My first Shannon McKenna book; therefore, a stong reason for placement on my 'favorite' shelf. It made her an auto-buy for me. It is full of non-stop...moreMy first Shannon McKenna book; therefore, a stong reason for placement on my 'favorite' shelf. It made her an auto-buy for me. It is full of non-stop action and a truly EVIL villain. Creep-oid. But the hero is swoon-worthy. There is a part where the hero does something to the heroine’s hair because she doesn’t realize the danger she is in…and I just gasped out loud. OMG! It was so good I have given it as a gift to a few people. (less)
One of my favorite Garwood books. I love her heroines, and Christina Bennett, raised by Native American Indians, is a fish out of water in Regency Eng...moreOne of my favorite Garwood books. I love her heroines, and Christina Bennett, raised by Native American Indians, is a fish out of water in Regency England. Not that that stops her from taking the city by storm while riding bare-back and finding her fierce Lyon. Some classic LOL moments in this book. And my favorite scene?
Lyon dismounted, slapped his horse on the hindquarters as a signal to take to the stables, then called out to Christina's former butler. "Elbert? What are you doing with my shoes?"
"The madam's orders, my lord," Elbert answered. "Didn't know a man could own so many boots," he added. "Been at this task near an hour now. Up the stairs and down the stairs, then up--"
"Elbert? Give me the reason why," Lyon interrupted, his voice irritated. "And what are you doing at Lyonwood? Did Christina invite you to visit?"
"Hired me, sir," Elbert announced. "I'm to be Brown's assistant. Did you know how worried she was about me? She knew I wouldn't last with the old bat. Your misses has a good heart. I'll do my part, my lord. I won't be a shirking me responsibilities to you."
Christina did have a good heart. His gentle wife knew Elbert wouldn't be able to find work with anyone else. He was simply too old, too feeble. "I'm sure you'll do fine, Elbert," Lyon said. "Glad to have you on staff."
"Thank you, my lord," Elbert returned.
Lyon notice Brown standing in the open doorway then. His butler looked upset. "Good afternoon, my lord," Brown called out. "It is so very good to have you back," he added. His voice sounded strained to Lyon, relieved as well. "Did you see your shoes, sir?"
"I'm not blind, man. Of course I saw them. Would you care to explain what in thunderation is going on?"
"Your wife's order," Brown announced.
"Past wife," Elbert interjected with a cackle.
Lyon took a deep breath. "What are you talking about?" He addressed his question to Brown, believing his young butler would make more sense than the old man snickering with laughter behind him.
"You're being divorced, my lord."
Brown's shoulders sagged. He knew his lord wasn't going to take the news well. "Divorced."
"Cast out, my lord, pushed aside, forgotten, dead in her heart--"
"I get you meaning Elbert," Lyon muttered in exasperation. "I'm aware of what the word divorce means."
Lyon continued into the house. The old servant shuffled after him. "Those were her very words. My mistress is divorcing you the way her people do. She said it was quite all right to get rid of a husband. You have to find someplace else to live."
"I what?" Lyon asked, certain he hadn't heard correctly.
Brown's insistent nod indicated he had.
"You're cast out, pushed aside--"
"For God's sake, Elbert, cease your litany," Lyon demanded. He turned back to Brown. "What is the significance of the shoes?"
"They signify your departure, my lord," Brown said.
The butler tried not to stare at the incredulous look on his master's face. He was in jeopardy of losing his control. He stared at the floor instead.
"Let me get this straight in my mind," Lyon muttered. "My wife believes the house belongs to her?"
"And your mother, of course," Brown blurted out. "She's keeping her."
Brown was biting his lower lip. Lyon thought he might be trying not to laugh.
"Of course," Lyon drawled.
Elbert tried to be helpful once again. "It's the way her people do," he interjected, his voice gratingly cheerful.
"Where is my wife?" Lyon asked, ignoring Elbert's comments.
He didn't wait for his servants to answer him but took the stairs two at a time to reach the bedrooms. A sudden thought made him pause. "Did she cut her hair?" he called out.
"She did," Elbert shouted before Brown could open his mouth. "It's the way of it," Elbert insisted. "Once the hair's cut--well, then you're as good as dead to her. You're set aside, cast--"
"I've gotten her message," Lyon shouted. "Brown, bring my shoes inside. Elbert, go sit somewhere."
4 ½ stars. One of my favorite reads breaks one of my Romancelandia rules: second chances. I almost feel that there should be two or three types of se...more 4 ½ stars. One of my favorite reads breaks one of my Romancelandia rules: second chances. I almost feel that there should be two or three types of second chances: 1) first love/high-school (that never got off the ground), 2) their adults who had a one night stand or one week-end stand and now they meet again, or 3) they had a relationship and it’s been awhile since they’ve seen each other. Or maybe a fourth: 4) where the couple was actually married and are now find each other still attracted.
My dislike is in books were there was an established “couple” relationship. I'm not really big on second chances at a loving relationship this time around. I'm "iffy" on the high-school crush; depends on what type of crush/relationship the H/h had. I kind of like the situation where a couple had a one-night-stand and are surprised to be confronted with each other again. For my rule, I'm talking about after the couple breaks up. I believe that once it is over, it’s over; why beat a dead horse? However, there is always the exception to the rule.
Strange Bedpersons is a notable exception to #3, though it hasn’t been all that long since Tess and Nick have seen each other. Of course, a good writer like Jennifer Crusie can pull it off. I didn't have a clear picture of the hero at the first, which takes off a bit, but I did by the end of the book. I really liked this quick read; it has some laugh out loud funny parts and a nice secondary romance too. Love the piano scene! (less)
I had never heard of Janet Evanovich before this. I just ran to the bookstore and grabbed this audio book in a hurry. What a hoot! Very well narrated...moreI had never heard of Janet Evanovich before this. I just ran to the bookstore and grabbed this audio book in a hurry. What a hoot! Very well narrated and even my husband loved them. We laughed all the way on the unplanned road trip.
Evanovich does a hilarious job of blending Stephanie Plum’s character as a ‘balls of brass’ woman with a cute, ditzy amateur who is desperate enough for money to try her hand at bounty hunting…tracking down the man who ‘stole’ her virginity. It is amazing she can make her heroine both dumb and smart. I’ve talked with some people who were disappointed because they feel SP is not this shrewd, savvy, experienced investigator.
If you are looking for hardboiled female detectives (that have won Shamus awards) try Karen Kijewski’s Kat Colorado series, Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Millhone alphabet soup, Sara Paretsky’s Chicagoan V.I. Warshawski, or Linda Barnes’ Carlotta Carlyle, a Boston PI (also a 6’1’’ redhead).
While I like clever female protagonists, I, personally, can take a little inexperience in my heroines especially if she is as spunky as SP. Evanovich’s dialogues crackle with many LOL moments and the characters come alive. Yes, beware, there is a little violence towards women, but this is a MURDER mystery. (less)
A GoodReads friend, Amanda, just asked me if Kleypas’ Gamblers series was as good as the Wallflowers series. All I could...moreStill today, a full ★★★★★!!!
A GoodReads friend, Amanda, just asked me if Kleypas’ Gamblers series was as good as the Wallflowers series. All I could do was answer with a rhetorical question: Is any series as good as the Wallflowers? However, this book is the best in this series, IMHO, though some people will surely disagree. And they are almost right, as the first in the series, Then Came You, is a close second. Dreaming of You’s Derek Craven has his own fan club in W♥LK group’s Hero Threads: Craving Craven , and I voted for this book on listopia’s“Favorite Dukeless Historical Romances”; while I placed it forth on the list, it ranks as number one overall by voters.
This was a re-read for me and I was perplexed as to why it took me over fifteen years to do so when GoodReads reviewer, Bekah, came to it in her “Bekah’s 2011 I Love Lisa Kleypas Journey”. After a frantic search, I realized I must have loaned out my copy. Never again!
It says a lot that, though it is available at my library or on various second-hand bookstore sites, I purchased a brand-spanking-new copy. (Ahhhh…the relief of smelling a new book in my hand.) For this story still holds up after all these years. However, I must point out that I do wish I had re-read Then Came You first as there is a lot of background on Craven there. Plus, the H/H in that one, Lord Alex Raiford and the now Lady Lily Lawson Raiford, have more than walk-on parts in this one.
Kleypas writes such great characters. The heroine, Sara Fielding is not just your average spectacle-wearing country mouse. Sara is a famous novelist; the fact that hardly anyone believes that her infamous heroine Mathilda doesn’t exist is pretty tongue-in-cheek for me as I have a difficult time believing Kleypas’ heroes, too, are imaginary! **cough, cough - Jack Travis**
Our hero, Derek Craven, is darkly delicious as written; a self-made-man, or “Flash Gentry” – as he is referred by both rich and poor – he is splendidly swoon-worthy. He owns an opulent gambling club and he slips into his cockney slang when he is brutally injured or stressed. And he is maliciously disfigured by page four, when Sara steps forward to save him. She is soon constantly around his club doing “research” for her next book and creeping into his heart. He resists the attraction; though it is not apparent to him, it is a dead-giveaway to me when he secretly palms her extra pair of spectacles to keep (view spoiler)[on his person! **sigh** And she finds them on him later in the story. (hide spoiler)].
The secondary characters, from Monsieur Labarge, the French chef, to Tabitha, a whore at Craven’s club, are well written; I especially liked Derek’s arch-nemesis, Ivo Jenner. Oh the arch-villain is obvious from the start…but I didn’t care as Kleypas added a twisted emotional depth that made them scarily believable.
Best scene/quote (IMHO), page 163:
She felt him tremble with the force of his need. He spoke just beneath her ear, his voice thick with tormented pleasure. "You have to leave, Sara ... because I want to hold you like this until your skin melts into mine. I want you in my bed, the smell of you on my sheets, your hair spread across my pillow. I want to take your innocence. God! I want to ruin you for anyone else."
All in all, a GoodRead!
**Photo taken from blog site: Regency Ramble ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Second "reading" May, 2011 ★★★★★ Five whole stars! I listened to this audiobook and it is still as riveting as it was way back when. The narrator, Susa...more
Second "reading" May, 2011 ★★★★★ Five whole stars! I listened to this audiobook and it is still as riveting as it was way back when. The narrator, Susan Ericksen, does an excellent job in start of this futuristic New York cop murder mystery series featuring the infamous Eve Dallas, written by Nora Roberts AKA J.D. Robb. Check your library for the downloadable format - it is well worth it.
Update: March 23, 2012 ★★★★★ (This is a review of the audiobook.) So, I did the dumbest thing; I accidently erased from my iPod/Touch my downloaded copy from my public library of Loyalty in Death I had all set up to listen to in January (yeah, I know it’s March; I'm behind!). Usually not a problem, except these books are quite popular, and this put me back on the ‘waitlist’ into position #5. As I have set myself a personal challenge for 2012 of listening to two from the In Death series a month, this made for a bit of frustration.
Then I got the bright idea of listening to the first in the series, Naked in Death, again while I zipped around town in my car running errands, especially when I saw that the first one was available at my library’s back-up database. Plus, this would certainly help me with some of the trivia facts [Roarke’s birthday: (view spoiler)[October 06, 2024 (hide spoiler)]. . . how Galahad, the cat, came into Eve’s life and got his name (view spoiler)[he was a victim’s pet, found at a crime scene; later he saves Eve’s life! (hide spoiler)]] and questions going around in the J. D. Robb GoodReads Group, such as the first appearance of The Candy Thief.
Imagine my surprise when someone else’s voice other than Susan Ericksen’s came across my car speakers. Yup, Cristine McMurdo-Wallis! (Yes, Cristine without the "h".) Now, I personally feel Ms. Ericksen was born to narrate J.D. Robb’s futuristic detective series set in 2058 New York City – and her Irish accent for Roarke, imbued with so much rakish charm you can hear the devilish twinkle - can’t be beat! However, Ms. Wallis does a nice job of it and sounds a bit like Kathleen Turner, the femme fatale with the deep voice from Body Heat. (For the younger generation, that would be the voice of Jessica Rabbit in action/animated film Who Framed Roger Rabbit?) All in all, not a bad reading.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I just loved this book! It was just what I was looking for...a quick read that would carry me away to the 1830's and the Rocky Mountains. It was act...more I just loved this book! It was just what I was looking for...a quick read that would carry me away to the 1830's and the Rocky Mountains. It was action-packed all the way and was clever at all the right spots. After checking the author's website, I read the backstory and this tale is inspired by a real woman's story. This is definitely an author I will read again.
August 15, 2012 update - fixed misspelling! Eep.(less)
★★★★½ I don’t know how many times I’ve read this book, but not recently. I wanted to see if it still held its appeal, since my tastes have changed ov...more ★★★★½ I don’t know how many times I’ve read this book, but not recently. I wanted to see if it still held its appeal, since my tastes have changed over the years. Though just a smidgen dated, Caroline and the Raider is the third, last, and best (IMHO) of the Orphan Train trilogy, by Ms. Miller written in 1992. Goddess, I wished she still wrote like this. Her books have changed over the years, and I still pick them up, but I liked her “voice” better back then. Or maybe it is because it is a historical romance, with the added bonus of being a western; combined, these two make for my favorite genre. Plus, it has a wonderful dog named “Tob” who likes his whisky too much; it's fun guessing what that acronym means.
Caroline Chalmers is one determined schoolmistress, convinced her fiancé, Seaton Flynn, is innocent of a stagecoach robbery and murder; she seeks out Guthrie Hayes at the Hellfire and Spit Saloon (I just love that name, LOL!) and has the audacity to ask him to break her intended out of jail. Though it is more than a decade after the Civil War, Guthrie would just as soon everyone not know he broke a group of prisoners out of a desolate Yankee prison. I like that Guthrie gives in gradually to Caroline, first saying “No!” outright to the prim little dynamo, then that he’ll interview the witnesses, and so on down the line – to his eventual capitulation.
When Caroline states she wants to go with him, again he takes a firm stand, and can’t hold it when she follows along behind, creating another favorite of mine: road trip! They travel some rugged Wyoming terrain, have some narrow escapes, and end up making love in some unusual places: from rolling in the hay of an abandon barn, to boulders and tree branches (!) – these are two stubborn people who refuse to admit their love. Guthrie is determined to hold on to his dream of Adabelle Rogers, a woman with whom he has a “particular promise”. I sometimes felt he was a hare’s breath from hanging onto this ideal too long, was pretty bossy and chauvinistic toward Caroline, and directed the course of their relationship too much; but, then I remembered Caroline is just as single-minded in her belief of her betrothed – and most everything else she decides to do. What can I say? **shrugs shoulders** It worked for me. (less)
5 stars A quick read that ran the gamut of emotions. The h&h were likable. Rachel is young and naive, doesn’t realize the positive impact she is h...more5 stars A quick read that ran the gamut of emotions. The h&h were likable. Rachel is young and naive, doesn’t realize the positive impact she is having on the household. Cord is arrogant, but I like that he wants her from the beginning. This author can set a scene in a few words, making it easy to picture it in my mind’s eye and still move the story briskly along; sometimes I like that. Other times, I like an in-depth look at the characters and the time period, something she has done in her later books. This one was very good for the pages alloted for a Harlequin Historical.
I was hooked from the first chapter; the toddler was described charmingly. It was realistic to see the heroine accept the proposal of marriage instead...moreI was hooked from the first chapter; the toddler was described charmingly. It was realistic to see the heroine accept the proposal of marriage instead of stomping off down the road, which I doubt would rarely happen in the Regency era. I mean, she was destitute and knew nobody. It’s nice to read a story were the couple is married. I loved the travel and the storyline twisted and turned, keeping me interested. And, low and behold, in this story the h&h had issues - one after the other - that they resolved with talking instead of having one misunderstanding that runs the whole book and could have been resolved with honest communication. Well, there is a secret Tallie is holding on to; however, it comes out well before the last chapter. Very well written.
Wow! How can I rate a book more than five stars? Even after all the hype, this book still held up. I guess all I can do is put it on my “all-time-favo...moreWow! How can I rate a book more than five stars? Even after all the hype, this book still held up. I guess all I can do is put it on my “all-time-favorites” bookshelf. Lord Ian is intense and he leaped off the pages and into my arms. I wondered how Jennifer Ashley was going to present his POV, since he has Asperger syndrome, and at times it was almost as if it was written by someone else, the tone is so substantially different.
Here is a scene, from the heroine’s POV, from early in the book when the hero, Ian, has just met the heroine, Beth, at the opera for the first time. You can see she is attracted to him, yet he is disconcerting her; while Ian doesn’t know how to take her teasing:
Lord Ian drew a thin curl between his fingers, straightening it. He let it go, his eyes flickering as it bounced against her forehead. He drew the curl out again, watching it bounce back, and again. His concentration unnerved her; the closeness of his body unnerved her more. At the same time, her own wanton body was responding.
“You shall take all the spring out of it,” she said. “My maid will be so disappointed.”
Ian blinked, then returned his hand to the arm of his chair as though having to force it.
I liked the humor in the heroine, Beth; it is delicious when she finally makes Ian laugh out loud, something he never does. Still, she is also a tenacious woman out to solve a mystery. It is nice to see a heroine worthy of the hero.
The three brothers, Isabella, and the servants were very, very real; their dialogues believable. I found the relationship between Ian and Hart thought-provoking. Each brother thinks the other is guilty of something. I loved that Hart, the Duke, was earthy - but also so arrogantly rude to Beth - believing her to be not good enough for his brother, only worried about her safety with regards to how it would affect Ian; conversely, at the same time rude and dismissive toward Ian feelings, while still relying on him for his abilities. On second thought, Hart is rude to everyone. Ms. Ashley has created complex characterizations here and they are fun, intense, emotional and subsequently button-pushing. A wonderful love story about a woman learning to love again and a man, who thinks he can’t, learning to love for the first time!
Ms. Ashley is a new-to-me-author and I will definitely be purchasing, not borrowing, more of her works. (less)