I love EOC's western's. I always feel like I'm coming home. Oh, not because I lived in the western part of the US at some point in my life- because I...moreI love EOC's western's. I always feel like I'm coming home. Oh, not because I lived in the western part of the US at some point in my life- because I didn't- but because they are exactly the type of romantic novel that made me fall in love with reading.
The story opens with our heroine, Hassie Petty, in the middle of burying her much older, drunkard, but otherwise innocuous, husband. Unbeknownst to her, the man helping her bury him, (her step-son- who happens to be older then she, too)- has a bounty on his head that's about to come due.
Enter hero, no none sense, bounty hunter Bret Sterling. Hassie's step son stole from US government murdered someone in the process and... he's not too bright. When he pulls his gun on Bret, he dies- right next to his father about to be buried.
With frightened, starved, and now, very alone woman- Bret does the only thing he can do. Take Hassie with him until he can unload her in town.
But Hassie is unique and there's something about her innate kindness that pulls at him. Through another set of unfortunate circumstances- Bret allows her to join him on his trek across the west as he makes his way home.
Even though he does everything to discourage it, they end up making a good team- becoming fast friends and eventually falling in love, of course. And I loved every minute of it.
EOC creates the kinds of characters a reader falls instantly in love with. Hassie has a disability, she can't speak, and the intimacy of Bret learning her language drew me in as much as it drew them together.
Sure the constant danger, bigotry, and ignorance of townsfolk and subsequent rescues, got a little implausible by the end, but who cares? Great romance novels are always too good to be believed- that's why we read them! (Besides it's not always him doing the rescuing in this book, anyway- hello, yellow dog!)
Once I finally had the time to read, I was up till 3 am until I finished it. I couldn't put it down, and that feels rare now-a-days. Enough said.
Damaged but sweet hero, sexy, hot and romantic. These two didnt fight their attraction and I loved it. Just what the doctored ordered. Rec this one fo...moreDamaged but sweet hero, sexy, hot and romantic. These two didnt fight their attraction and I loved it. Just what the doctored ordered. Rec this one for a easily engaging read.(less)
The heroine in this story is an unapologetic sexually aggressive woman. She knows her nature and she's okay with it. I like that.
The paranormal bits...moreThe heroine in this story is an unapologetic sexually aggressive woman. She knows her nature and she's okay with it. I like that.
The paranormal bits to this story- of one covert group of ambiguous good guys (ARCO) attempting to get one over the unambiguous bad guys (Itor Corp) in a race to see who can (or more accurately deserves) to control the weather- makes this story even better.
This edition is about ACRO bringing in yet another operative to harness her paranormal gift... before Itor does. The operative chosen to bring her in is hawt, and he thought he was all cold hearted and usey- until he realizes she's something he truly does desire to get to know- so yeah, the H/h pairing worked for me.
This series is definitely romantica- it's romance novel material with potty mouth and frank sexual encounters. I'm okay with that as long as it blends seamlessly. Which it does. It is not, for some reason, a series that engages me completely- like I dont' feel the need to run out and get the next entry as soon as I'm finished with the last. So it's not a 5 star read for me, not even a 4 & 1/2. Yet I like it more than average because I like the idea of ACRO (Agency for Covert Rare Operatives). It just needs a little bit more depth in the over-arching plot.
Also, the fact that the books thus far are not focusing enough on one main H/h, (There are tons of side characters with their own sub-stories playing out in each novel), we never really get to know the characters well enough to fully engage. Perhaps it's just a timing thing- this is afterall, only the second in the series. So 4 out of 5 for me.(less)
Re-read for review purposes. (Oh, who am I kiddin, I frakkin love this series, and re-read it all the time.)
Second in Johansen’s 90’s romance series t...moreRe-read for review purposes. (Oh, who am I kiddin, I frakkin love this series, and re-read it all the time.)
Second in Johansen’s 90’s romance series titled, "Winder Dancer", Storm Winds brings the Wind Dancer statue to revolutionary France. The Andreas family are the original owners of the statue that some say, he who possess is granted power. Power which leads every army to victory. Now in the hands of French royalty, Jean Marc Andreas will stop at nothing to get it back for his ailing father.
Juliette de Clement, raised in the shadow of Marie Antoinette as well as the Wind Dancer, knows the reputed statue's where-abouts, and knows how to get it. Jean Marc will use her to do so but not before stormy passion arises between them.
But war and a deed witnessed so horrific, it haunts her still, impede the way of true love...as well as their path to The Wind Dancer.
Sigh. Le amor. Again too young heroine… but whatevs. The angst and Andreas's obsessive lust for her consumed me as much as their consuming passion for each other. The setting once again makes this hist-rom the very best.
They just don’t write ‘em like this anymore.(less)
The Wind Dancer (Original 90's Version)- first in a trilogy has always been a favorite of mine. It’s the setting you see. One you don’t get often in H...moreThe Wind Dancer (Original 90's Version)- first in a trilogy has always been a favorite of mine. It’s the setting you see. One you don’t get often in Hist-rom. The setting in this book- the settings in the entire series really- is the thing I fell in the deepest love with- for it’s what sets the books apart.
For this tale, the setting is in the late 1400’s early 1500’s Italy. The power of the dukes and popes are waning and so, to keep that power, they desire one thing. The Wind Dancer.
A Pegasus made of Gold that gives the possessor an almost mystical power of invulnerability. Yet no matter whose hands have had it, It has always made its way to the Andreas family- even from the times of Troy. But a scheming triumvirate of evil wants it, and they’ll stop at nothing to get it- even murder of entire village.
Our story starts with the heroine, a desperate girl who will stop at nothing to protect the ones she love. Even thievery. It’s as thief that she comes to the attention of the rich and powerful Lionello Andreas.
Lion has a duty to his family and to the golden statue which has been in his family for centuries. The Wind dancer- stolen out from under him- is about to be recovered, but he needs a thief to help him accomplish it.
Sanchia is young, but she’s no dummy. She’ll use whatever it takes to keep herself and those she’s adopted as family safe. She agrees to help Lion, even though as a slave she really has no choice. In the end Lion will demand much more of her then her skill on the streets- he’ll demand her heart, body and soul. And she’ll give it. But not before they both lose so much more
Okay, here’s the thing. Sanchia is only 16. It never really bothered me before, because she had to be 16 in this setting. I figured, otherwise it wouldn’t be truthful. But now, reading it with my over 40 yr old eyes. Oy vey.
Worse is Lion’s reaction to her. He manipulates her innocence, even though she does indeed desire him. But something about it this go around pissed me off. Idk,it probably has to do with the fact that many marriages around me are busting up and I look on in horror as I watch men my age only date women 20 yrs younger then them. I Just. Don’t. Get. It.
But then the setting arises, the plague happens and suddenly, Sanchia is no longer 16 yrs old but a woman who endured death and lived! And Lion is the man who walks out of the fire with her and helps her seek her revenge. That is why I love this story- and that is why I will probably keep rereading it. Because, no matter the ass-hattery of men who think trading in their strong wives for a younger, more malleable, model is just the thing? A strong and noble woman is a thing to behold at any age. And the man who loves her? Well, he has my heart too.
Dnf. Sometimes i cant believe how much her books bore me. Then the next i cannot put down.
This? Went no where- i get something heinous musta happened...moreDnf. Sometimes i cant believe how much her books bore me. Then the next i cannot put down.
This? Went no where- i get something heinous musta happened to the hetoinr (and since there is nothing new under the sun it probably involves rape or incest, prolly rape because her father and bro are awesome) and im suspecting because of it she cant get pregnant so she did the hero "a favor" all those yrs ago and split. I havent read that far to find out if im right but these characters seems fairly prozaic and predictable, so I put it down about halfway thru and have little desire to read on.
So, those've read it.... Am I right??
(The first two in the series, fyi, i did like. A lot. So weird.)(less)
This is good. Seriously hot. Natalie is a heroine I can get on board with, despite her virgin status. (not that there's anything wrong with that. Of c...moreThis is good. Seriously hot. Natalie is a heroine I can get on board with, despite her virgin status. (not that there's anything wrong with that. Of course not.) But Sevastyan? Yes, please.
That said, a serial story- chopped up and divvied out like misers with gold? Because that's what you are you wretched publishers/marketers. (I'm blaming them because I refuse to believe KC could be so cruel. I mean really, to borrow a phrase- Whiskey. Tango. Foxtrot.)
It's hard enough waiting for stories that are good from authors you love, you do this to us? You've made yourselves to be bigger cock-teases than the writers of "How I met your mother" and it's just wrong to play with fangirl hearts-and wallets- like this. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.
4 1/2 stars. Heart the hero and heroine in this so much. Loved the bond they formed through adversity- even if it was in a demon realm which is sorta...more4 1/2 stars. Heart the hero and heroine in this so much. Loved the bond they formed through adversity- even if it was in a demon realm which is sorta familiar, but still works for me.
Srsly. So good, but too long a wait. Wish it was longer too. (Not that it was short just didnt want to leave their world.)
I want real romances like these -not just 50 Rip Off Shades of 50 Shades of Gray stories like are getting cranked out now.(less)
This one totally follows the author's McNaughizing plots, with the hero eventually going into jerk mode over the big misunderstanding then having to c...moreThis one totally follows the author's McNaughizing plots, with the hero eventually going into jerk mode over the big misunderstanding then having to come crawling back on his knees when he realizes how wrong he was.
But c'mon, who doesnt like a man brought to his knees over his own actions? So, though it's certainly not one of her best, I liked it. (I read the entire thing in one sitting.)
Imo, a "bad" Judith Mcnaught, is better than most that are considered "good" in romance novels now-a-days. She always manages to engage my emotions.
Dated setting and attitude toward women in the workplace and jerkmode aside, I'm going with a 3 out of 5.(less)
Although not her first novel written, according to Wiki, Tender Triumph is her first one published. A pioneer in the romance novel industry, McNaught...moreAlthough not her first novel written, according to Wiki, Tender Triumph is her first one published. A pioneer in the romance novel industry, McNaught has a way of tearing your heart out with big misunderstandings, sweet, smart, likable heroines who fall for broody billionaire, alpha to the point of jerky heroes. (And you thought 50 Shades was original somehow??)
With Tender Triumph, much of this is toned down. The big misunderstanding is not so big as the heroine already knows something’s up by the time all is out in the open. Secondly, though manipulative, McNaught has written bigger asses for heroes. Oh the shadow of her later characters are here but that’s all they are, pale comparisons. Combine this with the outdated attitudes and it becomes definitely one of my least favs from this author.
That said, there was something utterly engaging about it. Though Katie Connelly is snotty in her opinion of Ramon, the foreign looking man who came to her rescue outside a singles bar one night- (singles bar? Do people even call them that anymore?)- he somehow sees through all her snobbery to the genuinely caring person she is inside. At first they have nothing in common, he’s all old world chauvinistic and she’s all modern independent woman making a good living on her own. This is what keeps her holding back a large part of herself with him. Well, that and her crappy short lived first marriage to a cheating abusive asshole.
But he isn’t all he says he is either, and something in her knows it. So, though she eventually capitulates and agrees to marriage after not even knowing him for a week, (which is just weird imo), the struggle between them is very real. Until the end when the author flips the script.
If you think this heroine is gonna quiet down and stay in the kitchen where a woman belongs you’d be wrong. But you’ll be surprised by how much you don’t even care by the end.
This one is for the superfans of Judith McNaught- it’s too dated and she certainly hasn’t hit her stride as an author yet- still, it ended up being a fun read for me…
OH and one more thing- although heated at times, these two never make it to the bedroom. It's is all above the waistline touching in this novel, although the throbbing manhood gets mentioned quite a bit... :P (less)
An old Mexican folk tale retold by John Steinbeck, The Pearl is a morality lesson- a little bit of "what does it profit a man, if he gains the world b...moreAn old Mexican folk tale retold by John Steinbeck, The Pearl is a morality lesson- a little bit of "what does it profit a man, if he gains the world but loses his soul" and a little bit "be careful what you wish for."
The story begins with Kino and his wife Juana desperate to find help for their baby who has just been stung by a scorpion. Of course the fatuous, repugnant white doctor dismisses them in their poverty. However, fate turns the key and heals the baby without medicine... and delivers the biggest pearl the natives have ever seen into Kino's hands at the same time.
The pearl, as large as a seagull's egg, seems the answer to all their prayers. Kino and Juana can finally have a huge church wedding and their boy can have an education and they will never be at the mercy of the oppressive white man again.
That isn't what happens, of course. No, rather, the pearl brings out the worst in everyone- from greedy pearl appraisers, to envious neighbors and finally in Kino himself. Kino becomes obsessively fearful someone will take the pearl from him... and he has reason too.
After the small village appraisers offer a ridiculously low price, he decides to head to the city hoping for a fairer deal. Juana, already aware of the evil following the pearl, decides to rid her little family of the cursed pearl, by throwing it in the ocean. But Kino stops her and beats her mercilessly.
Worse evil haunts the pearl and it's a broken Kino who finally agrees with Juana by the end of the tale, as he lobs it back into the depths from which it came.
Sad story, but one we see often enough, with every Hollywood actor who's star starts to fade and goes off the deep end- and some even during the height of their fame, as recent headlines have proven- as well as every lottery winner who ends their life by taking it not long after the big "win".
I do know this: whatever your pearl may be, be it wealth, fame or dreams come true, you better be darn sure your character's ready to handle it. It may seem all your prayers will be answered when it hits, but evil crouches right behind it, waiting to catch you unaware.
John Steinbeck is a master of atmosphere. You smell the salt of the gulf, feel the dry dust as they hide along the road and taste the fear as they sleep at night in this little book. Love that about him.