I am not usually a romantic suspense reader (danger boner just doesn't always work for me), so three stars is basically a glowing review from me. I thI am not usually a romantic suspense reader (danger boner just doesn't always work for me), so three stars is basically a glowing review from me. I think I enjoyed this one more than usual because the hero is an ex-Navy SEAL turned treasure hunter. I mean he is basically a modern day pirate. But nicer. And I really, really love me some pirates. The adventure is fabulously ridiculous and high octane. There is some interesting detail about deep sea diving. I liked the hero and heroine although the chemistry between them struck me as a bit off for some reason. Overall a decent read for me personally and one that I think romantic suspense readers could really enjoy. I was intrigued enough by his team of treasure hunters that I may come back for more when book two is out in March....more
Warning: Do not drive, handle sharp objects, or wear mascara while listening to this book. It's a bonafide tear jerker. Jojo Moyes somehow manages toWarning: Do not drive, handle sharp objects, or wear mascara while listening to this book. It's a bonafide tear jerker. Jojo Moyes somehow manages to mix a surprisingly sweet romantic storyline and a greek tragedy and a late coming of age story all in one along with a look into a delightfully mundane, blue-collar British family. She also tackles the highly emotional and divisive issue of assisted suicide. Although I don't think all of her books are a good match, fans of Jodi Picoult may enjoy this one because of that combo of tear-jerker and social issues. I didn't always like it but I always was intrigued by the story and it hit me emotionally in a couple of places. I am looking forward to meeting Lou again in After You....more
Oh Lisa Kleypas, I am SO happy that you're writing historicals again. I was thrilled to meet all of the Ravenel women with the promise of three otherOh Lisa Kleypas, I am SO happy that you're writing historicals again. I was thrilled to meet all of the Ravenel women with the promise of three other historical Kleypas novels to come. It was a solid reading experience and I am on the edge of my seat for Helen's story....more
There's still smoke coming out of my ears days after finishing this book. It was ridiculously hot from start to finish. And it certainly revealed a woThere's still smoke coming out of my ears days after finishing this book. It was ridiculously hot from start to finish. And it certainly revealed a world of kink I was completely unaware of and explained it in a way that allowed me to set aside some of my concerns or judgements and just go along for the ride. I thought Sam and Bern were well developed, but Mike felt a bit two-dimensional to me, which is unfortunate if I'm actually trying to sell myself that this is both a romance and an erotic menage. In the end, I don't really think I would count this as a romance because (view spoiler)[the conflict in the end is exactly my problem with the idea of long-term threesomes - someone is bound to be left out or hurt or relegated to a lower spot on the relationship hierarchy. Because of the mistake that Sam and Bern make and the compromise that three decide on to repair the damage, it doesn't feel to me as though there was actually a happily ever after. Instead it feels like Mike and Sam get a partner they are comfortable with but that Bern is bound to leave when he finds someone who will see him as an equal in the relationship rather than a sexy third wheel. Now this wasn't a complete bust for me, because McKenna does allow for things to get messy with emotions, which I think is a real risk when we're talking long-term sexual relationships. (hide spoiler)]. If you want a true menage romance, I highly suggest Hotter than Ever by Elle Kennedy. But if you're looking for a smokin' hot menage erotica with some interesting characters and a deeper look at what it means to explore your deepest sexual fantasies with your partner, this is a great read. ...more
Elizabeth Lowell's western and medieval novels were part of my formative romance reading experience and I still have a warm, fuzzy place in my heart fElizabeth Lowell's western and medieval novels were part of my formative romance reading experience and I still have a warm, fuzzy place in my heart for her. She's been writing romantic suspense for a while now and I finally decided to give her another go since I heard Sarah from SBTB describe this book as "competence porn" - that magical type of story which features a modern woman with a profession she loves and is super competent at. And Perfect Touch is that. You get some excellent scenes with Sara fully immersed in protecting and preserving art as well as some lovely discussions with the hero about how selling art really works, tricks of the trade, etc. I was still a bit underwhelmed though and am certainly not a romantic suspense convert. I find it disturbing to have steamy sex with dead bodies cooling in the general vicinity or after being hunted by a helicopter and fired on with an uzi. Also, the heroine expresses some pretty serious life decisions (i.e. a preference for not living in the wilderness and not wanting to have children) and I feel like these concerns were just sort of glossed over to get to the HEA. Less than impressive reading experience for me. ...more
The setting was lovely. The characters were nice. The romance was sweet. It was all just so ... heartwarming. It was exactly what you would expect froThe setting was lovely. The characters were nice. The romance was sweet. It was all just so ... heartwarming. It was exactly what you would expect from a small town romance. It was a good solid read but nothing to make it standout from the crowd of small town contemporary romances out there. ...more
This is a good solid romance that has a lot of things I like - a stubborn, competent, and skilled heroine, a bit of information on a topic I don't knoThis is a good solid romance that has a lot of things I like - a stubborn, competent, and skilled heroine, a bit of information on a topic I don't know too much about (art history), and a good solid relationship between the heroine and her sister. I especially liked the heroine. My favorite thing about her was her personal drive. Yes she slaved and starved to ensure that her sister is married off and taken care of, but she is also driven by her desire to be free of responsibility so she can follow her dream to become a classically trained artist. I love this dichotomy of having both an intense passion for your chosen career and a strong duty to familial obligations. She manages not to sacrifice either one. However, something about both the hero and the mystery embedded in the story fell flat for me. I can't quite put my finger on it, but both elements didn't quite ring true. Still, it was worth the read just for meeting Eva and for the fun of learning a bit about the history of art forgery and theft. ...more
Mary Wine gets a gold star for poking fun at some of the old skool medieval romance tropes and correcting some of the more unsavory aspects this subgeMary Wine gets a gold star for poking fun at some of the old skool medieval romance tropes and correcting some of the more unsavory aspects this subgenre has suffered from. I love medieval romance so much, but it has fallen a bit out of favor so it was very fun to find myself in 12th century England among knights and ladies and crusades and falcons. I loved that Isabel demanded wooing and generally had the upper hand over Ramon; I also loved that he was willing to let her keep it as long as she was not in danger. Very readable and I hope this is a sign that medieval will be making a comeback....more
The thing I know absolutely after reading this book: princesshood is not for me. Keep me out of the spotlight, thank you very much. Even the love of aThe thing I know absolutely after reading this book: princesshood is not for me. Keep me out of the spotlight, thank you very much. Even the love of a good man and all the tiaras are not worth the paparazzi, the creation of a public persona, the constant dieting, and the terrible behavior of people online aimed right at your heart. I am still horrified that Kate was in pantyhose the day after baby #2 and smiling and waving at people. I would have punched my publicist if I were her. Which is probably an indication of why I am not princess material.
The thing that bothered me most about this book: Nick never apologized for the many, many times that he left Bex emotionally and physically alone to handle big dramatic changes to her life and liberty. I wanted way more groveling. WAY more. So I just couldn't buy all the way into the sort-of HEA we're left with in the end. Now some may say that Bex betrayal was over the line, but I found most of her actions justifiable.
The things I loved about this book: Bex and her odd-ball cohort of friends are just a delight to be around. I was sometimes frustrated with Bex and her willingness to take so much abuse in this relationship but the story is really about her personal growth more than a royal romance. I liked her, even when I was frustrated with her. I loved her friends' efforts to rally around her every time things went south, and there was a lot of going south in the 464 pages. The portrayal of Bex's relationship individually and collectively with her mom, dad, and sister rang so true to me. They all love each other and have functional, healthy relationships. It was a pleasant surprise to have a supportive and loving family in the picture in a romantic book. And despite my misgivings about Nick, the romance itself is very sweet. Plus So. Much. England. I'm just desperate to go visit again now. And never, ever leave.
What I don't recommend: listening to this book. The narrator nailed creating a solid voice for Bex but her British accents were sometimes painful to listen to. And if my uncultured American ears felt that way, I can only image in the grimaces from the Brits.
In the end, I laughed, I cried, and despite some of its lumpy bits, I loved this story. It hit a lot of fabulous reading buttons for me and I would happily recommend to romance fans, royals fanatics, and anglophiles....more