At “Twilight” those paranormal forces beyond our control come out, and Isabella Swan (Bella) must suspend all reasonable belief to accept those forcesAt “Twilight” those paranormal forces beyond our control come out, and Isabella Swan (Bella) must suspend all reasonable belief to accept those forces exist – and to fall in love. Meyer’s writing is brisk, easy to read, and readers will discover they’ve turned over more pages then they’ve realized.
The story actually starts a bit slowly as seventeen-year-old Bella moves to Forks, Washington, to live with her father. As she establishes her routines, she notices a strange family of teenagers, the Cullens. They are all beautiful with pale skin and chameleon-like eyes. They also tend to stick to themselves. Bella is surprised by Edward’s initial cold treatment of her. She doesn’t know what to make of it – or him. It’s only when he saves her life with his lightening quick reflexes and unexpected strength does she begin to think there might be something unusual with him. When her Indian friend, Jacob, tells her about the “cold ones,” his story inspires her to do some research. With all the evidence in front of her, Bella concludes Edward is a vampire.
When Bella confronts him, he admits it. He’s fallen in love with her and tried to push her away, but he can’t fight the attraction anymore. Edward gives into his love for her and Bella gives into her love for him as well. There’s no physical consummation of their love, it’s a love cultivated through feelings and emotions which provides an intense high for both.
Edward discusses some myths and truths about the vampire world with Bella. He tells her how Carlisle created him during the Flu outbreak in 1917. Carlisle, Edward, and the vampires who live with them have learned to curb their blood lust for human blood, but some vampire covens and families haven’t. To that end, Edward’s family meets three vampire strangers while playing a game of baseball and one, James, decides to track Bella. Edward and his family try their best to protect her, but James tracks Bella to Phoenix, Arizona. James does bite Bella, but Edward draws the venom out of her. The book ends with Edward taking Bella to the prom. Bella asks for the bite of immortality from Edward who refuses to give it.
The book is written in the first person from Bella’s perspective. Meyer does a great job staying in perspective, but there are times when Bella’s determination crosses the line to irritating whininess, and it’s hard to understand how Edward finds this trait of hers attractive.
Edward is “tempted” over and over again to taste Bella’s blood and he does an admirable job holding his temptation in check. In that regard, that aspect of his character wrestling with temptation seemed a non-issue since temptation really wasn’t an issue.
The book is geared for a young adult audience. The plot comes together well. It’s easy to read and a page-turner. While there are some suspenseful elements, especially with James on the hunt for Bella, toward the end they are overshadowed by the melodrama teen angst that emotes throughout. Meyer does create an original world and gives her vampires twists and nuances of their own. “Twilight” is an interesting read just to devour Meyer’s creative spin on the vampire world. ...more
Niffenegger weaves a tale of intrigue through decades of uncertainties. “The Time Traveler’s Wife” is an unconventional romance and an atypical sciencNiffenegger weaves a tale of intrigue through decades of uncertainties. “The Time Traveler’s Wife” is an unconventional romance and an atypical science fiction novel, blending both genres as well as sprinkling in a dab of social commentary to create a very human novel.
The novel starts with Claire waiting for Henry, a predominate theme in the book. Her husband, Henry, travels through time. He believes it’s a genetic abnormality and he can’t control it. The novel takes place between 1968 and 2008. Claire and Henry meet as adults. Claire is twenty. Henry, it is revealed, has been time traveling since he was five years old, after a visit to a museum, that had a profound effect on him. He recalls first traveling through time to visit Claire when she is six. Young Claire soon gets used to a man popping out of time to see her. She develops an eccentric relationship with the time traveling Henry, which to Niffenegger’s credit, works and doesn’t come off as creepy.
Early in the book, there is an unusual scene when Claire is thirteen which her father and brother keep her from Henry. Claire doesn’t know what to make of it, but time marches on in a linear fashion for her, and soon she meets Henry at the library where he works. When they meet, he is twenty-eight.
Henry leaves his girlfriend, Ingrid, for Claire. Claire is used to Henry’s time traveling and accepts him for what he is. After meeting each other’s family, they marry.
The couple tries to live as normal a life as they can. Claire is an artist and Henry works in a library. After seeing their friends, Charisse and Gomez, have children, they try to have one of their own. Henry seeks out a genetic counselor. The reason for his time traveling abilities are given here, which to Niffenegger’s credit, is a creative take on the concept.
Claire has several miscarriages before the doctors realize they have to suppress her immune system to get her to carry to term. Claire finally gives birth to a girl, Alba, when she is thirty. Soon, they learn that Alba can time travel, too.
Henry’s time traveling takes a toll on his body. He gets frostbite on his feet which have to be amputated. Then he involuntarily time travels to the past, and since he can’t run away, he’s shot by deer hunters when Claire is thirteen. Claire is thirty-eight when he dies.
The plot is tight. Niffenegger’s explanation of Henry’s time traveling abilities is plausible, making the story work. The pace isn’t fast, nor does the story drag. It moves from event to event with concise precision.
Niffenegger writes in a very “up front” style. It’s easy enough to read, but very direct. Her characters are believable. In a way, Claire embodies a very traditional female role in waiting for Henry, while he has numerous adventures as a time traveler, taking on a more traditional male role. Toward the end, Claire sheds her traditional role to become a more modern woman.
The story is told using a journal entry form from Claire and Henry’s perspective, which works well. If anything, the story lags a little since it blends romance and science fiction without committing to either. Henry and Claire are in love, but it seems a given and not a discovery.
What makes Niffenegger’s story a gem, is her creative take on time traveling, making it a genetic condition, thus not conforming to traditional time traveling norms.
“The Time Traveler’s Wife” is an intriguing read that will leave the reader experiencing Henry and Claire’s highs and lows right along with them. ...more
Meyer weaves a tale of true love, rejection, deceit, and suspense that gives “New Moon” a resounding bite and vibrant potency. Meyer’s crisp writing aMeyer weaves a tale of true love, rejection, deceit, and suspense that gives “New Moon” a resounding bite and vibrant potency. Meyer’s crisp writing allows her supernatural world to encompass the reader, leaving them breathless and hungering for more.
The novel starts with Bella celebrating her eighteenth birthday. The Cullens have something planned for her at their house. As they shower her with gifts, Bella, in all her clumsiness, cuts herself. Jasper can barely contain himself and attacks her. Edward fends off his brother. Carlisle attends to Bella’s wounds, but Edward is shaken by what has happened. He becomes moody and after much thought, breaks up with Bella. The break up is swift and decisive, leaving Bella emotionally naked as she crumbles, lost in the forest that surrounds Forks. One of the local Native Americans from La Push finds her after an extensive search. Bella’s dad is grateful, but Bella is only a shell of her former self.
Months go by before Bella can even emotionally “feel” something again. Wanting to take up extreme sports to drive out the pain of losing Edward, she buys two motorcycles that don’t work. She seeks out Jacob Black at La Push to help her fix them so she can ride them. Bella and Jacob become quick friends. Soon Bella realizes that Jacob is essential to her – at least his friendship is, and she can’t lose it.
Unfortunately, Jacob gets sick and tries to alienate her. Bella is unrelenting. After confronting Jacob with his friends, Jacob is mean and Bella is forced to walk away from him. Jacob visits her room the following night and apologizes. He encourages Bella to guess his secret. She does – he’s a werewolf. The La Push Indians have a certain few tribe members who are bred to change when their tribe and land are threatened by vampires, and Jacob has changed.
Bella accepts him and is soon, reluctantly, accepted by the other wolves. They have a problem – a vampire has been attacking the area. Bella and the wolves quickly figure out it’s Victoria, wanting to avenge James’s death on Bella. The wolves manage to keep Bella safe, but they can’t catch Victoria. One day at La Push, Bella decides to go cliff diving. Jacob saves her, but this action was “seen” by Alice Cullen in her mind’s eye. Alice thinks Bella might have tried to commit suicide and rushes to Forks to find out.
Alice finds Bella alive and is grateful for it. Unfortunately, a misunderstanding between Alice’s vision, Rosalie, and Edward leave Edward believing Bella is dead. Edward goes to Italy in the hopes that an old vampire family, the Volterra, will kill him. Alice, with Bella in tow, rush to Italy to save Edward. They do so, but only after the vampire family captures them. The head vampire, Aro, agrees to let them all go after witnessing one of Alice’s visions. When Bella returns to Forks, Edward stays and Jacob is devastated by her romantic rejection.
“New Moon” offers what “Twilight” didn’t – tight characterization. Meyer knows her characters better in this sequel and it shows. Bella easily carries the novel. She’s less “whiney” as she deals with heartache, an emotion that many readers can connect with. Jacob’s development as a character is a delight to read.
What young adult readers will be able to relate to are the “Romeo and Juliet” comparisons throughout – this made it easier to understand why Bella is so set on Edward, despite Jacob’s consistency and friendship.
The book moves at a quick pace and the plot is tight. There’s plenty of action and mounds of suspense – especially on the trip to Italy. Meyer’s dialogue captures the essence of her characters. The book doesn’t dwell on a natural, sensual appeal that vampires and werewolves bring to a story, in fact there are only a couple of kissing scenes. It’s this innocent, yet, smoldering sensuality which will engage the reader’s imagination leaving the reader ready for Edward and Bella to take their relationship deeper.
While “New Moon” is lengthy, Meyer’s brisk writing will make it impossible to put down. “New Moon” is a sequel that delivers a charge which accelerates past “Twilight” faster than the moon’s light reaches Earth. ...more
Stephenie Meyer continues her paranormal saga with a dynamic “Eclipse.” Fast paced and loaded with suspense, “Eclipse” keeps the reader spellbound. MeStephenie Meyer continues her paranormal saga with a dynamic “Eclipse.” Fast paced and loaded with suspense, “Eclipse” keeps the reader spellbound. Meyer deepens her characters, exploring conflict as she reveals Rosalie and Jasper’s stories, all the while sending the reader, along with Bella and Edward, headlong into danger.
The novel opens as Bella learns there’s been a series of gruesome murders in Seattle. The Cullens believe someone is making an army of newborn vampires. While powerful, the newborn vampires can barely contain their bloodlust.
Bella’s safety is important since Victoria is still loose, but Bella’s concerned with her friend, Jacob Black. Jacob is a werewolf. He’s also hurt that Bella has taken up with Edward again. Initially, Bella finds a balance between spending time with Jacob and Edward. At La Push, she learns how the Quiletes became werewolves at a tribal council meeting. While she’s away, a mysterious vampire breaks into her room. The Cullens are stymied, unable to recognize the unknown vampire’s scent. They know they have to get involved soon with the Seattle newborns, or risk the wrath of the Volturi.
Rosalie and Jasper share their stories with Bella to help her understand what it’s like to be a vampire. She claims she’s ready for it, and reluctantly agrees to marry Edward. In return, he’ll turn her himself. After talking to Alice, Bella uses all she’s learned about the supernatural world to conclude that it’s Victoria behind the army of newborns.
The Cullens form a pensive alliance with the La Push werewolves to lure Victoria and her army out into the open. While they wait, Bella is forced to choose between Jacob and Edward. Her decision is heartbreaking.
After a fierce battle, Victoria and her newborn army are defeated. The Volturi show up, but too late to affect the outcome. Bella reaffirms her commitment to Edward, breaking Jacob’s heart.
As with New Moon, “Eclipse” reaches a broader audience, appealing to those who enjoy a fast paced, action packed supernatural tale, as well as keeping its core base of young adult readers with the romance between Edward and Bella. Meyer’s writing is crisp, her characters are compelling, and her dialogue is sharp. She writes in the first person from Bella’s perspective, staying consistent with her point-of-view. Her references to “Wuthering Heights,” while infrequent, prove timely comparisons between Edward and Bella, and Catherine and Heathcliff.
“Eclipse” takes Meyer and her readers to new heights. Where the moon blots out the sun, “Eclipse” dares Meyer’s characters to let go of old superstitions, and forge new relationships. A good character driven story combines with a high octane action plot to make “Eclipse” a stand out book in the Twilight saga. ...more
Pierson pens a riveting romance with lush settings and compelling characters in “Fire Eyes.” Set in the American old west just after the Civil War, PiPierson pens a riveting romance with lush settings and compelling characters in “Fire Eyes.” Set in the American old west just after the Civil War, Pierson submerses the reader in pure action. Kaed Turner is an experienced U.S. Marshal who learns that a younger Marshal has gone after Andrew Fallon, a man whose criminal actions border on insanity. Kaed arrives too late to help Mitch Beckley. Fallon has Mitch hostage, as well as two young native American girls. Kaed is helpless to prevent their deaths. Fallon assaults him and leaves him for dead. Standing Bear, the local Indian chief, finds Kaed, barely alive, and brings him to a white woman known to Indians as “Fire Eyes.”
“Fire Eyes,” is Jessica Monroe, and she lives in a cabin outside of the fort near the Indians. Jessica is raising a baby who was abandoned by her father when her mother died. The Indians bring Kaed to Jessica. She springs into action, nursing him back to life from the brink of death.
Kaed and Jessica fall in love as she’s nursing him. They commit to each other. Kaed’s Marshal friends find him with Jessica. They tell him they are on Fallon’s trail (Fallon has taken two new hostages) and while Kaed isn’t fully healed, he goes with them to find Fallon. Jessica understands, but she’s concerned for Kaed’s well-being since he isn’t fully healed.
The Marshals dogged pursuit of Fallon is not without a price. When Kaed learns Jessica’s life is threatened by the ruthless Fallon, he hurries home hoping to prevent the criminal from killing his new family.
Pierson’s writing is crisp and sharp. Her beginning grabs the reader immediately, holding them in the moment. Her dialogue is authentic, evoking the old west with little effort. Pierson’s descriptions are rich with emotional metaphors. Her love scenes are tasteful, full of passion.
Pierson writes in a point of view that shifts between characters within scenes. Known as a “Lonesome Dove” perspective (after the same novel) this point of view can be confusing to readers, however, the romance genre is generally forgiving of it.
Pierson’s characters are real with strengths and weakness that the modern reader can identify with. The supporting cast compliments the main characters. The plot moves fast, unraveling the romance between Kaed and Jessica at break-neck speed. If anything, their romance happens too fast for the reader to enjoy it. “Fire Eyes” is a story that brings the American west alive. It’s a perfect book to curl up next to the fireplace with, taking the reader on a rich, romantic adventure to the past. ...more
Keena Kincaid weaves a love story that spans the centuries in “Anam Cara.” Anam Cara means soul friend, and that’s what Bran ap Owen has found in LizaKeena Kincaid weaves a love story that spans the centuries in “Anam Cara.” Anam Cara means soul friend, and that’s what Bran ap Owen has found in Liza, his soul friend that he’s traveled the centuries with. Unfortunately for Bran, no matter what he does to right the wrong that put him on the karmic wheel he’s on, Liza’s headstrong nature threatens to derail him. Full of angst and longing, Anam Cara tells a mesmerizing tale of soul friends and their journey to find love.
The story begins with Bran having a memory as a Roman soldier and the event that put him on the karmic wheel, his betrayal of Liza. Several centuries later, it is 1161 and Bran is a mistral, traveling with his younger brother, Aedan. They encounter an inn run by Liza. The moment Bran sees Liza, he feels an immediate connection. She’s the inn’s alekeep and while she accepts the mistrals, she’s not fond of them. Bran and Aedan reveal they have roots in Duncarnoch,nearby land, and have the ability to read each other’s thoughts. It’s something they keep to themselves. Duncarnoch isn’t far away from the inn.
While at the inn, the local nobleman, Michael Wakefield, attacks Liza’s daughter, Tess. Bran and Aedan stop it, but the nobleman has gone to the sheriff seeking retribution for being attacked. The sheriff does his investigation and recommends the case to the Earl of Duncarnoch. The Earl is gone for a bit, so the sheriff allows Liza to stay at the inn with Bran watching over her.
Tess and Aedan soon fall in love and she gives her heart to him. They make love in the fields. They don’t tell Liza because Liza is very protective of Tess and they worry that she’ll hurt Aedan. As Tess and Aedan get closer, Bran is making headway with Liza. Liza soon relaxes around him and the couple becomes lovers.
The Earl has returned to Duncarnoch and the sheriff sends for Liza and Bran. Bran is cousin to the Earl’s wife, Kathryn, and is well received in Duncarnoch. The Earl hears Liza and Wakefield out. He also “outs” Liza’s secret – she’s a high born noblewoman. The Earl, Richard, rules on the side of Liza. Wakefield, upset, kidnaps Tess. Aedan goes after Tess and almost dies at Wakefield’s hand.
The novel engages an interesting concept, karmic love throughout the ages and I read the book interested in how the author would explore the topic. Bran is a very likable character. The reasons for his motivations are fleshed out well. Liza has been so hurt over the ages, she’s developed a thick “skin,” but eventually warms to Bran. The supporting cast is interesting. The plot is credible and the pace of the novel was just right. Kincaid’s love scenes are tasteful and sensual. The author’s love of medieval history shines in the story. Bran speaks with an accent throughout the novel. This brings authencity to the character, but I found it hard to read at times, and it did slow me down as I stopped to figure out what he was saying at times.
Overall, I found this compelling read. “Anam Cara” proves that love does last forever. ...more
“Push Not the River” is a gripping tale of love and loss, not just on a personal scale, but on a national scale, as the Polish nation is finally taken“Push Not the River” is a gripping tale of love and loss, not just on a personal scale, but on a national scale, as the Polish nation is finally taken over by the Russians in 1794. “Push Not the River,” is a story based on the Countess Anna Maria Berezowska’s diary which she kept from 1791-1794. Her story is fascinating, compelling, and will have the reader anxiously turning the page to find out what happens next.
The story begins with seventeen-year-old Anna reeling from the loss of her immediate family. Her father is killed in a fight with a peasant, and her mother, grief stricken, gives premature birth. Anna’s infant brother and her mother also pass away. Anna goes to stay with her aunt and uncle, the Gronska’s. They live in Halicuz, a town in southern Poland. They have a son, Walter, who is in the Russian army, and a daughter, Zofia, a couple of years older than Anna. Zofia takes a liking to Anna, and befriends her.
While exploring the countryside, Anna meets a young man, Count Jan Stelnicki, who is only a few years older than her. Anna finds herself losing her heart to him. When she finally comes out of mourning for her parents, she spends a wonderful day riding with Jan and he asks her to marry him. The moment is ruined as Zofia arrives – jealous that Anna has captured Jan’s heart when she wanted it for herself. A fight ensues and Jan leaves. Anna has sprained her ankle and Zofia goes for help. While Anna waits, she’s raped, and doesn’t recognize her attacker. Finally, her uncle and Walter arrive to take her back to the house.
Anna is pregnant as a result of the rape and is forced into a marriage she doesn’t want to Count Antoni Grawinski. The marriage is unbearable for both of them. Antoni and Jan duel over Anna, but it’s not Jan who kills him, but a mysterious sniper. Just as Anna and Jan are about to give into their feelings, Poland is threatened by yet another partion, and Jan goes off to war before Anna can tell him she loves him. Anna stays with Zofia in Praga, near Warsaw, but Zofia, now Countess Gronska, is an enigma to her cousin, and Anna can’t help but wonder if Zofia is continuing to keep her from Jan. As the Russians burn Praga, both Anna and Zofia face the ultimate challenge.
“Push Not the River,” is wonderfully paced in a grand, sweeping style that will keep the reader enthralled in Anna’s story. The plot is tight, expertly weaving between the destruction of a nation and the love story of Anna and Jan. Anna’s story is so very human, it’s one that leaves the reader thinking about her even after they put the novel down.
Hunter dives into regency England, weaving a delightful heart-warming romp of seduction and romance. Set in 1815 England, Hunter introduces the roguisHunter dives into regency England, weaving a delightful heart-warming romp of seduction and romance. Set in 1815 England, Hunter introduces the roguish Boscastle family – four men and one girl full of passion and a desire to live life to its fullest. “The Seduction of an English Scoundrel” tells the story of Grayson Boscastle, the fifth Marquess of Sedgecroft. Grayson has it all – charm, wit, and style, yet he wants to set an example for his roguish siblings and he’s not quite sure where to start.
The novel opens with Grayson hosting a wedding between his cousin, Nigel, and Lady Jane Belshire. Unfortunately, Nigel never shows up. As Jane waits at the bleak altar, Grayson notices her and is impressed by her ability to weather such a devasting event. He admires her fortitude and her physical attributes. His heart goes out to the jilted bride and he offers to save her reputation with the ton by being seen with her. Her parents agree. Jane, who had conspired with Nigel to be jilted at the altar so neither of them would be forced to enter into a loveless marriage, is stunned by Grayson’s offer. She has no recourse but to agree to his plan.
For Grayson, this offer is a bit out of character for him. He’s a scoundrel, not a knight on a white horse. He begins to escort Jane out on the town and quickly finds her alluring. The scoundrel in him can’t help himself – he boldly takes kisses from Jane – kisses that hint of a deeper hunger between them.
As Grayson “falsely” courts Jane for the ton, the courtship takes an unspoken deeper meaning for him. He aches to be with Jane, to show her how desirable she is, and Jane, despite herself, revels in his attention. The white-hot chemistry between the two leads Grayson to take indecent liberties with Jane who gives in with little protest. After all, she’s falling in love with him.
Grayson soon realizes his “false” courtship is real to him. He wants to make Jane his wife – even after discovering how she plotted with Nigel to bring about her wedding disaster. Jane wants to tell him or her duplicitous wedding plot, but fears Grayson will leave her if he does.
Grayson soon contracts with her parents to marry her. Then he takes her to his family’s villa near the sea. They consummate their relationship in a pleasure filled night of bliss. The next day, Jane realizes Grayson knows what she did to wreck her wedding to Nigel. She tries to disentangle herself from Grayson, but it proves a challenge. When Grayson finally admits to it, Jane says she wants him to court her for real or she won’t marry him.
Hunter’s writing is sharp. The plot moves at the right pace, keeping the reader turning the page. Grayson and Jane are perfectly matched and the supporting cast also have their own interesting stories to tell. The love scenes are tasteful and passionate.
Hunter writes in a point of view that shifts between characters within scenes. Known as a “Lonesome Dove” perspective, (after the same novel) this point of view can be confusing to readers, but the romance genre in general is forgiving of it.
“The Seduction of an English Scoundrel” is a wickedly sinful romance that the reader will enjoy. ...more
Hunter weaves an entertaining tale of romance and suspense with “The Love Affair of an English Lord.” Chloe Boscastle, the headstrong younger sister oHunter weaves an entertaining tale of romance and suspense with “The Love Affair of an English Lord.” Chloe Boscastle, the headstrong younger sister of Grayson Boscastle, the Marquess of Sedgecroft, has been banished to the country for her compromising behavior. Chloe has barely settled in when she meets Dominic Breckland, Viscount Stratfield. The only problem to their blossoming romance is that the town thinks Dominic is a ghost!
Hunter’s novel engages the reader from the first page with an intriguing scene that has Dominic hiding in Chloe’s closet. Dominic and Chloe’s story walks a tight rope of romantic suspense, keeping the reader riveted to the page to find out what happens next.
The novel opens with Chloe staying with her Uncle Humphrey and Aunt Gwendolyn in Chistlebury. She’s been banished to the country for her daring behavior in London. Chistlebury is buzzing about the recent death of Viscount Stratfield, Dominic Breckland. Dominic, however, isn’t really dead. He staged his death in order to fret out the criminal who was trying to kill him. After a pursuit, Dominic hides in Chloe’s closet, where she finds the ghost very much alive.
The two are drawn to each other, seeing vulnerabilities in each other they normally wouldn’t due to their own “banished” situations. Dominic leaves, but not before igniting Chloe’s curiosity, and her heart. Despite her better judgment, she keeps the fact he’s alive to herself.
Dominic’s estate has been taken over by his uncle, Edgar. Dominic quickly realizes that it’s his uncle who tried to kill him. Time is of the essence to Dominic. Now that he’s met Chloe, he’s determined to prove his uncle’s guilt so he can court Chloe openly.
While the legend of Dominic’s ghost grows, Chloe and Dominic meet in secret, kindling their love with hot, smoldering kisses and sensual caresses. The couple’s love quickly turns into a burning flame, one that Dominic hungers to make public. He enlists the help of his friend, Adrian Ruxley, to bring his uncle’s crimes to light. After Dominic sets his plan in motion, he confronts his uncle in a harrowing showdown, and narrowly escapes with his life. Chloe reunites with Dominic who no longer has to masquerade as a ghost.
This is the second in the Boscastle series, and I’ve enjoyed all the novels in the series. The story is past paced and hard to put down. The plot comes together nicely. Chloe and Dominic each have an interesting back story, but they seem to come together as a couple quickly, without really getting to know each other first. The supporting cast has a personality that will endear them to the reader. Hunter’s love scenes are graphic, yet tasteful, full of passion.
“The Love Affair of an English Lord” is a delicious romantic romp. ...more
Hunter crafts an engaging tale of longing and seduction with “The Wedding Night of an English Rogue.” Heath Boscastle, a dedicated officer in the Engl Hunter crafts an engaging tale of longing and seduction with “The Wedding Night of an English Rogue.” Heath Boscastle, a dedicated officer in the English Army, is given the daunting task of protecting the “wicked” Lady Whitby. He’s harbored deep feelings for her since the moment they met – six years ago. Heath’s story of reuniting with a past love is one that will touch the reader’s heart and keep them turning the page.
The novel begins with Heath, a handsome rogue of a Boscastle, talking to his superior officer, Colonel Russell Althorne. Althorne is going to France to chase down a notorious, spy, Auclair, and asks Heath if he’ll act as his fiancée’s protector until he returns. Heath is stunned to find out the woman is Lady Julia Hepworth Whitby, a lady whom he met six years ago, and who he had a romantic encounter with. Heath tries to refuse, thinking Julia has hardened her heart to him, but Russell insists. Reluctantly, Heath agrees.
The sparks fly between Heath and Julia as soon as they are reacquainted. Both recall their previous liaison six years ago and how their passion brought them to the brink of lovemaking, but they pulled back before it could go further. Both harbored thoughts of finding each other again.
As Heath settles into his role as Julia’s protector, secrets start to pop out. Heath learns that Julia’s fiancé, Russell, keeps mistresses and one is pregnant with his child. Grayson, Heath’s brother, confirms it. It’s the tipping factor Heath needs to make a play for Julia himself. Mysterious things are also happening at Julia’s estate where she stays with her Aunt Hermia. Gloves are misplaced. Julia’s sapphire bracelet goes missing. Baron Brentford takes and interest in Julia that seems forced until Heath scares him away. These strange happenings unnerve Heath, and he increases his diligence in guarding Julia.
After a serious conversation between Heath and Julia were they discuss what their past encounter meant to them, Heath turns up the heat. Julia wages a war between her heart and her mind until her aunt’s gentleman friend, Odham, tells her about her cheating finace. Julia follows her heart and gives it to Heath. They consummate their passion at the Boscastle estate in the country.
When Heath and Julia return to London, odd things continue to happen. A scandalous sketch Julia made of Heath finds its way into the papers. Too late, Heath realizes Auclair has been in London all along. Auclair takes Julia hostage, and Heath races to her rescue.
This is the third of the Boscastle romance series, and I’ve enjoyed all of the stories immensely. The novel is fast paced, and dives the reader into the action from the start. Heath and Julia are interesting characters. Both of them are well developed and their back story is compelling. By the time they consummate their passion, it isn’t just sex for them – it’s love.
The supporting cast is also engaging as bits and pieces of them are reveal,ed throughout the novel. The plot is credible with no holes.
Hunter’s love scenes are passionate and tasteful. The scene where Heath and Julia consummate their passion is more than a sex scene, it’s a love scene. I especially liked an endearing scene where Heath and Julia flirt with each other after they’ve made love with furtive glances while Aunt Hermia is in the room. Heath’s seduction of Julia in the ivy cave is another powerful love scene. “The Wedding Night of an English Rogue” is a delicious romantic escape that is hard to put down. ...more
Hunter plunges the reader into the Regency period of England in this deliciously sinful romance, “The Wicked Games of a Gentleman.” This novel is a coHunter plunges the reader into the Regency period of England in this deliciously sinful romance, “The Wicked Games of a Gentleman.” This novel is a continuation of her Boscastle series. Drake Boscastle is a scoundrel who has everything – money, good looks, and charm. However, he believes he’s incapable of love until he meets a woman who challenges him in ways he never thought possible. Hunter’s pacing never lets up. “The Wicked Games of a Gentleman” is a gem of a romance that’s hard to put down.
The novel starts with Drake planning to meet famed courtesan, Maribella St. Ives. Before he does, he attends a party and immediately becomes involved in a scandal when he’s unwittingly drawn into a duel against his cousin, Gabriel. As Drake stalls for time, he meets Eloise Goodwin, a ladies’ companion who has temporarily lost her charge, Thalia Thornton. Drake coaxes Eloise into a dance and they share a spontaneous kiss. Drake then leaves to meet Maribella, but his mind lingers on Eloise. His evening with Maribella is spoiled when Gabriel shows up with Eloise. Eloise asks Drake for his help in finding Thalia. He agrees to help, leaving Maribella.
The next morning, Eloise discovers her employer, Lord Thornton, has left, due to his gambling debts. She’s got her hands full trying to manage the house, keep the creditors at bay, and finding Thalia.
Drake, to his chagrin, finds himself irrevocably drawn to Eloise. She’s beautiful and clever, two traits he can’t resist. To win points with Eloise, Drake finds Thalia and brings her home, ignoring Maribella. Eloise thanks him appropriately, but Drake steals not only a kiss, but intimate caresses as well – caresses which Eloise simply can’t resist.
Soon Drake finds himself spending more and more time with Eloise. Maribella creates a bit of a stir when she leaves Drake, but its Drake’s family that threatens his growing romance with Eloise. After an old boyfriend comes into Eloise’s life and attempts to blackmail her, she agrees to let Drake be her protector. Their physical consummation is all consuming. Drake wants to make Eloise his wife, but is apprehensive about his family will react.
Hunter writes in a third person omniscient point of view, changing perspectives with no clear line breaks or divisions. This is known as a “Lonesome Dove,” perspective and most professional editors discourage it, but the romance genre is very forgiving of it. The story moves fluidly. Drake, Eloise, and the supporting cast are likable and interesting. Hunter’s dialogue is crisp and sharp. Her descriptions put the reader in the moment, and her love scenes are vividly passionate. The story’s ending gives the reader rich satisfaction. “The Wicked Games of a Gentleman” is one romance that can’t be put aside easily. ...more
Hunter weaves a masterful tale of seduction and passion in “The Sinful Nights of a Nobleman.” Devon Boscastle is a rakehell who has no desire to settlHunter weaves a masterful tale of seduction and passion in “The Sinful Nights of a Nobleman.” Devon Boscastle is a rakehell who has no desire to settle down and find a wife – until he’s forced into a marriage of convenience with a young debutante, Jocelyn Lydbury. For Devon, there’s nothing as passionate or as sexy than falling in love with his own wife!
The novel opens with Devon attending a social party in Essex. Several games and events are planned, and the party is scheduled to last a week. At the party he encounters a young debutante, Jocelyn Lydbury. Four years ago her father invited Devon to dinner to meet her and Devon stood her up. After all, he has no desire to get married.
Devon trades barbs with Jocelyn and finds her to be enchanting. Later that night, Devon and Jocelyn each receive letters to meet in the castle’s tower – masked. While masked, they share an intimate embrace. It’s then they realize who each other, are and that they didn’t write the letters that lured them to the tower. Too late – Jocelyn’s father, a tyrant of a man, finds the couple in a compromising position and insists they marry.
Devon does the right thing and agrees. Despite himself, Jocelyn has made a dent in his carefully constructed armor. She’s sweet and demur. His heart goes out to her when he discovers how her father has mistreated her. He also finds her inexperience appealing. Throughout the novel, Both Devon and Jocelyn are harassed by minor incidents which are meant to make them look bad, but both rise above the incidents. Devon tries to identify the culprit, but to no avail.
Devon takes his new bride to his house. Their lovemaking is passionate and intense. Devon vows not to take a lover, but it’s hard for him to give up his night owl ways. He spends long hours out of the house, consorting with friends, not really getting to know his wife. Jocelyn is hurt.
Chloe, Devon’s sister, takes Jocelyn out to the park where several young men flirt with her. Devon watches the scene unfold, jealously flaming his disposition. When he discovers his cousin, Gabriel Boscastle, talking to Jocelyn late at night, it’s the last straw for his jealousy. He takes his wife to bed and thoroughly makes love to her. He stops going out with his friends, spending more time with Jocelyn. Still, he’s reluctant to admit to himself that he’s falling in love with her.
Devon’s brother, Grayson, arranges a party for him and Jocelyn. While at the party, Jane, Grayson’s wife, deduces Jocelyn is pregnant. While Jocelyn is in the nursery, she’s kidnapped by a man who hates Devon, Matthew Thurlew. Devon leaves the party to find out who has been harassing him. He discovers it was Thurlew who wrote the letters to him and Jocelyn luring them to the tower. Thurlew hoped the incident would disgrace Devon. When Devon realizes Thurlew is at the party he races back to save Jocelyn. Devon shoots Thurlew. Then he takes Jocelyn home where he admits he loves her.
This is the fifth in the Boscastle romance series, and I’ve enjoyed all the novels so far. I didn’t think I would like this one as much as the previous ones because Devon seems so self-absorbed in the others, but this one really highlighted the complexities of his character. Devon was very likable and romantic. The novel is fast paced and moves quickly. The plot is credible, but there were a couple of holes. Devon and Jocelyn are interesting, but I would have liked to have seen more “bonding” scenes between the couple, especially regarding how Jocelyn’s family treats her. I was also surprised to see that Jocelyn’s father, who insisted on the wedding, wasn’t there. The last “hole” in the plot, is making Thurlew the instigator of the harassing incidents between the couple. It would have made more sense to have Jocelyn’s brother write the notes and be the harasser of the incidents. Not only that, it would have been good fuel for more bonding scenes between Jocelyn and Devon.
The supporting cast is engaging and interesting. Hunter’s love scenes are passionate, yet tasteful; erotic and sensual. The scene where Devon makes love to Jocelyn after finding her with Gabriel is especially erotic and powerful. It’s not just a sex scene, but it’s Devon giving into the love he’s found with Jocelyn.
“The Sinful Nights of a Nobleman,” is a romance that will keep the reader turning the page. ...more
Hunter weaves a tale of romantic abandon with “The Devilish Pleasure of a Duke.” Emma Boscastle, the dainty dictator of the Boscastle family, thought Hunter weaves a tale of romantic abandon with “The Devilish Pleasure of a Duke.” Emma Boscastle, the dainty dictator of the Boscastle family, thought she’d never get married again until she meets Adrian Ruxley, a charming rake. The last of the Boscastle sibling series, the book pulls the entire Boscastle clan together in their quest to help Emma find love.
The book opens with Emma attending a wedding. When she spies Viscount Wolverton, Adrian Ruxley, trying to sneak comfits off the cake, she confronts him. They exchange witty banter and part ways, leaving a silent, yet powerful connection between them. Unfortunately for Emma, a potential suitor pushes his hand too far with her after Adrian leaves. Thankfully, before the suitor can get aggressive, Adrian reappears and intervenes. Too late for Adrian, he’s assaulted and injured. Emma’s heart goes out to him for defending her.
Adrian recovers under Emma’s roof from his head injury. He’s smitten with Emma. During his recovery, he shares passionate kisses and tender embraces with Emma, who is equally smitten with him. Despite herself, Emma realizes she’s falling in love with the handsome rogue.
Adrian recovers and wants to court Emma openly. He makes several attempts to talk to her in private, seeking her consent. It’s a valiant quest that is thwarted at every turn by Emma’s overprotective brothers, who see to it Emma and Adrian are given no time alone. They’re worried Adrian might not have honorable intentions toward Emma, yet they don’t think to ask him.
Frustrated, Adrian strikes a deal to sneak into Emma’s room with the help of one the girls from her academy. Adrian finally makes his intentions known to Emma in private - he wants to marry her. She accepts. They make love. Afterwards, Adrian discovers he can’t escape – Emma’s brothers are blocking all the exits. The Boscastle women rally together and help sneak Adrian out of Emma’s room to the chagrin of their beleaguered mates.
The next day, Adrian goes to Grayson, Emma’s brother, and asks for her hand in marriage. Grayson allows it, and Adrian and Emma are married.
Adrian is summoned by his father, the Duke of Scarfield, to go home. The Duke wants to make amends for treating Adrian so poorly in the past. Adrian reluctantly goes, encouraged by Emma. At Scarfield, Adrian is reconciled with his father, thanks to Emma’s support. Emma agrees to stay with Adrian in Scarfield and gives her etiquette school in London.
This is the sixth book in the Boscastle series, and I’ve enjoyed all of them. They story is fast paced. The plot is straight forward, with no real holes. It was nice to see the Boscastle women, Jane, Julia, Chloe, Eloise, and Jocelyn again, even if it was fleetingly. If anything, the story suffers from a lack of conflict after Adrian and Emma come together as a couple. Emma’s meddling brothers struggle to keep the lovers apart, which doesn’t ring true to their passionate natures.
The dialogue is sharp and authentic, and maybe a little a risqué from previous novels. Hunter’s love scenes are graphic, yet tasteful. Adrian distinguishes himself as romantic lead with his sweet, unashamed pursuit of Emma.
“The Devilish Pleasures of a Duke,” is a sinful romp that the reader will devour with a long lasting smile. ...more
Hunter spins a tale of passion which has lasted seven long years with “Wicked as Sin.” As a young boy, Gabriel Bosc***This Review contains spoilers***
Hunter spins a tale of passion which has lasted seven long years with “Wicked as Sin.” As a young boy, Gabriel Boscastle was put in the local pillory to be disgraced. The only person who showed him an ounce of compassion was the graceful Lady Aletha Claridge. Her compassion remained with Gabriel after he left Helbourne and stayed buried in his heart for seven long years. When he finally returns to the place of his upbringing, he’s a celebrated cavalry officer and a rake. Aletha is still graceful and compassionate, awakening the love that Gabriel has harbored in his heart for her after seven long, hard years.
The novel opens with Gabriel’s return to Helbourne. He’s crossing a condemned bridge. Aletha spies him from her estate and goes to help. Gabriel makes it across, but seeing Aletha again has ignited his long dormant passion he had for her. To his surprise, Aletha is still single. Her fiancé was killed in the war. Unknown to Gabriel, her fiancé, Jeremy Hazlett, had raped her before he left. Aletha harbors no fondness for Jeremy’s memory. Jeremy’s brother, Guy, makes a proposal to Aletha to be her protector, but Gabriel shows up and kicks the married man of four out of the house. Aletha is grateful. Gabriel and Aletha share a kiss that reawakens the passion between them.
Gabriel initially intends to sell Helbourne Hall, but decides to hold onto it for a little longer. Over the course of five weeks, Aletha invites Gabriel over for Friday night dinner parties and the parties fan the flames of their desires. Finally, Gabriel returns after leaving late one night and the couple make love.
Gabriel proposes to Aletha. She accepts. He takes her to London to announce his engagement to the London Boscastles, but on the night of the engagement party, he learns that Aletha has met the acquaintance of Audrey Watson, a woman who runs a bordello. Gabriel thinks Aletha is a courtesan. He leaves without announcing his engagement, making Aletha look bad. Aletha is heartbroken.
While Gabriel is gone, he learns the truth about Aletha from Guy Hazlett – that his brother raped Aletha. Gabriel feels guilty for treating Aletha so poorly. He goes to the Claridge townhouse and the couple have a passionate argument before making up. The wedding is back on and the couple marry, but not before Gabriel has an encounter with his long, lost brother Sebastien.
This is the seventh of the Boscastle series and just as enjoyable as the others. The novel is fast paced. The plot is tight and consistent. It was nice to see how the other Boscastle women (Jane, Julia, Chloe, Emma) were doing, but I missed the presence of Eloise and Jocelyn in this book. I enjoyed Aletha’s character. She was very warm and compassionate – very earthy. I also liked how freely Gabriel and Aletha admitted and embraced their love.
Hunter’s love scenes are graphic, yet tasteful. The dialogue is sharp and witty between Aletha and Gabriel. The introduction of Sebastien seemed a little forced, and I think I’d like to see a novel taking a second look a few of the previous Boscastles romances instead of moving onto to a new romance. Overall, “Wicked as Sin,” is a sinful delight to read. ...more