First let me start off and say I hate serial books. Totally hate them. However I did bite at Entwined for two reasons. One, it was free. Second, it was a Tarzan and Jane book. I have always been so intrigued with Tarzan and Jane and I thought there certainly isn't any harm is downloading a freebie from Amazon.
I wasn't disappointed but I also wasn't thrilled either. I would bet if I read this story as a full length novel, I'd have liked it a whole bunch more. One of the reasons I despise serial books is because each book leaves off on a cliffhanger and you are forced to buy the next installment to read on. I really really reallllly hate that. It is such a turn off for me. I'd rather have spent $5 and got the entire book than a grabby grab for a continuous purchases. Oh well, I knew that going in so I shouldn't really complain. Good on the author for letting it been known in the book blurb that it is a serial book before you buy.
The writing was really good. Great descriptions. Easy to follow and even though it was a novella, I got to know the characters pretty fast. Since it is an erotic novella, there are a few great steamy scenes. Of course you have to read further into the series to get the smoking steamy scenes.
Couldn't go wrong for a free purchase but the carrot that was dangled in front of my face at the end did not entice me to move on to the next book. ...more
I should add since this held me off for years, some booksites list this book as part of a series. A Knight in Shining Armor can totally be read as a sI should add since this held me off for years, some booksites list this book as part of a series. A Knight in Shining Armor can totally be read as a stand alone. There is no characters that I can see from previous books or continuing on. I think that is important because sometimes it is listed as book 15 or something like that. http://anotherlookbookreviews.blogspo...
Okay are you ready for this statement? A Knight in Shining Armor is my very first Jude Deveraux book. Like, ever.
A Knight in Shining Armor has been on my TBR list for years. Years and years I'm telling you. I was finally motivated to read it because I really wanted to read an exceptional historical romance and something that was a "sure thing" as a great read. I've often heard that A Knight in Shining Armor is some people's all time favourite historical romance so I pretty much figured that with an exclusive label like that, I certainly would be bound to like it.
And I did. I loved it. I admit to being a little iffy at the beginning because Dougless certainly seemed as close to a doormat as possible but she definitely redeems herself throughout the book.
A Knight in Shining Armor also wasn't what I had expected. Half the book takes place in modern times (in this case the 1980's) and the other half of the book takes place in the 1560's. It was a really good plot and it was a page turner for me. There wasn't any cliffhangers or anything like that and I really liked that is was not as predictable as some romance novels can be. I liked that. I liked that the story didn't allow their romance to come easy and smooth. There were a lot of bumps along the way and much conflict to overcome. I liked that a lot too.
It has been a few days since I finished and I still find myself thinking about the characters and the ending. I think that is a pretty good sign of how much I enjoyed reading it.
Teasers: Time travel, Arabella's table, changing history, the true meaning of soul mates ...more
I haven't a clue what to rate The Space Between. Just because it was written by my favourite author doesn't mean the book automatically receives a 5 star from me. To be honest, after reading The Space Between, I did a lot of head scratching and saying, "huh?"
I certainly finished the story with more questions than I had going into it. I think I need to read this novella a second time. When Diana Gabaldon makes a point to write something, it usually means that I need to remember something for the future.
The Space Between is not a romance nor is it historical fiction. It is a...what the heck was it? A filler? A puzzler? A definite head scratcher.
I did really like that Joan MacKimmie seems to be a seer of some sort. I think there is a lot of story that can be created with that bit of added knowledge. Michael only lost his wife a month previous so the poor man is still very much in mourning. My heart ached for him. I loved that Diana provided flashback memories of Michael with his wife as we got to meet her and miss her along with him.
Master Raymond reappears and so does the Comte St. Germain. You may remember them from the long ago Paris days with Jamie and Claire. Lots and lots of questions about The Space Between is generated because of these two. I am not going to spoil anything but I did say out loud, "What the heck?" more than a few times.
I can't say that I LOVED it, nor did I not like it. So for me, a 3 star is a good rating since I liked it. ...more
Lost in a Royal Kiss was okay for me. I don't really have a comment one way or another about what I liked about or didn't like about it. I guess it juLost in a Royal Kiss was okay for me. I don't really have a comment one way or another about what I liked about or didn't like about it. I guess it just didn't enthrall me. It seemed like the protagonists argued more than they talked but yet they were supposed to be so in love. I don't think I will bother continuing on with the series. Reading what the other books are going to be about didn't really interest me. ...more
I am wow'd right now. I freaking love this series and this book, The Rogue's Proposal is only book 2! You could read The Rogue's Proposal as a stand alone book but I would not recommend it. There is an overall story that is carried forward and is probably going to last until the end of the series. It is not a heavy plot but it is the plot that will link these stories together.
Luke is what I would call my absolutely perfect lover. Note I didn't say perfect man; because he is not a perfect man. But oh wow he can set the sheets on fire. In fact I am willing to say that the intimate scenes between Luke and Emma are one of the best that I have ever in a historical romance (if ever). Their lovemaking was the perfect mix of erotic and mild bondage and complete love. Now don't go into this thinking that The Rogue's Proposal is a BDSM book and be disappointed because it is not. There is mild and sexy bondage which perfectly matched this excellent couple.
I know that the first thing I have reviewed is about Luke and Emma's intimate scenes (which were brilliantly written) but that is only a partial component of this amazing story. The majority of The Rogue's Proposal takes place on a carriage journey from Bristol to Edinburgh and all the way back to London. I loved it! The author, Jennifer Haymore takes the reader on a journey all across the United Kingdom. I was smitten with all the tiny inn's and the chilly countryside journey. Since it was only the two of them making this trek, you really got to know them well.
I adored both Luke and Emma. Luke is supposed to be a rogue and he is just so damn likable. Since Luke was the most distant sibling in book 1, The Duchess Hunt, an explanation is satisfactorily provided on Luke's distant demeanor and especially the grudge he has against his eldest brother, the Duke of Trent. A great story there! Emma was great. She was not a timid lady. She was a bit naive with her lack of experience but she was smart and determined. I found I really liked her.
I cannot wait for the next book in this series. It is out in May 2014 I think.
Teasers: "Do you like to be bound, Mrs. Curtis?"...more
I listened to the audio book of Just Like Heaven. I've recently discovered how easy it is to borrow and download audiobooks from my local library. This lending system is perfect for me because when I walk, I'd much rather listen to a book than music.
I wanted to love Just Like Heaven. It had all the makings of a story that I would fall in love with; but I didn't. I felt it drag by in many spots. Listening to the narrator in her perfect English voice was really pleasant though.
I completely loved the epilogue of Marcus and Honoria's childhood. I just adore stories where the protagonists have a long history and really know each other. It was an excellent epilogue and reason number one why I was sure I was going to love this story.
As the story progressed, another reason that I was sure that I would love Just Like Heaven is because Honoria really wanted to get married. She wanted to find herself a husband. So many times in historical romances the heroine is fighting her matrimonial future and it was a breath of fresh air so read Honoria want it. I also liked that Honoria wasn't a wallflower and there wasn't anything unusually different about her. She just wanted a family of her own and that it'd be a great bonus if she loved her husband.
In her hunt for a husband, Honoria devises a rather silly plan using a man-made mole hole and it had me smiling. It was at this time that Marcus entered the picture and I have to admit that the book was a complete winner for me up until just after this mole hole meeting. It was after here that it started to lose it's whimsical touch for me.
I did love that Marcus had a sweet tooth. It is about time a man enjoyed eclairs and tarts just as much as women did. Another enduring trait with Marcus is that he does not thrive being the center of attention. He is definitely an introvert and that worked for me.
The musical quartet part of the book was very long, dragged out and highly boring. As I was listening to Just Like Heaven instead of reading, I was not able to skip forward.
There was a lot to like in Just Like Heaven but there was also quite a bit that I would have happily skipped over. Because of my desire to skip forward over much of the story, I am rating only a 2. ...more
Review: It was sweet and I liked that the story featured an older heroine with grown adult children. It was a nice change that the heroine wasn't a young virgin and rather a mature woman who is still sexy and desirable. A very short story so I was a bit leery on marriage entering into any thoughts or conversations. Oh well. Its Christmas so let the magic work right? Teaser: Cute play on mistletoe usage.
1818 - One Kiss for Christmas by Vanessa Kelly
Review: It is hard for anthology romance novels to have believable love stories but One Kiss for Christmas completely sold me. What a sweet and touching short love story. There was a great couple, true love and even time for an arrogant villain to be added to the mix. Great Christmas spirit throughout the story. I don't recall reading other Vanessa Kelly novels but I liked her style. Teaser: A good Father Christmas would make a good father
1825 - His Christmas Cinderella by Anna Campbell
Review: His Christmas Cinderella was starting out to be my favourite of the anthology but near the ending, it lost me. I loved the beginning so much and the "Cinderaellaish" circumstances that brought the pair together. However, the author lost me when she had the "Cinderella", Campion constantly doubt her Scottish "Prince", Laachlan all the way to a ball in a carriage ride. Their entire conversation made me wish that they hadn't spoke a word to each other. That conversation is where their personalities came out and I decided that I didn't like Campion at all and Lachlan seemed like a big wimp. Teaser: A twist on a Cinderella story
1830 - The Last First Kiss by Kate Noble
Review: Best for last. I loved The Last First Kiss! I totally adore stories when the protagonists have a memorable history dating back to their childhoods. When these types of stories are done right, they are fabulous...and The Last First Kiss was fabulous. All through the anthology series the readers are treated to a secondary story starring the Grosvenor Square hostess and her faithful butler. The Last First Kiss brought a completely satisfactory ending to their story. Loved it. The main story with Susannah and Sebastian is the story that brought all the smiles though. Great couple! Teaser: Childhood adoration turn adult love
I haven't read too many books around the 1890 time period. It was a nice change to have some "modern" historical conveniences mentioned. It was a really nice change. I liked it so much, I think I will look for other books from around the same time period.
I was really on the fence about how much I liked the story itself. I found the female protagonist all over the place. Emma was a modern sort of woman being man's secretary and doing a darn good job of it. She was exotic enough to have her own flat and she decorated with her tastes of adventure from the middle east. Yet, she was a spinster of 30 (which her age is constantly mentioned) and she was over the top prim and proper with etiquette. I understood that she really didn't know her own self and she was channeling her deceased Aunt's etiquette virtues but she was such a contradiction.
I just wanted to be swept away in the romance of Emma unwinding from her spinster status and I wanted Harry to step up a bit sooner. I found Harry's view on marriage a really far reach. With such a long time passing from his first marriage, I would have thought he would not have been so scarred the way he went on. It seemed like every time he decided to discuss his first marriage, the story kept getting more elaborate and made up. I just wanted to tell him to put his big boy pant and move on. I guess I wasn't buying it.
I did like when Emma and Harry decided to move on to a secret relationship. I found their secret weekends away incredibly romantic and I thought the author did a great job of writing how their little adventurous weekends started to effect Emma. I think that was very true to life and totally believable.
So for me the beginning of the book was great and the ending was wonderful but the middle dragged a bit for me and I wanted to skip but forced myself to read through. It ended up being worth it but I don't think I am in any hurry to seek out any other books in the series.
Teasers: peacock fan, sisters, etiquette columns, weekends for lovers...more
What Happens in Scotland is cute and has some humourous moments but lacked the momentum to keep my interest for long periods of time. I found I read a few chapters then put it down to read a bit more later. I am not a fan of couple miscommunications as the main baseline for the story plot. Having said that, the story was quirky and unique and I can't recall reading anything similar. So bonus points for creativity!
Even though the story is based in Scotland, I was getting no Scottish vibe from the book. I was disappointed about that because the reason I decided to read What Happens in Scotland was due to my pinning for a Scottish romance.
The characters, Georgette and James were likable enough and I had enough dislike of the villain to make me happy I read through to the end. I loved that the entire book is just one day so there was something happening with each page/chapter. I especially liked that Georgette seemed to grow as a person and became a stronger woman as the day went on. Awesome that it wasn't a man to bring it out of her either.
It seemed liked the story was plotted out nicely and the missing segments of time from their mutual drunken amnesia night seemed to come together like perfectly fit puzzle pieces.
The supporting characters were all excellent and helped carry the story through chapter to chapter. Each of the main protagonists needed the sidekicks in order to make that happen.
Cute and sweet story.
Teasers: chamber pot head injury, corset clue, delusional cousin, long overdue father and son reunion ...more
Very pretty cover. I was totally drawn by To All the Rakes I've Loved Before by it's beautiful cover. Well okay, the .98 price tag at Amazon and the good reviews was another.
Unfortunately, the story did nothing for me at all. I thought for .98 I'd give a "new to me" author a try. I felt unsatisfied with the story and a whole lot of "meh". To All the Rakes I've Loved Before is a novella and is book 1.5 in the series but you can read as a stand alone without any issues at all.
I was very confused at the title. I didn't get it. Amelia Wimple, the protagonist, was engaged a prior two years before to when this story takes place. Unfortunately she was jilted on that engagement. That was it. That was the extent of the men in her past. The man she was engaged to at the time wasn't even a rake so I felt the title was misleading. I was expecting a feisty lady who didn't want to settle down or something.
Now Lord Stephen Brookes was a rake by reputation but all of a sudden, overnight, without any preamble leading up to his decision, he is through with being a gambling rake and wants to settle down with a wife, take on loads of estate responsibility, pay off his hefty gambling debts and even have children. I fear that is the issue with novellas; not enough time for a back-story for his predicament to warrant a change.
He is beaten badly and rescued by his dear friend (who just happens to be the man that jilted Amelia's engagement dreams) and ends up at Amelia's house (of all places) to be nursed back to health. The ex-fiance friend is squeamish at the sight of blood and leaves Amelia and Stephen alone. Stephen's eyes are swelled shut and it even looks like one eyeball is protruding out of the socket and yet Amelia thinks he is so handsome and a maid wants to hang around him because he is so good looking?????
The story goes on with unlikeliness after another and finally I decided it was just a novella and with all these great ratings, I must be missing something so I kept reading onward I also must mention next issue (because this is a huge pet peeve with me) the ebook finished and it was only at 70%. I was sure that there was more to come. It didn't. ...more
I'm so upset! I simply LOVED The Duchess Hunt BUT I just realized AFTER I read it that it is part of a series and this story is only book 1...which was just recently published. That means I now have to wait and wait for the entire series to be finished. I'd rather read a series all in order because I hate to wait for books one at a time. I am far too impatient.
I loved the story. I love looooved the story. There is an awesome romance combined with a mystery. Sarah was a child when she first encountered the ducal family but she was not a priviledged member of society. In fact, she was the family gardiner's daughter. She was rescued from a prickly prediciment when she was just a child by the duke himself. Simon was just a teen at the time; a mere child in his own right. As Sarah became familiar with the entire family, the eccentric Duchess welcomed Sarah into their home with open arms and she was even educated right along Simon and his siblings.
The reason for my love of The Duchess Hunt is because Simon and Sarah are just so romantic. Their love is forbidden due to the levels of their stations and yet it is evident how deeply they love each other. Even with years apart as they grew older, their hearts still seem to belong to each other. It is all very romantic. I found as the reader I was getting very swept up in their emotions and when Simon tries to move forward with a "proper" wife, I felt as though he was cheating on Sarah. It was maddening and it just felt so wrong when he'd kiss another lady. My heart was breaking.
I loved the mystery surrounding the disappearance of Simon's mother the duchess. I had a few idea swirling around in my mind of what happened but as the story progressed further along, all my ideas were trashed. I honestly have no idea what happened and I will keep reading the series because I need to know what happened to the duchess.
Teasers: illegitimate brothers, idiots, blackmail, Gretna Green rescue...more
If you loved Lisa Kleypas' "Devil in Winter" you are going to adore One Good Earl Deserves a Lover. Now that is not to say that this story is a copy of Ms Kleypas' book. No not at all. I just kept being reminded about the gaming hell story-line and the secret passageways. One Good Earl Deserves a Lover can certainly stand on it's own and I am awarding a perfect 5 hearts. I adored this story and the characters. Bravo once again for Sarah MacLean's exceptional story telling and witty characters.
My friend met Sarah MacLean at a book signing and got a copy of this paperback signed for me. What a treasure! I wish I was there in person to tell Sarah MacLean how much I adore her writing.
Pippa is book smart. She has a scientist's mind and rarely believes in things on a leap of faith. She needs proof. Additionally, she is awkward and is a complete oddball in social settings. Pippa understands why she must marry, she gets what will happen on her wedding night but of course she wants to dissect each detail and anthropologically speaking, she needs to understand the details from a factual perspective. Since her betroth and her are not a love match, she hasn't the natural passion, giddiness or lust that has happened to her sisters. She's confused by the whole thing and decides the best thing to do is seek out a legendary rake to lecture her on all the aspects of sex. I loved this angle. Pippa was so believable in her quest. She doesn't follow the norms so for her to just get up and walk into a gaming hell to seek out the rake, she doesn't understand that it is not something a lady would do.
The rake that Pippa is seeking out is Cross. Cross has an entire backstory that is slowly revealed as the story moves forward. Pippa is unlike any Lady that he has ever met. She puzzles him. She says things to him where he doesn't know whether to smile or scoff at her. She has big eyes peering out of her spectacles and Cross becomes more and more attracted to her.
It was so nice to read a book about a couple of oddballs. Pippa with her glasses and scientific mind and Cross with his ginger hair and uncertain background. I loved it. I could not put the book down. I sat in my car after work in the garage and read because I couldn't wait to get home to read more.
There was a type of villain that readers love to hate and I despised him with the heat of a thousand suns. Blackmail from the blackguard delivers so much angst in a story and Sarah MacLean hit is perfectly. I couldn't wait to see the villain get what was coming to him. It was worth the wait.
Teasers: dog loving fiance, Chapter 11, fixed dice, blackmail...more
I swear I say this every time I read a new Pennyroyal Green book by Julie Anne Long but I think It Happened One Midnight is my new favourite.
Each of the book's storylines are so unique and It Happened One Midnight is just as captivating and as original as the other novels. As always, the characters are immensely likable and I could read their conversations and banter all day. Their dialogue is the magic that these Pennyroyal Green gems have me so addicted.
Jonathan and Tommy are such a perfect match. They both have drive, ambition and are very loyal. Tommy never forgot where she came from and she made it her life's goal to help children in need. Jonathan, born privileged, moved passed his silver spoon upbringing and started to get behind Tommy's causes. Her passion became his passion and they were quite a pair together battling child labour.
In previous Pennyroyal books, a gypsy predicted that Jonathan would have ten children and this time around, the gypsy upped the prediction to a hundred. At first it was silly but as the story progressed, knowing that he was going to be "Mr. Friend" to possibly hundreds of children, it just made my heart flutter.
I hope we get constant updates in Pennyroyal books about their progress.
Teasers: collywobbles, Mr. Friend, Boom, decks of cards...more
I'm always ready to fall in love with a new and exciting highlander romance book and unfortunately The Guardian wasn't it. I like my heroes to have intelligence mixed in with their alpha personalities and Ian MacDonald was missing the smart gene.
The author does a great job in the prologue setting up the Return of the Highlanders series. The chapter provides a solid background and perfect insight into what each of the young boys' future stories will be. Ian's future is predicted by the seer of the clan and it is foretold that he will marry twice; once in anger and once for love. When the first chapter begins, time jumps forward a few years and Ian is forced to marry a very young thirteen year old Sileas. I don't blame him for being angry about that situation. In fact I felt mortified for the teen who is barely a man. That marriage was never consummated and Ian leaves the clan with a group of his young friends for five long years.
Our poor female protagonist, Sileas has had to endure a lot of hardship in her young life. She has been in love with Ian since she was a small child, forced to marry him and then live in shame that her husband abandoned her right after they exchanged vows. For five years Sileas has lived with Ian's family while he was away from the continent.
Ian finally comes back to his family and it really struck a nerve with me that upon his return he should have been deemed the almighty prodigal son. Not to mention that the entire way home he was grumbling and complaining about seeing his wife and he couldn't wait to ditch her. Honestly I wasn't sure if I was more annoyed that Sileas continued to pine away for Ian after all these years or that Ian, after only looking at her and not saying two words to her for an entire night, all of a sudden wanted to bed her.
I understand that she grew up from the gangling thirteen year old but was Ian so shallow that he could only see her beauty upon his return? I liked that Sileas finally came to her senses and put him off and finally got angry at the desertion but Ian's efforts to bed her made me loose respect for him. Ian didn't come across as a romantic and he acted more like a dumb-witted male. The age old formula of a woman ignoring a man, makes him just want her more was all the plot here.
The first half of the book almost made me put it down and forget about it. I couldn't tolerate Ian's stupidity. I persevered and thankfully I did because slowly The Guardian did redeem itself with a great story. It just took a bit to get there.
Teasers: fake fishing trip with a friend, childhood memories, deception, castle take-over...more
Courtney Milan writes the best historical heroines. They're always so smart and admirable. I know so many readers love a hero but for me, the heroine makes or breaks a story. Even though The Lady Always Wins is a novella, the heroine Ginny is just as commendable and memorable as though I had read about her story in a full length novel. I just adored her.
Ginny and Simon were childhood friends, adolescence sweethearts and then parted ways desolately before they had a real chance to have their love bloom into a mature romance. Courtney Milan provides excellent background history and writes entertaining flashbacks to their first meetings.
Due to the circumstances placed before the juvenile couple, Ginny married another man and Simon sought out to build his fortune and make a name for himself. I felt their heavy disappointment seep through the pages even though their story was recollected by the couple from years past. The span of time apart did not soften the hurt. Clearly they never got over each other and they were in each other's thoughts daily.
With Ginny's recent status as a widow, Simon wasted as little time as possible to pursue Ginny. Although The Lady Always Wins is a novella, I felt it was the perfect length for Ginny and Simon's story. From the moment they see each other after being apart for years, they immediately slide into the easy and fun banter that they both enjoyed from the past. It was if no time had passed. I LOVED their smooth transition into the little game of Simon seducing Ginny by a deadline. It fit this couple perfectly. In fact, when I finished reading The Lady Always Wins, I went right back and re-read it.
The Lady Always Wins is a gem and only .97 on Amazon. A delightful read that is sure to put a smile on your face.
I wanted to love this book, Nate. I really did. Nate just came across as a unmemorable story for me that lacked incentive for me to continue with reading the rest of the series. I liked it well enough but just not enough to read on.
I didn't connect with the heroine, Elisa at all. For me, the strength of a book usually rests on the heroine's shoulders. At every turn Elisa was an immature perplexing woman that changed moods and story direction with each page. Even though her family was wronged in the most atrocious manner, I couldn't pull any character growth from her. One moment she was cunning, brave and highly protective of her family and then in the next moment she was an inexperienced virginal cowgirl seducing the educated former soldier, Nate. She lost her virginity to him up against a tree and then she rides away as if nothing happened. The next day, she shoots and injures his best friend. Elisa was like a B rated action movie all on her own. I haven't a clue how or why Elisa and Nate fell in love.
Another component to Elisa that I found off-putting was that she was described as dirty and wearing thread bare pants. For a rancher girl I totally get that. But when it came to intimate scenes, I wish there was a mention of how clean she was at that particular time or some blurb indicating that she'd had a bath or washed her hair. I kept picturing a mess of a woman and I just wanted to hose her down or something.
What I did like about the book was the scheme and the creative twist the book had to offer. It was interesting how the story unfolded and how the story-centered real estate deal disentangled. I enjoyed the friendship between the Devils on Horseback men and their camaraderie is worth more than a mention. They are as loyal as they come and their alliance with one another is embedded in a deep history. The group of men have been through a lot of life changing events together. The risks they are willing to take for one another was highly admirable.
About a year ago I was lucky enough to have won a trilogy of the Cynster sisters. I enjoyed those books and I knew that the trilogy was a spin off of the original Cynster series by Stephanie Laurens. I checked out the series and since this first book, Devil's Bride was originally published in 1998 and the series was still going strong, I just knew I had to read the book that started it all.
The Kindle copy of Devil's Bride is really expensive at $11.22 so when Amazon had a super deal of only $2.22 I snatched it up. I'm glad I did because it is now back up to $11.22. I guess that just goes to show you, even though it is a vintage romance, they can still be pricey.
I really enjoyed Devil's Bride although in many places it really dragged on. I kind of contradict myself here because on one hand I am glad that the murder mystery that surrounded Devil's cousin, Tolly didn't have the protagonists easily making the murderous connection and then on the other hand, it sure took them a long time to make the connection. The reader easily figures out who the murder was and I was really hoping for a surprise where Stephanie Laurens was taking the reader down a path and then surprise us at the end. Unfortunately that was not the case and I was a bit disappointed.
As much as I adored Devil and Honoria together, I couldn't quite figure out why Devil wanted to marry her so badly from the beginning. He pursues her seductively and eventually the stubborn Honoria gives in. There were times I thought he was wearing her down but ultimately I do believe it was her choice to marry him.
I felt that there weren't many intimate scenes but the private moments that Devil and Honoria experienced did have a lot of heat. I was excited for them when they finally gave into their desires and I really felt that they were meant to be.
One thing I really liked about Devil's Bride is that the author Stephanie Laurens included actual locations and street names. I love when an author includes real locations set in with fictional characters. So many times I have read historicals with such vague locations that it was great to make a note of the streets and look on a map. I loved that.
Devil and Honoria make a great couple and definitely have the staying power and presence to be the head of the entire Cynster family. A fabulous book to start it all.
Teasers: wood cutter's cottage, cake-eating demon horse, Grosvenor Square, saved by a flask ...more
I have to admit, I was not a fan of this story. Unfortunately I did not connect with the characters nor did I particularly like them. The cover art is beautiful and Undone just happened to be an Amazon freebie when I downloaded it. There are a lot of high ratings for Undone so it confuses me on why I didn't care for it as much as others. Hopefully I can accurately explain why it didn't do it for me.
Angelica literally runs into Simon right outside her home at night. Her home just happened to be a convent. Through the moonlight, Simon couldn't help but notice her beauty. She continued on her path and ran into the convent. Simon felt compelled to run in after her.
The story started out interesting enough. Almost immediately Simon was thrown into the role of hero and Angelica was ungrateful for his heroic efforts. Right off the bat I had a feeling I was not going to really enjoy the story. I loath stories where miscommunications are used to drive the plot forward. From withheld secrets to misinterpreted conversations I was beginning to dislike the story as I started to move through the pages.
It was also driving me nuts as Simon's penis seemed to have a mind of it's own. It was unruly and hard pretty much each and every page and I was getting bored with reading about Simon constantly fighting his raging hard-on. Angelica really hadn't done anything enduring enough to earn such strong feelings. Okay, she was stunning to look at in her plain grey convent garb but really, there was nothing that would make me understand Simon's feelings toward her.
There is a scene on ship where Angelica is locked away on in a cabin. I get her anger. I understand her anger. As a woman I want to side with her but the way she handles the situation like a immature, spoiled child throwing furniture and screaming made me rather wish someone would just throw her overboard. She orders someone to get Simon (the ship's captain) and he comes to her aid. She is so freaking spazzy and as soon as Simon sees her with her messy hair, guess what? He gets a hard on.
There is a good setup where by the author draw parallel lines of Simon's background and Angelina's background. Both hate and despise the same man, Fouquet but since both refuse to talk to each other about their lives, a major opportunity to join forces is completely lost. Instead they both walk around aroused, attracted, mad and in Simon's case, hard.
One of my other main dislikes was mostly centered around the writing style. I don't like being constantly told how each of the characters feel on practically every single line. As a reader I like to experience the emotions along with the protagonists. I'd rather feel the anger, lust, embarrassment or whatever the emotion is by reading about their expressions. It is okay to have the emotions laid out once in a while but it was so constant and just seemed way over done.
"She felt warn and right in his arms" "He felt disgust down to the very marrow..." "He felt like a complete imbecile" "she felt...feminine."
It just "felt" like every other sentence was having it explained to me. I hope I am explaining this well enough.
Undone does get better the second half of the book but maybe because I kept picking up the book up and putting in down, Undone lost the drive for me to embrace the story.
Undone may be the forth book in the series but you can 100% read this story as a stand alone. ...more
It is kind of interesting that I use the above picture of Castle Eilean Donan as the header for historical romances on all of my blog reviews (of that genre) because that is exactly the location of Highland Destiny. Castle Eilean Donan is the setting for the story. Cool!
As I had mentioned at the top of the blog post, I made a new year's resolution to read a "new to me" author at least once a month. I chose Highland Destiny for two reasons. One, hello sexy highlander! And two because I follow Laura Hunsaker on Twitter. I was drawn to her because she does not clutter up my Twitter feed with "buy my book" tweets and it was her personality on Twitter that had spoke to me. So there you go. Proof you don't have to force feed "buy my book" posts to grab the attention of readers. I purchased Highland Destiny on my own and I did not get a copy from the author.
I have to preface that I am in love with Scotland and I have read a lot about the beautiful country. I've done a lot of research as well. Highland Destiny is not a historically accurate book. So once I got my head around the fact that even though I was reading about Scotland 1792, its not factually Scotland 1792. If you are able to move past that hurdle you should be fine.
The premise of Highland Destiny was a sure winner. My interest was peaked when I read that the story was going to be about a modern day woman being whisked back in time to help save some Scottish clans from a long ago curse. I really liked how the story formed and that Mackenzie was enamored by a painting of Castle Eilean Donan's former handsome laird, Connor MacRae. I may have had a fantasy a time or two very similar as to how this story played out.
As Mackenzie is thrust back in time by two sorcerers I was a bit disappointed with lack of luster with the actual travel event. One minute she is in modern times then as she passes through a hidden tunnel she is just magically back in time.
I enjoyed the tactic in which Mackenzie and Connor meet. It was amusing that there were fireworks right away. Mackenzie quickly softened and trusted Connor enough, even after having been kidnapped twice in the same day, to comfortably fall asleep snuggled against him while riding on a horse.
I didn't like how the point of view was constantly changing back and forth. A chapter would play out with details about how Mackenzie was feeling and her reactions to situations and then after a pause-break the entire scene was retold but now from Connor's point of view. This style of writing is way up there with my least favourite way to read a book. It felt very repetitive and I honestly prefer not to know everything that the other person is thinking in that exact same situation. I'd rather have the mystery of not knowing what the other person's thoughts are.
My favourite scene is when Connor and Mackenzie return back to his castle and she is trying to change into clothes from the eighteenth century. She has no idea how stays go on or what to layer on next. I loved how Connor had to help her get into the clothes. Usually we read about highlanders taking off the ladies clothes not helping put them back on. That was fun.
I am one of these romance readers that love the heroines just as much (if not even more) than the heroes. I adore books that portray the female lead as smart and making good decisions. I groan when I read a story where the plot is furthered along and conflicts arise because of bad decisions made by the heroine. My tolerance for Mackenzie was admittedly borderline. She was brave, sweet, kind and all of that wonderful stuff that makes for great heroines but I didn't care for how she made her choices towards the villain's plot-line of the story. Mackenzie would be committed in her decision, follow through with her actions and then numerous times I'd read, "This is all my fault" or "What did I do?" I would have wanted to reach into my Kindle and throttle her if it wasn't for the blatantly obvious set up.
I don't like to share spoilers but I did really enjoy the ending. The story nicely wrapped up. It left me longing to visit Castle Eilean Donan to check behind tapestries and visit the ruins of Castle Urquhart (which were actually already in ruins by 1792).
Teasers: iPod with bagpipe music, waaaaay to early to suspect that she was pregnant, shot by arrow, magical dagger...more
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 ...more
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 itI 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...more
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 ...more
I've read Maya Banks' first Scottish trilogy, "The McCabes" and absolutely loved them. I have to say though, I didn't fall in love with this first "Montgomery & Armstrong" book. I think this story was rushed. It felt like I was reading a draft copy and the more detailed parts were to come. I hope I explain this clearly. It felt like I was reading a simple writing outline and the author was going to come back and add in more later. Never Seduce a Scot gave me the impression that it was just the early draft to the story. It just wasn't the depth that I have come to expect from Maya Banks.
I had continuity problems with Never Seduce a Scot. A quick example could be something simple like when Eveline would have a bath and wash her hair but then no mention of drying or brushing her hair before she left her bed chamber for dinner. Did she just leave with her hair dripping wet? That is what I mean about the story being first draft.
I also had problems with Eveline's ability to turn around her mute situation and immediately start talking right away with only the occasional mention of a sore throat. Seemed as though she had perfect speech too. I understand that she can read lips but she ALWAYS understood everything everyone was saying. There were never mix ups. What a wonderful opportunity to have had some funny situations where Eveline mixed up what people were saying. For instance if you mouth the phrase "elephant shoe" without your voice, your lips can be interpreted as saying "I love you". Try it. You'll see. But for some reason, Eveline never mixed up any phrases.
I did really like the animosity between the Armstrongs and the Montgomerys. It felt true and the hostility between the clans was warranted. I liked the fact that just because a marriage took place, it doesn't mean that the past could be forgiven.
Graeme Montgomery was a wonderful hero. I liked him a lot. He was sacrificing a lot with having been forced by the king to marry a woman who was believed to be daft. He was gentle and kind to Eveline even though he was angry at the situation.
I want to know what Maya Banks has against kilts. Her first trilogy had the men all wearing trews and in this book the men were wearing tunics and stockings. I want men in kilts!
I also LOVED that Never Seduce a Scot did not end with Evenline becoming pregnant. Finally a historical romance that didn't need to be completed with a baby being born.
Teasers: parental love, deception to keep safe, dungeon rescue ...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
I won this Kindle copy in June. I love historical romances. I love cowboy romances. I love this cover. I didn't feel this story and only made it to 46I won this Kindle copy in June. I love historical romances. I love cowboy romances. I love this cover. I didn't feel this story and only made it to 46% and I figure if I wasn't connecting by then, it wasn't going to happen for me.
Here are my turn offs and frustrations about Endless Heart. I am going to list because what doesn't float my boat, may not bother others.
1. Really hate repeated words. "Loco", "Ornery", "Drawers" (as in underwear) and a few other words were used too frequently. They are odd descriptions so they stood out when used too much.
2. The beginning was great. Caught my interest but as I was continuing to read, the story was not holding my interest at all. I was getting more and more pissed off with the heroine and totally confused on what the hero saw in the bitch. I read until there was a wagon accident. There was no explanation given on why there was all of a sudden a catastrophic wagon accident on a flat prairie plane. About here is where I stopped.
3. The intimate scenes were well written but such a turn off that the sex takes place in the protagonist's dreams. I read probably 4 or 5 scenes and every single one was a dream. I am so turned off by dreaming sex. I have never liked that. It just comes off as a cop out to me.
I don't think it would have mattered that this is book 3 and I was jumping in. It was very easy to pick up and I was not confused by the characters at all. The only thing that would have helped me with this story is if there was a prologue. I think that was missing. I think I wanted the background of these characters earlier so when I totally was despising the heroine Lettie, maybe I could have been a bit more forgiving.
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!
I confess I was not really looking forward to reading A Notorious Countess Confesses. I'm not a fan of romances with vicars and when I do read one, it's always the same plot where a vicar needs to tame a wild woman. Okay truth is, religious men don't do it for me. The difference with this book was the added benefit of the fabulous writing of Julie Anne Long who's style never disappoints. I couldn't walk away and not read it after reading all the previous books.
I admit to hoping that A Notorious Countess Confesses had more humour to offer and my fingers were crossed that the story would be more than a vicar taming the "notorious" woman. I would say that Evie really didn't need all that much taming as it was more her reputation that needed harnessed.
The story was just okay. Adam did nothing for me and Evie was predictable. I missed the witty banter that the other Pennyroyal Green stories provided. Adam just seemed lust driven and it was a bit lost on me why Adam didn't feel any remorse at all for having pre-marital sex. Is that okay for vicars? I would have thought his morals and values would have been a bit higher than a common rake.
I was also glad that Julie Anne Long introduced the fact that Adam has a slight healing ability before A Notorious Countess Confesses because if she had just wrote that Adam simply healed Evie's maid by holding her hand and praying, this book would have been a DNF.
I admired Evie as she was trying to keep her head a float and support the family that seemed to rely on her for everything. She provided some great tidbits of sage advice.
I am a fan of the happily ever after but the ending was way over the top. It was too perfect.
In June, book 8 comes out and I can say without a doubt I am very much looking forward to reading It Happened One Midnight. This book will be Jonathan Redmond's and I have liked him for a long time. I eagerly await the release.
Teasers: "A vicar's job is where he belonged to everyone and yet to no one." ...more