Expected Release Date: June 28, 2011 Publisher: Harlequin Imprint: Mira Aut...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: June 28, 2011 Publisher: Harlequin Imprint: Mira Author’s Website: http://www.brendanovak.com My Source for This Book: Netgalley Part of a Series: Yes – Bulletproof Book 1 Series Best Read In Order: N/A Steam Level: Steamy
Holy wow. This book was absolutely fantabulous!
Pulse-pounding action, police corruption, a spurned lover, and deadly gangs out for revenge, all paired with a delicious romance make this a novel that can’t be missed. Despite some concerns I might have had with the epilogue, this is hands-down a must-read, and I gladly give it a very solid 5/5 Stars.(less)
Expected Release Date: August 9, 2011 Publisher: Penguin Group Imprint: Du...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: August 9, 2011 Publisher: Penguin Group Imprint: Dutton Author’s Website: http://juliegarwood.com/ My Source for This Book: Netgalley Part of a Series: No Steam Level: Steamy
**REVIEWER’S NOTE** This was an uncorrected advanced copy, so it’s possible that some details may be changed by the publication date.
I do believe that I am now officially a Julie Garwood fangirl. *nods decisively*
Ellie was a child prodigy, with a tortured past. Intelligent beyond her years, she attracted a deranged stalker at the tender age of 11, making her life a living hell; multiple attacks, restraining orders, and finally being sent out of state to live with strangers in order to protect both her and her family has left a mark on her that no amount of education or professional success can erase. When she witnesses the shooting of an FBI agent, she’s suddenly thrust into danger yet again, despite the fact that she cannot make a positive identification.
Max bursts into her life as an FBI agent attached to the case, and the sparks fly between them. They both know that nothing can come of a relationship — she lives in the midwest while he lives in Hawaii — and yet neither can resist the other. When she flies back to her childhood home for her sister’s wedding, she faces not only the threat of being silenced before she can take the witness stand, but also of having to face her childhood nemesis, the deranged stalker who has until that point dropped off the face of the earth.
Overall, I absolutely adore it. There was enough action to keep me on my toes, blended beautifully with just enough romance and steam to keep me intrigued.
The ending was also absolutely lovely. After reading the last line I literally said “awwww” and closed the book with a smile, and that more than anything is why I cheerfully give this book 5/5 Stars(less)
Expected Release Date: May 31, 2011 Publisher: Harlequin Imprint: HQN Autho...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: May 31, 2011 Publisher: Harlequin Imprint: HQN Author’s Website: http://www.lorifoster.com My Source for This Book: Netgalley Part of a Series: Yes, Book 2 – Men Who Walk The Edge of Honor Series Best Read In Order: Would work well as a standalone. Steam Level: Hot
Oh how I wanted to like this book. I adore Lori Foster, and typically enjoy her romantic suspense novels. Foster has a way of writing the tough gamma male in a way that makes you want to throw yourself into dangerous situations in hope of someday meeting a man like one of her heroes.
That said, this book just wasn’t for me.
I actually found it hard to finish this one. By constantly having one of my pet peeves in romance played out over and over, I couldn’t really get into this one.
I am still a fan of Lori Foster, and I have to say that she definitely writes both action and romance in a way that keeps you glued to the page, but in this particular case, this book was simply not for me.
Other readers who aren’t put off by that particular literary device will likely thoroughly enjoy this book, so definitely take my review with a grain of salt.
That said, however, I’m unfortunately going to have to rate this one a 1.5/5, as I just truly didn’t enjoy it.
*** ORIGINAL REVIEW AS POSTED IN MARCH 2011: Normally I don't review books this far ahead of the publishing date. However, I think it's very important that I clarify the reasoning behind my low rating.
This is THE big negative for me — one of my top pet peeves in romance. I hate when a modest heroine is forced to be naked in front of others. Hate, hate, hate this literary device in romance novels.
I can count five instances where our modest, virginal heroine, ends up naked or sexually humiliated in front of someone.
Other readers who aren’t put off by that particular literary device will likely thoroughly enjoy this book, so definitely take my rating with a grain of salt.
My final rating? 1.5/5
Full review will be posted in May, closer to the release date. (less)
Expected Release Date: May 31, 2011 Publisher: Harlequin Imprint: Mira Auth...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: May 31, 2011 Publisher: Harlequin Imprint: Mira Author’s Website: http://www.colleengleason.com/ My Source for This Book: Netgalley Part of a Series: Yes, Book 3, The Regency Draculia Series Best Read In Order: Yes Steam Level: Hot
I am very, very torn on my rating for this novel.
Narcise never appealed to me as a character in the first novel, The Vampire Voss. She seemed spoiled, arrogant, and quite frankly, unintriguing. It was only during the second novel, The Vampire Dimitri, that I began to warm up to her as a possible heroine of her own story. So admittedly, I began this novel with mixed feelings, and those feelings only became more and more confused as my reading progressed.
Narcise is horribly abused during her captivity with her brother. She’s repeatedly raped, abused, used for entertainment, and a pawn in her sick brother’s many machinations. While she is endowed with a great deal of strength, both mentally and physically, she is both cosseted and detested, and lives in a strange combination of torturous abuse and a gilded cage.
Giordian, on the other hand, has intrigued me from the beginning. Learning of his tortured past only made me feel much more strongly towards him, and the mutual feeling of betrayal between the two captured my attention at the start.
My mixed feelings, however, come through on how the plot has progressed.
On one hand, I love both the world of the Dracule and Colleen Gleason’s writing style. She has a way of giving such a fresh view on even the darkest of subjects, and of beautifully illustrating the struggles of those who long-ago made the wrong bargain with Lucifer. On the other hand, there comes a point in a romance novel when the strife and angst begin to take center stage over the actual relationship, and I believe . Both Cale and Naricse are so abused in life that even at the end, I didn’t feel that overwhelming sense of contentment that I look for when finishing a romance. The resolution, while refreshingly different from the resolutions of the previous novels in the series, still left me feeling rather empty, and quite frankly I didn’t care for the fact that (view spoiler)[they let Caesar live (hide spoiler)].
Had the confrontation with Caesar been handled differently when Narcise first returned to France, I likely would’ve gone higher. As it is, I am going to have to go with a middle of the road, 3.5/5 Stars. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Expected Release Date: May 23, 2011 Publisher: Carina Press Imprint: N/A Au...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the Full Review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: May 23, 2011 Publisher: Carina Press Imprint: N/A Author’s Website: http://authorjennyschwartz.com/ My Source for This Book: Netgalley Part of a Series: Yes, Out of the Bottle #3 Series Best Read In Order: Worked well as a standalone Steam Level: Hot
She is the Bringer of Death Cali, a djinni, has sworn to twist the wishes of humans so they die by their own greed and evil. Her latest master is arms dealer David Saqr, a man Cali believes deserves the fate she has in store for him. But this time she finds herself up against Andrew, David's guardian angel.
He is a Protector of Life Andrew believes David can yet find redemption. He fights Cali for the man's life, even as he tries to persuade her to give in to the sizzling attraction between them. He shows Cali another side of David, and invites her to trust again, to hope. But centuries of being enslaved have hardened Cali's heart-it's going to take all of Andrew's love to convince her to open it and let him in.
Not really a positive or negative point to me, but it seemed strange to see an angel free to make love. Granted, Cali wasn't human, so that definitely didn't fall under the whole nephalim-creating no-no that we so often run into in celestial romances, but I suppose I expected Andrew to be Fallen or to have some otherwise negative consequences for falling so hard for Cali.
Overall, though, this was a fast, deliciously tasty read, and a wonderful intro into the world of the djinni. I will definitely be going back and reading the first two installments into the series, and would recommend this one for fans of magick, guardian angels, redeemable villains, and explosive action (in the bedroom and otherwise).
Expected Release Date: August 30, 2011 Publisher: Harlequin Imprint: HQN Au...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: August 30, 2011 Publisher: Harlequin Imprint: HQN Author’s Website: http://www.evesilver.net/ My Source for This Book: Netgalley Part of a Series: Yes, Book 4, Otherkin Series Series Best Read In Order: Yes Steam Level: Hot
As this is the fourth book in the series, this review contains general spoilers for previous books. While I endeavor to mark all spoilers for the current novel, please be aware that if you intend to read the previous novels but have yet to do so, you may wish to skip this review.
A victim of the worst type of betrayal, Lokan Krayl was brutally murdered by someone close to him. Now his body has been reunited with his soul, but Lokan is still trapped in the Under way to contact his brothers or to protect his young daughter, who is still in the world of the living. Desperate to escape to both warn his brothers and to defend his precious daughter from the same danger and betrayal that he faced, he must travel through the Twelve Gates of one of his greatest enemies — Osiris.
Years ago, desperate to escape her own situation, Bryn Carr tricked Lokan into fathering a child with her. Never really a true “couple”, they bonded over their daughter, Dana. Lokan believes that the talkative Bryn is merely a human woman who has given him the gift of a child he thought himself incapable of siring, and that she believed him when he told her that he was the son of a Mafia boss. As it turns out, however, Lokan wasn’t the only one hiding secrets, for there is much more to Bryn than meets the eye. As a Walker, Bryn has the unique ability to guide souls into any realm of the Underworld. Because of her knowledge and abilities, she is chosen to help guide Lokan through Osiris’ Twelve Gates, but guiding a soul out of the Underworld is not the same as guiding one in…
I highly recommend reading the first three novels in the series, SINS OF THE HEART, SINS OF THE SOUL, and SINS OF THE FLESH, before picking this one up. While a lot of information from the previous books are summarized very nicely without getting in the way of this story, there’s such a complicated balance between the characters that I truly think that new readers to the series might be doing themselves a disservice if they skip the previous books. Of course, the fact that I love the previous books in the series might also be coloring my opinion on the matter ;)
Despite a couple minor issues, I adored it. It was beautifully angst-ridden, thrilling and sexy. This was a perfect way to conclude this miniseries, and despite the rather abrupt ending that I’ve come to expect from Ms. Silver, I was quite pleased with the way the series’ story arc was completed. Recommended for fans of the Otherkin series, a hero recovering from brutal betrayals, and a heroine determined to do whatever is necessary to protect those she loves no matter what the cost.
Expected Release Date: August 8, 2011 Publisher: Harlequin Imprint: Harleq...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: August 8, 2011 Publisher: Harlequin Imprint: Harlequin Desire Author’s Website: http://www.oliviagates.com/ My Source for This Book: Netgalley Part of a Series: Yes, Book 3, Pride of Zohayd Trilogy Series Best Read In Order: Worked well as a standalone Steam Level: Hot
Prince Amjad Al Shalaan once entered into a political marriage for the sake of his country. He graciously forgave the fact that his bride did not come to him a virgin as custom dictated — after all, he’d chosen her from a list of suitable candidates only a few weeks before the wedding, and since he was not a virgin himself, it seemed hypocritical to punish her for her missing virginity. He even forgave her when she turned out to be carrying the child of another man. What he couldn’t forgive, however, was her almost successful plot with her lover to murder him.
Ever since, Amjad has been tainted by a bad reputation — that of a Mad Sheikh, because he is completely untouchable. Women vie for a place in his bed, but he turns away everyone — even to the point that detractors have begun to speculate about his sexual orientation. His celibacy has become a thing of legend, but even that does not come close to the rumors of his paranoia…
Princess Maram has her own bad reputation. Having been forced into a political marriage to a man she viewed as her uncle, she flouted traditional mourning and almost immediately married a young, rich playboy, whom she promptly divorced after he was disowned from his family. Having grown up in America, she has little patience for the pomp and circumstance (and restrictions) placed on a princess from her country, though her patriotism does run deep.
She is also incredibly attracted to Prince Amjad from the neighboring kingdom of Zohyad. Intrigued rather than repulsed by both his reputation and his aloof personality, she has fancied herself in love with him from the start.
The two constantly trade barbs, but underneath it all is a simmering attraction.
Amjad intended to take Maram’s father hostage in order to force him to return the property that he has stolen from Amjad’s kingdom. When the king instead send Maram in his place, Amjad is forced to alter his plans, and intends to use the princess as his unknowing hostage instead. Maram sees the freak sandstorm that traps her with Amjad in a secluded villa as a blessing in disguise. Knowing that she need only tempt him to act on the sizzling attraction between them, she is brutally honest with Amjad about both her feelings for him and her desire. Soon they are both swept away by their passions, but when the storm passes, and Maram realizes that Amjad has been using her, will her love for him stand, or will his betrayal be the final straw?
I absolutely loved the first half of this book! The incredible betrayal at the beginning, the verbal sparring between Amjad and Maram, the tension built by Maram’s secret kidnapping and the intimacy created by their forced isolation was absolutely delicious. While I enjoyed the book in its entirety, there was something about the second half that simply didn’t appeal to me as much. Perhaps it was the tantric sex angle, or the fact that while they supposedly hiked and whatnot it seemed that all they did was bed each other, but there was just something missing once they began to sleep together. While Amjad’s ulterior motives for being with Maram created a delicious amount of angst, I really felt as though her feelings were a bit extreme. Granted, she’d fully given herself to him while he maintained his prior aloofness, but for love to turn to hate so quickly seemed a bit out of character for Maram.
In the end though, it was still a very enjoyable read. The back and forth sparring between the two made this book worth reading alone, because Maram is not your typical milquetoast virgin who lets the hero walk all over her. Instead, she’s a strong, modern woman, who knows what she wants and boldly goes after it, all the while nurturing a vulnerable heart.
Recommended for fans of modern heroines with a healthy dose of sarcasm, untouchable heroes who find themselves ensnared, and an angsty downfall of both hero and heroine, topped with a beautiful Grand Gesture and a very satisfying HEA.
Expected Release Date: July 26, 2011 Publisher: Harlequin Imprint: Harlequ...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: July 26, 2011 Publisher: Harlequin Imprint: Harlequin Historical Author’s Website: http://www.michellewillingham.com/ My Source for This Book: Netgalley Part of a Series: Yes, Book 2, The MacKinloch Clan Series Best Read In Order: Worked Well As A Standalone Steam Level: Steamy
Alex and Laren have never quite had the approval of their clan as a couple. Laren is the daughter of a beggar, and as such her family was barely tolerated by the clan. Alex was in line for the position of chief, and refused to enter into a political marriage and instead wed the love of his life, Laren.
Shortly after the death of their infant son, however, both retreated from the other in their grief, and somewhere along the way they’ve lost the partnership they once shared. Alex, having to maintain a strong appearance for the sake of his clan, has never grieved openly for the death of his son, and instead pours his efforts into protecting and shaping the clan. Laren, being shy and having never found true acceptance within the clan, turned to the local priest, who secretly taught her the art of glassmaking. Keeping her skills from both her husband and the rest of the clan, she has begun to perfect her art, creating gorgeous stained-glass windows in secret.
When an attack on the clan turns everyone on their head, and at the encouragement of one of the few people who know of her work, decides to sell some of her work as a commission to the Church, knowing that if she can bring money into the clan with her own skills, that she will finally have earned the respect of her clan, and hopefully, of her husband.
When Alex appears to still want Laren to change into someone she isn’t — a woman who can help him to lead the clan — she’s heartbroken. Refusing to give up her craft, she slowly begins to regain the attention and affection of her husband.
However, when their young daughter is kidnapped by their enemies, will their newly rediscovered love be enough?
Overall, I found this one a lot more enjoyable than I’d anticipated. I’m not overly fond of “estrangement” stories as a rule, but the gulf between Alex and Laren wasn’t the result of callousness or insensitivity, but rather the result of a deep grief that neither knew how to properly express. Laren’s skill with stained glass was very interesting to read about, as was her journey to both rediscover her love for her husband and to become the leader that her clan needed her to be.
While this is the second book in the series, I do feel that it worked well as a standalone, which was also a plus.
Recommended for fans of a marriage stretched to its breaking point by fear and grief, of two lovers finding each other again despite their differences, and of breathing life into glass to create something of both beauty and value, and all smothered with a healthy dose of Highland Plaid ;)
Expected Release Date: July 26, 2011 Publisher: Harlequin Imprint: HQN Auth...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: July 26, 2011 Publisher: Harlequin Imprint: HQN Author’s Website: http://www.rhyannonbyrd.com/ My Source for This Book: Netgalley Part of a Series: Yes, Book 8, Primal Instincts Series Best Read In Order: Yes, but might be okay as a standalone Steam Level: Hot Born into a family descended from the evil Casus, Noah Winston has lived his entire life knowing that one day he may be possessed by pure evil. Now, he works with the now-defunct Watchmen to battle the Casus as they attempt to bring their evil back into our dimension. Following an epic battle (in the previous novel), he knows he must contact Willow Broussard — the one woman he wants more than any other, and the one most forbidden to him.
A powerful witch, Willow belongs to a family whose long-standing feud with Noah’s family is a thing to make the Hatfields and McCoy’s look like a nursery-room squabble. As teenagers, Willow and Noah were on the cusp of becoming lovers when they were discovered by their families and Noah quickly abandoned their relationship seemingly for good. Now, twelve years later, Willow is a powerful warrior-witch in her own right, and Noah needs her family’s help to translate a spell that may be the saving grace of mankind.
Forced to work together, both Noah and Willow battle their rekindled attraction while, well, attempting to save the world.
Overall, I think this was a great way to wrap up an awesome series. While newcomers will likely be at least a little confused, I do feel that Ms. Byrd did a respectable job of giving just enough information to get by without succumbing to the dreaded info-dump syndrome that befalls so many books that are late entries into a previously established series. The hotness factor was just as high as I’ve come to expect from this series (that is, deliciously hot with plenty of yummy angsty UST), and the new characters were enchanting.
Recommended for fans of estranged lovers, forbidden romance, and delicious tension and chemistry, liberally sprinkled with kick-butt paranormal action and evil mayhem. A very solid 4/5 Stars (less)
Expected Release Date: August 2, 2011 Publisher: Harlequin Imprint: Noctur...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: August 2, 2011 Publisher: Harlequin Imprint: Nocturne Author’s Website: http://www.bonnievanak.com/ My Source for This Book: Netgalley Part of a Series: Yes, Book 4, Draconian Wolves Series Best Read In Order: Probably, but worked well as a standalone Steam Level: Steamy
On the run from authorities, gutsy Megan Moraine knows shadow wolves like herself have no place in this world. But she’s still prepared to do anything to protect her young charges. That resolve is tested when the trio is captured by Gabriel Robichaux. Everyone knows that Gabriel is a ruthless bounty hunter, a member of an elite group called the Enforcers. Why then is Megan so attracted to her enemy—a wolf who hunts his own people? A wolf whose languid, sexy drawl makes her dream the impossible?
DON’T MISS THE BONUS SHORT STORY INCLUDED IN THIS BOOK!
In a world where werewolves thrive in secret side-by-side to their human counterparts, some wolves are treated as third-class citizens. The Shadow wolves, who have the ability not only to perform magic at a young age but can literally make themselves invisible, are both feared and reviled. After an uprising-gone-wrong, they are rounded up concentration-camp style onto an island where they are treated as the lowliest of the low. Having no rights, forced to wear identifying uniforms, and absolutely forbidden to shift, they are forbidden to leave the island on which they've been imprisoned. To ensure their compliance, a hefty bounty has been placed on the head of any escaped Shadow, and Enforcers are free to rape, abuse, and even murder the escaped Shadows as they see fit.
Megan Moraine is determined to give her young twin cousins a better life than the one they can come to expect on the island. On the run, they are captured by the ruthless Gabriel Robichaux -- an Enforcer with a reputation for torturing his prisoners before brutally murdering them. Megan knows that their only chance to avoid a horrible fate is to escape from Gabriel's clutches, but she cannot deny the sizzling attraction between them.
Gabriel's gruesome reputation makes him one feared and respected Enforcers. However, Gabriel has a secret that could destroy everything he's worked for. Unable to deny an instinctive need to protect Megan and the little girls tagging along with her, he knows that turning traitor and helping them would not only make him as hunted as they are, but would actually result in torture and castration if he is captured. Will he be willing to risk everything for a woman who may never be able to trust him?
Overall, I enjoyed it, but the ending pretty much ruined it for me. Utilizing some of my favorite romance tropes, such as fated-to-be-mated, being on the run, and enemies to lovers, I really loved the first part of the novel. However, once Tristan got involved, things felt very rushed and just overly convenient, which rather ruined things for me.
In the end, I would recommend this one to fans of fated mates, of enemies to lovers, and fans of having to cope with societal prejudices and bring about change.
There is also a short story from the same "world" at the end of this book, which I also enjoyed. Unfortunately, Tristan plays a big part of that story as well, with the same results, leaving my final rating for both stories at 3.5/5(less)
Expected Release Date: September 5, 2011 Publisher: Entangled Publishing I...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: September 5, 2011 Publisher: Entangled Publishing Imprint: N/A Author’s Website: http://www.sarahgilmanbooks.com/ My Source for This Book: Netgalley Part of a Series: Yes, Book 1, Return to Sanctuary Series Best Read In Order: N/A Steam Level: Warm
I really, really wanted to love this book. It started off wonderfully. The universe that Ms. Gilman created was fascinating, with fallen angels and demons exist in full view of the public, and while the public at large is both fearful or and prejudiced against each group, both are protected by law and congregate together in what is similar to our Indian Reservations. Poachers hunt archangels in order to sell their feathers for insanely high prices, and the public looks the other way because of their prejudices. Demons have formed an alliance with the archangels, where the demons protect the archangels as sort of a demonic Secret Service group, and the archangels in turn share their psychic gifts (such as healing) with the demons.
All of this was incredibly intriguing, and the plot itself grabbed hold of me from the opening sentence and simply refused to let go. Add in Wren, the tortured hero whose parents had been brutally betrayed and murdered by the demon Guardian charged with protecting them, and Ginger, the orphaned heroine raised by a demon Guardian, who discovers quite by accident the plan to capture Wren and dashes off to save him, and this should’ve been the most spectacular book that I’ve read all year.
Unfortunately, that wasn’t quite the case.
This book could’ve been amazing. Instead, while the premise was absolutely fantastic, and I myself fell a bit in love with the characters, the multiple issues with the novel kept it from being a favorite of mine. That said, I did enjoy the storyline, and will almost certainly pick up any sequels simply because I want to know both what has happened to the characters, and as much detail as I can about this world. I also think that with experience, Ms. Gilman has the potential to be an absolutely incredible writer, and I look forward to watching her skill mature as she grows into herself as an author. She’s already proven that her imagination is an incredibly powerful thing, and I think with a few tweaks to her writing style, she will definitely be an author to watch.
For that reason, in the end, I’m going to recommend this one for fans of angels and demons, of revenge plots and betrayal, and of discovering love long after you’d given up on that dream. 3.5/5 Stars.(less)
3.5/5 - Review held for now at the request of the publisher. This book is being re-edited and has been rescheduled for a December release, and I will...more3.5/5 - Review held for now at the request of the publisher. This book is being re-edited and has been rescheduled for a December release, and I will likely read the new version when it is available.
Expected Release Date: October 4, 2011 Publisher: Macmillan Imprint: St. M...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: October 4, 2011 Publisher: Macmillan Imprint: St. Martin’s Paperbacks Author’s Website: www.janelledenison.com My Source for This Book: Gift from the author Part of a Series: Yes, Book 2, Reliance Group Series Best Read In Order: Works well as a standalone Steam Level: Hot
Sean grew up with a con-man as a father, and the apple didn’t fall far from the tree. After his father was sent to prison from a con gone bad, Sean tried to take the straight and narrow path, but the temptation of easy cash and the thrill of the con were too tempting, and pretty soon he was partnered up with one of his father’s old accomplices for what seemed to be an easy job. Things went sour with the victim, and Sean not only went to prison for a short stint, but also is plagued with guilt over what happened to the woman because of his actions.
Now both a bartender at the Onyx Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, and a member of the Reliance Group, a secret organization that utilizes the special skills of its members to complete under-the-radar investigations for high-profile clients, Sean is well on his way to proving to both himself and his boss that he has mended his wicked ways.
However, when a client approaches the Reliance Group with a job to track down the very man had been Sean’s father’s accomplice all those years ago — and the man responsible for his father’s prison sentence — Sean knows that this is his chance to finally bring the man to justice. Unfortunately, the case requires him to once more don his suave con-man persona — a persona he has worked incredibly hard to move on from.
It doesn’t help matters that his mark this time is Zoe Russo, the daughter of the man who sent Sean’s father to prison. Hating having to deceive her, Sean is determined to protect Zoe from the knowledge that she’s being played. Unfortunately, life doesn’t work that way, and pretty soon Zoe is confronted with Sean’s part in the investigation of her father, as well as his own personal history as a professional liar. For Zoe, whose own personal history gives her a distinct dislike for untruths, this is an incredibly cruel blow, because she had finally allowed herself to open up and trust a man.
Now Sean must protect Zoe from her father’s dangerous business partners who will stop at nothing to find her father, and to try desperately to convince her that the strong connection between them was the absolute truth.
I recently reviewed the first book in the Reliance Group series, INTO THE NIGHT, and gave that book a 4/5 Star rating. As much as I enjoyed that book, I don’t think it can hold a candle to this book at all. Don’t get me wrong, the first book was good, but this book was pretty much fantastic.
While this book is the second installment of the Reliance Group series, new readers should be aware that it works beautifully as a standalone. While the hero of the first book makes a small appearance, this story stood on its own two feet very well, with all the important information being given without ever falling into the dreaded Info Dump that so many sequels do.
I liked Zoe right from the start. While not a prude, she prefers for sexual relationships to have a basis in emotion, which was a refreshing change from the heroine in the first novel.
Sean was absolutely delicious, with his consummate good looks and all that charm, along with his guilt and self-hatred over his own mistakes in his past.
There was a delightful twist at the end that kept me on my toes, and I personally enjoyed the secondary romance between Jessica and Noah.
Overall, this was a wonderful read, full of both drama and suspense, as well as some delicious chemistry between the main characters.
Expected Release Date: August 29, 2011 Publisher: Harlequin Imprint: Carin...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: August 29, 2011 Publisher: Harlequin Imprint: Carina Press Author’s Website: http://joelysueburkhart.com/ My Source for This Book: Netgalley Part of a Series: No Series Best Read In Order: N/A Steam Level: Hot
As a child, Jin was reviled for her strange golden eyes, until one day, a military general saw her, and proclaimed that she was destined for the Emperor. Trained in the erotic arts, and having learned to associate pain with unending pleasure, her dreams are dashed when the Emperor she lusts after gives her instead to his son.
However, his son’s interest soon wanes, and Jin offers herself to her beloved Emperor. His darkest shame lies in the deep pleasure he gets from inflicting pain upon a woman, yet when Jin lets it be known that she craves the erotic pain that only he can give her, he cannot help himself.
Unfortunately, life in the Emperor’s Court is fraught with danger, as political machinations and multiple assassination attempts threaten all that Jin holds dear.
See, the thing is, I knew going into this story that it wasn’t something I would likely find enjoyable on an overall level. I personally do not like adultery and I do not like polygamy (which is different than polyamory in my mind — comment or message me if you’d like me to explain), both of which I knew played a big part in this story based on the official blurb.
I blame it on the excerpt. You see, when I saw this story available on Netgalley, I visited the author’s page and found THE EXCERPT, which was intriguing dang it! So I requested it and read it very quickly.
The story was hot. It was both well-written and surprisingly interesting, even outside of the bedroom, as Jin and her beloved nurse must navigate the dangerous waters of the Emperor’s Court, avoiding assassination plots and political scheming, all while showing the Emperor that no matter how many women he may sleep with, she is the only woman who can give him truly what he craves.
The scenes where the Emperor gives into his desire to inflict pain on his lovers? *fans self* Richly detailed, vivid, and incredibly erotic, they absolutely stole my breath. And combined with the various intrigues and political machinations of the various members of the royal court, this story was incredibly gripping and kept me glued to the pages from the first page right through the last.
In the end, however, I couldn’t get past the fact that the Emperor also slept with countless women outside of his relationship with Jin. Now, now, put down the torches and the pitchforks — I know this is historically accurate, and maybe more importantly, that Jin herself was perfectly fine with it.
There was even one scene where he makes love to another woman in her presence, and her heart was breaking because he touched the other woman with a gentle touch that she herself craved from him, and yet Jin was perfectly content because of a realization she had about halfway through.
And yet. This was a definite case of YKINMKBYKIOK. There was adultery. There was polygamy without a monogamous or even polyamorous ending. There was voyeurism and exhibitionism and even forced nudity and intentional humiliation. All of which are really, really not my thing.
I wavered back and forth on the final rating for this. On one hand, I couldn’t truly enjoy it because there were so many factors that I don’t care for, probably most importantly the feeling that there wasn’t a true HEA, despite Jin and the Emperor both being satisfied with the outcome. On the other hand, it was beautifully well-written, incredibly interesting, and frankly pretty danged hot.
In the end, however, I’m going to have to go with what most would consider to be a low rating, simply because there were so many things I didn’t care for about it, but there is absolutely the catch that if those factors don’t bother you, you’re going to love this story.
2.5/5 Stars (but worth giving it a chance anyway)(less)
Expected Release Date: December 6, 2011 (Available Now!) Publisher: E...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.com.
Expected Release Date: December 6, 2011 (Available Now!) Publisher: Entangled Publishing Imprint: N/A Author’s Website: http://www.ninacroft.com My Source for This Book: Netgalley Part of a Series: Yes, Book 2 Blood Hunter Series Series Best Read In Order: Yes Steam Level: Steamy
I loved BREAK OUT, but no matter how good that book was, this one was even better. Jon was an absolutely wonderful, tortured hero, and while I wanted to pimp-slap Alex half the time for her reckless behavior, they made a perfect couple.
With tons of action, romance, and plot twists, this book kept me on the edge of my seat from start to finish. Not only were Jon and Al interesting, but the rest of the crew added an enormous amount of interest as well. The intrigues, twists, incredible action, and delicious tension to the story all kept me glued to the pages, and ensured that I quite literally couldn’t put it down.
Recommended for fans of exciting space operas, vampires and werewolves who despite being around for centuries have never quite figured out how to fit in with society, and of a hero and heroine who are perfect for each other despite their differences.
Expected Release Date: October 18, 2011 (Available Now!) Publisher: Hache...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: October 18, 2011 (Available Now!) Publisher: Hachette Book Group Imprint: Forever Author’s Website: http://elizabethhoyt.com/ My Source for This Book: ARC Gift from the Publisher Part of a Series: Yes, Book 3, Maiden Lane series Series Best Read In Order: Yes Steam Level: Steamy
*SPOILER WARNING* Official Blurb and Review both contain spoilers for previous novels in the series.
Silence Hollingbrook is a virtuous woman with a sterling reputation. That is, she was, until nine months ago she made a deal with the devil to save her husband from gaol for a crime he didn’t commit. Naively convinced that those who knew and loved her would believe her when she told them the truth about what really happened, she was shattered to discover that no one, not even her beloved husband William, believed she had not sold herself to Charming Mickey O’Connor, the notorious river pirate. Now (two books later), William is dead, lost at sea, and Silence finds solace working in her family’s Home for Unfortunate Infants and Foundling Children, and the love of her adopted infant daughter, Mary Darling.
Charming Mickey has been fascinated with Silence ever since she stormed into his urban fortress demanding that he help her husband escape the gaoler. At the time, he merely offered his assistance in exchange for Silence spending the night in his bed — yet he never once so much as touched her. Then sending her home with her gown half undone and her hair in disarray, intentionally ruining the shining reputation of a virtuous woman, he insisted that if her husband really loved her, he’d believe her when she told him that nothing had happened. When of course her reputation was destroyed, and no one, not even her family or husband believed in her innocence, he thought to take satisfaction of knocking the stars out of her eyes. He couldn’t understand, however, why it actually almost bothered him that he’d ruined her life — after all, he was a hedonist of the first rank, and took great pleasure in many a people’s pain.
When an infant bastard daughter he neither wanted nor cared about is dumped on his doorstep, her prostitute mother having died, Mickey sees an opportunity to ensnare Silence even further into his web by depositing the child on the doorstep of the foundling home where Silence had sought solace after that chaste night in his bed.
Now his greatest enemy, the Vicar of Whitechapel, has discovered the existence of Mary Darling, and sees her as a pawn to use against Mickey. Snatching Mary Darling from the foundling home, Mickey whisks her away to his “palace” in Whitechapel, and waits for Silence to follow, which she soon does.
Trapping Silence with her love for Mary, Mickey coerces her to stay with him by playing on her guilt and fears for the child’s safety. But finally having Silence under his power once more doesn’t bring about the sense of triumph Mickey first expected, and soon, he finds that he is the one in danger — of losing the very heart he claimed he didn’t even have.
I have been anxiously awaiting this book since the first moment that Mickey stepped onto the pages and agreed to help Silence in exchange for her reputation. Mickey is the ultimate bad boy — a complete hedonist and utterly ruthless — and I was dying to see Silence get under his skin. I just knew from the very first time we met him that his redemption would be both very hard won and incredibly satisfying, and I was right on both accounts.
Silence was also a much stronger heroine than I’d originally anticipated — she seemed so weak and naive in the previous novels, but her steadfast loyalty and her devotion to Mary Darling brought out quite a bit of ferocity in her when needed, and it served her very well when paired with Mickey.
While there were a few moments where some of the language choices pulled me out of the action, and I didn’t particularly care for the name change halfway through the novel, the relationship between Mickey and Silence, as well as the intrigue and adventure made this book an easy favorite of mine. The climax of this novel was by far one of the most nail-biting of any historical romance I can recall, and the HEA was also by far one of the most satisfying.
The next book in the series, Thief of Shadows, is due out in summer of 2012, and I tell you, I’m already chomping at the bit for it. It will star the ever-elusive Ghost of St. Giles, whose identity was finally revealed in the epilogue of Scandalous Desires, and I, for one, am dying to read it (and quite happy that I was right as to his identity!).
Recommended for fans of ruthlessly alpha bad boy heroes, fiercely loyal and protective heroines, and of an intoxicating blend of romance, intrigue, betrayal, and suspense.
Expected Release Date: December 27, 2011 (Available Now!) Publisher: Harp...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: December 27, 2011 (Available Now!) Publisher: HarperCollins Imprint: Avon Author’s Website: http://www.lauraleeguhrke.com/ My Source for This Book: Gift From the Publisher Part of a Series: Yes, Book 3, Abandoned at the Altar Series Best Read In Order: Worked well as a standalone Steam Level: Steamy
Having risen from the depths of poverty into the upper echelon of society by an inheritence, Annabel Wheaton knows what it’s like to be looked down upon by society. Shunned as “new money”, she craves the respectability and acceptance that comes with holding a powerful position in society, and more than that, she’s desperate to secure those things for both her younger sister and any future daughters.
Marrying an impoverished earl seems like the perfect solution, despite the fact that it is a match of convenience, completely devoid of love. After all, she tasted love once in her youth, only to end up brokenhearted and ruined, so a match based on mutual respect is perfectly desirable to her.
When Annabel’s family approaches the disreputable Christian Du Quesne, Duke of Scarsborough, with the task of convincing her to break off the wedding in exchange for a small fortune — one desperately needed to repair the bankrupt estate Christian’s brother left to him upon his death — he accepts. After all, his own marriage was a dismal failure that has left him with no small amount of guilt and plenty of cynicism about marriage in general.
Things are never so simple, however, and when Christian meets Annabel he’s completely enraptured by the beautiful and determined woman, and begins to want her to avoid this marriage more for herself than for the fortune it will net him if she does. When Christian makes a horrible blunder, humiliating Annabel and destroying not only her hopes of marrying the earl, but also of moving in polite society, she comes up with the perfect scheme to restore her reputation. Now, all they have to do is manage to keep their hands off of each other…
The beginning and middle of this story were fantastic. I absolutely adored Annabel, which surprised me since I don’t typically enjoy “experienced” heroines in my historicals. She was smart, lovely, and not nearly as naive as many historical romance heroines. Christian, too, grew on me fairly quickly, and I enjoyed watching him go from the man who was merely trying to fulfill a bargain that would net him quite a bit of money, to a man who truly despised the idea of Annabel marrying for convenience and having her inner spark dimmed and snuffed by English society.
However, towards the end, it truly felt as though Christian was more talking himself into “loving” Annabel, and making up for how terrible he made life for his first wife, rather than truly falling head over heels in love. Sure, he said the right words, and did the right things, but it seemed to me that things were told, rather than shown. Add to that Annabel’s recklessness despite her insistence that acceptance into the staid London society was her ultimate goal, and I was a bit let down overall. While certainly enjoyable, I really didn’t feel that this one lived up to my expectations from the author.
Expected Release Date: November 1, 2011 (Available Now!) Publisher: Manif...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic
Expected Release Date: November 1, 2011 (Available Now!) Publisher: Manifold Press Imprint: N/A Author’s Website: http://juliebozza.com/ My Source for This Book: Gift from the Publisher Part of a Series: No Series Best Read In Order: N/A Steam Level: Warm – Steamy
This one started off so good. I was literally shooing Mr. Romanceaholic away while he was trying to talk to me so that I wouldn’t have to put it down, and then all of a sudden, Carmine was announcing that he was “in love” with Josh. My heart sank. I don’t really mind a “whirlwind romance”, because hey, they happen. However, “love at first sight” just doesn’t do it for me unless it’s a paranormal romance involving shape shifters and/or fated mates or somesuch. So when, after having met Josh twice, albeit in stressful situations, Carmine informed his mother that he was falling in love with Josh, despite having never even discussed Josh’s sexual preference or even his relationship statuses, it just didn’t fly for me. I think it would have been so much more satisfying, and perhaps more importantly, more believable, had he merely been intensely attracted to Josh, and love had come a little later in the novel.
Unfortunately, I don’t think the story ever fully recovered for me because of this.
The angst and tension caused by Carmine’s double crossing his boss/best friend was wonderful, and the courtroom drama a delight. The romance that was developing between Josh and Carmine was intense and angst-ridden due not only to the stress of the undercover operation, but because Josh had previously considered himself to be heterosexual, and as such was struggling with embarrassment, confusion, shame, anger, lust, guilt, developing emotional feelings and fear for Carmine’s life.
Fans of steamy romance should note that this novel ranks somewhere between my “Warm” and “Steamy” ratings — while lovemaking isn’t completely fade-to-black or behind closed doors, it’s still relatively chaste compared to most non-YA contemporary romances.
This book started off so strongly, with a distinctive author’s voice, interesting characters, and intriguing plot that I never quite got over my disappointment with the speed at which Carmine fell for Josh. It was almost as though it stumbled but instead of recovering and making me happy with the progression of both their relationship and the overall story arc, it seemed to continue with a bit of a limp. Add to that the lack of what I would consider to be a HEA, and unfortunately this one just didn’t rock me as I’d anticipated it would from the first few chapters.
Expected Release Date: November 29, 2011 (Available Now!) Publisher: Harle...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic
Expected Release Date: November 29, 2011 (Available Now!) Publisher: Harlequin Imprint: HQNBooks Author’s Website: http://www.nicolacornick.co.uk/ My Source for This Book: Netgalley Part of a Series: Yes, Book 5, Scandalous Women of the Ton Series Best Read In Order: Works well as a standalone but benefits from being read in order. Steam Level: Steamy
Tess Darent, the Much Married Marchioness has wed and buried three husbands, and has earned the reputation of a very wicked widow. Said to have exhausted her previous husbands to death with her demands in the bedroom, she appears to enjoy a life of frivolity and of courting scandal.
There is, however, much more to Tess than anyone in the ton knows — she’s a staunch supporter of the radical cause that seeks reform in government, and contributes to the cause by sketching inflammatory political cartoons of those in power.
Now her hidden life is threatening to catch up with her, and her beloved stepchildren from her last marriage are in danger. Needing the protection of a respectable marriage, Tess searches out a very specific type of husband — one incapable of actually consummating their union.
When Owen Purchase, Viscount Rothbury, joined the government investigation to seek out Jupiter, the infamous cartoonist whose drawings are beginning to incite the masses, he never imagined that his search might lead him directly to the parson’s mousetrap. Suspecting Lady Darent of sedition is one thing, but proving it is a much trickier endeavor. When the lady herself actually proposes marriage, Owen can’t help but be fascinated with the idea of marrying the beautiful and enigmatic woman, especially after he discovers that her carefully cultivated facade of a featherbrain is hiding a very intelligent and cunning mind.
In a marriage of convenience, Tess hopes to find the protection of her husband’s name will extend to her stepchildren, and she soon realizes that she and Owen could actually be friends. But when it becomes obvious that a case of mistaken identity is responsible for her belief that he poses no sensual danger to her, can Tess overcome a traumatic past and allow herself to trust the potent and sensual man whose name she now carries?
I’d previously “met” Tess in earlier books in the series, and at the time, I honestly didn’t like her. A total spendthrift with a reputation for fast living, gambling, and carousing with all sorts of unsavory sorts, she’d been married several times and widowed soon after. A completely featherbrain with only a head for fashion and partying, Tess wasn’t someone I ever thought I could fall in love with as a heroine.
Oh how wrong I was.
Tess was an absolutely incredible heroine. Having suffered through a horrible marriage, her only experience with passion and the physical side of marriage was a traumatic one, and as such she has focused not only on bringing justice to society through her support of a rebel cause, but hides her own wit and intelligence behind a facade of scandal and stupidity so that no one will ever guess at her real depths.
Enter the delicious Owen Purchase. An American sea captain and almost-pirate, he let his temper and sense of righteousness get the better of his logic, and practically ruined his life. Now determined to keep his passions checked, Owen values his own personal control. Unfortunately, the beautiful and intriguing Tess challenges him at every turn, and he simply cannot resist her charms.
The courtship between the two was absolutely beautiful. Tess was so damaged from a previous relationship that had Owen been even an iota less patient with her, their relationship wouldn’t have felt believable. As it was, however, the progression of not only their affections but of their physical relationship was paced perfectly, and the resulting love between them was incredibly satisfying.
Overall, this was an incredible tale of a damaged woman learning to trust not only her husband but also herself, and of a hardened man realizing that sometimes it’s not only acceptable, but marvelous to allow yourself to lose control.
Recommended for fans of damaged heroines learning to give in to passion, of honorable and patient heroes, and of finally allowing yourself to let go. A very solid 4.5/5 Stars(less)
Expected Release Date: December 6, 2011 Publisher: Penguin Group Impri...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.com.
Expected Release Date: December 6, 2011 Publisher: Penguin Group Imprint: Signet Author’s Website: http://www.amandabonilla.com My Source for This Book: Netgalley Part of a Series: Yes, Book 1, Shaede Assassin Series Series Best Read In Order: N/A Steam Level: Steamy
Utterly alone in the world, assassin Darian is a Shaede — a being who can dissolve into shadows, move with unbelievable speed, and who cannot be killed. Having been created and later abandoned by the man who rescued her from an abusive marriage almost a hundred years prior, she has learned to rely only on herself, reinventing herself as a notorious assassin known for avoiding innocent targets.
However, her next mark will cause her to question everything she has accepted as truth, and in accepting the job, sets her along a path that will change her life forever.
I originally heard about this book on another blogger’s Waiting On Wednesday, which is a meme that highlights upcoming books that bloggers are excited about. I was lucky enough to snag an advanced reader copy, and let me tell you, I was absolutely blown away. I, quite literally, could not put this book down. I read it in line at the grocery store, I read it while I was cooking dinner, I read it while folding laundry, I read it propped up in bed that night. In fact, there was quite a bit of angst for me at the end when I realized that I would have to wait until July for the next installment in the series, despite the solid feeling of resolution at the end.
While not without faults, Darian’s character and the world as a whole sucked me in and refused to let me go. The first person point of view allowed the reader to experience first-hand the frustration, loneliness, heartbreak, and love that Darian went through over the course of the novel, and the high level of action and intrigue kept my attention from the very beginning.
Darian is a badass, no doubt about it, but her arrogance that served her so well in the past suddenly becomes a huge liability, and she has to learn to rely on others, as well as to sift through truths and lies in order to discover just what it will mean for her to become part of the Shaede community.
The world that Ms. Bonilla created is utterly fascinating, and the two main love interests, Tyler and Xander, were able to hold their own even against Darian’s oft-overbearing presence.
Recommended for fans of fast-paced, original Urban Fantasy, of strong heroines suddenly thrown completely out of their element, and of a sweet, albeit complicated, love story. A delightfully solid 5/5 Stars.
This was hands down,the best in the series. Yes, that's a bold statement, but I fully stand by it -- review to follow on the release date. In the mean...moreThis was hands down,the best in the series. Yes, that's a bold statement, but I fully stand by it -- review to follow on the release date. In the meantime, go read the first two so that you won't be lost when you snag this one ;)
Expected Release Date: March 6, 2012 (Available Now!) Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group Imprint: Berkley Sensation Author’s Website: http://theaharrison.com/ My Source for This Book: Netgalley Part of a Series: Yes, Book 4, Elder Races Series Series Best Read In Order: Worked well as a standalone Steam Level: Steamy
Grace Andreas comes from a long line of Oracles, women descended from the original Oracle of Delphi, but she never expected to have the Power fall to her. After all, Grace’s sister, Petra, was the one who inherited it from their Grandmother. But when Petra and her husband are killed in an accident that left Grace badly injured, the Power and obligations of the Oracle are not the only burdens that fall on her doorstep, as Grace is given guardianship of Petra’s two small children.
Khalil is a Djinn Prince of the House of Marid — the oldest and most powerful of Djinn Houses. In repayment of a debt owed to the powerful vampiress, Carling, Khalil soon comes face to face with the new Oracle, and is completely taken aback by her lack of deference towards beings of great Power.
Overwhelmed by grief, debt, and the sudden and unexpected role of parenthood, Grace is struggling to balance family life with her newly acquired burden of Power. The last thing she needs, or wants, is a cocky Djinn meddling in her affairs.
But when it becomes apparent that Grace and the children are in danger, it isn’t long before it becomes apparent that Khalil is exactly the sort of protector that her family needs — and perhaps even the type of man that she wants…
I’ve had a bit of a crush on Khalil ever since he first appeared in the last book, Serpent’s Kiss, and had been desperately hoping that he and Grace would get a book together. Sexy, incredibly powerful, a bit of a mystery (especially since he’s the first “non-wyr” hero to feature in the series), he’s also got the whole “tortured hero” thing in regards to his daughter. He’s arrogant, bossy, and powerful, yet he also has a very obvious soft spot for children, without turning into some sappy squishy weakling, which I loved.
Grace is easily my favorite heroine in the series as well. Human, with only minor psychic powers before having inherited the mantle of “Oracle”, Grace is the easiest heroine in the series for me to relate to. While she’s not a wilting flower, she’s not some incredible, ancient, kick-butt action star either. Instead, she’s just a young woman who has been forced to put her life on hold to take care of her niece and nephew, try to pay the mortgage, grieve for her sister and brother-in-law, and still maintain the dignity and level of service required of the Oracle. She’s not perfect, and she doesn’t try to be, and I think that’s one of the reasons I loved her so much.
In short, this was actually my favorite book of the series, and considering how I fangirled all over Dragon Bound, that should definitely tell you something. The chemistry between Khalil and Grace was absolutely wonderful, and both characters were beautifully developed on their own. While I think some readers may feel as though the main external conflict was not on as large a scale as those of the previous novels, but I personally felt that the “smaller” conflict fit well with these particular characters.
An unbelievably solid 5/5 Stars, and recommended for old fans of the series and newcomers alike.(less)
Expected Release Date: February 1, 2012 (Available Now!) Publisher: Grand...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: February 1, 2012 (Available Now!) Publisher: Grand Central Publishing Imprint: Forever Author’s Website: http://www.jenniferhaymore.com/ My Source for This Book: Netgalley Part of a Series: Yes, Book 2, Donovan Sisters Series Best Read In Order: Works well as a standalone Steam Level: Steamy
Overall, this was an exciting yet sweet romance, with just the right touch of passion. While I did feel that the villain was a little much, I admit I did enjoy the excitement of the action that ensued as a result of his, well, villainy. My only real complaint about the story was that I actually wish that the “bet” mentioned in the description had been left out entirely. Sure, it threw the hero and heroine together, but to be honest, I think the romance was beautiful enough, and had enough outside conflict that it could’ve still been a wonderful book even without the bet.
Even outside of that though, Max and Olivia were absolutely perfect for each other, and I loved watching them both have to alter their plans for the future as they fell in love.
Expected Release Date: February 21, 2012 Publisher: Harlequin Imprint: Har...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: February 21, 2012 Publisher: Harlequin Imprint: Harlequin Blaze Author’s Website: cathyyardley.com My Source for This Book: Gift from the author Part of a Series: Yes, Book 3, Player’s Club Series Best Read In Order: Yes Steam Level: Hot
I had the pleasure of reading this entire series in one sitting, and have been blown away by the fun and steam throughout the story. I wasn’t quite sure that Diana would be the ideal partner for Finn, as they’re initially complete opposites, but as she becomes involved in the Player’s Club, and as she gets to know Finn a little better, it became clear that they were truly made for each other.
With plenty of steam and a heavy dash of adventure, this book was a wonderful ending to what has quickly become a favorite trilogy of mine, and I greatly look forward to reading more books by Ms. Yardley.
Expected Release Date: February 28, 2012 (Available Now!) Publisher: Harp...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: February 28, 2012 (Available Now!) Publisher: HarperCollins Imprint: Avon Author’s Website: http://macleanspace.com/ My Source for This Book: Edelweiss Part of a Series: Yes, Book 1, The Rules of Scoundrels Series Series Best Read In Order: N/A Steam Level: Steamy
Oh, how I love a childhood friends to lovers story, especially when full of estrangement, revenge, and unrequited love. As one of my favorite historical romance authors, Sarah MacLean definitely lives up to the title with this one. While it’s true that Michael’s cruelty towards Penelope often walked the fine line between creating a tortured relationship that just might be worth saving and making this reader want to smash his face with a hammer, the fact that Penelope seemed to have a similar reaction was what kept it from pulling down the rating.
Ms. MacLean has a way of writing that simply draws you into the story and won’t let you go; I read this book in one sitting because I absolutely could not put it down.
Recommended for fans of forced marriage to avoid scandal, unrequited love, estranged friends, and revenge plots.
An enthusiastic 5/5 Stars, and I am already dying to read the sequel.(less)
Expected Release Date: March 20, 2012 Publisher: Harlequin Imprint: HQN Aut...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: March 20, 2012 Publisher: Harlequin Imprint: HQN Author’s Website: http://kaseymichaels.com/ My Source for This Book: Netgalley Part of a Series: Yes, Book Series Best Read In Order: Probably, but worked well as a standalone. Steam Level: Steamy
I was so, so torn on the rating of this one. I liked Tess as a heroine. Certainly, she had her issues, but she was a very sympathetic character for multiple reasons. Jack, on the other hand, had me wanting to commit acts of violence against his person for about 90% of the novel. He was unnecessarily cruel and stubborn, and while I understood that he’d had quite a tortured past, there were many times that I found myself quite unsympathetic of his character.
While I enjoyed Tess’ character, and surprised myself by enjoying the little twist from Jack’s past, I couldn’t quite get past Jack’s character to really enjoy the story. Add to that the too-tidy ending of a major story arc from the series, and I found that this was probably my least favorite installment to the series, though it honestly pains me to say so.
Don’t get me wrong, there was a lovely amount of angst, an interesting intrigue involving Tess’ father, and some wonderful cameos of Jack’s family. However, this one seemed to lack some of the lighthearted humor I’d come to expect from the series, and coupled with my dislike of Jack, this one ended up being a bit of a disappointment.