Jo Goodman always manages to hit all of my buttons. She takes her time building complete characters and convincing me that they are in fact meant to bJo Goodman always manages to hit all of my buttons. She takes her time building complete characters and convincing me that they are in fact meant to be together. On top of that, Calico was one of the most fabulously competent heroines I've come across in historical romance. The story kicks off with Quill (the hero's name drove me crazy but he's so delightful that I forgave Goodman for that one) having some serious lust-at-first-sight for a prostitute and watching her go up with a man who he recognizes immediately as trouble. He goes snooping, hears some suspicious noises from their room, and bursts in. Only, he discovers that the "prostitute" is actually bounty hunter Calico Nash who was hired to take care of a man abusing women at this establishment. And she has the situation completely in hand. Quill and I are completely smitten from here on out. He waits patiently for a chance to contact her again and when the man he is hired to protect from death threats is looking for a person to guard his daughter, Quill recommends Calico and she just can't resist seeing the smart-mouthed and sexy man again.
Now, I knew who the bad guy was very early on although I second guessed myself a few times. So if you're reading for the mystery and suspense this may not be the story for you. I was reading to watch Quill and Calico face their own demons and find comfort in each other. The romance was beautifully done, both sweet and playful and sexy in turns, and left me sighing happily to myself in the end. ...more
After a Fashion is the first in a new trilogy set in late 19th century New York City. Our heroine, Harriet, reminds me of Annie – she has had a hard-kAfter a Fashion is the first in a new trilogy set in late 19th century New York City. Our heroine, Harriet, reminds me of Annie – she has had a hard-knock life and is an eternal optimist with an unshakable “the sun will come out tomorrow” philosophy. She has a strong faith that guides her life and she is a force to be reckoned with when she is out to help someone. In one of the most absurd meet-cutes I’ve ever read, she is sent in her capacity as hat girl with a carriage full of hats and walks into a highly dramatic and uncomfortable fight between millionaire Oliver Addleshaw and his would-be fiancé. Oliver decides to hire Harriet on the spot to help win over a business partner and hijinks ensue. Readers will chuckle and sigh their way through a myriad of adventures including an acrobatic leap from a moving carriage, a bull – or rather a large scruffy dog – loose in a literal china shop, and a variety of costumes and disguises. Harriet and Oliver fall in love and find themselves making life changes and discoveries they never could have imagined. Watch for the next book in the series, In Good Company, coming July 2015. ...more
I can tell that Saga is going to be hard on my HEA-loving heart the further along it goes. I'm bracing myself but I am also completely committed to AlI can tell that Saga is going to be hard on my HEA-loving heart the further along it goes. I'm bracing myself but I am also completely committed to Alana and Marko and I'm just going to have to keep riding along and embrace the pain if it comes. I still love the creativity, detail and humor of this story and may have to go back and read them all again soon to help with the publication gap memory loss....more
So I'm impressed. I hesitated to read this book because it contains two of my least favorite reading topics: New Adult and billionaire playboy romanceSo I'm impressed. I hesitated to read this book because it contains two of my least favorite reading topics: New Adult and billionaire playboy romance. I generally avoid new adult because I find the emotional ups and downs exhausting and because several of the books I have tried feature old skool alpholes which generally makes me angry rather than blissful. I avoid billionaire playboys because I find the power difference created by different social standings much more uncomfortable in contemporary romance than in historical (I can read rich duke/governess Cinderella books all day long). Double standard I know, but there you have it. I have recently fallen in love with Courtney Milan's Brothers Sinister series and have been binge reading through that series. I heard Milan on the SBDA podcast and was highly intrigued by the second book in the Cyclone series (which is coming the end of this year) that features a transgender heroine and super nerd hero. I have a neurosis that does not allow me to read a series out of order so I went ahead and downloaded Trade Me to my ereader and began reading with a sigh of resignation. Which quickly became a sigh of happiness. So here are the things that made this story work unexpectedly well for me:
1. There are lots of emotions and angst but not the violent roller coaster type 2. Tina regularly calls Blake on his 1% billionaire bullshit and he takes her criticism seriously 3. Blake is having some severe emotional issues 4. Tina is brilliant and loyal and dedicated 5. 2-4 combine to shift the balance of power in their relationship so that I can happily enjoy all the sexual tension 6. Tina's family are recent immigrants to the US and Milan delves into the complexities of asylum, immigration, clashing cultural values, etc in a very real way.
So there you have it. Another case were I should just learn to never say never. The right author can take me happily along on reading journeys I would generally avoid out of habit. Thanks Milan and I really can't wait for Cyclone #2. ...more
I haven't read Johanna Lindsey in years because her books generally just don't work for me any more. She was the author that hooked me on romance andI haven't read Johanna Lindsey in years because her books generally just don't work for me any more. She was the author that hooked me on romance and Gentle Rogue is still among my all time favorite romances (pirates! girl dressed as boy! sardonic alpha hero!) so I picked up Stormy Persuasion largely out of nostalgia. It was a fun romp that included a sea voyage and hidden identities. I got to check up on George and James which was delightful. The story wasn't an earth-shattering read but it was an excellent trip down romance memory lane and engaging enough to be worth the time. If Linsey publishes Jack's story I will definitely pick that one up as well. ...more
The Kraken King is my absolute favorite from Meljean Brook thus far (which is saying something considering my intense love for the previous three). AlThe Kraken King is my absolute favorite from Meljean Brook thus far (which is saying something considering my intense love for the previous three). Although Brook released this book over several months serial-style I opted to wait until the full set of stories was released as a single book. I'm really more of a gulper than a savorer. I wondered if the book would feel episodic but it flowed very well as a single unit. Kraken King features many of my favorite tropes: road trip, bad boy with heart of gold, etc. But as always with Brook she plays with these tropes, flips them on their head, and pokes at them so they feel completely new. The adventure in the book is as exciting and swashbuckling as always. The character development and romance comes fully to life. I love Zenobia with a passion now and I love that she saves Ariq at least as often as he saves her. Plus Steampunk, alternate history Australia. All of the books in the Iron Seas series can be read independently of each other but If you like one I encourage you to read all four. The world building is masterful, all of her characters extend beyond their stereotypes, and they are delightful fun. ...more
Elizabeth Hoyt is dramatically hit or miss for me. So much so that I had almost decided to give up on this series. However, I couldn't resist a hero eElizabeth Hoyt is dramatically hit or miss for me. So much so that I had almost decided to give up on this series. However, I couldn't resist a hero escaped from Bedlam and a heroine who is an actress, playwright and single mother. I was a bit disappointed that (as usual) her child was plot moppet material but Hoyt still gets mad props for exploring the not-so-upper classes. I was not so interested in the mystery that weaves through the novel as it felt rather obvious to me. But the heat between Lily and Caliban (okay I couldn't help but snort every time she calls him that) was smokin'.
Also I am completely in love with Lady Phoebe and have been for several novels and am so excited to read her installment coming next that Hoyt will continue to garner my attention. ...more
I have very, very few auto buy authors. I generally use the library and then only spend my very limited book budget if the book completely knocks my sI have very, very few auto buy authors. I generally use the library and then only spend my very limited book budget if the book completely knocks my socks off. Tessa Dare's historicals are always such a fabulous reading experience that I break my strict rules for her. I've been anxiously watching the calendar for the publication of the second book in her Castles series and it did not let me know. It has the mix of humor and heat that I've come to expect from her. More coming......more
This may have moved into my favorite Jane Austen spot - although it'll have to duke it out with Pride and Prejudice once I get around to re-reading. YThis may have moved into my favorite Jane Austen spot - although it'll have to duke it out with Pride and Prejudice once I get around to re-reading. You can sense her development as an author and the growth of her personal maturity in the story. Anne Elliot is a fully fleshed out heroine and although her story is more melancholy and and feels a bit darker and heavier it was definitely more thoughtful and emotionally satisfying as well. ...more