Celtic Moon is the first in a new series by Jan DeLima and I have to say it was a cracking start. Our heroine SophieReviewed for www.bookchickcity.com
Celtic Moon is the first in a new series by Jan DeLima and I have to say it was a cracking start. Our heroine Sophie has been on the run for fifteen years from the father of her son. Moving regularly as he continues to hunt her and their son Joshua down. When Sophie was pregnant Sophie discovered that Dylan was a shapeshifter and when he threatened to take her baby from her she knew she had to run, to protect both her and her unborn baby.
But now her son is fifteen, Sophie has been noticing unusual things with his behaviour and suspects that just like his father Joshua might be able to shift into a wolf too. Unable to help him herself and fuelled by a powerful mother’s love, Sophie does the unthinkable and calls Dylan. Dylan desperate to find his child and the only woman he has ever loved, immediately agrees to help even though there is a terrible war looming in his world and as the leader of his people Dylan knows there are seriously dangerous times ahead.
Celtic Moon was a surprisingly good read and a real page turner. When I read the premise I wasn’t sure what I was going to make of the book, but DeLima has managed to write an urban fantasy novel that combines traditional werewolf legend with new and interesting mythology. She has crafted a new world of shapeshiters, guardians, magic and legend and it was fascinatingly enjoyable. The book only scratched the surface of the different powers that each of the wolves possessed, and there is still plenty to explored and explained, leaving some great threads open for future books in the series. Each of the werewolves appear to have different powers and limitations and are uniquely connected with nature. Dylan’s sister Elen is a particularly interesting character in this respect. The story itself sits on that bridge between urban fantasy and paranormal romance, giving it the grit and action I regularly enjoy with a rich romance at the centre.
Sophie herself is a great main character. She has evolved herself from an environmental pacifist and nature lover to a toughened warrior in her own right. Learning to fight, shoot guns and use knives in order to protect her son. There was something that very mildly reminded me of Sarah Connor from the Terminator films in this respect, although Sophie was slightly softer. There was very little she wouldn’t do for Joshua. The relationship she shares with her son is warm and well written.
Dylan is a tough man to read. A leader of waifs, strays and rejects. Not to be dismissed as insignificant. He is the protector of those the guardians would rather kill. Just as he is finding his long lost wife, and the son he has never met his world is on the brink of war. Of course everything coalesces into a fab finale.
If I had one criticism of the story, it was that after years of running from Dylan, doing everything in her power to hide and protect her son, and I mean years of continuously moving and running. I felt like Sophie went back into a relationship far too quickly. Two days after they’re reunited. It was all too fast, I wanted it to be more of a slow grower, giving them both time to love and trust again. It just annoyed me.
Both a great debut novel and start to a new urban fantasy series. Celtic Moon was one of those books when the pages keep on turning and you’re half way into the story already. DeLima has done some really interesting world building, which I look forward to reading more about. Despite my frustrations with the super fast reconciliation I did really enjoy Sophie and Dylan’s romance too.
Love Remains is a bit of an unusual romance, it’s an alternative-reality/time-travel romance.
In the beginning we meet our heroine Olivia. She is a corporate high flyer, hard nosed and cold. Her focus in life is succeeding in her career, not really caring who she tramples on along the way, and men are just empty lays fulfilling an itch as she goes. Then she falls asleep on an airplane on the way home and wakes up in a very different world.
In this new world, Olivia is happily married, on maternity leave and the mother of two children Milo and baby Rose. It is an alien life to the one she has been living and at first she’s horrified. She calls the police on her husband, is cruel to her son and wants to return to her sterile life immediately. Her wardrobe is colourful and girly and she actually has friends, she can’t make sense of it!
I think that as soon as your read the summary of this book, you pretty much know how the story is going to develop. You expect Olivia to see the error of her was and realise how empty her life was before. But, regardless of the predictability the transformation was lovely to witness. From the humorous early struggles as she realises how hard it is to look after two children, to the acceptance that actually her new wardrobe is much nicer than her corporate one, to fully understanding what it means to be truly loved. Olivia stumbles through several stages of acceptance and realisation.
Tom her husband is just amazing, who wouldn’t want that man for her husband? He’s sexy, brilliant with kids, a lawyer that defends people others wouldn’t, he thinks she’s sexier with the weight she’s put on during pregnancy than before and he’s amazeballs in bed. Sign me up for that one please!
Woven into the story surrounding Olivia’s reality shift is also a murder mystery surrounding the client that Tom is defending. Which is quite intricately woven into Olivia’s old and new lives and adds a nice bit of mystery into the story it give it an extra bit of tension. It also helps to demonstrate just how much Olivia changes as the novel progresses. The story is also a bit of a gentle social commentary on how the corporate world treats its employees, including working parents. It was subtle, but it did also resonate and was well done.
The one part that didn’t quite work or wasn’t explained enough for my liking was the time travel/alternate reality part of it. Now, I completely enjoyed the shift in reality and watching corporate bad-ass Olivia become warm and loved up mummy Olivia. But I still didn’t understand even after I had finished the book what exactly had happened. Was it time travel, an alternative reality, divine intervention? Who the hell knows! It really wasn’t explained or defined very well.
At only 200 pages, this book won’t take you long to read and is really worth your time. A really engaging love story where good wins over evil and the poor over corporate might. But it’s worth reading alone to watch Olivia transform and understand the true meaning of life, family and love. Just don’t expect to completely understand how it all occurred.
I think Lick may very well find its way onto the my favourite books of 2013 list. If the next book had been already out, I would have bought it immediately. I loved it, I loved Ev and David and I loved Scott’s writing style. The story was sweet, romantic, endearing and sexy. Who wouldn’t want to fall in love with a rock star? I would highly recommend it. ...more
I have been really enjoying Suzanne Johnson’s Sentinels of New Orleans series and after finishing River Road I had lReviewed for www.bookchickcity.com
I have been really enjoying Suzanne Johnson’s Sentinels of New Orleans series and after finishing River Road I had lots of anticipation about where the story would go. Elysian Fields takes off pretty much where River Road left us. Alex is no longer DJ’s partner and she is the solo Sentinel for New Orleans, leaving the door wide open for a potential romantic relationship. DJ and Alex are still worried about how Jake is coping with his transition to a Loup Garou, Jean Lafitte is still as crazy as he ever was and I was pleased to see merman Rene make a reappearance.
This time DJ is on the trail of a psycho axe murderer brought back for the dead. Add in the complication that her Elven heritage is now public knowledge, she’s also been ordered to train with Adrian, a wizard she can’t abide, then there’s the fact it would seem the very murderer she is trying to track down has been sent to kill her. As usual DJ’s life is more than a little bit of a hurricane the like of which New Orleans is still recovering from.
In Elysian Fields we start to learn a lot more about the Elven world and how it’s ruled as DJ becomes more and more sucked into it. The mystery surrounding her slightly strange neighbour Rand is revealed and the more I learn I really don’t like him! The main story evolves around the murder plot as DJ tries to work out who is trying to kill her, which also leads to some great action scenes. I find DJ’s solution to problems and crazy elf staff magic issues immensely humorous.
Unlike others, I’ve never been a huge fan of Jean Lafitte, but he really grew on me in Elysian Fields. His humour and sense of chivalry, he was seriously fabulous in this book. Jake’s a complete wildcard, there’s a big change for him and I’m really interested as to where Johnson is going to take his character. Alex is no longer officially DJ’s partner, but that’s just on paper and he and Gandalf still manage to rescue her from her various situations and *ahem* fires.
We finally get some major developments in DJ’s love life, 3 books in and it’s about time . And I have to say this is the part of the book where I felt a little bit letdown. It’s been building for ages and ages, the chemistry, the love triangle or is it a square or even a pentagon? Then after some angst between DJ and the suitor (I’m trying very hard not to slip who it is here!) decide to take things forward and then said suitor has second thoughts. I mean, are you kidding me?! Let’s not forget the five year gap between books one and two, they’ve had plenty of time to think about it! It really frustrated me and if I’m honest killed some of the chemistry for a while.
The romance did pick up and improve towards the end of the book and I did enjoy it, but I felt like the dip took away from the yummy at least, squee feeling you get normally when a couple you’ve wanted to see together after the author has made you wait for quite a while.
Elysian Fields changes the pace of the books and Johnson really moves the plot on, opening up the larger plot for significant development for DJ, these developments are really exciting and could mean some series life changing implications for her. This in itself really makes me want to read the next one.
One last thing, I never did work out why the book was called Elysian Fields? Did I just simply miss it?
I am most definitely still very much enjoying this series, but this book dipped slightly in the middle for me. Not enough to ruin my enjoyment, but it did mean it didn't rate quite as highly as books one and two. The bigger plot developments however bode well for the series, I just hope DJ’s love life doesn’t get too messy.
Outlaw read like a piece of Sons of Anarchy (SOA) fan fiction than a novel in its own right. I have googled it to seReviewed for www.bookchickcity.com
Outlaw read like a piece of Sons of Anarchy (SOA) fan fiction than a novel in its own right. I have googled it to see if is, but haven’t been able to find anything to confirm, but if Ms James isn’t a big fan of the series then I will eat my hat!
Let’s start with the main character Cole, described as:
"...blonde hair falling past his collar, golden facial hair growing along his jaw and mouth."
Sound familiar? Cole was in fact a ringer for Jax, the main hero in SOA, it even felt like James had tried to mirror Jax’s speech patterns in the dialogue with his regular use of the word ‘darlin” and in the general cadence. Then there’s Crash, who seemed to me to be very much like Opie, Jax’s best friend in SOA, then there was the ‘weasely’ looking policeman, hell there’s even a Scottish biker in the mix. I found it very hard to disassociate the characters of the book, with those of one of my favourite TV shows and not in a good way.
The story centres around Cole being at a meet, when a biker turns up with a bruised, battered and handcuffed woman with him. Cole is so disgusted with this behaviour that he manipulates things in order to rescue her. Angel, a twenty-one year old woman who has been kidnapped, awfully abused and raped finds herself in the terribly violent biker world, which is a million miles away from her life as a policeman’s daughter.
Angel has a lot to come to terms with and neither of them are able to trust one another, but they find themselves striking a deal in order that Angel doesn’t end up running to the cops. Inevitably both of them end up falling for one another, despite the large disparities between their lives. The romance itself was ok. I found it hard to believe that just two days after being violently raped, Angel is willing to have sex with Cole, never mind the psychological issues, and surely she’d be far too sore? So for that reason I found myself struggling to get into it and find it believable.
In the middle of the book it’s like the story totally switches gears and almost feels like it’s written in a totally different style. There’s a jump in time, I actually often quite like this as a narrative device, and thought that it did add to the overall story, but it was almost like they both became slightly different characters, not a total revolution, but not quite the same either.
It was at this point that I felt like the book became less influenced by SOA and more of a slight homage to Kristen Ashley. Mack, the group’s President, ended up reminding me of Tack, the hero in Ashley’s Motorcycle Man, and Natalie with attractive read hair, Tyra. The epilogue itself felt like something straight out of Ashley’s books with it’s use of the word ‘kick-ass’ and switch of narrative style to first person when the rest of the book had been in third. Overall the book was all a bit of a jumble.
Outlaw felt like a complete mish mash of other people’s styles and I couldn’t quite ascertain what was James’s own. I didn’t totally hate it, I did reach the end after all, but I felt like it lacked originality and read more like fan fiction than a unique novel in its own right. Perhaps if you haven’t watched SOA or read any of Ashley’s books (which are much, much better), then perhaps you wouldn’t have the same issues with this book as I did. But at the same time I’m not sure I’ll be picking up anything by James again.
Having read some of Jude Deveraux's books in the past, I knew her writing would be good and I wasn't disappointed inReviewed for www.bookchickcity.com
Having read some of Jude Deveraux's books in the past, I knew her writing would be good and I wasn't disappointed in the least. Set on the island of Nantucket, which I had to Google to see if it was real (it is), it tells a tale of love (of course), small town life, ghosts and reincarnation.
Finishing architect school, Alix finds out she is given the use of a beautiful house on Nantucket island for one year. Recovering from a relationship breakup and wishing to develop a design portfolio, and also having agreed to help with her best friend Izzy's wedding, she decides to make use of the opportunity and goes to Nantucket to take some time out.
When she arrives she discovers that legendary and rather handsome architect Jared Montgomery, who is not only a resident of the island but also the owner of the property where she is staying. Overcome with a touch fangirl-ness she is disappointed to discover that Jared is in fact a bit of a jerk.
True Love is a really rich story. Deveraux depicts a vivid and warm vision of Nantucket and its inhabitants. This is obviously the start of a new series, so there was a certain degree of scene and character setting, but it was written in a warm and engaging way. Actually, I wouldn't mind moving to Nantucket myself if it's as lovely as it's written in the book.
The love story between Alix and Jared was a surprisingly fast given their early feelings towards one another. But there's plenty of sparring between the pair. It was sexy, fun and grew into something real and lovely.
The paranormal element of the story comes in the form of Jared's great (insert lots of greats) grandfather, Caleb, who has been haunting his family since his death at sea many years ago. The guy is hilarious (and hot)! I think there were points in the story where he totally stole the show. He also added a rather unexpected and fabulous twist at the end of the book.
The opening of the book felt slightly odd. This was because Alix was left the use of the house in Nantucket in the Will of a woman she had only met once when she was four. The reasons behind this short inheritance came across as somewhat strange and convoluted. As the book progresses we do discover more back-story to explain why this was the case, but it also unearths quite a few secrets and lies. Again, I found it convoluted and well, rather odd that so many things were kept from her and for really quite manipulative and bizarre reasons. I also found that she forgave the deception rather too easily.
Another part of the story I didn't think quite worked was the wedding. I'm trying to explain here, whilst at the same time keeping this review spoiler free, but I am a bit baffled why either party involved would be happy with the eventual outcome? Let's just say there are quite a few major changes to the original wedding plan, and I do mean major, and if it was my wedding, I would feel a little bit robbed to be honest.
Alix's parents, Victoria and Ken, are also great characters. Her mother a complete force of nature, I both suspect and hope she's going to get her own story. Ken obviously adores Alix and is a great father, he also gets his own side story, which put a smile on my face. There is a vast and rich cast of side characters that makes this a multi-layered story.
Although I have read a few of Deveraux's historicals, I have not read her catalogue extensively, but think if you were a huge Deveraux fan, I suspect that a lot of the ancestral characters referred to here appear in her historicals. Which I imagine big fans would really enjoy.
Despite a couple of parts of the narrative that didn't quite work, this was a lovely, warm, and richly written book. I love the island setting, and the romance was funny, cosy and satisfying. Plus, I quite fancy running away with ghostly Caleb ;-) RATING: ...more
Having become a rather large fan of the TV series Sons of Anarchy, when I saw the Own the Wind was a biker romance, I quite simply couldn't resist. I've never read anything by Kristen Ashley before, and my oh my have I missed out! Her writing is completely and utterly addictive, the type of writing bookaholics dream of, when you need more hours in the day just to fit in more reading in, because you just can't get enough of it.
Own the Wind is the first book in a series following the members of the Chaos motorcycle club. While it is the first book in a series, it is actually a spin off from Motorcycle Man a book in Ashley's Dream Man series, I would highly recommend you read Motorcycle Man first. I went on to read afterwards, but wish I had read it first, as Motorcycle Man is the story of club president and father to Tabby the heroine of Own the Wind, Tack.
When she young, Tabby, the daughter of Chaos club president had a wild side and she got in trouble. Because she was family the members of the Chaos club took care of her, including Shy. But Shy wasn't afraid to give her a few harsh home truths, even if they cut deep. Then she grew up, she trained as a nurse and she found her feet. That is until tragedy struck, shattering her entire world, but once again Chaos and Shy are there for her as she struggles to recover.
This is such a sexy, addictive novel. I loved Tabby, she was feisty and had serious biker girl cool. This book spans an array of emotions, from the depths of grief, to lust and then ultimately love. You watch Tabby grow and grieve and completely admire her strength.
Shy completely has the alpha hero thing down. Totally bossy, I think he would drive me mad. I loved the fact they had a 3 day argument over whether their freezer should have an ice-maker! Although while he was totally sexy (I mean seriously), and I thoroughly enjoyed reading about him, I think if I was with him I might want to lock him in the aforementioned freezer on a regular basis. The thing about Ashley's biker heroes is that they seemed to cross over that mega control freak line. However, combined with the complete and focused love they offer, it's a seriously heady combination.
Interestingly, this story spans quite a large period of time. Jumping forward weeks, months and sometimes years at a time. It added realism to the story, it allowed Tabby to grow up from the young, wild girl, to become the woman she needed to be. But it also added credit to her grief, it wouldn't have felt right for her to jump right into another relationship. Additionally, I love the snatches of Shy's feelings towards her when she was younger in the prologue, it made their love story so much more intense. Actually, the prologue really set this book up, it was quite long, when I got to chapter one I was surprised that I hadn't read past it already. But it really added to the overall story.
As a Sons of Anarchy fan, I really felt its influence in this book, it was even referred to a couple of times in the book. Also with the regular reference to brothers and old ladies, I also liked the fact that Ashley made it clear that while this was biker group, it was a clean biker group, unlike SOA. Well, with the exception of their habit of threatening people who don't behave!
There was a side story in Own the Wind around Tabby's best friend Natalie who is a drug addict and gets herself into serious trouble. I'm not totally sure how I felt about how this part turned out. I felt said for both Tabby and Natalie. I'm not sure if Ashley is setting Natalie up as a future heroine in the series or a future bad apple, it could go either way at this stage. But there was a part of me that wasn't totally happy with how this part of the storyline fully concluded. But I shall hold my reservations and see how or if this develops later in the series.
On top of all the seductive sexiness this book also has some great relationships. There's Shy and his soldier brother, the biker brothers and sense of family between them all. I loved Tack and Ty-Ty (Tabby's father and stepfather) and the love they all shared. It made me want to join a biker group just to be part of it!
I am most definitely a Kristen Ashley convert, I went on to read two more of her books directly after this one. This book was so good I even forgave it the occasional use of the dreaded 'c' word, thankfully it was only occasional. I loved Own the Wind and could barely put it down, I would highly recommend Ashley to romance fans.
The Trouble With Being A Duke is a historical romance with a Cinderella-esque twist. Reformed rake and Duke, AnthonyReviewed for www.bookchickcity.com
The Trouble With Being A Duke is a historical romance with a Cinderella-esque twist. Reformed rake and Duke, Anthony has had to grow up and face his responsibilities following his father’s death. Convincing his mother to throw a ball for the first time in five years, he knows it’s time to find a bride.
Faced with marriage to a man she cannot abide in order to relieve her family’s financial troubles, Isabella wants one night of fabulousness. Sneaking into the Duke’s ball was meant to be one night just for herself before she enters into marriage with the immensely self centred and vain Mr. Roberts, but she didn’t expect to capture the attention of the Duke himself.
This is a lovely romance, I do like a rags to riches story and The Trouble With Being A Duke has every element of a rags to fairytale. It also has a sense of humour, the opening ball even has a Cinderella theme and as Isabella flees the scene of the ball I kind of half expected her to leave a shoe behind.
Anthony is immediately smitten, this is most definitely a love at first sight romance, and is determined to capture the heart and hand of his future bride. Isabella is a great heroine, but also kind of mad. Not a mad character, but completely determined to marry the rather hideous Mr. Roberts to save her parent’s reputation, it all gets a bit bonkers. I mean she has a Duke who wants to marry her. But it would seem her mother hates the gentry and is horrified by her daughter’s new suitor. And well it’s all a bit ridiculous really, with her parents refusing to let the Duke visit, Isabella determined not to fall for him and cue a rather silly plot, which is entertaining never the less and I couldn’t stop myself from turning the pages.
The romance itself is sweet, I loved that Anthony was so in love with Isabella from the first moment, what girl doesn’t want a fabulous rich man running after them and trying to woe them? He is dashing and courteous and rather irresistible. A true knight in shining armour.
There are some great additional characters that add to the story, from Isabella’s cheeky sister Jamie, Anthony’s rakish best friend and his rather sweet mother. As this is the beginning of a new series by Barnes this opens things up for plenty of further sub stories for different characters.
The ending is rather fab in true Cinderella style (are you sensing a theme? ) and of course the baddies get their due comeuppance. I ended up enjoying The Trouble With Being A Duke much more than I thought I would when I read the summary.
A great, fun read. There aren’t lots of twists and turns, it’s a simple romance about an ordinary girl capturing the heart of a Duke. Despite its simplicity and slight plot silliness I actually couldn’t put it down and finished the last page with a smile on my face.