Expected Release Date: May 4, 2012 Publisher: Intrepid Reads Imprint: N/A A...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: May 4, 2012 Publisher: Intrepid Reads Imprint: N/A Author’s Website: http://www.darcyburke.com/ My Source for This Book: Amazon.com Part of a Series: Yes, Book 1, Secrets & Scandals Series Series Best Read In Order: N/A Steam Level: Steamy Pet Peeves: Overly Stubborn Heroine Favorite Tropes: Thief, Hero In Pursuit
I never expected to enjoy a book with such an unlikable heroine, but enjoy it I did. With a Robin Hood styled hero, and a heroine who ended up surprising more than just myself with the changes she made, thrown in with a dash of adventure and a pinch of heat, it was a great way to pass the day.
My biggest issue with the story was, I suppose, the pacing. While I understood why the book didn’t end about three-quarters of the way through, it almost felt as though it should have, with Miranda’s further refusal to marry Fox feeling unnecessarily hurtful rather than adding tension to the story.
In the end, this left me with a bit of a sour feeling as the book ended, and as such, pulled down the final rating a bit.
Overall, however, it was an enjoyable read, recommended for fans of reckless heroines, unexpectedly dashing heroes, and a surprising amount of adventure.
I guess I'm more of a prude than I realized, because this book and I got off to a bad start when the very first scene involved the hero and heroine me...moreI guess I'm more of a prude than I realized, because this book and I got off to a bad start when the very first scene involved the hero and heroine meeting for the first time, and her promptly (and cheerfully) surrendering her virginity to him.
It rather went downhill from there, with several Too Stupid To Live moments, a hero and heroine who BOTH really deserved to be horsewhipped on occasion, and quite a bit of utter ridiculous behavior from people who were supposedly in the upper echelon of society.
Don't get me wrong, it was delightfully steamy, with plenty of naughty romps, but in the end, that wasn't enough to save me from characters that I wanted to throttle for more than half of the book.
Expected Release Date: January 21, 2013 Publisher: Entangled Publishing Im...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: January 21, 2013 Publisher: Entangled Publishing Imprint: Scandalous Author’s Website: http://www.authormichellemclean.com/ My Source for This Book: Netgalley Part of a Series: No Series Best Read In Order: N/A Steam Level: Chaste Pet Peeves: Too Stupid To Live Moment(s), Love Triangle Favorite Tropes: Clumsy Heroine, Physically Imperfect or Scarred, Serious Illness or Injury
Though I can’t deny that the book was highly entertaining overall, my final rating would have been higher had it not been for an incredibly too stupid to live moment on the heroine’s part that resulted in a majorly tragic disaster towards the end.
That said, even with the fact that a major event in the end left a sour taste in my mouth, this book was, quite simply, fun. I think partly due to the fact that this was a “sweet” romance, with nothing more than a few kisses and a bit of wandering hands, the main focus was on the escapades of Min and Bryant as they planned and plotted both with and against each other in search for the necklace. It was quite an adventure, when all was said and done, and despite having several of my pet peeves, I still enjoyed it.
Recommended for fans of clumsy heroines whose plans often outshine their abilities, of heroes with tarnished pasts yet golden hearts, and of tons of mischievous adventure, sprinkled with a good dose of chemistry and seasoned with a dash of good old-fashioned romance.
This is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic. I’ve had my eye on this series ever since I got to read a snippet of th...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic. I’ve had my eye on this series ever since I got to read a snippet of the forthcoming first book in the series, Caged Warrior, due out in June of this year, and so I snapped up this novella as soon as I had the chance.
Dark and unapologetically gritty, this story was full of pulse-pounding action, and earthy heat that keeps you begging for more.
I loved that the heroine was a true warrior — she isn’t one of those supposedly “strong” heroines who suddenly turns weak and dependent on a hero halfway through the story. Instead, she lives up to her reputation as a fearsome warrior, and gives our hero, Hark, a real run for his money.
While I’m never one for a whirl-wind romance, and I didn’t care for the fact that the ending was more of a Happy For Now than a Happily Ever After, there was no denying that the courtship between these two, and the ending of the story simply fit with these two characters and the world that they lived in.
There was also one of, if not the most romantic scenes ever, despite the blood and brutality involved.
Overall, this was one of my favorite stories in the anthology. While I was disappointed that it included forced nudity, Cornelia’s character more than made up for it. The tension between Cornelia and Roderick was delicious, as was the love/hate relationship that began to develop almost immediately. This was my second-favorite story in the anthology.
Expected Release Date: December 5, 2011 (Available Now) Publisher: Harleq...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: December 5, 2011 (Available Now) Publisher: Harlequin Imprint: Carina Press My Source for This Book: Netgalley Official Blurb:
Changed forever after tragedy, a woman must draw strength from her husband’s love. A man learns that love isn’t always what you expect. A thief steals the heart of a vengeful professor. And an American inventor finds love Down Under. Enjoy Victorian Christmas with a clockwork twist in these four steampunk novellas.
Stories also available for purchase separately from Carina Press.
Overall, this was an incredible winter anthology, and I adored every single story. It’s not often that I read an anthology where each story can stand so well on its own, but I would have gladly purchased each story individually, and never regretted it for a moment.
The only “downside” really is that there was no clearly overwhelming “Christmas” theme to any of them. For me, this worked out beautifully, because I was unable to read it before the holiday, and instead simply enjoyed it as an outstanding “winter” collection.
This was hands down,the best in the series. Yes, that's a bold statement, but I fully stand by it -- review to follow on the release date. In the mean...moreThis was hands down,the best in the series. Yes, that's a bold statement, but I fully stand by it -- review to follow on the release date. In the meantime, go read the first two so that you won't be lost when you snag this one ;)
(Stories Individually Rated and Reviewed on The Romanceaholic)
Six bite-size stories for under $2? You really can’t beat that, and this anthology is perfect when you need a quick pick-me-up but don’t have time to sit down to a full-length novel. The best thing about this anthology, however, is that there’s something for everyone, with both contemporary and historical stories, and even one with a possible hint of the paranormal.(less)
Expected Release Date: May 3, 2011 (Available Now!) Publisher: Penguin Group Imprint: Berkley Sensation Author’s Website: http://www.theaharrison.com/ My Source for This Book: Gift from a friend (RAOK) Part of a Series: Yes, Book 1, Elder Races Series Best Read In Order: N/A Steam Level: Hot
I was lucky enough that a very generous blogger, Rose-May, gifted me this book through the Random Acts of Kindness (RAOK) a month or two ago. I finally had the chance to read something outside of my regular obligations to publishers, and I am so happy that I did.
Pia was absolutely wonderful. While she was “average” enough that I as a reader could identify with her, she was also fantastic enough to be a suitable mate for a dragon who was quite literally as old as time. As the daughter of a very powerful wyr (shapeshifter), Pia had been taught at an early age to keep her identity and her Power a secret. A slight misstep in trusting someone who was undeserving of that trust caused her entire world to tumble out of control.
Blackmailed into stealing from the terrifyingly powerful Dragos, Pia attempted to minimize the damage by replacing the stolen item with something that she felt was of equal value, but of course, Dragos saw only the insult of the initial theft.
Dragos was delicious. Incredibly alpha-male, he cannot let the insult of the theft go without punishment, and yet when he confronts Pia, he is baffled by the emotions she elicits in him. While this was not a “fated to be mated” story in the strictest sense of the term, fans of that trope will be thrilled to recognize the intensity in Dragos’ attraction, possessiveness, and jealousy in regards to Pia.
The sexual tension is so thick that you can literally feel it while reading, and there are just enough “close encounters” to really whet your appetite before the “main event”.
While I was a little put off by the cheese factor in Pia’s true identity, the intensity of the bond between her and Dragos more than made up for any eye-rolling that I might have done during her transformation.
I for one adore a good chest-thumping alpha-male, and so Dragos has quickly become a favorite hero of mine. The intensity of his mating with Pia was delightful, and while some readers might be a bit put out by the intensity of his possessiveness and jealousy, the cave-man primal intensity with shape-shifting males is one of the reasons I read Paranormal Romances, so for me, this was practically literary Mecca.
Recommended for fans of an intriguing paranormal universe, intensely alpha males, and primal mating instincts, all liberally doused with plenty of incredibly unresolved sexual tension.
Expected Release Date: Available Now! Publisher: Carina Press Author’s Web...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: Available Now! Publisher: Carina Press Author’s Website: http://www.christine-bell.com/ My Source for This Book: Netgalley Part of a Series: No Steam Level: Steamy
When her brother, Bacon, loses his Time Travel Mechanism to the Loony Duke of Leister in a card game, Stormy has to go back in time to retrieve it. Masquerading as a gypsy fortune teller with the intent of conning the Duke out of the TTM and then escaping back to 2010, she is completely unprepared for the Duke's intensity, sharp intelligence, and incredible looks. When he turns the tables on her, his reasoning blindsides her and forces her to rethink her entire life.
While I felt that the relationship moved a bit too quickly, I throughly enjoyed the banter passed between Leister and Stormy, and their delicious altercation later at his home.
While I wish that it had been a little longer in order to more fully explore some of the technology, or to perhaps allow Leister and Stormy more personal time *wink wink nudge nudge*, I must say that this was a delightfully fun, fast-paced romp that I simply couldn't put down.
Perfect for fans of sci-fi/time travel stories who need a quick, entertaining read, I say 4/5 Stars(less)
Expected Release Date: Available Now! Publisher: Liquid Silver Books Autho...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: Available Now! Publisher: Liquid Silver Books Author’s Website: http://www.summerdevon.com My Source for This Book: Liquidsilverbooks.com Part of a Series: No Steam Level: Hot
It isn’t often that I’ve come across a historical romance that involves both mental health issues and drug addiction, so when I read the blurb, and took a peek at the preview available on Liquid Silver’s website, I knew I had to snatch this one up.
One thing that’s always interested me is the various treatments for mental disorder, or “madness”, over the course of the years. I’ve especially been intrigued by the concept of sane people being deemed crazy and subjected to the same indignities and loss of freedom as those who are truly ill.
Despite the horrible treatment of Nathaniel, he was still treated remarkably well for someone who was being pawned off as being “mad”. He was well fed, allowed to bathe regularly, and kept in a fairly comfortable room. Granted, he was a prisoner, and was being drugged with powerful opiates that allowed his captors to maintain the illusion of his mental illness, so it makes sense that his mysterious captors wanted to keep him in fairly good condition.
Florrie was adorable. Desperate to be a “lady”, she had an awful predilection towards danger and adventure, which eventually led to her initial meeting of Nathaniel, when she quite literally stumbled upon him after breaking into his uncle’s house to retrieve a dagger belonging to her deceased father.
With the exception of the issue that Nathaniel and Florrie faced at the end of the novel, I thought that the pacing was absolutely perfect. Despite the scorching attraction and passion that they found together, both Nathaniel and Florrie rather danced around each other for a long time, yet I never had that “fish-or-cut-bait” feeling that is so common in romances today.
Having never read anything by this author, I wasn’t sure what to expect. However, I was very pleased to discover that not only did I enjoy the story line itself, but that the love scenes were fantastic and the writing itself was beautifully done. Overall, I adored it, and not only will The Mad Baron be lodged firmly on my keeper shelf, but I will also definitely be reading more of this author in the future. A deliciously solid 5/5 Stars(less)
Expected Release Date: April 25, 2011 Publisher: Hachette Book Group Impri...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: April 25, 2011 Publisher: Hachette Book Group Imprint: Grand Central Publishing Author’s Website: http://www.sherrilynkenyon.com My Source for This Book: Netgalley Part of a Series: Yes, Book 5, The League Series Series Best Read In Order: Yes Steam Level: Steamy
When I saw that Netgalley had a copy of Born of Shadows up for grab, I literally squeed. Loudly :D
I’ve read almost all of Sherrilyn Kenyon’s novels, and I’m a huge fangirl. While that doesn’t make me blind to the faults of the novel, I wasn’t disappointed.
Born of Shadows is classic Kenyon. Both Caillen and Desideria had pretty lousy childhoods, and both have been betrayed over and over during their lives, making it hard for them to trust anyone.
Caillen has been a favorite of mine ever since he was introduced into the series. Unashamedly a thief and a smuggler who lives by the seat of his pants, Caillen has always appealed to the Hans Solo fan in me. He’s a rogue and a scoundrel, and an unrepentant womanizer to boot, yet he’s also incredibly intelligent and resourceful, and intensely loyal to those few that he counts as family.
Desideria is a warrior princess from a matriarchal world where every honor must be earned, including that of being recognized as an adult. At 26 years old, she’s still completely innocent as far as interactions with the opposite sex, since in her culture, a female must have earned her adult status and have proved herself for a year before being allowed to fight for a consort. Thankfully, however, she didn’t come across as one of those ignorant virgins who freaks out at the slightest hint of physical desire, so there was none of that “OMG what’s happening?!” reaction to any of Caillen’s touches, which was refreshing.
While I do think that new readers would benefit from reading the entire League series before nabbing Born of Shadows, it’s been long enough since I’ve read the last one that I feel confident that those unfamiliar with the series wouldn’t be completely lost. As a previous reader, it was nice to get a few snippets of some of my favorite past characters, including Syn and Nykerian as well as Caillen’s sisters.
There were one or two instances where I was forced to pause for a moment and re-read as I had forgotten that certain technology existed in this world (such as teleporting), so that sort of thing may be a slight jolt for new readers as well. Overall, I have to say I think it would work fine as a standalone, though as with any series, it is important to read all of the novels to fully appreciate all of the characters and their relationships.
Despite my disappointment with some of the plot twists, I thoroughly enjoyed this story. Crappy childhoods, messed-up families, loads of backstabbing, tons of chemistry and plenty of twists make this a story that should appeal to any Kenyon fan. 4/5 Stars (less)
Two things that I should probably start my review with in the interest of full disclosure: First, I'm a total Kristen Painter fangirl, and second, tha...moreTwo things that I should probably start my review with in the interest of full disclosure: First, I'm a total Kristen Painter fangirl, and second, that I received this ARC at no cost to me from the author herself.
Now that that's out of the way, I get to gush about the story ;)
Pandora Bramble is a bit of a wallflower. With her "average" looks (in her mind, at least)and above-average intelligence (and skill with mechanics), coupled with the fact that her best friend is an über-gorgeous flirt with a sizable dowry to match, she always finds herself being ignored by the men she encounters. This suits her just fine, however, because while she has no true desire to die a spinster working in her father's shop, she feels as though she'd have to give up everything that matters to her in order to make a "suitable" match.
Pandora's father is a brilliant inventor whose prize design was stolen years ago by the Company. Her mother ran off when she was young to be the mistress to a rich merchant, leaving Pandora and her father to fend for themselves, and in the end, all this translates to Pandora taking care of her alcoholic, debt-ridden gambler of a father and running his shop almost entirely on her own. It also deeply affects Pandora's feelings of self-worth and her view of herself.
Captain Theolonius Hatch is a Company man through and through, who is tired of vapid women who are mainly attracted to his uniform. He finds Pandora's intelligence incredibly refreshing, even if he does tend to underestimate her in the beginning because of her gender, and sees beyond the plain dresses and no-nonsense manner to see the captivating, intelligent woman that she is.
What worked for me: * Y'all all know I'm a sucker for an intelligent heroine :) Pandora is more at home in an engine room than a ballroom, and is often under-appreciated and underestimated simply because she is a woman.
* The angst is lovely, since Pandora's on a "secret mission" of sorts, and yet finds herself falling for the very man she knows she must betray to save her family.
* I also thoroughly enjoyed how despite her low self-esteem, our handsome Captain Hatch feels he is not good enough for her and is insecure as to how to secure her affections without scaring her off :D
* I liked the chemistry between the H/h and even though the sensuality level was relatively low compared to a lot of romance novels (and the only real "love scene" being fade-to-black), their romance and the rapid progression of their relationship felt real.
What didn't work for me: * I admit, this seemed more of a straightforward historical/regency romance than a steampunk. The Leviathan could've easily been a regular sea ship rather than an airship, and the marquees and sentinels and gadgetry in Pandora's shop seemed more set dressing than a part of deeper world-building. Kristen Painter is a master at world-building (as evidenced in Heart Of Fire), so don't for a second think that this is due to anything more than the constraints set by the length of the story -- in a novella there simply isn't time to dwell on all the minute details that make up any sort of fantasy world, be it steampunk or the realm of the fae. Unfortunately, I think this might turn off some fans who pick this up solely for the steampunk aspect, as I almost feel as though we were barely dipping our toes into the world around them, and a lot of the steampunk aspects ended up as mainly garnish rather than an intricate part of the plot.
* Again due to the length, the romance aspect seemed a tiny bit rushed. This is a really minor point for me, because I personally adore "Love At First Sight" stories (especially when there's a twist of fate that comes between the lovers, such as the Company's theft of Mr. Bramble's valve and Pandora's subsequent mission to prove their theft and restore her family's wealth). I only mention it because I know some readers can be put off by a true whirlwind courtship (though, honestly, how many novellas do you read where they're not at least a tiny bit of a whirlwind lol Nature of the beast I think).
Overall, I was quite pleased with this story. It was angsty enough to be entertaining without being depressing, and watching Pandora flourish under Theo's attentions was quite enjoyable :)
Kristen Painter is hands down one of my favorite indie authors, and really folks, when even a Big Mac runs around $3 these days, you should skip the fast food and buy yourself several hours of enjoyment in this sweet romance instead (and save yourself some indigestion to boot lol)