I’ve been wanting to read this book for a while, especially after I read and reviewed my first Shayla Black, Decadent, last year and really liked it....moreI’ve been wanting to read this book for a while, especially after I read and reviewed my first Shayla Black, Decadent, last year and really liked it. I figured I’d like this one just as well. But somewhere along the way, I figured wrong. This book didn’t work for me nearly as well as Decadent.
I like the characters, Morgan and Jack, just fine, the sexual tension between them is edgy and sensual. The plot is intriguing, as are the secondary characters. What turned me off is the way Jack more or less pushes his wicked lifestyle onto Morgan. Okay, I know it’s an erotic book, the toys, the ties, the whatever are part of that. But for me Jack just pushed too much and too hard.
But before all of that, Morgan hosts a sex talk show and she’s meeting Master J to bone up on the BDSM lifestyle which is the subject of her next show. She’s also being stalked and during her meet with Master J, someone takes a shot at her, turns the master in to professional bodyguard Jack Cole, and he takes it upon himself to keep her safe.
Stealing her away with the help of some friends and creative ways to get her out of town, they end up at his cabin in the swamps of Louisiana where Jack’s alphaness and lust hits an all-time high. He wants Morgan but he wants her his way. This is where he begins to really push her toward her inner submissiveness. He’s so certain she is a sub and he’s going to prove it to her.
He even has a sex room set up with every toy imagineable and then some. He basically challenges Morgan to give it all a go, even though she really doesn’t want to. It’s either do it his way or she doesn’t get the guy at all. So she chooses to do as he wants, though I didn’t see it as a choice. Just didn’t care of the ultimatum feel of that whole thing between them.
That’s really the only thing I didn’t care for in this book. Even despite his attitude along that vein, I still like Jack very much. Of course, they both have secrets that they eventually will have to deal with. And I do like how Jack does in the end realize Morgan is the one for him and he gives thanks that she does embrace her role as a submissive. For me he just went about it the wrong way.
I’ve been able to keep up with Lynsay Sands’ current historicals, but I’ve yet to read her earlier work. It seemed fate was wanting me to do so, there...moreI’ve been able to keep up with Lynsay Sands’ current historicals, but I’ve yet to read her earlier work. It seemed fate was wanting me to do so, therefore, when my historical romance chat group chose Ms. Sands for their author of the month and I just happened across a number of her books when last visiting my storage unit. So I took that as a sign and picked up Love is Blind.
As usual when reading a Sands book, I was drawn into this story immediately. I’m always amazed at how the really great authors make you feel for their characters, wrap your emotions up in one ooey-gooey mess and keep you turning the pages to find out what happens to these people you begin to love with the very first sentence of their book. Especially more so when I read a book that fails to do any of that.
It’s always more special when it’s both hero and heroine you feel for, not just one or the other or one more than the other. Clarissa is known as a clumsy clod, bumping into things, falling over anything in her path, even setting fire to a few items, including her current beau’s hair. Society has decided it’s because she’s too vain to wear her spectacles. In truth, her stepmother has promised Clarissa’s father she will find a good match for the girl, and since gentlemen don’t like women who wear eyeglasses, Clarissa must do without hers. The old saying blind as a bat takes on new meaning with Clarissa. She also has a scandal in her past that was not her fault at all, but, of course, society needs gossip and they do a pretty good job on Clarissa, the lingering effects still cropping up now and again.
Adrian has returned to London after fleeing ten years ago when women fainted at the sight of his newly scarred face, compliments of the war. Country living has agreed just fine with him, but it is time he finds a wife. Even after being warned off by his cousin about Clarissa’s clumsy accidents, which are quite hilarious when told by a gentleman who’s on the receiving end, Adrian is still intrigued and asks Clarissa to dance. From their first meeting when they only talk and dance, you’re enchanted with the way they seem to know each other, how to laugh at themselves, and how to have fun together, especially despite the evil stepmother’s later machinations in trying to keep them apart.
They come up with secret plans behind Lydia’s back to meet, just to be near one another. Clarissa enjoys Adrian’s kisses and wants more. Adrian is completely smitten before long, which is a good thing when they are eventually caught in a compromising position after narrowly escaping more danger at the hands of Clarissa’s unknown stalker. Thinking she would never marry such a man as Adrian, Clarissa is genuinely looking forward to their wedding, until Lydia once again interferes when she nastily demonstrates how the wedding night will be unpleasant and painful for Clarissa. Even I will never look at a cherry pie the same way again. At this point, Clarissa begins to have doubts about the consummation of the marriage, and, of course, Adrian notices. Terrific scenes of the wedding, especially once her fear is vanquished.
The mystery is finally solved, both by Clarissa and Adrian at separate times and when Adrian is away, so that Clarissa must face her pursuer on her own. I think the round-about way Ms. Sands took to deceive the reader - and the characters - until the end works quite well. Even if I had guessed who it is, I wouldn’t have guessed the why of it all.
I really enjoyed Adrian and Clarissa so much. Their relationship from friends to lovers grows quickly and they have a wonderful time getting to know one another, which means you do too. Clarissa’s innocence is charming and when she blurts unerring sensual innuendos, Adrian does his best to be a gentleman until the wedding night. They talk to each other from the beginning, which is always a breath of fresh air in romance, ending with their individual fears about finally seeing each other as they truly are. It’s all so very nicely and simply done, no crazy contrivances needed. Just two normal people falling in love amid danger and family meddling, but they overcome all and happily ever after has never been so sweet.
This book isn’t one I was to review. I picked it up just to take a peek. Just a little peek. But, heavens, it’s Sylvia Day. Who can take just a peek?...moreThis book isn’t one I was to review. I picked it up just to take a peek. Just a little peek. But, heavens, it’s Sylvia Day. Who can take just a peek? Not me. Before I knew it, I was halfway through it, then it was finished. All in nothing flat. Ms. Day is just so danged good, if I’d been able to get my hands on another book of hers from the TBR pile, I would have cracked it open too. You can’t read just one.
And how good she is, Gerard, the hero of this book, in the beginning is not a man I would like very much in the hands of a lesser author. Of course, he’s very young at the start of the story, so he loves the ladies and is as wild as can be. All of that changes very quickly and the man shoots straight into your heart when he runs the gamut of emotion he, and you, never thought he’d see.
To keep his decadent and pleasurable way of life on track, Gerard approaches the mistress of his best friend and proposes they are perfect for each other and should marry, each going their own way after vows are said, not to be bothered . Isabel at first refuses the idea, but Gerard is very persuasive that they both would benefit from such an arrangement and she finally agrees to become his wife in name only.
Emotion hits both a high and a low for Gerard when, first, the love of his life is married. And pregnant by Gerard. He’s ecstatic to be a father, even though he won’t be able to neither acknowledge nor raise his child. Then tragedy strikes and both mother and child are lost in childbirth and Gerard is grief stricken. That scene is just heart wrenching, seeing this carefree character break down. The next thing Isabel knows, he’s gone from her life without a word, so she carries on just as they had agreed and awaits word from her broken, absent husband.
It’s four years later when Gerard returns, and he’s not the man Isabel married. He’s much more serious, harder, and intense than the Gerard she knew before. And he wants a real marriage, something Isabel resists. Her life has gone on just as she likes, she has a current lover who knows the score and she’s happy with that. But Gerard bombards her at every turn with his new self and she’s confused by and in a constant state of arousal with this stranger.
There are stumbling blocks for them from every corner, and though at first Isabel thinks to use one to get out of an impossible situation, she hangs in there to learn about the new man Gerard has become. The scenes showing how he has changed are very telling and you end up loving that man more than ever. Their attraction slowly grows into a wonderful, mature love, despite those problems thrown their way. I also enjoyed the side story of Isabel’s brother, Rhys, and Abby.
There’s not one thing about this book I didn’t like. I doubt Ms. Day will ever write a book I will dislike. She just doesn’t have it in her, as far as I’m concerned.
Though I keep reading erotic romance and I keep giving fairly low review grades on most of them, there are those few authors out there who know how to...moreThough I keep reading erotic romance and I keep giving fairly low review grades on most of them, there are those few authors out there who know how to write them. Maya Banks is one of those authors. She gives a reader a complete story and doesn’t rely wholly on the erotic to carry her through to the end.
Adam discovers a woman nearly frozen to death on the side of the road near the mountain home he shares with his brothers. The moment he picks her up, holds her in his arms, he knows she’s the one he, Ethan, and Ryan have been waiting for, the one woman who will complete their lives, who will finally give them the family they’ve always wanted.
She’s run from the viciousness of one man into the arms of kindness, gentleness, and lustiness of three handsome men. Holly is afraid to let herself stay with the Colter brothers, knowing she’ll bring danger to their doorstep. But what woman can resist their plea for trust to take care of her, love for a lifetime, and hard bodies to keep her sated to her heart’s content?
Danger does come calling eventually and Holly takes control, resolves the issue her own way and the brothers must wait for the outcome, not knowing if their woman will come home again.
I have to admit I like the story idea behind this book. The Colters, as far back as two generations, have lived this life of three brothers sharing one wife. But it’s more than just sex that you get in most erotic books. You feel the emotions of each character, very distinct with each personality. Love is the main emotion this family has known for years, handed down from each generation, but they run the gamut of every other emotion in between, including, of course, lust and desire.
And these men are quite lusty indeed. This is the only area where I had a nitpick, however. Holly is a virgin. The Colter brothers have very, very healthy appetites in the bedroom. Granted, she goes in with her eyes wide open, but they go full bore with her the first night. One, she should have been exhausted much sooner than she was; two, she shouldn’t have been able to take everything and then some that they doled out to her the first time around with no problem.
But who am I kidding. Women, me included, drool over men like this because they’re well-rounded in all areas of a relationship. Because Ms. Banks gives an interesting story to go along with all that loving, I can overlook little nits like that. And I certainly did.
I would have liked a little more history, though, on how this lifestyle actually began. We know the brothers’ grandparents lived this way, as well as their parents, but we’re never given anything as to why, how, when, where, and all those little details. It wouldn’t have to be much, just a tidbit or two of the genesis for something so unique that has lasted so long.
There is also a short story, Callie’s Meadow, included at the end of this book. It’s a follow-up eight years into the Colters’ marriage, letting us see how they’re getting along, what’s happened down the road, and a definite surprise for all involved, causing reactions aplenty when the news is revealed.
I enjoyed this so much that I’ve already started the next book in the series, Colters’ Lady. I just couldn’t wait, anxious to find out how the next generation gets through and deals with life and love in the Colter household.(less)
Wow, this book has me all wound up every which way, thrown for a loop all the way to next Sunday, and then boomeranged back right to where I started....moreWow, this book has me all wound up every which way, thrown for a loop all the way to next Sunday, and then boomeranged back right to where I started. Some of it good, some of it I could have done without, and then some it simply wonderfully terrific.
First of all, I never read Passion by Ms. Valdez. I, of course, heard the buzz when it released and wanted to read it, but I just never got to it. I know fans of that book have waited on pins and needles for this second one. So I’m assuming that because I haven’t kept up with that buzz from the beginning, I was not prepared for the erotic nature of Patience. When I got to that first scene making it clear a D/s theme was imminent, especially after the opening of the book, which is emotional as all get-out, I had one huge moment of doubt.
I began so enamored of the hero in the gut-wrenching opening scenes. The latest gossip to scuttle through society is that Matthew Morgan Hawkmore is a gardener’s bastard, thus he’s shunned by everyone except those few close friends and family. We even get to read the letter his fiance sent to him breaking off their engagement. Everything that had been within his grasp is now gone.
In the midst of Matthew’s emotional struggle, Patience walks in and his senses flare double time, an intense smoldering cauldron of disbelief, despair, and then desire. This is all within a few pages, and I’m loving every darned minute of it, thinking what a read this is going to be. That thought does go on for a bit, but too soon all those emotions came crashing down around me.
I do read erotica now and again. There’s been very few I’ve cared for, however. While I did like parts of this book’s sex scenes, there were others concerning Matthew’s determination to master Patience that I just didn’t like. Humiliation is neither sexy nor erotic to me. Patience humping Matthew’s leg after a lengthy session of him denying her orgasm is humiliating, even though he loved every minute of it. The idea that Matthew just knows Patience is a submissive and he’s going to prove it read more like browbeating her into believing she is.
Of course, Patience has her own issues. She’s vowed not to let another man hurt her, so has given herself totally over to her music and is planning to leave soon to study with a renowned master of the cello, Patience’s adored instrument. Matthew doesn’t want her to go, manipulates the situation to keep her close, and systematically tears down her walls, mostly through mastering her. He plays the cello too, and there are a couple of scenes between them centering around the instrument that show a Matthew I like.
On that point, the man ran hot and cold for me. I would like him for a while and then his domination would send me in the other direction. He does, however, win me over in the end. And there’s plenty of other happenings in the book that kept me interested enough to keep reading. If this had been a straight erotic novel, I would have given up. There’s no doubt that Ms. Valdez is a powerful writer. She definitely moved me from one extreme to the other.
Once finished with this book, I wondered if Passion had been written in the same vein, but I’ve been informed it’s not. When I can finally locate it in the TBR pile, I’m starting on it right then. If this author can move me so while reading a theme that isn’t my favorite, my imagination runs wild with the idea of what she can do with something I usually enjoy reading.
This is only my second Wendy Markham book, but I enjoyed it just as much as the first one. Her books are fun, light reads that give a reader engaging...moreThis is only my second Wendy Markham book, but I enjoyed it just as much as the first one. Her books are fun, light reads that give a reader engaging characters, everyday family struggles, lots of fun and lovin’, and always a bit of the paranormal thrown in to make everything really interesting.
Meg is a Broadway actress and is at the beginning of the end of her career, losing roles to younger actresses. Her daughter has gone the way of the Goth, becoming a child she no longer recognizes, a child she’s raised on her own since her ex-husband left before Cosette was born and never looked back. Needing a change for both of them, Meg moves them to her suburban New York hometown where she grew up happy years before. She learns very quickly, however, that you really can’t go home. At least not the way you remember it. Only one friend is left, who introduces her to mothers who drive Hummers, a town that now has a sushi restaurant, and a haunted house that scared her as a young girl but now calls to her to make it their home.
And her haunted house is right next door to the high school football player she had a huge crush on. Sam Rooney, though, doesn’t remember Meg. He does want to get to know the new Meg, at least when he’s not feeling guilty and thinking about his deceased wife. He has two kids of his own and is trying hard to raise them right, even taking offense when his daughter latches on to Meg for some girl shopping and other things that only a mom can do. But even that doesn’t keep Meg far from his thoughts. Just he’s always in Meg’s. They keep crossing paths dealing with their children - Sam’s son and Meg’s daughter even hook up - and dealing with Meg’s ghost, who keeps scaring her right into Sam’s arms.
I had fun with this book. Sam and Meg are normal, everyday parents just trying to make things work for their kids. They’re attracted to one another instantly, though Meg has a head start on Sam, and I liked them together as a couple, even if they didn’t for a while. I enjoyed seeing the change in Cosette as she got used to suburban life, while Meg didn’t change for the town she no longer knows. Sam had his share of learning with his kids too, letting go when necessary. The interfering spirit residing in Meg’s house is also quite fun and I never guessed a thing about that friendly ghost until all is revealed at the end.
I have a few more books of Ms. Markham’s books in the TBR pile and I think I’m going to be pulling them out and placing them closer to the top when I need something light and intriguing all at the same time. For those of you not familiar with Ms. Markham, she is also Wendy Corsi Staub.
Of the three books, this is my favorite. I was actually curious about Jared, Thea’s twin and Irisa’s half brother. He is called “Lord Beast” by the to...moreOf the three books, this is my favorite. I was actually curious about Jared, Thea’s twin and Irisa’s half brother. He is called “Lord Beast” by the ton due to the scars he bears from saving Irisa from a wolf attack when they were teenagers. He has his own estates and stays away from London society and cares not one whit about what they think of him. After he learns what his father did to his and Thea’s mother, he wants nothing more to do with his sire. So we pick up in Take Me after his father and stepmother have left London for an extended time to hopefully downplay the gossip that is sure to abound when the family scandal is let out.
Calantha is a widowed duchess, experiencing freedom for the past four yours after the death of her abusive husband. She’s closed herself off to all feeling, knowing she’ll never marry again. But when Jared seeks her out, shows interest in her, her heart begins to thaw, and especially more so when she finds out that he’s the one who took in her friend and former servant Mary when the girl disappeared from her home years before. But then she realizes that Jared sought her out only because Mary had asked him to bring her daughter, Hannah, to Calantha, to The Angel, as the ton calls her. Their attraction to one another keeps growing despite the circumstances and she finds herself wanting what she’s never had before, and they eventually marry so that they both can take care of Hannah.
But when Hannah is nearly kidnapped, all evidence points to Calantha and Jared and his family, all of whom she has come to love, look on her with suspicion, except for Irisa, who never doubts her innocence. This breaks Calantha’s heart because she trusts Jared completely and he can’t seem to have the same faith in her. As the entire family hunts down the villain, Calantha once again has to harden her heart with that regal duchess air she does well because she knows it will break her if she allows Jared to burrow any further into her life.
This book was so much more moving than the other two. I actually became misty-eyed several times at scenes dealing with Hannah and Calantha and Jared and then Jared’s realization of how he hurt Calantha with his doubts. And the scenes when Calantha see and touch Jared’s scars for the first time are wonderfully emotional.
This is a great start to this trilogy. We get a taste of the betrayal that happened which affected so many lives, a look at how those lives have flour...moreThis is a great start to this trilogy. We get a taste of the betrayal that happened which affected so many lives, a look at how those lives have flourished, or not, over the years since that time, and we get to experience the love as a result of those long-ago actions, plus a very nice set-up for the next book in the series.
Thea’s mother ran from her husband when the man stole her first born from her arms when the boy was only minutes old. What none of them knew was another babe was about to be born, so keeping her daughter a secret, Anna tried to stay in London to secretly see her son, but when her beast of a husband found out, Anna chose the West Indies as a home for her and her daughter, hoping one day to return to see her son when he was man. That day never came, Anna dying of fever before she could make the trip.
Growing up in the West Indies, away from the social confines of London and the ton, Thea is her own woman, intelligent and independent, vowing never to marry and give herself over to a man only to be treated as her mother was. She’s a partner in a prosperous business with the couple who took her and her mother in years before and Thea has discovered discrepancies in the business books. She decides to go to London to confront the man she believes responsible. When Pierson Drake appears looking for the services of a blacksmith to repair his ship’s boiler, she has found a way to the city much sooner than waiting for one of her own ships.
Drake is on a timeline racing to bring his shipment into port so that his investors will not lose money when they put their faith in him; his damaged boiler is costing time as it is, so he doesn’t need a woman trailing along, even one as intriguing as Thea Selwyn. But the woman surprises him at every turn, and he’s determined to find out who is causing the sudden accidents that come too close to fatally injuring the woman. By the time they reach London, their feelings have grown for one another, but Thea is still of the mind she doesn’t need marriage, despite Drake’s insistence they will be together.
What I enjoyed most about this book is the fact the lead characters are together so much of the time, either getting to know one another, irritating the hell out of one another, or lusting their hearts out and taking care of that lust. Mystery and danger are well represented in the story and there’s a nice twist at the end that you don’t see too early.
I always look forward to reading a Kathryne Kennedy book. She’s one of those authors who has a stunning imagination and is able to bring all her ideas...moreI always look forward to reading a Kathryne Kennedy book. She’s one of those authors who has a stunning imagination and is able to bring all her ideas and concepts to the printed page perfectly. This book is no exception. Ms. Kennedy has once again given readers characters and a story they’ve not read before. She definitely has the magic touch.
In this book her world is a planet of water with trees growing in forests up through the water. This is where her characters make their homes, carving out what they need in the gigantic trees that also have other characteristics to help out Marhi and her people. Marhi is a water-rat. She’s lived in the swamps and waterways all of her life, can navigate her way through the channels like nobody’s business, is a smuggler of the zabbaroot - a root, when eaten, that gives certain humans powers to do incredible things. What Mahri is unable to do is heal, so she must find a healer to save her village.
With kidnapping on her mind, since that’s the only way to appropriate a healer, she heads to the city under cover of night. As luck would have it - actually, her bad luck - she stalks off with none other than the heir apparent of Sea Forest. What’s done is done, and their return journey is one of the most fantastic to read about. At nearly every turn they run into either trouble or sights unbelievable and beautiful. Ms. Kennedy does a wonderful job of describing such scenes, you can see it all clear as day as you read.
At first Korl is, of course, not happy to have been woken from his sleep only to be thrown into chaos by the prettiest water-rat he’s ever seen. He’s a Royal and has always had the best of everything, but he’s about to have an attitude change not only in getting to know Mahri but also when he sees her village, to know her people and how they live. It’s his attraction to Mahri that’s the biggest change of all. He knows instantly this woman is for him, despite her denials and refusals of assurance that he’s wrong. Successfully healing those in need, Korl and Mahri then spend time together in her world before she realizes the only way to keep the man out of her system is to take him home and fervently hope he will not betray them to his world.
Mahri does believe Korl has betrayed her, she’ll be tortured and executed by the Royals, as many of her kind have been in the past. But what she ends up walking into the middle of is a Bonding ceremony, something she doesn’t want either, even despite Korl’s asking for her trust. She doesn’t want to lose her independence, herself, body and soul, as happened with her now deceased lifemate. The ceremony is carried out and Mahri feels trapped in so many ways. It’s when Korl can no longer keep her in his care because of her unhappiness that he lets her go, hoping she will one day return to him.
As much as I like this entire book, it’s this last quarter of it that really shined for me. From the moment Korl tells Mahri he realizes she’s miserable and tells her about a caged bird from their history, the emotion of the story really comes out. Korl is certain Mahri will return to him, but Mahri, after watching the light in his window that he said he’d burn every night until her return, finally knows the only way to get the man out of her life is to get as far away as possible. She heads to the Beyond, an ocean of unknown never truly explored before. Even against dire warnings she’s determined to face that unknown head on and she may never return.
I love the connection Korl and Mahri have since their Bonding, which is tested in this last part of the book. Korl’s arrogance and certainty of his love for Mahri warmed my heart. Mahri’s vulnerability where men and commitment are concerned, mixed with her independence and stubbornness, make her a real woman who deserves such love. At first I thought the fact that the hero is not the tortured hero like Ms. Kennedy created in Dominic in The Fire Lord’s Lover would keep me from liking this book as much as that one, but she gave me so many other facets from her imagination I should have known better than to doubt.
If you’re a fan of Ms. Kennedy’s previous books, you will put this one on your keeper shelf along with all of her others. If you’ve yet to read her work, you should. You get it all when you read Kathryne Kennedy. It’s magic at its best.