One of the best Medieval romance books I have read. It made my cry and laugh. The main and secondary characters were wonderful and the action was stea...moreOne of the best Medieval romance books I have read. It made my cry and laugh. The main and secondary characters were wonderful and the action was steady. Great insight into the heroine's feelings of isolation. Wonderful love story.
Update: This one is on my ‘favorites’ list and now that I see Amazon has it available via Kindle I thought I would do a quick review here. I have recently re-read it and it still holds up. If you are looking for a book with a good medieval Scotland setting, this is a very good one with a twist. The beginning starts with the heroine about to be burned at the stake as a witch. Gwendolyn has endured prejudice and rejection all her life and the author does a wonderful character study of her. She is one of the strongest fragile persons in many a book. In an enjoyable Robin Hood fashion, Mad Alex saves her. Karyn Monk is such a good writer she is able to take the reader back to a time when many people were superstitious and yet manages to bring today’s issues to life, i.e. those of being ostracized and bullied. She made me cry, she made me laugh. I felt for these characters, including the secondary ones, even if the later are somewhat one-dimensional. This is the book that made Karyn Monk an auto-buy author for me. (less)
★★★★★ (This is a review of the audiobook.) Man-oh-man! I love this book. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve read it. It is on m...moreTennessee Farm
★★★★★ (This is a review of the audiobook.) Man-oh-man! I love this book. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve read it. It is on my “re-read-for-comfort” shelf, which I desperately needed now. My life is currently too crazy to sit and read, so I popped in my ear buds and tried the audiobook this time, narrated by the wonderful Anna Fields.
I have heard nothing but great things about this reader, so I don’t know why I waited so long to listen to a story she narrates. If a character speaks softly, she delivers the line softly. If they turn sarcastic, she complies. If they gasp, she gasps. Their voice breaks, so does hers. Astonishing as it sounds, not all readers do this! Some dialogue doesn’t have adjective queues; nevertheless, this talented raconteur intuitively knows how to delivery Ms. Phillips’ clever quips or tender moments in context. She definitely kicks this story up a notch. I highly recommend her as narrator.
As far as the storyline, what can I say? I love these characters in the seventh book of the Chicago Stars series and I adore their love story. Ms. Phillips sure knows how to set up a “meet cute,” and this one, taking place on a highway outside of Denver with Blue Bailey walking down a hot dusty road in a beaver costume – plus a killing rage – is perfect. When Dean Robillard, rich superstar quarterback, crosses her path, he is taken by surprise in one humorous situation after another on their road trip to Tennessee. Nevertheless, each scene carries a Real Life believability that lets us get drawn into the deepening depths of their relationship.
Ms. Phillips also knows how to write amazing secondary characters and these are some of her best. There is one scene between an aging rocker and his neglected, vulnerable young daughter that still has the ability to make my throat swell, my eyes tear.
This story can be read as a “standalone”; however, you would probably enjoy it better if you read this series in order. A younger Dean is deviously charming in Match Me If You Can; while in this one he is still deliciously witty, but confronted with those demons in life that make one run or stand and mature.
This is my favorite LK series. Yes, I know, I know. I'm mainly a historical romance reader. Plus, I've never really been thrilled over first-person PO...moreThis is my favorite LK series. Yes, I know, I know. I'm mainly a historical romance reader. Plus, I've never really been thrilled over first-person POV*, but these books sold me. This book leading the series is truly wonderful.
I still remember when I first saw the paperback was finally out in the bookstore and being so disappointed because yet another one of my favorite HR authors was bowing to pressure and going mainstream. I wasn't reading contemporary romances at the time, so I actually hesitated over the purchase of Sugar Daddy. In addition, I really loathed the title. Ugh! I started reading it standing there, eventually grouped blindly for a chair while I kept my eyes glued to the pages, then went running to the cash-register, my heart pumping erratically with adrenaline coursing to unmentionable pulse points for poor Liberty, the pit bulls, and Hardy. Man-oh-man! Don’t you love finding a worthy new book by a great author? I'm having the "Big O" just recalling it.
BTW, at the risk of sharing too much, I was right there with Liberty and the whole 68 thing and started reviewing my past loves. Oh, and the part about the emu? Absolutely killed me I was laughing so hard.
SPOILER added 4/10/11 (view spoiler)[ I liked what Kleypas did with , though it certainly ruffled a few feathers and made people call it "chick-lit" instead of "contemporary-romance". (I think it's a brilliant blend of the two, but maybe I'm repeating myself.) Anywayz...
I think most of us have a first love, or close to first love; one that was bittersweet; an "if only" young love, if you will. In this, we can all empathize with Liberty. I was right there with her, falling hard for young Hardy (gee, why did she name him that?). Kleypas wanted us to!
And "young" is the operative word here. We do things in our youth, and feel things so differently, that the passions of youth can resonate still, years later. (This theme is also accented with Churchill's enduring love of Liberty's mom, Diana Jones.) However, after Liberty’s journey, I was ready to fall for Gage, in all his sophistication and power, and I did totally; he’s perfect for Liberty. Yet, just like my first love, I wanted Hardy to be happy. I think that is a true sign of love, though certainly morphed into something else, when you want someone's happiness.
Kleypas gives that to Hardy – and us too! – in Blue-Eyed Devil, where he struggles with the meaning of mature love and sacrifice too! (hide spoiler)]
*My GR friend, Sans, calls first person POV "a flaming pile of crap in printed format". This expression worked nicely for me until this book.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Never thought I would like a book about professional fighters, but I loved this one, read it three times in four years, marked it as a favorite, and p...moreNever thought I would like a book about professional fighters, but I loved this one, read it three times in four years, marked it as a favorite, and put it on my keeper shelf. Only bought it because Lori Foster is one of my favorites and she is always an author I can count on. (It was not too melodramatic for me as I had a long lost younger brother who spent his childhood in Foster care – whereas I was adopted into a loving home - and looked me up decades later.) LF did a convincing job of siblings trying to reconnect.
The hero Havoc sucked me into the whole series, though I think this one is the best. He is HOT and tries so hard to be laid-back with the whole family connection and NOT being an older, dependable, protective brother. My roof was leaking at the time I read this book, so there I could relate. LOL. I liked Eve too. When Havoc meets her family was fun and believable. I felt the chemistry between Havoc and Eve was steamy. I could see their affair-turned-to-love happening as the pages turned and knew it was a given when she had her period and he brought ice cream. As a teenager I used to have a boyfriend that worked in an ice cream parlor and brought me rocky road. *Sigh*
The ‘who-done-it?’ kept me guessing; I can usually guess this aspect in romance books, so this was a nice change. The sub-romance plot between Jacki and Gregor was fun and enjoyable too. Not a big fan of tattoos, but the meaning of Havoc’s made me cry. So, yes, everything was firing on all cylinders for me with this one. (less)
What is a Contemporary Romance doing on my Favorite’s shelf when it is mostly filled with Historicals? One word: Walker. I fell in love with this stro...moreWhat is a Contemporary Romance doing on my Favorite’s shelf when it is mostly filled with Historicals? One word: Walker. I fell in love with this strong, quiet Marine. Susan Mallery wrote him to perfection: a lone wolf searching with tenacity for meaning in a cruel world. His backstory broke my heart, yet was not too melodramatic – and a probable response for a 17 - 18 year-old guy. The whole book was very down to earth and realistic, especially the dialogues. Elissa was a believable character making concerted strides forward in her life; I could understand her wariness and not wanting to be indebted to anyone. I liked her relationship with her adorable five-year old daughter Zoë and their cooking efforts. It was a fast read, seemed to flow, and I could see Walker and Elissa fall in love as the pages turned. But then, I’m a sucker for a couple that tries to remain ‘just friends’ while fighting their attraction and SM writes it well. My only complaint is I would have like more of these three characters in the rest of the Buchanan series, though they do pop up.
Side story: The whole flat tire episode in the opening sequence worked for me. Funny that I got one soon after reading this book. I was working Nights (I’m an ICU nurse) – a time when tire stores are closed. My husband - a very busy man, who considers time as money, however has always been concerned about my safety - didn’t tell me when he went to go to work in the morning, he just drove to the store and bought all four new top-of-the-line tires while I was sleeping and had them put on. People in my unit were talking about romantic things their spouses did and I mentioned this and received a lot of flak about it, most of which was that it didn’t fit the criteria. Months later one of the flak-throwers went out to the garage to go to work and found a note from their husband on the steering wheel: ‘Your left front tire is flat.’ Not having AAA, and needing to get to her shift on time, the hospital had to pay for a taxi to drive her to work; she told me when she arrived that she’d changed her opinion. :o) (less)
Tied for my favorite of JS's work. For a murder mystery with romance and humor I liked this story. The heroine decides to go on her honeymoon alone af...moreTied for my favorite of JS's work. For a murder mystery with romance and humor I liked this story. The heroine decides to go on her honeymoon alone after she is left at the altar.
Some people said her accidently picking up the complimentary honeymoon suite lighted vibrator instead of the flashlight when the lights go out (of course the lights go out! This is a "secluded-lodge-in-the-woods" kinda mystery) was not funny, but I was FOFLMAO. Plus, the hero is a sexy cop. :o) What book does it tie with as my favorite by JS? Aussie Rules!! .(less)
I am a re-reader. I even have a bookshelf at GR that I call my ‘re-read-for-comfort' shelf of books that have to be read more than twice to be placed...moreI am a re-reader. I even have a bookshelf at GR that I call my ‘re-read-for-comfort' shelf of books that have to be read more than twice to be placed there. And I mean comfort in many ways. Sometimes a new book, after crossing one of my romance “don’ts”, will actually leave me with a bitter aftertaste and I will reach for a book with characters I can depend on to give me what I want. I am definitely a mood reader, so some people might be surprised by what is on there. Even a few paranormal reads for this die-hard "historical romance with a HEA" reader. In truth, some have broken my “romance books don’ts”, but the authors have done it so well I have to read it again.
But Heiress for Hire doesn’t have any romance “don’ts” in it. It is just pure enjoyment. Oh, well, there is a kid in the story; however, that is not one of my “don’ts”. Our Hero, Danny Tucker, discovers he has an unknown-to-him eight-year old daughter by the name of Piper. Our Heroine, Amanda Delmar, has recently had her funds cut off by her father while she is stuck in Cuttersville, Ohio, visiting Boston - a friend from the first book in the series, A Date with the Other Side (which you don’t have to read to enjoy this book). Boston is now married to Danny’s ex-wife (who he is still friends with), Shelby.
Yes, Amanda is spoiled, but she was raised that way. Plus, she has a little dog named Baby, who she risks her outfit and skin for, so she can’t be all bad. She definitely grows up in this book; first, by Danny helping her find a job (at which she fails) and then by babysitting Piper, who she instantly connects with; all teaching her more than just the value of a dollar.
There are so many wonderful scenes, most with Piper and Danny, but enough with Danny alone. Danny thinks he’s a big, dull, boring farmer. Amanda thinks without her breast implants (which she recently had removed) and money, she has nothing with which to attract and hold a man. Some dialogue makes me laugh out loud. When Amanda tangles with Danny’s mom, it brings a smile to my lips; yet I empathize with Willie’s desire and frustration in wanting to get close to her grand-daughter. When Piper reveals her hair to Amanda, after they've play Barbie’s, it makes my throat close up no matter how many times I read it.
Yes, I definitely notice more details and character nuance each time I re-read this book. I also notice the writer’s style and enjoy it more. Sometimes I just gobbled down a book too fast and need to re-read it. Other times I need something I can re-read fast because I have other things on my mind and it’s light and breezy and doesn’t require much concentration. In other situations I want total escapism. I did this recently when I stayed at the hospital all day while a friend had an unpleasant procedure done and I didn’t want to cry.
This is a cute, light, fluffy story.
But, if you’re a lover of contemporary romance, it’s definitely worth at least one read by you.
★★★★½ I read this, the second in the Highlands’ Lairds series, years ago and thought I’d give it another go to see if it still held up. (It does!) The...more★★★★½ I read this, the second in the Highlands’ Lairds series, years ago and thought I’d give it another go to see if it still held up. (It does!) There was also going to be a “buddy read” – something I find hard to resist, since I love a good discussion about a great book.
My image of green eyed, brown-haired Gillian. Picture by artist, Cris Ortega.
Thank you, Pamela(AllHoney), one of my “buddy read” group, for introducing me to this talented artist.
What can I say about a classic Garwood Highland Medieval and –at 546 pages – a “chunkster” to boot? I feel like I’m repeating myself about Ms. Garwood; but, while there were a few LOL moments, what I really found was that I was smiling throughout this book. I like smiling while I read; it gives me a warm feeling; makes me want to hunker down under my covers and stay there, indulging in a bit of escapism to Garwood’s Medieval Scotland. This writer can get away with a subtle brand of humor that others cannot. The prologue in this one is excellent, and instantly transported me there. Even in the urgency and danger of the situation JG still managed to capture the character and innocence of a young Gillian and make me… well, smile. ☺
Here we get two love stories in one, which some people don’t like, but I found one complimented the other and made the developing friendship between the two women, Gillian and Bridgid, a more realistic relationship. It gave them something to talk about. (Not that there wasn’t enough action, intrigue, and betrayal going on in the story.) This was true for the corresponding relationship between the two long-time comrades and heroes, Brodick and Ramsey. They all got to know each other on a different level, and it is easy for me to see the four of them remaining friends for life.
That said, I felt the resolution of secondary love story was a bit too quick; greedy romance reader that I am, I would have liked a smidgen more. Maybe a wedding?
My image of Bridgid on her wedding day; I guess, Ramsey is the frog, LOL! Picture by artist, Cris Ortega.
And I felt JG missed a golden opportunity with Alec, the child that was kidnapped, when he spit after each utterance of King John’s name. To an appalled Gillian, he explained that Brodick did this too (or cursed); yet, when Brodick does mention King John later – there’s no spitting, cursing or any attempt to refrain from either. Granted, a very small flaw, but I was looking forward to the imagined scene.
Still, an almost flawless delivery of a sweet and spicy romance. I’ll have to read it again in another couple years to see if it still holds up then.
My first exposure to SEP was Heaven, Texas and, therefore, it has a special place in my heart. This is not just another bad-boy football superstar wit...moreMy first exposure to SEP was Heaven, Texas and, therefore, it has a special place in my heart. This is not just another bad-boy football superstar with a diabolic gleam meets 30 year-old wallflower story. These characters had depth. (view spoiler)[I actually had to call my best friend - who doesn't read romance books, but loves football - and tell her about the scene where Gracie discovers Bobby Tom reviewing the video of his career-ending injury over and over again. I fell in love with him before that, but that just made me sob. (hide spoiler)]
Loved the road trip, Bobby Tom's menopausal mother and her secondary romance, the actress he works with on the movie, Gracie’s make-over followed by him wondering who the hell’s driving his convertible, the ice cream scene, Gracie's ideas for his old house, how you could see them falling in love as the pages turned, their real-sounding fights, LOL moments, and…well, everything. This one went directly onto my ‘re-read for comfort' bookshelf and sent me to the bookstore to pick up more of the Chicago Stars series.
Oh, and the end of Heaven, Texas is absolutely, positively worth waiting for. Actually, it is one of the best endings in many a romance book. Don’t click the following spoiler if you haven’t already read the book. (view spoiler)[SEP has an ability to make me laugh and cry at the same time, and she perfected it in Heaven, Texas. At the end, Gracie is down on the rough ground with Bobby Tom. They’re on the side of the road after he’s broken out of jail to chase after her, everybody follows along and she’s protecting him so it's really a comedy of errors-tear jerker. Question: If that happens, does it count as a groveling scene? (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I have to confess that Emmaline Troy is one of my favorite heroines in a paranormal romance. Sometimes-only sometimes -I get especially tired of books...moreI have to confess that Emmaline Troy is one of my favorite heroines in a paranormal romance. Sometimes-only sometimes -I get especially tired of books where the heroine is the feisty, aggressive person right from the get-go. Did they pop from the womb, full Rambo-ette, ready to take on the world? (My friend swears her daughter did.) How did they get that way? It is sometimes more interesting to see a meek personality like Emma develop. Yes, she has been sheltered and she's a wuss, but she grows into a beautiful, complex blend of Vampire and Valkyrie. Plus, I loved her wardrobe. She doesn’t have a dog like most of my favorite heroines do…but wait, I forgot, Lachlain MacRieve fits that bill. :)
I also have to confess that, up until Emma, I didn't read a lot of paranormal romances. I had read all of Kresley Cole's books. That is another reason this is on my 'all-time-favorites' bookshelf. It was the one that opened me up to the genre.(less)
The 2000 paperback publication has long been one of my favorite Lisa Kleypas books and I can see the hero, Zac...more★★★★★ This is a review of the audiobook.
The 2000 paperback publication has long been one of my favorite Lisa Kleypas books and I can see the hero, Zachary Bronson, as the archetype for so many other Kleypas heroes to come: a rough, self-made man with endless determination to get what he wants, and he wants Lady Holland Taylor. (Talk about a man in pursuit!) Only here he is set in an era where dukes ruled the day and he is, alas, without anything approaching a title. But that is not deterring him. One of my favorite early scenes is between Zachary & Holly:
“I suspect if someone were drowning in quicksand, you would extort all manner of promises before throwing him a rope.”
He shrugged philosophically. “My sweet, that's the entire point of having the rope.”
Needless to say, I was a tad worried about listening to it via audio, but my fears never took flight. Rosalyn Landor does a great job of bringing this book to life; her narration is spot on for Lady Holly ー and the scene-stealing little Rose, Holly’s button obsessed daughter. Ms. Landor’s voice is more than acceptable for the large, rough, masculine Bronson. Even her gasps during the love scenes are perfectly paced.
Marchesa Marianna Florenzi, by artist Heinrich Maria von Hess, 1824
While not the sexy, sumptuous red evening gown that devilish Zachary commissions to entice the widow, Lady Holly, into making her entrance out of her extended mourning, the above may be one he has designed later in winter, when he wants to keep her safe and warm. The background could depict the entrance to the garden, where the delicious epilogue takes place. (While ZB has no taste in architecture, his gardens are beautiful.) Plus, the face and expression on this model, with her secret smile, are what I envision when I think of Kleypas’ shy, patient, heroine who is the epitome of a gentle lady seduced by a dangerous rogue. (less)