Despite the fact I could not stand the heroine, Lollie, Just a Kiss Away was a great story. One adventure after another. I guess I have to thank Lollie for all of those moments but still, annoying is one effective word to describe her.
Just a Kiss Away seemed like a really long book. It kept going and going and just when I thought it was going to wind down, something else popped up. Lottie and Sam experience one adventure after another. Hacking their way through bug infested jungles to escaping mercenaries and armed soldiers, Sam put up with a lot of Lottie's inexperience and jinx ridden aversions.
I understand why Lottie was the way she was. In 1896 women were still really sheltered and with Lottie having a whole slew of older brothers guarding her every move, the lady never got to experience much. Lottie could barely walk by a table without toppling it over. A lot of screaming, crying, whining and sulking by Lottie almost had me giving up on the book. I am not a fan of helpless women and Lottie was pretty much the most helpless women I have ever about. Even her general attitude was childish. I stuck it out because I was driven to see how it would all end. I am glad I did.
Sam may have been a mercenary but Lottie was his match. I could not tell you how many times I felt sorry for him. Not pity. I felt sorry for him because I would never want to be stuck with a person like Lottie tracking through jungle. He had way more patience than I ever would have had.
Lottie antics did allow for some very funny scenes and just as many eye rolling moments. There really are no slow pauses in Just a Kiss Away as the story was constantly moving. It was like an action movie.
Some great quotes: Lollie and Sam yelling at each other "If Abraham's son had been like you, Sam Forester, it wouldn't have been a sacrifice!" "If Christ'd had you along, he wouldn't have needed a cross to become a martyr."
Sam after Lollie accidentally stabs him with a knife "Any bastard stupid enough to give Lollie LaRue a knife deserves to get stabbed."
Teasers: spiky raw chicken, Medusa the scene stealing bird, tarantula thread roll, trained fighting roosters (less)
Provided a review copy by publisher for a honest review
Stocking Full of Cole is a sweet story with erotic elements. Brynn Paulin has wrote some very steamy erotic books in the past so this one is quite tame in comparison.
The real spin on Stocking Full of Cole is that since Tamah is eleven years older, she used to babysit Cole. He has always had a crush on her and over the years, he has loved her from afar. Now that he is twenty three and well established, Cole is going to make his move. As luck would have it, Tamah is single.
I quite liked the fact that she was older. I really don't think age should play to heavily on a romance as long as it is legal and they are in love. There were times where I felt that Cole was actually more mature than Tamah so clearly in this situation, age should not have mattered.
The intimate scenes were well written and full of romance. With the added bonus of having Christmas time for the setting, there was a lot of opportunity for romance. I loved the horse drawn sled ride and the Christmas stocking present. It was all very warm and moving. If you can look past the bad cover, you'll enjoy the story.
Teasers: Annoying father, snowballs against window, caroling off-key, pie bidding(less)
As much as I love to take a trip to Lucky Harbor, Under the Mistletoe was a little bit flat for me. Under the Mistletoe takes place about 5 years after Chloe and Sawyer's book, At Last. Under the Mistletoe could be read as a stand alone novella but you'd be missing all of the character's backgrounds in relation to Mia.
I'm not really a fan of novellas or anthologies because they are too short for me. I was especially annoyed that Under the Mistletoe finished when my Kindle was only at 65%. I really find that misleading while reading and gauging how far I am into the book and how much longer is left. 65% is way to short. I feel cheated.
Both Nick and Mia were adopted children and both had very different experiences with their upbringing. Their backgrounds played heavily on how they each approached their relationship.
Something that bugged me was how Mia surprised Nick with an airline ticket back to Lucky Harbor as a present and then sprung it on him the very night before they'd have to leave. I kind of thought that was inconsiderate really. She was hurt that he wasn't eager to go. She must have had an inkling on what his reaction was going to be because it just felt wrong to give him such a present (and what it represented) at her doorstep the very night before.
I was completely okay that Jill Shalvis didn't have Mia paired off with Carlos, her teen boyfriend from previous books. I am glad that Carlos made an appearance in the story and everything was okay between them.
Any moment with Ford, Mia's biological father, is a good moment. I adore his personality and how he interacts with Mia and her biological mom, Tara. I will admit to wishing there was a bit more of Ford in Under the Mistletoe but I understand it was not his story to tell.
I was glad that Nick flew to Lucky Harbor to find Mia. I wish there was more written about Chloe and Sawyer's wedding as that was another reason I purchased Under the Mistletoe. There are only some very minor scenes at the end. I guess overall I would have just liked it longer.
Teasers: meddling mom, hose them off, sexy houseboat cruise(less)
I was pleased to accept a copy from the author for a honest review
I always find myself feeling smarter after I read a Courtney Milan book. I think it...moreI was pleased to accept a copy from the author for a honest review
I always find myself feeling smarter after I read a Courtney Milan book. I think it is because it's very evident with how much research she pours into her story. I trust that if she is writing about a doctor's recipe from 1857, that in fact it was something that a doctor of the time would prescribe.
Lydia and Jonas were secondary characters from the first book, The Duchess War. I would recommend reading that story first so that you have a firm understanding of Lydia's history. A Kiss for Midwinter is a novella but the read didn't feel short.
I thought it was very interesting how Lydia and Jonas first met. Jonas recalls the conflicting situation relating to their first meeting instead of actually being acquainted with her. Lydia however, would never forget him; that time in her life forever etched in her mind.
The depth of deception that Lydia experienced early on in her life served as a heavy reminder in her sub-conscience to not believe that there were no ulterior motives when Jonas showed interest in her. She lets her guard down for a short while but painful memories flood back and she doesn't trust herself enough to move forward. I really felt for her and the internal battle she struggles with.
Jonas is a perfect hero for me because he is so plain and simple with his conversations. He is factual and nonchalant in discussing human sexuality and yet Lydia strikes him in such a manner that he blurts out nonsense to her. It was humourous to hear him blurt out that he thinks that she is the eleventh prettiest woman in town. Jonas is the first to admit that there are defects with his character.
A Kiss for Midwinter is a wonderful novella on how a woman can work through some painful memories and trust herself to take the happiness and love she deserves. Jonas is the perfect man to prove to Lydia that she does in fact deserve it.
Teasers: eleventh prettiest woman, historical hoarder, sentimental set of leather-bound encyclopedias, French letters(less)
Seriously, I loved Mackenzie Family Christmas. I can't believe what a treat Jennifer Ashley wrote for her fans! There was so much content in this story. Each of the Mackenzie brothers had something going on here. Mackenzie Family Christmas was chalk full of updates and completely satisfied my Mackenzie craving.
Each of the brother's and their wives had a moment in the spotlight and all of the stories interconnected with Christmas and family being the staple. I want to read it again.
I know that Mackenzie Family Christmas is meant as a novella but it just seemed longer. I am a horrible judge of ebook sizes (325KB) but I did get the impression that it was longer than most novellas.
Teasers: Broken Ming bowl, lost baby, new baby, domino train (less)
Oh how I love a really smart heroine. Perhaps there is nothing I love more other than a hero who respects just how intelligent and noble the heroine really is.
There is a prequel to The Duchess War called The Governess Affair. My review of this prequel is here. The Kindle version is only .99 and I would recommend reading it first. It is not necessary but it does nicely line up the foundation for the this Brothers Sinister series.
The concealed secrets within The Duchess War are slowly revealed. The reader learns about the depth of these mysteries in parallel with the other book's characters. I found myself dying to know the extent of the shrouded mystery surrounding Minnie and the extent of Robert's upbringing. Together with these secrets and the series of events that emerge chapter after chapter; The Duchess War made for a rather suspenseful read. There was a perpetual chain of events that kept me clicking the pages forward quickly. It was very fitting that the game of chess was an embedded plot of The Duchess War.
I found Minnie a rather complex character. Her mind was always plotting forward steps ahead. She was a very guarded lady prepared for her next ploy. The Duchess War made me ache for the women of the time as Minnie was striving hard to carefully carve out a safety net for her foreboding future. She took great effort not to bring attention to herself. Although her soft voice gave the perception of shyness, she was in fact a force to be reckoned with.
The Duke, Robert wasn't a brooding alpha hero that normally appear within the pages of historical romances. He is a romantic at heart. A dreamer. A do-gooder if you will. And finally a Duke that isn't a rake with an abundance of sexual conquests. In the shadows of his dark Ducal father, he aspired to be the complete opposite of him. My heart ached for him. He was determined to make right so many wrongs.
The "war" Minnie battles with the Duke is based upon proving he is the author and mastermind behind distributing seditious pamphlets that she is being suspected of organizing. After her attempt of blackmailing the Duke was not successful, Minnie sets forth to bring about the indisputable proof she needs to secure her innocence. What she doesn't count on is the Duke becoming enamored with her while trying to war against him.
Amazing quotes from Minnie: "You probably think battles are won with cannons and brave speeches and fearless charges. They're not. Wars are won by dint of having adequate shoe leather. They're won by boys who make shells in munitions factories, by supply trains shielded from enemy eyes. Wars are won by careful attendance to boring detail. If you wait to see the cavalry charge, Your Grace, you'll have already lost."
"I'm sure your prick is as massive as your head is thick."
Teasers: Sedition, humorous train ride with friends, wedding night lessons, alphabet book primer(less)
What an adorably cute read. As usual Lisa Kleypas' writing is utterly magical, sublimely perfect.
The only downside to Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor was that it went by too fast and it was a short novel. The Kindle price is really steep at $9.58. I bought the paperback for a tad less but I still thought it was a hefty price for what I would normally spend on a mass market paperback. It's only 232 pages.
Now how about the good stuff? Tomorrow I am decorating for Christmas and Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor has me in the mood. Truthfully, the story only ends at Christmas Eve so the majority of the story takes place from late summer through to fall. Regardless, I'm on a season high now.
Mark's niece, Holly makes the book that much more special. She is too sweet for words. Brave little soul she is. I just wanted to hug her.
Mark was a great male lead. Although the story is short, I felt I got to know him. At first he seems so serious but he softens up pretty quickly with the simple pleasure of loving his very young niece. This line here got to me:
"For the first time in his life he knew what it was like to have his heart broken...not broken in a sad or romantic sense, but broken open"
Maggie's character is extremely likeable and how awesome is it that she owns a toy store called The Magic Mirror AND she made a homemade fairy house? She has a deep rooted loyalty that naturally makes you want to know her. Her attraction to Mark is immediate and I truly loved that she meshed with Holly separately. It never seemed like she was becoming close to the sweet girl just to get to Mark.
It was interesting that when Mark meets Maggie, he was already involved with another woman. I really liked that Lisa Kleypas never really villainized his girlfriend as it would have been the easy way out to have Mark break up with her. In fact I liked how that entire situation was handled. However Mark was skirting on the edge of cheating. I was surprised that I was okay with how natural the scenes were being pulled off and how real to life that situation could be.
I look forward to continuing on with this series.
Teasers: large pink conch shell, fever brings him home, flying turkey, homemade Mac & Cheese
A Night to Surrender has some really great moments and then there were times where the story was really dragging for me. A Night to Surrender was missing a climax and a solid conflict for me. Other than that, the characters and the idea of Spindle Cove was great.
Bram came across as a man starved for affection. He used a lot of flowery words and phrases that were a bit over the top for me. Susanna on the other hand definitely gave off the vibe as if it would not have mattered to her either way if a man came in to sweep her off her feet or if she lived in Spindle Cover forever unmarried. I kind of liked that. She was a very self sufficient woman.
I loved the idea of a safe haven for women who didn't fit into society. A place where they could build confidences or escape medieval doctors with their quack cures. The ladies never had to worry about prying eyes of gossipy ton. The town was primarily made up of women and with out a doubt, they had a pretty good thing going on.
When Bram and his two comrades visit Spindle Cover, the order and perfectly planned schedules of the women get ruffled. Bram enters the scene with a boom (literally) and the men bring chaos. I really liked the secondary character Colin, Lord Payne a lot. He helped fill in some comic relief and was the noted scene stealer of the book. I will definitely carry on in the series as it is his book next, A Week To Be Wicked.
Bram was trying to leave Spindle Cove just as hard as he was trying to stay. The conflict of his constant threat of departing back to the military didn't really come across as all that believable. He fell in love too fast with Susanna and I just didn't feel it was a strong enough reason to keep them separated. He wasn't really torn about the decision to leave or stay.
Awesome quote from Susanna: "I'll say this. I claim sole possession of my body, my heart, and my soul. And tonight, I choose to share them all with you."
Great premise for a story and the couple was sweet. I just wasn't as captivated as I normally am with historical romances.
Teasers: sheep-bomber, withered appendage, Rutting Bull, "Dinner" the adorable lamb(less)
Trey is adorably sexy. Reagan is a talented fan girl living the dream. Ethan just lucked out.
One cannot review Double Time without mentioning the wacky book order release. Trey's book should have been #5 but was moved up to #3 without the benefit of having a re-edit done. So the reader gets a peak at Eric's love and Jace's HEA. Bummer. It's not to distracting but if I had not known that bit of info ahead of time, I would have been very confused.
I just adore this series. I still think that Backstage Pass (book 1) was my favourite but each book afterwards has not disappointed at all. I fell in love with Trey in book 1 so I am actually glad I didn't really have to wait a few years for his story. Double Time does have the feel of a final book so there is definitely a finale type of ending. I hope the other books that have not been released aren't anti-climatic.
I could relate to Reagan's fan girl persona. I think Olivia Cunning captured that perfectly. Who wouldn't squeal and jump up and down or freeze when coming face to face with their idol? Okay, I came face to face with my idol and as cool as I wanted to act, I know I was totally fan-girling. Even though I wanted Reagan to act all cool, I know it was way more true to life that she didn't. I found I smiled a lot when Reagan was being featured at the beginning. She was overwhelmed and star struck. I so understood and felt her giddiness.
Ethan was "meh" for me. I usually like a triad but I never got the warm and fuzzies for him. It felt more like he was interfering with Trey and Reagan. Having said that, I LOVED that Olivia Cunning kept Trey's bisexuality true to form by not having him "settle" as a heterosexual man. That is not who he is and a person should never have to change to fit into a relationship no matter how badly they feel they have to. Since Ethan and Reagan had relationship history, Ethan was a good match. I also liked that Ethan was not a huge rock star fan and really didn't know who Trey was. I felt that allowed Trey to be comfortable that Ethan was not in it from the fan mentality angle. Ethan fell for Trey because he was a sensual hot guy.
The intimate scenes are classic Olivia Cunning and as hot as ever. SMOKING HOT! This menage story is my favourite kind being M/M/F. There is also a mix of M/F and of course M/M. Double Time has all the bells and whistles that makes a story really erotic. I'd never suggest the Sinners on Tour series for anyone who doesn't like to read erotica. If you do love a good erotic story with an awesome storyline that includes heavy metal rockers, you need to start with book1, Backstage Pass and keep reading.
**SPOILER** One thing I am a bit confused about. If you haven't read already read Double Time this is a spoiler. Why did Reagan want Trey to tell Brian about his long time feelings for him? What did he expect Brian to say? By this time, Trey is heavily involved with Ethan and Reagan and Brian is super in love and happy with his wife. I just don't understand the purpose of that conversation? Why did Trey then "forgive" Brian for breaking his heart?
Teasers: Trey sucking a his cherry lollypop in front of Ethan while flirting with Reagan, best texting pictures ever, Sinners on Tour WITH Exodus End(less)
I finished Notorious Nineteen earlier today and I had to digest my feelings. My first gut feeling was to review and grant a 3 heart rating but now I have reconsidered after pondering further. I am granting a 4 heart rating. When I rate a Stephanie Plum novel I am rating and comparing against each other.
I have always been a member of the Ranger/Stephanie camp. One thing I noticed about Notorious Nineteen is that Morelli was more vocal about loving Stephanie and he even mentions marriage a time or two. One would think that maybe Janet Evanovich is trying to reach a "Timeless Twenty" book (or similarly named) and then have Steph finally get married off to Morelli. You know what? That would not be a bad thing. How about retiring Stephanie and Morelli and then write a spin off series about Ranger? I much prefer the story lines where Ranger plays an active lead and I guess that is why Twelve Sharp remains one of my favourites. I agree with a lot of fans that as much as we adore this series, I think it is getting close to retirement.
Some of the major things I liked about Notorious Nineteen was that there was an actual mystery to solve. It was less whimsical and the magical silliness was thankfully absent. Janet Evanovich's earlier books were great fun without having to add weird mystical elements. I just prefer the stories humourous sans wacko stuff. Admittedly the 3 ft Tiki wood carving was borderline mystical but not "way out there". Morelli didn't seem like the domineering chauvinistic man that I often peg him for. I actually liked him a whole lot more in Notorious Nineteen than I ever have before. I didn't out and out laugh in the story but it did give me plenty of smiles. I always feel really good after reading a Stephanie Plum book. The earlier stories are my favourite re-reads.
Some things that I didn't care for was the over-done and over the top food cravings for Lula. We get it. She likes to eat greasy, salty and fatty foods. I wasn't a fan of this constant love triangle of Morelli/Stephanie/Ranger. I've always thought the play against each other to be brilliant but it has been really over done now. Enough already. It has become a bit of a turn off.
So here is the kicker for me. I will continue to buy these books for as long as Janet Evanovich writes them. I know this. I have not bought into the Diesel series because I don't care for the magical storylines. I just love and miss the really fun, quirky but more serious mysteries that used to dominate this series.
Teasers: Pepto-Bismol pink bridesmaid dress, new Ranger watch, Tiki strapped in by seat belt, graveside shooting(less)
Since this weekend is to recognize and celebrate the brave men & women of the military, I wanted to read a military themed book. What a better place to start than with a series of short stories.
The Imposter by Jennifer Johnson You know that old saying, "I'm smiling so much my cheeks hurt." That perfectly describes my feelings after reading The Imposter. It was so good that I want it to be a true story.
String of Pearls by Margaret Ethridge A heart warming welcome home WW2 story. I totally felt whisked away to the dance celebration while a Glenn Miller wannbe band played in the background. The sounds, the descriptive textures and the emotional feelings were completely authentic as I imagined any returning soldier would have experienced. Outstanding.
Mind Over Matter by Ruth J. Hartman I was a bit confused with this story. Apparently Lydia didn't want to ever date a smart guy because that made her feel dumb?? So she just sticks with the super good looking guys that are sensitive and not smart. See the confusion. The story plays on a lot of incorrect stereotypes where good looking people are not not smart and if you look nerdy, that immediately means you are a brainiac.
Dorthea's War by Lozi Hart I really liked Dorthea's War. I am always drawn to a story where the protagonists give off the appearance that like they don't really like each other but in their reality, they are very attracted to each other. I also liked that Dorthea is really smart and is a secret agent for the government. There is this one scene where Dorthea and Adam are away on a mission and they are stuck on a boat cramped in a really tight cabin. They need to take turns for the bed and Adam actually takes the bed and leaves the chair for Dorthea to sleep in. I loved that! I know that it is not very gentlemanly of him but it did demonstrate how he treated her as his equal while on a mission.
Faith, Love & The Coastguard by Julie Anne Lindsey Poor Faith being the youngest of a bunch of brooding brothers. It is a wonder the women ever gets to date. The first meeting between Faith and Seth was a classic attraction that I never get tired of. I read romance to gobble this stuff up. I have not read a story with a Coastguard before and I'd love to have read a full story with Faith and Seth. I was sad when it was over.
Knight in Armor by Jennifer Anderson Awesome story. Isabella and Mark had me cheering for them the moment they met on that stranded road. Mark came off as a quiet type of man but he oozed alpha. The series of coincidences that had to happen for them to get to the next step all came off as believable. Everything fell in line and it was apparent that Izzy and Mark had some pretty amazing chemistry. Another couple I would have love to have read a full story about.
Lightning Always Strikes Twice by Patricia Marie Warren What a lovely story to wrap up this great anthology. Wyatt and Audrey have a history going back to when she was just seven years old. It is so sweet when a little girl has a crush that stays with her all her years. War changes people but through it all, Wyatt's love for Audrey remained true. (less)
I got The Mad, Bad Duke in paperback as a super good deal at a giant booksale. Hey a book just has to say it's written by Jennifer Ashley and I am buying it. You can tell that The Mad, Bad Duke is an early work of Jennifer Ashley as it is not as awesome as her more recent books but it was still an enjoyable read regardless.
It is not too often I read a historical romance with paranormal elements thrown into the mix. As I had indicated above, I just saw Jennifer Ashley's name and grabbed the book so I didn't even read what the story was about. The paranormal shape-shifters and the touch of magic took me by surprise. Not in a disappointing way rather just in an unexpected way. I can probably count on one hand how many times I've read a paranormal historical romance.
There were a lot of the book 1 elements included in The Mad, Bad Duke. Since I didn't read book 1, Penelope & Prince Charming, I discovered that in reading book 2 there are some gaps and history missing. You could read it as a stand alone as I did but I am wondering if my rating would have been higher if I had read book 1 first.
Meagan and Alexander fall in love right away. However the powerful lust, attraction and love they feel is due to a talisman spell. I loved that the couple were immediately drawn together and were very free voicing their feelings and showing their affection. No bent up frustration or miscommunication. No wondering on thoughts or confusion. Their attraction was not over the top and very much resembled a newly dating couple who are really in to one another. I was excited for them.
Alexander is the Grand Duke of a country called Nvergaria. The country is so believable that I fully admit to Googling it to see where it was. *giggles* Jennifer Ashley was brilliant with her descriptions, customs and politics. Totally believable.
I enjoyed the story; I just didn't love the story.
Teasers: fishing in puddles, sexy sword dance, black panther, magic letter delivery service(less)
Ahhh the Baumgartners. There is not a couple around like them. Anywhere. I had first read "Babysitting the Baumgartners" a year or so ago and I was bl...moreAhhh the Baumgartners. There is not a couple around like them. Anywhere. I had first read "Babysitting the Baumgartners" a year or so ago and I was blown away with just how hot and smutty the story was. So I thought I'd go back to the beginning of the series to read how it all began. That lead me to this "Plus One" book.
M/F, F/F & F/F/M are the sexual orientations of this book and I swear Selena Kitt writes the best F/F scenes around. I'm not usually drawn to F/F as I am M/M but holy smokes she writes steaming hot intimate scenes. I also love the actual stories that are included within each of the smutty pages so a total bonus.
In the Baumgartner world you don't need to worry about STDs, condoms or jealousy. The stories are not sexually realistic (orgasm multiples and Doc, Mr Baumgartner's stamina is unprecedented) however, if you just go with it and just enjoy it, the choreographed and frequent intimate scenes are sure to please. The fantasy of a triad relationship is front and center and it is nice to just immerse yourself in the fictional possibility. Loved it!
Free on Kindle. Go get it now if you love hot hot hoooot F/F, M/F & F/F/M all mixed in your stories.
It's so hard to find well written F/F in smut...moreFree on Kindle. Go get it now if you love hot hot hoooot F/F, M/F & F/F/M all mixed in your stories.
It's so hard to find well written F/F in smut and Selena Kitt never disappoints. I also love that her smutty stories don't always end in a HEA either so you never really know how it will go.
As good as the F/F was in Taken, I really loved how the menage in Taken is written. I had not read one like it. I loved how the emotions were portrayed and how the intimate scenes were choreographed. It was just awesome.
The majority of the book is F/F until near the end. Taken had a great story to accompany the smut. Delicious read. (less)
I have read all kinds of smut and I find I love the D/s (BDSM) stories a lot. However I had not yet read a s...moreIt was ok. (just like the stars indicate)
I have read all kinds of smut and I find I love the D/s (BDSM) stories a lot. However I had not yet read a story on domestic discipline. I am completely open to new types of smut genres so when Underwear Probation was offered for free on Amazon, I totally downloaded it.
I love spanking stories but I think I was confusing spanking stories with domestic discipline and I have now learned that they are not the same thing. I don't like to have strict and frivolous rules dictated to the heroine and then to have her punished like a child by her husband if they are broken. I am being clear on this review because someone may totally find that hot and if so, Underwear Probation is for you.
Underwear Probation was different for me so I'm glad I tried it but I think I stick to my hot smutty spanking stories that are not set out as punishment and discipline.
Animal Attraction was not as witty as book 1, Animal Magnetism. I smiled a lot more in book 1. I missed the quirky main characters and it felt like a...moreAnimal Attraction was not as witty as book 1, Animal Magnetism. I smiled a lot more in book 1. I missed the quirky main characters and it felt like a really long book. In fact, Animal Attraction is barely 300 pages. I guess not such a great sign if I felt it too long.
Jade and Dell are likable enough. They were evenly matched for being very closed mouthed with secrets and not opening up about themselves. It was hard to distinguish what they actually talked about since they avoided talking about themselves at all. Besides the obvious attraction to each other's appearance and some mild flirting, it is a wonder they eventually get together. They do finally find a safe topic to connect on and that was having Dell teach her self defense moves. Of course Dell is in the dark on why Jade would need defense lessons and clearly he knows she is spooked about something from her past. Dell is very patient for Jade to open up.
The pets are center stage once again and for animal lovers, that is just awesome news. Great comic relief and a whole lot of cuteness leaped off the pages.
We do meet Dell & Adam's mom in Animal Attraction. I was pretty sure I'd despise her if she ever appeared in the stories but it was an interesting direction that Jill Shalvis took. I am still on the fence about my feelings. We still don't know much about her but we do learn that she's in her fifties. When his mom had a conversation with Jade she had mentioned that she was entirely too young to have had her babies. I am not 100% sure about Dell & Adam's age but if I do the math, and the fact that Dell is a full fledged vet with his own practice, let's just say he is 27 years old. Dell is the youngest. If we just guess his mom is 55 and Dell is 27, that sure doesn't seem like his mom was way to young to have had babies.
Animal Magnetism was a sweet story that had really likable characters. That includes the quirky cast of animals. Scene stealers is what they all were.
Lilah is about a perfect as a heroine as you could get. Almost too perfect. She was funny, lovable, pretty and has the biggest heart that you could ever have met. In fact, there is nothing that isn't unappealing about her and maybe that is a bit unappealing in itself. Regardless, I adored her. I feel that the readers really got to know Lilah and there was no secrets about her. What you see is what you get.
Brady on the other hand was really quiet and also really gorgeous. I could easily picture him in my mind. Honestly, even though he had conversation in the story, I'm wondering if he ever talked. They did have a lot of comfortable silences and Brady is not a talkative character at all. He is a total alpha type of male. Actions more than words. Lilah was a good match for him.
I loved how they met and it set Animal Magnetism off to a great start. I started smiling from the beginning and I don't think I stopped. It is quite obvious that Jill Shalvis is familiar with pet antics and is no stranger to owning pets with personalities. From kittens to puppies to ducks, each of these furry or feathered creatures were great characters.
One of the things I really liked about Animal Magnetism was how Lilah played out the ending. Knowing from the start that Brady was leaving she had maintained throughout the story that she wanted a light and fun relationship with no picket fence ending. Of course, Lilah is the type of woman who is a total picket fence girl. Regardless when it was time for Brady to leave, she held it together and didn't dump a typical guilt trip onto Brady and then become a sniveling weakling or become angry towards him. She knew it was coming. Of course her heart was breaking but she was so courageous in allowing him to go without breaking down in front of him.
Great story and I can't wait to move onto the next book. There are some great character set ups that I am eager to read about.
Teasers: helicopter date, kitten about to pounce on morning wood, mistaken for a raccoon, skinny dipping in a mystical love lake (less)
I totally was not feeling this book. Bound by Blood's storyline and character development made no sense to me. Going with the premise of the story, Wolfman and Vamplady marry to solidify and unite forces in order to battle the Demons.
She was to marry to save the vamp nest. How many years long do you think a marriage would last in the paranormal realm? Hundreds of years maybe? That was my guess. Then imagine my surprise when this bit of information is shared, "She wasn't supposed to have sex with him. The Council has been adamant about that. Drink him, yes, take his power, give him hers, but sex? Forbidden." Now come on. Does that even make sense? The Council agrees to marry off their precious Vamp Princess for unity sake but then no sex? It is so, well, dumb. Who would insist on a marriage to take place but no sex. I swear you could hear my eyes roll.
Then in the course of one day, she loves him. Morgan didn't know Jace previously. She was bartered away for the good of her people and it only took one day. Yep. He stalked her for years behind the scenes so I can imagine that his lust level was high and he claimed to have loved her from afar but it was all way way waaaaay to quick for me. Also, I don't know but the whole "love from afar" thing was just creepy to me.
Then I got confused once again. A trusted council member traps her inside a burning house. Supposedly this action was to see if she could or would burn badly after she had a chance to drink Jace's blood. But you see, why the hell would he take a chance on that if that same Council member planned on (and needed to) setting Morgan up as a sacrifice to the demons in hell? Talk about a complete contradiction.
Once again, my confusion ensured regarding the plans of each of the Wolf and Vamp groups. The Alpha and Council members never figured out each other's evil plans toward one another. They never considered their opposition schemes? Not very good leaders if you ask me. How do you lead people you are suppose to protect if you don't consider your enemies strategies?
So basically, the story, the pace, the characters were all just a big fat turn off for me. Paranormal or not, the story has got to make sense to me. Good thing Bound by Blood was only a $1 purchase on Amazon. (less)
Sed is the lead singer of The Sinners. To be honest, Sed is not one of my favourite guys. He lives up to his bad boy image and I don't think it's even an act. He encompasses a rock star persona through and through. He constantly puts his foot in his mouth and is quite unapologetic about it. Even through all of this attitude, his weak spot is Jessica. I understand that Sed means well enough but his way of getting his point across often fails and is met with people being put on the defensive.
Jessica confused the hell out of me. She is a stubborn woman who doesn't let up very easily. I felt myself siding with Jessica and then Sed and then Jessica and then Sed. If there was ever a rock star couple meant for each other's personalities, it is Sed and Jessica. Some of the things that really bothered me about Jessica was regarding this law degree she was so passionate about. I was totally confused about her situation. She is so smart, practically head of the class but then when faced with not having enough funds for school in the autumn, she becomes a stripper instead of getting some sort of internship or something "law-y". There has to be some sort of paying job that would involve a law student. As much as I thought the sex video was a perfect angle to include in Rock Hard, Jessica's reaction was a bit off. I don't really picture Jessica as a lawyer.
Additionally with Jessica, I am not quite sure when her feelings about Sed changed. I was super annoyed that she was getting together with him with the purpose to try and break his heart. Seemed rather childish and high schoolish to me. Not something I'd expect from a 2nd year law student.
One of the things I loved about Rock Hard was that the story seemed so much more than just a romance between Sed and Jessica. The previous couple Brian and Myrna were present a lot and the rest of the band, Eric, Jace and Trey never left the storyline. It was like reading a book about a concert tour. FABULOUS. I hope that theme keeps up throughout the entire series.
I cannot wait for Trey's book. I think I am leaning towards him being my favourite so far. Trey was in Rock Hard a lot and had his own side story and it was excellent.
Rock Hard has lots and lots of sex. Jess and Sed sure have enough smoking chemistry to heat up the pages. The scenes are super hot but too frequent. I prefer the quality over the quantity. In the first book, Backstage Pass, the sex was very adventurous. It seemed in Rock Hard the theme was more focused on the setting and frequency. (On top of the Eiffel tower in Vegas, hotel rooms, vehicles, sail boats etc and how many organisms can a guy give a woman anyhow?) Sed has unprecedented stamina.
There was one lingering question I did have, if anyone knows, please respond. What was the significance of the groupie in Sed's dressing room at that last concert. I kept thinking she was going to do something to injure him but maybe I was reading too much into it. I just didn't know what the relevance of that scene was.
I am so happy I only have to wait until Nov 1st for Trey's book. I am very excited about that!
Teasers: bouncer fight with lots of physical ramifications, sex video, 10 for the big O, dual proposal(less)
A friend texted me a few months ago and said that she was reading a filthy sexy book. This friend loves smut so for her to even mention how smoking hot Backstage Pass was definitely made me look it up. Of course I purchased solely based on her few comments and I just now finally have gotten around to reading it. Guess what message I sent back to her on Twitter? I Tweeted back:
"OMG "Backstage Pass" is a filthy delicious book."
I read a lot of sexy smutty books. Having said that, Backstage Pass is so far the most erotic of 2012. (and that's with the 50 Shades and Bared to You included) I also completely fell in love with the story line. I mean, who does not love a smoking hot rock star that is a "romantic retard". I even loved Myrna. I adored that her character was 35, hot and a professor. She had her dysfunctions but that just added to the story element.
I thought it was really cool how Olivia Cunning gave her male character a regular name like Brian and her female character a really old school name like Myrna. I bet a lot of thought went into her character's names and the decision totally worked.
How can I possible review Backstage Pass and not make a mention about the erotic nature of this story. Because wow, it was very erotic. Firstly, it was all excellently written and really really hot. There was a little bit of everything here. Brian and Myrna are a very adventurous couple. They are uninhibited, highly creative and pretty much willing to experiment and try anything. The trust built quickly between them and it was infectious. I just loved this couple.
Ok so basically I adored the entire band. All those musicians had awesome personalities and I can't wait to read each of their books. I am most definitely adding them all to my Goodreads list. In fact, I'm pushing all my TBR books aside and I'm getting the next one in the series right now.
Also how much do I love that there is a website set up just for the fictional band, Sinners. I love the fake bios, pictures and information.
Teasers: awesome rock concert vibes, sex for a music muse, interesting to use ketchup as a sex food, lots of bus-tour sex (less)
Wow I loved On Dublin Street. I was totally into the story and I couldn't put it down. It drew on a lot of emotions, had very sexy well written scenes and held a strong friendship theme.
Poor Joss had a gut wrenching past that left her an orphan in her tender teen years. Guilt weighing hundreds of pounds made it difficult for her to move forward from her emotional past and added complications in her adult life with relationships; even regular friendships. I really felt for Joss. I liked that the author Samantha Young allowed us into Joss' head so we could figure out why she comprehended as she did. I could relate to a lot of her thought processes.
Here is a great example: "Despite my tendency to keep eighty percent of myself to myself, I liked being surrounded by people." - see this I could totally relate to.
Braden. Mmmmmm Braden. Please meet my new book boyfriend. He's a dirty talking, sexy, understanding, possessive and a very patient Scot.
Love this line: "Babe, nice lingerie is for seducing a man. I'm already fucking seduced."
Oh oh and this one: "I know you love me Jocelyn, because there's no fucking way I can be this much in love with you, and not have you feel the same way. It's not possible."
Braden has a wee bit of baggage in his background as well but he deals. Falling for Joss has to be torture because she gives almost nothing back verbally. She gives as good as she gets in bed but is constantly pushing Braden away emotionally. It's exhausting. Finally Joss opens up the steel vault door of her emotions to let a bit of light in but it costs her panic attacks and she is constantly in her mind contradicting herself. She is so afraid to love for fear of losing. Even her friendships she keeps at arms-length. A very lonely life she has chosen to lead.
The Prolouge is gripping and had me sucked into the story. The secondary characters were immensley important to the plot and held a lot of weight throughout the plot. My heart pounded throughout the story. The pace of their relationship and her healing was perfect. It was not rushed and then BAM all the hurt is fixed because Joss is sexually satisfied in bed. I liked the little chapter snippets of Joss with her counselor. It substantiated Joss' frame of mind at any given time and also allowed the reader to understand Joss' reasoning for her actions. (even if I wanted to shake her into wellness) The mind is a very tricky thing.
The sex is hot and steamy but I am not wanting to rate this as erotic romance because the story is so much more. If their intimate scenes were left out of the story, it still would have been a five star rating for me. I call it is a sexy story with intense steamy scenes.
The other thing I loved about On Dublin Street is that it takes place in modern day Edinburgh, Scotland. With the exception of Joss, the characters are Scottish but the reader is not forced to endure a book full of "Aye's",Scottish-isms and forced stereotypes. For instance there is a wedding but the men are not all in kilts. (ok I may have pouted at that) Having said that, you can tell the story is in fact authentic Edinburgh. It was brilliant.
I'm totally checking out more stories by this new to me author, Samantha Young.
Teasers: naked introduction, fuck buddies, breaking wind in tickle session, long overdue therapy sessions(less)
Can you say "plot holes"? Sometimes I wonder how a book by a super famous author could have slipped passed editors with large plot holes. *shrugs* Love in a Nutshell is a super fluffy story (meant in a nice way) but with very predictable characters.
To start off, I am not sure where Janet Evanovich and Dorien Kelly's style differ. I adore Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series and there are lots of lines and situations that could have been Stephanie's words. Additionally, the story is full of quirky characters and of course pets with personalities.
I did have lots of smiles but no out and out laughing. Some great lines like, "No, in fact I like vegetables. Especially French Fries."
I did like that both Kate and Matt had pretty cool families. Here is a major plot hole though that I don't think was answered but was glaringly obviousness. As Kate struggles to hold on to her family home (30 yrs in the family) it appears to be mortgaged to the max (I have no idea why her parents didn't have a better financial handle on that situation) and she is months behind in her mortgage payments. Additionally her parents seem to be quite wealthy yet knowingly give her the home. The Nutshell in such ruins. If fact, there are numerous comments regarding Country Clubs, retiring in Florida and mink coats in storage that didn't offer the reader any reason why her parents had left that financially maxed, dilapidated family home in her possession. I can't imagine her parents borrowed against the home to secure their champagne taste while in retirement all the while fully knowing how it would drain their already broke daughter's bank account. That bugged me and bugged me.
I was also baffled on why Matt would not have installed security cameras in his business when he knew that someone was trying to sabotage him. He is a smart guy but maybe the reader was not to think of that as an option. (which also bugged me because Ranger in the Plum series owns a security company so the thought must have come to the authors' minds at least once)
Regarding the sabotage mystery, although I really didn't know who the culprit was, there was hardly any clues or an investigation going on to solve it. I'd like to say that the lack of investigation was because Kate and Matt were too busy getting their romance fired up and going but that was really light too. It just seemed like the entire book lightly touched on all plots and no depth was created. I wanted more.
Love it a Nutshell is a total beach or vacation read. Nothing too intense and light n' fluffy with a bit of wit. I was actually looking to read just a book like this one so it fit my bill. However I found once I was into the story, I wanted more.
Teasers: Kamikaze Karaoke, beer gas, house full of bees, poodle with attitude(less)
Worshiping His Goddess By Voirey Linger James and Hailey's story was heart warming with the perfect ending. I loved this goddess story because James and Hailey are represented as an every day couple that have experienced a fertility problem. The couple realized how distanced they have become with their intimate life turning into ovulation charts and temperatures readings. With the introduction of the Goddess Marguerite painting it gave the couple a pause of realization that they still have each other and how not to loose site of the prosperity they already have with each other as a couple. Loved it! A lot.
Good Vibrations By Mia Jae A delicious F/F story that takes place on an airplane AND in a vibrator museum. Good Vibrations had me blushing and feeling so naughty. I loved it. It was awesome that the two women have been best friends since kindergarten and then on girlfriends getaway, they decide to be brave and act on their sexual feelings and attraction for each other. A really well done F/F story.
Under the Lion's Curse By Kim Knox Hmm. I don't think I was a fan of this story. Maybe it was a bit too "out there" for me. With the first two stories being contemporary I was thrown off a bit with this paranormal type of story. Maybe it was a bit too deep and intricate for quick anthology story.
Portrait of Passion By Maggie Wells A sensually hot story. Portrait of Passion was such a carnal delicious storyline. A cop, a sexy artist, a mirror, paints and the couple's chemistry made for a pallet of passion. The fervency of this story was outstanding. I have bookmarked this story for a future re-read.
The Duke by Darby York I am a lover of historical romance so this little story, The Duke, was something that I could really enjoy. It did not disappoint. I loved the author's note at the end of the story as she shared what inspired her to write The Duke. I think it is awesome when someone sees an item and then they can then imagine an entire story based around the trinket or bauble.
Dragon Rodeo by Ella Drake I liked the beginning of the story but then how the couple transitioned or time traveled or where ever they went was choppy. The rest of the story continued to be choppy. It seemed like the author was trying to create a D/s type of theme but when, Rand, the alpha male says, "You're going to sweetly comply with my orders, give everything to me, your complete surrender, or this will be the last day you spend in my tent", I just wanted to skip forward. That statement goes completely against a D/s type of relationship. I'm no expert in BDSM but I have read enough of the genre to know that a proper Dom does not force or give ultimatums for submission. A sub freely gives.
Virtual Encounters By Lexie Donovan The Virtual Encounters story reminded me of a Star Trek simulator where you can step inside inside a virtual setting and all the surroundings seem real. As Katelina walked among the simulated world she encounters Xero who recognized her as different. Once the pair gets to know each other, I liked Xero's comment, "In my culture, mating is all about the foreplay and technique." Well that's a great culture.
Human Touch By Evelyn Jules I wore a smile on face the entire time I read Human Touch. I can't quite remember when an erotic story had me giggling so much. I loved it. No wonder the curator of the museum was so drawn to Julia because she was a hoot. I loved the sexual banter between the couple and the setting for the story was very amusing. I thoroughly enjoyed the story.
Overall recap review for Passionate Exhibitions - I wish the anthology was either all contemporary stories or genre liked stories. I really like to read short stories to sample "new to me" authors but mixing up genres did not allow me to appreciate the various themes as I maybe would have if they were with the same type of genres.
Having said that, I really did like the clever theme that focused around museums. For the price of 2.99 on Amazon, I felt I more than got my money's worth. A great deal for sure. There was a little bit of something for everyone. Some great memorable stories and I have decided to look up a few more of these authors to see what else they have published. (less)
There over 17,000 reviews on Goodreads so here is a review that is not going to add a whole bunch of insight that hasn't already been shared. Just some thoughts and opinions.
When Lover Reborn was released, I was tempted to run out and get it right away but I held back. Mostly because I didn't want the hardcover (because it wouldn't have matched my other BDB books) and I refused to pay the crazy $10.41 price tag on Kindle. So I avoided spoiler reviews and I avoided the excited tweets. It was killing me but I was determined to wait for the mass market paperback release. My plan was to wait for it to come out and then I'd hide away and read it all in one sitting (if I could). Well that was this weekend.
Going into Lover Reborn, I honestly didn't know what it was going to be about other than I knew it was going to focus on Tohr and No'One. I'm still spinning about the No'One and Xhex connection so I was totally ready to read more about that. Well there really wasn't too much more of a story line between Xhex and No'One but was offered left me completely satisfied. I don't think I needed chapters and chapters about their sequel. I think J.R. Ward did a great job of merging their stories and setting forth a great future. I am pleased.
There were so many side stories within Lover Reborn that it makes for a really big book. 627 pages in the paperback to be exact. So if it was so long, why did I want it longer? Because I am an addict and I can't get enough of this band of brothers. I would have read 627 more pages with ease.
Xhex and John Matthew Not all is well with their newly mated status. John frustrated me but I understood. I thought Xhex handled the situations dealt to her perfectly and I ended up liking Xhex even more in this book than I already did. You go girlfriend! Most of the heat in Lover Reborn is from this couple.
Saxton/Quinn/Blay Oh man their book cannot get here fast enough. I've seen the new cover and the buzz is already in full force about their story. I just may have to break down and buy the Kindle version of their book because I am anticipating it so much.
Quinn/Layla WOW. I kind of thought it was a bit selfish of them to try and bring forth a new life when they weren't really committed to each other. It really isn't even that that bugged me. It's more that they had a need to create a young just so that they'd have someone to love and care for. It bothered me but it does open the door for a super great story in the future. Oh the complications this coupling is going to cause!
Xcor/Throe/Layla Where the hell is J.R. Ward going to take us with this story? I totally haven't a clue but Lover Reborn sure has a solid cliffhanger just left dangling for us BDB addicted fans. I am confused with the storyline of Xcor wanting to be king. How can he be king? I can understand the fighting to overthrow a royal line and to do away with royalty all together but how can he think he can just become a king? What am I missing? Also, if the glymera were so harsh on Quinn just for having mismatched eyes, how could they possibly want to have someone with a deformity as Xcor to be a new king? Maybe Xcor doesn't get that yet.
Tohr/No'One/Lassister I love the symbolism of the seasons in Lover Reborn. With Tohr being in mourning for so many books, it was awesome to see that he wasn't all of a sudden cured just because No'One came into the picture. The entire relationship between Tohr and No'One was really well written and held an excellent pace. I have nothing but praise. I am also very pleased that we will see more of Lassister too.
So I guess I need to hang on until April for the next book. I can't wait. I really loved this Black Dagger Brotherhood book. (less)
I think I am done with the Lords of the Underworld series. The Darkest Pleasure was the last book in my Kindle bundle deal and I'm actually glad it didn't extend past book 3.
Where I was intrigued by the storyline, the writing just wasn't the style I enjoy. The constant over-the-top exaggerations were too much for me.
I did like Danika's storyline and the process on how she came into her powers. I did like the Greek mythology twist as well so it really did just come down to the writing style. I skimmed more in The Darkest Pleasure than I did in any of the other 4 books I read and I think it was because I was just anxious for it to be over.
Reyes was the hero in the story and his title was the Lord of Pain. Whereas he definitely represented the emotion of pain really well, I just didn't like the whole idea of cutting one's self for pleasure. I totally understood why he needed to do it, I just didn't like it. I did like that the author stayed true to the fact that Reyes was the Lord of Pain and that his demon's personality didn't just magically disappear or become soft just because it was his book. I just didn't like reading about self mutilation. Not my thing.
I did like the side stories that took place throughout each of the books but not enough to incent me with purchasing and continuing forward with the rest of the series.
Teasers: boy demon is actually a girl demon, Paris' big decision (just didn't get why it was such a big decision as it should have been a no brainer for me), leader of the Hunter's revealed(less)
I don't think I am connecting with this series. However, The Darkest Kiss was better than the first two books I read. The Darkest Kiss is one of the books where practically everyone on my Goodreads friends list has rated it a 5 and I am scratching my head wondering what I am missing.
I admit that the story got better and better as I got further into the book. I also think that the writing in The Darkest Kiss was way better than the first two books.
Anya was not my cup of tea for a heroine. She was constantly rejected by Lucien but she kept going back for more. Even though Lucien was very attracted to her, he did not outwardly share his feelings toward Anya at all. Yet, through insults and rejection she kept coming back for more and more and couldn't seem to keep away from him. Urgh! That drove me crazy. She was like a love starved teenie bopper and not a thousands year old Goddess. Also adding my eye rolling moments was that she tried to dress sexier and sexier to get his attention. I do not like my heroines to be so desperate and sinking to lower levels to gain attention. I know that Anya liked to dress sexy to begin with but to blatantly bend over in front of him while wearing a thong and a mini shirt or to show up at an archaeological dig wearing a maid uniform was too much for me. It all just screamed for way to much for attention and desperation for my liking.
Lucien was a pretty good character and he didn't hold too much of a pity party on his behalf. I felt it was way over the top that he scarred himself because the woman he loved died. That seemed like some pretty deep emotions going on there. So it really bothered me that throughout the story there were constant references to "never feeling that way before" or "never loved like that before". I kept thinking to myself that the dude scarred himself and set him on fire on a daily basis so that certainly he must have felt that way for his first love. I think it was the exaggerations and the over the top descriptions that bothered me. Here is an example of what I dislike: "Her nipples were so hard they were probably as sharp as her knives" Really? Nipples so hard they were sharp?
I'm also confused on when exactly Lucien is called to collect souls as the demon, Death. Thousands of people die everyday (every second) but for some reason he only has to escort a handful of people to heaven & hell. I don't get it. There was a slight explanation provided but it still seemed like a reach for me.
The storyline is now moving forward with a treasure hunt and enough tidbits are included in The Darkest Kiss about the other Lords to hold my interest but I don't think for too much longer. The Kindle Lords bundle that I purchased runs out after the next book so I guess I'll judge better after the next book if I keep going. I only hope that I start to connect more with the series. I love the whole Greek Mythos and meanie Gods so I am curious and want to continue.
Teasers: strawberry lollipops, Arctic treasure hunt, hidden paradise, curse incentive to remain a virgin (less)
A semi interesting back-story and I didn't care for the writing style. For some reason I had expected something way more intense since there seems to be so much buzz about the Lords of the Underworld series. To me the writing seemed kind of amateurish. I'm going to give the rest of the books a chance though because I did buy The Darkest Fire as part of a Lords of the Underworld bundle package and I am curious on the relevance of this prequel.
Regarding the hero in the story, as admirable as Geryon was, the description of hooves, fur and horns was a big turn off. I just wasn't feeling the draw at all. Even creepy as he seemed more animal than human.
The idea that Pandora's box was built from a Goddess' bones was really cool and I think that I may have enjoyed The Darkest Fire more if I had read it after the first book in the series, The Darkest Night. Perhaps I could have appreciated the importance of Pandora's box more. As for the The Darkest Fire being a stand alone little story; I'd not suggest reading it alone and then giving up. More forward with The Darkest Night and then make your decision if you liked it or not. Since I went ahead and read The Darkest Night right away, that moved my rating for this book from a 2 to a 3. (which is a big rating difference)
Teasers: cracked wall to hell, Lords of the Underworld, Goddess of Oppression, Guardian to Hell's Gate(less)
Quite simply one of the most romantic erotic romances I have read in a long time. I loved that Sylvia Day concentrated just as much effort into the romantic aspect of this wonderful story, Seven Years to Sin as she did for the erotic plot. I just loved it.
I was really drawn to just how romantic the story was. Most of the books I read are romance novels but Seven Years to Sin just stepped it up a notch and really had that extra touch of romance. The protagonists really truly loved each other throughout the book and I totally felt their chemistry. I'm not just referring to the off-the-charts heat factor alone but I really felt how much they loved each other. I was also deep into the story because the whole book was about their feelings toward one another and that they really weren't battling a forced conflict that kept them apart. Oh how I loved that! Jessica and Alistair were on a ship that was sailing from England to Jamaica and that alone time allowed for all of their emotions and lust to be front and center. There was no guessing with Jessica and Alistair. No misunderstanding nuisances. Just honesty and shared feelings. An amazing connection.
The timing was perfect for Jessica and Alistair. Jessica had been widowed a year and Alistair was finally able to let his long pent-up feelings regarding Jessica surface. Everything just seemed to fall into place.
The side story about about Jessica's sister Hester and her brother-in-law Michael really added to the story. Perhaps Hester and Michael were the conflict that was needed in the book but regardless it all worked. I wonder if Hester and Michael will get their own book in the future?
I don't mean to be spoilery but even though Seven Years to Sin was historical, I also LOVED that it didn't end with Jessica and Alistair having a baby!! Thank heavens a historical novel can have an amazing romantic ending (which it did) and have it without needing a baby to make it complete. Totally scored more points from me on that!
The Perils of Pleasure was a really fun read. I definitely feel encouraged to read on in the series. It is however such a shame that that the Kindle price is so darn expensive for this Pennyroyal Green series. That is the only reason I am not going straight to book 2. I did pick up What I Did For a Duke for a super deal on Amazon so I'm going to book 5 from this one.
The best part of The Perils of Pleasure is the fun teasing sort of banter that Colin constantly delivers to Madeline. Colin has been down and out. He was accused of murder, sent to the gallows and was literally a minute from being hanged to his death, yet he is always joking and chipper. It is of course a defense mechanism but it totally works for him. It was so refreshing to read about an alpha type of hero that was not brooding the entire book.
Madeline is a great hero. Yep you've got that right. A hero. She saves Colin's life a few times and she's super smart. She is as cool as a cucumber. I love how intelligent she is. She is much more serious than Colin but not in a stuffy stuck up way. I completely enjoyed how competent she was and how she reacted to Colin's teasing. He'd try so hard to get her to smile and then BAM! Madeline would have a funny comeback delivered with a smirk and a twinkle in her eyes. Awesome.
The Perils of Pleasure has a bit of a mystery attached to the storyline. I did not connect the dots at all and I loved the direction the story took.
What I did not like about The Perils of Pleasure was the amount of characters that was first introduced at the beginning of book. My head was spinning. I love a great prologue but I didn't care for this particular one. I was totally lost and after I read the book, I had to go back and re-read the prologue to understand. Once again, way too many characters and as it turned out, none of the prologue characters really had anything to do with the actual story. Jumping from the prologue right into the first chapter, I once again felt I was thrust into further character overload. I will admit to re-reading the first couple of chapters so I could get my bearings. However, once I got it, I was on my way to a great story.
Teasers: the 5th solider - duck, quiet barn sex, family infidelity secrets, climbing a tree for love(less)
What I Did For A Duke is one of those books I wish I could rate higher than a 5. That's a really short list of mine that now includes What I Did For A Duke. I freaking loved this story. I did jump from book 1 to book 5 and I did so seamlessly. There wasn't much mention about previous couples except for Colin & Madeline who starred in the very first book so I was completely comfortable skipping forward. I would recommend reading The Perils of Pleasure first though. Not only is it a fabulous book but it also provides a great background with the Eversea family.
Now to put into words why I loved What I Did For A Duke...First and foremost for me it was the main characters, Alex and Genevieve. Their conversations and back and forth banter was outstanding as much as it was amusing. I caught myself smiling a lot as I got more and more wrapped up in their story. I couldn't wait to read what they would say next.
To couple these great characters with the spot on writing was a spectacular combination. I just loved the descriptions, the emotions and how situations were explained. The words on my Kindle screen popped out and left me constantly thinking. Check out how the Duke explains to Genevieve what a proper kiss is like:
"A proper kiss, Miss Eversea, should turn you inside out. It should...touch places in you that you didn't know existed, set them ablaze, until your entire being is hungry and wild. It should...hold a moment, I want to explain this as clearly as possible..." He tipped his head back and paused to consider, as though he were envisioning this and wanted to relate every detail correctly. "It should slice right down through your like a cutlass with a pleasure so devastating it's very nearly pain."
So yeah, I could quote and comment their conversations all day.
Just like Colin Eversea from the first book, (The Perils of Pleasure) I just adored the Duke's personality. I loved his approach and take on all situations. I reveled in his humour; especially with how the members of the ton were afraid of him. I also chuckled how he did nothing to sway anyone's negative perceptions of him. In fact, he enjoyed feeding more into it. Another situation that was threaded throughout the book was how he handled Genevieve's brother, Ian. No spoilers from me on why he had to handle her brother but it was awesome. From the first chapter on I knew I was going to really like this story.
Genevieve is another awesome heroine. Once again not only did I love the way she spoke but also how she handled the situations that were thrown at her. I couldn't wait to read where the story was going next. At first I wondered if Genevieve was going to be a bit of a simpleton in the story since she was presented as the very youngest of all her siblings as well as just having her heart broken at the very beginning of the story. I was sure there was going to be pages and pages of moaning, weeping and a "woe is me" attitude. Instead, I adored her. These two protagonists were just a sheer pleasure to read as they strove to one up each other in conversations. It was subtle but oh so obvious. Even now I am grinning. What I Did For A Duke is probably one of my favourite historical romance reads of this year.
Teasers: bare-ass naked out the window, kitten sketches, Venus & Mars, hallway hunting for a Duke at midnight (less)