This book has a familiar plot - the hero kidnaps the bride-to-be of the man he seeks revenge against. Elspeth Stewart's wedding ceremony to Lachlan Dr...moreThis book has a familiar plot - the hero kidnaps the bride-to-be of the man he seeks revenge against. Elspeth Stewart's wedding ceremony to Lachlan Drummond is interrupted by "Mad Rob" McLaren as he rushes in on his horse, grabs her up, and tells her father and bridegroom they may come for her in one month. Rob aims to humiliate Drummond for his involvement in the death of his wife two years before. With all of Rob's planning, he really never considered how his kidnapped bride would react to her abduction. She does not go meekly. Right away she plots on ways to get back to her father and puts plenty of kinks in Rob's plans.
As they travel to his home, their attraction and appreciation for each other grows. Rob starts to see Elspeth beyond means to his revenge. Though innocent, she is smart and bit brassy. He also must deal with the guilt towards his dead wife because of his growing affections towards Elspeth. The more time Elspeth spends with Rob, the more she finds he is not really "mad", but devastated by the events that shortened the marriage to his wife. He, of course, very much blames himself for her death. Rob and Elspeth have some really great moments together. They are sweet and fascinating as they explored their growing affections.
The characters are generally well drawn out. I wasn't completely impressed with the bad guys, especially the one that ends up showing up in Rob's home. That person just seemed over the top evil and rude for not good enough reasons. Otherwise I enjoyed Rob and Elspeth and the people who helped them along the way.
Kidnapping for revenge is a familiar plot point, but Mason and Marlowe didn't make the story boring or predictable. The loch chapters were my favorite with some great dialogue between Rob and Elspeth and a little bit of action (in more than one way). The dreams sequences were also a lovely touch.
Mason and Marlowe also add a little supernatural element to the story. Elspeth has the Sight with unpredictable glimpses of the future. This gift ends up helping her, but then is used against her at the end. I thought they used her gift well in the story.
Ah, the old amnesia trope. I was a bit worried going in. This story could have turned out really bad. I can only think of one other story where the pl...moreAh, the old amnesia trope. I was a bit worried going in. This story could have turned out really bad. I can only think of one other story where the plot device of amnesia worked for me (Dead to the World by Charlaine Harris). And this one did too, for the most part.
At the beginning of the book we meet Georgia Milton as she makes her way down a street in New York City. She accidentally bumps into another lady, and the ribbon holding her bonnet is rescued by a British gentleman. Georgia can tell right away that he is obviously very wealthy. So when he asks her to coffee at his hotel, she says no. She assumes he is really asking for something else, and she knows nothing good could come out of such a dalliance between a man of his wealth and poor New York woman. As she keeps walking her bag is snatched by a boy, and the gentleman chases after him. By the time she catches up to them, the man has been hit by an omni. He is rushed to the hospital and after 10 days of care, the doctor declares he has "memory loss".
Feeling guilty, she ends up taking him in, while the doctor tries to discover who he actually is. The two days they are together before he is finally discovered by his father are fun. Georgia can be quite crude. She says it how she sees it. And even though Robinson (what they have decided to call him while he has the memory loss) can remember his manners and repeatedly asks Georgia to please control her language, he falls for her from the start. There attraction for each other is quite heated, and between their banter and heated looks they decide they like each other very much. Of course this is when Robinson's father shows up, and he finds out who he really is. His memory finally resurfaces.
At this point you want to shake Robinson until he gets some sense. He begs Georgia to go with him back to England and after she agrees, he changes his mind. He won't see reason, even after Georgia comes up with a plan that will accept her into society. Even though I was frustrated with Robinson, I really liked the fact that it was the woman who ends up taking action so they can be together. Robinson decides not to see past their class differences, but Georgia saw a way for them to be together. And she gets a little revenge for his stupidity.
The side-plot involved the reason for his being in New York City with his father in the first place. It involves the wishes of his dead mother and a map she gave him when he was a child. It was interesting, but almost all of it was told to us, and not really shown in any way. It seemed almost overly complicated to create just to get him in New York City, but was very simply concluded.
Also a couple things were presented and then never explained. Robinson gets all of his memory back, except for his time in New York before the amnesia. Why? This doesn't make any sense to me. Second, Georgia ends up running into a couple guys from her poor neighborhood in London. She is able to hide who she is from them, so as not to ruin her plans. It is the most random, unbelievable and unnecessary coincidence, mostly because it is never ever explained.
But overall, I enjoyed. Georgia and her mouth made up for everything.
Lady Evelyn Renshaw is the wife of a traitor. She has no idea where he is or what he is doing. She is trying to live quietly and avoid any mo...more2.5 Stars
Lady Evelyn Renshaw is the wife of a traitor. She has no idea where he is or what he is doing. She is trying to live quietly and avoid any more scandal. One early morning, while riding her horse in the park, she is accosted by a French man who is looking for an item he knows her husband took. She is saved by Sinjon Rutherford, a soldier out on a mission to save his own reputation after an incident in Spain. After their run-in, Sinjon is asked to spy on Evelyn by taking a job as her new footman in exchange for help in finding the man who can prove his own innocence. Their attraction is immediate, and Evelyn fights her attraction to a man she believes is just a ex-soldier turned footman, and not a peer.
I wanted to like this one more than I did, because I liked our hero and heroine. They were both in such unfortunate circumstances; it was sweet they were able to find some relief and tenderness with each other. Evelyn especially is surrounded by such toxic people, but I never found her attitude or actions pitiful. Sinjon always did the honorable thing without being pompous. Unfortunately their time together is such a small part of the book. The rest of the time they are dealing with their own secrets (especially Sinjon) and the evil and annoying (holy shnikes, were her sisters annoying!) people around them. And honestly it was just all too coincidental for me. I usually can extend my beliefs quite far, but this story just had too many.
Also, who the heck sent Evelyn that letter during the ball? I swear this is never addressed again after the incident and seems like something we should know.
If you have read any of the previous books in this series, then you have probably been looking forward to Drake's story. Drake, Earl of Westwood, is a...moreIf you have read any of the previous books in this series, then you have probably been looking forward to Drake's story. Drake, Earl of Westwood, is a tortured hero - literally. Drake was caught by the Prometheans in the first book, tortured until he no longer had his memory, and then "saved" by Promethean member, James. Through the next two books, Drake's allegiance is to James. In the last book he was saved by the the Order, but he fights their truths and only wants to escape back to James. They take him to his childhood home to see if that can jog his memories. The only thing he remembers is Emily. They grew up together, and have always loved each other, but because of Drake's family high standing and Emily only being the daughter of a woodsman, they have denied their feelings. Drake still feels honor bound to James, and he escapes the Order to go back to James and the Prometheans. The Order has decided Drake has deflected and order his death.
At the start of this book we find out Emily has followed James and Drake all through Europe to the Bavarian Alps. James has gone there to continue his plan of taking over the Prometheans. Emily has not given up on Drake and plans on talking him into leaving with her. What follows is a lot of lying and scheming by just about everybody - Drake, Emily, James, the Prometheans. Drake does not want to see Emily hurt, but his thoughts are consumed with revenge. Can Emily break through that darkness before it's too late?
Really exciting story. We have Emily trying to get through to Drake, Drake out for revenge, Promethean politics, a terribly sad moment within the Order, and a planned ritual with a virgin sacrifice during an eclipse. I enjoyed how Foley brings everything to a head in this book.
Drake and Emily are my favorite characters of this series. Emily is loyal and strong. She might question whether Drake really has gone over to the dark side, but in her heart she knows he would never hurt her or anyone innocent. Drake's loyalty may be misguided at times, but he is completely devoted to Emily and keeping her safe. And with all the darkness surrounding him, Emily has always been his light. Even before his capture, she was always the constant good in his life. Their romance, surrounded by all the evil, is actually quite sweet.
With the way Foley ended this book I wonder where she is taking the series? Beau and Carissa's story is next.
Avry is on the run because she is a healer. She can take a sickness or injury into herself and heal at a super fast rate. Her kind have been hunted do...moreAvry is on the run because she is a healer. She can take a sickness or injury into herself and heal at a super fast rate. Her kind have been hunted down because they are blamed for the plague that devastatingly swept through the land. But she can't stop herself from continuing to heal children. This time she is not able to get out of town fast enough after the healing and she is imprisoned and sentenced to death the next day. But during the night she is rescued by a band of men who need her to heal someone very important of the plague. Avry is conflicted because of the nature of the disease and because of who the man is. The leader of her captors, Kerrick, does not want to give her a choice. Hiding and alone for three years, Avry now finds herself in the middle of politics and a brewing war among those who would use her to gain rule of the 15 Realms.
Snyder has a way of creating a world that is simple and non-convoluted, but still fascinating and lovely. This is the second book I have read by Snyder, and in both she has strong female leads. I like Avry. She has a lot of tough choices to make. She was able to fend for herself for three years and after her capture she continues to do what she feels is right, even when it seems all of her choices are taken from her.
I liked the magic system. We only really get to witness how it feels to use the magic through Avry, but I thought Snyder did a great job of creating and explaining it. Avry can heal, but that power is not without its limits. She cannot heal someone who is very close to death; her own body, even with its faster healing, would not have enough time to heal itself. She could heal someone close to death, but then it would be considered a self sacrifice.
Also, giant flowers that can kill you. Reminded me of a little of Triffids, though Snyder's flowers can not move from where they are rooted. And there is something more to these flowers beyond killing.
I don't think it is a good sign when you like the "bad guy" more than the hero. I think the author wanted us to like Samael, the enemy of our hero and...moreI don't think it is a good sign when you like the "bad guy" more than the hero. I think the author wanted us to like Samael, the enemy of our hero and his 3 companion archangels, or at least not find him reprehensible, but still like the heroes more. Samael ended up being my favorite character. Though, this doesn't mean I wanted our heroine, Ellie, to end up with Samael. Ellie was annoying with her constant italicized inner dialogue.
Uriel, Michael, Gabriel, and Azrael were archangels. The "Old Man", as they call the being who created them, decided to award them with perfect female companions. But the other archangels got jealous, and the archesses were sent to earth, for reasons I do not completely understand - to stop the fighting maybe? Anyway, Uriel, Michael, Gabriel, and Azrael decided to fall to earth in search of their archesses. Samael, one of the jealous archangels, followed them to earth. Thousands of years later they are still looking for their archesses. Uriel, currently, is a movie star. At a book signing for the book based on the movie he finally meets his archess, Eleanor, who works at that bookstore.
Eleanor has had special powers her whole life, most importantly the ability to heal, but does not know she is an archess. In fact, I am a bit confused by this. It is never explained in this book what exactly happened to the archesses since coming to earth. Ellie is only in her twenties; she has parents and an actual childhood. Though it is never stated, I am going to assume they were reincarnated somehow. That is the only thing I can think of that makes sense to me. Once Ellie finally believes she is an archess, she never questions what she has been doing the last thousand years, which I found strange.
So they meet and Uriel is completely taken with her, but Ellie is more cautious, and a bit scared of him. Their courtship is interrupted by Samael. He gets himself entangled in Ellie's life. He still wants an archess of his own, and is willing to take another's. He makes a deal with Uriel for equal time in wooing Ellie. Though honestly there is not a whole lot of wooing by either Uriel or Samael, and I swear she spends more time with Samael, besides Uriel and Ellie's time in Las Vegas and then at a bed and breakfast. And when she is with either, there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of getting to know each other going on. Ellie pretty much stays scared of Uriel until he gives his coat to some teenage fan of his in an elevator and Ellie suddenly decides Uriel is awesome.
There is a subplot of another enemy trying to get their hands on Ellie for her powers. The little reveal towards the end of who they are was creative, though strangely and not all together dealt with.
I found Samael the most layered and enjoyable of the characters. The rest fall flat with me. The archangels did not feel thousands of years to me or otherworldly. Azreal is the darkest of the bunch. For some reason he was turned into a vampire when he landed to earth. Not sure why; this will probably be explained in his book, but then again, maybe not. And as I mentioned, Ellie was annoying. Max, their thousands of year old "Guardian", was never explained.
I don't need immediate reveals. I actually like it when plots and characters are slowly revealed. Heck I even don't mind cliffhangers. I just felt like not enough information was given in this book. It made both the plot and characters confusing.
Teresa, Marchioness of Darent, has been married and widowed three times, making quite the scandal among the ton. She is seen as frivolous, as someone...moreTeresa, Marchioness of Darent, has been married and widowed three times, making quite the scandal among the ton. She is seen as frivolous, as someone who spends her money freely on clothes and gambling, and as someone with many lovers. She uses this reputation to hide her involvement with the reformists, and using her drawing skills making political cartoons.
Captain Owen Purchase, Viscount of Rothbury, has been charged with finding those who side with the reformists. He runs into Teresa at a brothel where he knows a reformist meeting has just taken place. He now has his suspicions about her.
Teresa finds herself in a pickle when a pig of a man who is owed money by Teresa's last husband demands payment with the marriage of Teresa's young step-daughter. Teresa will do anything to stop this, including find a new husband to back her. But Teresa has an extreme problem with intimacy because of abuse from her 2nd husband. She must find someone who would not demand anything physical from her. She has heard Owen cannot perform sexually because of an accident during a battle. Plus if she were to marry him, he would not be able to declare his own wife guilty of working with reformists. So she goes to him with a proposal for a marriage of convenience. He is intrigued, and not just with her fortune, and ends up agreeing.
Just from the little Owen has seen of Teresa, he knows there is more to her than what she is portraying. I think this is my favorite part of the book. Owen shows up each morning during their engagement to take her somewhere different in the city. He makes their getting to know each other fun, and Teresa ends up looking forward to each day. Owen's attraction for Teresa grows, and since this is a romance, Owen is in no way impotent. It is a little too late once Teresa realizes this.
Trust is a big issue for both of them. Teresa really trusts no man - physically or emotionally, after what her second husband did. And Owen must learn to trust a woman who lied about her political activities. I thought Cornick handled it beautifully. They both make mistakes; no relationship is perfect, but they learn to get past their fears and doubts.
This is the 5th book in the series, but I had no problem understanding the story or characters without reading the first four. Great characters and an amusing plot - historical romance fans should give this one a shot.
Mysteries are not really in my reading comfort zone. I generally have no interest in reading them. The few I have read have all been for book clubs. B...moreMysteries are not really in my reading comfort zone. I generally have no interest in reading them. The few I have read have all been for book clubs. But this one piqued my interest because the story involves The Lord of the Rings. So I gave it a shot.
It was fine, but slow going for me. The parts including the Lord of the Rings were interesting; Ridpath I thought was very creative with the saga and linking it to Tolkien. I liked the family history surrounding the saga. The the rest of the plot and characters were not as interesting to me. Again, it's probably the genre in general that holds no interest for me. Our lead is Magnus, and Icelandic born Boston cop hiding out in Iceland while his life is in danger from a drug cartel. His character got me through the story, but I don't feel like there is any need for me to continue his story and read the second book. Mystery is just not my genre. (less)