A Lady of Persuasion is the final book in Tessa Dare's trilogy, and it’s the story of Toby—Lucy’s school-girl crush from Goddess of the Hunt (which yoA Lady of Persuasion is the final book in Tessa Dare's trilogy, and it’s the story of Toby—Lucy’s school-girl crush from Goddess of the Hunt (which you should have already purchased). It’s also the story of Bel, Gray’s sister, from Surrender of a Siren. Which, y’know, you should already have purchased, too. Sorry. Not trying to make you feel guilty.
But speaking of which, A Lady of Persuasion is a book about guilt. It takes Isabel, a lady who is afraid of feeling good, and in fact, feels guilty when she does, and pairs her with a man who teaches her how to laugh and have fun... and feel very good indeed. It does so while wending its way through the Society for Superceding the Necessity of Climbing Boys, Don Giovanni, ice cream, and more sheep than any good shepherdess could shake her little shepherding crook at. Bel might not want to have fun, but Tessa clearly does, and she will make you choke with laughter at the things that happen.
But like all of Tessa’s books, the funny parts do not indicate that it’s a book without seriousness. A Lady of Persuasion is also a deeply serious book—a book about a man who fears that he may not be serious enough, and a woman who needs to learn to let go of her seriousness and enjoy life. And so you’ll get to the end, and amidst all the laughter, you’ll feel a tug on your heartstrings. Because Tessa will persuade you to adore her characters.
Finally, I have this last thing to say: this is also an enormously brave book. Because there is a secondary romance in this book. It’s between a wonderful man and a brave, headstrong women, who have a great deal in common. One of the things they don’t have in common, though, is the color of their skin. That romance is a perfect gracenote for what is already a phenomenal book....more
Lead Me On is the final book in Victoria Dahl’s series set in the small town of Tumble Creek, Colorado, and since Victoria Dahl likes surprising her rLead Me On is the final book in Victoria Dahl’s series set in the small town of Tumble Creek, Colorado, and since Victoria Dahl likes surprising her readers, Lead Me On is not set in Tumble Creek, Colorado, but it is set in Aspen, a resort town near Tumble Creek. Jane Morgan (not her birth name) has worked very, very hard to prove that she is prim, proper, and untouchable—the perfect, consummate secretary. But deep down, she fears that she’s never going to be able to eradicate her past. When the book starts, however, Jane discovers that her past is coming to get her. That threat takes two forms.
First, there’s Chase. Hot, sexy, tattooed; he likes blowing things up, and so he has a business wherein he blows things up. Like, holy cow. Can you get any hotter than that? Yes, yes you can. Because Chase also takes one look at the perfect, buttoned-up Jane Morgan, and instantly starts wondering what it would be like to undo all those buttons. To Jane’s chagrin, she discovers that she wants him to undo those buttons. She wants to let loose.
Now, you might think that this is a story you’ve read a thousand times. Proper girl; guy who teaches her to have fun. Isn’t that the plot of a thousand romance novels out there? Well, no. I wish I could tell you everything, but trust me, you will want to find out for yourself. Jane isn’t your every-day average prim girl who has never let her hair down. Nope; her hair is pulled back tightly for a reason, a damned good reason, a reason that when you find out about it is almost heart-breaking.
You still see pieces of that reason from the beginning of the book, though. Jane’s mother is embarrassing in all the wrong ways—she was a serial dater of men in prison. And her brother gets picked up by the law for stealing, and soon finds himself charged with murder. This is the second way that Jane must learn to face her past. She has to learn to deal with the problems her family has created. And this, I think, is the real genius of Lead Me On: The past winds around the present, in an intricate and heart-stopping pattern. This is a book with a tortured heroine—but not one who sat and cried about her lot in life. Instead, she had an excruciatingly hard time, and she stepped up to the plate and she conquered everything. Jane Morgan is a huge winner, and this book demonstrates that in spades.
This is also a book with two heroes. No, I don’t mean it that way! Victoria Dahl writes sexy, but she doesn’t write it that out there. No; Chase is 100% the hero of the present-day version of this book. But the past-Jane had a hero, too... her step-father, Mac. And let me assure you, when the past unwinds Jane’s life, you’ll see it too.
This book made me cry. I’ve loved all of Victoria Dahl’s contemporaries, but from the careful intricacy of the plotting, to the strong, yet wounded heroine, to the strength of the secondary characters, this is by far her best yet....more
Loved this book! I really enjoyed Jennifer Haymore's first book, A HINT OF WICKED, and found it so emotionally compelling. In some ways, this book madLoved this book! I really enjoyed Jennifer Haymore's first book, A HINT OF WICKED, and found it so emotionally compelling. In some ways, this book made me love A HINT OF WICKED even more, because I got to see what happened to the characters after. And I absolutely loved Garret in this book....more
I picked up a copy of Alex Beecroft’s False Colors last night at my local Barnes and Noble, just so I could buy it in that crucial first week–even thoI picked up a copy of Alex Beecroft’s False Colors last night at my local Barnes and Noble, just so I could buy it in that crucial first week–even though I didn’t plan to read it until I had a little more time on my hands. This book got a straight A from Dear Author (and if you read them, you know how stingy they are with the A grades).
I glanced at the first page. . . . Gosh. And then the second, and the third. Before I knew it, I had stayed up to finish the whole thing. It was that good. It was truly brilliant.
This is a book set in the Age of Sail. The writing is exquisite; the romance is lovely; the research is meticulous; and the action is nonstop. It breaks your heart and then keeps going on. This book does not shy from any of the harsh realities of life at sea in 1762–nor does it dance around the heart of the problem that the protagonists have: In 1762, their love is forbidden, because both characters are male.
I have not read much m/m romance (and this is romance, not erotica or even erotic romance, and can I say how much I hate that "gay" gets conflated with "erotica"?–the sex scenes are tasteful and far less explicit than you’d find in a corresponding historical, including mine), but it turns out, I really do read romances just to see characters fall in love. I absolutely adored this book. This is one of the best books that I read in 2009....more