Being sucked into that literary vortex of all things dramatic, melancholy and depressing for quite some time now, I needed to put aside the Virgin Riv...moreBeing sucked into that literary vortex of all things dramatic, melancholy and depressing for quite some time now, I needed to put aside the Virgin Riverites and Regency rakes & rogues and read something uplifting. She picks! She scores! lol I LOVED this book! The hero is Luc Martineau, a Canadian hottie who plays professional hockey for the Seattle Chinooks. He is drop-dead gorgeous with a lean, athletic body and a killer tattoo that begins at the base of his hoohaa and peeks out from the top of his boxers. Yum! He's into blondes, boobs and beer, and is having a stellar season "tending the net". The heroine is Jane Alcott, a five-foot nothing, flat-chested brunette who writes a "single girl in the city" column for the Seattle Times & has just been given the temporary assignment of covering the Chinooks for a season. She's into bottled water, wearing black and dealing with the fact she sucks in serious relationships. She's also into the column she writes in secret for a men's mag about a barmaid named "Honey Pie", a trash-talking, gum-popping nymphomaniac who screws men into comas (but I won't go into that).
Obviously, Luc & Jane are polar opposites and neither can imagine ever hooking up with the other. However...Luc does wonder what Jane would look like minus the hideous clothes, and Jane does admit she fantasizes about following the path of that tattoo.... Fortunately for us, Rachel Gibson doesn't wait long to put her protagonists completely "in the know" about each other...bringing them both (literally) to their knees (though not at the same time, of course):)
The book has some great laugh-out-loud moments as Jane takes some hard knocks in her quest to become "one of the boys" and prove that women do indeed have the right to be in a locker room (ahem...as long as you don't look down). Luc, on the other hand, fights a constant battle with himself about what he thinks he wants as opposed to what he knows he wants. A few misunderstandings are easy enough for the couple to deal with as they seem to be on their way to a HEA...until Jane pulls a bonehead "chick" move that turns everything upside down!
This is the cutest book! Anyone looking for a light, humorous read (possibly one sitting) with a hot hero who says "aboot" and a tiny heroine with a big attitute...should read this book. There are a few touching scenes that help keep the story grounded, but the couple's sexual chemistry made evident during the bedroom scenes blows it right back through the roof.
His lips were warm and welcoming and she slid into the kiss with the abandonment of a true nympho. Because sometimes in life, Ken didn't always choose Barbie. For that, he had to be rewarded.
Rachel Gibson rocks! Thank you, K., for pointing me in her direction.(less)
I think if I could sum up this book with one word it would be...brilliant!...or beautiful!...or (absolutely freaking) amazing!
The road to happiness fo...moreI think if I could sum up this book with one word it would be...brilliant!...or beautiful!...or (absolutely freaking) amazing!
The road to happiness for Marc Hunter and Sophie Alton is probably the longest, most difficult and improbable road that a hero & heroine (truly deserving titles) have had to travel; but from the Prologue to the Epilogue, you will cheer this couple on for every hard-fought mile they gain.
I have only read a handful of novels termed "romantic suspense" but I have no doubt Unlawful Contact sets the bar for the genre. Five stars doesn't come close to doing this book justice, as Pamela Clare has truly outdone herself here.
So if you are looking for a brilliantly written, beautiful love story woven throughout 375 pages of amazing non-stop action (that will keep you up reading way past your bedtime), then Unlawful Contact is a must-read for you. (Oh...and be sure to have the trusty box of Kleenex on hand...no way, no how will you make it through dry-eyed.)
Prior to this, I have read only one other book by Anne Stuart. It was a contemporary and I enjoyed it, but neither the author nor the book left a last...morePrior to this, I have read only one other book by Anne Stuart. It was a contemporary and I enjoyed it, but neither the author nor the book left a lasting impression with me so I continued to pass over books by Ms. Stuart. However, I happened to read Danielle "The Book Huntress'" review of Ruthless and thought it to be so beautifully written I was compelled to read the book right away.
Add me to Anne Stuart's long list of fans.
Wow! What an excellent love story. Yes, it is dark and alludes to a few controversial matters, but nothing that is not in keeping with the context of this story. On the surface, Rohan is the antithesis of what we perceive a romantic hero to be. But Ruthless is the vehicle he takes on his journey to the other side...a stark, powerful, poignant tale that leaves us with the feeling Rohan is actually the epitome of romantic heroes...made possible by the mysterious, magical, wonderful powers of love.
It isn't often that I will read a book without knowing anything about it beforehand. But I noticed my old Ami (and GR) buddy, LuvGirl, had given it a...moreIt isn't often that I will read a book without knowing anything about it beforehand. But I noticed my old Ami (and GR) buddy, LuvGirl, had given it a 5-star rating; and, knowing how fiercely protective she is of her stars, curiosity got the better of me and I ordered it.
The first 20 pages or so and I was thinking 'nope..not my thing'. The heroine, Lucy Hart, is an uptight, moralistic, 29-year-old prude. Not once in her entire life has she even thought about stepping outside of the box, and was mortified by those that did. My gosh, what would people think? A spinster being my least favorite type of heroine and then discovering the period was turn-of-the-century (huh? like driving a Model-T and dancing the Charleston?), The Last Dance was about to hit the lonely trail to the land of the "dnf". But then something caught my eye...or someone, I should say...the fast-talking, heart-stopping, sex-on-a-stick, tall, dark and handsome ne'er-do-well hero who over-indulges in alcohol, fist fights and sex, Robert "Blackie" LaDuke. Ladies, we are back on track!
Lucy is embarking on her first trip ever. As postmistress of the little town where she has lived her whole life, Lucy has been corresponding for 3 years with a kindly, unassuming gentleman postmaster from another town. Both of them shy and reclusive by nature, Lucy & Theodore are throwing caution to the wind and make plans to meet and become acquainted over a two-week vacation in Atlantic City. They will meet Sunday night at 8:30pm in the lobby of the Atlantic Grand Hotel - Lucy will be holding a gardenia in her left hand and Theodore will be wearing a gardenia in his lapel. Foolproof! After being made to wait several minutes past the appointed meeting time, Lucy is quite miffed when she finally spots Theodore (or who she believes to be Theodore) by the tell-tale gardenia he is wearing.
Lucy waited on pins and needles for Theodore to make the first move. But nothing happened. He looked right through her. Lucy was left with no choice. She screwed up her courage, waved until she finally caught his eye and called out, "Here I am. Over here." She thrust the ivory gardenia up in the air for him to see. His midnight dark eyes lighted and he grinned appealingly, nodded and came directly to her. "We agreed to meet at 8:30 sharp," she said accusingly, her nerves taut, voice almost shrill. "You are late!" "Am I?" Continuing to smile easily, he gently took her elbow and ushered her across the crowded lobby to the beachside double doors. "Then please say you'll accept my most humble apologies, Miss...Miss..." "No, no. Not miss. Don't you remember? You're to call me Lucy." "All right, Lucy. And you can call me Blackie." "Blackie?" She stopped abruptly, frowned at him. "Why on earth would I want to call you Blackie?" He shrugged broad shoulders. "Most people do." "Well not I." Lucy stated as if it were out of the question. "I would never consider calling you Blackie." "Then call me anything but late for dinner," he teased, and brashly winked at her. Lucy was surprised and totally taken aback. She would never have suspected Theodore of being the kind of gentleman who winked at ladies. She made a face. "I shall call you Theodore, of course." "Of course." He nodded agreeably. He suggested a walk and guided her down the steep hotel steps. At the bottom step he stumbled lightly, fell against her. His face was an inch from Lucy's for a split second and it was then she smelled the tell-tale scent of liquor on his breath. She was shocked and horrified. "I knew it!" she said, pushing on his broad chest. "You have been imbibing in alcoholic beverages! Have you not?" He grinned. "I've been drinking whiskey if that's what you mean." "This is unforgivable," she said, bristling. "You have no idea how disappointed I am" "Don't blame you. Shame on me," he said. "I most certainly should have waited for you. Let's go have a drink together." "Have a...well, I never!" Her fair face flushed with color. "Then it's time you did."
And so began the story of the best "opposites attract" relationship ever. Although their worlds were so totally different, they fit together perfectly. They brought out only the best in each other, which is certainly not the norm for a hero & heroine. Lucy was the best surprise as she evolved from a lonely girl who had never done anything more than simply exist - others lived while she observed, as she put it - into a woman happily in love, who thrilled to every new experience Blackie introduced her to. She also became aware of her own sexuality, and when Blackie wouldn't make love to her because she was a "good girl" (nothing like the sleazy women he usually was with), Lucy didn't agree with his decision nor did she accept it...so she seduced him!
Nan Ryan did an excellent job of bringing 1899 Atlantic City alive. The sights, the sounds, the people...they were always there in colorful detail...moving in and around Blackie and Lucy as they fell in love. They seemed so real! The secondary characters - 3 senior citizens who lived at the hotel - seemed real as well. Each had a colorful story of their own and were a joy to visit. There is so much depth to this story as well as to every character in the book that when I finished reading it, I just sat there and cried for a good 5 minutes. That is NOT something I normally do. (Though I might have been pacificed somewhat with an epilogue.)
Although I'm out of the personal recommending business for now, in general I would recommend The Last Dance to someone who might want to try a romance set in a different period...someone who won't be adverse to shedding a few tears along the way...someone who, like me, loves an "aww... that is so sweet" HEA.
I just finished listening to this audio book for the second time this week...something I rarely, if ever, do. (Nope, don't have any books falling apar...moreI just finished listening to this audio book for the second time this week...something I rarely, if ever, do. (Nope, don't have any books falling apart at the seams from numerous rereads.) In Reckless (the 2nd installment in Anne Stuart's House of Rohan series), the conversations between the hero...the handsome, wealthy, titled, debauched Viscount Adrian Rohan, and the heroine...the too-tall, socially inept, firmly-on-the-shelf spinster, Charlotte Spenser, were so delightfully engaging (as in seductive & erotic) that the second listen was a must to catch what I missed the first go and relive (and savor) what I didn't.
Needless to say, I LOVE this book! Wait, I need to elaborate...I adore it, I cherish it and I will cradle it to my bosom for the rest of my days. In turn, I love Anne Stuart as well (but will leave off the elaboration). Reckless is only the second HR I've read by Ms. Stuart (the first being Ruthless, Book #1 in this series, which told the story of Sir Francis Rohan, Adrian's father and the one genetically responsible for his son's libertine ways). I do not know if this is indicative of her usual style or not, but these are dark stories written with a stark, flagrant - and at times a little unsettling - look at uninhibited sexual congress among the elite in Regency London. This author knows exactly what the term "rake" means, and she gives no quarter when penning this one. But Adrian Rohan is so captivating - so deliciously wicked - that I forgave him all the sexual depravities he indulged in before he met Charlotte and accepted the liaisons he half-heartedly engaged in after they met. No sugar coating here. Adrian did not fall madly in love with the awkward, virginal Charlotte when they first met (and she stepped all over his toes during a dance). Not even when they meet again at a ball 3 years later (where this book begins), although he is very intrigued by this poor relation of the beautiful Lina Winthrop.
At a gathering of the "Heavenly Host" (your basic no-holds-barred, 3-day "fuckfest" - brainstorm of original bad boy Francis Rohan who gave it all up for love), Adrian's intrigue gives way to lust when he spots Charlotte there (attending with cousin Lina merely out of curiosity). The seduction begins, which turns out to be the sweetest, most charming, "aww"-worthy "first time" that I have ever read in a romance novel.(It was maybe an hour long on audio so at least 50 pages in a book.) It also signified the beginning of the reformation of a rake...not an easy task to manage effectively when an author chooses to "show" rather than "tell" (actually walking the reader through the stages of change as opposed to an author who claims the hero is a rake yet he is smitten with the heroine and totally in love by the end of the first chapter). Anne Stuart gets an A+ for effectiveness, not only for the reformation but for her presentation of a believable, beautiful love story between two polar opposites. running the gamut of emotions for both protagonists...insecurity, defensiveness, fear, longing, hope, despair, heartbreak for Charlotte...grief, anger, confidence, trepidation, denial, acceptance, contentment for Adrian.
There is a secondary romance with Lina and the rake-turned-vicar, Simon Prescott, that warranted its own book. Acting out the pretense of mutual dislike, they provoke each other mercilessly as they try to tamp down their traitorous feelings of love. Their relationship was rife with sexual tension that I would have loved to see played out in detail. They got their HEA, but unfortunately for us readers it was delivered with a G-rating.
Overall, this book rocks from beginning to end. It isn't necessary to read Ruthless first...although it gives you a detailed look at the Heavenly Host. In other words, much darker and more depravity. Reckless is a little more carefree and the hero, at 28, a lot less jaded than his father was at 40 when his story was told. I would recommend this book to historical romance readers that aren't looking for comedy, fluff or a wallpaper romance...those that don't have delicate sensibilities when it comes to sexx and can endure a blow-by-blow (!!) account (H/h only). And, of course, those that require a believable, satisfying HEA. I hope you enjoy Reckless as much as I did!
I finished this book 3 days ago and I'm just now coming out of the stupor that I've been wandering around in since. One Day isn't a book with many gra...moreI finished this book 3 days ago and I'm just now coming out of the stupor that I've been wandering around in since. One Day isn't a book with many gray areas...readers will absolutely love the story or they will hate it. I happen to be one of the former...so much so that I have spent all of my free time in the last 3 days hunting down pictures, articles, interviews, etc, related to the book and the movie adapted from it (opens nationwide August 19th). Since the author of One Day, David Nicholls, also wrote the script for the movie, I have no doubt that this is going to be that rare exception where the movie will be as good or better than the book. The actors they have cast to play the lead protagonists are a perfect fit. In fact, Anne Hathaway loved the book so much, she flew to London to convince the director why she was perfect to play the part of Emma.
The story centers on the lives of two people, Emma Morley & Dexter Mayhew, who meet the night of their college graduation on July 15, 1988. The one-night-stand they attempt to engage in doesn't pan out; instead, they opt for being friends. Little do they know, this "off-the-cuff" friendship they've settled for will cultivate and grow - encompassing Dex, Em and all of the book's readers. Thus, July 15, 1988 marks the day that changes their lives forever. For each year thereafter, the story stops on that same day to check in with Dex and Em.
One Day is a character study like no other. I don't think I've ever read a book where I have known the H/h as intimately as I do Dex and Em. Their hopes and fears, successes and failures - as well as the steadfast bond between them - is all absorbed by the reader. Whether you enjoyed the book or not, I'd wager very few could deny the amazing chemistry between Dex & Em, as well as how thoroughly exposed & vulnerable their feelings become as the years go by. You will laugh a little at them and cry a lot with them. In fact, there comes a point in the story where the laughter will cease but not the tears...definitely not the tears. Even for those of us that normally don't cry at the drop of a pin...you might surprise yourself here. Forewarned is forearmed...have the box of tissue handy!
I am not going to elaborate on the storyline because it isn't one to tell; rather, it is a story readers should experience for themselves. Although it is a fictionalized account, there are situations in One Day that might hit home as being very personal to you. Friendship and love... does one lead to the other or should heading in that direction be avoided? Can they exist synonymously...running deep and true and eternal? Is there one specific day that changed your life forever?
The only genre I read is romance and IMO One Day is a 10-star contribution. However, if you require your romance to be all wrapped up in shiny paper with a big bow on top (like I usually do), I would recommend that you do not read this book. But for those of you who are willing to step outside of the box, you will get an extraordinary, emotionally-gripping, "laughter despite the tears" powerhouse of a novel in return. The cover of the book says it all!
Thoughtless is a compassionate but heartbreaking story of three people caught in a contemporary love triangle. I read this book last Sunday, and I don...moreThoughtless is a compassionate but heartbreaking story of three people caught in a contemporary love triangle. I read this book last Sunday, and I don't know if it was because Andy Whitfield passed away, or because it was the 10th anniversary of 9/11...maybe a bad case of the "Sunday blues" or simply because the angst was ratcheted up so high in the story. Whatever the reason, when all hell broke loose in Chapter 23, the damn burst. Reading with blurred vision is such a bloody nuisance but I had to finish the last three chapters to see if somehow, despite the cheating, deceit and lies, all 3 protagonists were able to find a measure of peace & happiness in the end.
Kiera and Denny, both in their early 20's, have been an exclusive couple for 2 years. When Denny is offered an intern position with a prestigious ad firm in Seattle, Kiera applies for and receives a scholarship to the University of Washington. Leaving small-town life behind they travel across the country...moving in with a close friend of Denny's from when he served as an exchange student in high school. Enter Kellan Kyle...an extremely good-looking, sexier-than-hell lead singer in a local band...and new roommate to the transplanted Ohioans.
What follows is an extremely intense story of a young woman who is torn between her love for two equally-deserving men and their unwavering love for her. There is no menage here, where in a fantasy world Kiera would keep both Denny and Kellan. This isn't erotica, yet the sexual tension is so prevalent and so fine-tuned you'll be buzzing with expectation. Told through Kiera's POV, it is a simple day-to-day story made complex by the unexpected attraction between Kiera and Kellan and the powerful, emotionally high-charged atmosphere that settles among these two as well as the unsuspecting Denny. Fortunately, even with the limited POV,the author won't ever leave you scratching your head and wondering 'what just happened here?' She leaves nothing to speculation and plays the entire drama out in explicit (although somewhat lengthy) detail.
As you can probably guess, there is cheating in this story. And while the idea of cheating in a romance novel might totally turn you off, at least the circumstances that prompt the cheating are not due to the overplayed drunkenness or selfishness or the big misunderstanding...they are simply due to inexperience, vulnerability and the inevitable loss in the struggle to follow one's head and not one's heart. As such, there are no bad guys in the story. Unfortunately, this greatly restricts the reader's ability to justify the cheating; and because of the devastating outcome, it was hard for me to forgive Kiera and be truly happy for her.
This book is angst at its best. I was riding the emotional roller coaster of a lifetime and had to physically unwind & stretch cramped muscles whenever I took a break. But I loved the fact that a story could totally consume me like Thoughtless did...blubbering tears and all. The author, S.C. Stephens really has the ability to express feelings and emotions and internal struggle. She gets to the heart & core of the characters and thoroughly fleshes them out...so much so you will feel like a personal friend to Kiera, Kellan & Denny. Their story is both heartwarming and heartbreaking, and you will live every moment with them.
I absolutely loved this book and highly recommend it!
**spoiler alert** One word describes this story...intense. Extremely, brutally, heart-wrenchingly intense. It is the story of Michael Wade, lead guita...more**spoiler alert** One word describes this story...intense. Extremely, brutally, heart-wrenchingly intense. It is the story of Michael Wade, lead guitarist for the rock band Thrust and Annie Logan, the woman he loves. Their feelings for each other are genuine but their relationship is tempestuous, volatile and nothing short of overwhelming. How can it be otherwise considering the lifestyles they lead? But Annie wants what surely seems to be the impossible...the devotion, the honesty AND the fidelity of a man who has spent the last 20 years of his life proving that sex, drugs & rock n roll is much more than just a cliche.
I really loved Michael. He knew he had found his soul mate in Annie and he honestly tried to be as perfect as she wanted him to be. Being a musician herself, Annie was well aware of the temptations Michael was confronted with on a daily basis yet she cut him no slack. Most of the time I admired her for the short leash she was able to keep Michael on, but other times she irritated me when she was purposely trying to hurt him. Yes, he cheated early in their marriage. He was on the road on tour...tired, alone and missing his wife...when a persistent band groupie slut wouldn't leave him alone. He kept trying to get rid of her but she was giving him a massage and he basically let his defenses down and she gave him a blow job. It was over in two minutes but the guilt was already tearing him up when - unannounced - Annie arrived. Of all the cheating books I've read, this is the one heroine that didn't roll over and play dead. She bit, kicked, punched, and spewed venom at him...for months. When he tried to touch her, she would actually vomit (although being pregnant certainly helped that bit of drama along). Michael groveled. And groveled. And groveled some more. It was obvious that when she finally did forgive him, she wasn't being sincere because when a similar situation presented itself, Michael actually fought the girl off and got scratched for it. Annie saw the scratches; and without giving him a chance to explain, she walked out of his life & divorced him.
Michael did everything he could to make Annie happy...went to rehab, stopped touring, even let her divorce him without a fight. If nothing else, they had 2 baby girls together and he desperately wanted to be a part of their lives. But Annie's bitterness ran deep, and for claiming to love Michael so much, she did everything in her power to beat him down. Purposefully making out with a guy in front of Michael when he was there to see the girls was an immature stunt for a 34-yr-old woman to pull. Yes, he was flawed...he had cheated, but he paid for that indiscretion in spades...he lost the only 3 people he truly loved.
Although the author wrote Michael & Annie a happy ending, I'm not so sure that would've been the outcome in reality. But, thankfully, this isn't reality. And the rock legend, his loving wife and 2 beautiful daughters, drove their Land Rover to their beachfront home on Martha's Vineyard and lived happily ever after. *sigh*