First things first, I do think that it would be better for readers to have read the first book in the series, Hotter On The Edge.
All of that aside, thFirst things first, I do think that it would be better for readers to have read the first book in the series, Hotter On The Edge.
All of that aside, though, I really enjoyed this anthology.
GOLD LIKE THE SUN by Erin Kellison It’s the wedding of the millennium! Princess Pilar Sol and Hakan Frust are celebrating their union with sector fetes full of celebrity and pomp. Theirs is an arranged marriage to preserve the vital commerce of the Nyer Transit Hub, and yet Pilar is madly, unreservedly, passionately in love. She has all the excitement she has long dreamed of—and a little more than she bargained for when she discovers that Hakan’s grasping family wants her dead.
Hakan has done everything in his power to save his inheritance—the bustling but impoverished Hub—including marrying a wealthy princess for her dowry. His heart isn’t supposed to be part of the deal, but Pilar has all the beauty and joy his life lacks. When Hakan runs afoul of his uncle’s associates—criminal in nature, violent in approach—he refuses to risk Pilar, not for money, not even for his life.
But Pilar is not so easily cast aside, and negotiations turn into a gamble with the future of the sector in the balance. Hakan is about to learn about the high stakes his bride will hazard, as he now has far more to lose—and win—than he ever believed possible: a future brighter than gold.
Holy cow this anthology started off with a bang. I was sitting-straight-up-in-bed-SHOCKED by some of the things that went down in this story, and though things did "work out well" in the end, it was a hell of a ride from Point A to Point B. I really enjoyed the shock factor of some of the things that happened in this story, and the non-stop action as well as the drama between Pilar and Hakan really kept the story moving.
was a great way to start off the anthology.
---- TO KEEP A WIFE by KC Klein
In the shards of civilization ruined by a global war, Lake has gotten the life she never dared dreamed of—a safe haven, and the love of a good man, her husband, Hudson Black Creek. But Lake’s hard-won happiness doesn’t last long when powerful Elders lay siege on Black Creek Manor in retaliation for a past defiance. As Lake watches everything she loves go up in flames, she sacrifices herself for the chance to keep Hudson and her brother alive. Syon, a diabolic Elder with his own agenda, will push Lake to her breaking point, forcing her to compromise—heart and soul— in order to survive.
Hudson wakes from a head wound to find that his whole world is reduced to ashes. With no memory of why he’s sacrificed everything for a woman whose name is tattooed on his chest, Hudson is determined to make his heart match the emptiness of his mind, and wipe out everything except the hatred for those who are to blame—the Elders and the wife he sought to protect.
As evil and fear spread across a war-torn land, Lake and Hudson are tested like never before, and both will have to forgive betrayals and risk greater heartbreak if they want a chance at saving their lives… and their love.
It's important for me to mention that I'm a big fan of K.C. Klein's work, even though her stories never fail to make me extremely uncomfortable. She forces me to go outside of the tiny little box of "how things are 'supposed' to work in romance" and realize that sometimes a Happily Ever After is much more meaningful if the characters (and the readers) are put through the ringer first.
This story broke my heart into a thousand little pieces. Having read the previous story in the series, I had thought that the tough times were over for Hudson and Lake, but boy howdy was I wrong about that. And as hard as it was to read about some of the things that happened to these characters, I would be a bold faced liar if I said that it didn't make their Happily Ever After all the more meaningful.
The only thing that I didn't care for in this story was the fact that the timeframe changed. As the author notes, the first story in this novella happened after the events in the novel of this series, Dark Future, a time-traveling tale of which I am a huge fan. This novella, however, changes things around and forces the previous novella as well as this one to be set before the events of Dark Future. Though this shouldn't be a problem to newcomers to the series, I admit it was confusing as hell for me as I read some of it.
PRINCE OF PASSION by Jessa Slade
When mercenary raiders targeted the empathic crystals that imbue the legendary l’auraly lovers with extraordinary sensual prowess, Icere, the last male l’auralyo, helped destroy the crystals. Rather than let the source of uninhibited pleasure be corrupted into a mind-controlling drug, he allowed his passionate destiny to remain forever unfulfilled. Now, Icere channels his fury into revenge. Tracking the raiders through the interstellar sheerways to a watery world infamous for its aphrodisiac liqueur, he finds a queen—as adrift and alone as he—forced for years into a fate she never desired.
Saya-Rynn inherited duty, command and control from her cruel grandfather and fought to transform her dangerous planet into a paradise for her people—but the price was literally a poison that runs through her veins. Though she feels as ancient as the seas, she finds herself awash in the hot male potency of the young Icere. Still, she resists the chance for indulgence she thinks has passed by her. But when the raiders strike again, Rynn must embrace her troubled legacy, and Icere will find his place as a lover and a fighter. Together, the reluctant ruler and the deposed prince of passion find common purpose, combating the mysterious entity seeking to rule the sheerways, and claim a love as bright as the infinite stars.
As usual, this trio has saved the best for last. I loved not only the virgin hero (hello!), but the delicious tension between Icere and the older, more experienced Rynn. The mermaid mythology as well as the intrigue and danger woven into the tale only added to the drama, and I especially appreciated the concern that Rynn had about taking a lover who was of an age with her own son. It's not often that we get "older" heroines in romance, and I for one appreciated that she wasn't some young, green girl. The action, the drama, and the passion of this story made it a perfect way to close out the anthology.
Expected Release Date: January 6, 2013 Publisher: Shiloh Walker, Inc. Imprint: N/A Author’s Website: http://jcdanielsblog.com My Source for This Book: NetExpected Release Date: January 6, 2013 Publisher: Shiloh Walker, Inc. Imprint: N/A Author’s Website: http://jcdanielsblog.com My Source for This Book: Netgalley (AND purchased on Amazon) Part of a Series: Yes, Book 3, Colbana Files Series Best Read In Order: YES. Steam Level: Chaste Pet Peeves: None Favorite Tropes: Tattoos, Realistic Recovery Times, More than one male protagonist but no real love triangle
G-d I love this series. There aren't many times that I will purchase my own copy of the book after having received the Advanced Review Copy before the publishing date, but I gladly snagged a copy of this one from Amazon as soon as it was available, because I like to put my money where my mouth is, and this is a series I will support to the end.
First things first, I do think that it's important to read, at bare minimum, Night Blade before picking this book up. There is so much that happens in that book that shapes Kit's reality in this one that you'd be doing yourself a disservice in skipping it.
Once again, the author takes us on a hell of an emotional ride, but this time ending with a much more positive outlook than we ended on in Night Blade.
Don't get me wrong, readers looking for a "quick fix" of Kit's own personal issues stemming from the end of the previous book, or those expecting a lot of progression on the relationship between Kit and Damon may wish to wait until the next book is available, because Kit's problems are not ones that can be magically fixed by a few kind words and soft kisses. She has a long way to go until she's "all better". But I will tell you that I have rarely been as emotionally invested in a fictional character as I am with Kit, and the progress that she does make -- the victories as well as the losses that she experiences in this book, simply make my heart sing.
This is probably a little bit spoilery, so I'm marking it as such, but [spoiler]I loved Kit's tattoos. Not only the vivid imagery of the design itself, but the symbolism behind them and the physical and emotional ordeal of her getting magical ink. [/spoiler]
One of the best things about this book was probably the pacing. It was perfect, covering so much material but never feeling rushed, nor did the action and emotional roller coaster lag.
The one thing that made me pause was the editing in a few spots -- namely when talking about the blade called Death. His introduction had a few moments that felt a bit redundant, though on the re-read I can see how it was important to impress certain characteristics of his upon the reader. I did double check to make sure this hadn't been changed in my Amazon copy before mentioning it, as my original notes come from reading a more loosely edited copy, and the part in question is identical. A minor issue, to be sure, but it was still something that jumped out at me enough to have made it into my notes.
I would also like to take a second to mention how much I love Justin. I admit that I didn't care for him when he was first introduced into the series, mainly because I feared for the appearance of a love triangle, but I'm very happy to say that he's completely exceeded all expectations I had for him. He's not only a true friend to Kit when she so desperately needs one, but he's an intriguing character as well. We get more information about his past as well as his abilities, and I have to say, I'm liking the progression that his character has made.
There are quite a few other gems that I'm avoiding mentioning in my review because I think they're too much of a spoiler, but know that the characters you love in this series all play large parts. Some will break your heart, and others will help to heal them, and no, I won't ruin things by telling you what to expect on those fronts.
On top of that are a few little dropped hints here and there, about both Kit's aneira roots as well as her future in a world where Jude still exists, that I hope I'm reading right, because if so they're going to be some incredible additions to future books.
This book had me cringing, gasping, crying, and cheering -- not always in that order. I was very pleased that this book left us with a more hopeful note than the last one, and though I'm already dying to get my hands on the next book, I didn't feel as though the ending were a true cliff-hanger, as the ending of Night Blade was.
Overall, I of course loved it. Recommended for fans of emotionally damaged heroines learning to live again, of kick-ass Urban Fantasy action, and of really fun twists on old mythology.
Re-Read March 2015 You know what? I think I enjoyed it even more the second go-round. I still think the ILY's came a little too quickly (which is oftenRe-Read March 2015 You know what? I think I enjoyed it even more the second go-round. I still think the ILY's came a little too quickly (which is often the case with romantic suspense), but I came to this one this second time already knowing much of Eve's past, and Roarke's too, for that matter, and I think it made me appreciate their initial interactions just that much more.
I now regret not finishing the series, but one of these days I WILL find the time..
Still a solid 4.5/5 Stars.
-- Originally read 2013
*sigh* I can see now I'm going to get really behind because I'm going to end up reading most of this series back to back lol
I've had people recommending this series to me for YEARS, but kept putting it off because... well, because I knew I'd get sucked into it and not be able to get my work done.
Ehhh... I enjoyed it, but there's a very fine line that has to be walked with a heroine who has been subjected to rape and sexual assault, in making iEhhh... I enjoyed it, but there's a very fine line that has to be walked with a heroine who has been subjected to rape and sexual assault, in making it believable yet still romantic, and I think at times this one fell over the line into a bit too unbelievable at times.
Not as enjoyable for me as the first one in the series, but still, not bad... 3.5/5 Stars, full review to follow. ...more
Expected Release Date: February 26, 2013 Publisher: HarperCollins Imprint:This is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic
Expected Release Date: February 26, 2013 Publisher: HarperCollins Imprint: Avon Author’s Website: http://www.joss-ware.com/ My Source for This Book: Edelweiss Part of a Series: Yes, Book 6, Envy Chronicles Series Best Read In Order: Yes Steam Level: Steamy Pet Peeves: Magic Peen Favorite Tropes: Secret Identity, On The Run
I’m a big fan of this series, and as such, it scored high marks for the progression of the series’ overall story progression, as well as the individual characters. I loved Remy, with her closely guarded identity and trust issues, and Wyatt is probably my favorite male lead from the entire series so far.
The only problem is, I didn’t really care for them as a couple. I think there was just too much fresh grief for Wyatt and too many fresh scars for Remy for me to buy this magical romance between them, and I found myself dreading the love scenes rather than looking forward to them, even though they were written with Ms. Ware’s trademark skill.
Even so, I still enjoyed the book as a whole, and as a fan of the series, am quite pleased. I can’t wait for the next book in the series.
I almost hate myself for enjoying this one so much. Very dark, lots of Very Bad Things happening to people, but awesome.
It's good to mention that therI almost hate myself for enjoying this one so much. Very dark, lots of Very Bad Things happening to people, but awesome.
It's good to mention that there aren't any shape shifters in this series though. The Dragon Kings are a sort of paranormal race descended from (or who worship, not 100% clear on that at the moment) The Dragon, their deity.
4.5-5 Stars, full review to follow once I get my thoughts in order. ...more
Expected Release Date: October 30, 2012 Publisher: Random House PublishinThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: October 30, 2012 Publisher: Random House Publishing Imprint: Ballantine Author’s Website: www.shilohwalker.com/ My Source for This Book: Netgalley Part of a Series: No Series Best Read In Order: N/A Steam Level: Steamy Favorite Tropes: Secret Identity, Identity Theft Pet Peeves: Magic Peen
It’s been a while since I’ve read a romantic suspense, and I’d forgotten how much I enjoyed them.
With identity theft rampant these days, and much of our identities relying on the Internet, it’s not a huge stretch of the imagination to think that someone very private could, quite literally, have their lives stolen via digital manipulation. This premise is what first attracted me to this story, but what made me stay was the execution.
I was surprised at first that the identity of the villain was revealed so early on in the novel, but I soon realized that in doing so, Ms. Walker didn’t spoil any surprise, but instead added a great deal of tension to the story. After all, can you imagine someone tearing your life apart, and your knowing who was behind it, and yet still being powerless to stop it? That’s exactly what Shay was going through. Add to that her horrible past, and her estrangement from the one man who made her feel safe, and the tension in this book was off the charts.
While I was a little disappointed that Shay’s past didn’t affect her relationship with Elliot as much as I’d anticipated, the chemistry between them, as well as the trust that they developed for one another, made the romance quite satisfying.
Recommended for fans of abused heroines, secret identities, and of having your very identity taken away.
I LOVE the angst involved in arranged/forced marriages, and in that aspect, this book was a joy. While the "romance" between Lucian and Beth wasn't reI LOVE the angst involved in arranged/forced marriages, and in that aspect, this book was a joy. While the "romance" between Lucian and Beth wasn't really full of chemistry or sexual tension, I did enjoy their battles of wits, and the injustice of having to give up everything you've ever wanted in life because of the whims of someone more powerful.
However, the fact that we get the same level of explicit detail (which, I admit, isn't all that much) when the hero schtups his mistress as when he does the same with his wife was a huge turn off. Add to that the fact that said mistress and wife later become friends with no animosity or jealousy between them, and the fact that the hero backhands the heroine (giving her a big honkin black eye) and she INSTANTLY forgives him and for the rest of the novel goes on and on and on about how she knows he'll never do it again because he loooooooves her (b*tch please), and I could barely finish it.
Expected Release Date: December 20, 2011 Publisher: Loose Id. Imprint: N/AThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: December 20, 2011 Publisher: Loose Id. Imprint: N/A Author’s Website: kelemoon.com My Source for This Book: Loaned on Kindle Part of a Series: Yes, Book 1, Battered Hearts series Series Best Read In Order: N/A Steam Level: Hot
Overall, I really enjoyed this story. While I felt that there was quite a bit of unfulfilled potential on an emotional level, the characters were fascinating and the storyline easily kept my attention. Throw in the primal intensity of the chemistry and the love scenes, along with Clay’s celebrity status and some unexpected twists, and I will definitely be reading the rest of the series.
Recommended for fans of gruff celebrity heroes with a soft side, of abused heroines re-learning trust, and whirlwind romance with blistering chemistry.
**spoiler alert** Looking at all of my friends' ratings of 4- and 5-stars for this book, I have to wonder if perhaps we may be thinking of different b**spoiler alert** Looking at all of my friends' ratings of 4- and 5-stars for this book, I have to wonder if perhaps we may be thinking of different books.
To be perfectly fair, I have not read the first book (or any other book) in the Virgin River saga, and perhaps I would have enjoyed this one more had I done so.
I actually skimmed a large amount of this book. Much of it read as a Public Service Announcement from a Women's Health Clinic mixed with what felt like a narration of some videos from High School Health Class. There was far too much detailed gynecology and obstetrics for my taste, not to mention brutal miscarriages, graphic births of stillborn babies, preachy asides about how one should ALWAYS use condoms, entire chapters focused on people that I frankly didn't give two shakes about*, and an absolutely ridiculous final confrontation. While I get that this is an early installment of what seemed to have always been intended to be a sweeping series, there were just far too many characters distracting from the story between what I had anticipated to be the main couple.
That said, the love story between Paige and John (Preacher) was WONDERFUL, and was the entire reason I forced myself to finish this book. While I was surprised that Paige didn't show more signs of PTSD, especially with all of the emphasis on the possibility of her having the disorder, watching a big gentle giant fall for a petite battered woman and her young son was a joy.
I would recommend this one to fans of battered heroines, but I do say to understand going in that this is far more of a story about the community of Virgin River as a whole than a straight up romance between the title couple.
*Again, this probably had more to do with the fact that I'd never read the first book -- if I had, I probably wouldn't have felt the urge to skim over Jack and Mel's enormous parts in the story -- fans of the first book will likely adore their half of the book. ...more
Expected Release Date: June 26, 2012 Publisher: HarperCollins Imprint: AvoThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: June 26, 2012 Publisher: HarperCollins Imprint: Avon Author’s Website: http://www.annarandol.com My Source for This Book: Edelweiss Part of a Series: Yes Series Best Read In Order: N/A Steam Level: Steamy
While I do wish that this novella had been a little longer, I couldn’t really hold that against it too much, because I think I only wanted it to be longer because I was enjoying the writing and the characters so much.
I’ve long been a sucker for abused heroines, and Sophia was delightful. Sympathetic without being pitiful, and possessing quite a bit of inner strength without being unrealistic, I loved watching her regain her sense of identity after Richard’s death.
Camden, too, was an unexpected pleasure to read, as he wasn’t a “typical” romance hero either. A brilliant mathematician, his capacity of Justice of the Peace wasn’t some great calling for justice or a way for a chest-thumping alpha male to take control of his surroundings, but was instead almost a ceremonial title, since the justice system in those days was drastically different from the one we are familiar with today.
With an intriguing mystery with a surprising twist or two, and just the right amount of steam and chemistry to balance things out, this novella makes a wonderful summer read.
Expected Release Date: March 8, 2012 Publisher: Ellora’s Cave Imprint: N/AThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: March 8, 2012 Publisher: Ellora’s Cave Imprint: N/A Author’s Website: http://summerdevon.com/ My Source for This Book: Gift from the author Part of a Series: No Series Best Read In Order: N/A Steam Level: Steamy Pet Peeves: Dubious Consent Favorite Tropes: Secret Identity
It’s been a long time since I’ve read a good time travel romance, so when I sat down to read this one, I went in with high hopes. The blurb gave me a bit of warning, but even so I wasn’t quite prepared for the scene with dubious consent, and at that point, I wasn’t even sure I wanted to continue reading.
However, I’m very glad that I did, because this turned out to be one of the best time-travel stories I’ve ever read. An outcast hero, whose emotions and behaviors were repressed in his current time, sent back in time with fairly little preparation to guard a woman whose bloodline would some day save the world — what’s not to love?
The one scene at the beginning was never glossed over, and I appreciated that. Jazz and Eliza both suffered the consequences of the actions that took place in the cave, and there was some seriously beautiful groveling involved, which was a huge plus for me.
I loved the sexual tension between the two, and the actual steamy scenes fit in perfectly with the storyline, all leading up to a surprise ending that had me cheering.
Overall, I really enjoyed it, and would recommend it to any fan of time-travel romance.
Expected Release Date: April 21, 2012 Publisher: Courtney Milan Imprint: NThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: April 21, 2012 Publisher: Courtney Milan Imprint: N/A Author’s Website: http://www.courtneymilan.com/ My Source for This Book: Amazon.com Part of a Series: Yes, Prequel Novella to The Brothers Sinister series Series Best Read In Order: N/A Steam Level: Steamy
This novella was so, SO good. I tell you, Courtney Milan never fails to deliver, and I swear to you she packs more punch in a novella than most authors do in a full-length novel. With well-developed characters, a very believable conflict, beautifully romantic sensuality, and and ending that will make you cheer, this is easily going on my keeper shelf.
Expected Release Date: August 7, 2012 Publisher: Penguin Publishing ImpriThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: August 7, 2012 Publisher: Penguin Publishing Imprint: Signet Author’s Website: http://laurawright.com/ My Source for This Book: Virtual Signing (Private Purchase) Part of a Series: Yes, Book 4, Mark of the Vampire Series Best Read In Order: YES Steam Level: Hot Romanceaholic’s Pet Peeves: Continuity Errors Romanceaholic’s Favorite Tropes: Abused Heroine, Enemies to Lovers, Fated Mates
While I would definitely recommend that new readers go back and familiarize themselves with the previous stories in the series, I really enjoyed this installment to the series. I’ve enjoyed Gray and Dillon’s characters ever since they were first introduced, and I couldn’t wait to see how they both grew over the course of their relationship.
Dillon was just as stubborn as I’d come to expect, and Gray was even more delightfully alpha than I’d anticipated. The dynamic between them didn’t seem to follow the stereotypical “romance novel” feel, and yet, it still worked. Gray’s unexpected dominance was quite sexy, and the chemistry between the two was explosive.
Even with the crude sexual language, which as my readers mostly know is not my thing at all, there was no denying that the love scenes were hot, and the romance itself was quite satisfying.
Overall, this was an enjoyable installment to an already entrancing series, and I’m eagerly awaiting the next book.
Expected Release Date: April 2, 2012 Publisher: Harlequin Imprint: CarinaThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: April 2, 2012 Publisher: Harlequin Imprint: Carina Press Author’s Website: http://www.sandy-james.com/ My Source for This Book: Netgalley Part of a Series: No Series Best Read In Order: N/A Steam Level: Steamy
I was a bit torn on the final rating for this book. As my long-time followers know, I don't typically go for contemporary romances, and I think that I'm probably a little harder on them than their historical or paranormal counterparts.
I really enjoyed the beginning of this novel, with Maddie's devious little plan to pick up Mr. Perfect for her reunion, and Scott's bargain and intention of actually dating her. And then they arrived at the reunion. And things got a bit soap opera-ish all of a sudden.
I think my problem was that I'd gone into this story expecting something very light-hearted, and the up to the point where Scott and Maddie traveled to the reunion, the book absolutely delivered on those expectations. Once they got there, though, we were hit with some very serious issues, one after the other, that completely changed the dynamic of not only Scott and Maddie's relationship, but of the entire book itself.
Once I got over the shock of having heavier issues in the story, I admit, I did enjoy it. Unfortunately, having been thrown so far off-balance midway, my overall enjoyment was a lot lower when I finished.
Recommended for fans of stubborn heroines, heroes in pursuit, and some very lovely groveling.
I'm a bit torn on this one. There was some beautiful unrequited love, and quite a bit of delightful angst, and yet there was also explicit rape and spI'm a bit torn on this one. There was some beautiful unrequited love, and quite a bit of delightful angst, and yet there was also explicit rape and spousal abuse, which is not something I had anticipated going in.
While it was well-written and enjoyable story that certainly kept my attention, I think there was just a tiny bit too much "heaviness" to it for my tastes right now.