After all these years, I still seriously enjoyed this one. One of my old favs from the 80's, Night Magic features an almost washed up super spy and a...moreAfter all these years, I still seriously enjoyed this one. One of my old favs from the 80's, Night Magic features an almost washed up super spy and a plucky romance novelist thrust together because of the big bad Soviets- that's Russians for the youngin's. (Interesting how Russians still feature prominently as bad guys in many a romance novel, however now as drug dealer/mobsters rather than enemies of the States. These guys do bad good I guess.)
John "Jack" McClain is all but out of the spy business, forced into Desk Jockeydom after a deal gone bad antecedent to a breakdown. Yet, he somehow becomes embroiled in a game of cat and mouse to catch a major Soviet sleeper agent who is about to attempt to assassinate the Secretary of State.
The book opens with Jack daringly escaping the bad guys- with the help of dolphins oddly enough- and making his way to a hospital. At the hospital they catch up with Jack and blame the melee that ensues on him so that the cops believe he's a renegade psycho they need to bring in.
Meanwhile Clara Winston, romance novelist having just completed her latest book, is ready for some down time at her remote family home, having no idea the trouble about to rain down on her head.
They come together when the bad guys, believing that Jack is her boyfriend because of a dedication in one of her previous novels, break into her house and threaten her life. Jack, having followed the bad guys to her place assumes she's with them till she comes running out of her house and right into him. They escape, together with her mean old fat cat, Puff (as in The Magic Dragon)- who is as memorable as the H/h- now on the run from the bad guys AND the cops.
Considering herself stolid and stay at home, Clara wants no part of this madman who obviously gets high on danger but is now in it up to her neck. (Besides he infuriates the crap out of her!) Their willy nilly flight from danger will test her mettle- and she is just as surprised as Jack with the steel in her spine that results. Oh, they do discover who the man is pulling the trigger, thanks to some microfilm, (::snort:: microfilm), but not till after being chased by police dogs, going over a falls and sleeping in a hollowed out log in the woods- and capture, torture and escaping again!
Ok, this book is a tad over-the-top, but hey it was written in the 80's, everything was over-the-top in the 80's, from our hair to our clothes to our bad guys! It was a hoot reading it once again, thirty yrs later O_O, with the outdated references,and still it worked for me.
Clara and Jack are great together, as they mutually prejudge and bicker with each other, from the very beginning. They go toe to toe like the best of romantic/comedy couples, creating tons of sexual tension which the author relieves quite fittingly. ::srsly thought some hot stuff there for the age of this novel::
There is also a scene where the bad guys torture her to get Jack to talk that stuck with me as much as anything in this book because of the way the author "went there" which, believe me, NOBODY did in romance novels back then. (She wasn't raped, thank God, but how the authored played it was very effective, imo. His and her actions, I still feel, seem believable. Well, for a romance novel anyway...)
It's a great book, though I think I'm pretty much alone on thinking so. Don't know why it does it for me, but I'm glad it does. (I'm totally gonna go back to some of my other old favs and see if any of them still strike the same chord too!)
When a gunslinger arrives in place of someone else, at the ranch her father left her alone on, Cassie Stuart knew she had to run him off before he mad...moreWhen a gunslinger arrives in place of someone else, at the ranch her father left her alone on, Cassie Stuart knew she had to run him off before he made things worse for her. Having sent for a peacemaker to settle a neighboring feud- not someone who would stir up a hornet’s nest- the man known as the Angel of Death simply would not do.
Angel had never met a woman quite like the Stuart girl, not exactly a beauty- but definitely intriguing. At first thinking he didn’t even like her, he found himself surprised to want to stick around and help her out.
To exact their revenge on Cassie for her meddling ways, the townsfolk force her to marry Angel- which ends up being little hardship as Cassie sees to his lonely noble heart and he’s decided she’s gotten better looking with every passing day. It’s when her parents- who’ve only talked to each other thru Cassie for years- show up, that things get turned awry… and Cassie and Angel not telling each other their true fears about romantic relationships, doesn’t help either.
Angel takes off soon after, believing he’s not good enough for Cassie, and Cassie- though incredibly hurt- lets him leave. Still, being who she is, she cant let it completely go. She resolves to find Angel’s missing parents. Which of course she does.
Another sweet, quirky romance from the Dowager of Romance. These oldies by Lindsey read so easily and charm every time. Even on 100th re-read. (less)
SO- if you’re any kind of Sci Fi nerd, as I am, you know this story. I mean, know this story. Not only have you read the book, you’ve seen the old mov...more SO- if you’re any kind of Sci Fi nerd, as I am, you know this story. I mean, know this story. Not only have you read the book, you’ve seen the old movie starring Rod Taylor and you’ve also seen that glowy, gadgety, steam punky, levered, whirling time machine guest star on a recent TV show which shall remain nameless, because it’s become a fixture in nerd culture worldwide.
But here’s a recap in case you aren’t as aware of it: Around the turn of the century, a guy makes a time machine. He travels to the distant future and makes it back with a story to tell. Apparently in the future the human race has evolved into two sub-species: The shiny, happy Eloi who live above the ground with nothing to do but eat, play and indolently make love. Below ground it is a different story. Hairy, with subterranean eyes accustomed to the dark, the Morlocks are an brutish, threatening lot which the traveler surmises descended from the lower class of people who’s jobs it were to “get their hands dirty”, i.e. the laborers of our culture. (Not as much a point for Socialism as I guess Wells intended as coming off slightly snotty and academically elitist.)
Because he’s sure the Morlocks are treating the Eloi as cattle on which to feed, and partly I’d say because he had taken the lovely Eloi, Weena, to bed, the traveler decides to take it on himself to smoke the Morlocks out of their subterranean homes. Plus… they had his Time Machine. His plan works beyond his imaginations and when waking the next day, he finds his Time Machine- all set up like bait in a trap. But he knows something the Morlocks do not- he can escape the trap with ease. And escape he does- but not without a tense confrontation with the white haired, red-eyed creatures.
Farther into the future he goes, watching the sun grow red and huge and then wane, till only darkness and stars permanently fill the skies. And then he comes home- to the exact moment he left- a little distance away, because, after all, the Morlocks had moved his machine, and though time had changed, distance had not.
The end of the tale leaves those listening, not believing a word of the travelers supposed flight of fancy- but one friend comes back days later because he’s just not sure. He of course sees the traveler disappear in his machine. He’s still waiting for the his return.
The story doesn’t really get good till about the time the scary Morlocks show up… but, quite honestly, the tiny smooth-skinned Eloi creep me out more. With scientific touches- classic to his stories- H. G. Wells plays a game of “what if?” with the future that still feels unique even as it spawned an entire genre and thousands of similar stories. I wish Wells had a time machine to take him to today so he could see how beloved his stories were and still remain. I wonder if he would have changed his future world to be a little more happier, a little less dystopian? Then again, maybe not- he seemed to have been an excellent judge of human nature, if misguided by what would fix it. (less)
Strong willed Georgina Anderson is determined to find the fiancé she lost four years earlier when he had been impressed into service by the British du...moreStrong willed Georgina Anderson is determined to find the fiancé she lost four years earlier when he had been impressed into service by the British during the war of 1812. Doing so meant leaving the five older brothers who raised her, as well as her home in America, but she’ll be damned if she’d let a little thing like war, time, and distance get in between her and her plans for the future.
And find him she does. However her ‘fiancé’ is married and settled down- to someone else!- and he is baffled that she actually is still clinging to the hope of marrying him. Hurt and more than a little red-faced, all Georgie wants to do now is get out of Jolly ol’ dreadful England- but the only immediate way back to America is to work her way home incognito as a cabin boy!
One problem. The Captain of the ship turns out to be the one man who knows exactly who she is.
James Mallory cant believe the impish girl dressed as a man he ran into weeks ago- and has never forgotten- has made her way onto his ship. Her "cabin boy" disguise isn’t fooling him… but he’s not telling her because this is the perfect opportunity to keep the feisty little darling nearby- and get her into his bed.
To keep the game afoot he must pretend to all that she is what she says she is. But the game of seduction he plans backfires, and he finds himself just as trapped into their respective roles as she is. Passion explodes and all is revealed rather quickly- because this temperamental woman fascinates him to no end- but he’s got an even bigger stumbling block looming unaware ahead of him… Her brothers.
Written back in the days of big hair and Fabio covers, Johanna Lindsey defined the historical romance genre. Why have I clung to the romance genre all these years? Because of this book…and ones like it. Yes the plot is cheesy as all get out- but the characters and dialogue are as fresh today as they ever were.
Unfortunately Johanna Lindsey’s newer releases are decidedly lacking. Still, if you want to know why Lindsey’s name became legendary or why her books sold-and are still being sold- in the millions all over the world, read Gentle Rogue. (less)
Sage Tyler cannot believe it- dumped! By the mama’s boy she’d invested time and energy into making her husband. And to make things worse? In f...moreRe-read
Sage Tyler cannot believe it- dumped! By the mama’s boy she’d invested time and energy into making her husband. And to make things worse? In front of the arrogant shiftless, cowboy sent by her brothers to pick her up for the birth of her nephew.
The only thing she’s ever wanted was for her brothers to see her as a mature woman able to contribute to the family business, now she has to face them with this- a failed relationship?
Harlan Boyd, recently hired by Tyler Drilling, has a difficult time not teasing the spitfire youngest sibling to the men who employ him and keeping his thoughts- as well as mitts- off of her. (Sure she’s a handful, but he’s just the kind of man to make her happy- especially in bed!) Still, he’s determined not to wade into those tricky waters despite the immediate heat between them.
Thrown a curve ball, Sage is ready to lay all her troubles at the feet of the swaggering cowboy who stumbled into the middle of the wreckage. Little does she know that, together with him, they’ll be the key to saving her family’s business.
Loved LOVED these two together. Sage is definitely high strung and quick to blame someone else for her problems, but she’s got confidence and determination and I loved watching the slow hipped, sexy Harlan Boyd bring her down a few pegs. I also loved that he fell for her just the way she was- kind and strong, if a bit bratty.
Texas! Sage ended up being my favorite. (I re-read it more often then the others! :P) Not sure why I love this trilogy so much- I just do. (less)
Picking up soon after the first in this trilogy left off, the events of the ending of Texas! Lucky have left Chase Tyler devastated.
Having lost his beloved wife and unborn child to a tragic car accident, his gut wrenching slide into alcohol and dangerous living on the Rodeo circuit is hard to watch.
Self-made Marcie Jones can hardly stand seeing the unrequited love of her life waste away after the loss of his wife either. With a bold proposal to save his family business, Marcie puts herself out there in the hope of seeing Chase happy once again- but will her gamble work? And what will he say when he realizes it’s more than her money on the line- and sees he’s had her heart the entire time?
I accidentally read this one first many years ago not knowing it was part of a trilogy and I still like it much better than the first in the series. I love that Marcie- or “Goosey” as Chase calls her- overcomes her shy teenage years and makes something of herself, before getting the hero! Chase, in his very real grief for his first wife, is not so nice to Marcie at first- but that’s okay, because he eventually wises up.
As I’ve stated before, self-sacrifice is to me the ultimate expression of love and when a character gets rewarded for that sacrifice with a Happily Ever After? Well, I’m hooked.
Sure this series is a bit dated in the way the hero responds to the heroine, but it remains way more compelling than most of the boring crap being peddled as contemporary romance out there right now.
My least favorite of Sandra Brown's Texas Trilogy. Still. Not a bad read. :P)
Lucky Tyler’s having a bad day. His family business is in the crapper and he doesn’t know what to do about it. The last thing he needs is a damsel in distress in need of rescuing but he can no more ignore the pretty- altho out of place- woman getting harassed by two local scuzzballs, than he would if his own sister were being hit on- so rescue her he does. Only it seems the little lady isn’t much interested in his help.
On a social experiment for her next article in the paper, Devon Haines is more than frustrated with the self-imposed “white knight” who comes to her “rescue” at the dive-bar she finds herself in, in the middle of the day. Still, she tries her best to evade the ensuing disaster about to fall on her by the ruckus he caused with the two jerks who hadn’t let her alone since entering the establishment and leaves as unobtrusively as possible.
But avoiding the local town’s biggest hell raiser is harder than it looks. One night stand later, she beats it out of town as quick as she can, hoping to never see him again.
As much as she wants to forget that night- and one Lucky Tyler- she finds herself smack dab in the middle of his life once again when, falsely accused of setting fire to his own property, she becomes his only alibi.
Of course, she’s got secrets of her own and, attracted tho she may be to the quick tempered charmer, she must soon make a decision between what’s best for her- and what’s the right thing to do.
I love this old series by Sandra Brown for its entirety. Her backlist books are a major comfort read for me and I’m glad I revisited the Tyler Siblings… once again! :) (less)
Old bookie friend reminded me I never reviewed this one even though I've re-read it often so here goes after a recent re-read...
One of the best of Gar...moreOld bookie friend reminded me I never reviewed this one even though I've re-read it often so here goes after a recent re-read...
One of the best of Garwood’s old historicals- it features a heroine who bravely finds a way out of an abusive situation- and, fortunately, into a lovematch. A hero who is gruff, but noble. And an intrigue plot featuring kings and conspiracies.
Okay, okay, it’s a romance novel plot, solved with a perfect Happily Ever After ending, accompanied by men too amazing to be believed and women who every woman wants to believe they can be, but whatever, that’s what I love about JG old historicals.
Johanna has been beaten and told she’s less than dull-witted cattle in God’s grand scheme of things- but she’s never believed it in her heart. When her husband is lost and thought dead- she ensures her release from her enslavement- for that’s what her marriage was- by blackmailing an annulment out of devious King John. Thinking her independence secure, she’s less than pleased to say the least when her beloved brother secures another husband for her- mostly she’s scared witless. But she moves ahead determined to be courageous.
Garbriel Macbain is the Laird of a renegade Scottish clan formed from the merging of two. His new wife- and the land that comes with her- will help with the merging but she needs more than a husband, she needs a protector- for she has a secret that will change the destiny of kings and countries.
The Macbain is a strong leader, but his little wife is stronger and when they come together- as partners in life as well as love- they become a force to be reckoned with. She may have started off as a means to an end, but she actually becomes his saving grace.
This is one that sticks with you- sometimes between re-reads I'll forget a plot point or two but certain aspects will remain. Saving Grace I always remember as- "The one where the heroine sews two plaids together". (If you read it, you'll understand why it stuck with me.)
One wild night- brainy, but slightly off kilter Molly Sommerville does the unthinkable- she sneaks into Chicago Star’s Quaterback Kevin Tucker’s bedro...moreOne wild night- brainy, but slightly off kilter Molly Sommerville does the unthinkable- she sneaks into Chicago Star’s Quaterback Kevin Tucker’s bedroom… and sleeps with him. Prone to random acts of rebellion, this was the ultimate. Unfortunately the consequences of that one act reaches passed that time and place, and she finds herself pregnant. Kevin’s background forces him to propose marriage though he wants nothing to do with the frankly unattractive, manipulative heiress, but marry they do. However, it’s the tragic circumstances of their wedding day that begin to truly bring these two together.
To move on with their lives, Kevin must sell an old campground he inherited, but it’s that very campground that helps Molly to heal and move on herself. Forced together until it sells, Kevin begins to see the beauty that was hidden in Molly and Molly learns to trust a man with her heart- perhaps for the first time in her life.
Love love LOVE these two characters- as well as the setting. I love also that the characters from the heroine’s children’s story books also are big part of this book. With trademark wit, SEP makes me laugh and cry and fall in love right along with her characters- every time I read it, and this is probably my favorite re-reads by this author. (less)
His Native American family brutally murdered during an unwarranted attack, Chandos encounters a young woman staying with the man kno...moreGuilty Pleasure #1
His Native American family brutally murdered during an unwarranted attack, Chandos encounters a young woman staying with the man known to be one of the murderers. Her life in his hands, he nevertheless sets her free, intuitively sensing her innocence. Four years later and he’s still hunting down the rest of the men involved that day- and Courtney Hart once again has managed to cross his path. However she has no idea the history they have together and though he wants nothing of her, she’s determined to hire him to take her to Waco where her long thought dead father appeares to be alive and well, if the picture in the paper was to be believed.
Since she’s too stubborn to take his advice- ie go home and get that fool idea out of her head- he agrees. Along the way she moves from being his burden (someone has to take care of the headstrong greenhorn), to his tormentor (the skin tight pants she inadvertently buys), his lover, to his greatest weakness. Meanwhile he must stay on the bloody path he had set for himself- avenge the slaughter of his mother and half sister.
She hated living with her selfish step mother, so when it seemed her father was not dead, Courtney Harte jumped at the only chance she had to getting there- riding along with the enigmatic Chandos- a man she just met. Even though he tries to frighten her off her mission, she still trusts him beyond all reason. Besides, he was beautiful, and she couldn’t keep her eyes off him. Then, despite looking the opposite the entire time, she discovers he’s not as uninterested as he appears. When he finally releases the full force of his passion, it frightens her but his confession that he wanted her undoes her. With much of her timid nature behind her, they give into the wild heat between them, but a wild heart is not easily tamed and Chandos knows more than anyone that loving means loss.
When they reach their destination, he leaves intending to never come back. In despair, Courtney tries to move on, as does he, only to find that is all but impossible. Especially when the ties forged on the trail refuse to let go- of either of them.
I love the old western romances that have the hero and heroine riding the open trail across the west, with only each other to survive and A Heart So Wild is probably my most favorite. I re-read it often and every time it’s just as passionate, just as engaging. For some reason, I’m always amazed at the delicious feeling in the pit of my stomach I get when Chandos gets all possessively protective of her. I’m amazed not because it happens, but because it happens with a story I know like the back of my hand- and one I’ve been reading over and over since my teenage years. That’s how much a woman likes to feel protected- even one who knows she can pretty much survive anything after all she's been through. Well, this woman anyway. Written in the 80's, trust me when I tell ya, it still has the magic.
Now that I think on it, perhaps A Heart So Wild is my favorite romance novel, period. If you know my reading habits, that’s saying something. (less)
WOO HOO! Back to Ash and the Dark Hunters. Although everyone's moaning about how sucky the series is getting, I still enjoy it.
I’m not going to take t...moreWOO HOO! Back to Ash and the Dark Hunters. Although everyone's moaning about how sucky the series is getting, I still enjoy it.
I’m not going to take the time and space for a synop./review, but I will say I loved Tabitha and Valerious’s story. Tabby was strong and independent- no attempts to prove it by the author needed. She just was. And Valerius held his own just fine.
I ate it up in one sitting.
Anyway, it was a hit in my book, though I still think it’s more juvenile than Ward’s series.
Initially this story starts off with a bit of Pride and Prejudice, in that Grant Sulliavn, ex-military who’s specialty was jungle warfare, is prejudic...moreInitially this story starts off with a bit of Pride and Prejudice, in that Grant Sulliavn, ex-military who’s specialty was jungle warfare, is prejudiced against Pricilla Jane Hamilton Greer from the facade of a spoiled selfish society girl she’s wrapped around her life. But Jane, is not who she portrays and she knows exactly what she’s doing- ie getting the hidden secret microfilm (microfilm- yeah that’s how old this book is) and getting the hell out of Costa Rica ASAP. If her pride keeps her from telling the truth to the cagey junglecat her father hired to rescue her, so be it.
But that changes quickly enough when they head out into to the jungle to make their escape together. Even though she has learned she can only depend on herself to make her way in the world, she’s letting down her guard and allowing this stranger to get her out of this mess. But can she trust him?
Through danger both from the jungle and those hunting them down, they learn to lean on each other all the while discovering that neither is what first impressions led them to believe. But old habits die hard and it’s easier to believe the worst of someone, after all. Can Jane find the strength to let him go so that he can finally learn to believe what is true?
Though written in the 80’s this book holds up damn well. A forerunner to all the military hero romance novels out there, Midnight Rainbow sure doesn’t disappoint, both in edge of your seat action and heart melting romance.
The book really gets started when Grant sneaks into her room to get her out and… she racks him with well placed knee! Jane is my favorite kind of heroine, smart and vulnerable but determined. Courage is her middle name, plowing passed very real fears to do what she’s gotta do.
Grant is of course the quintessential alpha hero, protective and in control and once he discovers she can match him in inner strength and nobility he’s a gonner- which makes you love him all the more.
Still, it takes a bit till he’s ready to accept their love, hardnose that he is, but the emotional payoff at the end of their story- as quirky as Jane herself- makes this former category romance a treasured romance novel in the best of traditions.
4 out 5 from me! (I still like Kell’s book best! :)) (less)
A medieval Templar assigned to protect a secret treasure
A modern woman alone against a powerful sect
An ancient text ties them together...moreRe-read 11/7/12
A medieval Templar assigned to protect a secret treasure
A modern woman alone against a powerful sect
An ancient text ties them together before they even meet…
And then Grace came to Creag Dhu.
Read and re-read since the 90’s, for some reason, this romance novel always draws me in. Probably because it blends different sub-genres of romance so expertly- and dang, is the hero hot.
A chick book for sure, I will admit I can see it being a hard one to get into because it's so not romance novely for half the book (literally). (Heck, the H/h dont even physically interact until then!) But I happen to enjoy the journey we are taken on while we watch Grace grow and change into a completely different woman.
A romantic-suspense thriller with a paranormal time-traveling twist that ends up in historical romance territory, Son Of The Morning has it all- a fairly predictible mystery plot- (but that's only because The DaVinci code stole a portion of it :P)- a gutsy heroine who reveals her strength through edge of your seat action and a smokin hot, uber-alpha hero like only a romance novel can conjure- as well as the gritty sensual sex he lays down on her- and you have a page turner that stands the test of time, even after all these years....
Black Niall, an ex-communicated Templar Knight from the 1300’s turned his back on God when He did nothing to save Niall’s brothers in arms. But that didn’t stop the Scotsman from taking on the job of being The Guardian of God’s secrets. Still, it’s his status as the King of Scotland’s illegitimate half-brother and self-appointed protector of the throne, that motivates him now. Until the treasure is threatened by wisp of girl who haunts his dreams.
Grace St. John's world is turned upside down when her husband is murdered practically before her eyes- and all because she discovers an ancient secret hidden in old documents she's been translating.
Now she's on the run from a cold killer who wants what she knows. Determined to finish the work they began to avenge her loved ones, in the midst of it, incredibly, she makes contact with a man, a myth, from another time.
It will take more courage than she's ever imagined to stay alive- especially when the secret that's been hidden throughout the centuries leads her to Niall and to an impossible place and time.
Oh they defeat the bad guys but wait to you see how... (less)