Expected Release Date: November 1, 2011 (Available Now!) Publisher: M...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.com.
Expected Release Date: November 1, 2011 (Available Now!) Publisher: Macmillan Imprint: St. Martin’s Paperback’s Author’s Website: http://www.sherrilynkenyon.com/ My Source for This Book: Gift from the publisher Part of a Series: Yes, Book 21, Dark-Hunter Series (Book 5, Dream-Hunter Series) Series Best Read In Order: Probably, but worked okay as a standalone Steam Level: Steamy
Any fan of Sherrilyn Kenyon is going to be madly in love with this story. With her trademark horribly abused hero, and her snarky heroine (with a tendency to overreact) whose sincerity, loyalty, and love are able to prove to the hero that the world isn’t all a bad place, she made this a very solid entry into the series.
Seth was delicious, with everything from his unconventional looks (how many non-kilt-wearing heroes do you know who have curly red hair?) to his utter belief that there wasn’t a single being on the planet who wouldn’t intentionally cause him pain.
While I didn’t really bond as well with Lydia as a heroine, I still admit she was the perfect foil for Seth — not only did she introduce him to the concept of affection and tenderness, but she was also snarky and her tendency to speak without thinking helped to add quite a bit of tension to the story.
Overall, this was a very solid entry into one of my favorite long-standing series of all time. Newcomers to the series may be slightly confused with some of the cameos, but in general I do think that new readers will be able to keep up, and fans of the series are going to find plenty to love.
Expected Release Date: November 14, 2011 Publisher: Harlequin Imprint: Carina Press Author’s Website: www.shonahusk.com My Source for This Book: Netgalley Part of a Series: No Series Best Read In Order: N/A Steam Level: Warm
Believe it or not, I think the main thing that kept this story from getting a 4.5 or 5-star rating from me was the romance. I never thought I’d say that, but in this case, it’s kind of true.
Well, okay, that isn’t completely fair. I loved both Obsidian and Jaines, and I think they were absolutely perfect for each other. However, the distinct lack of sensuality combined with the whirlwind nature of their romance made it hard for me to really feel connected to the budding relationship between them. With her so recently widowed and mired in guilt, it was understandable that she might be looking for a distraction, and of course Obsidian’s obvious interest in her as a woman would flatter someone who’d long believed they were rather undesirable, but in the end, while I could certainly believe that there was affection growing between the two of them, I wasn’t quite buying the ILY’s so quickly.
Regardless of how I felt about the speed of the relationship between Obsidian and Jaines, I absolutely adored the world that Ms. Husk has created, and if and when there is a sequel available, you can be absolutely certain that I will snap it up with a quickness. According to the author, this is currently labeled as a standalone title, but she has plans to write more books set in this world, which has me incredibly excited.
In the end, despite my discomfort with the whirlwind romance, this book is easily going on my keeper’s shelf, and I sincerely hope that Ms. Husk continues to explore this fascinating world with future novels (and that she doesn’t keep us waiting too terribly long).
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)
Robin Goodfellow “Puck” Blackthorn was named by his actress mother a...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.com.
Robin Goodfellow “Puck” Blackthorn was named by his actress mother after the mischievous trickster from Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Living up to his namesake, Puck lives in the moment and embraces all of the pleasures life has to offer, from parties to women to fine clothes to scheming and adventure. His ridiculous facade hides a clever and wily nature, however, and when he is called upon to rescue a damsel in distress, he cannot resist the drama of it all.
Regina Hackett has lived her entire life knowing that she was nothing more than a commodity for her wealthy merchant father — she’s to be married off in exchange for a title to whomever her father chooses, and she must guard her person and her reputation in order to ensure that nothing could come between her and the “perfect” social match.
When her cousin is kidnapped from a scandalous masquerade ball that neither of them should have been attending, however, she turns to the rakish Puck, with whom she had shared a deliciously forbidden kiss only moments earlier.
Though they both know that it is an impossible fantasy to dream of a happy ending together, Regina and Puck must rely on each other to find her cousin before it is too late, and to deny their passions before they are both ruined.
Puck is currently my favorite “non-alpha” hero of historical romance. How can you not love a man who so obviously finds joy in everything? Living up to his nickname, observing Puck is rather like watching a child’s mischievous enjoyment in being naughty and not being able to keep from smiling about it.
Regina was wonderful as well — spoiled, a bit cynical, and prone to self-pity, she’s also surprisingly resourceful, loyal, and clever.
The entire plot with the cousin’s disappearance was both heartbreaking and full of excitement, and I really enjoyed how Regina’s character developed over the course of the novel.
I am, of course, excited for the sequel as well.
Overall, Puck made this story. He’s charming, witty, cunning. and beautiful, and despite circumstances of his existance that would have made most other men bitter and cynical, he truly embraces everything that life has to offer. I utterly and absolutely adored him.
Expected Release Date: November 15, 2011 (Paperback) Publisher: Harleq...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.com
Expected Release Date: November 15, 2011 (Paperback) Publisher: Harlequin Imprint: Harlequin Nocturne Author’s Website: http://www.nalinisingh.com/ My Source for This Book: Netgalley Part of a Series: Yes, Book 4, Royal House of Shadows Continuity Series Best Read In Order: Probably, but works well as a standalone Steam Level: Steamy
Twenty years ago, the evil Blood Sorcerer attacked the Kingdom of Elden. Before their death, the King and the Queen used their magic on their four children — the Queen to send them each to the far reaches of the world to protect them, and the King to bury within them each the deep desire to avenge them.
But the Blood Sorcerer corrupted the magic, and Micah, the youngest of the Elden heirs, was cast to the edge of the Abyss, with no memory of his previous life. Awaking in the basement of the Guardian’s castle, he took over the mantle of Guardian, becoming the last bastion between the world and the evil creatures spending their afterlife in the torture and agony of the Abyss.
Lilliana is the hated daughter of the Blood Sorcerer. Abused and tortured since her birth, she refuses to be broken. In a final rebellion against her father, she uses her own blood magic to transport herself to Micah’s location — only a miscalculation on her end results in her landing, not safely at the edge of the village near the castle, but smack in the middle of the Guardian’s throne room.
Daring to meet his eye — something no one else would dare to do — Liliana immediately captures the Guardian’s interest. Bemused, intrigued, and annoyed at this homely little woman who dares to stand up to him, Micah cannot help but be drawn to Liliana.
Her mission is to help Micah to remember his past and his family, because she knows that he is the only one who will be able to save teh Kingdom of Elden once and for all — and time is very quickly running out.
While it wasn’t as apparent in this novel as it was in some of the others of the series as to which fairy tale the story was influenced by, I think Ms. Singh did a beautiful job of weaving in moments and hints of the Beauty and the Beast legend into her own story. The fact that she was able to do so without being obvious that this was a classical story re-imagined was even more impressive.
While I wasn’t at all happy with the ending, regardless of how exciting and satisfying the HEA may have been, and I had a hard time believing Liliana wouldn’t be a whimpering pile of mush rocking back and forth in the corner after the childhood she’d had, I still feel that this was by far the strongest entry into the series. Micah and Liliana’s relationship was beautifully paced, and the secondary characters added so much richness to the novel that I literally couldn’t put it down.
Recommended for fans of plain, abused heroines who use their inner strength to confront their oppressors, of amnesiac alpha heroes whose loyalty, devotion, and honor lead them on to great things, and of beautiful romances sprinkled with a bit of heat.
A solid 4.5/5 Stars
*Note, the edition that I received also contained Nalini Singh’s story, Desert Warrior. I will be reviewing that title separately due to its receiving a different rating from me. (less)