Expected Release Date: July 26, 2011 Publisher: Harlequin Imprint: HQN AuthThis 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 ...more
Expected Release Date: June 20, 2011 (Available Now!) Publisher: HarlequiThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: June 20, 2011 (Available Now!) Publisher: Harlequin Imprint: Carina Press Author’s Website: http://elysemady.wordpress.com/ My Source for This Book: Netgalley Part of a Series: No Series Best Read In Order: N/A Steam Level: Hot
You know, it's been a long time since I've read a straight up contemporary romance, and I'd forgotten just how good they could be. There are no billionaire moguls and their virginal brides, no werewolves, no vampires, no ladies maids. or garden trysts, just realistic people with realistic problems, trying to make a go of things.
Leanne Galloway has worked her entire life towards one goal -- gaining recognition and tenure in her academic career. Only a short time away from not only completing her studies, but of possibly winning the Walter's Prize, the most prestigious award in her field that brings with it both recognition and funding, Leanne has neither the time nor the inclination to pursue a romantic relationship.
Brandon Myles has worked his way up from dancer to backstage manager at the Foxe's Den, a male exotic dance club, in order to pay for his post-graduate studies in dance. When the main act is a no-show, Brandon takes the stage in his place, and is shocked at an immediate connection he makes with one of the women in the audience. Shaking off his attraction, he ends his dance and heads backstage.
Guilted into going to the bachelorette party of her slutty childhood nemesis, Gillian, she's literally counting the minutes until she can leave, when Gillian sends a note backstage to one of the hot dancers suggesting a no-strings-attached hookup. Determined to retrieve Gillian's note before the dancer reads it, she literally bumps into Brandon as she attempts to sneak out of his dressing room.
Both of them are stunned by their incredible sexual tension and immediate attraction, and one thing quickly leads to another, resulting in a scorching hot encounter on the dressing room couch.
Writing it off as an uncharacteristic one-night stand, Leanne is horrified to discover that Brandon is also a graduate student on the same campus as she is, and immediately worries about her reputation, since right or wrong, women are held to higher standards for their personal life in academia than men are.
Attempting to play it cool and perhaps even "just be friends" doesn't work with the incredible chemistry between them, and soon they are navigating the unfamiliar waters of a new relationship, all the while trying to balance family, work, school, and the very real fact that Brandon's job as an exotic dancer could ruin both of their academic careers.
In the end, I adored this story. It was angsty without being melodramatic, incredibly hot without devolving into erotica, and the HEA was one of the more satisfying ones I've read in a very long time.
Recommended for fans of hunky heroes who feel they aren't quite worthy of the heroine, of intelligent heroines finally learning how to balance work and play, and of incredibly satisfying yet realistic resolutions, all liberally drenched with some hot, hot luvin'.
Expected Release Date: June 13, 2011 (Available Now!) Publisher: HarlequiThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: June 13, 2011 (Available Now!) Publisher: Harlequin Imprint: Carina Press Author’s Website: http://www.jblynn.com/ My Source for This Book: Netgalley Part of a Series: No Series Best Read In Order: N/A Steam Level: Steamy
Fifteen years ago, Emily Wright was kidnapped by a serial killer. Barely managing to escape with her life, she has put her past behind her, refusing to return to the small town where she was abducted -- and where her father and younger sister still live. When her father is hospitalized in a serious boating accident, she returns home to take care of her sister, never quite able to put aside her feelings of unease at returning to the place of so many horrible memories.
Soon, her sister's friend is killed and left in front of Emily's house for her to discover. Shocked and horrified to realize that this killer may be after her and her sister as well, she turns to the one man who has always been able to make her feel safe -- Bailey O'Neil, her best friend from "before".
A deputy for the small town's Sheriff's Department, Bailey's father has just been killed in a traffic accident when Emily returns to town. Having always harbored a secret crush on her, Bailey knows that Emily is meant for so much more than their small town, and he, can offer. Discovering that Emily's life could once again be in danger, he calls in some favors from the FBI, and joins with Emily to discover the identity of the killer before anyone else gets hurt.
The whole time I was reading this, I couldn't help thinking that this book would translate very well onto the big screen. There was something for everyone -- romance, action, murder, and mystery, and at the end, I was literally reading it with my jaw open saying "NO WAY!". Beautifully, beautifully done. The solution to the mystery wasn't an obvious one like so many are these days, and the romance itself was both sweet and delicious. I adored the small-town dynamics, with gossip and secrets both confusing the investigation, and the climax of the book was full of heart-pounding excitement.
Recommended for fans of small-town romantic suspense that keeps you guessing until the end, childhood friends who later become lovers, and of dysfunctional families finally coming full circle. A very enthusiastic 4.5/5 Stars
**WARNING** The Official Blurb and review for this book both contain spoThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
**WARNING** The Official Blurb and review for this book both contain spoilers for the previous books in the series.
Expected Release Date: June 28, 2011 Publisher: Harlequin Imprint: Mira Author’s Website: deannaraybourn.com My Source for This Book: Netgalley Part of a Series: Yes, Book 5, Lady Julia Grey Series Series Best Read In Order: Yes. Steam Level: Warm
I have been a fan of the series since I picked up the first Lady Julia Grey book, SILENT IN THE GRAVE back when it first came out, so when I saw The Dark Enquiry available on Netgalley, I immediately snagged it.
Julia and Brisbane have returned to London following their year-long wedding trip and latest adventure in India. Brisbane has (very) reluctantly agreed to allow Julia to assist him in his work, provided she work with him to gain skills such as sneaking, disguise, lockpicking, weapons, and fighting. She gladly agrees, and before long, Brisbane finally allows Julia to accompany her brother Plum on an investigation in the country.
When Julia’s incredibly proper brother secretly approaches Brisbane for assistance in a private matter, Julia simply cannot keep out of things, and of course, she and Brisbane both fall easily back into old habits of his lying to her and keeping secrets, and of her sneaking about behind his back, putting herself into danger, and generally mucking everything up.
When the two of them witness a murder, however, it becomes apparent that this is far more serious an issue than the simple matter brought forth by her brother, and soon they are plunged into a miasma of blackmail, revenge, and murder.
It soon becomes apparent that if they are going to make this marriage work as well as keep each other safe, they are both going to have to truly compromise, and for the first time in their relationship, Brisbane begins to trust Julia with the seedier and more dangerous side of the private investigation business, and Julia actually begins to temper her curiosity and own up to the fact that she’s a babe in the woods when it comes to investigating.
I do think think that this book would best be read after at least one or two of the previous novels in the series (preferably the entire bunch), simply because there are so many factors from previous books that come into play. Brisbane and Julia’s relationship, his visions and headaches, Brisbane’s family, the gypsies, Portia’s child, Fleur, and of course, the March family in general, could all be overwhelming to new readers.
My favorite thing about this novel, hands down, was the fact that Brisbane has finally begun to allow Julia to work with him without trying to shelter her (as much). My favorite quote regarding this has to be from page 222, where Brisbane is speaking to Julia:
“A normal, rational, sane man who cares about the safety of his wife would lock her in the house before setting off for Highgate Cemetery. But, thanks to my long association with you and your family, I am no longer normal or rational or sane. I am composed of desperation and instinct and nothing more.”
As much as I like Julia, I actually feel a bit sorry for Brisbane. She’s so stubborn and rash and impulsive and gives so little forethought to the consequences of her own actions that it must feel like dealing with a 4 year old many times. Words truly cannot express how happy I was that they truly seemed to come to an understanding in this novel. She finally realized just how dangerous Brisbane’s occupation was, and just how her actions were affecting him, and in turn, he finally accepted that she loves him so deeply that she feels the exact same protective instincts towards him as he does towards her. His life has been so bereft of true love and affection that it’s really very hard for him to accept that Julia loves him as deeply as he loves her, but in the end I was left with a feeling he’s truly accepted her as his equal. Even though he would die to protect her, I think her actions in the end really drove the point home that he’s not alone in those feelings, and I have great hopes for their relationship in the future.
Recommended for fans of the series, of complicated murder schemes, a heroine with a quirky family, a brilliant mind and very little instinct for self-preservation, and a delicious half-gypsy hero who must finally come to terms with what it means to have a partner in marriage. 4.5/5 Stars ...more
Incredibly poetic and strangely thought-provoking, this is probably one of the coolest "non-romance novels" I've ever read. Unapologetically full of bIncredibly poetic and strangely thought-provoking, this is probably one of the coolest "non-romance novels" I've ever read. Unapologetically full of blood and gore, the underlying romance and life is absolutely wonderful. Using a definite (and obvious) parallel to Romeo and Juliet (there's even a balcony scene for cripe's sake), there's a decidedly non-tragic ending, which pleased me greatly. I'd love a sequel.
I agree with other reviewers that Perry's death could've been so much... more, instead of being glossed over and easily forgiven by everyone, but even so, I adored it.
I didn't care for some of the setup to the story, but the angst was delicious, and the luvin' was SUPAH hot. The dialogue could get a bit stilted at tI didn't care for some of the setup to the story, but the angst was delicious, and the luvin' was SUPAH hot. The dialogue could get a bit stilted at times, and the same issues were rehashed over and over again throughout the story, but even so, I was in the mood for a hot, angsty story and it was certainly that in spades.
Expected Release Date: August 8, 2011 Publisher: Harlequin Imprint: HarleqThis 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: HarlequThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: July 26, 2011 Publisher: Harlequin Imprint: Harlequin Presents Extra Author’s Website: kellyhunter.com My Source for This Book: Netgalley Part of a Series: No, but part of the Dirty Filthy Money "Extras" Series Best Read In Order: N/A Steam Level: Steamy
Okay the official blurb is pretty awful. While it covers the main points, it almost makes the book seem as though it will have a first person POV and it most decidedly does not.
When Jolie Tanner was young, her best friend Hannah Rees suddenly turned on her at the urging of her brother Cole, without so much as an explanation. So, too, did all of her other friends at school. Unable to understand what she had done to cause all of her friends to shun her, she went crying to her mother, only to discover that her mother was the cause of the problem. You see, her mother was having an affair with a married man — James Rees, Hannah’s father.
For the rest of her years, Jolie was treated as the daughter of a whore, fighting a reputation that she’d never earned and certainly didn’t deserve. The fact that she was the spitting image of her mother — gorgeous, redheaded, and innately sensual — only made things worse for Jolie.
Now a talented graphic artist, she has built a modest life for herself relying on her own hard work and talent. When James dies, she travels up to his old ski lodge to retrieve her mother’s items from the cabin before his family is forced to see them. Of course, things are never as simple as we might want them to be, and on the way down the mountain, not only is there a brutal snowstorm blowing in, but she must share the last ski gondola with the last man on earth who could tolerate her presence — Cole Rees, the son of the man whose marriage her mother wrecked so many years ago.
Trying (and failing) to hide her identity from Cole, their animosity and resentment towards each other reaches a boiling point just as the storm raging outside reaches its own peak, and their gondola crashes to the ground during an avalanche. Wounded and at risk for hypothermia, they reluctantly join forces to reach the safety of one of the ski outposts before they freeze to death.
Emotions are running high, and neither can resist the sparks of attraction crackling between them, and in the short wait for their rescuers, both are not only blindsided by the level of passion they find together, but also by the realization of just how much they’ve misjudged one another.
But can Cole and Jolie put aside the hostilities of the past, and build a future together when it will only bring pain to their families?
In the end, I absolutely adored this one. A beautiful heroine who knows that she’s attractive but is also painfully shy and despises the reaction that her looks attract was quite appealing, and of course, the Enemies to Lovers ploy is an all-time favorite of mine. There was also something lushly sensual about this book despite the fact that there were few graphic love scenes, and watching Jolie’s mother quietly grieving for her dead lover was strangely poignant even though I couldn’t help but to disapprove of her actions.
Recommended for fans of enemies who fall in love, heroines with an undeserved bad reputation and the cynicism that goes along with it, and selfish heroes who recognize that while sometimes you can’t have it all, you can have what’s most important to you.
Expected Release Date: July 26, 2011 Publisher: Harlequin Imprint: HarlequThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: July 26, 2011 Publisher: Harlequin Imprint: Harlequin Special Edition Author’s Website: http://www.mindyklasky.com/ My Source for This Book: Netgalley Part of a Series: No Series Best Read In Order: N/A Steam Level: Steamy
The head of a prestigious company specializing in genetic testing and treatments, Ethan has never wanted children. A dark secret from his past makes him fear for any children that he may have, and as such he’s never allowed himself to pursue any serious relationships. Instead, he plays up his playboy image, much to the disappointment and consternation of the grandmother who has raised him.
Fed up with his scandalous ways, his grandmother Margaret decides to hand him an ultimatum — marry by her 80th birthday, only months away, or she will donate her controlling shares of the company that Ethan has dedicated his life to seeing thrive to a charity that will bog down the Board of Directors until the company undoubtedly fails.
Thinking over his past, he realizes that there’s only been one woman with whom he has any hope of making things work — Sloane, a beautiful woman with whom he had a one night stand with a few months prior.
Upon tracking her down, he realizes that not only was Sloane fired from her previous position due to her dalliance with him, but that she’s also carrying his baby!
Despite the fact that Sloane seemed a bit too good to be true, I admit that I loved this one. I think I’d forgotten just how enjoyable a good Harlequin Category Romance could be, with its melodrama and angst, but this book was exactly what I needed right now. I loved that Ethan’s playboy ways were a way to rebel against his controlling Grandmother, and the fact that he fell for Sloane for much more than just a way to thumb his nose at Margaret’s ultimatum by choosing an “ironic” bride.
The simple fact that the couple restrained themselves from physical intimacy for most of the book really allowed me as a reader to feel their love and affection growing out of something other than just basic lust and sexual compatibility, and that was a lovely change of pace. The angst resulting from the revelation of Margaret’s ultimatum was absolutely delicious, and Ethan’s groveling and desperation afterwards made me fall in love with him all over again.
Recommended for fans of heroes being blackmailed into marriage, heroines who are determined to do what is best for their baby no matter what the cost, and heroes who grovel beautifully, all smothered with delicious sexual tension.
Expected Release Date: February 22, 2011 (Available Now!) Publisher: HarpThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: February 22, 2011 (Available Now!) Publisher: HarperCollins Imprint: Avon Author’s Website: http://www.julieannelong.com/ My Source for This Book: Amazon.com Part of a Series: Yes, Book 5, Pennyroyal Green Series Best Read In Order: Worked well as a standalone Steam Level: Hot
When Ian Eversea is caught with his pants down — literally — by the Duke of Falconbridge, in the bedroom of Falconbridge’s fiance, he is right to fear for his life. However, some of the vicious rumors circling the Duke are true, especially the one that intimates that he savors his revenge as a dish best served cold. Being forced to escape out a window without his clothes, Ian knows that he has gotten off lightly. A short time later, Ian’s family, knowing nothing of this incident, is thrilled to discover that they are to have an incredibly distinguished guest for a few weeks — Alex Moncrieffe, the Duke of Falconbridge.
Unfortunately for them, Moncrieffe has decided to partake of his revenge, by taking something valuable and beloved from Ian — his sister.
Intending to seduce and then discard Genevieve, he’s astonished to discover that while she’s a bit on the plain side, there is so much more to her than first appears, and he cannot help but to find himself intrigued by her.
Recovering from the heartbreak of discovering that the man she loves is not only oblivious to her feelings but actually intends to wed her best friend, Genevieve is not exactly sparkling company for the Duke. In fact, she does everything she can to, politely of course, tell him to bugger off. Far from discouraging him, however, he’s intrigued by her quick thinking and obvious personal depths, as well as the mystery of her heartbreak, and soon an unlikely friendship blossoms.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Between Moncrieffe’s dark past, Genevieve’s heartbreak, the revenge plot, and the delightful ongoing torment of Ian, I simply couldn’t put it down. While I was incredibly frustrate with Genevieve towards the end, I couldn’t put it down.
Recommended for fans of brutally painful unrequited love, of dark and brooding older heroes entranced by a younger and surprisingly mature heroine, and of grand gestures by heroes gambling for the heroine’s heart.
Expected Release Date: March 1, 2009 (Available Now!) Publisher: OrchardThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: March 1, 2009 (Available Now!) Publisher: Orchard Books Author’s Website: http://macleanspace.com/ My Source for This Book: Used Bookstore Part of a Series: No Series Best Read In Order: N/A Steam Level: Warm
Official Blurb: Seventeen-year-old Lady Alexandra Stafford is strong-willed and sharp-tongued and not interested in marriage. Unfortunately, her mother is determined to marry her off to someone safe, respectable, wealthy, and almost certainly boring. But Alex is much more interested in adventure than romance.
Between ball gown fittings, dances, and dinner parties, Alex, along with her two best friends, Ella and Vivi, manages to get entangled in her biggest scrape yet. When the Earl of Blackmoor’s father is mysteriously killed in a riding accident, Alex helps his son, the devilishly handsome Gavin, to discover the truth. It’s a mystery brimming with espionage, murder, suspicion, and true love.
Romance and danger fill the air, as this year’s Season begins!
To be honest, the official blurb does an excellent job of summarizing, so I won’t be adding my own version for once :P
As a Young Adult book, there is of course very little sensuality. I found that I didn't actually miss it. I think this may be owed to both Alexandra and Gavin's ages -- despite common social mores at the time, I've never really warmed to the whole marriage-at-17 thing for women.
While I was annoyed with Gavin's courtship of Penelope in the beginning, and his hypocritical dislike of Stanhope, I did rather appreciate the ease that Alexandra and Gavin clearly felt with each other, and their obviously deepening feelings for one another.
In the end, however, while I enjoyed it, I didn't feel that it was anything exceptional. I admit, part of my dissatisfaction likely stems from the fact that I recently read a much-anticipated 5-Star book (that would be Kiss of Snow by Nalini Singh, btw) and so frankly, nothing quite compares to the Book High I got while reading that one. Another problem could probably be the fact that I read three books in quick succession that had a similar plot -- that of childhood friends turned to lovers -- and none of the three books actually seemed to really stand out from the other.
Even so, however, the romance fell a little flat for me. I expected there to be a little more resistance between the two, but instead declarations were fast coming. Add to that a very predictable murder mystery, and I wasn't very impressed.
Recommended for fans of childhood friends who fall in love, and of intrepid 17 year olds who buck societal conventions to do what they feel is right, both sprinkled with murder, betrayal, and of course, love.
Expected Release Date: July 31, 2012 Publisher: HarperCollins Imprint: AvoThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: July 31, 2012 Publisher: HarperCollins Imprint: Avon Author’s Website: http://www.joss-ware.com/ My Source for This Book: Edelweiss Part of a Series: Yes, Book 5, Envy Chronicles Series Best Read In Order: Yes Steam Level: Steamy Pet Peeves: “Ex” In The Picture Favorite Tropes: Physically Imperfect or Scarred, Phobia
I’d forgotten how much I enjoy this series. This one features a heroine who has a physical disability, and a hero with an emotional one (phobia/PTSD) — very interesting combination to say the least, especially when the combination of the two makes their relationship seem almost impossible from the beginning.
And of course, the overall story arc with the Elite, Atlanteans, the zombies, and Envy all continue towards their conclusion, which was pleasing to me as a fan of the series in general. As this is book 5 in the series, I wouldn’t really recommend it as a jumping-off point to newcomers, though I have to admit, Ms. Ware did a fantastic job of giving relevant backstory up to this point without ever feeling as though it were out of place or a case of “info-dump”.
Expected Release Date: August 30, 2011 Publisher: Harlequin Imprint: HQN AuThis 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: July 26, 2011 Publisher: Harlequin Imprint: HQNThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.com.
Expected Release Date: July 26, 2011 Publisher: Harlequin Imprint: HQN Author’s Website: http://www.kaseymichaels.com/ My Source for This Book: Netgalley Part of a Series: Yes, Book 1, Blackthorn Brothers Series Best Read In Order: N/A Steam Level: Steamy
The illegitimate son of a marquess, Oliver was raised and educated far above his station. He lived with his father in his grand estate, received an education befitting the legal heir of a marquess, and was incredibly wealthy. Unfortunately, being brought up in such an accepting environment also left him quite naive. At age 22, he failed to see that society viewed him as a joke — a bastard son who would never truly be one of them. It was because of this naiveté that he failed to realize that his suit to the lovely Madelyn was only a prank on her part, culminating in his very painful, and very public, humiliation at the hands of her brother.
Barely more than a child at the time of that incident, Lady Chelsea is now in grave danger of being married off to the most horrible man she can imagine — Francis Flotley — a man who has not only conned his way into her brother’s life by claiming to be a spiritual leader, but one who very plainly hates women and will take great pleasure in breaking Chelsea, physically and mentally, once they are married. Given just a moment to formulate her escape, she runs to Oliver’s lodgings, knowing that if she can convince him to elope with her, that she will not only be able to escape her fate with Mr. Flotley, but that she can offer Oliver the one thing that tempts him the most: the ultimate revenge against her brother.
Overall, I quite enjoyed this one. I do adore a good revenge plot, and I loved that despite his disillusions he was much more of a gentleman than others in the story who actually carried the title. While the trip to Gretna Green seemed to take much longer than I’d have liked it, the pacing actually worked fairly nicely as it allowed Oliver and Chelsea to actually get to know one another before saying their vows.
Recommended for fans of sudden elopements, heroes on the outer rungs of society, revenge plots, and convoluted family arrangements. 4/5 Stars...more
Expected Release Date: July 26, 2011 Publisher: Harlequin Imprint: HQN AuthoThis 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.susanandersen.com/ My Source for This Book: Netgalley Part of a Series: Yes, Book 3, Sisterhood Diaries Series Best Read In Order: Worked well as a standalone Steam Level: Steamy
On Netgalley, this book was categorized as “FICTION – ADULT: Other: Coming of Age”. I admit that I didn’t notice that when I requested the book, and probably wouldn’t have requested it if I had, because I simply don’t “do” chick-lit. However, I am incredibly glad that I didn’t see the category before I requested it, because I would’ve missed out on a real gem of a book!
In short? I loved it! It was light while still dealing with life issues, steamy without being trashy, and sweet without being saccharine. Ava has never fully embraced her curves, despite the fact that she’s worked hard to get and maintain her curvy figure of a fit size 12. Cade has never been able to fully make up to her for his cruel prank in high school. Throw in her work as a successful concierge, his skill as a producer/director of hit documentaries, a little intrigue about some missing diamonds, two friends who would walk through fire for our heroine, and some delicious chemistry, and you’ve got a truly enjoyable read.
Recommended for fans of realistically sized heroines, righting a wrong that’s plagued you since high school, and having BFF’s who stick with you through everything. A very enthusiastic 4/5 Stars
Expected Release Date: Available Now! Publisher: Samhain Publishing ImprinThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: Available Now! Publisher: Samhain Publishing Imprint: N/A Author’s Website: moirarogers.com My Source for This Book: Amazon.com Part of a Series: Yes, Book 1, And The Beast Series Best Read In Order: N/A Steam Level: Hot
Three long years ago, Ciar, the High Lord of the Forest, left his lands for battle. He left behind the Sabine, the woman he loved but had refused to mate for fear that he would die in battle and leave her alone for the rest of her days. However, his mother never approved of Sabine as her son’s lover and potential mate, thinking the lowborn wolf was no match for her royal son. His mother’s witch cursed Sabine, with the intent that Ciar would forget about her and mate with someone more “worthy” of the match. The curse backfired, however, and instead of merely causing Ciar to forget her, now everyone who has contact with her is destined to forget her.
When Ciar returns from war, he’s furious to discover that not only is Sabine not waiting for him, but that his mother and all those around her claim to have no idea who he is talking about when he asks after her. Seeking her out, he comes across Sabine in a broken-down shack where she has been living since she was cast out of the castle after Ciar’s departure.
Refusing to touch him, for touch merely speeds along the curse, Sabine reluctantly agrees to travel with Ciar to the palace to attempt to convince the witch to break the curse, but even refusing touch is not enough to prevent Ciar from falling victim to the heartbreaking curse.. Overall, I of course adored it. I love the world in which there are different kinds of shifters who warred amongst themselves but have now gained a measure of peace, and where different species have different “mating magic”. I also loved the premise with the curse, and how incredibly horrific it would have to be to live with it, never having a single friend, or really being able to interact with other people.
On thing I do question, is will there be a sequel involving Farran and Iloria?? The next book up in the series according to the authors’ website is Kisri (which I already have pre-ordered, and so should you) and centers around the lion shifters mentioned in this book. I’m desperate to find out what will happen with Farran and Iloria in the future, and really hope that they have a sequel planned for them. So Moira Rogers, if you’re reading this, HINT HINT ;)
Expected Release Date: Available Now! Publisher: HarperCollins Imprint: AvThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: Available Now! Publisher: HarperCollins Imprint: Avon Author’s Website: http://www.mayarodale.com/ My Source for This Book: Amazon.com Part of a Series: Yes, Book 2, Writing Girl Series Best Read In Order: Worked well as a standalone Steam Level: Hot
This book wasn’t quite what I expected, but in a good way. Simon is what I like to call, a man-ho. He loves women — their taste, their smell, the touch of their skin, and one thing that sets him apart from other rakes is that he doesn’t make the mistake of thinking that women are all interchangeable. Instead, he enjoys falling in love. Over and over and over. For about a week or two at a time.
Julianna made the mistake of falling in love with a rake when she was 17, and even though he loved her as well, their love didn’t last and he went back to his promiscuous and scandalous ways. When he was killed trying to manage his drink, a prostitute, and a carriage (all at the same time), Julianna was left almost penniless because her horrible husband left the majority of his estate to previous mistresses and the illegitimate children he’d fathered by them. Julianna has turned to writing as not only a way to make money, but also a way to earn her own self-respect.
This book had a lot of what I like to call “exterior angst”, where things like societal opinions and familial ultimatums create most of the stress. There was Simon’s fall from grace, the revenge scandal he visited upon Julianna, his reasons for marrying, and Julianna’s employment issues which caused most of the trouble for these two, and yet in the end, the real issue was whether Simon could remain faithful, and whether Julianna could risk her heart with someone proven to be fickle.
Above all, though, this book was fun. The things repercussions of their ruined reputations aside, the banter and little revenge plots between Simon and Julianna were immensely entertaining, and I thoroughly enjoyed watching them fall for each other. I still wish there’d been an epilogue so that we could see that Simon was really and truly faithful to her, but even so, 4/5 Stars....more
Expected Release Date: Available Now! Publisher: HarperCollins Imprint: AvThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: Available Now! Publisher: HarperCollins Imprint: Avon Author’s Website: http://www.lynsaysands.net/ My Source for This Book: Amazon.com Part of a Series: Yes, Book 2, Madison Sisters Series Best Read In Order: Yes Steam Level: Hot
Ever since reading The Countess, I’d been anxious to find out what was going to happen between Suzette and Daniel.
Suzette is an heiress. She and her two sisters have inherited an extensive dower that they will be able to access once they are married. At the insistence of their family, however, they’ve kept it a secret to help keep them safe from fortune hunters. Suzette’s older sister, Christina, married a man in what she thought was a love match, only to discover that he was really only after her money. And to make matters worse, their father has once again gambled away their estate, and the only way to save the family from scandal and ruin is for Suzette to marry immediately so that she may access her dower.
Suzette has learned a lesson from her sister’s unhappy marriage however. Since you cannot count on a love match, the only way Suzette sees to retain power in any marriage is to make her husband dependent on her. She decides to seek out a man desperately in need of her money, who will in turn allow her to keep half of her extensive fortune, and to retain her freedom.
Daniel grew up in poverty. Unlike most people in the same situation, however, his mother insisted on pretending to have a fortune, so society never really suspected. Now, with the help of his best friend Richard, he has gained a true fortune through investments, and yet knows that his fortune is the most attractive feature amongst the marriage-minded mamas determined to marry him off to their daughters.
When Suzette meets Daniel and begins to explain her need for a hasty marriage, she asks him outright if he has money. Thinking that she’s only out for his fortune, and that the quickest way to scare her off is to tell her he is poor, he bends the truth and tells her about his childhood without mentioning his reversal of fortunes. He’s shocked when not only is Suzette thrilled by his apparent poverty, but when she immediately proposed marriage. Even more surprising than that though, is the intense physical attraction and chemistry between them when they end up kissing in the garden after she basically insinuates that he’s no good at kissing (and so of course he has to prove her wrong).
While the first half of the novel being basically a recap from the last story in a different POV would likely help newcomers to the series know what was going on, I still suggest reading The Countess before picking this one up. I thought to myself several times that I was glad that I’d read the first one or else I’d be well and truly lost, since Dicky’s actual death was pretty much glossed over, as was a lot of the plot that Dicky had made (not to mention the fact that the real murderer was never mentioned in this book even though it was revealed in the first).
There were also a few Too Stupid To Live moments on Suzette’s part, but I mostly forgave that simply because the UST was so delicious between the two. Plus, their courtship is pretty much a comedy of errors, which was greatly entertaining, even when you wanted to shake some sense into Suzette.
Overall, the hotness of this story helped to overcome the fact that the first half of it was mainly a recap of the first book and Suzette needed to be smacked on occasion. Recommended for fans of whirlwind romances, tiny lies that spin out of control, and evil plots by villains determined to keep the hero and heroine apart.
Expected Release Date: June 1, 2011 Publisher: Grand Central Publishing ImThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: June 1, 2011 Publisher: Grand Central Publishing Imprint: Forever Author's Website: http://www.jamialden.com/ My Source for This Book: Netgalley Part of a Series: Yes, Book 1, unnamed trilogy Series Best Read In Order: N/A Steam Level: Hot
Having dated for a while, Megan Flynn and homicide detective Cole Williams had yet to consummate their relationship (despite some blistering hot kisses). On the night that their relationship was about to be taken to the next level, Cole was interrupted by a call from his partner, insisting on his presence at a murder scene. As his partner rattled off the address, Megan realized that it was her brother Sean's address. Demanding that Cole tell her what was going on, Cole ignored her protests and told her to remain where she was, and left. Megan, of course, couldn't be stopped where her brother was concerned, and immediately went to her brother's house, where she was greeted with the image of Cole arresting Sean.
Knowing in her heart that Sean was innocent, she begged Cole to help her free her brother from wrongful imprisonment, but instead, Cole immediately went cold and cut off their relationship.
Two years later, despite still having no memory of what actually happened that night, Sean has decided to stop fighting for appeals and allow an execution date to be set. Megan is devastated -- she's spent the entire past two years investigating and harassing everyone she can think of to try to find the real murderer before it's too late for her brother.
When a frightening turn of events brings Cole back into her life, Megan must decide if she can trust Cole after his bitter betrayal two years prior, and he must do everything he can to protect her from the dangers she faces as she digs herself deeper and deeper into an investigation that makes her the prime target for a madman...
Sensitive readers should be aware that this book contains several scenes of explicit rape and violence.
I'm really looking forward to the next book in the series as well, which will star Sean and the prosecutor responsible for his wrongful conviction.
Overall, I definitely enjoyed it. While I think this story was much less about the suspense and mystery than it was about faith in those you love and rebuilding trust where it has been broken, I did enjoy the suspense aspect as well as the urgency brought about by the impending execution date of Megan's brother.
Recommended for fans of redemption after betrayal, self-sacrificing heroines (and heroes), and of a very creepy murderer obsessed with the heroine. 4/5 Stars.
Expected Release Date: June 21, 2011 Publisher: Harlequin Imprint: HarlequThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: June 21, 2011 Publisher: Harlequin Imprint: Harlequin Presents Author’s Website: My Source for This Book: Netgalley Part of a Series: Yes, Book 1, Notorious Wolfes Series Best Read In Order: N/A Steam Level: Steamy
Nathaniel Wolfe is the Hollywood Hunk. Handsome, wealthy, and talented, he’s what many a woman (and man) dreams of. He’s also a coward. Nathaniel hides behind his acting, and has been running from his horrible childhood as soon as he was old enough to escape.
Katie is just an ordinary woman, with ordinary concerns and insecurities, who is working as a costume designer in a London theater. She’s an absolute genius with design, and is hoping that this job will help to launch her career and bring in some desperately needed income.
When we meet Nathaniel, he’s about to take the stage in a theater production of Shakespeare’s Richard II, where Katie has been working as costume designer. Just as he’s about to say his opening lines, however, he spies someone in the audience from his past — a past he’d long since hoped was buried and forgotten.
Flustered and furious, he storms off stage where he runs into Katie, and demands that she help him find a way out that doesn’t involve the paparazzi. When it seems there is nowhere to hide but Katie’s tiny apartment, they head there only to have the media show up the next morning, determined to get their slice of the pie.
Knowing that the super-talkative Katie would never be able to hold her own against the press, he whisks her off to a private island, free from the prying eyes of the world…
Overall, I really enjoyed this one. Nathaniel had a truly nasty childhood, and used his acting as an escape. Even though he was incredibly successful, it wasn’t until he met Katie that he realized how much he was truly missing in life. Katie’s obsession over her figure was a bit annoying at times, especially since she wasn’t exactly overweight, but her talkativeness and determination to get Nathaniel to open up really endeared her to me.
There are 8 scheduled novels in this continuity, meaning it will be a series of interconnected books by different authors, so I’m curious to see where the series goes.
In the end this was a satisfying summer read, recommended for fans of tortured heroes, talkative and mildly insecure everyday heroines, and touch of celebrity and Hollywood glitz. 4/5 Stars...more
Expected Release Date: July 19, 2011 Publisher: Harlequin Imprint: Mira AutThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: July 19, 2011 Publisher: Harlequin Imprint: Mira Author’s Website: My Source for This Book: Netgalley Part of a Series: Yes, Book 1, The Three Graces Series Best Read In Order: N/A Steam Level: Hot
This is my first "Tudor" historical that I've ever read, and I have to say, it was a nice change of pace.
Lady Isabel Milton has lived a life of relative security in a time where women are treated as both pawns and possessions. Following a series of coincidences, she and her friends have bandied about a tale of a curse supposedly afflicting her and her two sisters -- that any man married to them without love was destined to die.
Forced into an arranged marriage with a man who is far beneath her socially, Isabel is incredibly resentful of her new husband, but unfortunately, the alternative could be even worse.
Rand is baseborn, and befriended the king during the king's exile. In reward for his service to the crown, he's been awarded not only his biological father's land, but also the delectable Lady Isabel, whom he simply cannot wait to bed.
When their wedding is interrupted by charges of child murder, Isabel and Rand are taken before the king, where their marriage vows are completed and they await investigation into the charges. Reluctantly, Isabel gives into Rand's incredible sensuality, and finds not only great pleasure but true affection for her unwanted husband, and is stunned when a shocking turn of events causes Rand to be imprisoned in the Tower, leaving her impotent to avoid a fate that would not only cost Rand his life, but would also in turn ruin hers.
Overall, it was enjoyable. While I was a bit put off by how quickly Isabel's lust for her handsome husband overcame her qualms and reservations about the marriage, the storyline itself was absolutely captivating. The court intrigues, politics, and dangers, especially as concerns a woman in those times, were completely fascinating and kept me glued to the pages. Despite my dismay at Isabel's easy capitulation, I must be fair and say that the chemistry between Rand and Isabel was delicious, as were their various trysts. Ms. Blake managed to weave an incredible tale that beautifully balanced romance, lust, intrigue, mystery, and danger, and blended in some very interesting secondary characters as well.
Expected Release Date: Available Now! Publisher: Harlequin Imprint: HarleqThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: Available Now! Publisher: Harlequin Imprint: Harlequin Historical Author’s Website: http://christine-merrill.com My Source for This Book: Netgalley Part of a Series: Yes, Book 1, Belston and Friends Series Best Read In Order: N/A Steam Level: Steamy
The blurb of this little historical gem simply doesn't do the book justice.
Penelope is, to put it mildly, a bookworm. Penelope is an heiress to a great fortune left to her by her father, who was a very successful book printer and whom she inherited her love of books from. Having had a disastrous first season in society, she wants nothing to do with balls and soirees, and would very cheerfully live out the rest of her spinsterhood translating classical books from their original Greek into English, were it not for her brother. You see, her brother has been named guardian of her fortune until such time that she should marry, and after a few comments from Penelope about his (mis)management of her money, he tells her that she may no longer spend any money on books.
In a fit of temper, she basically says a big eff you to her brother and runs off towards Scotland, hoping to find a man along the way who would be agreeable.
Meanwhile, Adam Felkirk has been having a horrible year. After several rather large missteps and losing a major investment in a tobacco shipment, he's left destitute, having failed the tenants who depend on him for their livelihood. Since the "gentlemanly" thing to do would be to end his life, he decides to get blindingly drunk and stage an "accident" that will allow his brother to inherit the dukedom. Once he's sufficiently in his cups, he stumbles outside and "slips" on the cobblestones to fall in front of, you guessed it, Penelope's speeding carriage.
The driver manages to miss Adam's prone body, and Penny sees the opportunity she's been waiting on, and rescues Adam (who at this point is so drunk that he thinks he's dead and that she's an angel sent to take him to the afterlife). Encouraging him to continue drinking, Penny outlines her plan for a marriage of convenience that would give Adam riches as well as permission to keep as many fine mistresses and dissolute habits as he wishes, so long as he gives Penny the freedom she desires. Still drunk out of his mind, he agrees, and they are soon wed over the anvil in Gretna.
It isn't until the next morning when Adam awakens with a horrible hangover that he realizes what he's done, and now he has to decide if he wants a shabbily dressed, plain, bluestocking spinster as a wife in order to save his estate and tenants, or if he wants to subject them both to the scandal of an annulment.
Despite some of his actions before the book began, Adam was at heart an honorable man. Even though he didn't initially love nor was physically attracted to Penny, he still went out of his way to make her as comfortable as possible and to make the best of a bad situation. Penny had a tendency to be a bit childish, even though I personally enjoyed her temper and how she rarely allowed herself to express it, and I even warmed up to her brother towards the end.
Overall, I enjoyed this one. While the lovemaking seemed rather bold for an incredibly shy spinster, I did feel the attraction between Penny and Adam, and the angst that arose when their original bargain clashed with developing feelings was lovely. A solid 4/5 Stars....more
Expected Release Date: Available Now! Publisher: Liquid Silver Books AuthoThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: Available Now! Publisher: Liquid Silver Books Author’s Website: http://www.summerdevon.com My Source for This Book: Liquidsilverbooks.com Part of a Series: No Steam Level: Hot
It isn’t often that I’ve come across a historical romance that involves both mental health issues and drug addiction, so when I read the blurb, and took a peek at the preview available on Liquid Silver’s website, I knew I had to snatch this one up.
One thing that’s always interested me is the various treatments for mental disorder, or “madness”, over the course of the years. I’ve especially been intrigued by the concept of sane people being deemed crazy and subjected to the same indignities and loss of freedom as those who are truly ill.
Despite the horrible treatment of Nathaniel, he was still treated remarkably well for someone who was being pawned off as being “mad”. He was well fed, allowed to bathe regularly, and kept in a fairly comfortable room. Granted, he was a prisoner, and was being drugged with powerful opiates that allowed his captors to maintain the illusion of his mental illness, so it makes sense that his mysterious captors wanted to keep him in fairly good condition.
Florrie was adorable. Desperate to be a “lady”, she had an awful predilection towards danger and adventure, which eventually led to her initial meeting of Nathaniel, when she quite literally stumbled upon him after breaking into his uncle’s house to retrieve a dagger belonging to her deceased father.
With the exception of the issue that Nathaniel and Florrie faced at the end of the novel, I thought that the pacing was absolutely perfect. Despite the scorching attraction and passion that they found together, both Nathaniel and Florrie rather danced around each other for a long time, yet I never had that “fish-or-cut-bait” feeling that is so common in romances today.
Having never read anything by this author, I wasn’t sure what to expect. However, I was very pleased to discover that not only did I enjoy the story line itself, but that the love scenes were fantastic and the writing itself was beautifully done. Overall, I adored it, and not only will The Mad Baron be lodged firmly on my keeper shelf, but I will also definitely be reading more of this author in the future. A deliciously solid 5/5 Stars...more