I do love a good space opera, and throw in a "Mercy Ship" (ie a floating brothel), a tortured hero, and a heroine with a strong dislike of prostitutioI do love a good space opera, and throw in a "Mercy Ship" (ie a floating brothel), a tortured hero, and a heroine with a strong dislike of prostitution, and I was instantly hooked.
This story features a fairly large cast of characters, each well-rounded with their own personalities and histories, and the camaraderie between the crew of the Bonnie Bell is what really sold it to me.
There were a few pacing issues, as well as not one but two Big Misunderstandings that made me want to shake everyone involved, but overall, it was a very enjoyable read, and I am interested to see where the rest of the series goes.
Both Az and Lilli need to be smacked, but other than that it was a good story. I'll wrote more when I'm not on my Kindle, but right now I'm between aBoth Az and Lilli need to be smacked, but other than that it was a good story. I'll wrote more when I'm not on my Kindle, but right now I'm between a 3.5 and a 4/5
This steamy little novella was exactly what I was looking for when I went browsing for a quick bite to read.
With some of my favorite tropes -- fated tThis steamy little novella was exactly what I was looking for when I went browsing for a quick bite to read.
With some of my favorite tropes -- fated to be mated as well as enemies to lovers -- I of course loved the instant attraction and heat between Lauren and Max.
Some readers may be a little put off by the lack of character development, especially for those outside of our main couple, but honestly, I think most readers will be able to simply enjoy this tasty, sexy novella as it was intended.
Having come to this series without having read the first installment, I can say that this one easily stood well on its own, with both of our protagonists getting just as much history as was needed before jumping straight into their attraction for one another.
There's also a touch of action that I enjoyed, though personally I thought that plot line was tied up a bit too neatly a bit too early.
Overall, though, this was an enjoyable way to pass the time on a chilly evening, and I'd be interested in reading more from Ms. Stuart.
Lawd have mercy, I love this series so much. I've tried to make this review as spoiler-free as possible, because I don't want to ruin it for anyone, sLawd have mercy, I love this series so much. I've tried to make this review as spoiler-free as possible, because I don't want to ruin it for anyone, so please forgive me if this is shorter than usual.
Even though Kit is far from "over" her experience from a previous book that left her damaged, she's made long strides in her recovery, and we finally get some progression with her relationship with Damon. And by progression, I of course mean that those of us on Team Damon will be cheering loudly by some of the things that happen.
I also loved Justin, though admittedly his sense of timing could be better in regards to some things, and I sincerely hope that he gets his own spin-off series some day. Our favorite Bad Boy Warrior Witch holds nothing back in this installment, and really took this as his time to shine.
Fans of the series are going to be thrilled with the progress that Kit has made, both on a personal level and in her relationships, and hallelujah there is finally steam in the series again. There's also the trademark action that we've come to expect from this author, and some truly beautiful twists in the plot that left me reeling.
The ending, oh, the ending. There's a major revelation at the end of the book, leaving it in somewhat of a cliffhanger, and as if I weren't already anxious for the next book, I'm now dying to see where the author is going with this.
As a side note, though, am I the only one hoping that we get a side story, perhaps a novella, that focuses on Chang? Pretty please? *dreamy sigh*
In the end though, this book was (thankfully) exactly what I expected -- an amazing entry into one of my favorite series, and one that left me whining when I turned the final page simply because I wasn't yet ready for it to end.
There's not much I enjoy more than a good revenge romance, and this one has all of the good points. Estranged lovers, TONS of angst, plenty of chemistThere's not much I enjoy more than a good revenge romance, and this one has all of the good points. Estranged lovers, TONS of angst, plenty of chemistry, and some delicious groveling. There were a few rather predictable plot points, but then again why read a Harlequin Presents if not for some of the predictable plot points? A solid 4/5, full review to follow closer to publication....more
I picked this one up purely because I saw it up for honors on the Goodreads Reader Choice Awards and I'd never even heard of it or the author.
I wasn'tI picked this one up purely because I saw it up for honors on the Goodreads Reader Choice Awards and I'd never even heard of it or the author.
I wasn't quite sure of it when I first read the description, because while I do love a good pretend-relationship story, I don't tend to go for the "gay for him" type of stories.. That said, I knew it couldn't be up for one of the top romances of the year if it wasn't something special, so I figured I'd give it a shot, and I'm glad that I did.
Great chemistry, believable bisexuality in our previously "hetero" hero, realistic tension and drama stemming from something other than the trials of Coming Out Of The Closet..
Honestly, the only thing I didn't care for was Noah's overblown bitchy comic relief. He annoyed me to no end and I wanted to slap the snot out him with an overpriced leopard print Manolo Blahnik.
Overall, though, it was a really solid romance, and highly recommended for anyone looking for a steamy, believable m/m contemporary.
This book, nay, this entire series, has been such a roller coaster thus far, and I for one love it.
I take notes as I read so that when it comes time tThis book, nay, this entire series, has been such a roller coaster thus far, and I for one love it.
I take notes as I read so that when it comes time to write these reviews, I’ll (hopefully) be able to form somewhat coherent sentences. Yet, when I glance over my notes for this installment, I find that it’s mostly filled with expletives, excited exclamation points, quite a bit of angry underlining, and, well, even more colorful expletives. That, in turn, pretty much sums up my feelings in reading this book.
I will attempt to distill my wildly flailing emotions over this story into something readable, while still refraining from giving away too much in the way of actual storyline.
Here we go.
We open the story to find Cherry still dried out from her laudanum addiction thanks to her guardian turned tutor turned friend, Lord Ashmore. Unfortunately for her, this means she’s still not quite at her physical peak, nor does she have the opium to give her the false courage and bravado she’s relied on since she began her reckless career as a Collector.
Hawke is still help prisoner at the Menagerie, but the real question remains as always — is he a prisoner of the Veil because they truly have control over him, or because he chooses to remain under their thumb for reasons that are his own?
Cherry has a lot of amends to make — Communion, Zylphia, the younger Lord Compton, and even her old servants may have been marked by the Veil for her previous antics, and it is yet unknown as to which ones may prove to be allies and which ones may have decided that their own hides are more valuable than whatever previous loyalty they may have felt towards Cherry.
We very quickly find a familiar and terrifying face from Cherry’s past has become a major player in the Menagerie, and the Veil itself has expanded its territory with the help of the Ferrymen. Not only that, but their horrifying experiments on the people under their rule have created a new breed of fighter to do their dirty work.
With Cherry’s fall from grace both from society and from her position as Collector, she finds herself in a sort of a no man’s land, unable to move as freely as she used to, with none of the easy welcome she’s accustomed to either above or below London’s fog.
Hawke’s horrifying behavior the last time we saw him left Cherry hurt and confused, and, stubborn as ever, she’s still continuing to refuse to heed the warnings from coming from practically everyone involved with the situation, nor has she yet taken to heart Ashmore’s lessons on learning to walk before you run in regards to her newfound knowledge of alchemy.
I find that that’s all I can really say without giving away spoilers. Everything else that I had angrily underlined or followed by multiple exclamation points gave away a major plot point. I will say, however, that this was one hell of a ride, full of action, adventure, and emotional turmoil, and the very last thing in my notebook was yet another very colorful expletive, followed by several exclamation points. Infer from that what you will.
A very solid 5/5 Stars and I cannot WAIT to get my greedy little hands on the next (and I think final?) installment....more
Only thing I wasn't keen on was the whole bit where it seems priests have sex with other peopleF*CK yes.
Now I want to go read the rest of the series.
Only thing I wasn't keen on was the whole bit where it seems priests have sex with other people as part of their priestly duties (my own personal hangup, oh well), but that wasn't dwelled upon, and was probably explained in earlier books.
Some readers may be a bit bothered by the fact the protagonists are "underage" for most of the book, but in their world, it obviously wasn't an issue, so it wasn't an issue for me either.
Though I did figure out the main “twist” very early on, I did enjoy the runaround Mr. Lanyon gave us on that point. Even though theWhat Worked For Me:
Though I did figure out the main “twist” very early on, I did enjoy the runaround Mr. Lanyon gave us on that point. Even though the chemistry wasn’t quite up to par for what I’m used to from this author, I did enjoy the back and forth between Griff and Pierce, and the angst that resulted from several of the scenes. What Didn’t Work For Me:
The book got off to a much slower start than I’m used to for this author’s books. Though the reasoning behind this became apparent later on, I solved the mystery — well, both mysteries, actually — rather early on, which was rather disappointing. One of the things that I usually enjoy so much about Josh Lanyon books is the mysteries, but this one fell flat. Unfortunately, the romance, too, fell rather flat to me. There’s usually such lovely chemistry between the protagonists in Josh Lanyon novels, and the one things I can look forward to is the angst between them being complemented by this chemistry. This just wasn’t the case in this book. Don’t get me wrong, we still get the angst, and there’s still the asshat of a love interest for our main character, but I never really felt the chemistry between them. Honestly, this wasn’t what I’ve come to expect from Josh Lanyon. I’ve been a big fan of his for many years, and was so excited when I saw this book available that I jumped at the chance to read and review it. Unfortunately though, it fell a bit flat for me, both in the romance aspect and in the mystery.
It still had the trademark angst and a lovely amount of tension between our heroes, and as always, he does write an enemies to lovers story oh so well.
For me, though, while I love the romance aspect of the story, I crave a strong mystery to go with it, and in this particular case, I simply wasn’t feeling it.
Overall, it wasn’t a terrible way to pass the day, but I think I’ve come to set the bar a bit high when it comes to Josh Lanyon, and unfortunately this one simply didn’t feel like it hit the standard he’s set in the past.
I'm not a hundred percent certain how I felt about this book. On one hand, I love the series, I loved the characters, and the chemistry was delightfulI'm not a hundred percent certain how I felt about this book. On one hand, I love the series, I loved the characters, and the chemistry was delightful. On the other, the whole supernatural element that came into play with the curse fell a bit flat for me, not due to the writing, but because I'm simply not in the mood for paranormal romance, even when the "paranormal" elements are so light.
This book was a wonderful blend of actions and angst, and a perfect addition to the St. Croix series.
It’s been a long time coming, but Cherry’s addictThis book was a wonderful blend of actions and angst, and a perfect addition to the St. Croix series.
It’s been a long time coming, but Cherry’s addiction to opium finally brought her to rock bottom in the last book, and the painful journey towards recovery wasn’t always easy to witness, but really brought out another side of her character. The title itself is perfect, because to temper steel — that is, make it stronger — you have to heat it and cool it to extremes, and that’s exactly what happens to Cherry in this book. She’s knocked down, raised high, and forged into something stronger than she was before.
Honestly the only thing I didn’t really care for about this book was that Cherry has sex with someone who is not her Happily Ever After. I know, I know, that sounds awful, and to make it even worse (or better?), it was hot. I just prefer that when reading romance, when a couple has sex (especially hot, angry sex — guh!), it’s because they’re going to end up together. Not judging or anything, it’s just a personal preference of mine. That said, I’m actually kind of relieved that things worked out the way they did, because I’m greatly looking forward to the next book.
I did figure out the “twist” fairly early, as one of the very first questions that popped into my head when reading the first chapter was actually one that answered by the revelation of the twist towards the end. Even though I rather suspected it early on, I have to say that the reveal was still wonderfully, shockingly done.
I also really enjoyed that “magic” aka alchemy comes to play a larger part in this story. We’ve had hints and teasings, but this is the first time that Cherry has actually embraced alchemy and the mysticism that comes along with it, with fantastic results.
In the end, this is probably my favorite book of the series. Though I was (and to a point, still am) a little bothered by Cherry using no-strings-attached hot sex to distract herself from the other major issues that she was experiencing, the action and emotional turmoil in this story made it an incredibly enjoyable read (and did I mention the really hot, angry sex? Yum!)
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.
I’ve long been a fan of forbidden romance, and though this had hints of a love triangle (which is not my usual fare), I thoroughly enjoyed the angst cI’ve long been a fan of forbidden romance, and though this had hints of a love triangle (which is not my usual fare), I thoroughly enjoyed the angst caused by the fact that Aileen was a “fallen woman” and Blake was so determined to be proper and never cause a scandal due to his illegitimate status.
That’s not to mention the instant dislike/lust that they both found themselves in from the start, and the chemistry between them was delicious.
One thing that really stood out about this story for me was my discovery of just how much I dislike “time jumps”. You know, the ones where it’s “a week passed by…” type of thing? It led to far too much “telling” and not enough actually experiencing things through the eyes of the characters. While I understood the necessity of it, it still left a bad taste in my mouth.
That said, however, I enjoyed the unconventional (divorced) heroine, the forbidden romance, and the honorable-to-a-fault hero. The Aileen’s sister made me want to murder her on more than one occasion, and I can’t wait to read her story in the next installment of the series and see if another man does a better job of taming her.
There was another aspect of the story that I absolutely adored, though I fear that including it would be a spoiler, so I must only hint at it — the presence and storyline of Tara’s former love, Raury. I was very leery of reading it when the story began, but I was very pleased with the outcome.
Overall, this was a very enjoyable read — one that surprised me on many levels, and I will be following this series as it continues.
As a fan of the first book of the series, I was a little taken aback wheThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
As a fan of the first book of the series, I was a little taken aback when the story began in a much different manner than the previous one. It wasn’t long, however, before I settled comfortably back into the world Ms. Altenburg has created. I found myself once again drawn in by the intriguing concept of a futuristic world that operates much like the Old West, due to the presence (and then sudden absence) of Immortals who wrought havoc on the lives of the mortals living within their boundaries, as well as the inner struggles of the characters as they learn to move past previous prejudices and fears in order to trust, and later, love.
We’re immediately thrust into the outer edges of the world as man knows it, where women are seen as property, and powerful and corrupt men take every opportunity to abuse their power. Raven, having physically defended herself against the unwanted sexual advances of her evil step-father, Justice, is about to be burned at the stake as a “test” to prove to the villagers that she is in fact demon-spawn — if she burns, she’s innocent. Blade, an outsider who once was an assassin for the Goddesses before they abandoned this realm, is traveling through her village, and thinks only to end her suffering by offering her a swift and merciful death.
The situation quickly spirals into something neither could have expected, and they form an uneasy alliance; Blade with his distrust of anyone associated with demon-kind due to both his own history as an assassin, and his horrific experience of being partially eaten alive during a demon attack years prior, and Raven with her fear of her own demon allure and her determination to avenge both her mother’s death and her own abuse at the hands of Justice.
Overall, I loved it. There was plenty of action, both for the lovers and fighters of the world, and the world that Ms. Altenburg has created continues to capture the imagination. I do think that this one stands fairly well on its own without having read the first book, but I do suggest reading them in order simply because I enjoyed both books equally.
Recommended for fans of reluctant heroes, alluring heroines, and of finding justice on one’s own terms.
Expected Release Date: September 3, 2013 Publisher: Macmillan Imprint: St.This is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: September 3, 2013 Publisher: Macmillan Imprint: St. Martin’s Press Author’s Website: http://sherrilynkenyon.com My Source for This Book: Amazon Part of a Series: Yes, Book 23, Dark-Hunter Series Series Best Read In Order: Yes Steam Level: Steamy Pet Peeves: Torture Porn Favorite Tropes: Physically Imperfect or Scarred
Despite my discomfort and disgust at not only the explicit details of Styxx’s ordeals but also the sheer volume of incidents (which in the end cost the book a half-star in the rating), I still found myself thoroughly enjoying this one, which I admit, surprised me. I was very hesitant to even read this, because of my experience with the author’s penchant for torture porn as well as my relative dislike of the last two novels in the Dark-Hunter series.
I always have a problem rating the newer Sherrilyn Kenyon books because to me, they very often cross the line of creating a sympathetic, tortured protagonist (usually the hero) and instead fall firmly into the realm of torture porn, which is just not my thing.
I ran into this in Born of Silence (the League Series), in Acheron, and again in this book.
While all of the Very Bad Things that happen to Styxx as a youth do indeed make him a sympathetic character, I think it also does him the disservice of making him fairly unbelievable in the idea that he could still be humble and selfless to the point that he should be nominated for Sainthood.
Though I tried to take the forward from the author to heart, where she says (I paraphrase) that sometimes horrible things happening to someone can make them a horrible person, so can it instead make their inner strength and goodness shine. To me, though, so much happened to Styxx that it simply made it very difficult for me to believe that his Inner Good Guy would have survived.
That said, I have to say that Bethany was the perfect counter-balance to all of the very explicit horrible things that Styxx was put through.
I think that (view spoiler)[having Bethany and Styxx meet and fall in love in his relative youth, rather than making having him meet her and falling in love thousands of years after the abuse that he went through (hide spoiler)] made it much more believable that he would have had the inner strength to get through everything he was subjected to.
(view spoiler)[I was, however, very thankful that Ms. Kenyon found a way around Bethany being reincarnated. (hide spoiler)] That’s a trope I struggled with in an earlier book from this series, and was thrilled that it wasn’t an issue in this one.
As a bit of a side note, I would not recommend this book to those not already familiar with the series. I think it would be okay for those who had for whatever reason skipped Acheron, but once the book reached modern times, it moves very quickly with a lot of characters and events that you really need to be familiar with beforehand, else you could easily become hopelessly lost.
That said, for any fan of the original Dark-Hunter series, and definitely for fans of Acheron, I can say with all confidence that this is a must-read.
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