After reading multiple enthusiastic reviews at multiple sites I decided to pick this book up. Unfortunately this book didn't work for me nearly as welAfter reading multiple enthusiastic reviews at multiple sites I decided to pick this book up. Unfortunately this book didn't work for me nearly as well as it did for those other happy readers. The description of the book sounded promising and the details mentioned by the reviews were ones that I usually like. For some reason it just didn't come together for me in this book. I spent most of the book with one eyebrow cocked struggling to believe in the characters and their motivations.
For some reason I could never bring myself to like Fallon. I know that her pity party of one was supposed to make me feel for her, but it didn't work. I found her whiny and the type of person that would cut off her nose to spite herself. Her father died years ago following the demands of his employer. Fallon is unwilling to move past it and has a hatred for all noblemen (because her father's employer was one). The employer had paid for her to go to a school after her father's death, but that only deepened Fallon's dislike of him. The school she was sent to had a sadistic headmaster who got his jollies out of beating the girls enrolled there and watching them suffer.
This sounds like a nice background for character growth and the realization that it is narrow minded to blame a large group of people for the actions of one man. Unfortunately I didn't see that happen until the last few pages. When it finally did happen I didn't believe it. It seemed like she stayed mired in her bitterness the whole book until the author realized the end was coming up and had Fallon play lip service to character growth so that she and Dominic could get their HEA.
Very little was ever made out of the fact that Fallon was a servant and Dominic was a duke. I know it was brought up a few times by Fallon to explain why they could never be together but it seemed like a token excuse that was ignored when it didn't suit the plot. When they finally got together in the end the class difference was ignored in a way that I found laughable.
I know that Fallon blamed her looks and the fact that she wouldn't put out for not being able to keep a job, but I really don't believe that. She seemed to have no awareness of the fact that she was a servant and what that meant to her standing in the world. The girl couldn't keep her mouth shut and her rudeness contained if you stapled her lips shut. I think that was the real reason she couldn't keep a job.
Dominic was a pretty bland character. He was made out to be this dissolute rake that still managed to be sexy to Fallon. Unfortunately it didn't work for me. Usually there is something about the rakes that wallow in darkness that fascinates you even as their actions repel you. He didn't have that spark. Because of this lack I couldn't understand what Fallon was so fascinated by. She apparently saw something in him that fascinated her enough to look past his skeezy behavior. I wish I had seen it too.
One last point... I really dislike the fact that Fallon's charade lasted for so long. It made the rest of their relationship seem really rushed. It seemed like the minute Dominic saw she had breasts he worshiped her. Very irritating. I don't know if I'll try this author again. If the rest of her books are styled in this manner I don't think they'll work for me....more
This is a reread for me. I read it for the first time years ago, and it was the book that introduced me to Gena Showalter. My original grade for it waThis is a reread for me. I read it for the first time years ago, and it was the book that introduced me to Gena Showalter. My original grade for it was 5 Stars but it seems like my tastes have changed a little over the years because this time around I have to give it 4 Stars.
If you're reading this series in order and are about to start this one, you should know that this book is written in third person. The first two books, Awaken Me Darkly and Enslave Me Sweetly, were written in first person and seemed to be independent of each other. Here their characters are tied together, making the books feel more connected. I, personally, think the series reads better in third person, but if you've loved the first person setup in the first two books, you might be upset when you get to this one. Just an FYI for you all.
Mishka and Jaxon were great characters. I especially liked Mishka. Here was a girl who could be just as cold and badass as any guy out there. Maybe even more so. ;) She's killed and she's tortured, all without feeling the need to martyr herself in guilt. Seriously, I get so tired of heroines in Romance being cast as incapable of hurting another person, even if it means saving their life. But that's not the case with Mishka. She may regret having to do it, but she doesn't let her feelings cripple her. She was a very strong character.
I loved that the alien bad guys weren't written as black and white. The very nature of their race was so sad. How can you not feel for a group of people that behaves like that because that's how nature dictates they have to be? I really liked that I, just like the characters, had mixed feelings over how I felt about one of the bad guys. There was really no clear cut answer and it was hard not to like him. I'm also very interested in seeing where the storyline that was left open will take us.
The feelings between Mishka and Jaxon developed easily, the only conflict in the relationship came from outside circumstances. At times it made it feel a little too easy, but her stories are entertaining so it didn't bug me much. As with most of her books, Showalter can write some pretty sexy scenes. I felt that Mishka was a little too vulnerable and innocent at times, but overall I really enjoyed watching them come together. I found it absolutely hilarious that it was Jaxon who longed to cuddle and discuss their feelings. I enjoyed loved that the author flipped that stereotypical role on its head.
I was not impressed with Jaxon's friends. By the end of the book I was wishing that some of them would walk in front of a bus. I didn't mind Eden and Lucius, or the hilarious Devyn, but I really, really disliked Dallas and Mia. How apt that those two would be best friends! Mia's hypocritical attitude toward Jaxon consorting with "the enemy" grated, considering how her own romance developed. The fact that she would ignore his wishes--even when he was right there begging her to stop--makes her a shitty friend. Especially because she was only pushing so hard to hurt Mishka to get revenge, not because she wanted to protect him. I was pretty ticked that she was forgiven so easily. Dallas was irritating, but I was able to understand where he was coming from. He was pretty messed up over the changes to his body and wasn't thinking very clearly, so I made allowances. Mia has no excuse other than being an ass.
Despite any gripes I had, I really enjoyed rereading this book and am looking forward to continuing on in the series. And if I hate one or two characters...well, I'll just ignore them and fantasize about them being hit by said bus. ;)
"Tell me what's going on in that head of yours. Tell me what you're feeling." He stiffened. Closed his eyes for a moment and moaned. "Good God. I just realized I'm Cathy."
"I don't understand."
He gave a wry shake of his head. "I've got a beautiful woman underneath me, and I'm asking to discuss our feelings and future. Hell, I want to discuss them. I'm pathetic."
Do not melt. Do not freaking melt. "Look, Jaxon, it's not you. Okay? It's me. I can't do relationships."
"Like I haven't heard that one before. Like I haven't said it before." Shaking his head, he began to withdraw from her.
I'd been meaning to try out this book for a while, but for some reason I always bypassed it when looking for something to read. I guess I was never inI'd been meaning to try out this book for a while, but for some reason I always bypassed it when looking for something to read. I guess I was never in the right mood. Well, I finally bit the bullet and read it.
Interesting is the word that comes to mind when I think of this book. The author did a fabulous of setting the atmosphere. Everything felt dark and gothic and intense. One of the lead characters, Dante, stayed pretty mysterious throughout. Even when I learned more about him I still felt kind of confused. I expect more information about exactly who and what he is will come further into the series.
I liked how all the characters had a bit of depth to them, even the side characters. The little family that Dante has gathered for himself was quite interesting. I wish that we had been given more detail about the specifics of it all. But I think the one I found the most interesting was Lucien. I was kind of hoping Heather would eventually drift his way, but alas...
I was not a fan of the frequent pov shifts in this book. I don't mind more than two pov's--it can really present a well rounded picture of the story--but this was way too many. It became tedious for me because I had very little interest in reading from most of their pov's. Also, it jumped too frequently to really get a handle on the person. So, a little less of that in the next couple books would be a boon for me.
The whole book was centered around Dante. How hot he is and how so many people worship him. I found it interesting as an aspect of his unique birthright. But his personality didn't really endear him to me as a romantic lead. He felt very, very young. He was all teenage angst and drama. Combined with his problem remembering things it intrigued me, but that was about it. Although once I learned about his childhood I felt much more sympathetic and patient with his mood swings.
Heather was likable, but she seemed to only be cast as an agent as a reasonable way for her to get close to Dante. She didn't seem to actually follow any police rules and I found it odd that she ran around in the field by herself. Also, why was an agent carrying a purse around constantly on the job? I could go on about the various unprofessional ways she behaved, but why harp?
I really felt that this book needed to be tightened up to really work for me. The plot was pretty simple, so it was odd to have it matched to such a languorous pace. The pacing was odd, and the actual delivery of the events and information was hard to read. It was like someone continuously talking. It makes it hard to focus on specific details so you keep having to ask the person to repeat themselves (or reread a section). It all just seemed to stream together for me in a blur.
Even though this was not a huge hit for me I still plan to read the next book. I was interested enough in it to want to know what happens next, especially after the way Heather left things at the end. I'm really curious to see where the author is going with Dante's story, and I hope we get more background on Lucien's race. ...more
I have had a soft spot for thieves (both reformed or still in need of reforming) ever since reading some of Nora Roberts's older work. Swee*3.5 Stars*
I have had a soft spot for thieves (both reformed or still in need of reforming) ever since reading some of Nora Roberts's older work. Sweet Revenge, Honest Illusions, Homeport (Especially Homeport)... They've all instilled a love of characters that walk on the slightly shady side. I love their shamelessness and their slightly wicked edge--when paired with a unique honor code, of course. ;)
So reading about a reformed (or as reformed as he was going to get) thief was a delight for me. It's even more delicious when that thief is paired with a cop or very moral person who's on the straight and narrow. It always leads to excellent banter and sexy tension--which I love.
I liked Patrick with his perfect clothes and his faintly snooty air. He paired very well with Liz and her cheap suits (which drove him nuts) and her absolute belief in the system. He was flirty and sexy and loved nothing more than to shake Liz up and fluster her. I really liked the tension that existed between them because of Liz's opinion of him and his criminal past. He was by turns angry and hurt by her attitude and she was stuck in a cycle of disgust over his disregard for the law and helpless attraction. I liked that Sey showed a real conflict between them over their opposing morals.
Although that led to something that kind of bugged me about Patrick's. He loved his life as a thief and he was excellent at it until he gave it all up for his sister (such a sweetheart). But for some reason he seemed to think he was a bad seed and angsted over his worthiness of love and genuinely good people. I just didn't felt it jived very well with a man that supposedly loved his work so much. It was an off note for me that felt forced for the sake of added conflict, but it didn't bother me too much.
I decided to read this book after I read a post on Fiction Vixen by Susan Sey about her hero and heroine in Money Shot. I'm an orderly soul so I had to read this one first. I mocked the name "Goose" for the heroine when I heard it in the post, but I have to admit that it grew on me in this book. I actually ended up thinking it was--gasp!--rather cute. I really liked her character and thought she was fun as the voice of truth in Liz's relationship with Patrick.
I found Liz's childhood fascinating and liked how the author showed such opposing impressions of the photo taken of her, but I wish it had been featured more. I did like what we saw of it, though. If anything will give you issues, that will! I especially liked the way Patrick confronted her about her view of her job in relationship to her past. I love little insights like that.
I really enjoyed the sexual tension between Liz and Patrick, but I got tired of the back and forth attitude the characters were taking. When Patrick wanted Liz, Liz didn't want to be with him, but when Liz decided to go for it Patrick suddenly changed his mind? That seemed to be nothing but a way to stretch out the resolution of the relationship. I don't like tension just for tension's sake.
Although I didn't find the book perfect, I did enjoy the read. I can't wait to check out Goose's story!...more
I seem to have a problem being engaged by this writer. I can see the skill, and know that I would usually enjoy the characters, but something still hoI seem to have a problem being engaged by this writer. I can see the skill, and know that I would usually enjoy the characters, but something still holds me back. I like them, but it's a kind of distant liking. I never really feel invested in their characters. I was coasting along feeling rather disappointed, but then came Rhys's breaking point, and I was sucked in!
Rhys was a very interesting character. In the beginning he didn't really match up with the personality I had imagined while reading One Dance with a Duke, the first book in the trilogy. He was a lot more in control of himself for one, and he was a lot sweeter and more bashful than I had supposed. I liked the sweetness, but it also made it really hard for me understand how suicidal he was.
Rhys didn't want to kill himself, but he pushed for someone to do it for him. He stared death in the eye time and time again and dared it to take him. At times he even begged. So being told about that side of him, I found it very hard to align the two versions of him that I was presented with. Which was the one that didn't make any sense? The old broken Rhys, or the new happy, well adjusted Rhys? I couldn't get involved with him because I couldn't see him. But all that changed when Rhys finally lost his hold on his past self. Finally I saw him and understood how much of himself he had suppressed, and why. In that moment I saw the anguish and the rage at others, and himself. I saw his self loathing and shame, and it was heart breaking. That was the moment that the book truly made me feel what the characters felt.
I loved Meredith, but she frustrated me too. I sympathized with her so much in the beginning of their relationship. When Rhys was stuck in his "fate" mindset I couldn't really get behind him. I could get behind Meredith though. Her anger about his belief that they would have ended up in this moment, with this relationship, no matter what was very understandable. All her hard work and struggles didn't matter because fate would have made it work out for the best even if she hadn't tried? I loved how she tested his faith in his "fate" belief. That's one way to shock a man into your point of view.
Meredith's view on sex was very refreshing. She wasn't a virgin, and she liked pleasure. She had no qualms about spending an enjoyable evening with a man if it seemed right to both of them. I really liked the role reversal in Meredith and Rhys's relationship. She was the one trying to get into his pants, and he was the one trying to convince her to marry him. I cracked up when she snuck into his room to see if he had a war injury or not! At times Meredith's devotion to the village became tedious. Especially because none of them seemed like very likable people. But when we heard her big secret I understood her position a little better.
Speaking of her big secret, I really wish she had told Rhys right when he told her his. I really think he would have taken the whole thing better if she hadn't waited. I can understand that she was frightened, but I still couldn't help but empathize with Rhys more. Maybe it was because he finally seemed broken.
I liked getting to see Bellamy again and hearing a few more clues about him. He has been the one I've fixated on the most ever since the first book. I just want to understand who he is and why he plays these roles. He was his typical cranky self in this book, and he didn't make any more friends along the way, but he came through when he was needed. I hope I'm not disappointed in his book!
One of the biggest problems I had with this book was the village's reaction to Rhys. I know his dad was a bad guy, but he wasn't that bad. I really don't see where he inspired enough rage (in the villagers that is, not Rhys) to make the lower class threaten a lord's life. I would think that village would be afraid to bring the law into it. It's not the same as killing a peasant. The law cares more. So, where did the torch-bearing mob get the gumption to do that?
The reveal at the very end surprised me. I can't figure out if I'm pleased, or feeling like it came out of nowhere. I really didn't expect it either way. ...more
I've known about this series for quite a while, and I'm a big Nora Roberts fan, but I hadn't really wanted to pic*Originally read 12/10/10 - 12/11/10*
I've known about this series for quite a while, and I'm a big Nora Roberts fan, but I hadn't really wanted to pick this series up. There's about a billion books out in the series. What if I ended up loving it? Then I have to commit myself to buying those billion books just to catch up! But after hearing such glowing things about this series from most of my Goodreads friends--especially about Roarke--I had to finally bight the bullet and get the first book.
Now that I've finished it I don't know whether to cheer or comfort my wallet. I think I'm going to have to run to the bookstore and swoop up a bunch of the next books in the series so I can get my glom on.
I didn't connect with Roarke the way that most readers seem to, but I expect it comes with time. The relationship and attraction in this book develops pretty quickly--faster than I expected or wanted--but I can't say I expected any different seeing as this isn't actually a Romance series. Most of the focus was on the case with the romance as the side story. Luckily, I know there's plenty of time in this series for the author to develop their relationship.
It's no hardship for me to watch their relationship develop over the course of the books since I know that they are together and the author didn't throw any retarded love triangles in there. So I'm willing to be patient and won't complain about the lack of a lot of depth to the relationship and characters yet.
It was odd for me to read a book so similar, yet different, from Nora Roberts's usual style. The characterization, interactions, feel to the developing relationship, and writing felt the same, but the focus wasn't on the romance. I liked it. It's nice to find a new series by this author that I can glut myself on. I was a little nervous that her style would be completely different under the pseudonym, but it wasn't where it counted.
The details about all the little futuristic gizmos weren't really explained in depth. Everything was mentioned matter-of-factly like talking to someone already familiar with the technology and world. I think some will dislike that, but I honestly preferred it. I don't mind if authors want to explain, but a detailed explanation about how the spray that seals in oils and fingerprints works is not something I personally need to know. The way it was all presented worked for me.
The case (and Eve's background) really tugged at my heartstrings. I thought it was handled well by the author, but I still feel helplessly enraged to know stuff like that happens constantly.
I really enjoyed seeing our timeframe discussed and researched for the case. It was fun to see the differences between that time and this one and it provided a nice opportunity for me to see where their culture differed without huge infodumps.
I have a confession to make... I was afraid to read this book. I have a serious love affair with this authoI won this ARC in a contest at Dear Author.
I have a confession to make... I was afraid to read this book. I have a serious love affair with this author's Guardian series. I mean, how many of my Goodreads friends did I nag into reading it lately? Five? I know they finally broke down and read it just to shut me up, but that's okay, because they loved it anyway and I got more people to talk about it with. So, I was afraid something would happen and I wouldn't be able to get into the new series and I'd lose a favorite author. Thank God I slapped the neurotic out of myself and read it! It was great!
So this is an alternate view of England. Two hundred years ago some of the English, now referred to as bounders, fled the Horde and only returned to England after the Iron Duke had broken the Horde control. The bounders aren't very popular because they've come back to try to claim their titles and their land and are rich, while the people of England who stayed and suffered are poor. The Horde hid nanoagents (or bugs) in the sugar they traded with England. When the time was right, they activated the bugs and thus began the Horde control. Nine years ago, the Iron Duke had broken the Horde control on England. For his trouble, his pirating was pardoned and his was awarded a Dukedom.
This book opens with Mina Wentworth being called to the house of the Iron Duke to investigate a murder. She works for the Metropolitan Police Force and is very good at her job. The Iron Duke, Rhys Trahaearn, is willing to let her investigate, but wants to be involved and informed of all the particulars. Because of his particular status in England, Mina is forced to agree.
It took me a while to figure out exactly why Mina was a pariah in her own society. I don't know if the author was slowly hinting at it, or if I'm just slow, but it took me a while to figure out exactly who the Horde were and why her connection to them would be easy to spot. I was expecting something to do with the nanos or prosthetics. I had a lightbulb moment midway through and felt really dumb. Please let it have been the author's plan and not me being dense! :P Once I figured it out, those insults made a lot more sense...
The beginning of this book was hard for me to get into. Not because of the writing or the characters or anything, it just took me a while to fully acquaint myself with the technology aspect of it. I've got to admit, I find it a lot easier to watch a steampunk movie than read a steampunk book. A movie requires much less understanding for me than a book, and I'll own it - I just don't understand engines. The details start coming about engines and machines and it just blows my mind. So, I think this won't affect anyone who understands these aspects better than I do. I struggled for a while, but did eventually understand the technology and the world. But that lack of understanding isn't unique to this book. I always feel it when reading steampunk. It's just me.
I loved the characters in this book! Not just Mina and Rhys, but the side characters too. Yasmeen, Lady Cosair, a merchant captain with a bad ass attitude. Archimedes Fox, the adventurer who seems to have quite an attachment to one of the other characters. Scarsdale, an excellent character who despairs about Trahaearn's blunt speech and who is incapable of getting onto an airship without being extremely drunk, drugged, or knocked out. And then there's Mina's coworker, Constable Newberry... What an absolute sweetie. I really enjoyed his relationship and loyalty to Mina.
Mina was an excellent heroine. She's smart and assessing at all times. She doesn't go looking for trouble, but she won't back down either. The years under Horde control have had a huge impact on her. She will not be controlled again. Not by a person, and not by her own emotions. Her situation in life is so sad. Where can she go so people will look at her and see something other than the Horde? She is constantly having to hide in the shadows and prove her own worth. Poor girl. She lives in fear, although it is not always apparent. Fear of being controlled, fear of being hurt, fear of being the cause of her family's suffering. Her every action is influenced by those fears.
Rhys is a hero who just wants to be ignored. He likes the power and influence his name gives him, but he doesn't want the hero worship. He doesn't want people to look at him and thank him, it makes him uncomfortable. The public takes his image and runs with it and no one seems to care about the truth of his past. He doesn't care, a lie can serve him better than the truth at times. Unfortunately, he seems to forget the image he has been given and pushes Mina and tests her, not knowing that she's judging his actions by who she thinks he is.
Rhys had a really harsh childhood that has shaped his view of the world and his relationships to people. He values people by their use to them and keeps them or discards them depending on their value. He knows that everyone has a price, and has no problem with manipulating someone into the situation he wants them to be in. Thank goodness for Scarsdale. He's the voice of reason telling Rhys when he's fumbling things with his pursuit of Mina. I cracked up at the severe understatement of the term, "bad sport," that Rhys and Scarsdale kept throwing around. I loved Rhys though, because once he figured out that his manipulation was doing more harm than good he dropped it and started tweaking another angle.
There is a part in this book that I think is going to make some readers uncomfortable. I, personally, loved that it was there and that they had to deal with it in an honest and adult way. It was, sincerely, an honest mistake. Rhys didn't mean to do it like that, and Mina couldn't help her reaction. I loved how it all worked out.
Can I just point out that there are zombies in here! How cool is that? I didn't read the summary of the book, I just wanted it based on the author, so they were a big surprise. I loved their roll and I loved the explanation for their existence!
The only problem I had was toward the end. Mina and Rhys and their total miscommunication made me want to smack their heads together. It totally fit with their characters, and the fact that they seem to speak a different language at times, but I still found it a bit frustrating. I just wanted to sit them both down and have an intervention! But it was wonderful too.
For as long as this book was, I really expected the author to spend more time developing the characters. I never feThis is more like a 3.5 star grade.
For as long as this book was, I really expected the author to spend more time developing the characters. I never felt that we delved very far beneath the surface. I think this book would have been much better with a little depth.
There were some moments in this book where I was very uncomfortable with Rohan's actions. But his character wouldn't have been genuine without them. He was not a very nice man, and he had done many hedonistic things in the pursuit of pleasure. He has no problem with pushing Elinor past her comfort zone and manipulating her into doing what he wants. At times he comes off as more villain than hero, but I kind of liked that. I just wish we would have spent a bit more time on the psychology behind it.
I felt that the transition from Elinor fearing and hating Rohan to loving him came a little too abruptly. I know that she had been hiding her feelings from herself, but I wish it would have felt more gradual and less focused around them finally having sex.
I felt so bad for Elinor for most of the story. At times her deliberate blindness to Rohan's intentions got a little bit irritating, but for the most part I didn't mind. I hated her mother and was so upset when I found out Elinor's past sexual experience. I was so mad and so upset! But I believe it explained very well why she never believed her looks were acceptable and why it was so hard for her to believe Rohan was actually stalking her, not her sister. She had been brainwashed into thinking she had no value.
I loved the scene where Elinor told Rohan about her past. He played the role of unaffected and quickly excused himself, but all that changed when he was out of her sight. I was so happy with his response, but so sorry that it was so hard for him. Then when he sees Elinor trying to escape - very affecting. He feared that he had been played and that he had done something he hated for nothing. He was so angry, but I loved when he finally tuned into Elinor's mood and was so sorry for the way he was behaving. *sigh* Very moving.
I also loved the way he ran, not walked, from the room after they made love. The big, bad hedonist was afraid of his feelings.
I liked getting to see the secondary romance with Elinor's sister, Lydia. Every thing Elinor did was for the good of Lydia, and it was nice to get to see Lydia struggle with doing something repugnant to her just to make things easier for her sister.
I think there will be a few things in this story that will make people hate it right out of the gate. One of them is that fact that the heroine is 23 and the hero is 39. Also, the hero emphasized this by calling her "child" whenever he wanted to mock her or seem superior. Now, those things didn't bother me at all, and I felt the "child" was less of a numerical thing and more of a mindset thing, but I know no matter what, some people will hate it. Also, the hero sleeps with other people while obsessed with the heroine. They are not together, and she is still spurning him, but I know some people will have a problem with it. Elinor knows he is with other people too because he never tries to hide it.
While this wasn't a perfect book and it lacked some of the things I was looking for, I still found it compelling and very readable. I plan to pick up the other two in the trilogy when they come out....more
Nick seemed different than he was first presented in Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake. He seemed more charming and fun there whereas in this book he felt a little flat. I was told he was interesting and sexy, but for some reason I just didn't feel it. That's not to say I disliked him, I enjoyed reading about him, but that's about where it left me.
Isabel was both likable and not. Her life to date has been a hard one. She's basically been on her own since she was seventeen. Yes, she's gathered a family of friends around her, but their survival rests on her. No wonder she had such a problem leaning when Nick comes around! What happens when you trust and that person fails you? You're not the only one left to pick up the pieces when so many people depend on you.
So, Isabel's position was understandable, but it was also frustrating. It was hard for the relationship to develop because Isabel was so hot and cold toward Nick. He wasn't on the up and up at all times, but he was the one I eventually felt sorry for. Isabel could be pretty thoughtless in her determination to protect herself.
The women of the Minerva House were very intriguing. I wish we would have gotten more information on them. They weren't completely flat characters, but there wasn't a lot of depth there. It was still nice to have Isabel in charge of such a project. It's also nice to think that places like that were out there.
The Duke of Leighton was a character I was definitely intrigued by in the first book. His interactions with Juliana caught my attention and made me eager to get their book. I'm sorry to say that his popularity with me has suffered a blow. I'm still curious to get into his head, but not quite as eager.
It's unfortunate, but he was an ass toward the end of this book. It's much easier to accept his about face in affection with a stranger (as was the case with Juliana) than it was here. I won't say more than that, but I wasn't happy about it.
I'm still interested in the third book, but I'm not really hanging on the edge of my seat anymore.
Wow, this book was actually really good. Do I sound surprised? I suppose I am, a bit. I had no real basis for low expectations, I freely admit that, bWow, this book was actually really good. Do I sound surprised? I suppose I am, a bit. I had no real basis for low expectations, I freely admit that, but for some reason I had them. I had been told this was dark, and that was what made me pick it up, but I really didn't expect the reality of it.
I liked it! I liked it enough to order the next book, Gabriel's Woman, before I had finished this one. What can I say? I found him the most interesting character in the book. That's not a slur against everyone else, that's just a nod to how complicated he is. I admit it...I'm a sucker for complex men.
This story was dark and a bit morbid and gloomy at times. It had twists and turns and kept me on my toes. I didn't know who was good and who was bad, and I spent most of the book in the dark about the 'Why' of it all. While that would have irritated the living hell out of me in a book that I was struggling through, I loved it here because I did care. I was engrossed and needed to find out what plots and manipulations Michael had going on. When the reveal came--well, I didn't quite expect that. I had some assumptions going on, and I was wrong. So kudos to the author for that!
There was a rather gloomy, repressed attitude permeating these pages. I know what you're thinking. Repressed??? In an erotic romance??? Yes, you didn't read that wrong. I'm not talking about the sex--although I'll touch on that soon (snicker)--I'm talking about the atmosphere. I'll give a few quotes to illustrate what I mean...
Everything could be bought, Michel had said. Sexual satisfaction. Intimacy. Friendship.
In all her years she had never heard anyone say they loved another. Not husband to wife. Not mother to child.
...she said deliberately, cruelly--hating herself, hating him, hating *bleep* for destroying the only beauty she had ever experienced.
(I bleeped that last one on purpose to avoid even the slightest of spoilers) Taken by themselves these quotes are powerful things, yes, but those lines were not unique. They were special in the sense that they spoke to me the most, but there were many more scattered all throughout the book. Combined, they all created a rather melancholy air.
The friendship between Gabriel and Michael was very complex. Gabriel's restitution reveal and the reason behind it didn't surprise me in the least. I was never angry, just sad, because how could he not hate him for his pleasure? So sad... But their bond was strong at the same time. Even in the face of betrayal, they still clung to that relationship. They were brothers in heart, and I feel that their relationship was one of the best parts of the book.
The relationship between Anne and Michael was much murkier for me. I enjoyed reading it, but if I had gone into it expecting a Romance book with a capital 'R' I would have been disappointed. There is a romance, but it's...complex and twisted at times. Their actions toward each other and their emotions for each other aren't always neatly labeled. In the beginning Anne's emotions were easier to define, but toward the end when everything started becoming clearer, but darker, that's when it all became twisted.
The book ended on a hopeful note, but it did not have a clear Happy Ending. It worked for the book, but it might bother some. I wouldn't have minded another chapter or two being included so I could have been witness to them working out their differences and having a heart to heart, but like I said, I wasn't expecting a Romance.
The sex was really the weakest part of the book for me. I think it'll appeal to a lot of readers, but it just didn't work for me. I am not a fan of monologuing during sex. Having characters talk, talk, talk during sex and explain in detail everything is a turn off to me. It comes off clinical, not hot.
As I was reading this book I kept thinking of Madeline Hunter's older works. They have completely different styles, but the plots and machinations of the men seemed very similar. That's not a bad thing, I liked it. Once someone mentioned Three Nights of Sin I realized that I was picking up strong similarities of that too. So, if you enjoyed either of those for their darker aspects, you might enjoy this one....more
Well, I've just finished this book, and it really didn't turn out to be anything like I was expecting at all. In some ways it was better, but in a lotWell, I've just finished this book, and it really didn't turn out to be anything like I was expecting at all. In some ways it was better, but in a lot of ways it was a disappointment.
I really liked getting to know Lily better. I liked seeing her deafness while trying to live a regular life. At times it felt a little too easy for her, but enough authentic moments of confusion and fear and embarrassment were mentioned, that it didn't bother me too much. In some ways her characterization felt very thin, though. She seemed extremely well adjusted and at peace, except for a few occasions. It seemed like she was just there to be a foil to Julian. This was very much his story. He had to grow and adjust while Lily was already where she needed to be. She had no real character growth, and the lack of it was a little frustrating.
Julian was interesting and likable, but when I learned more about him I felt rather let down. I really felt that he blew his issues way out of proportion. Maybe if he was with any other girl it might have seemed more logical, but with Lily there was no doubt of their love for each other or their friendship. Really, the only conflict in their relationship was Julian himself. He had to get over himself enough to stop worshiping her and start seeing her as a partner.
I found the book pretty engaging for the first 200 pages, but after that it started to bore me a bit. I jut felt that I was reading something pointless. There was no real issue, it was just a matter of waiting for Julian to figure it out and stop lying to Lily. I really started to dislike their relationship when I figured out he would never tell her if he had a choice. The fact that Lily was so sweetly patient about most everything was disappointing too. I wanted her to push him and make him grow a pair. It was so frustrating!
The reveal about Leo was pretty obvious from the time we first saw the contents of one of the letters. The reason for his death surprised me though. I was just like Julian, I was expecting something more. I found the whole thing a bit of a let down to be honest. Maybe if certain details had been handled better? It's just hard not to feel disappointed when all you get is a surprised, "you didn't know?" from Lily. We spent three books building this up, can't we make this a bigger deal?
But even with those issues, I was all set to give it four stars until the end. I'm referring to the scene beginning when Julian and Lily are in the carriage and he makes a false assumption about their destination. When Lily corrects him it leads him to finally reveal all. I was glad that Lily blasted him for his opinion of her and her love for him, but I was pretty ticked off that she rolled over so easily. I was not nearly so forgiving as she was. I really wanted more of a reckoning there. It was just one more example of how frustrating Lily's perfect and forgiving attitude could be. ...more
I finished the first book, As Luck Would Have It, and immediately picked up this one. Thank goodness I bought the first two at once! Whenever Whit andI finished the first book, As Luck Would Have It, and immediately picked up this one. Thank goodness I bought the first two at once! Whenever Whit and Mirabelle came on screen in the first book they stole the show. Their frenemy banter just popped off the page and made me impatient to read their story.
Before I get into my review, I should probably be upfront about something. I love the frenemies to lovers trope. I don't want all out blood enemies, but I like reading about characters who dislike each other but have a reluctant attraction underneath all the bickering. I want to watch them slowly fall in love while they slowly stop sniping at each other. Or if they continue bickering, it should be more joking and less malicious. By the way, feel free to tell me about these books if you run across them!
So, my not-so-secret joy in this trope made me instantly interested in reading Whit and Mirabelle's book. I think that my expectations, or more accurately, my unmet expectations, are what made this book only average for me. The book started off well, with their bickering in attendance, but it didn't last long. Whit's mother requests that he and Mirabelle call a truce for a while and out of love and respect for her, they do.
That's about where things started to decline for me. That was really early in the story, unfortunately, and they didn't seem to have a problem getting over their little feud. To be honest, that's where the relationship lost all tension other than the outside influences that cropped up in the book.
The book was still good, but it veered more toward the sweet end than the snarky end. At certain moments that was really appreciated, like when Mirabelle was almost badly injured and Whit tried to act matter of fact about it, but his hand shook when he stroked her hair. I swear, I just melted over that. So sweet! But most other times I really missed the spark they first had.
I felt really bad for Mirabelle's life with her uncle. I don't blame her at all for keeping it to herself. I totally understood why she would feel that way about sharing it with Whit. I really liked her overall attitude. She was very pragmatic and only wanted to safeguard her pride until she was free.
The only other thing I would have preferred to see in this story was a less convoluted storyline there at the end. I honestly felt a bit like the author threw in everything but the kitchen sink in the hopes of making it even zanier. It would have been nice if we could have just skipped that all.
I see that McAlistair's story is next. I plan to read it, but I have to admit I'm a bit leery. He came off a bit creepy and stalkerish in this book. I also sense some emo-ness in the wings. But I'm ready for this author to prove me wrong! I've got my fingers crossed that I'll like it as much as I did the first! ...more
This book was absolutely fabulous in the beginning! I loved the banter and I loved the characters. Linnet was such a great heroine and I adored her wiThis book was absolutely fabulous in the beginning! I loved the banter and I loved the characters. Linnet was such a great heroine and I adored her willingness to go toe to toe with the beast of a doctor, Piers. I've heard that the author modeled the hero after Dr. House, and it must be true because the similarities are quite obvious. That's all right though because I've always enjoyed House. He's an ass, yes, but he is also strangely nice and oddly charming. So it's no surprise that I loved Piers too.
I loved the playfulness between Linnet and Piers. They actually became friends in this book which is something I treasure in my romances. The humor was spot on as well. Just like in the last fairytale style book Eloisa James wrote this one has a bit of a farcical feel to it. I saw shades of my favorite couple by this author (in the beginning at least) when Piers and Linnet decided to play and tease each other. It was sexy and fun and I felt they fit together well.
I really liked the side bits we got of Piers's mother and father. The revelations we had about their past and the reason Piers disliked his father is heartbreaking. I think the author was smart to show his pov because otherwise it would have been harder to forgive him for his mistakes.
So why isn't this a 5 star? Because the book went down the drain toward the end. The conflict at the end seemed to come out of nowhere and I felt that forgiveness came way too easily. It was like so many other issues cropped up after that scene that the actual original conflict wasn't given more than a token apology. I wasn't enraged when it ended, but I was still miffed and I felt that things were solved too easily. It actually bothered me so much that it took the grade down to a very low 4 stars. I debated going into the 3 star range, but I enjoyed the first 3/4 of the book too much to do that.
I'm still looking forward to the next fairytale themed book, but I hope that one stays good throughout instead of turning lame at the end.
Also, I was really bothered by the way it seemed like Linnet needed to be brought down a peg before she could be with Piers. What was up with that??? ...more
**spoiler alert** I am really struggling to get my thoughts together for this one. My emotions were all over the place as I read. I have to admit that**spoiler alert** I am really struggling to get my thoughts together for this one. My emotions were all over the place as I read. I have to admit that this had a very different tone than the other two Anne Mallory books I've read. For instance, it was a lot darker. Not just in subject matter, I mean in tone too. It really had a kind of gothic feel to it. The poor malleable miss who's influenced by the dark mysterious man. Bad things happen in the story and the girl doesn't know where to turn or who is good and who is bad. That's the feel this book had. If that's what the author was going for, she succeeded.
For me, this book worked better as a character study on the various victims of a horrific crime than a romance. We get to see the different paths that people take and the ways that an event like this can shape them for the better or the worse. I found it all quite fascinating, even as my heart was breaking for them. I also liked that we got to see some survivor guilt. It all felt very realistic to me.
But the damage done, and the way it continues to control Gabriel's actions, make for a very tall obstacle to overcome on the path to happiness. I really think that everything would have felt more satisfying for me with a stronger heroine. I didn't feel that she challenged the hero enough and he needed that challenge. Anytime she would make the slightest tiptoe toward taking control in the bedroom he practically quivered on the spot. It annoyed me to no end that she kept backing off and letting him play her like an orgasming puppet.
Poor Gabriel was stuck in his role. Even when he sincerely wanted her, he was too afraid to move beyond his mask. In the beginning, watching them have sex was extremely uncomfortable. Gabriel was never fully engaged and Marietta lost any thought in her head the minute he gave her a sexy look or touched her. I couldn't help but be angry with both of them. Gabriel for constantly (and it was constant) manipulating her, and her for being such a dumb cow for most of the book. I don't think I would have been so uncomfortable with him if she had been a stronger more self aware person. She wasn't though.
For a romance novel, this was an extremely NOT hot book. There was one sexy scene at the end where they're finally on an even kilter in the bedroom, but the whole rest of the book left me feeling really uncomfortable as I read the love scenes. I think it was supposed to, but I still wish the change in their dynamic hadn't come quite so late.
I don't really understand what happened with Marietta. She was strong in the beginning. She was bitter and bitchy too, but she could have worked on it. I don't know when she turned into a blindly trusting simpleton incapable of staying sharp to save her family from prison, but I wish she hadn't. Or maybe we could have seen a nice middle ground? That might have been nice... When clarity hit her and she finally realized how blind she was it was almost too late for me. I had almost completely written her off. I think it might have been left a tad too long, because I can't say I ever really liked her, even at the end.
The subjects dealt with in the book... totally ripped me up. I can see it happening so easily, but I hate to think of it too. I'm very, very, very pleased that the author flipped the usual standard and had the man be the victim. Gabriel made a fascinating character. He was destroyed by what happened to him. He built himself back up, but he never really got over it. He became obsessed with control and constantly manipulated people, but he also scorned them for falling prey to it. Especially women. He was extremely dissociative, and for a while there he was extremely creepy.
The bad guy in the end...Why? Why?!?!? I saw it coming, but I didn't foresee how badly it would upset me. When it all came out and I realized the truth, I ached for that person. And then when everything was decided and they took that carriage ride...Totally. Killed. Me. Like I said, I was all over the place emotionally.
While I can't say that I enjoyed reading this, I didn't not enjoy it either. I'm just still very conflicted over the whole thing. I think this might be my one "off book" from this author. I liked her other work so much because of the relationship development and her extremely excellent dialogue. I didn't really find a lot of that here. ...more
I really loved Mickey. Silence was enjoyable too, but at times I felt like you could insert any naive, innocent romance heroine in her plac*4.5 Stars*
I really loved Mickey. Silence was enjoyable too, but at times I felt like you could insert any naive, innocent romance heroine in her place and still have the same story. Mickey was the driving force of the book and, truth be told,Silence's most important role was drawing him out of himself. I still enjoyed it, but it kept me from absolutely loving it.
I liked how intensely it focused on their interactions together. I really loved watching Mickey open himself up to her. He was a fabulous hero and was never sugarcoated--which I was thankful for. At the end of the book he's still Mickey, he just learned to open himself up to love and to prize something more than wealth and power.
I wasn't surprised at all by the identity of the Ghost. I wonder how his book will turn out. ...more
It seems like this author has quite a talent for writing dark, shady, unrepentant men. Christian definitely fits the bill. He3.5 Stars to be specific.
It seems like this author has quite a talent for writing dark, shady, unrepentant men. Christian definitely fits the bill. He is an actual fortune hunter. I don't think I've ever read about a fortune hunter hero who doesn't have a problem with that status. Christian would have preferred having money himself, obviously, but he had no problem marrying to get it. He was a master manipulator. He was able to look at someone and know how best to portray himself. He also has no problem with any number of other villainous deeds. You want blackmail? He's all over it. How about kidnapping? Well, he doesn't have a problem with that if it proves necessary either. He's unrepentant and makes no bones about the fact that he only cares about what's best for him. He has numerous enemies and very few friends.
Annelise has fallen on hard times. She's wellborn, so she can't work, but her family can't afford to support her either. She lives by becoming a guest at someone's house that needs her help. She's not a servant, and she doesn't get paid for her work, but there's an unspoken obligation involved. The most recent house she's "visiting" has her instilling manners and good breeding (or at least trying to) in shipping heiress, Hetty. Right away she runs into Christian as he tries to lure Hetty down the bridal path. She's knows his true nature and refuses to let him have Hetty.
While I have a weakness for Christian's character type, I have to like the heroine too, and I have to believe in their romance. I found myself wavering on that here. I really feel that there wasn't enough quality time spent on their relationship. It seemed like so much focus was cast on Christian and his shady deeds that there wasn't enough time to develop a believable romance. Also, the I-love-you came awfully fast from Annelise. I just didn't feel that it was believable with so little to work with. On the other hand, I didn't like the fact that Christian didn't admit to falling for her until the very last minute. I'd prefer a little middle ground for both of them.
I was extremely irritated by Annelise's refusal to believe anything bad that was said about Josiah. When multiple different people imply the man is a lunatic, perhaps you should stop trying to tell them they're exaggerating. It made Annelise look extremely stupid. Also, I really didn't see a reason why Annelise wouldn't just leave. Honestly, she had no real attachment to the family, and she didn't even like them. I know it wouldn't have served the plot if she had left, but it really made no sense.
I would have liked this story a lot more if a believable romance had been constructed. As it is, it just average.
I wasn’t sure what to think going into this book. I haven’t enjoyed the last couple books in the series quite as much as I had wanted to. The4.5 Stars
I wasn’t sure what to think going into this book. I haven’t enjoyed the last couple books in the series quite as much as I had wanted to. They were good, but the secondary storylines took up way too much space and made me feel like the main relationship was getting shortchanged. I was thrilled to see that the main storyline got way more focus in this book!
I’ve heard some buzz going around recently about people being irritated that Haidee hooked up with Amun when Strider was interested in her first. Honestly, this didn’t bother me at all. I thought the eventual explanation for Strider’s attraction was a bit of a cop out, but at no time did I think that he should have taken Amun’s place. All Strider registered as (for me) was the vehicle to get Haidee into Amun’s vicinity. Besides, just because he was interested in her didn’t mean she was interested in him. I thought she got her feeling across very nicely in the last book with the sharp point of a knife. :)
I was a bit concerned (and have been ever since I met him) about how Amun’s romance would develop when he couldn’t even talk. Finding a heroine that knows sign language isn’t exactly a snap. Luckily that was solved nicely. I was worried about how the author would explain the connection between Haidee and Amun, but I shouldn’t have been. Their (unexpected) past together helped make sense of a connection that would have otherwise seemed a bit too convenient.
I really enjoyed getting to know Amun. He has been mentioned often in the past books, but he never developed much of a personality. I was surprised to find out that he was an incredibly nice, caring, non-Alpha man. He paired perfectly with Haidee, who had seen such pain in her long life. Speaking of Haidee, the reveals about her were a complete surprise. Not just her past, but what she was. I really liked it and appreciate the author for coming up with new reasons for a character to be immortal.
I liked that Haidee’s involvement with the Hunters and her part in Baden’s death weren’t just ignored. It wasn’t dealt with quite as seriously as I was hoping, but it was at least addressed. I was pleased that Amun was able to see Haidee’s side of things. He really was a very sweet guy.
The secondary storyline in this book revolved around Strider. He is quite the show stealer when he’s on scene. That goes doubly for when we get to see him interact with his future heroine. We also got to see William and Paris along the way and learned quite a few interesting things relating to them. William is even more interesting than before and I’m really hoping he ends up getting a book of his own so I can learn more about who and what he is. Paris also seems to be gearing up for a very interesting battle. I’m very curious to see how that will resolve itself.
Although I did enjoy the book, I had some minor frustrations. One, what was the deal with Micah? A big deal was made of him and Amun looking alike, but then it just fizzled out. That was a big coincidence to just ignore. Two, the whole cheating vs. not cheating thing really bugged me. I’m glad Amun pointed out that it was all cheating. Three, the end was too neatly solved. It felt a bit too similar to one of the previous books for me.
Even though I found some things about the story too easy, I didn’t let it bother me much. I knew going in that the books in this series are light and fun, with characters and events that are usually over the top and that there’s rarely anything truly serious or angsty about them. That’s all right though, because they’re fun to read, sexy, and addictive. I’m already dying to read the next book!
One last thing before I finish up the review. I really loved Hailee’s tattoos. I’ve seen that idea before, but it has always seemed like an extremely clever idea in cases like these. Also, I hope we get more info on Zacharel. He seems very interesting and I am amused by Strider’s reaction to him.
Hate. Huh. He'd never hated himself. If anything, he'd always liked himself a little too much. Once, a human female had even accused him of picturing his own face while he climaxed. He hadn't denied it, either, and the next time he'd slept with her, he'd made sure to scream, "Strider" at the pivotal moment.
Once again, there was something missing for me in this book. I honestly think it's because it's one of this author's first books. It felt a*3.5 Stars*
Once again, there was something missing for me in this book. I honestly think it's because it's one of this author's first books. It felt a little smoother than the first at times, but it was still missing the spark I usually feel with this author's work.
I picked this book up immediately after finishing the first, Masquerading the Marquess. Stephen seemed like such an interesting character that I couldn't wait to read more about him! Luckily, he didn't disappoint and his heroine, Audrey, lived up to my expectations too.
Audrey by turns impressed and irritated me. I loved all the details about her career. It was absurdly easy for Stephen to catch her, but luckily the author gave us the excuse that this was not her plan to explain that away. This enabled me to still be able to accept that she had been too slick to catch a year ago.
I loved how mature and strong she was. She had confidence in herself and was always planning. It was very nice. But I also found her lack of growth and closed off attitude toward Stephen to be irritating. I know she didn't trust easy, but I got tired of it dragging on for the whole book. I needed to see her give something back to Stephen. It felt rather one sided as it stood.
I loved watching the teasing and banter develop between the characters. This is where I feel the author really starts to polish her later style.
I felt that once again things started to feel a little shaky as the plot came together. It was a little too abrupt and felt somewhat convoluted at times. The book could do with some tighter plotting and fewer characters running around.
I really wish that more detail had been explained about Audrey and Stephen's past. I felt that things were alluded to in her thoughts that were never resolved. I also wanted to know if her retirement tied into another event. The timing seemed to match up a little too well for it to be otherwise.
These first two books will not go down as favorites of the author, but I don't regret acquiring them at all. If you read this and felt that it was just a bit lacking I would recommend trying one of her newer books before making up your mind to write her off!
This was a very nice follow up to the first book, The Lover. Any time I saw Gabriel in that book he stole the scene. I was fascinated by him and wanteThis was a very nice follow up to the first book, The Lover. Any time I saw Gabriel in that book he stole the scene. I was fascinated by him and wanted to know who he was, how he thought, and what led him to the point he was at today. I didn't understand how he could love Michael and seem to hate him at the same time. I just needed to know why.
This was very much a story about Gabriel. I know it's advertised as an Erotic Romance but just like with The Lover, that wasn't the appeal for me. I liked the darkness and mystery of both of the books more than the actual romance. If I had to classify it I'd probably call it a love story at the most. While they both involve two people falling in love, the way they are executed and the rules that they follow are completely different. A love story is a side concern in the overall story whereas a romance is the main focus of a story. I'd say the main focus here was Gabriel's growth and healing.
Even though the focus wasn't necessarily on Victoria, she still managed to shine. Her desperation and her conflicted view of her sexuality really captured my attention. I found her very interesting and enjoyed watching her gain confidence in it being okay to desire someone.
Learning the truth about Gabriel didn't disappoint me. I was shocked and fascinated to learn the truth about his complex feelings for Michael. His fear of intimacy and the reason behind it was heartbreaking. I wish I could have just reached through the book to give him a hug. Although knowing him that probably wouldn't have gone over that well...
I found Gabriel's past interesting and sad. I can't tell if his feeling or lack thereof was a blessing or a curse in his line of work. How sad that he longed to feel what he could give.
The tone in this book was just as slow and repressed as in the first book. The author once again strives to write in riddles and half-speak to keep the reader confused and in the dark. It does get a little irritating after a while, but I was willing to ride it out just to see how it would all unfold.
The only major irritation I had with this story was the constant use of the term "angels." Michael and Gabriel are names of angels, yes, I get it. It was used incessantly in the first book too, but for some reason it just irritated me more in this one. ...more
I had a bit of a hard time getting into this book. It was still interesting, but I was very much aware that I was reading a book instead of being suckI had a bit of a hard time getting into this book. It was still interesting, but I was very much aware that I was reading a book instead of being sucked into a story. About the time Nathan and Astrid started to open up to each other was when I started to get into it. I don't know why, but I couldn't seem to connect to their characters. Their past tragedies and their budding connection with each other wasn't resonating with me. I knew about them because I was told about them, not because I was really feeling it.
This book seemed to have a different tone than the previous two. I had it pointed out to me by a friend that there was less humor, and she was right. The tone was more quiet and somber. The characters were falling in love, but they both were rather withdrawn so their connection was quieter.
Other than the obvious factor of Astrid being a member (or prior member) of the Blades of the Rose and Catullus showing up, this one didn't seem strongly tied to the previous books. Perhaps it's because we never met Astrid before, we only heard about her in passing. Whatever it is, I think this one would be able to stand on its own well without having read the previous books.
In the beginning as we were getting Astrid's thoughts about her husband I saw a lot of grief there, of course, but I also noticed some stray thoughts here and there that seemed to subtly be grooming the reader to see the new love interest, Nathan, as a better match than the previous spouse.
Few possessed enough spirit to gain her respect. Even Michael, much as she had loved him, wavered at times. Not Lesperance. He was her equal. In many ways. A frightening prospect.
See? That was only on page 66 and there were a lot of little comments like that. (Lesperance is Nathan's last name by the way.) Possibly the comments weren't meant that way, but after years of reading romances I am particularly sensitive to the habit authors have of devaluing the previous relationship just enough to make the new guy not have any competition. How can you have a competition with a dead man, you ask? I don't know, I've been wondering that for years.
Another thing that I noticed in this book was that even though we saw a lot more of Catullus than we did in the previous two, we didn't have as many steampunk gadgets as we did in the previous books. It's not a huge negative to me, it's just something I noticed.
Despite liking it less than the previous two books, I still thought it was a fun book. It isn't going to be a favorite of mine, but the action was a lot of fun and Astrid was a strong heroine. I also liked that Nathan's magic opened up an unexpected avenue in the author's world. I didn't think that we'd see any of that in this series, but it was definitely interesting to explore.
After getting to know Catullus a little better here I am even more excited to read his book. Hopefully we'll be able to end the series on a high note....more
Ah, Hawke and Sienna’s book… It has been the most anticipated release of the series for me. All that tension between them and the curiosity of how theAh, Hawke and Sienna’s book… It has been the most anticipated release of the series for me. All that tension between them and the curiosity of how they would end up together (with him already having had a mate) has made for a very long wait. While this book didn’t exactly rock my world the way I thought it would, it is still definitely worth the wait.
I really enjoyed Sienna in this book. She got tired of the games and she took a stand. She didn’t make unreasonable demands of Hawke, but she let him know that she wouldn’t accept the hot and cold attitude anymore. He either wanted to give them a shot or he needed to back off and stop giving people the impression that she was his territory. I really appreciated that because I want the characters I care about to have enough self respect to value themselves and not look foolish by hanging on after they are ignored time and again. Besides, it was fun to see Hawke’s wolf side come out whenever she confronted him with the fact she wasn’t his.
Speaking of Hawke, he seemed different from his previous self, but one of my favorite things about the new him was his playfulness. I loved that his wolf took control so frequently and that he wanted to play with Sienna so much. His excitement over chasing her while she tried to trap him was adorable. One of my favorite moments between them was when he still didn’t think they could be together, but they slow danced in the dark when they were all alone, anyway. It was so sad and romantic to watch them cling to the only moment they might have together.
I really liked the way Sienna handled the previous mate thing. I would have been very upset if Sienna had been portrayed as angry and upset about that situation. I wouldn’t have minded her being sad and a little upset that she wouldn’t have the same connection with him, but I would have found her incredibly small and mean-spirited to try to insert her drama into his happy memory. I found the end resolution a little too convenient, but I can’t say I didn’t see it coming. I was also happy that we finally got to hear what really happened to Hawke’s parents and to his mate.
I loved that we got to see more page time with Sascha and Lucas. They have continued to draw my attention from the first book, so it was great to get more development with them. We also get more details on the state of the Psy Council and even get some face time with Nikita and Anthony. I was very pleased with what we learned about Nikita and am looking forward to more tidbits about that in the future. We also get more details about the Ghost and I’m still dying for confirmation of who he is. Soon, maybe?
I was surprised to find that there was a secondary romance in this book as well, but I loved getting a further look into Walker and into the Laurens family background before they defected. Who knew that Walker could be so compelling? He’s always been the quiet rock of the family who seems to stick to the background. It was great to see him finally step forward and shine.
While I did like most of the book—as mentioned—I found myself disappointed with Sienna and Hawke. If this had been a book just about them I probably would have rated it lower, but there was quite a bit going on and the large focus on other plot threads brought my enjoyment up.
One of my biggest let downs of the book was how the past tension that Sienna and Hawke dealt with seemed to disappear and be replaced with other issues. In the past Sienna struggled with controlling her powers while in close contact with Hawke. She even contemplated returning to Silence if she couldn’t find a solution. But that was a non-issue in this book. She has control and the only worry she has about her power is what it’ll do to her in the long run. I found this quite disappointing. I guess it’s easier to set up a romance if you fix Sienna’s power control problem between books... It would have been nice if this issue had been dealt with in the book, though. I thought it had been built up in all the past books for a reason. :(
Also, in the past Hawke had been charming and playful with Sascha, but he had some real issues going on under the surface. He has issues with the Psy and he was still carrying around a lot of anger and hate. He seemed colder and harder in the past books whereas he was almost as laid back as Drew in this one. Excluding his alpha dominance tendencies, of course. I found myself confused by their different issues and personalities.
Other than that I also got irritated with the constant interrupted sex scenes. At first I didn't mind—although I was a little crushed that the first hot scene got interrupted—but then it started to happen again and again and it felt like things were needlessly drawn out and that the scenes started to become repeats of each other. Speaking of that, although I did believe their romance and I did enjoy them together I found that too much of their growth revolved around sex. I just felt like there was way more of that then there had been in any of the previous books.
One other thing that bugged me was that Sienna came to the pack when she was a teenager and became friends with other Changelings. I had a hard time believing that she would be so naive and retiring about sex. The other Psy I could understand, they had been stuck in the Net where it wasn't done, but even virgin-Judd knew about it. Sienna just seemed too innocent about it all to be believable. I guess I just wanted more of an equal relationship in the bedroom instead of Sienna just taking whatever her gave her.
I'm not disputing that he was good at sex--or that it wasn't hot (especially the biting ;P)--but it almost seemed at times that it was being done to her instead of with her. I know that one argument from other people disputing this irritation will be that it was because she was a virgin. But that only flies for me in a historical where that info wasn't prevalent for girls in day to day life. The Changelings are not shy about sex and I doubt Sienna would be different than many other teenagers of today who are very knowledgeable about it even if they haven't felt the sensations themselves.
While I didn’t enjoy Hawke and Sienna’s relationship as much as I thought I would, there were still a lot of things to love about this book. If you’re a fan of this series you’ll definitely want to pick this one up as soon as possible. And if you haven’t read these and you’re not a fan yet…well, why haven’t you started? :P
And he was focused on her to the exclusion of all else.
She wet dry lips, saw his eyes follow the movement. "Stop it."
A faint smile that made every tiny hair on her body rise in quivering attention. "How fast can you run?" A wolf's question.
I had a lot of fun reading this book. There were a few things that I would have liked to have more depth, but overall it was a lot of fun. I really thI had a lot of fun reading this book. There were a few things that I would have liked to have more depth, but overall it was a lot of fun. I really think this book could have done with more pages. I wanted more focus on the relationship, but I would have hated to lose any of the details about the investigation.
Has anyone played clue? I, personally, love Clue. (I also loved the movie version they made of it.) I think the premise is fun. A group of strangers are all staying in a house (or an inn) when there's a murder. Suddenly everyone is a suspect! You learn complicated little plots and side dramas while you hunt for the answer to the larger question of who the murderer is. I just find it a blast. So, this book was already a winner for me in that regard.
Christian got involved in the investigation while they were snowed in and dragged Kate in too. They ended up being the sole investigation team so a lot of time was spent running around discovering clues. It really made the book seem like a romp. There was funny dialogue and an assorted mix of characters to add to the fun. The murder plot wasn't very complicated, but I still had fun watching it unfold.
I really love the way that Anne Mallory writes her characters. They just seem like such likable people. Christian was a fun character with hidden depths. He had some issues caused by his childhood but he never really sat around and moped. When he was an ass he would admit to it and apologize. Unless he was intentionally trying to irritate Kate, of course. I really liked him and thought he had a great sense of humor.
Kate was a very levelheaded, cautious person. There was no useless hysterics or drama from her. She was suspicious of Christian and was the straight man to his funny man role. She was the polar opposite of Christian in terms of fathers, but they complimented each other.
My favorite part of the relationship was the sense of camaraderie and friendship they had. It got to the point where it felt like they knew each much longer than they actually had. When I actively recalled the time frame it was a surprise to realize everything had happened that quickly.
That's actually where my issue with the book comes into play. I think I would have been more satisfied with the relationship if it had stretched out longer and if there had been more of a passionate feel to it. I have no doubts that they cared about each other and that they were great friends, but the actual passion felt a bit missing.
It was a small gripe overall. I had too much fun with the book for it to have bothered me too much.
One other thing that I forgot to mention that I really enjoyed were the quotes at the beginning of each chapter. It alternated from Christian's father to Kate's father. It really helped me get a good picture of their childhood without having to be told.
*sigh* Can I find a way to un-read this book? Because I would kill to be able to read it and discover the magic of it all over again. It was perfect.*sigh* Can I find a way to un-read this book? Because I would kill to be able to read it and discover the magic of it all over again. It was perfect. *sigh* Perfect.
Last September I was minding my own business when a GR friend urged me to read a book she had loved. I looked and realized that I had put that very same book on my wishlist a while ago but had never bought it. So I took the plunge and grabbed myself a copy. That book was Seven Secrets of Seduction (the first book in this series) and it opened a whole new world to me. I loved it so much that I immediately bought Mallory’s backlist. I have slowly been working my way through them—forcing myself not to rush and read them all in one big gulp.
I have enjoyed her backlist (some more than others), but nothing came quite close to my love of SSoS. I was almost starting to think that nothing would be able to top it in my eyes. How amazing to find out that not only did I love the first book in this series enough to make it one of my favorite books of 2010, but I loved the second book just as much!
So, let’s talk about this book… This book had absolutely killer sexual tension. I am a total sucker for it, and oh, Anne Mallory is awesome at writing it. The tension and the emotion breathed off the pages and sucked me in. I was absolutely dying for them to be able to find a way to touch each other at one point. “Soon” was such torture for me. I loved it!
I also loved the heroine, Charlotte. She was thrust in a situation at the beginning of the book that was just horrible, but she didn’t break. She had her moment of despair when she was alone and then she stood up and did what had to be done. I loved that she walked into that situation with no illusions and took victory away from everyone who had been attempting to manipulate her. She made the choice, not them. I cannot resist a strong heroine.
Roman was another fabulous character. He had a mix of St. Vincent and Derek Craven in him, but was totally unique. He was bold, sexy, and confident and was always plotting. Roman never did anything without thinking many steps ahead. The world was almost like a giant chess game to him.
And when they were together—ah, magic. They were both such strong characters, but we got to see their fears and weaknesses. That vulnerability and the way they couldn’t stay away from each other, even though it would have made the future easier, made their characters have a lot of depth.
This was a very character driven romance. It was all about Roman and Charlotte without too much focus put on outside influences--other than how they affected them and their relationship. It was great because we got to know them so well. Once the characters started falling for each other there was very little angsting over their feelings. They may not have admitted them to each other yet, but they were aware of their own feelings and didn’t waste time irritating me by denying them.
I got to a certain point in the book and realized that Roman was playing a very deep game. I wasn’t sure what exactly he was doing in the background, so that layer of mystery really added a nice feature to the book. I wasn’t sure what his ultimate goal was and the stray little comments he made here and there when talking to his friends had me very unsure of how things were going to end up by the end of the book. And when I found out at the end what his plot had been the whole time—well, I was surprised, but it really made sense when I thought about what he told her in the beginning.
While the emotions between Charlotte and Roman were beautiful, this book wasn’t just excellent because of that. There was some great humor and dialogue between side characters as well. At one point Roman invited Charlotte to a game with his brother. The resulting humor and teasing between certain characters was hilarious.
Speaking of Roman’s brother… Man, Andreas was a jerk. By the end of the book I understood where he was coming from and did like him, but it was touch and go there for a while. He is a very dark, angry man at times and I am intensely curious to see how his romance will develop later this year.
So, in closing…I loved this book. Loved, loved, loved it. If you read Seven Secrets of Seduction and hated it, well…this one probably won’t work for you that well either. But if you enjoyed it or are curious about this book and this author, then I urge you to go pick up this book. And then come back and talk to me about it. ;)
There it was again, that hitch in her voice after he touched her.
The sound made him want to do things to her. Dirty, animalistic things. To bruise her lips with his, muss her perfectly coiffed hair while scraping her on the sheets, blotch her skin with feral color as she lost track of her own name--head tilted back, eyes glazed, unintelligible sounds emerging.
I first read Naked in Death last December and really enjoyed it. I ordered a ton of books in the series and vowed to glut myself, but someh*4.5 Stars*
I first read Naked in Death last December and really enjoyed it. I ordered a ton of books in the series and vowed to glut myself, but somehow found myself buried in other books and other commitments by the time they arrived. I put them to the side, promising to make time, but somehow never did. Recently, I had a road trip coming up and was trolling for an audiobook to pass the time. I heard Sophia raving about the Naked in Death audiobook and decided to give it a shot. Boy, am I glad I did.
I enjoyed NID a lot, but I didn’t click with Roarke the way that most readers did. I was a little disappointed since everyone else raves about him. Imagine my surprise to find that listening to his voice through the narrator jump started that connection and I found the spark that I was missing. I was totally on the Roarke and Eve bandwagon by the time I finished and dove into this one as soon as I was able.
I liked that this book didn’t start off where the last one ended. Time jumped forward a couple months and that gave the author the opportunity to show Eve and Roarke more settled in their relationship. They hadn’t solved any of their issues, but they were past that nervous, newbie couple faze. That gave Robb the opportunity to really delve into their issues. Roarke had enough time to become dissatisfied with crumbs and start pushing for more, and Eve had enough time to come to start admitting to herself what Roarke meant to her. I really loved this deepening of their relationship. You can see them circling each other and really starting to open up and share the inner them. Sometimes it takes a push to get them there (*cough*Eve*cough*) but they both care enough to keep working at it.
I love getting to see the ins and outs of Eve’s job. Watching her rise to the occasion is always interesting. She is like a bulldog once she sinks her teeth into a case. This one was particularly eventful. Her commander put her in charge because he knew she would remain impartial, even when he couldn’t, yet he let personal feelings get in the way and behaved like a civilian. The shifting politics and tension in friendships is one of the things that makes the relationships and interactions between characters feel so real in this series.
I spotted the killer very early on—yay me!—but that wasn’t a negative for me. I like watching it all unfold and watching Eve piece together the events and motive. I even liked watching her interrogate people. I never thought I was much for the boring procedural aspects, but when Eve does it, I enjoy it. The way she just keeps coming and coming and circling until she cracks the case is awesome. No wonder Roarke respects her so much. It was great getting more of Feeney (love him) and I enjoyed watching Eve’s unofficial family tighten its bonds.
The bit at the very end? Well, I had no choice but to dive straight into the next book. It’s not a cliffhanger, but it made it impossible for me to think of anything else. ;) ...more
*sigh* I found out Eve’s answer. How awesome for them both. I’m glad Robb skipped ahead in time again and took us closer to the big day. I loved watch*sigh* I found out Eve’s answer. How awesome for them both. I’m glad Robb skipped ahead in time again and took us closer to the big day. I loved watching Eve and Roarke’s nerves. Of course, neither of them was worried for the same reasons. Eve worried about making it work long term and Roarke worried about Eve going through with it. LOL.
Eve’s team is expanded beyond the usual people—namely, Feeney. Eve pulls in Peabody, a cop she took a shine to in the last book, and finds herself stuck having to cooperate with a cop from another department. Although Eve has dealt with Roarke being involved in her two previous cases (that we’ve seen, I mean), she suddenly finds herself faced with Mavis’s involvement. We see a very stressed and vulnerable Eve here as she struggles to juggle doing her job with protecting her friend.
I loved getting to see more of Mavis here. She’s loud and flamboyant, but she loves Eve to pieces. It may be an unlikely pairing on the surface, but they have a very strong bond. I think Mavis being involved hurt Eve more than Roarke being involved in the past because Mavis is more easily bruised than he is. She thinks of Roarke as stronger and knows he can stand of his own. With Mavis, Eve is furious to find herself forced to hurt her and scare her as she does her job.
It was pretty awesome to finally have a clear picture of what led to Eve being found when she was a child. The flashbacks were disturbing and hard to read. Just as with the murders we’ve seen so far, Robb pulls no punches with the truth of Eve’s situation. We are faced with the grim and horrifying truth up close and personal. There is no way I could have remained unaffected. I’m glad she shared with Roarke, but I was ready to strangle her there for a while. I know what led her to say the things she did about their future together, but I felt that she needlessly (and thoughtlessly) wounded Roarke. I’m glad Dr. Mira was able to help them both through that situation.
Speaking of that situation, it showed me another side of Summerset. I have disliked him pretty consistently til now, but he finally softened me. How can I not thaw just a little bit after hearing about his past with Roarke and seeing the way he cared for Eve when she had a nightmare? He’s still a jerk, but now that I’ve seen his marshmallow heart I don’t think I can hate him.
There were quite a few amusing scenes in this book. Eve is forced out of her comfort zone to help cheer Mavis up and to prep for the big day. She’s stuck getting her hair cut, getting naked in front of multiple people for vanity’s sake, and is forced to endure someone rubbing crap on her boobs too. ;) I’m sure you know how well that went over. Mavis and her crew are hilarious simply by being them—over the top, wonderful them. But the part that I really loved was toward the end when Mira, Peabody, Nadine, and Mavis all got together with Eve and got drunk. Peabody in particular was amusing.
I found parts of this slower than the previous two. I loved all the personal stuff, but some of the case work felt a little tedious. That slight slowness is really the only thing that dropped the grade. I just had a hard time getting into parts of it. ...more