I have always been a fan of this time period in American History, so I was excited when I won this book from Goodreads. Not only do you get the story...moreI have always been a fan of this time period in American History, so I was excited when I won this book from Goodreads. Not only do you get the story of Gypsy Rose Lee, but the history of the era. The politics and socio-economics of the time that helped to shape Louise aka Gypsy Rose Lee.
She was an exceptionally sharp and talented woman who became the best known burlesque queen of all time. The book explores the tumultuous relationships between Louise, her sister, June and their mother Rose. (Talk about Mommy Dearest!) Also included in their history are the machinations of the Minsky Brothers.
What I didn't like is the see-sawing and jumping around of the time-lines in the book. That type of biographical writing is challenging for me to follow. The few black and white photos throughout the book are appealing. I would recommend this to anyone interested in this era of American History.(less)
Serena Donovan lands in London with her 19 year-old sister, Phoebe, in tow. Her mission, should she succeed: Convince the Town she is her twin sister “Meg”, marry the fine and upstanding Captain William Langley, and find a good match for her sister. HA - Easier said than done! Especially when Jonathan Dane enters the picture. (Which he does quite frequently and so eloquently; appearing just at the right moment between Serena/Meg and William.) She despises the lies and deceit that make up her life. Yet, she continually asks herself, “What would Meg do?” As it gets closer to the wedding day, Serena/Meg realizes she still loves Jonathan, and the passion they shared has never died. Now, Serena/Meg has to make the tough choices – for her sisters - and she doesn’t want to hurt William.
The secondary romance of Phoebe and Sebastian is predictable and falls short. Yet, it does lead to one of the tenderest moments between Jonathan and Serena/Meg.
I usually avoid twin-switching identity stories because I find the idea preposterous. Anyone who knows a twin intimately (not necessarily sexually) will know the person is a fraud. However, with CONFESSIONS OF AN IMPROPER BRIDE, there were a few things that made the story a bit plausible. ---Serena was absent from England for six years (during her years between 18 and 24). ---She was cajoled into portraying Meg for the good of the family. After all, her sisters needed to be well situated. ---Jonathan knew immediately, with his heart, body, and soul, upon seeing “Meg” that it was Serena. Even though he kept telling himself it was Meg.
The positive feature of this novel is Jonathan. He is a grand example of a hero redeemed. He loves Serena so vehemently that he will do anything and everything in his power not to lose her, or hurt her or her family again; but to eventually possess her as his own. Yes, he has a reputation as a rakehell of the highest order for the past six years, but all is not as it seems. When his one true love, Serena died, Jonathan died, and there was no reason left for him to continue. He drowned himself in every vice he could find trying to dull the pain. Until he realized - the pain would never go away.
Ultimately, I did not like the way this book ended. I view it as a HFN. However, I am certain fans and followers of Ms. Haymore will delight in the romance of Serena/Meg and Jonathan, as I did. (less)
I didn't know how I would like this book. A tale of two women told concurrently: One set in the Regency and the other at the presen...moreWon from Goodreads.
I didn't know how I would like this book. A tale of two women told concurrently: One set in the Regency and the other at the present time. And I usually don’t like tales such as these and I can give or take a contemporary romance. So, I began reading with a bit of trepidation. I am so glad I was proven wrong, but I will admit I did enjoy The Blackbird and Sir’s story the best and if it wasn’t for that, this book would have been mediocre. The chapters skip back and forth between the time periods but that does not distract from the storytelling.
Piper works for a museum as a historical curator and when she stumbles upon a set of journals and starts reading them, the words literally turn her world upside down.
An arranged marriage, “a transaction”, has Ophelia determined to be her own woman.
This novel is a breathtaking discovery of freedom in its many forms by two women from different centuries. It will have your emotions in a tailspin. (less)
An average murder mystery/romantic suspense book that is 100+ pages too long. The blurb states this is another Rick Bentz and Reube...moreWon from SOS Aloha.
An average murder mystery/romantic suspense book that is 100+ pages too long. The blurb states this is another Rick Bentz and Reuben Montoya (murder mystery/suspense) novel, but it also centers on Valerie Houston and her estranged husband, Slade (the romance).
Valerie's sister, Camille, a novice at St. Marguerite's Cathedral, is found murdered. The finger-pointing begins and everyone at the Cathedral is a suspect. Slade shows up (wanting to work things out) just as Valerie is notified about Camille's murder. Since Valerie's was a cop, she decides to do her own undercover investigation.
This is an appealing story and I liked the interaction of the characters, but there were some things that really bothered me. --One was the character of Valerie. She doesn't mourn the loss of her sister until three-quarters of the way through the book. Also, even after Valerie learns her sister initiated the flirtation with Slade and he remained loyal, she still stood by her sister. --Another character steals a Harley Davidson motorcycle. No problem there, except...I don't think so.
It had been years since she'd driven a motorcycle, and then it had been her cousin's little Honda, half the power of Cruz's beast of a machine.
--No explanation is given for Lucia's "voices". She just rides off into the sunset. --Inane chatter: Too much descriptive writing which didn't add one iota to the story. Only more pages. A good example:
On the far side of the pond, a woman was trying to walk a black dachshund. He was straining on his leash, barking inanely first at the ducks and then at a squirrel that scurried up the bark of an oak tree. "Stop it! Charlie! Come on," the scrawny woman on the other end of the red tether commanded. Charlie paid no attention, as disinterested in what she was saying as a teenage boy with a new video game.
The best part: The Epilogue, and not because it's the end of the book. This is the type of provocative writing I was needing.(less)
The saga in the lives and loves of the Argonauts continue with Gryphon and Maelea. The story opens up at the Misos colony - where both of them are bei...moreThe saga in the lives and loves of the Argonauts continue with Gryphon and Maelea. The story opens up at the Misos colony - where both of them are being held against their will. When Maelea finds a means of escape, Gryphon "tags" along, keeping Maelea, well sorta kidnapping her; when he realizes she quiets the voice inside his head.
Gryphon and Maelea have their own separate agendas, but along their journey, discover each is not what they seem. While they are on the run, the other Argonauts are in a tizzy looking for them. A mysterious red-head makes an appearance and gives Titus a shock. (We'll be seeing more of them in the next installment.) More questions are raised about Nick. (I want Nick's book - please soon.) And, oh no, I didn't see this twist and turn coming at the end!
I know Hades is the bad guy here, but he's the type you just love to hate! The continuing feud between the Gods, Goddesses and The Fates with the Argoleans thrown in the mix is escalating. I'm looking forward to more from Kronos and the new archdeamon whom we got a sneak peak of.
ENSLAVED is a hot, intoxicating story. Maelea and Gryphon scorch the pages...the stairs....the boat. This is one book I had a very hard time putting down.
With thanks to SOS Aloha for the great giveaway!(less)
IMMORTAL SURRENDER opens with a prologue that gives you a glimpse of the evil incarnate that is Azazel; along with the suffering the Knights Templar experience in search of their Seraph. The prologue is a tease from Ms. Ashgrove of a scrumptious tale yet to come.
Ms. Ashgrove uses the tropes of miscommunication, misunderstandings, and the attraction of complete opposites and carries these throughout the story with good use. Farran, our hero, just wants to do his duty: Battle Azazel and his minions, find Seraphs for the other knights, and when his time comes, let his soul go where it may. Noelle, our atheist scientist, has no use for religion or theology and puts her trust in proven science. The two are paired when the ever conniving Gabriel assigns Farran as a bodyguard for Noelle and the Sudarium. There is one thing that I didn’t agree with. Noelle does something, which as a scientist in her field would never do. But I guess desperate times call for desperate measures and after all this is fiction – so I give it a pass.
It doesn’t take long for our H/h to grate/grow on each other as the action starts. Throw in a heap ‘o baggage that both of them have been carrying around for far too long and well, here is a great example:
Farran set his chin and looked beyond Mikhail, to the wall once more. “I care not. I will do what is asked of me otherwise. I will lend my strengthened sword. I will work at her side. But I shall not swear loyalty to her. My vows are to my brethren.” The soothing tone of Mikhail’s voice cracked as he exclaimed, “ ’Tis unacceptable!” “Mayhap.” Farran punctuated his response with a curt nod. “Which do you desire more, Mikhail? The reinforcement of our Order or a petty vow that, should you force my hand, I shall not uphold?” Long seconds passed as the two men stared each other down. Noelle pursed her lips so tight they began to tingle. How dare him. Wasn’t it bad enough he made his dislike of her known in private? Did he really have to go and shame her in front of someone else? She might not be anywhere near as beautiful as Anne, or likely the other women he associated with, but she wasn’t chopped liver either. She had good qualities. A brain for starters. And once upon a time, a guy had said her ass wasn’t half bad. Damn him. He could add insensitive jerk to his ever-growing list of faults. Asshole too, if she cared to be blunt. She willed her emotions under control and forbade the rush of tears to stop before they trickled down her cheeks. She didn’t care what he thought of her. It didn’t matter. He was nuts, and she was going home. One way or the other.
The battle of wills and sexual tension between these two leap off of the pages. It’s delish!
As if there weren’t enough problems with the uber-evil trying to gain control, Ms. Ashgrove sweetens the pot with malcontents among the Knights. And they are brewing up trouble - B.I.G. time.
IMMORTAL SURRENDER is the second in The Curse of the Templars series, I feel it can be read as a stand- alone. Ms. Ashgrove provides enough details in this harsh and captivating world without being overwhelming. Several characters that were introduced in IMMORTAL HOPE make a reappearance, and the continuing arc of finding Anne’s missing sister has a brief mention. This is one series that I have really enjoyed reading.
Ms. Ashgrove has another champion with IMMORTAL SURRENDER and her brand of romance, honor and bravery of the Knights Templar.(less)
I admit - it took me awhile to catch on to the Fallen World. There is a Glossary and Family Tree at the end of the book; which should be read BEFORE starting to read this book. Even so, I still struggled with their vernacular and hierarchy until I was about half-way through with reading the book. The Kindred are a very interesting world of three distinctive sects/houses of the Fallen. All of whom have an interest in Serenity and some of their intentions are not very honorable.
Serenity is Kindred - even though she was raised by humans. Serenity’s relationship with her fiancé, Evan, is a comfortable one (read here: BORING). He has been her only family for umpteen years. When Serenity meets Cyrus and their energy streams (anima) intertwine, she is confused by her instant attraction to the stranger. I know the Kindred’s life force and kabashem (soul mate) are the central themes, but for some reason it didn’t sit well with me. Maybe it was too much energy sharing and not enough hot monkey sex.
I did like Ms. Rushdan’s use of the Egyptian mythos. I was very surprised by one development in the story - didn’t see that coming! (Nope, no spoilers from me.) I hope Abbadon will get his own story; as I’m a sucker for second chance at love tropes.
Ms. Rushdan has taken her vision of mythology and angels to a diverse level of paranormal. The premise is a very solid one, but I feel the book could have been shorter without losing any significance. I found the writing to be easy to read, but there were times when it was choppy and static, turning into more of a “telling” mode. The sex scenes aren’t as hot or frequent as you would expect for today’s PNR – the language bordering on quaint. Everything taken into consideration, I see The Kindred Chronicles series greatly improving as future books are penned.(less)
I didn’t think it would be possible, but, yes, Lucas Donlon, Vampire Lord of the Plains Territory has unseated Raphael, Vampire Lord of the Western Territory, as the most bad-ass alpha in the Vampires of America Series. His love for Kathryn, the compassion he has for his people along with the need for vengeance against his enemies make for one powerful complete package. And I just love Kathryn! She is so independent and loves her baby brother fiercely – would do anything for him! There were times while reading LUCAS that I laughed out loud or found myself teary-eyed because of something she said or did.
Yes, there is a vamp war going on. It’s not glossed over either. Ms. Reynolds writes great battle scenes where the vamps are actually dusted! Her depiction of Lucas’s power is illustrated beautifully:
He was power incarnate, but he rarely bared his true face to the world. Tonight was one of those times, and he reveled in the beauty of it, as his power streamed out, surrounding him waiting to be tapped, waiting for the taste of an enemy’s blood. The darkness around Lucas lit with golden fire as his eyes reflected the rise of his power.
Yes, Kathryn’s brother has disappeared and she has to find him. Unfortunately, she didn’t count on a hunk-o-burnin’- love vampire to have to deal with. These two are in a love/hate relationship and it is S-W-E-E-T watching it develop. This is just a small snippet of a wonderful scene:
“What happened, Kathryn?” he asked quietly.
She gave him a quick glance. “I don’t know what you mean,” she lied.
“Let me refresh your memory, then. You fucked my brains out night before last—“
“I told you I had things to do. I drove all day yesterday to get here –“
“—and apparently you couldn’t wait to get out of town. I talked to the motel manager. You must have gone directly there from my bed, then packed up and left with the sun barely above the horizon.”
“And what do you mean I fucked your brains out?” she snapped, seizing on the one thing she could dispute, since everything else he’d said was pretty damn accurate. “I wasn’t the only one in that bed, Lucas. Brains were fucked and fun was had by all.”
Ah, yes, LUCAS is one hot, steamy read. You will not be disappointed.
Of all the Vampires in America Series (VIA) books, I like LUCAS the best. It doesn’t lean heavily on characters from the other books, but it does mention a few of them. Kathryn and Lucas are written completely different than any of the other H/h of Ms. Reynolds VIA novels. I can’t quite put my finger on it: more touchable, fallible, human? Whatever it is, I like it!
I look forward to the next VIA. The brief glimpse of Aden was a tantalizing tease! (less)
Well, I did it again. I started a new series from an author I’ve never read before and wouldn’t you know it, I read the last book of the series first. *head desk* All is not lost – this book is phenomenal and another author is on the TBR Mountain. However, the book can be read as a stand alone; as I didn't miss a thing by not reading the first two.
A bit of a warning here: Women are treated as chattel during portions of this story. The Russian Mob cover all the bases: water boarding torture, underage prostitution, white slave trade, and sexual abuse. The character of Nikitin is written so bad creepy, he's the character you love to hate.
Mike and Chloe are complete opposites and are made for each other. Mike is the big, bad alpha; former Marine and SWAT officer. Whose man-whore "I don't need no one" ways get him into a whole heap of trouble. But of course, once he lays eyes on Chloe, it's like a sucker punch to the gut and he's a goner!
Chloe was light itself and he was helplessly drawn to it, to her. There was some kind of aura there, something he'd never seen in anyone else before, something that drew him in without any volition on his part. His legs moved without him willing it, his entire body moving toward the light, moving toward something it had never seen before and instantly recognized as something it craved.
I don't think I have ever read a character such as Chloe before. Physically, she is as delicate as a piece of fine cut crystal - so fragile she can break at any time. But Chloe has the strength and determination of an Amazon Warrior to survive and overcome the hand life dealt her.
NIGHTFIRE has all the ingredients I look for in romantic suspense: creepy bad guys hatching a nefarious plot with a heroine in distress as the alpha hero comes to the rescue. Yes, it's a well worn plot, but Ms. Rice has done it so well! Now, on to reading the first two books of this series,Into the Crossfire, and Hotter Than Wildfire!(less)
Mairi MacGregor grew up in the shadow of her three brothers and Connor Grant. As a young girl, she was right there with them, getting into trouble. As the years passed, the relationship between Mairi and Connor blossomed into love. The night Connor leaves Scotland to serve in the king’s army, Mairi feels betrayed and vows never to trust him again. Connor had sent letters to Mairi asking her to join him in England, only for a short while, but she had refused.
It’s been seven long years since Mairi last saw Connor and now she finds herself stuck in London amid the lords and ladies, a guest at the court of the king and queen. The last thing she wants to do is run in to Connor. To make matters worse, Connor’s parents are among the guests. It doesn’t take long before Connor and Mairi are at each other’s throats. At times, Mairi’s tongue is as sharp as the blades she keeps hidden under her skirts, but Connor is no push-over either. Now, Connor is a different story. Of course, he is alpha all the way and he never stopped loving Mairi, but won’t admit it. And he does not want anyone else to have her. (The scene where the Queen summons Connor to her chambers to discuss Mairi’s “future” is fabulous!)
Mairi is a very strong, independent heroine, and she doesn’t like anyone telling her what to do. Unfortunately, this shrew was getting tiresome. Thankfully, her attitude gets an adjustment. Connor was wonderful! He would claim one minute Mairi was his, and then deny it with his next breath. He would want to pummel someone for looking at her the wrong way. (He does get his chance, but the repercussions are unexpected.) Yet, he doesn’t give-in that easily to Mairi.
Throw into the mix a real slime ball, Lord Oxford, who is courting Mairi and his equally creepy sister Lady Elizabeth. The Queen and Lady Claire (Connor’s Mom) add their two-cents to get Mairi and Connor moving along in the right direction. Of course, all entwined within the intrigue of politics and religion. TAMED BY A HIGHLANDER is a very appropriate title as the bonnie lass Mairi is indeed tamed by Connor! (less)