This one grabbed me by the throat in the prologue. You heard me. The prologue. Never have I ever been a big fan of a prologue, but this one just shoveThis one grabbed me by the throat in the prologue. You heard me. The prologue. Never have I ever been a big fan of a prologue, but this one just shoved me into the middle of a do or die scene filled with so MUCH SHOWING. I had no idea who this guy who was running full out was, or what he was running towards, but I knew I desperately wanted him to get there.
So between the smokin' hot cover and out of the gate sort of prologue I was ready to go. I settled into my seat ready for a new favorite.
Did it hit favorite status? Not quite, but through no fault of anything beside feeling bogged down by the back and forth play of historical upheaval in a time period that I wasn't all that aware of. I didn't feel the immediacy of the drama, because I was having a hard time following who was rooting for what team.
But the pain of the shitty situation Nora was in was played beautifully. This could not be an easy romance, nor should it have been. Nora and Adrian were neighbor children who fell for each other, but his catholic faith and her duties and everyone lying to them both forced them apart. They spent years ignoring each other in London, all the while staring in secret at the other, dying of longing and damn, is that not the best? But everything starts on the night that Adrian's team comes upon her house ready to essentially hold her hostage while waiting for her traitor brother to return home. Problem is all the gunpowder downstairs. And Adrian and her's undeniable chemistry. Which side will she choose?
Ah, the angst is delicious, but the history and the pain is written eloquently and isn't shoved aside for the sake of an easier romance. Meredith Duran is writing my favorite sort of romance, even if this wasn't my favorite of hers. She doesn't take shortcuts, she creates such a sense of time and place, and she paints characters who live and breathe on the page and following their story is always worthwhile. ...more
I stopped and started this one a few times. It had such high reviews that I wanted to save it for when I needed it. When I knew I needed a book to ripI stopped and started this one a few times. It had such high reviews that I wanted to save it for when I needed it. When I knew I needed a book to rip me away all horse and carriage with smokin' hot chemistry and sharp banter.
Meredith Duran does it for me every single time so far.
Where sometimes historicals can be soft and maybe flimsy, a piece of lace that smells a little like lavender, Meredith Duran smiles at the lace, flirts with it, then hides a bloody sword beneath it. These historical moments in time are fully embraced, and here you have the outbreak of war between mutinous men in India and the British who have been hanging out and controlling things for forever. In the middle is Julian Sinclair, an interesting combination of the two, an heir to a dukedom that just so happens to have an Indian mother. He's what you'd expect; tall, dark, and strikingly handsome with the rakish charm and disconnect, but he's also got one foot in one world and one in the other while sensing the coming doom and neither side wanting to take him seriously. Their world is on the brink of changing, and when you throw in some harrowing, bloody escapes, Julian and Emma fighting for their lives while falling into a desperate can't go anywhere from here war time love? You've got gold, baby.
Emma was a favorite of mine. She starts the book off having survived a sinking ship where she watched her entire family drown and sink to the bottom. She's Rose, holding onto that damn door, and now we have to watch what comes After. How you hold your head up and survive amongst people that hold society rules and reputation above all else. Even when there is a bloody war brewing. The pain of what she's dealing with, and the moments that it has to come out were written really well. I love that it didn't feel like prosy melodrama used to make Emma interesting, but rather she felt like an already interesting, cheeky girl who had dark shadows and corners within her. Emma is disconnected, engaged to a bore that her family had set her up with years ago and just wants her money, and she's running into Sinclair. They've got a way with each other. She's horrible at this society stuff, and he's always avoided her type, and now they're circling the other when BAM! War. It's nuts.
Horrible things happen and then it's London again, and there they are and I loved when they saw each other again. It was unexpected. I love feeling like I'm in a familiar place, with a setup I already adore, and yet I'm surprised. It's like reading a historical for the first time all over again. The globe scene was one that leaves its mark, and I was a mess over these two.
The last fifteen percent or so, softened a bit for me. I wanted a little more. I wanted to revel in the homecoming of them, and Emma's sort of rebirth. I wanted to see those bones, and I wanted more than Lindley and a quick turnabout. I wanted fanfare. After the war that they endured, and then the ghosts of each other and years apart, I just wanted cannons and fireworks, I guess. ...more
This book worked best for me when everything was going to shit. There's a sort of rush in watching two pretty people go at it, and it's something we'rThis book worked best for me when everything was going to shit. There's a sort of rush in watching two pretty people go at it, and it's something we're seeing happen in this whole New Adult genre, and let me just tell you that I love it. I do. I dig the age, the place and the mistakes characters get to make in their twenties. And here it's a big mess of sex, drugs, rock n' roll and somewhere in the middle of that is first love getting a second shot under the bright lights of fame.
Tru and Jake grew up together in the UK but then he left and she pined, but they lost touch and the book starts twelve years later when she's a music journalist for an itty bitty magazine and he's giving her an interview. So she's going to see super hot Jake again? The arrogant slut rocker with the coke problem. Awesome. But, wait. Tru has a super dreamy blonde boyfriend who is the polar opposite of Jake.
What's a girl to do? Well, GO ON TOUR WITH JAKE OF COURSE!
I am all for the guilty pleasure. Strap me in, hand me a drink and let's watch the sparks fly. It's every fantasy I had while kicked back in my room listening to my favorite band, but this time there's the element and angst of first love and super hot sex. Please! It's just...it's just... that sometimes with first person perspective there's too much thinking. There was ALL this ruminating over her thoughts and his thoughts and everyone's history and this long-winded narrative of information about every single character. Things that are hammered home to paint the reader pictures that could be shown through character actions rather than told to the point of, "Okay, we got it. Her dad likes music." And because of the excessive brooding over actions, smack in the middle of dialogue making you forget where exactly she is and who she is talking to, it became a diary that wasn't. Emotions were forced upon you through words rather than experiencing them through the story organically.
The two had fire when they were fighting it out, and the writing was quicker, stronger. It bit hard instead of chewed on and on. In those moments I felt the immediacy of being in first person. The ache and the tension and the What's Gonna Happen Next? I like that when they did get together there was still drama and issues to deal with. The fame, the paparazzi, the leaked stories and the drugs. I loved the drama of being in the middle of that, and I love how they both became undone by it. It was a little much for me how quickly Tru went from This Can't Work to Okay, I'm Yours Forever (Again) with the flash of jewelry. Maybe because being in her head through the excessive explaining of every action made it feel abrupt and too easy a fix.
Given all that, Jake is a hot, screwed up rock star. He's tattoos and cigarettes and he's the smoky voiced boy next door turned biggest thing on the planet. There's heat to that and a ridiculous amount of fantasy that the first girl he loved would come back into his life and be IT. I liked Tru some of the time, mostly when she was drinking and mouthing off, because that's a girl I can get behind. I'm all for hot, tortured love, but when you're in the girl's head and her thoughts fall along the line of I can't believe I let myself be away from him for twelve hours it becomes, "Okay, girl. Stop."
There's cheating and there's cheese and there's Just Stop Thinking Your Whole Life History While Talking To Your Boss, but there's also smokin' hot guilty bathroom sex and screaming fights in hotel rooms and tattered friendship bracelets. ...more
I don't think I will ever get tired of the coming home story.
The sense of place, the butting heads, the funny and ridiculous memories we make with theI don't think I will ever get tired of the coming home story.
The sense of place, the butting heads, the funny and ridiculous memories we make with the people we grew up with, and the very human experience of coming back to that after being gone.
June drove me nuts sometimes. She got on board with everything really quickly, and then shifted her game plan back to Luke kind of fast for me. But her name? Killed me. I love it, and I loved the connections between everyone, and I loved how sweaty and real Luke felt and watching him bust his ass and make things right and then getting floored by the return of June Augustine.
I think I was supposed to like this one. I was going to like it. I could feel it happening, but I was straining, trying to look past the writing thatI think I was supposed to like this one. I was going to like it. I could feel it happening, but I was straining, trying to look past the writing that was screaming at me to skip and skim, trying to get to the heart of a sexy, aching reunion story. I LOVE reunion stories. I love the angst, such a sucker for the story where someone comes back home. And here we had one of those where Lt. Alec Colton was always the guy with February Owens. He's got the drunk parents, and was adopted by Feb's, which led to him spending all his time with her, and here were the makings of a lovely high school sweethearts seperated by time and pain but the love is still there! How it hurts! How much I want you! It can be so delicious.
So, for me, as a reader, with this set up, I don't need you to rewrite the formula. Go with it, by all means. Use all those familiar tricks, but give me characters that make me hurt with it. Tell me their story, and make it sing, and I'll glue that Kindle to my hands, promise.
Unfortunately, it didn't work here. As badly as I wanted it to. From the start I found myself tripping over the writing. Things like, "We were friends. We used to be good friends. We were still friends, but weren't as good friends." I kept fumbling and muddling through paragraphs that felt painfully unnecessary. And then there was all the cursing. Listen, I feel weird when people don't curse. It's odd to me to be in the middle of an intense situation and for someone not to shoot the f-bomb like bullets. It doesn't feel natural. I don't trust a heroine that won't throw it at her dude when he pisses her off. That's just me. But here? In this book? I wanted to give these people a thesaurus and teach them different adjectives. The word was just shoved into sentences that didn't make sense. "Like really, ol' Dad needs to cuss about that? We're talking about pancakes here? Calm down, guys."
But I think my biggest annoyance beyond the mystery and murder that was TAKING FOREVER to happen was Feb and Colt. The reason for why they broke up was ridiculous. For knowing each other as well as they did, that for the whole town they were practically one word, did they not talk about things? Feb just reacted, and Colt just took it. That's madness to me. Twenty YEARS pass, and they've even lived in the same town again for the past two of them, and nothing? Feb just shut down, became a traveling hermit, and she just became such a flimsy, weak character. Colt was obnoxious at times. I love Alpha males, and I make no apologies for it, but Colt? That's not Alpha to me. He wouldn't have called out a woman he was sleeping with, but got too clingy, in the middle of a bar in front of the whole town. That's not classy, dude. There's a quiet confidence that is sexy, and you're too pushy with it. And Feb just falls in line, because 'lo and behold, she's realized after all these years, she is that kind of woman.
The characters felt forced, and halfway through I gave into the dreaded skimming. There were glimpses, moments that could have been more, but they were lost in a story that dragged, filled with characters I halfway liked, backed by a suspense story that took too long and didn't mean much in the end. ...more
Listen, Lisa Kleypas is good at what she does. Plain and simple. She writes the historical romance with such a great balance of heat, tender and achyListen, Lisa Kleypas is good at what she does. Plain and simple. She writes the historical romance with such a great balance of heat, tender and achy romance, as well as wit and comedic timing. I've read the Wallflowers, her contemporaries, and now I'm getting to know the Hathaways and I love that I never have to doubt upon opening one of her books that it's going to be an enjoyable escape.
Did I want to punch Merripen several hundred times? Of course I did. My god, the man was stubborn. But oh, how he loved Win. I felt the pain, and I understood it, which was why I never got frustrated. And usually I'm throwing the white flag when the hero plays the, "But I'm not good enough for you!" card, but again, Kleypas does what many others can't do with the same plot.
Win, the once-frail, blonde apparition of beauty was tough, forward, vulnerable and knew what she wanted and I respected the hell out of her. I didn't expect to like her as much as I did, but I was so charmed by her and understood why Kev had been so in love with her for so many years. The angst between these two was ridiculously good. Which made the payoff oh, so worth it.
The Hathaways are up to bat here with their crazy, noisy antics, and I love them for it. Poppy and Beatrix are now out in society, and it's making me remember my loved Wallflowers. Does Beatrix act younger than other 18 year-olds? Maybe. I think she's just not boy crazy and instead likes animals and running around and speaking her mind. Poppy is enchanting, and Amelia is still holding everyone together, but now with the help of Cam. And Cam! Oh, I loved him so, so much in this one. It made me want to turn right back around and pick up their book again. I love to see their relationship grow, and how he's managing heading this family of eccentric gadjos. Of course him and Kev are going to go head to head, and of course it's going to be a little odd that a pair of gypsies are running the place, but it's so good. And then there's Leo! He's healthy and he's back, and he's got his eye on the uppity governess who hates him, and makes me want to hurry up and read every last word in this series. ...more
This one was humid sexy. Like I'm on the gulf shore of Alabama and I'm a broken, sad girl falling in love with a rich boy whose gonna save my life andThis one was humid sexy. Like I'm on the gulf shore of Alabama and I'm a broken, sad girl falling in love with a rich boy whose gonna save my life and touch my skin and its gonna be electric and heartbreaking before its over. This was my first book by Shiloh Walker and I'm ridiculously impressed, and shocked I haven't read anything by her yet.
It's no surprise that I've got a thing for the south. It's what makes me fangirl over a lot of Sandra Brown's books. I love the heat. The sticky seduction of it. That feeling was captured here as we watch Taige, the local psychic girl who hates the attention she gets when she gets a vision in time to save someone in the throes of danger. The visions are unpredictable, sometimes coming way after the fact, and sometimes years before the actual event takes place. Because of this, and that her parents are dead and she's stuck with an uncle that wants to save her from the devil by beating it out of her, she's a loner in a town of tourists. One of those tourists is the charming, and gorgeous but decent Cullen Morgan. He watches as she runs after saving a boy, and to him she's the vision of some mermaid and he's hooked. He saves her one night and it's impossible to walk away. So for a few years he's there every summer, and every summer they fall deeper in desperate love. Until something tragic happens. Something Taige didn't see in time. And Cullen, in his rage and sadness, can't see past that and makes the mistake of turning his back on Taige.
Twelve years pass and now Cullen is a widow with a daughter who is abducted. He makes his way back to the shores of Alabama, and there he finds that the girl has grown up into a fierce woman. The tension between these two is ridiculous. These two facing off, with the years and dirty dreams that may not have been one-sided between them, is like standing out on the porch on a muggy day and the fan is going too slow, the sweet tea next to you is sweating as hard as you, and your heart is beating too fast in your chest. Maybe something bluesy and dirty is playing in the background. There are ways to write sexual tension that are cheesy and predictable. This book was how to write it to knock the wind out of someone.
I loved Cullen and I loved Taige and most importantly I believed everything about them. Taige was tough and tired, but she loved so fiercely that she couldn't contain it. Cullen ached for her and became a broken beast when his daughter was abducted. The action kept a great pace, the mystery surprised the crap out of me, the romance was pitch perfect, and all of it has me searching out everything this author has written. ...more
This is the story of Travis, home for the first time after spending the last year and a half in Afghanistan as a MariI really, really liked this one.
This is the story of Travis, home for the first time after spending the last year and a half in Afghanistan as a Marine, and he is the one that tells his story. There is no alternating viewpoints. There is no softening of what he has to deal with upon his return; the girlfriend who left him for his brother while he was gone, the dad who has been pissed off at him since he quit football, and the nightmares that are waking him up screaming about the best friend he lost an entire world away.
Travis is a guy, and he talks like a guy and he thinks like a guy and that isn't sacrificed for the sake of telling a sweeter story. His ex, Paige, is hell on wheels and she's playing games with him and his brother but he still has a shit ton of physical chemistry with her and maybe it's complicated, but then maybe it's not. Things become more basic after you've been to Hell and get to come back home. And Travis is trying to hang out with his old friends, and he's trying not to punch his dad, but he's different and nothing is the same and then there's Harper sitting next to him at the bar and then there's Harper punching him in the face within two minutes of seeing him again.
This is Travis' story, but Harper? She held her own. In torn jeans and her waffle house uniform sneering at his bullshit and she's falling but she's still pissed off about that one time time in seventh grade when he ruined everything. There's history, and there's drama, and yet, things with Travis and Harper are simple, sweet and so damn honest.
There are heartbreaking moments and sweet ones, and yes, the sex is fade to black, which I usually hate, but I got over it quickly enough, because this was a story that felt cut out of somewhere real. I knew these kids, I understood this life post-high school but before marriages and babies. It's a different landscape out there for our boys and girls leaving for the desert and coming back home so different then when they'd left. This was the story of a boy coming home and shaking off all the bullshit and drama and finding something real to hold onto. It just so happened to be a girl wearing a Tom Petty shirt. ...more
I like this one, and this is actually a reread because I'm on a kick of reading Christmas stories during the holidays this year. So I actually read thI like this one, and this is actually a reread because I'm on a kick of reading Christmas stories during the holidays this year. So I actually read this one for the first time like two summers ago. And even reading it during a ridiculously humid summer I felt...festive. The tiny town strung with lights all centered around The Perfect Christmas, the local landmark of a Christmas store stationed in an old Victorian home. The store is usually run by Tracy and Dan, but they're on the outs so their Scrooge-like daughter comes home from big bad LA where she is a cynical woman who shuns attachments and manages money hungry divorce attorneys.
Now, she's back home. Where she hasn't been since she left at 18. Where she left her first love. The bad boy she once tamed. The bad boys whose back.
Sounds delicious, am I right? Well, it is. Finn is something else. But the thing about the story is that yes, it is one of my favorite set ups of first loves reuniting, and yes it's all about Christmas, which can be adorable and Santa-filled, but here it's something more. And it sneaks up on you. There in the connection between Bailey and Finn, and even Tracey and Dan with Christmas happening alongside their romances you find that base feeling that comes with the holidays, that search for connection and the desire to have faith in something and believe in it with conviction, which creates a really sort of heartbreaking love between these two.
Did Bailey drive me nuts sometimes? Yes. I just didn't understand how she could have based such huge life choices on her flaky dad's flaky advice. I never can get people who throw in the towel for fear of getting too close. But that's just me. Did I believe that Bailey, as her character was drawn, was capable of doing that at 18? Yes, so that's what counts. But Finn? Oh, in the end I just needed that man to be happy. And my one big issue with the book was I wish the end was one page longer. Great that Bailey comes to her senses, but I wish I could have heard Finn's reaction to finally getting everything he wanted. ...more
Have I ever told you how much I love the reunion story? Oh, give me more. I love the tension and angst of it all. And this one hit the mark. If you'veHave I ever told you how much I love the reunion story? Oh, give me more. I love the tension and angst of it all. And this one hit the mark. If you've read the Wallflowers series or are thinking about it then give this one a read because it not only introduces you to Lord Westcliff but to his delightful sisters. I knew there was a story there having read the entire series before even jumping into this one. From the glimpses of Olivia and mentions of Aline I just knew that Westcliff's sisters had a backstory with those hunky Americans I kept hearing about. And here it is! And it, like expected, was both delightful and steamy.
Interestingly enough, even though the blurb is all about McKenna, former stableboy turned American millionaire with huge chip on his shoulder, and Aline, hottie daughter of the peerage with a big secret under those skirts for why she did what she did to him, the love story that really captured me was Olivia and Gideon's. The drunk and the outcast sister who got some booty before marriage. Those two? Absolutely enchanting. Not as painful and angsty, but a girl needs a drink of bubbly once in a while. ...more
Most well-developed of her books that I've read, and seeing as it was the first and appealed to the Frat Boy in me, I suppose its why I tried readingMost well-developed of her books that I've read, and seeing as it was the first and appealed to the Frat Boy in me, I suppose its why I tried reading some of her others. But after doing so, this was the best of the bunch. A solid bit of suspense, with an overbearing Seal of a hero, but not as obnoxious as let's say, Micah, but with a little Cajun thrown in and some long held feelings and sexual healing.
Let's sit down and talk about something for a minute. That one thing we all think about but don't really talk about. You know the one.
I'm not goLet's sit down and talk about something for a minute. That one thing we all think about but don't really talk about. You know the one.
I'm not going to get into the romance is porn for women discussion. Not gonna do it. But obviously, I'm a girl that likes a good romance. I love the snap and sizzle. The gutting heartbreaks. The push and pull between people falling and fighting. The eccentric families that always seem to surround them. In all its shapes and forms, I love a good love story. And that usually includes some sexin'. There's a frat boy in me that can't deal with blue balls of the heart. I've invested in the back and forth, and there's got to be a reward. A FINALLY. There's a certain way to write a really good love scene, and that's where this differs from porn. There's an eloquence about it. A surgical, precise dance with the words. A way that can turn a kiss into a conversation that has a reader entranced by it all.
Lora Leigh's books don't do that. She just straight up drills you with it. And it becomes relentless. Like a marathon session you have to walk away from because damn it, you're tired, and this is all getting a little ridiculous.
There was a story here. Something. I was intrigued by the mystery and the brokenness of the hero and how does somebody come back from that. And his poor, supposedly widowed wife. I wanted to see how it would all pan out. And I did. But the emotion, heart and sex wasn't done with that precise touch that I love. More like a jackhammer. ...more
Kristan Higgins takes me by surprise yet again. I picked this one up and it took only a few pages to reel me in. Harper. I GOT her. I know Harper. SomKristan Higgins takes me by surprise yet again. I picked this one up and it took only a few pages to reel me in. Harper. I GOT her. I know Harper. Sometimes, I feel like I'm Harper. The holding back, the quips, the tough girl act, the heart that is so desperate to love and be loved back but never too much? Higgins NAILED it. Harper was just so refreshing, and relatable and Nick? I got him too. I understood how strapping, delicious, romance cover worthy Dennis couldn't compare to what Nick and his gypsy eyes did to Harper. His pain? His assurance in the things he wanted, the dead serious way in which he'd answer a question, but the way in which he never seemed to believe that others would be as steadfast with him? It has been a long while since I fell for a couple in this way, the way that hurts in such a sweet way.
I choked up. I admit it, I did. I fell and wanted so much, and it was just a great read, and for those, the ones that keep me up all night, those are the stories I love to find.
I found this one when the Kindle store offered it for free, and by doing so, they achieved their intended purpose, because after finishing it I said tI found this one when the Kindle store offered it for free, and by doing so, they achieved their intended purpose, because after finishing it I said to myself, "Would have paid for it. Glad I didn't have to, but still."
Shannon Stacey has a fresh voice that is perfect for a contemporary romance. The Kowalski family is that big, loud, close family you want to hang out with. There is drama amongst the siblings, but such a deep love that it's impossible to not fall for each one of them. The love story between Joe and Keri is charming and sexy and is one of my favorite set-ups a'la reunion of first love. It's a bit more complicated now that Joe is a famous writer who Keri, now a celebrity journalist, desperately needs an exclusive interview with for the sake of keeping her job. They meet, the sparks are there, but so is the tension of what-went-wrong, so what does Joe offer in exchange for the much needed interview? Come hang out with the crazy, loud, lovable and loyal Kowalski family on their annual camping trip. Let the chaos ensue.
A very charming, and lovely book. I immediately wanted to read the next one, because this was a family that hooked me, from the kids and their Tournaments of Doom to the studly brothers with their believable rivalry and chemistry, to the parents that keep them all in order.
After drifting in another direction for awhile, here we're finally finding our way back to Steele Street with the help of Johnny Ramos' story. This isAfter drifting in another direction for awhile, here we're finally finding our way back to Steele Street with the help of Johnny Ramos' story. This is the kid that's been in the background for a lot of the stories. He's Skeeter's friend who is all grown up now and home from the Rangers and wants to be an official part of SDF. It all starts on one crazy night when he sees a hooker who couldn't possibly be Esme Alden, the good girl, valedictorian from his high school, who almost gave it up to him in the backseat of Superman's car one night and who has been stuck in his system ever since. He follows her back to her dad's PI office and from there it's a crazy night filled with fast cars, bad guys, art deals gone wrong, and just the sort of mess that always seems to happen in Denver on SDF's watch. The original chop shop boys are here, but not really on stage until the end when a certain plot line is set up leaving long-time fans with their hearts racing and a lot of OhSh*t! questions about could it really be?
Also great about this one? The introduction of Dax. You have to love a loyal man who knows his way around a Patsy Cline song.
A fun story with a great couple that is getting us back to the place we loved in this series. Steele Street. ...more
This Dark Hunter book satisfied the itch and also took place in one of my favorite story locales: New Orleans. This one starred Talon, who we met in tThis Dark Hunter book satisfied the itch and also took place in one of my favorite story locales: New Orleans. This one starred Talon, who we met in the last book, and from the moment he answered the door of his swamp shack in the buff in Kyrian's book, was a character I wanted to get to know better. So when this one started out with him enjoying his chicory coffee and beignets, I wanted to know more. Then the Mardi Gras float came flying down the street and Sunshine came into his life. And now HERE was a female lead I could get on board with. I LOVE Sunshine. From the first until the last, I haven't read many other human females in Paranormal Romance who held their own the way she did, and never once did she fault me. Even when she began to fall in love, and allowed the vulnerability to show, did she give herself up, and I respected the crap out of her for it. She was such a great match for Talon, who softened as the book progressed. And the turn this one took with their romance? I liked it. It was out there, and too perfect, but it was memorable and sweet.
Funny enough, as the book progressed and as Talon's walls came down, I liked him...not less, but he lost a little bit of the edge for me. Sunshine took up the ropes then and continued the awesome. Kyrian was around and was just as charming. Even Amanda was there, and it was nice to see their life progressing. Here we also finally meet Zarek, the psychotic Dark Hunter from Alaska. And let me tell you...I am in LOVE. This guy is dark, angry and when he held the pottery that Sunshine had made? Here's my heart. Keep it for awhile. Also met Zane, the wolf slayer guy, who also captured my attention, and the Were-Bears of Sanctuary. Here the Dark Hunter world is opening up in the heat of New Orleans and it just made me want to know more of what Kenyon had to give. But the best part? The one who made my heart sing? You already guessed it didn't you?
This book was enjoyable for a lot of reasons, but I also struggled with it for a lot of reasons. I'm on a Karen Robards kick, because I've just discovThis book was enjoyable for a lot of reasons, but I also struggled with it for a lot of reasons. I'm on a Karen Robards kick, because I've just discovered her, and there's a lot in her writing that I enjoy and that remind me of another favorite author--Sandra Brown. She handles the emotional intensity in much the same way, but also draws these characters who feel interesting and complicated and who I want to know more about.
From the first sentence, Nick King had me. His enduring love for Maggy was lovely, but born out of something bigger for me than just soulmates garbage. This wasn't an epic romance of cheese, it was built on two kid who grew up in the slums together, survived together, and always loved one another like family. Nick protected and took care of Maggy when no one else could, and their love grew from something shared by children to something bigger than them both. And then something happened. And Maggy's choice is one of the stupidest, most ridiculous, I-can't-believe-her-logic sort of things that land her in a world of trouble and separate her and Nick for 12 years.
So despite that TSTL choice that Maggy made, as soon as you see these two together you just feel it. That spark. That reaction. That tightness in your chest that these two are completely unaware of anything outside of the other. So I loved them together, I loved Nick's brother Link, and I enjoyed aspects of the premise. There were certain things I wish I could have seen between them, and a little more out of the ending, but still, I was not only taken by surprise but I was also constantly rooting for these two kids from the wrong side of the tracks to make good. And like any romance worth its weight, they do. And that makes reading it worthwhile. ...more
My second Karen Robards book, and I have to say I get it. I see her style, and I really like it. This is romantic suspense that doesn't sacrifice eithMy second Karen Robards book, and I have to say I get it. I see her style, and I really like it. This is romantic suspense that doesn't sacrifice either. Much. Some scenes drag on, yes, but when crazy/scary/murderous things are happening they're cut throat and blend perfectly with the romance that she does not skimp on. Charged, super sexy scenes between the leads; Matt and Carly who grew up together. Matt was the town's bad boy, from the bad side of town, a house full of sisters, and a Mexican mother that had been abandoned and slept with a deck of tarot cards by her bed. When she passed away 10 years ago, Matt came home from the Marines, the first things he'd done to get on the right path, to take care of his three younger sisters. Now two are in college, and one is on the way, but this summer they're all at his house, in his hair reminding him why he's looking so forward to them moving out so he can finally set off on his motorcycle and stop being responsible for everyone and everything.
Then a call takes him out to an old, empty house and he thinks there's a prowler but it turns out it's Carly Linton moving back home. Curls, as he calls her, was a tiny, mouthy, reformed orphan who followed him around with doe eyes and who he took care of like another sister even taking her to her senior prom, which messed everything up because for the first time he saw Carly as something more, and after a bump and grind he avoided her until she moved away. Now she's back, divorced, and pissed off to see him. This sets up the fun, push and pull, of an undeniable attraction.
What I didn't like? When Matt pissed her off I wish Carly was more of a spitfire about it. I get danger would present itself and she'd run into his arms, but for all his assured cockiness of her feelings for him, I wish she'd make him run after her for a minute. There were moments, where she played at that, but he was such an arrogant, lovable thing I wanted to smack sometimes. The end made up for everything although, so once I saw how the book tied together I lost my hang-ups and fully boarded the Karen Robards fan train. ...more
Even better than the first two, Watch Me is The Last Stand hitting its stride. Out the gate, Sheridan's story pulls you in, and you're immediately engEven better than the first two, Watch Me is The Last Stand hitting its stride. Out the gate, Sheridan's story pulls you in, and you're immediately engaged with every single character as soon as they hit the stage. Cain? Oh, my. This isn't a case of just a dreamy hot alpha male, because while Cain is all those things you expect out of a lead, he's also hard but vulnerable. He's more comfortable out with his dogs, ignoring the hurt and soldiering through past pain while turning every woman he comes into contact with inside out. This is a good man that never got the chance to show that. You'll bleed for this guy. And you'll feel the confusion and ache that Sheridan experiences coming back home, facing old demons, as well as the boy that she gave both her heart and virtue. Yes, this is one of those coming home to old loves stories, except with a murder, sketchy police force, and a side of who-in-the-hell-is-killing-everyone? But watching Cain heal Sheridan? Here's my breath you just stole, you sneaky romantic.
Because believe me when I tell you that for a "romance" writer, Novak doesn't take the easy way out all the time. Yes, you will get a HEA. You'll get that. But on the way there Novak gets pretty ballsy, and I like that about her. She's not afraid of a little grit and a little bit of, "Holy Sh*t!" And this story packs plenty of that.
Can you get away without reading the first two? Yes. The Last Stand is written in a way that connects, but could still work as stand alones. That being said, any series is even more enjoyable by reading them all, and the first two are pretty good, even though so far Watch Me is my favorite. Cain hit the same spot that Romain did, but even more, because I'm a sucker for going home to find that the first boy was the IT boy all along. ...more
After reading the first one in the Steele Street series I was jumping right into Crazy Cool, because I wanted, no, I needed, to know about this man thAfter reading the first one in the Steele Street series I was jumping right into Crazy Cool, because I wanted, no, I needed, to know about this man they called Superman. What sort of woman was going to unhinge this guy who was so deep undercover it was hard to tell whether or not he was still working for the good guys. Well, hard to tell unless you're SDF, Special Defense Force, down at Steele Street with the rest of the former chop shop boys and their crew. Christian is the guy who you're attracted to because he's a beautiful man but yet there's that edge where you're not sure how dark he'll go. Oh, he's plenty dark. Christian served two years in prison for a murder he didn't commit. The girl he'd been wrapped up in at the time, the one he thought dropped him like a bad habit, but who went through her own hell, is suddenly back on the map and there's literal fireworks. This is one that Christian can't fight, because this is the girl, Bad Luck as he likes to call her, that he gave his heart to and never got back. Christian is badass, Katya is poise that comes apart for the man with angel wings tattooed on his back. I will say I wanted MORE from Katya, and she buckled so quickly under pressure, which was just so opposite of Superman. I understood her charm, in a way, but still. For a guy who was so much, his counterpart should have had a bit more cojones. Seeing everyone's place in Steele Street, getting so much of Christian, the emotions you'll feel for certain member's heartache, and the combustible force that is Nikki and Kid Chaos makes this one a stellar sequel. ...more
On the surface, this one is a bit worrying. The whole kissing cousins thing is strange, even if they are second or third or whatever number you want tOn the surface, this one is a bit worrying. The whole kissing cousins thing is strange, even if they are second or third or whatever number you want to put on it. I get it, this is the Old South to a certain degree, but still. There's a reason Yankees say this stuff about us. BUT, you do get past it. You understand the mechanics of this family and how they work and how it is they keep this piece of land in their family the way they have.
So once you're past that you're going to find a story told best in the south. The one of family drama and loyalty and of loves that are tangled and passionate but are rooted in something fundamental, something that's going to last for generation after generation. This is the story of a legacy, one that's dying out, but refuses to. Roanna Davenport is a little girl who has lost everything only to become a woman who will battle the fiercest of storms with her shoulders back, defying whatever it is she may want for the best of her family. Webb is a man that had to escape after a night that changed his entire life. A night that started with something so innocent but confusing and escalated into a torn family and him losing what had been his right to have. Then you come to however many years later, and you come to Roanna and Web meeting once again, but this time they're older and more damaged and the same barriers aren't between them. I knew this was something great when he began to count her smiles. That's when I understood Webb and I understood the journey Roanna would take and putting the books down became damn near impossible.
Yes, this is a plot that could very quickly escalate into a story you'd expect, and it does in a way, but Linda Howard, the goddess that she is, weaves such a perfect story for these two that it feels like an earlier Sandra Brown. These complicated, interesting, passionate characters that aren't always PC and have so many faults, but you get so wrapped up in their lives and victories and you'll be rooting for them all by the end. This is a really lovely, sexy, memorable love story. ...more
I'm not sure why exactly I've held off on these for as long as I have. Anytime you're looking up popular urban fantasy or paranormals with a strong feI'm not sure why exactly I've held off on these for as long as I have. Anytime you're looking up popular urban fantasy or paranormals with a strong female lead, something I love, Mercy Thompson is one of the first to be mentioned. I love Kate Daniels fiercely, and I love the world building and pacing of a really good UF or paranormal, and I love when our lady lead is as tough as the obvious love interest. They both have to bring it to the table, and the simmering tension between such strong characters is something that just ties me in knots. I want to be invested in a series. I want to clamor for the next in line, and I want to lose myself to your world. And I'm happy to say that Mercy is delivering just as her reputation promised.
I'm intrigued by this world of vampires, fae and werewolves. And here she sits the mechanic coyote in the middle of all this Keep It Hidden From The Humans politics. Mercy is kind, unassuming and she's trying to keep her hands clean, but she also has a strong sense of honor. She understands the werewolves because she was raised with them, and lives behind the Alpha of her area. This right here peaked my interest in a "Huh, what's gonna come of these two." I like that Adam is this former military dude whose presence is one you can't look away from. That our first glimpse of him is in a fancy note taped to her cat's cage telling Ms. Thompson to watch her cat or next time he's gonna eat it. And he's a dad to a sweet, spunky human girl who likes to girl talk with Mercy. Then there's the wolves right up the way in the Montana wilderness where Mercy grew up. And there is Samuel, the head Werewolves' son, who just happens to be Mercy's first boyfrand. Perfect.
In the first book I expect to feel sort of bogged down with world building but that didn't happen here. Instead I felt a little removed and outside of the emotional drama. I'm getting to know all these characters, and what I'm seeing I love. Bran is fascinating as the Marrok, head werewolf, with his control and boyish exterior. The whole town these wolves live in that Mercy has to return to when Adam is hurt offers so much insight into the werewolf mindset without forcing us through an info dump. I'm just not getting an emotional connection between Mercy and anyone else. I sense her loyalty and her frustration, but the setup for tension between her and Samuel or the supposed mate talk between her and Adam hasn't grasped hold of me. Yet. Listen, I'm not looking for anyone to bang it out yet. Yes, I'm a romance reader, and yes I'm going to ship the crap out of my favorite couples a'la Kate and Curran or Barrons and Mac, but even in there books, sex wasn't an immediate plot turn. There wasn't boom make out time off the bat. There was tension, and emotionally shaking each other up with barbs and pushing and testing and it was delicious, but with Mercy's heart, so much seems to have happened before or without her telling us about it. I want to know her, and I want to be as invested in her world as I am in her relationships with everyone around her, making them all matter that much more by seeing them through her. That being said, she's a quiet badass who saves the day like a beast, and I'm game to see where she takes me. ...more
Getting deeper into the Shifters series with the second installment and I have to say that I'm officially sucked into it.
Faythe's growth is evident.Getting deeper into the Shifters series with the second installment and I have to say that I'm officially sucked into it.
Faythe's growth is evident. She isn't crying about independence anymore, but rather is trying to prove herself to her father and Pride as she assumed the role of first female enforcer beside boyfriend, Marc. That growth is what seals it for me. Because of it I find myself liking Faythe more and more and feeling more involved with what happens to her.
The characters of her Pride are hard not to love. I love the chemistry between her and all the males around her, which only lends a peak of interest to the new character brought into the fray. I'm sitting firmly in the Marc camp as i'm a sucker for the dark, protective type, and he just sounds like sex in a pair of low slung jeans.
It was a fun read and had me immediately reaching for the next book. ...more
I'll say this was my favorite of the Montana Creeds. I like Tyler. He was such an asshole, but I loved him for it. He was a little rougher around theI'll say this was my favorite of the Montana Creeds. I like Tyler. He was such an asshole, but I loved him for it. He was a little rougher around the edges, and the fact that this was a reunion story between him and Lily won extra points for me. I'm a sucker for that plotline.
Sometimes we're lucky and we get to read something that is going to last forever. Not just on the page as ink, but within us as tucked away, living, bSometimes we're lucky and we get to read something that is going to last forever. Not just on the page as ink, but within us as tucked away, living, breathing memories. It will get so stuck and then little things here and there will bring it back to the surface. There inside of us just needing the smallest thing to wake it up.
I just finished reading John Green's Paper Towns. This book has become one of those things for me.
I'm incredibly bias with this one because 1) I already knew that I loved John Green's writing but 2) it's based in Orlando. ORLANDO. Nothing is ever based here unless it's a commercial for tourists. We, as the locals, never get anything to keep just for us. No song to sing along to with hometown pride as we shout our city's name, no movie to watch and smile at the familiar places, nothing to claim as our own. We are but a transient place for others to escape to. Nothing here stays. And then I read this book. And I cried. And I shouted. And I saw places that I knew, that belonged to me, written there in ink. This is a book that is so shaped by a place that never gets its due. We aren't New York. We aren't Chicago. We aren't Los Angeles. Orlando doesn't ever get to go up on the stage. We are but a footnote on a vacation or the punchline to a joke that started with something about retirement. Ah, but there is life here. There are babies that grow up into teenagers that make lives here, and sometimes they leave and sometimes they don't, but they chase and they run and these streets are a part of the memories of so many. Just like yours. Hearts break here, mistakes happen, lives change, and these whole lives happen here, these lives that are " full to bursting, and each of them imaginable and consistently misimagined" (Green 257). Here, in Paper Towns, I found myself. I traced my finger across the words feeling the cracks in the concrete, touched the heaviness of the humid night, got lost in the sprawl of subdivisions, watched the lights shining off theme parks along an empty interstate, smelt the orange blossoms on a back road known only to us, and I felt the disillusionment entitled to those that grow up in a town that belongs to the imagination of others. John Green captured that in a way that only someone who lived here can. In this strikingly painful and beautiful way he captured our story through Margo and Quentin and this idea of a paper town. A place that exists only on paper. Orlando exists on paper beautifully. But not our Orlando. You won't find that there. But don't bother looking, because you can't have that.
As simple as a book may seem, there's something powerful in reading the right one at the right time. This was mine. I tuck it tight into my chest going over the words in my mind. Keeping them forever. Because like Walt Whitman helped Q understand Margo, they all helped me understand my story better. Look outside my window and see something different in the familiar view.
"With all the planning she'd done, she must have known she was leaving, and even she couldn't have been totally immune to the feeling. She'd had good days here. And on the last day, the bad days become so difficult to recall, because one way or another, she had made a life here, just as I had. The town was paper, but the memories were not" (Green 227).
I have this thing for romantic Brit lit. I don't know what it is, or why it happened, but I know that it started here with this book. This was the booI have this thing for romantic Brit lit. I don't know what it is, or why it happened, but I know that it started here with this book. This was the book I picked up on a whim while I was in the midst of all the classics and modern dismal depression of Required Reading in school, and it was here that I fell in love with a different sort of story.
I loved Fred and Mickey. Going between the past and present was done seamlessly and in a way that had me wanting more NOW. Why did this happen? Where did they go wrong? How did they get here? I was digging and digging right along with them and all the while I was falling for them both. I'll admit I'm a sucker for this sort of set up, rediscovering your childhood love as an adult, and it was done perfectly here with affection, humor, wit and a sigh worthy ending. ...more
Haunting. That's what this one is. If there's one word for it, it's: haunting.
April and Oliver are some tortured characters, and there's near-missesHaunting. That's what this one is. If there's one word for it, it's: haunting.
April and Oliver are some tortured characters, and there's near-misses and the tension that is always running beneath the surface between them leaves you breathless.
This isn't an easy street novel. Things don't tie up in a big red bow. But it's gritty, your heart will break for them both and it's going to stick with you. You'll wonder just where everything left off when the last words are done, but you'll be happy. I think. ...more
Not one of my favorite Linda Howard books, but still great for the heroine alone. I loved Faith. I thought she was heartbreaking and tough as a childNot one of my favorite Linda Howard books, but still great for the heroine alone. I loved Faith. I thought she was heartbreaking and tough as a child and pretty damn ballsy as an adult. The chemistry between her and Gray was intense, as only Linda writes it. That being said, Gray was just sort of...gray for me. Yes, there was that whole alpha male, fierce town badass thing about him. The things he said the swagger to his walk, but the earring and ponytail were a bit outdated and the town for which he was king wasn't as fleshed out as I would have liked. His mom and sister, the genteel beings that they were, were one dimensional. I cared for neither. The murder was a little too obvious, which left the suspense lacking.
Not as great as Shades of Twilight in my opinion, but enough of what makes Howard great to give it a read. ...more