It is always hard to write a review for a J.R. Ward book, because I try...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
It is always hard to write a review for a J.R. Ward book, because I try so hard to avoid spoilers, and yet, I want to either rant or rave about almost every tiny detail.
At times this book was so overwhelming with minute details, that it felt as though she were trying her hardest to give every single character that had ever appeared in the stories, if not an actual cameo, at least a mention. And yet, at other times, it felt as though important characters and events were glossed over with a quickness that left me re-reading a few pages thinking that I must have missed something, because I ended up not quite sure what exactly was going on.
In the end, however, there are two main factors that I feel I should focus this review on. First, the relationship between Blay and Qhuinn, and second, the overall progression of the series’ story arc.
On the first, I can say I was generally pleased. The pacing was perfect, with tons of angst and heartache on both sides, as well as plenty of chemistry. While the actual love scenes were mostly deliciously hot, there were a few quirks that left me a bit cold, and that’s coming from someone who’s typically a fan of male-male romance.
On the second, however, is where the book really shone. Old foes come back to the forefront, with surprising results, and the villains from last book begin to take unexpected paths in their quest to wipe out the Brotherhood and Wrath. In addition, we get quite a bit of history on the Shadows, Trez and iAm, as well as a very fascinating (and sexually charged) sub-plot with the dangerously sexy Assail.
Add to that an absolutely fabulous epilogue, and this book is definitely a keeper.
Newcomers to the series, however, should realize that this is not a series that can really be read out of order.. Books 1 – 5 are arguably interchangeable, and able to stand on their own, but I would personally suggest just going ahead and reading everything in order and saving yourself the massive headache of trying to sort things out.
I was just thrilled that this somehow managed to avoid my HP Pet Peeves lol Great if you're in the mood for a (typical to Harlequin Presents) overbear...moreI was just thrilled that this somehow managed to avoid my HP Pet Peeves lol Great if you're in the mood for a (typical to Harlequin Presents) overbearing hero, TONS of heartache, a BIG misunderstanding (originating from before the start of the book) and a dash of heat. Which, apparently, I was. 4.5/5 Stars, full review to follow.(less)
**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...more**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. (less)
Expected Release Date: June 26, 2012 Publisher: HarperCollins Imprint: Avo...moreThis 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://jeanienefrost.com/ My Source for This Book: Amazon Part of a Series: Yes, Book 1 Night Prince Series, Spinoff of Night Huntress Series Series Best Read In Order: Works well as a standalone, but suggest reading original series anyway. Steam Level: Steamy
I think my biggest problem going into this story was that I had approached it like the two titles in the Night Huntress World Spinoff Series — both of which were traditional “Paranormal Romance” with a very definite Happily Ever After feel to them. Instead, this new Night Prince spinoff follows in the tradition of the Night Huntress Series — that is, in being an Urban Fantasy series with the main couple’s relationship being stretched out over the course of the series. While I do think that Urban Fantasy romance tend to be a bit more satisfying in the long run than their Paranormal Romance counterparts, I also think that it’s very important to know which classification a book falls into before picking it up in order to avoid disappointment.
Despite my displeasure with the ending, I still devoured this tale. Vlad was just as delicious (and arrogant) as I’d imagined him, and Leila is easily a favorite heroine of mine now. While the forced nudity also sapped my enjoyment a bit, the plot was exciting, the love scenes were beautifully sexy, and the minor characters rounded out the story beautifully.
In the end, a very solid 4/5 Stars, and I’m greatly looking forward to future installments into the series.(less)
Expected Release Date: May 1, 2012 Publisher: Crescent Moon Press Imprint:...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: May 1, 2012 Publisher: Crescent Moon Press Imprint: N/A Author’s Website: http://lynnrush.com/ My Source for This Book: Gift From The Author Part of a Series: Yes, Book 2, Wasteland Series Best Read In Order: Yes, but worked okay as a standalone Steam Level: Warm Pet Peeves: Ancient/Immortal Paired With Young Mate, Forced Nudity Favorite Tropes: Plane Crash, Fated To Be Mated, Physically Imperfect or Scarred, Mute
I have read the first book in the series, but it’s been a long time, with a lot of books in between. Even so, I was able to keep up fairly well early on, and while I would recommend reading the series in order, I think that this one stands reasonably well on its own, all things considered.
Readers should also be aware that this is considered “Upper YA” or “New Adult”, and does feature some not-quite-closed-door lovemaking, though it’s written in a way that’s considered very mild by today’s romance novel standards.
I loved the blend of action and romance, and the fact that I was a huge fan of Annabelle from the moment that she appeared on the pages didn’t hurt either. The pacing was wonderful, with just enough “down time” between action sequences for both readers and characters alike to be able to catch a breath, but not so much that anything felt like it dragged.
While I do wish the romance would have been a bit steamier, I knew going into it that this was a New Adult romance, and as such, would be a lot lighter on the heat level than the books I typically read, so that was a very minor point.
Overall, I loved it, and am really looking forward to picking up the final book in the trilogy, TAINTED, which just came out earlier this week.
I think the reason I love this series so much, is that it's not like other historical novels flooding the market right now (even though I tend to love...moreI think the reason I love this series so much, is that it's not like other historical novels flooding the market right now (even though I tend to love those as well). There's always a darker edge to these books, and this one was no exception.
I really loved the thread of danger that never quite left, and the love scenes? *fans self* Yum.
Also, this doesn't count towards the rating of this one, but can I just say how excited I am to read the next one?! Gah! Such an evil tease!
A very solid 4/5 Stars, full review to follow. (less)
Princess Katharine of Austrich has always known that she was destine...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.com.
Princess Katharine of Austrich has always known that she was destined to have an arranged, political marriage. Having been seen as nothing more than a commodity by her cold father, she’s always striven for her every action to matter – attending parties brings rich tourists to her country, agreeing to a political marriage cements trade agreements and gives protection to her people, and remaining a virgin to appease the traditional rulers of other countries ensures that she always has a bargaining chip if the original agreement falls through. Cold blooded, true, but Katharine knows that since a female can never rule her country, she must do whatever is necessary to make sure that she can contribute in any way to the well-being of her people.
When her intended husband and his family are killed by insurgents of his country, leaving only the younger son Zahir to rule, Katharine is saddened by the loss but not heartbroken — after all, while she certainly liked Malik, theirs was by no means a love match.
Now several years later, with her father quickly approaching his deathbed and her younger brother too young to ascend the throne, Katharine must approach Malik’s younger brother and convince him to enter into a political marriage with her, or else her beloved country would be placed under the rule of a power-hungry man who would surely destroy everything her family has worked for.
Sheikh Zahir of Hajar is as reclusive as a monarch could ever be — choosing to address his people via radio from the security of his palace walls, and delegating whenever possible. Horribly scarred, both physically and emotionally, by the attack that took the lives of his entire family, Zahir has well earned his reputation as The Beast of Hajar.
When the lovely Katharine first approaches him with the idea of their marriage, Zahir expects her to flee in terror when faced with both his scars and his temper, but the beauty surprises him with both her tenacity and her pleas for him to think of the good of both their countries.
Reluctantly agreeing to a temporary marriage to protect Austrich until Katharine’s brother reaches the age at which he can legally rule, Zahir waits for Katharine to turn from him, but the infuriating woman not only refuses to be intimidated, but insists on trying to break him out of his self-imposed isolation.
Having agreed that their marriage will be a temporary one, both Zahir and Katharine soon discover a blistering attraction that has the power to leave them both burned…
Anyone who knows me already realizes that I am a Maisey Yates fangirl, so I pretty much fell over with joy when this arrived in the mail, and I was so happy to discover that it more than lived up to the hype.
Ms. Yates has such a talent for writing heroes who can be ruthless jerks and yet we readers cheerfully forgive them for their behavior because they’re so beautifully damaged. Zahir was absolutely delicious, even with his physical imperfections, and Katharine proved that even a perfect outer appearance doesn’t always protect one from internal scars.
Perfect for fans of tortured and scarred heroes, arranged marriages, and of finding that sometimes protecting those you care about just means loving them with all your heart.
Expected Release Date: January 1, 2011 Publisher: HarperCollins Imprint: A...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: January 1, 2011 Publisher: HarperCollins Imprint: Avon Author’s Website: http://www.gaelenfoley.com/ My Source for This Book: Netgalley Part of a Series: Yes, Book 4 Series Best Read In Order: Probably but worked okay as a standalone Steam Level: Steamy
While I do think that it would benefit new readers to go back and read the previous installments of the series before attempting this one, I have to say that it worked quite well as a standalone. Just as with any other late installment to a previously established series, there are nuances in the characters’ relationships that new readers miss out on, but everything of importance to this individual story was included.
I have always adored tortured heroes, and Westwood was absolutely delicious. Having survived horrific torture at the hands of his enemies, succumbing to Stockholm Syndrome and caring for one of the men responsible for his torture, and being desperate to protect Emily at all costs, he was so conflicted and under an incredible amount of strain. Add Emily’s impetuous nature to the mix and frankly I’m surprised the poor man’s head didn’t simply explode.
One thing I definitely enjoyed about this book was the fact that it didn’t just focus on Emily and Westwood, but also included quite a bit of face time for characters from previous novels. Even as a newcomer to the series, I never felt lost even with the introduction of characters that old fans would easily recognize, and I loved the uncertainty everyone felt as to whether or not Westwood had indeed turned traitor.
Overall, this was a solid spy caper historical. With plenty of intrigue, betrayal, mystery, and action, the pacing was perfect, and in the end, I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Recommended for fans of thrilling historical spy tales, tortured heroes, and of childhood friends finally admitting they are in love.
Expected Release Date: November 1, 2011 (Available Now!) Publisher: G...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.com.
Expected Release Date: November 1, 2011 (Available Now!) 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 2, Trilogy Series Best Read In Order: Works well as a standalone, but would suggest reading in order Steam Level: Steamy
SPOILER WARNING: This review contains spoilers for the first book in the series, BEG FOR MERCY.
Sean Flynn spent two years on death row for a murder he did not commit -- a murder he was framed for by his own closest friend. Now out of prison, but still suffering daily as a result of his wrongful incarceration, all Sean wants is to find some peace and quiet. The last thing he wants is to have the woman who pushed so hard for his conviction -- Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Krista Slater -- butting back into his life.
Unfortunately for Sean, Krista is determined to follow the trail left behind by the real killer, and to bring down those who had possibly hired him for the brutal murders. Coming up against a wall with the police department and the DA office, she seeks Sean out to see if he can shed light on his former friend's secret lifestyle.
When Krista's investigation draws attention from the wrong people, she's thrown into a world that completely destroys her faith in the system -- one filled with corruption on every level of government and law enforcement, and one where nothing is black and white. Dragged unwillingly into the hornet's nest that Krista has stirred up, Sean focuses on getting them both to safety, but safety may be a pipedream when there's no one left you can trust.
Together, Sean and Krista struggle to stay one step ahead of their pursuers. and to ignore the sizzling attraction blossoming between them.
Sensitive readers should be aware that there is a fairly graphic scene detailing an attempted sexual assault.
I really enjoyed the first book in this series, BEG FOR MERCY, and am very happy to say that I enjoyed this one even more. While Beg For Mercy was more about rebuilding trust between estranged lovers, Hide From Evil was much more focused on the suspense. The mystery element was not quite as strong, as the "villains" of the story were revealed to the reader fairly early on, but the necessary paranoia for Sean and Krista more than made up for it.
In addition, the sexual tension and chemistry between them was absolutely delicious, especially when compounded by their previous bad history together.
Overall, I adored this one. While I do think that this one would work just fine as a standalone, I would still suggest that newcomers still read Beg For Mercy first, simply because it gives a lot of insight to the depths of betrayal that Sean suffered, but also gives quite a bit of insight into his psyche as his execution date approached.
Recommended for fans of damaged yet honorable heroes who have been dragged into danger against their will, of naive heroines battling not only for their lives but also a strong sense of disillusionment, and of realizing that sometimes the deepest betrayals can lead to the happiest endings.
Expected Release Date: September 27, 2011 (Available Now!) Publisher: Har...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: September 27, 2011 (Available Now!) Publisher: Harlequin Imprint: HQN Author’s Website: http://www.victoriadahl.com/ My Source for This Book: Netgalley Part of a Series: Yes, Book 2 Donovan Brothers Brewery Series Best Read In Order: Works well as a standalone Steam Level: Steamy
Olivia Bishop is a 35 year old, straight-laced divorcee who is trying to rebuild her life after she left her cheating scum of a husband, whom she’d already wasted half her life on. Finally vowing to make some new friends and have a good time, she joins some local ladies for a book club meeting at the Donovan Brother’s Brewery, only to realize the point of the club is not to discuss the books, but rather to ogle the local man-candy that is Jamie Donovan.
Sexy, charming, and able to rock a kilt like nobody’s business, Jamie Donovan is a playboy and a screwup — at least, that’s what his family thinks of him. A long history of indulging in his wild streak has blinded them to the fact that Jamie is finally growing up, making it hard for him to prove himself.
Wanting to expand the family brewery to include a small food service with gourmet-quality food that would pair well with the brewery’s designer beer, he decides to take a non-credit class on restaurant development at the local college. When he discovers that the buttoned-up beauty from the book club is actually his new instructor, he finds he’s more than a little hot for teacher. But can he convince Olivia that he’s more than just a party animal looking for a good time?
Overall, this was a very strong entry into the Donovan Brother’s Brewery series, and I adored it. I’m not typically a big fan of “contemporaries”, but as always, Ms. Dahl has managed to not only keep me invested in her characters, but has also made me put down the book with a big fat smile on my face.
Jaime was absolutely wonderful to read about. Having been introduced to him in the first book, GOOD GIRLS DON’T, I was intrigued as to how Ms. Dahl was going to tame the notorious bad-boy and turn him into a worthy hero, but once again she’s proved her skills and managed to do that and more. Knowing that he was a screw-up, and carrying around a horrendous burden of guilt from his childhood, Jaime has been determined to prove to his family that he’s a man instead of a boy, but nothing ever seems to be good enough for his big brother Eric and his sister Tessa.
Watching things reach their breaking point within the family was both heartbreaking and exhilarating, and adding Olivia into the mix was absolute perfection.
Olivia is one of those heroines that you can’t help but sympathize with. She didn’t have some horrible childhood, and certainly had her share of insecurities, but she was determined to reinvent herself. While she did set out to just use Jaime in the beginning, it was plain to see from the very beginning that her plan would not succeed and that she would very quickly fall for him, which is probably why this reader had no problem in forgiving her for some of her more foolish actions.
In the end, this book absolutely meets the high standard of Victoria Dahl’s contemporaries. As I’ve mentioned, I’m not typically a huge fan of contemporary novels in general, but this book, and truly this series as a whole, have definitely earned themselves a place on my highly coveted Keeper Shelf. Her fantastic blend of humor, angst, sensuality, and sweet romance are more than enough to keep you coming back for more.
Highly recommended for fans of reformed playboys, straight-laced heroines finally allowing themselves to let loose, and intricate but beautiful family dynamics, this one earns a very enthusiastic 4.5/5 Stars. (less)
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: 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: 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: 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.eharlequin.com/author.html... My Source for This Book: Amazon.com Part of a Series: No Steam Level: Hot
I’ve read a lot of category romances in my time. One thing that we all love is the ruthless tycoon (or prince or sheikh of course) whose arrogance and physical desire for the heroine makes him run roughshod over her, giving her a taste of incredible passion before reluctantly falling in love. Sometimes there’s amnesia, sometimes there’s blackmail, or even secret babies, but in the end, it’s the arrogance and incredible abilities as a lover that we enjoy reading about. While this does follow the “standard” formula for a HP — virgin heroine is blackmailed into being the mistress of a powerful tycoon, and of course the couple discovers incredible passion together — there are enough deviations from the standard to make this a very refreshing read.
I have to say, this is one of the most enjoyable HP’s that I’ve read, and that’s saying something. There was still deliciously hot UST and lovemaking, and enough of the HP standby’s to appeal to fans of the genre, but Sally’s power in the relationship, and the fact that Zac grovels so wonderfully in the end made all the difference for me. A very cheerful 4/5 Stars(less)
I admit, I enjoyed this one much more than its predecessor, The Vampire Voss. It still had everything love about romance novels, with a much more lika...moreI admit, I enjoyed this one much more than its predecessor, The Vampire Voss. It still had everything love about romance novels, with a much more likable hero.
What worked for me: * As with the first book in the series, I was enthralled by the world of the Dracule, and the history and mythology surrounding the group. It was nice to see a world where vampires really were the result of a bargain with Lucifer, and where good ol' Luc was forever unseen in the background prodding his children to indulge in selfishness and evil.
* I love the circumstances surrounding Dimitri's original deal with Lucifer, and the reason that Lucifer chose him.
* I adored Maia. Staid and ever-so-proper, she hides a much more passionate side that she desperately tries to hide with strict adherence to what is considered to be "proper"
* I admit, I didn't like Narcise in The Vampire Voss, and was not happy to discover that she would be the heroine of the next novel in the series. After reading this book, however, I must say I'm actually interested in reading what comes next.
* The love scenes were quite well done, with the delicious earthiness that I love when it comes to vampire stories, but without an overabundance or unnecessary embellishment that so many stories fall victim to.
What didn't work for me: * I don't care for love triangles in my romance novels
Overall, however, I truly enjoyed this story. While I do think that the series is probably best read in order, I think that Ms. Gleason did a good job of explaining things without a lot of infodump, and therefore it could be read as a standalone.
Expected Release Date: June 28, 2011 Publisher: Harlequin Imprint: Mira Aut...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: June 28, 2011 Publisher: Harlequin Imprint: Mira Author’s Website: http://www.brendanovak.com My Source for This Book: Netgalley Part of a Series: Yes – Bulletproof Book 1 Series Best Read In Order: N/A Steam Level: Steamy
Holy wow. This book was absolutely fantabulous!
Pulse-pounding action, police corruption, a spurned lover, and deadly gangs out for revenge, all paired with a delicious romance make this a novel that can’t be missed. Despite some concerns I might have had with the epilogue, this is hands-down a must-read, and I gladly give it a very solid 5/5 Stars.(less)
**spoiler alert** So after a long long time of having people tell me I HAD to read this book, I saw it was on sale on the Kindle and so I snagged it.
W...more**spoiler alert** So after a long long time of having people tell me I HAD to read this book, I saw it was on sale on the Kindle and so I snagged it.
What worked for me * Tortured hero with lots of scars, a physical disability (that I won't expound on because it's a part of the "twist"), and a really nasty attitude.
*A clumsy, outcast heroine. I loved that she was constantly running into stuff and tripping and falling on her bum :)
*Unrequited love and the angst that goes along with it *dreamy sigh*
*The "twist" about Rodrick's injury, as well as the twist about Leo.
What didn't work for me *The paranormal aspect. Seriously, that was awful. Either make it a "paranormal romance" and have the majority of the plot center around the paranormal aspects, or leave it off. Don't just have a couple things in the story vaguely refer to it and then have the entire resolution revolve around it. I'm not kidding when I say they could've left the Wild Hunt completely out of this story and you wouldn't have missed a danged thing. Blah.
*On the same note as the above point, the boot at the end. Dude never took it off? All I could think was "OMG that's got to be nasty to bathe with" or "does this mean the man never takes a bath??"
*Leo's speech was annoying. Yes, he was three, but the phonetic spelling of his lisp or whatever you want to call it annoyed the pie out of me.
*Harliss. She was so over-the-top that I almost expected her to tie someone up and leave them on a railroad track (despite the fact that the story is set before trains lol). And to top it off, knowing how awful she is, they sent her somewhere they knew there was not only a child but one that our heroine loved as a daughter?! Are you kidding me?!
*Michaela and Julianna become friends in the end?? REALLY?! I just don't see that happening.. She's a total c u next tuesday to Michaela for the whole book, steals the man Michaela is in love with, and then all of a sudden they are buddy buddy? No thank you.
But, even with all that, I say the pros definitely outweighed the cons, and I'm gonna go with a solid 4 Stars :)(less)
**spoiler alert** Ahh I had the most epic review written and my bloody computer decided that NOW was the time to shut down for an automatic update! *g...more**spoiler alert** Ahh I had the most epic review written and my bloody computer decided that NOW was the time to shut down for an automatic update! *grumbles*
The second installment in this series (the first being The Battle Sylph), Shattered Sylph picks up four years after we left off...
I do love me a tortured hero, and let me tell you, Ril is tortured in spades.. He was drawn to this world under the pretext of finding a queen (mate) only to be forced to witness her brutal murder and was subsequently forced into slavery for several years. He only managed to escape madness by falling in love with Lizzy when he watched her being born (now now people, settle down, it's not squicky, I promise!) He always wanted to take her as his queen and lover (not always the same thing mind you) as soon as she was old enough (and, er, after he'd hopefully by then killed her father, who is the man who murdered his queen and was therefore bound to)..
Wellll as you may have figured out by reading the first book, things didn't quite work out that way (hence the spoiler warning lol) -- he was bonded to a different queen, and was able to taste freedom for only a short time before being horribly injured in the epic battle at the end of Battle Sylph, which left him broken, weakened, and unable to change forms or fight without great pain.. This makes him pretty much useless as a battle sylph since it's their purpose in life to, er, battle..
So anyway, physically weakened and feeling generally worthless, he of course doesn't feel he's worthy of Lizzy and backs off from her (disregarding her own feelings on the subject of course)..
Then lo and behold, Lizzy gets herself kidnapped by slavers who wisk her off halfway around the world and sell her into a harem for a buttload of other (enemy) battle sylphs (whom I can't help but picture in my head as some of the creatures from Monsters, Inc., thanks to the fact that my children insist on watching that movie every. single. day. But I digress).
Soooo it's up to Ril, Leon (his "master" to whom he's still bonded since bonding is for life, but has rescinded all orders and set him as free as is possible with a sylph), and this stupid punk kid Justin who's got the hots for Lizzy to go rescue her.
Some readers have complained that what happens to Lizzy is completely unbelievable, in that she manages to escape the worst of what could have potentially happened to her. I say this is Romancelandia and I for one have no problem with setting aside my disbelief and allowing this type of thing... If I wanted to read a story where my heroes and heroines were unable to escape horrific and/or irreversible damage, I'd read a non-fiction story or some chick-lit. As it is, I was glad that things worked out as they did.
My one true regret from this novel was that 89 had to be destroyed. I don't think I've ever, in the history of reading novels, felt so much compassion for a villain -- a rapist and murderer especially! My heart just broke though from the very short glimpse into his mind and reasoning, and I really wish that he'd been somehow incapacitated or whatever and given the chance to bond in the end with the new Queen and maybe have a chance at redemption. I understand why that couldn't happen (and really, the poor guy was crazy as a soup sandwich so it was probably an act of mercy in the end to kill him off), but I'm such a sucker for a tortured hero that I think he was redeemable.
As with the first book in the series, I say any fan of The Princess Bride or Stardust would thoroughly enjoy these novels.
Uber-Solid 5 Stars (and I can't wait for the next one in November)
This was my first Kristen Painter novel, and let me tell you, it won't be my last :)
The premise caught my eye immediately -- who hasn't wished for a g...moreThis was my first Kristen Painter novel, and let me tell you, it won't be my last :)
The premise caught my eye immediately -- who hasn't wished for a genie of sorts to grant three magical changes in our lives? Add to that the fact that the "genie" isn't a genie at all, but is, in fact, a hunka hunka burning Viking and well, I'm fangirling all over that!
One thing that stood out to me the most with this book was the humor. There were definitely serious themes, and possibly even a hint of a parable underneath everything. From Arlik's obsession with Cinnabons and bagels to Calleigh's tendency to oggle his behind, this book had me grinning the whole time, even through the angst.
I'm not sure if this is marketed as a YA or Adult novel, but it definitely had a YA feel to it. For once though, that's not a bad thing :) I was in the mood for an easy, lighthearted read after some of the heavier stories I've picked up lately, and this novel fit the bill perfectly.
Even better? At less than $4 for the Kindle edition, you really can't beat the price :)
4 1/2 (minus the 1/2 because dangit I wanted Calleigh to get some lol)(less)
I'm not sure if this book was part of a series or not, but I got the distinct feeling that there was a lot of back-story for the other members of the...moreI'm not sure if this book was part of a series or not, but I got the distinct feeling that there was a lot of back-story for the other members of the family that I missed out on.
It was a sweet story, and if you can get past the fated-to-be-mated aspect in a non-paranormal romance, it's not bad..
There were a lot of lulls in the action though, and there were times when I wished they'd just shut up and do something, even if it was just make a pot of tea.
Overall a decent read though, so a solid 3 Stars.(less)