Dr. Jake Dalton is part of the ranching family of the Cold Creek Daltons. He and his two brothers, Wade and Seth, survived their childhood with theirDr. Jake Dalton is part of the ranching family of the Cold Creek Daltons. He and his two brothers, Wade and Seth, survived their childhood with their tough and dishonest father, Hank. They have all built lives they can be proud of and none more than Jake, who is now the dedicated and hardworking sole physician in Pine Gulch. Despite all these accomplishments, Jake is a lonely man who spends his days working long hours and takes little time for himself.
Maggie Cruz is home. After a tour of duty in Afghanistan that ended in the loss of a limb, numerous surgeries and five months of rehabilitation at the Walter Reed Army Hospital, Maggie is ready for some tender loving care. Rancho de la Luna and her mother Viviana can provide that for her, and frankly she doesn't feel she has too many options at the moment. With her nursing career at an end and her self-confidence in tatters, is there a better place to hide than home? Maggie is not taking Jake into consideration.
There is a history between Maggie and Jake. They grew up together and although both their fathers are dead, what happened between them still affects Maggie's view of Jake and his family. Her contempt for all things Dalton is evident from their first meeting early in the book and Jake seems to be her focus. Jake on the other hand can't stay away from Maggie -- he always had feelings for her and now she's back, in obvious pain and needs him. He's not about to stay away.
Dancing in the Moonlight has that 'secret crush' trope that I love to read in this type of romance. Thayne does an excellent job of bringing these two characters together and developing their relationship. The fact that they've known each other their whole lives helps with the development and gives them the background history needed to make the romance a believable one.
Maggie's struggle through her physical and emotional trauma was both believable and touching. Her cluelessness when it came to Jake's feelings was also understandable under the circumstances. She was carrying a lot of baggage and we share Maggie's growth by seeing her go through different phases: pain, insecurity, stubbornness, pride and self-awareness. Jake's persistence, patience and understanding were just what Maggie needed. He was a wonderful hero, if a tad too perfect at times. Neither an alpha nor a beta, Jake certainly knew what to say and when to say it. I liked him and wanted him to get his woman.
There is a sense of community in the book as secondary characters are kept in the periphery, with Maggy's mother, Viviana, and her uncle, Guillermo, highlighted within the story. The focus is kept squarely on the couple as is customary in these romances.
It has been a long time since I read a Silhouette I wanted to recommend -- Dancing in The Moonlight is that book. Needless to say I enjoyed it and will not only check Thayne's back list, but I'm also looking forward to her new release.
Dancing in the Moonlight is part of Raeanne Thayne's Silhouette Special Edition Cowboys, Cold Creek series. This is Book #2 in the original trilogy featuring the Dalton brothers: Light The Stars (Book #1) and Dalton's Undoing (Book #3). ...more
Finished The Indiscretion by Judith Ivory and I'm afraid I wasn't too thrilled with it. That first part of the book had a lot of potential, but as theFinished The Indiscretion by Judith Ivory and I'm afraid I wasn't too thrilled with it. That first part of the book had a lot of potential, but as the story went along it just fizzled for me. I never really got to know those characters -- not really -- there were reasons behind their actions, but depth? I don't think so. I didn't really like the main characters and that's a problem. I didn't understand why Sam didn't just turn around and walk away from Lydia. And to top it all off, Sam's lack of self-worth was very unattractive. I don't think this couple would have had a happily ever after if not for unexpected circumstances. ...more
An ode to Toby Keith's song, country music, honky tonks and country living. I Love This Bar was full of great characters, fun moments, music and goodAn ode to Toby Keith's song, country music, honky tonks and country living. I Love This Bar was full of great characters, fun moments, music and good lovin'... Don't expect detailed bedroom scenes in this book, but it does have good romantic moments. Loved all the characters from Daisy and Jarod to the secondary cast: Chigger, Momma, the Walker triplets, Tinker, Merle and cousin Cathy. If you like ranchers and country music, you'll enjoy this one. I did....more
Ms. Hoyt sets Wicked Intentions in St. Giles, a poor, dirty, and grim section of London that we don't often see highlighted in historical romance noveMs. Hoyt sets Wicked Intentions in St. Giles, a poor, dirty, and grim section of London that we don't often see highlighted in historical romance novels. Our female protagonist Temperance and her brother Winter work in a charity home for the foundling children of whores, the poor and desperate. One evening on her way home from picking up just such a child, Temperance comes across a man in an alley standing over a dead body and to her consternation this man follows her home with a proposition.
Lord Caire is in St. Giles investigating the brutal murder of his long time mistress, but he doesn't know this section of London, and its inhabitants won't answer his questions or give him the time of day. The way he figures it the respectable and knowledgeable Mrs. Temperance Dews would serve as the perfect guide through the streets and alleys of St. Guiles. He'll pay her for her services, after all everyone has a price.
Temperance is not happy that this man followed her home and broke into her parlor, but she's not about to show her discomfort. She knows he's a Lord and listens to his proposition with an open mind. Being a realist and in need, Temperance proceeds to negotiate the best of terms with Lord Caire. She'll serve as his guide if he pays for her services, and introduces her to the appropriate set within the ton until she finds a respectable patron for the failing and bankrupt charity home. A deal is struck and they set off.
I really enjoyed Temperance and Caire's murder investigation. It took them to some of the darkest places in St. Giles, setting both tone and atmosphere by giving the reader a real feel for the place and its inhabitants. They encounter everything from gin whores and madams, to thieves and rogues and visit a mercantile, dark pubs and whore houses as they face the ever-growing dangers that await them as they navigate dark streets and alleys.
However, it is not all grimness and dirt, there are also balls and musicales included in this story. Caire keeps his part of the deal and by attending those events Temperance experiences a different lifestyle. In the process she finds that people are not so different after all, and that the glitter of the ton doesn't necessarily hide the ugliness present underneath some of its aristocratic members. Hoyt slowly develops the romance between Temperance and Caire during the murder investigation. However lust is another matter entirely, they both feel it and that's what Hoyt uses as a building block to the romance.
I was taken from the beginning by the sexual tension and chemistry, and eventually the heat that Temperance and Caire generated as a couple. Caire doesn't believe that he's capable of feeling emotion and he suffers pain when physically touched by others. Plus, he has the reputation of being sexually deviant throughout both the ton and St. Giles because of his peculiar sexual preferences. In Temperance, Caire finds a passion for life and a vibrancy that he can only envy and wants to absorb, even if it is only by being in her presence.
Temperance is a passionate woman who represses her emotions behind a mask of widowhood, dark clothing and plain looks. She hides passions, lust, guilt, secrets and self-contempt behind a façade of duty and self-confidence. Temperance is shocked when Caire sees through that mask and relieved when she can be herself with him. Temperance and Caire scorched the pages with their desire and yearning for each other. There's growth for both characters throughout the development of their relationship and romance. It was wonderful to experience how they came to terms with their weaknesses and finally found solace and love in the midst of all the grit and tarnished glitter.
Hoyt's characters are dark in Wicked Intentions and she exposes their foibles and sins. This includes the whole cast of characters, from central to secondary, some of which are quite fascinating. I was intrigued by some of the secondary characters and hope to meet them again as their stories were left a mystery or unfinished: Silence, Winter, Asa, O'Connor and the Ghost of St. Giles. There's a secondary story involving Silence and her husband that was both sad and engaging and one that I hope will be further developed.
I loved Wicked Intentions, the setting and atmosphere, central characters, romance, plotting and some of the unforgettable secondary characters. This is a series I will definitely be following in the future....more
I read the Percy and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan last year and fell in love with Percy and his crew. The Lost Hero is the first book in The HI read the Percy and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan last year and fell in love with Percy and his crew. The Lost Hero is the first book in The Heroes of Olympus series and a continuation of the those adventures. However, in addition to the already established characters and Greek mythology-based world, Riordan introduces new heroes and villains, quests, a new prophecy, a looming battle and adds Roman mythology to the mix.
Mr. Riordan begins this new adventure by introducing his central characters, Jason, Piper and Leo as they're on a field trip away from the Wilderness School for incorrigible teenagers and on their way to the Grand Canyon. Immediately we know there's something wrong when Jason wakes up in the back of the school bus and doesn't remember who he is or where he came from. He doesn't even recognize his girlfriend Piper or Leo, his best friend.
As our three friends work on essays or admire the views, strange weather turns violent and soon Jason, Piper and Leo find themselves under attack from dark forces or venti. Their teacher Coach Hedge comes to their defence saving their lives. After a quick and messy battle where Coach Hedge is lost, the three are rescued by Annabeth and taken to Camp Half-Blood for safety where they learn who and what they are.
While at camp, Piper and Leo are claimed by their respective god (parents) and mysteriously, Jason finds he has already been claimed and by whom. After a series of on-camp adventures, visions and prophecies, the three are sent on a quest to save the (not-so-likable) goddess Herra who has been imprisoned by an unknown evil. A month earlier Zeus closed off Olympus and no one has heard from the gods, so the three friends must succeed without help from the gods or even Annabeth who is off to find a lost Percy! The adventure begins and our heroes will meet and cyclops, wind gods, giants, werewolves and more as they prove their loyalty and bravery to themselves and each other along the way.
Since the Lost Heroes is a continuation to a series, there's no worldbuilding to set up and secondary characters have already been developed, so the readers can get right into the story. However, Riordan does add newness to the worldbuilding by incorporating Roman mythology and weaving it with the Greek mythology introduced in the Percy series, giving this book a fresh feel.
Although Riordan stuck with three heroes and the same formula: two boys and a girl, the characters themselves also felt different and unique.
*Jason is brave, a true hero and his powers are strong. But they are already developed even if he doesn't remember exactly how or where he learned them. He is also confused, depressed and leery for most of the story, something that sets him apart from the other two, even when he's there for them. He's still a bit of a mystery by the end. *Piper is distraught for much of the story and suffers from self-esteem issues due to what she perceives as her father's neglect or lack of love. She has to make some tough choices and that sets the tone for her character development. In Piper, Riordan gives us an ethnic heroine -- she's half Native American and her background and some of those myths are used in the story. Piper is not super duper smart, but she's strong and she knows how to use her powers of persuasion. I enjoyed her character growth from beginning to end. *Leo, is undeniably my favorite character and provided those 'aww moments.' He lost his mother as a young boy in a horrific 'accident.' But although he also suffers from guilt and loss, as opposed to his two friends, Leo knows what it is to be loved and his way of coping is through his sense of humor, mechanical know-how and loyalty. I loved his ingenuity and bravery.
The story is divided by chapter with the titles Jason, Piper and Leo, but written from the third person point of view making this an easy read. Internal dialogues abound with most of the revelations happening in dream sequences and then related to others, slowing down the pace and isolating the characters in some sections. At times, the dialogue is somewhat stilted and lacks flow. And although the humor is provided mainly by Leo's character, there's not enough of a give and take from Jason and Piper to really make it pop. Real action is slow to come, although once on their way our heroes encounter plenty of obstacles throughout their adventures.
I enjoyed The Lost Hero, it had plenty of strengths and some weaknesses. It was a quick and easy read with great action and new adventures. I loved the new twists and turns that Riordan added to the Olympus series by incorporating Roman mythology and look forward to the rest of the series. Plus there's definitely a bit of a cliffhanger there at the end, and I must know!
The protagonists in this book are teens, but these books are appropriate for (and I believe will be fully enjoyed by) middle schoolers. I do recommend that the Percy and the Olympians series be read first for a better understanding of the world and characters....more
Holiday in Death had a good criminal investigation going with sexual crimes commited by a man dressed as Santa Claus. The victims were all people whoHoliday in Death had a good criminal investigation going with sexual crimes commited by a man dressed as Santa Claus. The victims were all people who had signed up with Personally Yours, a love-match agency. The villain used the 12 days of Christmas as a theme for his crimes.
This story has the most sexual scenes between Roarke and Eve that I've seen in any of the books so far! Wow. I did begin skipping them after a while, I think because I'm not used to them in these books? But yeah... quite a few of them. I really enjoyed the byplay between Peabody and McNab and Peabody and Eve in this story. Eve's judgment continues to get clouded by her past experiences while she's solving crimes. I wonder if or when this will be addressed by her superiors? She's relentless in this story, but again her psychological problems do interfere with her work, weather she or those around her want to admit it or not. A good read....more
Grade: B I liked this book. It's the pairing between a yuppy lawyer and a free-thinking, liberal, hippy-like female. The very 80's political style --Grade: B I liked this book. It's the pairing between a yuppy lawyer and a free-thinking, liberal, hippy-like female. The very 80's political style -- even though it was released in the early 90's -- with references to Nancy Reagan and the Quayles dates the story. I loved the whole crazy relationship between these two very different people, with their prejudices against each other, their love and compromises. My favorite scene? The absolutely crazy scene in the restaurant. ...more
Havana and Other Missing Fathers by Mia Leonin is a memoir published in 2009 by The University of Arizona Press as part of their Camino del Sol: A LatHavana and Other Missing Fathers by Mia Leonin is a memoir published in 2009 by The University of Arizona Press as part of their Camino del Sol: A Latino and Latina Literary Series. I already own a few issues from the Camino del Sol series and when I decided to join this campaign and saw that this book was available, I couldn't pass it up.
In 1967, Norma drives away from her home in Kentucky and makes her way to Missouri to give birth and begin a new life. Sixteen years later that child, a daughter, learns that her life thus far has been based on a lie. Norma breaks down and tells her child that her father is not dead; indeed he's not her first husband Jerry, but a Cuban doctor -- a foreigner -- who is very much alive. Mother and daughter cry, wash their faces and go for ice cream.
Four years later at age 20, Mia lands in Miami Airport for the first time to meet her father hoping to find a place in his life, to understand the man and in the process parts of herself. She shares moments but no real intimacy with him, and his wife Zoraida seems to be too surprised at Mia's unexpected existence to show her true feelings. Unfortunately after that first meeting, she comes away with more questions than answers about the man, the father and a new culture that she's about to embrace.
Mia, on her father and language: "My father didn't give me explanations, apologies, or answers. He didn't "take responsibility" in any concrete way. He broke off language like pieces of hard candy that caught the light before dissolving in my mouth."
Even after a few years Mia's attempts to know and understand her father elude her, as the immutable Zoraida's resentment grows and prevents Mia from reaching him:
"Mi papa," I venture, "No lo conozco." Conocer. The verb hangs in the air like the steel blade of a guillotine. Conocer means to meet and to know. Yes, I've met him, but no, I don't know him. How do I join the meeting and the not knowing of my father in one verb? It's more than a grammatical question."
This need for understanding and acceptance gives Mia the necessary impetus to go forth on a personal journey that will take her from Missouri to Miami, Florida to Bogotá, Colombia and eventually Havana, Cuba. Instead of searching for her roots, she finds herself in Havana exploring Cuban culture through the unique joys and sufferings of its people, their compulsive and sensual obsession with food, and the unique rhythms of its music and language. She falls in love with a man and the island's passions as she experiences highs and lows, glorious moments and betrayals, clarity, uncertainty and anguish along the way.
"I thought I was just going to come here and "discover" my heritage or somehow feel connected to it, but this island doesn't merely give, it exacts a price for what you take from it. Not flowers or offerings of fruit, but flesh, memory, balance."
Ms. Leonin successfully uses a combination of dialogue and narrative to tell her story. Havana and Other Missing Fathers is a memoir, but it reads more like a novel with poetic overtones. The narrative switches from present to past in a flowing manner with few narrative interruptions as the story unfolds to its conclusion of partial resolutions and personal revelations. The author writes in a lyrical style and uses language as the core to keep the reader engrossed and focused in the story. While the book is written in English, Ms. Leonin is particularly successful in the effective adaptation of Cuban Spanish, as she applies its unique rhythms, oblique meanings and double entendres to her exploration of roots and culture, both here and there.
Finally, I'll say that this book was an unexpected pleasure. Havana and Other Missing Fathers turned out to be a very personal and forthright journey where no one is spared, least of all the author. She captures the dichotomies in Cuban culture: intricacies and subtleties, beauty and unpleasantness, strengths and weaknesses. I connected with this story and was right there on that roller coaster ride of self-discovery and emotional upheaval with Mia. That's the highest recommendation I can give this book.
NOTE: I read this book as part of the Green Books Campaign sponsored by Eco-Libris and Indigo Books. The book was provided by Eco-Libris and The Arizona University Press....more
Loved The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook. Fast paced adventure romance with intrigue, excellent worldbuilding and steampunk details. I loved all the charaLoved The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook. Fast paced adventure romance with intrigue, excellent worldbuilding and steampunk details. I loved all the characters, central and secondary. I can't wait to read the next book in this series. A definite winner for me -- couldn't put it down until I was done with it....more
4.5 Stars This is a mystery, a good who dunnit with a large cast of characters, but for me the best part of the book was Christopher Holmes. Christophe4.5 Stars This is a mystery, a good who dunnit with a large cast of characters, but for me the best part of the book was Christopher Holmes. Christopher or Kit, the main character in Somebody Killed His Editor: Holmes & Moriarity, Book 1 is one of those characters that no matter how many bodies he finds, or how bloody the situation, will make you smile. This story is told in first person point of view and I just loved Christopher's voice... talk about a sardonic, sarcastic, insecure man with a flair for drama. I loved his internal dialogue and every single impulsive word that came out of his mouth.
He finds a dead body as soon as he arrives at the conference, winds up meeting J.X. Moriarity, an ex-cop, ex-lover and young(er) "successful" writer, and this mystery caper takes off from there, as does the rather interesting relationship between JX and Kit. We follow Christopher as he becomes the main suspect, uses less than great judgment (has some great TSTL moments), and gets involved without even trying. A favorite quote, and I had many:
"I jumped up and started yelling, "Help! Help!" I never said I was the hero of this story."
Somebody Killed His Editor was fun, funny, sexy, full of snark, somewhat touching and I loved it! I heard there's a sequel coming out soon and I can't wait to read it. ...more