While I enjoyed all of the lovely angst brought about by the unconventional marriage, the author played a nasty trick on the readers in the middle, an...moreWhile I enjoyed all of the lovely angst brought about by the unconventional marriage, the author played a nasty trick on the readers in the middle, and honestly, this one was |thisclose| to being a wallbanger. My own sheer stubbornness was the only thing that kept me from slapping it firmly into the DNF pile with a look of disgust, and even though the ending was quite lovely, it wasn't nearly enough to make up for the middle.
2.5/5 Stars, only that high because of the author's writing skills -- plot alone would rate a DNF.
Expected Release Date: December 1, 2011 (Available Now!) Publisher: Gran...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceacholic.
Expected Release Date: December 1, 2011 (Available Now!) Publisher: Grand Central Publishing Imprint: Forever Author’s Website: http://larissaione.com/ My Source for This Book: Won in a contest/Netgalley Part of a Series: Yes, Book 2, Lords of Deliverance (a spin-off of the Demonica series) Series Best Read In Order: Yes Steam Level: Steamy
I was so incredibly torn with this book when trying to come up with a final rating. On one hand, it’s a favorite series of mine, so of course the underlying plot grabbed my by the privates and wouldn’t let me go. I also enjoyed Limos with all of her different faces — innocent, loving and loyal sister, warrior, liar, manipulator, and woman. Erik was wonderful as well, with not only his strength in refusing to break under torture but also his desire for revenge, and how he came to care for Limos despite his disappointment and anger with her. Then of course, there’s the byplay with Reaver and Harvester (and c’mon, I can’t be the only sick puppy who sincerely hopes they end up together in the end, can I?), and Reseph/Pestilence and the possibly futile hope that there may be a way to bring him back. The delicious sexual tension between two other characters was deliciously hot, and there was plenty of angst to be had.
On the other hand, there was the rape of a major character (though to be fair some readers may feel it was more of a case of “dubious consent”) — something that I truly want to rant about for several paragraphs but cannot without giving away spoilers. There was very little chemistry and sexual tension between Limos and Erik until the very end of the story. There was so much gore and horror and action and torture that I found myself becoming bored with major injuries instead of sympathetic or concerned for the characters in question.
So in the end, this was not a 5-star book for me, no matter how much I adore the series as a whole and am in love with Ms. Ione’s writing style and world-building. However, so much of the book’s positive points are a large collection of small things that I cannot mention them all without actually retelling the story or giving major spoilers. While it may, at first glance, appear that there are more negative points in my review than positive, that’s certainly not the case. The book absolutely sucked me in, chewed me up, and spit me out, leaving me begging for more. Despite any misgivings I may have had about a few points in this story, I am already anxiously awaiting the sequel, Lethal Rider, due out in late spring of 2012.
Expected Release Date: September 1, 2011 (Available Now!) Publisher: Harp...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: September 1, 2011 (Available Now!) Publisher: HarperCollins Imprint: Avon Author’s Website: http://jennybrown.net/ My Source for This Book: Netgalley Part of a Series: Yes, Book 2, Astrology series Series Best Read In Order: Probably, but worked well as a standalone. Steam Level: Steamy
Back in England after a long stint in India, Captain Mile Trevelyan must do his duty and find a proper bride and quickly get her with child before he returns to India at the end of his leave. Determined to enjoy himself a bit before throwing himself into the marriage mart, he is accompanying a friend to a local brothel when his pocket is picked by a beautiful woman. Rescuing her from being turned in to the Watch, he can’t resist kissing her — and soon finds himself with his pants around his ankles and the lovely robber nowhere in sight.
Smart and manipulative, Temperance Smith was not about to let this handsome officer — an officer of the dragoons who symbolize everything she stands against — get the better of her, no matter how delicious his kisses. However, her Scorpio nature prevents her from resisting a challenge when it becomes apparent that he has taken possession of her locket, the locket holding the image of her dear, departed Randall.
It soon seems, however, that not only was Randall not who Temperance thought he was, but that Miles himself is much more than meets the eye.
While I enjoyed this book, especially the second half, I couldn’t shake the feeling that there was something a bit “off” about it. Perhaps it was the unusual verbage, or the speed at which Miles and Temperance’s relationship moved once they’d agreed she’d be his mistress, but more than that, I could simply be that the overall tone of the book was darker than I’d originally expected.
Regardless of the reason, I did enjoy Temperance’s character, and greatly warmed up to Miles about halfway through, and the level of importance put on astrology was a very interesting and frankly refreshing take on historical romance.
With political plots, distrustful lovers, and a seemingly hopeless future, this book grabbed my attention from the very beginning, despite any issues I may have had.
Therefore, in the end, recommended for fans of shady heroines, mistrustful (and not entirely gentlemanly) heroes, and relying on your wits to get out of a seemingly impossible situation.
Expected Release Date: June 27, 2011 (Available Now!) Publisher: Self-Pub...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: June 27, 2011 (Available Now!) Publisher: Self-Published Imprint: N/A Author’s Website: http://www.ptmichelle.com/ My Source for This Book: Gift From the Author Part of a Series: Yes, Book 1, Brightest Kind of Darkness Series Series Best Read In Order: N/A Steam Level: Warm
Sixteen year-old Nara is never surprised. Each night, she dreams the entire events that she will experience the following day. She learned at a young age not to interfere with the natural order of things, but when she dreams of a major catastrophe that she has the power to prevent, she can’t simply ignore it.
Fate, however, has other plans. Soon not only do Nara’s prophetic dreams suddenly start to fade, but students at school start to have serious accidents that she can’t fully prevent. Add to that the sudden unwelcome reappearance of the father who abandoned her at a young age, the sudden betrayal by her best friend, and the suspicious attention she’s gained from the school’s mysterious new student, Ethan, and Nara’s life has never been so out of control.
While struggling to adapt to the sudden loss of her abilities and trying to stay one step ahead of Fate, Nara forges a surprisingly strong alliance with Ethan. Soon, however, Ethan’s ability to “get” her as well as his terrible reputation begin to make Nara suspicious — while the attraction between them is as real as it gets, it’s also obvious that Ethan is hiding something that may make all the difference.
A few housekeeping details to go ahead and get out of the way here — first and foremost is that the plot to this book is very similar to the Final Destination movies.
Now, personally, I liked the similarities to the plots, because I thoroughly enjoyed the Final Destination movies (they scared the bejeezus out of me, actually). There are also many factors that make a strong distinction between this book and those movies, so please don’t think that they’re at all identical. However, it wouldn’t be a fair review if I didn’t mention the parallels between the stories because some readers may not appreciate them.
Second, this is also a YA novel, which is not typically the type of story I tend to read (I, er, like smexin in my books. Heh.), so of course the steam rating is only set on “Warm”.
Lack of smexin aside, I thoroughly enjoyed this one.
Ethan was incredible while not falling into that “perfect guy” trap that so many romance heroes fall into. He’s tortured, has a bad temper, is hesitant to open up to Nara, and also has a tendency to be a bit high-handed. However, he’s also completely devoted to Nara and her safety without being all creepy-stalkerish which is refreshing, and there’s also just enough mystery left about him that I’m dying to read the next one if it will hurry up and be released!
Nara was also a favorite of mine. Slightly spoiled, a bit insecure, and occasionally selfish, she felt like a real teenage girl to me, albeit one who had a pretty cool psychic power and a crazy run-in with malevolent forces.
In the end, I was very happy with this book. While I’m frustrated that I have to wait for a sequel, as there are several very important things that were never fully covered in this story, the romance was satisfying, the plot was not only interesting but slightly creepy, and the entire concept of precognitive dreams is an intriguing one.
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 t...moreI 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: Harleq...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: August 8, 2011 Publisher: Harlequin Imprint: Harlequin Desire Author’s Website: http://www.oliviagates.com/ My Source for This Book: Netgalley Part of a Series: Yes, Book 3, Pride of Zohayd Trilogy Series Best Read In Order: Worked well as a standalone Steam Level: Hot
Prince Amjad Al Shalaan once entered into a political marriage for the sake of his country. He graciously forgave the fact that his bride did not come to him a virgin as custom dictated — after all, he’d chosen her from a list of suitable candidates only a few weeks before the wedding, and since he was not a virgin himself, it seemed hypocritical to punish her for her missing virginity. He even forgave her when she turned out to be carrying the child of another man. What he couldn’t forgive, however, was her almost successful plot with her lover to murder him.
Ever since, Amjad has been tainted by a bad reputation — that of a Mad Sheikh, because he is completely untouchable. Women vie for a place in his bed, but he turns away everyone — even to the point that detractors have begun to speculate about his sexual orientation. His celibacy has become a thing of legend, but even that does not come close to the rumors of his paranoia…
Princess Maram has her own bad reputation. Having been forced into a political marriage to a man she viewed as her uncle, she flouted traditional mourning and almost immediately married a young, rich playboy, whom she promptly divorced after he was disowned from his family. Having grown up in America, she has little patience for the pomp and circumstance (and restrictions) placed on a princess from her country, though her patriotism does run deep.
She is also incredibly attracted to Prince Amjad from the neighboring kingdom of Zohyad. Intrigued rather than repulsed by both his reputation and his aloof personality, she has fancied herself in love with him from the start.
The two constantly trade barbs, but underneath it all is a simmering attraction.
Amjad intended to take Maram’s father hostage in order to force him to return the property that he has stolen from Amjad’s kingdom. When the king instead send Maram in his place, Amjad is forced to alter his plans, and intends to use the princess as his unknowing hostage instead. Maram sees the freak sandstorm that traps her with Amjad in a secluded villa as a blessing in disguise. Knowing that she need only tempt him to act on the sizzling attraction between them, she is brutally honest with Amjad about both her feelings for him and her desire. Soon they are both swept away by their passions, but when the storm passes, and Maram realizes that Amjad has been using her, will her love for him stand, or will his betrayal be the final straw?
I absolutely loved the first half of this book! The incredible betrayal at the beginning, the verbal sparring between Amjad and Maram, the tension built by Maram’s secret kidnapping and the intimacy created by their forced isolation was absolutely delicious. While I enjoyed the book in its entirety, there was something about the second half that simply didn’t appeal to me as much. Perhaps it was the tantric sex angle, or the fact that while they supposedly hiked and whatnot it seemed that all they did was bed each other, but there was just something missing once they began to sleep together. While Amjad’s ulterior motives for being with Maram created a delicious amount of angst, I really felt as though her feelings were a bit extreme. Granted, she’d fully given herself to him while he maintained his prior aloofness, but for love to turn to hate so quickly seemed a bit out of character for Maram.
In the end though, it was still a very enjoyable read. The back and forth sparring between the two made this book worth reading alone, because Maram is not your typical milquetoast virgin who lets the hero walk all over her. Instead, she’s a strong, modern woman, who knows what she wants and boldly goes after it, all the while nurturing a vulnerable heart.
Recommended for fans of modern heroines with a healthy dose of sarcasm, untouchable heroes who find themselves ensnared, and an angsty downfall of both hero and heroine, topped with a beautiful Grand Gesture and a very satisfying HEA.
Expected Release Date: July 26, 2011 Publisher: Harlequin Imprint: Harlequ...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: July 26, 2011 Publisher: Harlequin Imprint: Harlequin 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: July 26, 2011 Publisher: Harlequin Imprint: HQN Auth...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: July 26, 2011 Publisher: Harlequin Imprint: HQN Author’s Website: http://www.nicolacornick.co.uk My Source for This Book: Netgalley Part of a Series: Book 4, Scandalous Women of the Ton Series Best Read In Order: Worked well as a standalone Steam Level: Hot
*Whew* This one was a complete roller coaster!
Susanna Burney has not had an easy life. At age 17, she eloped with the man of her dreams, and then the next day, after having spent a wonderful night in his bed, sacrificed her marriage out of misguided love. Kicked out by her family, she’s had to make her way in life without anyone’s assistance, and despite what others may think of her when they learn her secrets, she never prostituted herself out. Instead, she became a Matchbreaker — someone hired by wealthy families to tempt away the potential grooms in unsuitable relationships. Telling herself that she’s actually doing the women a favor — since if the man truly loved their women, they wouldn’t be tempted away, she is so close to finally having enough money to pay off her creditors and retire to the country with her young wards.
James is unapologetically a fortune hunter. Having grown up experiencing the extremes of wealth and poverty that only the children of notorious gamblers can known, he’s not happy with just his inherited title and place in society. He forms a match with a woman he has no hope of loving, in order to get his hands on her fortune. His younger sister has also done some fortune hunting of her own — having fallen in love with the heir to a dukedom, and expecting him to offer for her at any moment. However, the heir’s parents are less than pleased that a nobody like Chessie could possibly ensnare their son, and so enters Susanna.
There’s only one small problem, however. The “man of her dreams” that Susanna eloped with when she was 17? That would be James.
While I’m not typically a fan of novels where the main characters could have solved their problems had they just sat down and talked in the first chapter, I admit I did enjoy this one. There was so much history and bitterness between the two of them that I could forgive the overuse of a Big Misunderstanding and their constant and deliberate verbal wounding of one another. While there were a couple plot devices that I could’ve done without, and infidelity in some form or another by so many of the major characters, the angst was delicious, and the resolution was satisfying.
Recommended for fans of estranged marriages, blackmail, and Big Misunderstandings. 3.5/5 Stars
Expected Release Date: Available Now! Publisher: Samhain Publishing Imprin...moreThis 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: February 7, 2012 Publisher: Penguin Imprint: Signet...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: February 7, 2012 Publisher: Penguin Imprint: Signet Author’s Website: www.laurawright.com My Source for This Book: Library Part of a Series: Yes, Book 3, Mark of the Vampire Series Best Read In Order: Yes Steam Level: Hot
I have not read the other books in this series. I actually started the first book, Eternal Hunger twice, but for some crazy reason never ended up finishing it (which I admit is ridiculous, because it was an enjoyable read. That’s neither here nor there however), and as such, I’m woefully behind on the mythology and main story arc of the series. I did end up feeling as though I’d arrived late to the party, and that there were several facts and situations that I was supposed to be familiar with before starting this one.
While I wanted to roll my eyes at the “island” scene in its entirety, and I was more annoyed than frightened by the Big Bad, I admit that I did enjoy this one. The chemistry between Bronwyn and Lucian was crackling, and while I don’t particularly care for crude sexual language in romance, even with the c-word being thrown around willy-nilly, I couldn’t deny the heat in the love scenes.
Recommended for fans of steamy paranormal romance, fated mates, and truly starcrossed lovers.
Expected Release Date: July 1, 2011 (re-issue) Publisher: Harlequin Imprin...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: July 1, 2011 (re-issue) Publisher: Harlequin Imprint: Harlequin Historical Author’s Website: http://christine-merrill.com My Source for This Book: Netgalley Part of a Series: Yes, Book 2, Belston and Friends Series Best Read In Order: Yes but works well as a standalone Steam Level: Steamy
This is the sequel to Miss Winthorpe's Elopement which received a 4/5 Star rating from me. Readers should be aware that this is a reissue, so I do not know if the version that I received has been altered from previous versions.
We first met Timothy in Miss Winthorpe's Elopement as the cuckolded husband of the villainess from that tale. This book picks up a fairly short time after the suspicious accidental death of his horrible wife, Clarissa, which actually occurred shortly after the last time we saw Tim in MWE.
Distraught by the death of her beloved cousin Clarissa, Miss Collingham has allowed the very sort of reckless behavior that Clare would've encouraged to land her in a mild scandal in London and is being send to the country to allow the scandal to blow over. On the journey, she discovers that one of her traveling companions, Miss Collins, is to be the new governess for the her cousin's children, and she hatches a plan to trade places with her so that she may discover the truth behind Clare's death.
What she didn't expect was to not only fall in love with the children her cousin had left behind, but to also fall for Lord Colton, the man she suspects of having murdered Clarissa.
I really enjoyed the transformation of Tim from monster to good hearted man in Daphne's eyes as she got to know him and advanced in her investigation into her cousin's death, despite the mounting evidence that he was indeed responsible for her death. While I felt that Tim overreacted when he discovered her true identity, I think the time apart served them both well. I thoroughly enjoyed the children. It was nice to see them be mischievous as children should be, without their lapsing into the total brat category.
Overall, this was a highly enjoyable read. The dark theme of Daphne's murder investigation definitely added gravity to the story, and I absolutely adored the progression of her and Tim's relationship. A very cheerful 4/5 Stars.(less)
Expected Release: Date: June 28, 2011 Publisher: Harlequin Imprint: HQN Aut...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release: Date: June 28, 2011 Publisher: Harlequin Imprint: HQN Author’s Website: http://www.charlottefeatherstone.net/ My Source for This Book: Netgalley Part of a Series: Yes, Book 1, The Brethren Guardians Series Best Read In Order: N/A Steam Level: Hot
As of this moment, I’ve spent about two hours writing and re-writing this review. Why, do you ask? For the simple reason that nothing I say seems to accurately describe just how much I really enjoyed this book.
Taking it’s cue from gothic novels of old, Seduction & Scandal has everything I love in darker historicals. Our heroine is a woman with a secret scandalous past, determined to live a virtuous and staid life, never giving in to the passions that ruined her mother’s life. She agrees to a courtship with a man who is boring, but safe, and never tells him of her secret hobby as a novelist. Then enter the Earl of Black, a darkly handsome man who has a scandal of his own to follow him, who tempts her with the promise of secret kisses and forbidden caresses.
The secret scandal in Isabella’s past, the deadly rumors that surround Black, the tale of secret societies with a dash of the paranormal, a delicious sense of sensuality, and an unseen outside force attempting to ruin all chances of happiness between the lovers, all combine to make this book an incredible read.
I literally could not put this book down. Once I read the opening lines, Ms. Featherstone’s masterful writing style had me entranced to the point that even I found myself reading this book in line at the grocery store.
I must also say how absolutely thrilled I am by the blurb of the next book in the series, Pride & Passion, and how completely devastated I am that it doesn’t come out until December.
A very solid 5/5 Stars, and highly recommended for fans of gothic historical romances.(less)
Expected Release Date: Available Now! Publisher: Harlequin Imprint: Harleq...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: Available Now! Publisher: Harlequin Imprint: Harlequin Presents Author’s Website: http://www.lucymonroe.com My Source for This Book: Amazon.com Part of a Series: Yes, Book 3, Royal Brides Series (The Scorsolini Princes) Series Best Read In Order: Works well as a standalone. Steam Level: Hot
I was in the mood for some melodrama and so I snagged a couple Harlequin Presents books for the next few reviews. I’m a big fan of Lucy Monroe to begin with, but fans of her historicals should be aware that this is a traditional HP read; there’s a lot of unnecessary angst, and of course a dramatic Big Misunderstanding, so be prepared.
However, for me personally, the angst and the Big Misunderstandings are always what I go seeking when I pick up a category romance, so I was in heaven with this book.
Claudio and Terese have a marriage of convenience — at least on his side. She’s loved him from the beginning, but entered into the marriage knowing that love would not play a part in their marriage. Practical reasons, including her pedigree, poise, and ability to give him an heir was the most important motivation behind their marriage. When Terese discovers that she has severe endometriosis, a condition which causes scar tissue to build up around her reproductive organs and resulting in excruciatingly painful monthly periods, she’s understandably upset. When her doctor informs her, however, that in her case the condition has rendered her infertile, she’s devastated. She knows that having children is essential to Claudio, and knows that without that ability, her marriage is doomed.
I really enjoyed all of the angst, and Terese’s insecurities. Above all though, I loved Claudio’s reaction to the truth of her condition, and everything that occurred after he learned how mistaken he’d been. There’s just something so sexy about a proud man groveling and doing everything in his power to care for his woman!
Overall, a very enjoyable, melodramatic, fast read. 4.5/5 Stars (less)
Good Lord, talk about being torn on a rating! This book was incredible,...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Good Lord, talk about being torn on a rating! This book was incredible, even with its flaws. This is my first Eileen Dreyer novel, but I have to say that if this is indicative of her writing style, it will not be my last.
Deliciously angsty, mildly kinky, and full of intrigue, this book literally grabbed ahold of me and refused to let go.
This is not a lighthearted “marriage of convenience” story by any stretch of the imagination. The hero is incredibly cruel to the heroine to the point of mental abuse, despite the fact that he has (what is in his mind at least) very good justification for doing so, and there is a plethora of angst to be had. However, despite the fact that it is practically painful to read at times due to the angst, it is so incredibly well-written that you cannot help but finish it even as you’re mentally plotting Diccan’s demise.
Despite the explicit infidelity, which is one of my pet peeves, I still say that this was an incredibly enjoyable, and ultimately satisfying read. 4/5 Stars
Sometimes a girl just needs to read a good old fashioned, melodrama filled Harlequin Romance! This book was exactly what I was in the mood for. There was amnesia, family drama, distrust, angst, and of course, hot romance.
What worked for me:
* I do love a good amnesia story. Sure, they’re implausible, especially if you know much about the medical field, but who cares? Most people I know who read fiction do so because it’s just that: fiction. I like to suspend my disbelief and transport myself to a world where amnesia is common after car accidents, and that memory will always return at the most opportune (or inopportune, as it were) moment. * Whoowhee this was a steamy story! I loved the chemistry and immediate attraction between Seth and April. The UST was nice and tasty, especially since both struggled valiantly to keep a tight rein on their hormones. * I loved that there was just the right enough of angst without getting ridiculous. With April unable to remember anything before waking up in the hospital, and Seth’s sordid family history, both were very slow to trust and even slower to give into any feelings they were developing.
What didn’t work for me:
* Okay so the title is a bit cheesy. It’s Harlequin Desire; a cheesy title is part of the fun in a category romance!
Overall this was a quick, sexy read without being too heavy to be enjoyable. With weather starting to warm up, this book is a great way to pass time by the pool.
Well, first off,(view spoiler)[ this book is NOT a romance in the traditional sense. There is no HEA or even HFN, but please don't let that put you off. The ending is most definitely open-ended as far as any romance goes, and this is the first book in a trilogy, so there's definitely some potential. (hide spoiler)]
This book was most definitely spooky to the extreme. The descriptions of the ghosts and their interactions with Amelia are enough to make you want to sleep with the light on at night, especially if you have a drafty bedroom ;)
As I said, overall I adored this book. I love the first-person POV, and Amanda Stevens kept me guessing until the end. I quite literally couldn't put this one down.
A very solid 5/5 Stars["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
What worked for me: * The world-building was beautiful, especially given that this was a short story. * I loved the whole slave market rescue thing * I R...moreWhat worked for me: * The world-building was beautiful, especially given that this was a short story. * I loved the whole slave market rescue thing * I REALLY liked that the incubus ended up pursuing the angel. I'm a big fan of "hero in pursuit" type stories to begin with, and to have a lot of her sexual interest be both simple curiosity combined with feeling as though she need to "repay" him, was just wonderful because it truly threw him for a loop. * I liked the chemistry, and felt that the love scenes were well done.
What didn't work for me: * I wish it was a little longer, and they'd expounded on the whole apocalypse thing with the seals and such. * I didn't care for the hero attempting to seduce another female in full view of the heroine. That's really not my thing in romances.
Overall, however I thoroughly enjoyed this story, and would love to see it expanded into a series.
**spoiler alert** Okay I really hate to not give this five stars, because I'm a Zoe Winters fangirl. She's probably my favorite "indie" author at the...more**spoiler alert** Okay I really hate to not give this five stars, because I'm a Zoe Winters fangirl. She's probably my favorite "indie" author at the moment and it kills me that I can't rave about it..
What worked for me: * I loved the mythology (and theology) about the different dimensions * I adore ZW's writing style, with her quirky humor and perfect pacing. * The twist at the end was AWESOME! Loved loved loved it!
What didn't work for me: * The hero is an incubus. In order not to kill his victims, he has to have sex with a different woman every night. If he has sex with the same woman more than one night in a row, he can seriously harm her -- and honestly probably kill her. So, my absolute BIGGEST pet peeve about this story is that the hero is quite literally having sex with other women the ENTIRE time that he's with the heroine. The entire time. He even showers after banging them and comes up to sleep next to the heroine on nights that they can't have sex together. This literally turned my stomach. I get that she was "in love with him", but just. No. I literally almost threw the book at the wall (which would've been tragic, as I was reading the kindle version on my iPod lol) when he screwed one girl, finished up, and immediately came up stairs to mess around with the heroine. Blech.
*The "harem" was WAY too accepting of the fact he was a demon. So one of them was a gypsy who knew what an incubus was and was cool with it -- great, what about the other girls? They were WAY too relaxed and blase about the whole thing to be in any way realistic. Plus, how on earth did the heroine just happen to find several hookers who not only would agree to come and live with her in that situation, but that she could actually trust not to steal all her shizz and run off the first time she turned her back?! I just wasn't buying it.
So, my final score? I'm sorry Zoe -- 3 1/2 out of 5. I just couldn't get past my own squickiness at him having sex with all those other women, and her being kind of okay with it (even if she WAS jealous), and having him actually convince her that it was "okay" because it was "just sex". JNMK.(less)
Probably my favorite out of the four in the series, if not for a few irritating points.
What worked for me: *LOVED the reason Lord Everod was estranged...moreProbably my favorite out of the four in the series, if not for a few irritating points.
What worked for me: *LOVED the reason Lord Everod was estranged from his family. That was CRAZY!
*I really enjoyed the wives of the previous characters circled around Maura when they began to perceive Everod as a threat
*I also liked the Big Betrayal between Everod and Maura. Well done toward the angst factor to me.
What didn't work for me: *I didn't really "get" the ILY's -- it was like "ah the sex is wonderful" then *BAM* they're in love. I almost felt like I'd missed something
*In the same vein, I didn't care for the transitions between scenes. For one thing, towards the very end, when she spends the night with "her fiance" -- he's insisting on sharing a bed, she's trying to manipulate him into not touching her, then BOOM, we're into the next day. Well, wth happened?? Did she sleep next to him chastely? Did she make him sleep in the floor? Did she bone him to keep him calm?? C'mon throw me a bone here!
* The ending LITERALLY felt as though the author reached her page limit and said "oh crap I guess I gotta end it here". I don't know -- I think I really needed an epilogue or something.
Overall, I liked it. It was a good plot, nicely smutty, with likable characters and devious villains. The negatives though were HUGE issues for me, so my final score is 3 1/2 out of 5(less)
What worked for me: *The worldbuilding is simply breathtaking; it's so beautifully descriptive without making the story feel bogged down. There's a certain earthiness to her writing that engages all of your senses while reading. *The sensuality was amazing. It was incredibly sensual, sexy, and erotic, without being vulgar. At one point in reading, I thought to myself that this novel is the high-priced courtesan to the common street prostitutes that so many other erotic novels seem to be these days.
What didn't work for me: *I admit that I occasionally got confused on the character names. There were, I think, slightly too many characters to keep things flowing properly in my mind. I have a feeling, however, that this was more a failing on my end than on the author's. *I think, if anything, it was almost too rich. Rather like eating a decadent piece of gourmet chocolate, the incredible earthiness and richness of the writing was better savored in small doses, and as such it took me much longer to finish this book than it normally does for this length of novel.
Overall, however, the writing was amazing, the characters drew me in, and I am left breathlessly awaiting the next installment to the series. This is my first Charlotte Featherstone novel, but it absolutely will not be my last. 4.5 Stars(less)
Another typical "Kenyon" tortured hero. As one of her earlier works, I definitely recognized later characters in Sin -- my boyfriend (Acheron), as wel...moreAnother typical "Kenyon" tortured hero. As one of her earlier works, I definitely recognized later characters in Sin -- my boyfriend (Acheron), as well as pretty much every hero from the "Born In" series under the Kenyon name, and so forth.
Did that stop me from enjoying it? Of course not lol I'm a Kenyon/Macgregor/etc. fangirl, so of course I eat that crap up with a spoon ;) It can get overwhelming if you've decided to glom her writing though, so I find they're better read with a few other books in between.
What worked for me: *I actually went back and forth on whether this was a pro or con for me, and settled on pro -- I like how our heroine didn't really fight the marriage to Sin past the inital "WTF you can't tell me who I have to marry!" reaction *Two words: Virgin Hero :D *This was a heavy book, what with all of the mess Sin had gone through, but it had a lot of hidden humor that rather took me by surprise
What didn't work for me: *Did NOT like the epilogue -- I found it hard to believe and just too bloody "tidy" for my tastes.
Overall? A very angsty read with a lot of references to lifelong rejection and abuse, but with a sweet love story and just enough "intrigue" to keep things interesting. Solid 4 Stars(less)
This book was well and truly awful. I mean not just bad, but really and honestly horrible. It started out great, great premise, showed lots of promise...moreThis book was well and truly awful. I mean not just bad, but really and honestly horrible. It started out great, great premise, showed lots of promise, but things just went way downhill. A ruffly penis, waist length GORGEOUS curly hair, purring, magic semen (called "snard" for crying out loud), the constant dripping of "coronal fluid" crazy dress-code, nose f*cking (yes, you read that right), public sex, partner sharing, you name it lol
And, to top it off, it was written in a very rambling first person narrative -- it was rather like when you're telling someone a story and you get sidetracked and go off on a tangent for ten minutes then remember what you were talking about in the first place and come back to it.
So, why the 3-star rating?
Because it wasn't just bad. It was Rocky Horror bad lol It was so ridiculous (and absolutely NOT sexy) that I finished it solely for the camp factor.
Expected Release Date: August 2, 2011 (Available Now!) Publisher: Macmill...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: August 2, 2011 (Available Now!) Publisher: Macmillan Imprint: St. Martin’s Press Author’s Website: sherrilynkenyon.com My Source for This Book: Amazon Part of a Series: Yes, Book 20, Dark Hunter Series Series Best Read In Order: Yes Steam Level: Steamy
I think that this book is going to be a make it or break it for fans of the series. Those readers who have stuck with the story over the course of the five billion books in the series (obviously an exaggeration, but there’s a lot) because of their love of Acheron, the Greek pantheon, and the Daimons, are likely to be quite disappointed. While many of the other beloved Dark Hunters make brief appearances, including Zarek, Sin, and even an epilogue with Acheron, Tory, and several others, the main characters are all new to us, and I think that some long-time fans are going to be quite disgruntled with this.
For me, however, I found it quite refreshing. While yes of course I love the characters who have been main players for so long, it was getting to the point that I only read the new books in this series because I’ve invested so much time into the series as a whole that I want to see how the overall story arc plays out. So for me, it was a nice change of pace to include an entirely new pantheon into the mix and focus on unfamiliar-to-me legends.
While it wasn’t a very steamy read, with only one real love scene, I think the action made up for lack of sexy times. Abigail’s actions have unleashed several deadly plagues, and the entire cast is forced into some fairly interesting and even epic battles to contend with them.
Overall, this was a solid entry into the series. While I was far from blown away, since by this point most of Ms. Kenyon’s heroes and heroines are pretty much recycled from earlier characters, I still found great enjoyment in the Cherokee legends and the huge part they played in the story. Even so, it was pretty average for a Kenyon read. The epilogue was intriguing, and I of course will read whatever comes next.
As another reviewer pointed out, the problem with novellas is just when you get into it, BAM it's over.
Other than the length (hahaha oh my inner 12-ye...moreAs another reviewer pointed out, the problem with novellas is just when you get into it, BAM it's over.
Other than the length (hahaha oh my inner 12-year-old boy had to snicker at that, sorry), I really enjoyed this. Told in the first person, this little gem of a story had everything I like in a romance -- lots of angst (without sinking to a bunch of emo melodrama), a bad (and mostly undeserved) reputation, some weirdness thrown in for flavor (and yes, I had to Google "ocelot"), the initial dislike the heroes held for each other.. and did I mention the angst? I swear my heart broke for poor James at least three times before it was all over with.
I would have probably said 5 Stars if this had been a full-length novel and things didn't feel so rushed in the end. Thus is the nature of a novella, however, so I will say definitely a solid 4 stars. :)(less)