Sometimes you recognize how much you really loved a book a few years down the road when you can(This review was originally posted on Book Lovers Inc)
Sometimes you recognize how much you really loved a book a few years down the road when you can still remember everything about it. And sometimes you thought you liked a book and can’t remember anything a year later. Well let’s say I’m pretty sure I’ll remember Thief of Shadows for a long time I am a huge fan of the Maiden Lane series. The 1st and 3rd book still resonate in my mind. But for some reason I had trouble remembering what happens in the 2nd book =P Anyways…
I wasn’t sure I would like Winter’s book. In the previous novels he always appeared as a cold man without any warmth in him. How wrong I was. Oh my…Winter rocked my world. I should mention that this review (and even the book synopsis) is a bit spoilery if you haven’t read the previous books. We didn’t know the identity of the mysterious Ghost of St. Giles and what a surprise it was!
To be honest I fell in love with Winter. Or to be more precise with the Harlequin. Winter is a very serious teacher by day and he rights the wronged by night. I can’t tell you how much I loved how wicked Winter turned when wearing his costume. He seemed bolder, sexier…armed with a sexy slow grin, how can anyone resist him?!!!
Isabel is a patroness of Winter’s orphanage, when she learns that the others planned on putting someone more ‘refined’ in his place she decides to help Winter. She is proposing to teach him what he need to know to pass for a gentleman and keep his place. Winter has always been focused on his work. He wants to help those in need and he NEVER indulged in women. Yes…NEVER (yes I mean he’s a virgin!!). Isabel is a widow and she’s not inexperienced so when she proposes to teach him, the double entendres fly! Oh how I looooooved that. Winter is more than willing to learn. The chemistry between those 2 was explosive. Seriously this book was HOT from start to end. The sex scenes were just perfect. Hot and erotic with a touch of wicked! It’s worth reading if only for this chemistry between the hero and heroine. This is exactly how I love my Historical romances…on the hot side!
It was so refreshing to finally have an inexperienced hero. He made up for it very fast Isabel is a wonderful character. She’s bold and funny. She knows herself and she’s not ashamed of it. She truly loved her late husband. I really loved to see her struggle to have a relationship with Christopher her very young charge. I’m usually recalcitrant when i comes to experienced heroines in historical romances because most of the time they act TOO brashly. This was not the case with Isabel, she was free enough to be interesting but still acted in the limits of her social place.
Well I will be honest there’s a mystery going on in this novel but I couldn’t care less about it. It was all fine but I just wanted to see Isabel and Winter interact, and I got plenty of that *g*. All I wanted to do was shout WINTER IS COMING!!! lol I love Winter (never thought I’d ever say that lol).
Thief of Shadows is a fantastic addition to this series. We finally get to see the wicked side of the always proper Winter. This book is HOT and sweet at the same time. (I mean come ON he loved children and is completely selfless). It made me laugh and made my heart ache. A truly fabulous read. Of course now I cannot wait for the next book which sounds delicious!
I wasn't sure about this book at first, mostly because I read a very heated review dissing the book. I decided to see for myself and I'm glad I did. II wasn't sure about this book at first, mostly because I read a very heated review dissing the book. I decided to see for myself and I'm glad I did. I agree that I disliked the Heroine at first and how she would make fun of her fiancé. I don't think it was made to make us laugh at the fiancé...at least it didn't make me laugh, it made me dislike her and see how childish she still was. Also the heroine often uses humor to deal with the things she can't change. I get it. But the real romance started at about page 130. Then it got awesome and I had trouble closing the book. The hero is very much as I love them. Oh and I LOVE the epilogue. *g* LOVE it....more
Much like the hero, I took a gamble with this new series. I’ve read and enjoyed Zoe’s writing(This review was originally published on Book Lovers Inc)
Much like the hero, I took a gamble with this new series. I’ve read and enjoyed Zoe’s writing before and I had to read the first book in her new series. It was a gamble because the pact with the devil theme has never been a favorite theme of mine.
Zoe Archer never does things like the others, so it’s not a surprise that her heroine is not your usual Lady. Zora is a Rom, she’s been telling Gorgios‘ fortune for money, telling them exactly what they wanted to hear. She’s good at reading people’s faces and it’s no wonder she attracts the attention of a huge gambler. Whit is a wealthy aristocrat who loves gambling, and he and his friends have won the title of ’Hellraisers’ in society. When he meets Zora he wants to know her secrets, he’s fascinated by her.
Somehow (well I won’t tell you everything!) Whit and his friend find themselves freeing the devil from his prison. I know it sounds weird when I say it but it was actually interesting in the book. I had some trouble with this scene because it felt, well, surreal. I mean maybe it’s just because I’ve read too many books about making a pact with the devil but they should have somehow realized it couldn’t end well. In short, Whit and his friends receive a gift (the ability they want most) ye as a reward. They don’t question the drawbacks or wonder what is the fine print attached to such a gift. This is what bothered me most. As a gambler, Whit received the gift of controlling the odds…and he gets to ‘keep’ Zora until she reveals her secrets to him…but that part turned out pretty interesting so I’m not complaining.
Zora finds herself trapped by Whit. She knows what happened with the Devil and she knows Whit is still under his influence. Zora is a feisty woman, she doesn’t go calmly into the night. She fights . I liked that about her but she’s a Rom at heart and I had trouble imagining her settling down or having any future with Whit. Whit IS an aristocrat let’s not forget that. He’s a Gorgio, the exact opposite of what Roms value. For all my complaints I can say I can’t fault Zoe Archer’s smex scenes. Hot is what they are. I’ve really enjoyed them, they are intense and hard. There’s at least a whole half star for the smex scenes only *g*
There was a couple of things I didn’t completely fall for. For once, Zora’s new abilities felt like they appeared out of nowhere and she doesn’t even stumble through test and errors. She nearly masters them at once. A bit too convenient. We also meet a ‘helpful’ ghost. The whole ghost thing didn’t work much for me. Again a bit too convenient. The supernatural appears slowly at first but when it’s there…it’s there. A bit too much too soon, I felt a bit overwhelmed, it felt like an epic battle at some point. But that’s the risk with an action-packed paranormal adventure.
If you’re still reading you probably think I didn’t like the book…not true. I did like it but some things just didn’t work. On the other hand I really enjoyed how Whit’s dark side (the gambling) was portrayed with a paranormal twist. I liked how he had to fight himself (the whole Geminus part was pretty interesting). I had a few good surprises I didn’t see coming. Whit’s friends for example revealed more complex than I’d have guessed. I am looking forward to see their stories, their battles.
I WAS grumbling at the ‘happy for now’ kind of ending, it left me wanting more. But I should have guessed since it’s part of a series. I hope we see their HEA in the following books.
All in all it was a nice book with some bumps in the road.I wasn’t always following what was happening and I felt like they took leaps in the story but it kept me interested until the end. It’s an action-packed historical adventure with hot hot hot sexy times. I will be reading the next book, the series ARC has a lot of potential and I’m very interested to see what’ll happen next.
4 1/2 Stars. It was cute and I really liked the poor tortured hero. Found myself laughing quite a few times. Not the best in the series but I had a gr4 1/2 Stars. It was cute and I really liked the poor tortured hero. Found myself laughing quite a few times. Not the best in the series but I had a great time reading it. I can't wait for the last!!!...more
I've heard so much good about Carrie Lofty's books that I jumped on the first occasion to rev(This review was originally published on Book Lovers Inc)
I've heard so much good about Carrie Lofty's books that I jumped on the first occasion to review her new book. Flawless had me hooked from the first chapter. I like the estranged married couple theme and this was exactly what I needed.
Vivienne's inheritance comes with a catch. If she wants her money she has to successfully run her late adoptive father's Brokerage company in South Africa. I really like it when the inheritance has to be earned, so far it made for some of my favorite books. Viv didn't expect her estranged husband, the Viscount Bancroft to show up at the reading of the will. After running away from him a year ago all she wanted was to be left alone and live her tranquil life away from him. This new development will force her to go on an adventure in an exotic country to run the company she knows nothing about...with Miles!
Miles is a piece of Art. He knows how to play the bored and snob aristocrat. He seems to be a dilettante and when we first meet him he's drunk and smoking cigars. We are thrown in the story without knowing what happened to them and why they didn't work out. I really loved piecing things together. We first get Viv's point of view and when we finally get to Miles he doesn't come out as a nice person. He wants revenge, he wants to seduce her again and be the one leaving. Well obviously I fell for him anyway. Despite his cold facade he's a good man and there is hope from him.
I think the magic of this book comes from being set in South Africa. Wow the author really did a fantastic job there. It was exotic and intriguing. I loved how it made me feel. It was also really interesting to see how these aristocrats lived so far from London. How it wasn't that different in the end. I think I've mentioned in previous reviews how I love historical facts in my stories, well I learned a lot of things about South Africa and about the Diamond industry at that time. Seriously it was fantastic. It felt so real, loved it.
Now let's talk about Viv and Miles as a couple. It took some time for the love story to pick up but since they'd been estranged so long it was only natural. Viv's past is also filled with ghosts she's afraid to talk about. I really loved how they were together. It was stronger than them, she couldn't resist him and he couldn't help but fall for his intelligent wife. They learned to trust each other even if that was hard. The scene where Viv takes what she want was oh so very awesome. Hot and passionate with sizzling chemistry. I ended up loving Miles so bad. He changed a lot and he became reliable and just perfect. Nom.
This was my first historical romance by Carrie Lotfy but it won't be the last. I really loved reading this story about second chances, appearances and learning to trust. Let yourself be taken on a journey you won't regret. I'm really hoping there will be books about Viv's brothers and sisters. ...more
Shameless is the 4th book in the House of Rohan series. I am a big fan of this series and(this review was originally published on Secret HEA Society)
Shameless is the 4th book in the House of Rohan series. I am a big fan of this series and I just couldn't wait to read this last installment. It was on my Auto-read list, it was such a sure thing in my mind that I would read it that I didn't read the book synopsis. So when I started the book, I didn't really connect the dots. You see, the first 3 books followed the House of Rohan on 3 generations. So I was expecting Shameless to be about the kids of the previous heroes. Ah! Of course I should have read the synopsis! Shameless is set about 5 or 10 years (I can't remember the exact number!) after the end of Breathless and is about Miranda's (Heroine of Breathless, you still following?) oldest brother.
What a good surprise! When I finally realized who it was about and how it was situated , it all clicked together and I'm pretty sure I squealed. *wink* . Benedick, the hero was married during the set of Breathless and for some reason I didn't think he would get his story. I thought him safe in a somewhat good marriage. I also saw him as a stuffy lord. Oh what a delight it was to realize he was actually quite wicked and such a cynic person.So what? Yes I love my heroes wicked, evil and dangerous, and Anne Stuart delivers! Each time! All the heroes of this series are wicked in their own way, they are all very different but each very delicious.
Benedick is a cynic but he has his reasons. He's been married twice and both wives died in childbirth leaving him without an heir. So he decided to find a wife to get that heir and a spare. He just wants a brooding mare, someone he can just forget all about outside the bedroom. As you can imagine, it won't work that way ;).
Melisande is not your typical lady. For once she lives with more than 20 former prostitutes! She's the widow of a wealthy elderly lord. Now with her money she tries to reform prostitutes and help them find a real respectable job. As you can imagine she's not really someone who would be invited to balls and party by Society. I found Melisande very likable, she's a good woman and she really wants to help save these girls. I found her devotion to her 'gaggle' very endearing.She might have been married but Melisande is still a near-virgin when it comes to the pleasures of sex. It was cute to see such an innocent woman leaving with women who enjoyed having sex so much and it made me laugh a few times.
When Melisande hears that the secrete society called the Heavenly Hosts has been revived and that now they started becoming very violent with prostitutes/young women she decides to act. Melisande knows Benedick's brother, Brandon, is a member of this secret society so she decides to warn Benedick about it and asks for his help. I really enjoyed seeing them together, they have such a chemistry! *swoon* They don't plan to get involved with each other but it's like it's out of their hands. The more they fight it, the harder it is. God, I loved Benedick, he's such a jerk! He has a vicious tongue, very cutting. The smex scenes are hot and very well written. Benedick is confident in his skills and I just love that in my heroes *g*.
If you read Breathless, you'll remember Brandon, the youngest Rohan. He was so young and cute and innocent. Really brave too. The man we meet in Shameless is just a shadow of his old self. Brandon has been to war and he's come back wounded both physically and in spirits. He gave up on life and he's become reckless. We get glimpses of him and what happened when he came back from war. Now, I have to tell you I'm REALLY hoping he's getting his book because if not I'll be pissed. Why? Because we get glimpses of his story and a possible romance and I couldn't believe it ended this way. Anyway, I can't say more but I am crossing all my fingers and toes we'll get his book. (I've spent 2 hours on the web searching for any indication there would be one but *sob* I couldn't find any info about it *sob*)
I LOVED that we got to see quite a lot of the HEA of Miranda and Lucien (Heroes from Breathless, yes I also do Cliffnotes as you can see *wink*). I remember raging at the ending of Breathless because it didn't have an epilogue. *squeeeeeeeeee* We get it in Shameless. Seriously I was grinning the whole time we got to see Lucien and Miranda. And we see them from Benedick's POV, which is pretty hilarious since he HATES his brother-in-law so much. I loved seeing their life through his eyes. I can't thank Anne Stuart enough for indulging us like that. *g*
I was ecstatic when I finished Shameless! It has an epilogue!!! *squeee* And a very good one. It's not cheesy I promise, because I'm not sure Anne Stuart can do cheesy. But it left me smiling and feeling very good. <3
Shameless is a wonderful book, it really does justice to this series. You want to root for the characters and it's hard to stop reading once you started. It keeps you enthralled and always wanting more while giving you some closure about the story (and about the previous book). I still feel pretty emotional about this book. It sure left his mark in my mind and in my heart (see? I can be cheesy!)
ps: I'm sorry about it being such a long review. And THIS is the short version ;)
I give Shameless 4 1/2 Stars.
With a Shiny HEA, full of hopes and happiness...more
Wow that was such an adventure! I really loved both the Hero and heroine. They kept true to themselves and I'm very happy with this story.
I listened tWow that was such an adventure! I really loved both the Hero and heroine. They kept true to themselves and I'm very happy with this story.
I listened to the audiobook and this narrator is really good. I love her voices. But I kept feeling irritated at the horrible horrible forced and exaggerated French accent. *cringe*. But oh well the rest was great so YAY...more
Romancing the Countess was a highly anticipated book for me, I've been waiting for this book(this review was originally published on Book Lovers Inc)
Romancing the Countess was a highly anticipated book for me, I've been waiting for this book for months. For long it was only a blurb and a title but when the cover was finally revealed...Wow... for me this cover is absolutely stunning. Okay, so maybe I did wonder whether women at that time would wear something like that, but still what a gorgeous dress. I also love her jewels. Anyway, to sum it up the cover is one of the many delights of this book!
This is the first book I read from this author and I will definitely read her next novel. I'm always a bit reluctant to try new Historical romance authors (*hides*) because I know I can be very picky when it comes to this genre. Ashley March has a definite style that sets her out from the rest. She made me accept situations and character behavior I would probably have scoffed at in other historical romances.
Leah, like many women of her time, had to live with the knowledge that her husband was cheating on her. Like most women of that time she had to accept it and keep the pretenses. But when her husband tragically dies she can't mourn him like society would want her to. I really love that this book showed us the reality of being a widow back then. Leah wasn't freed by her husband's death, on the contrary she was expected to go into full mourning, wearing uncomfortable and ugly black dresses, wearing a veil or a widow's cap. She wasn't to entertain guest or go to parties for a full year. She was to be lonely and miserable when in reality she didn't want to mourn him. Of course like most things at that time, men weren't held up to the same standards and rules. I know all that but still, each time it makes me angry.
Sebastian's wife died in the same accident that killed Leah's husband....and for a good reason...they were eloping together. Contrary to Leah, Sebastian didn't know of the affair and it was a shock to him. The love of his life died, living him with a toddler and the last thing he wants is for people to gossip about his dead wife and his best friend. I could understand Sebastian's motive, he didn't want his son to suffer from a scandal. I still wanted to kick him where it matters a few times. My first impression of him was of a stuffy lord.
Things got interesting as Leah really came into her own. She slowly realized she could get her independence and freedom. This was really interesting, I liked how she started rebelling in small ways. Then she started doing bolder things, rash and provocative things that were borderline on plausible (in my humble opinion). Well I guess they could happen but I sometimes thought Leah didn't really realize what the consequences would be....I'm not sure if many women would have dared act this way. I guess it's what set her apart from your usual 18th century lady. See, that's the wonder of this book, even if I wasn't 100% convinced by some of the behaviors/events, the story still won me over. Or better said, Sebastian won me over. *g* As much as I disliked him at first he grew on me. Sebastian is a wonderful father, the scenes with his son were just too cute.
Leah is scarred from her relationship with her late husband. She has been burned and she never wants to live through this again. Sebastian's first goal was to convince Leah to keep quiet about the affair and act the widow Society wanted her to be. Then his goal changed and soon he had to find a way to win her over. It's hard to talk about the story without telling too much but let's just say I was left completely satisfied and happy. The characters slowly fell for each other, sometimes against their better judgment. I loved that nothing was rushed, Leah's reluctance wasn't solved in 2 pages. It's really a book about how Sebastian slowly seduced her. And much like Leah was seduced by Sebastian, I was slowly seduced by Ashley March's talent. I might have been reluctant but by the end of the book I was completely sold.
Seducing the Countess has enough originality to set it apart from your usual historical romance. It's bold but not enough to have me throw the book at the wall (aka the hissy fit). My advice to you...let yourself be tempted you won't regret it! It's a really good historical and I will be awaiting Ashley March's next book.
My Favorite Countess was a difficult book to review for me. When I started re-reading the notes(This review was originally posted on Book Lovers Inc)
My Favorite Countess was a difficult book to review for me. When I started re-reading the notes I took while reading the book, I started wondering if I was dealing with 2 different books. The first half of my notes were mostly rants about how I hated the Hero and the Heroine, the second half of my notes were about how amazing they were and how I loved the story. LOL see what I mean? Alright, let's start from the beginning...
When we meet Bathsheba she is in a dire situation. She has responsibilities towards her family and their estate and she is under a lot of stress. She would do anything, that is...go to London and find a rich husband to pay their debts. Bathsheba is a widow and getting married again was NOT in her plans. She didn't want to suffer again at the hands of a husband.
The thing is when we meet Bathsheba it's really really hard to like her, she's viper-tongued and she can be very nasty when she wants to. I felt bad for all the other characters when she was around. She's mean and it's hard to see past that, but her flaws make her human in the end. Then there's the hero, Doctor John Blackmore, seriously at the beginning of the book I really disliked him too... but for different reasons. John seemed so full of himself, he's sure he's always right. He thinks he can see through her from the start. And he's certain he's going to bed her. The result is that I wanted to slap them both silly. They are both so stubborn and they cling to their beliefs. So the first few chapters I just disliked, then hated the 2 main characters.
BUT, I'm not sure how but at some point everything changes. By chapter 7, I started loving them! I've never read a book where the author made me change my mind so drastically about 2 characters. I went from hate to love in just a few chapters. John is a doctor and it was a nice change from the usual aristocratic hero. John is a working man, he's a doctor who deals with midwifery. When you start learning about him and his beliefs, you can't help but love him. He is a humanist, he believes every woman rich or poor should be able to get the best treatment when delivering a baby. He wants change and he wants to do everything he can to help pregnant women.
At some point I started liking Bathsheba, we learn more about her past and the trauma she suffered from her previous marriage. Her late husband was very jealous and thought she was cheating on him. He made her look like a whore in the eyes of everyone else. His family hates her because they think she's responsible for his death. Anyway, I can't say much more but the story gets very interesting. There's intrigue, mystery and lots of suspense. I had a hard time closing the book. I didn't see the end coming and the cute HEA at the end made this book a very pleasant read.
Now I must address the smex topic...this is something I found a bit weird in the book. When I read it, it struck me as odd how the smexing scenes were written differently from the rest of the book. I mean the book flows pretty easily, then when you get to a love scene the writing gets very flowery. It's hard to miss. But apart from that I have to say I really enjoyed the love scenes between those 2. John knows how to 'play doctor' and he knows exactly what he's doing in bed. John was very very sexy and intense. I also loved that Bathsheba is not afraid of loving smex. There is chemistry between them and it was always hot hot hot!
So as you can see, this book started a bit rocky for me but by the end I just couldn't stop reading. This is a great story, with lots of twist and turns and enough suspense to surprise you in the end. I'm glad I kept reading even when I hated the h/h, it's definitely worth the wait to get to the good parts!
I admit that I've never been disappointed by the books I've read by Moira Rogers. I'm happy to say, I w(This was originally posted on Book Lovers Inc)
I admit that I've never been disappointed by the books I've read by Moira Rogers. I'm happy to say, I was once again charmed by the authors' writing. Sabine is a very short but very steamy fairy tale. From the very start you are thrown into this fantasy world and everything just flows right. The world-building was artfully done, you're not crushed by pages of back story, it's just very easy to get into this world.
Sabine has been cursed by a witch and ever since, everyone she knew has forgotten about her. She just became a stranger to them all. She's been living alone for years now, doomed to solitude. Why was she cursed? Because the High Lord was in love with her and his mother disapproved of the relationship. She wanted her son to forget about Sabine, but somehow the curse backfired and everyone forgot about her.
When Ciar comes back from war, all he wants is to find Sabine. When he realizes no one remembers her he starts searching for her. In this world the characters are Were-animals, and just so you know, it doesn't change anything to how beautiful this love story was.The authors made it look so natural, you could easily forget they are not completely human.
When Ciar and Sabine meet again, she's afraid he will forget her if she touches him. Ciar doesn't want to forget her, he wants his love for her to be stronger than the spell, he is resolute to find a way to reverse the spell. It was very heart-wrenching to see them suffer like this. Sabine's acceptance of the inevitable was very moving. Their passion was very intense, even if they couldn't touch (maybe BECAUSE they couldn't touch). I really enjoyed reading this book.
Sabine reads like a very beautiful fairy tale. It's a fast and sweet read. I can't tell much more about it without revealing too much of the plot. I am really looking forward to reading Kisri, the 2nd book in the series.
The Devil in Disguise is the 1st book in the Regency Rogues series. Now the title of the series a(this review as originally posted on Book Lovers Inc)
The Devil in Disguise is the 1st book in the Regency Rogues series. Now the title of the series and the title of the book led me to believe that our hero would be a rogue, a bad man, a devil who the heroine would reform. Yes I know, I shouldn't have expectations based on a title. Now don't get me wrong I enjoyed reading this book, but I wasn't swept away.
William is the Duke of Clairemont, he is also part of the Young Corinthians. He's a spy and is assigned to protect Lady Lucinda Grey who's the next target of a well known murderer. I'm not a huge fan of spy stories because it's easy to fall into ridicule. It's not the case for this book, thankfully! I liked the characters and I wanted to love the story but some parts were just too rushed for me.
Will is ready to court Lucinda to be able to protect her. My problem was that he is supposed to be the 'Iron Will', a rogue, ruthless but he's really not and he didn't look the part for me. And I'm not even sure how he got his reputation to stick. I wanted more details about his 'supposed past' of debauchery. Anyway, Lucinda is a strong-willed woman, she doesn't need a husband she has money and is perfectly happy to live her life with her 3 aunts (nicknamed the Furies! Those women are very funny). Will knows she is reluctant to marry anyone and his chances of getting close to her are very very slim. So he makes a deal with her, if she can resist his seduction for a period of time he will give her his horse (I should mention she really wants the horse for reasons I won't mention), if not then they'll get married and she'll have that horse anyway. Hey it's a win-win situation for her, is it not? ;)
See, this started good, I liked that he was going to try and seduce her any way he could and she would have to resist. Very good plot, my kind of plot! But for me it all went too fast. Their feelings for each other appeared out of nowhere, even the lovemaking was rushed. I mean it's her first time and we don't even know what happens after they did it. Maybe it's just that I needed more smex scenes, but even without more smex I still think we should have gotten at least more about the psychological consequences of this seduction.
This is a good story, I enjoyed reading it, I just wanted (expected) a bit more. I wanted this 'devil' the title promised. I'll still want to read the next books in the series because Stefanie Sloane's writing is entertaining. The Devil in disguise will please many historical romance lovers. If you like spy stories this IS for you.
I give The Devil in Disguise 3 1/2 Bookies....more