. Although I must say that Evie wasn't a passive pushover to begin with. Sure: she was quiet and she did stammer, but she always told her mind and -more importantly- she didn’t beat around the bush. I very much liked the chemistry and bantering between Sebastian and Evie.
It was very interesting to see the ways and rules of a casino in that period of time. And I liked how we got to be reunited with Annabelle, Lillian (with husband Westcliff) and Daisy (too bad she didn’t get coupled with Cam).
What I didn’t like, however, was the last part of the book. Next to the fact that it all got a bit too sweet for my taste, the story also started dragging a bit. I felt like there were some repetitive or unnecessary parts, probably to create more angst (or romantic tension), which to me, decreased the credibility of the story.
All in all, though, the book was very entertaining. A 4- rating. (less)
In contrast with almost everyone else, I didn't like this one as much as the first, If You Dare.
The plot of If You Dare was rather silly and so I was...moreIn contrast with almost everyone else, I didn't like this one as much as the first, If You Dare.
The plot of If You Dare was rather silly and so I was pleasantly surprised by the villain plot in the beginning of this book. But Cole didn’t really do anything with it and the subplots and devices she came up with felt rather random to me. Plus the villain’s demise was rather anticlimactic.
I like Cole’s overbearing and gruffy men but Hugh was almost too much. There’s one thing being quiet and brooding and …uhm.. non-verbally expressive…, but there’s another thing being a Neanderthal, what with all the growling and three-word sentences and all. Jane started to get on my nerves towards the ending of the book, which seemed to drag on and on. While the saccharine level went up and up. Blah.
That being said: I am going to read Ethan’s book. Partly because I’ve heard it’s the best of the series and partly because I bought it anyway. All in all: not so bad, but not so great either. (less)
Former Commander – now Sir- Alan Watleigh is fed up with life. Having lived through the horrors of Badajoz, only to come home and learn that his famil...moreFormer Commander – now Sir- Alan Watleigh is fed up with life. Having lived through the horrors of Badajoz, only to come home and learn that his family died of a terrible fever, and constantly chastising himself for his 'sinful perversities', Alan has given up the fight. On his self proclaimed last night on earth, he allows himself one indulgence: a night with a male prostitute. His eye is caught by the vibrant Jem whom he takes home. But the night has many surprises and Jem turns out to be more than just a few hours of fun. He amazes Alan, makes him laugh, makes him angry, makes him feel. And so Jem becomes the little spark of light that Alan needs to hold on to life.
The Gentleman and the Rogue is a wonderful and gripping tale of two men finding love. The men couldn’t be further apart: Alan is high bred, disciplined, dark and brooding. Jem is a street kid, cunning, youthful and vibrant. Both men have been through a lot and have evasive tendencies when it comes to dealing with raw emotion. But where Alan inclines towards glooming, Jem finds humor helps him deal. It’s the same humor that he uses to make Alan smile and endears him to us readers.
Jem is truly a wonderful character. His wit, charm and playfulness captures your heart and it’s no surprise he captures Alan’s too. I loved the way the men’s relationship was described. The emotions, the thoughts of pleasure, guilt and love, the sex.
My minor complaint is about the action plot which was weaved in about halfway the story. It wasn’t badly done. And afterall: Alan needed to face the demons of his past and little Ann was an interesting character. But I didn’t think it was necessary. I don’t think a(nother) traumatic experience was needed for the men to deal with their feelings and come together. I for one would have been more than happy to see the two men's love unfold while going through the motions of their everyday lives. I was also surprised to see that the age difference between the characters (Alan is more than 20 years Jem’s senior) wasn’t touched upon at all.
But despite my peeves, The Gentleman and the Rogue was a wonderfully gripping and endearing tale. A must read for all who love romance, especially historical romance. 4,5 stars (less)
I loved this book! I didn’t expect to be enthralled by a historical m/m ménage, but there you go!
This story had all the ingredients to be a total smu...moreI loved this book! I didn’t expect to be enthralled by a historical m/m ménage, but there you go!
This story had all the ingredients to be a total smutfest. Lots of descriptive sex, ménage, BDSM, a little exhibitionism… But still it managed to be a smart, sweet, endearing and funny book.
Owen has a wonderful writing style. She paints very vivid images and draws you into her world. There is lots of attention to detail and I feel like she painted an accurate picture of how life was (for the wealthy man) in the regency period. The social rules, the dealings with servants, all the devices one had to take to protect one's reputation and place in society... I was very much intrigued by it all.
The main character, Edward ‘Ned’ Munrow, was fantastic. An unapologetic, lazy, scheming bastard. I loved how cunningly his mind worked, how stubborn he was and how all his planning and preparing came back to bite him in the ass. I also liked how we were shown right from the beginning, that despite all his games, he is kind at heart. It was great to see the shows of tenderness and the glimpses of vulnerability.
Because of Ned’s slightly cynical narrative voice, the book had a comical undertone, but it was Ned’s valet, Griffith, who stole the show. His sardonic ways and his straight out telling off of Ned were hilarious.
I loved both Langton and Truitt. But to be completely honest: it took me a while to warm up to the idea of the three men being together, sharing each other. (I guess I can’t imagine doing the same without getting jealous.) I was afraid I would find the men's relationship unsatisfying and unrealistic. I thought I would end up being disappointed with the story. But I was wrong. There was no jealousy. The three men’s love for each other was palpable. And hot. And amazing and sweet. And the wonderful epilogue made me both happy and really sad.
Stephen is visiting his college friend's parents when he wakes up in the middle of the night to find a sexy dark haired man crawling in bed with him....moreStephen is visiting his college friend's parents when he wakes up in the middle of the night to find a sexy dark haired man crawling in bed with him. Stephen thinks it's a fantasy come true. The man -Lord Northrup- thinks Stephen is his hired entertainment for the night. Soon they find out there was a mix up, but as the Lord starts to leave, Stephen convinces him to go through with his anticipated night of entertainment. And so the night turns in to a weekend of stolen passion and soon Stephen's heart gets involved. And that's something Lord Northrup tries to avoid at all costs. Because passion and commitment can’t coexist for men like them. Or can it?
Stephen and Peter (Lord Northrup) are seemingly polar opposites. Peter is a high born, lazy and jaded man who long since has accepted his sexuality. Stephen comes from a humble home, is burdened with responsibilities, passionate about engineering and bridge building, wears his heart on his sleeve and can’t seem to stop to think that he’s sinful for liking men. As the two men grow closer (although they seem to need to be apart to do that) we see them take on certain traits from one another. Stephen becomes less innocent and Peter opens up.
Seducing Stephen was a really nice, endearing read. It had all the right ingredients for a historical (gay) romance. Though I must say that I didn’t think it was as good as The Gentleman and the Rogue by the same authors, which had a bit more bite and humor. Still: a very good read: 3,5 stars. (less)