Marilee Jennings is fed up with trying to please everyone but herself. She was a court reporter for several years and she just recently quit her job aMarilee Jennings is fed up with trying to please everyone but herself. She was a court reporter for several years and she just recently quit her job and broke up with her boyfriend. She wants to take some time to decompress and find out what direction she wants to go with her new life. Her friend Lucy moved out to the small town of New Eden, Montana. Marilee knows Lucy will be supportive of this decision and she leaves California behind with high hopes. When she gets to Montana she discovers that Lucy was killed in a hunting accident and Marilee is her heir. Marilee is shocked by this change of events, to say the least. The longer Mari stays in New Eden, the longer she believes that Lucy was involved with something illegal. Mari is determined to get to the bottom of things.
Dark Paradise is so much more than just a suspense story. It is a story about people learning to deal with the crap life throws at you. To learn how to pick yourself up, dust yourself off and keep going. Hoag knows how to pen realistic and sympathetic characters. She grabs the reader and hooks them into the story with these characters. At certain times the reader is going to be so frustrated and want to throw something at J.D's stubborn head or roll their eyes at Will's childish antics. Great connection with the characters, whether it's a positive or negative reaction is what makes this book such a strong read.
Even though this is a straight suspense, there is quite a bit of romance to it and I was surprised. I wasn't expecting that. Mari and J.D.'s romance unfolds slowly. At first, J.D. is more like an anti-hero. He tries to scare Mari off, mainly because he is attracted to her and doesn't like that he feels attracted to her. Mari stands her ground and doesn't let him bully her. She is the right mixture of spit-fire and vulnerability. I really liked her character. J.D. was harder to like because he is so angry about everything.
Where the story falters a little bit for me is this book comes in at 528 pages. It was a long book with a lot of characters narrating the story. Mari and J.D. spend some time contemplating their feelings for one another and some of it seemed repetitive. Also, there is a secondary romance between Will and Samantha, which I liked very much. After the conclusion to the suspense portion of the story, I wish Hoag would have come back and cleared up a few things with Will and Samantha. Something big happened to them, but their reunion happens off page and it would have been nice for the reader to experience this directly through the characters themselves. Other than that, for fans of suspense, I would definitely recommend Dark Paradise....more
Brenna O'Toole has been in love with Shawn Gallagher since she was a young girl. They grew up together and have always been the best of friends. BrennBrenna O'Toole has been in love with Shawn Gallagher since she was a young girl. They grew up together and have always been the best of friends. Brenna decides that she is going to finally take the bull by the horns, so to speak. She tells Shawn she wants to have sex with him. She thinks that by having sex she'll be able to get him out of her system and move on with her life. She shocks the hell out of Shawn, but after he’s gotten used to the idea he begins to court Brenna himself.
Tears of the Moon is the second book in Nora Robert's Irish Trilogy. The book takes place in modern day Ireland. I have to say that this is one of Robert's better books. The characterization just blew me away. Brenna and Shawn will live in my memory long after finishing the book. Brenna is very independent with a lot of drive and fierce determination. Once she knows what she wants, she goes for it. She is not afraid to state her feelings and tell people exactly what she is thinking. Shawn is much more subtle in his actions. He is quietly content to live in the moment, stop and smell the roses. Both are very strong in their convictions, yet how they deal with people is very different. The reader will easily see how well these two compliment each other’s personalities.
The story is completely focused on the romance between Shawn and Brenna. That's not to say there isn't other stuff taking place in the book, because there is a large cast of characters. Most of them make up Shawn and Brenna's family and they play a large role in bring Shawn and Brenna together. For those readers who enjoy family relationships as well as friends to lovers theme, won't want to miss this one! ...more
Dante Leighton is the Captain of a cargo ship that sails from the Caribbean to the Carolinas. He won a map to a sunken Spanish ship in a card game. HeDante Leighton is the Captain of a cargo ship that sails from the Caribbean to the Carolinas. He won a map to a sunken Spanish ship in a card game. He is used to seeing treasure maps, but this time it appears to be the real thing. He crosses paths with Lady Rhea Claire Dominick when he finds her asleep in his cabin on his ship. She had been kidnapped from her family and shipped from London to the colonies to be sold as an indentured servant. Dante can’t just let her go because she has seen the map and he believes her to be a spy, not the daughter of a Duke as she claims.
Let me be frank. If I had not chosen this book as one for my fall book challenge, I never would have finished it. The biggest problem I had with the book is that Dante and Rhea don’t meet until page 281. Yes, that’s right page 281!!!! What kind of nonsense is this? The first part of the book is devoted to recapping everything that happened between Rhea’s parents. Apparently, they had a book. Sure enough, I look up the information and yes their book was Moonstruck Madness.
Okay, so for 27 pages we have Dante and Rhea interacting and it’s good. The book has finally grabbed my attention. Then what does the author go and do? Yep, you guessed it. She jumps back to Rhea’s family for another 60 pages. So out of a total of 500 pages, 340 of them are spent on other plot points not devoted to Rhea and Dante’s relationship. That is more than half of the book. How is this book even considered a romance? I know it is, just look at the cover.
Since Dante and Rhea were given so little time to develop their relationship I didn’t buy into their love for each other. It felt extremely rushed considering this book is 500 pages. Rhea was super sweet. Think Snow White with the dwarves. She is like that with Dante’s crew. She could do no wrong in anyone’s eyes. Dante is very hard to pin down. I don’t feel like I got to know him at all. The good news about this book is that for a bodice ripper, no bodices were harmed. Rhea is never raped by anyone, nor does Dante ever “forcibly seduce” her....more
Submit Channing-Downs finds herself widowed after a wonderful marriage to a much older man, Henry the Marquess of Motmarche. She has been asked by HenSubmit Channing-Downs finds herself widowed after a wonderful marriage to a much older man, Henry the Marquess of Motmarche. She has been asked by Henry to gift his nephew, Graham Wessit the Earl of Netham, whom he had a falling out with several years back, a little black box filled with illicit drawings. Submit is puzzled over the reason why Henry would have her give such a thing to his nephew. Eventually, Graham and Submit form a strange friendship. Also, the will that Henry wrote is being contested by Henry's illegitimate son, William as all of Henry's land and wealth were given to Submit and William is unwilling to accept this.
There is no doubt in my mind after reading Black Silk that Ivory is a skilled and often poetic author. She makes it seem to easy and effortless too. With her words she creates vivid, imaginative scenes that so clearly paint themselves in readers' minds. Yet, I found Black Silk to be a depressing story with two main characters who were almost too damaged to be likable.
Submit is a young widow, but acts much older than she really is. She was married at sixteen and never had a chance to be a silly young girl. She was groomed to be a gentleman's wife and that is all she knows. She took on a lot of the stuffy characteristics of her former husband. He basically shaped who she has become, which is a judgemental, contained woman. Graham is very frivolous in comparison. He is very social, throwing elaborate house parties. He drinks, gambles and has relationships with married women. He wears an abundance of elaborate jewelry and expensive flashy clothing.
I felt sorry for Graham much of the story as he so desperately wants someone to love him unconditionally. He seeks approval from Submit and she keeps holding him off, turning her back on him. I found their relationship frustrating. I felt like there was this unresolvable sense of doom for them. I couldn't see how this would end well. Then the last pivotal scene really surprised me. It was so upbeat and had a feeling of lightness. It really is a testament to Ivory's skill as a writer. I have reservations recommending this one. It is a slow story, but one not without merit....more
Seduced by the Night is the second book in Robin T. Popp's Night Slayer series. Bethany Stavinoski is a biochemist and has recently been awarded for hSeduced by the Night is the second book in Robin T. Popp's Night Slayer series. Bethany Stavinoski is a biochemist and has recently been awarded for her brilliance in her leading research. Unfortunately for Bethany, it has made her the target of a group of men looking to create a new drug. These men are strange and mysterious but Bethany is lucky to have a protector in Dirk Adams a former military man who has a few secrets up his sleeves. Bethany is engaged to another man, but that doesn't extinguish the flames that burn between Bethany and Dirk.
I really enjoyed the first book in the series Out of the Night, which I rated an A. But unfortunately I didn't enjoy Seduced by the Night quite as much. One of the things I really enjoyed about OOTN is the unusual twist to the vampire legend. I thought it was rather clever and different from most vampire books, but by the second book that novelty had worn off and nothing new in terms of the legend had come to light, although there were new characters and motivations that surfaced in this book.
The other thing that bothered me with this book was that Bethany was engaged to another man and while she didn't feel passionate toward him she still was committed to him and it took away from her relationship development with Dirk. Dirk was kind of a Neanderthal with Bethany at times and of course hated the fact she belonged to another. I just couldn't really get into this one. Robin T. Popp's writing style reminds me of Elizabeth Jennings or Lisa Marie Rice, where the heroines are very feminine and the males are extremely protective, which is not a bad combination, it just didn't work for me in Seduced by the Night. ...more
Elise Carpenter is a widow with three daughters. She and her husband were in their veterinary clinic late one evening when a group of men attacked theElise Carpenter is a widow with three daughters. She and her husband were in their veterinary clinic late one evening when a group of men attacked them looking for drugs. Her husband died that night and Elise suffered a brutal beating. Now, several years later she finds herself in a bank at the same time the man who killed her husband is robbing it. He manages to evade the police and threatens Elise’s life. Detective Dean Cornell is assigned to protect Elise until they can catch the killer.
Elise’s character has a lot of baggage. She blames the cops for her husband’s killer being on the loose in the first place, and with good reason. They screwed up big time. But she allows her hate for cops in general to be unnecessarily rude and nasty to Detective Cornell most of the time. I thought her treatment of Dean was unjust and she was overall too prickly for me to really like her.
Dean, on the other hand, was quite the charmer. He let Elise’s insults roll over him like water off a ducks back. He never took her anger personally and that made this book much more tolerable. I loved how he interacted with Elise’s daughters. There is one part when he is dealing with the six year old that was just hysterical. I laughed out loud at that part and even days later would still chuckle over it.
It took a while for Dean and Elise to establish their relationship and I found that it progressed at a reasonable pace. So many books today have the hero and heroine jumping into bed right after they meet or having sex while a killer is lurking in the shadows. That wasn’t the case here. Aside from me having difficulty with Elise, Sometimes a Lady was an appealing story....more
I really enjoy this series. Not sure how I would feel about a gargoyle hero, but Lannes was really awesome. I was annoyed at how often the word "craggI really enjoy this series. Not sure how I would feel about a gargoyle hero, but Lannes was really awesome. I was annoyed at how often the word "craggy" was used to describe him. If I was playing a drinking game where everytime I read the word "craggy" I had a sip of alcohol, by the third chapter I would have been waisted!!
The plot had all kinds of twists and turns, some of it hard to follow, but by the end of the book everything wraps up nicely.
I don't recommend starting with this book if you haven't read the previous books in the series....more
Seduced Into a Paper Marriage is part of The Hudsons of Beverly Hills series by Maureen Child. Devlin Hudson married Valerie Shelton not necessarily fSeduced Into a Paper Marriage is part of The Hudsons of Beverly Hills series by Maureen Child. Devlin Hudson married Valerie Shelton not necessarily for love but because they were good together and she had the right connections. Her father owns one the big publishing companies while his family owns one of the big movie production companies in Hollywood. Valerie left Hudson because the marriage was just a shell of what she had hoped it could be. Hudson, not one to let things languish, decides he wants Valerie back in his life. He asks her to come back home and be his wife for good. Valerie accepts but she has plans to show Hudson the real Valerie instead of the ideal woman she thinks he wants.
I was pleasantly surprised with Seduced into a Paper Marriage. For such a short read at 177 pages it really was surprisingly in depth. The set up worked for me because Devlin and Valerie already had an established relationship. Therefore, it wasn't such a stretch for them to hop right into an intimate relationship. They were already in one. Call me crazy but I enjoy reading about super wealthy people who have it all - at least they have anything money can buy, yet they still have to work for love.
Hudson has major commitment issues. At the same time he is having trouble with his marriage. His own parents are working through their own issues. Both relationships run parallel to each other and help to tie everything together. This really worked for me. It was a way to bring in family ties and help Hudson work through his commitment issues. If you are looking for a short read with family values in a Hollywood setting, don't miss out on Seduced into a Paper Marriage....more
Ben Benedict is trying to make is way in the world after leaving the military because of suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. He has joinedBen Benedict is trying to make is way in the world after leaving the military because of suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. He has joined a task force in Washington DC to fight the ever escalating drug problem. Ironically enough, Ben finds himself back fighting terrorism when Al Qaeda operatives target Washington politicians as their next victims through a DC gang Ben has been working with. As if that isn't enough, he finds himself attracted to the doctor treating him for PTSD.
Outcast reminded me a lot of the 80's old school romances. Here, Ben is one of those hero’s who is a real jerk to the heroine and doesn't want to own up to his "softer" feelings. Ben has a lot of Mommy issues and only uses women for sex. He doesn't want to have to depend on any woman and then have her push him away and therefore leave him vulnerable to a broken heart. He'd rather break their hearts first instead of have his own broken. So this pretty much sums up his poor treatment of the heroine.
Even though, Ben is quite the jerk, it is a true testimony to what a good job Johnston does as a writer because she had me coming back for more time and again even though Ben annoyed me. The story is very gripping and entertaining. If you are looking for heroes of the old days and a gripping, dramatic story then Outcast is for you. Good news is that Outcast is the start of a new series and Ben comes from a very interesting high society Washington family. It looks like there will be more great books on the horizon featuring his brothers and sisters. ...more
First half was slow, but then it started to really pick up and I loved the ending. A lot of different couples and storylines. Sometimes it took away fFirst half was slow, but then it started to really pick up and I loved the ending. A lot of different couples and storylines. Sometimes it took away from the main romance....more