This is not the first book in the series, but can be read as a standalone without a problem.
Steph Nuss tackles the romance genre in a different way thThis is not the first book in the series, but can be read as a standalone without a problem.
Steph Nuss tackles the romance genre in a different way than most. She clearly is not a friend of the typical misunderstandings, miscommunication and general obtuseness in one way or another with which most heroes and/or heroines are afflicted. What a relief! For that alone she deserves praise.
The heroine was reasonable and not silly at all, the hero is sensible, doesn't jump to idiotic unfounded conclusions and is just perfect. Who has every heard of such a couple in romance? Other writers should take a leaf out of Steph Nuss' book, because this approach works just as well, if not better.
The story flowed nicely and there was enough tension in the book (especially the stalker angle had me expecting something to happen any minute), but never in the contrived way at which you just have to roll your eyes. Situations were resolved in a swift manner without the usual silly delay. The story flowed nicely and everything worked out fine.
As far as romance goes, this is definitely one of the best ones I have read.
*I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review*...more
This was an unusual story. Not only because of the topic which dealt with past lives and people meeting again after centuries, but also because the stThis was an unusual story. Not only because of the topic which dealt with past lives and people meeting again after centuries, but also because the story had a dreamlike quality. Dreamlike in the sense that people's character changed from one minute to the next in the eyes of Amalie, which I found strange as I could not see Amalie's reasoning.
On one page she was kissing and let Artie fondle her (even though she wanted to say no she never actually did say it) and a little later she "always thought" he was a dark and brooding alcoholic (where the alcoholic idea came from I have no idea. There was NO indication previously). On one page he was sneering and sounding mean and spiteful and a few minutes later she thought he looked lonely and hurt. He was more or less stalking her and sent notes threatening Ian, but Amalie defended him as only being persistent and kept making excuses, even though she felt uncomfortable. Really odd! Not to mention Ian changing from boyfriend with almost angelic patience to verbally abusive drinker back to supportive lover.
Somehow I didn't understand what was going on. No, that's wrong. I understood what was going on but didn't understand the why. At one point one of the supporting characters said that being with your soulmate does not necessarily mean everything is going smooth. Well, being with an alcoholic who insults me when talking to his friends and accepting that simply hoping this phase will pass, then considering drinking myself (if you can't beat them, join them) is not only not smooth in my book, but rather disastrous. Why did she stay with him?
I can't say that I liked either Amalie or Ian very much. She was a doormat, and he a jealous drinker. When Amalie met Artie (who sounded perfectly ok to me until all of a sudden he turned out to be a crazy stalker who then disappeared without a trace) she didn't tell Ian about him - and that was before there was anything going on between them - because Ian would not tolerate that. I cannot understand, let alone support, such a concept. As a woman I cannot have male friends? This is wrong on a number of levels. What sort of relationship between Amalie and Ian is this?
All these misgivings on my part and the underlying theme of a common past history that I could not relate to made this a mystical story that might have made sense in itself, but was way too outré for me.
I received a copy of Meet me in the garden from the publisher in exchange for an honest review....more
What a dreary, sad and dull place the world would be if everybody was as dutiful and obsessed with their (self imposed) obligations as our two protagoWhat a dreary, sad and dull place the world would be if everybody was as dutiful and obsessed with their (self imposed) obligations as our two protagonists here. I am not saying everybody should just do as they please without consideration for anyone else or the consequences, but how Nurse Langtry and Michael go out of their way to sabotage their chance of possible happiness is really extraordinary. Out of the seven people in ward X four end up dead in the end, what an outcome!
I didn't think I would like a book as much as I liked this one in spite of eventually hating the main characters. I thought I only liked a book if I could at least somewhat relate to a character, but the more the story went on the more I got enthralled by it and the less I liked Nurse Langtry (see, I can't even bring myself to call her Honour, that is how distant I feel) and Michael. What a couple of self righteous martyrs!
That being said, the story was told in such a way that I could not put it down. I wanted to know what was going to happen next and how the blooming romance (if you can call it that) would turn out. I actually started out liking Luce and the way he rattled everybody's cages, but later on I felt rather satisfied about his fate, I am sorry to say. Especially after what he did to Nurse Pedder. That poor woman let him do what he did and never even noticed that she was - in fact - raped. Bizarre! The end was a bit odd with Nurse Langtry thinking of and considering Neil again. That guy had a close shave indeed. He can consider himself lucky he didn't end up with her. Why she tought about going back to him, I have no clue. Good thing she decided against it and instead fulfilled "her duty", because, you see, nobody does it as well as she does. Neil would have possibly been misled into thinking she actually loved him when in reality their relationship would have been a matter of careful deliberation.
I love Colleen McCullough's writing style and her love to detail a lot and once more she did not disappoint me....more
**spoiler alert** Trevor and Marcus meet by chance because of a blizzard that keeps them from going where they want to go. I had hoped this was a cabi**spoiler alert** Trevor and Marcus meet by chance because of a blizzard that keeps them from going where they want to go. I had hoped this was a cabin romance as I am a sucker for that sort of stuff, but actually the cabin aspect was not really there as being snowed in at a hotel for one night with a lot of other people doesn't qualify. Nevertheless this was a super sweet story with a tinge of tragedy, but, as could be expected, the tragedy didn't take place after all.
Insta-love doesn't even begin to cover the relationship that Trevor and Marcus develop in more or less one night. Somehow it didn't come over as contrived or forced, so I was all for it. Marcus' evolution, however, from dedicated workaholic to devoted friend and lover (after a couple of days no less) was more than astounding and I didn't find it believable. He offered to donate a kidney so readily that it was downright creepy.
The first few days of this blooming relationship took a large part of the book, the second part felt shortened. How all Marcus' co-workers rallied for Trevor was amazing, given that Marcus never gave a damn about any of them previously. Finding a donor was just too pat for my taste apart from the questionable setup of that charity. You organize an event like that for one donor alone? What about all the other people that are on death's door because they don't find a donor? As the whole topic of the story was helping Trevor to a new life, I would have found it more than appropriate to at least mention that the charity event resulted in a few more possibly happy endings for some other people.
Speaking of the happy ending, this was rushed as well. A donor is found and the next thing we read is a sort of epilogue quite some time later and that is that. This was all too easy and flawless for me. A little less love at the beginning and a bit more content at the end would have made that story more substantial for me.
That being said, for a sweet and light Christmas romance, this is a good story to consider....more
The opening scene turned me off. I knew there was some m/f and voyeurism involved, but the picture of RaphaelI was thoroughly disappointed with this.
The opening scene turned me off. I knew there was some m/f and voyeurism involved, but the picture of Raphael sitting in a tree wanking away was something I could have done without. Where did this obsession with Aleric come from? He has never even talked to the guy; just from seeing him, he got so obsessed with him? I find that rather unhealthy, it makes me uncomfortable with the character.
Then, within a few pages, Aleric was turned and was perfectly ok with his new lifestyle. It seems due to some chemical reaction which was triggered by the turning (no other explanation was given) he all of a sudden was just as needy with Raphael as the other vampire was with him. It's not that they had spent ANY time together that did not involve frantic sex. Is that supposed to be romance? Not in my book. In fact this is not even porn, because even porn needs some sort of normality in order for the sex to stand out (I am paraphrasing Umberto Eco here).
The story possibilities were all wasted. Katerina (of course, a Russian vampire queen) and her clan sounded quite interesting - apart from the obession with sex again -, but those characters fizzled out and were not followed up at all. Btw, anyone else found the names Katerina and Aleric reminiscent of the Vampire Diaries?
Because there was no emotional bond to speak of (at least I didn't see any) between Aleric and Raphael, I found myself skimming the sex scenes, i.e. large parts of the book. Finally a conflict was in the offing, i.e. Aleric's understandable anger and distress over the stalkerish behavior of Raphael, but even that ended with sex almost immediately. Instead of running away from that weirdo who observed him in secret for years, Aleric forgives Raphael within minutes.This couple did not get me involved or attracted me in any way.
Abrupt does not even begin to describe the ending. We go from sex to a half baked plan to leave and that's it. I had 17% to go with the story and thought there was something more substantial still coming up, and then - wham - the end within a paragraph. The remaining 17% of the book were excerpts and ads for other books, which annoyed me a lot.
I am not saying that this story couldn't have been good on a mere 85 pages, but given the fact that most of those pages were about sex, it just didn't work. No explanations, no development, a lacklustre "romance" at best, this wasn't satisfying. At all....more
This is a short and free sequel to Object of his desire, which I really liked. Is is only around fifteen pages and is a short glimpse into Henry and AThis is a short and free sequel to Object of his desire, which I really liked. Is is only around fifteen pages and is a short glimpse into Henry and Arsen's life eight months after they got together. Mostly from Arsen's POV and pretty sweet.
Why some people complain about it being too short or not providing enough characterization is beyond me. This is a FREE read, for Christ's sake! And only meant as a follow-up to the other book. If you have not read that one, don't read this one. ...more
The story sounded interesting and I really cannot put my finger on why I wasn't gripped by it.
The heroine is a good character, careful who she gets iThe story sounded interesting and I really cannot put my finger on why I wasn't gripped by it.
The heroine is a good character, careful who she gets involved with, not too trusting, but still down to earth and reasonable. The hero on the other side stays quite faceless. Him being quiet or unobtrusive had nothing to do with it - I love the quiet type - but apart from the fact that he observed, remembered and cared we know not much about him as a person. It's hard to describe, he is a lovely guy, responsible, everything you could ask for. He had a dubious past as a peripheral member of some gang and quite a lot to deal with at present, and nevertheless, he felt not very fleshed out.
The story moves ultra slow, which was a good change from the usual and I liked how it developped. There was enough tension with the protagonists' and past and subsequently emotional issues, so I am not complaining about that either. The writing was good, and I really wanted to like this book more than I did.
Somehow the couple and the development of their relationship didn't come to life for me. I am sorry, but I just wasn't feeling it.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review....more
I started reading this because it is in the "Unconditional" anthology, but couldn't finish it. The heroine - and I am sorry to say that, because it soI started reading this because it is in the "Unconditional" anthology, but couldn't finish it. The heroine - and I am sorry to say that, because it sounds heartless and without compassion - was a whiner of the first order and selfish to the extreme.
Apart from the fact that the cancer topic was dealt with in a disappointingly superficial way, the whole story had no character development whatsoever. It mainly consisted of Melanie going on ad infinitum about how "broken" she was and of Melanie trying to give John an out, because she kept insisting he only pitied her. It was obvious he was not interested in an out, but what does she care. If John HAD indeed left, it would have been the prime example of a self fulfilling prophecy.
After a little more than half I couldn't stand that miserable situation anymore and left it behind. ...more
If I ever become shipwrecked or get stranded on a lonely island I want to be there with Bastian Stark. His survival skills are above and beyond everybIf I ever become shipwrecked or get stranded on a lonely island I want to be there with Bastian Stark. His survival skills are above and beyond everybody else's! It seems fighting in a modern day munera sine missione does have its benefits.
I suppose he is the typical beloved anti hero who behaves like a complete jerk alot, but makes up for this by being caring AND hot once he decides to let go of his mean tendencies. Thanks to the 100% male POV we know what's going on inside him and understand why he is doing what he's doing. I can't say I am totally convinced that this is what's going on in a man's mind but I didn't care for reality anyway.
I found the perspective very refreshing and a relief from the usual female point of view. I am quite familiar with a female point of view already and - to be frank - in romance novels I find it tedious, boring, repetitive and downright annoying most of the time. In Raine's case I don't think she would have annoyed me - no, she is a very sweet, forgiving, reasonable and down to earth person, but her trains of thoughts would not have been nearly as interesting to read, I am sure (sorry).
I must admit, even though I am a sucker for sob stories, I found Bastian was laying it on a bit thick. Wasn't he a little too needy? The "I'll die if you ever leave" refrain was a bit over the top for me. Yeah, say it once if you must, but don't go on non stop.
I read a few reviews of the Evan Arden series. It seems that there is another guy who "will die if she ever leaves" and then, when she does leave, hooks up soon after with a hoooker who can "heal" him. Not saying that this is a bad thing, people do leave sometimes and life goes on, but doesn't this throw a cloud of suspicion over that lover's oath? Sometimes a little less is more.
That being said Shay Savage pushed all the right buttons for me and I loved the story. I wouldn't classify this as the typical romance with the usual frequent love scenes. Don't get mislead by the heavy use of "fucking" and "cock"! There were some sex scenes, but the adventure of being thrown out on a life raft and land on a lonely island took a large part of the story. A good mix, a great couple, no idiotic misunderstandings and a somewhat happy ending - absolutely recommendable....more
In this second story of the Gravity Series the hero did have a problem, for real. A good change from the regular romance novels, but as I found out, iIn this second story of the Gravity Series the hero did have a problem, for real. A good change from the regular romance novels, but as I found out, it doesn't make a difference to me in whether I like the book or not. Odd, right? I always complain about the contrived problems, so you would think I appreciate it when a real one comes along, but no.
Somehow it felt to me that Hank, even though he found himself in a wheelchair after a snowboarding accident, even though he saw himself as useless (especially to women) after being the alpha man, went on just as before (minus the snowboarding, but even that got better at the end). His supposed loneliness was rather self induced - if you discard his posh girlfriend leaving him, but good riddance anyway. He had money galore and could put it to good use. A complete makeover of his house to suit the disabled? Check. A Porsche with all the hand controls? Check. Contrary to what they say in the story I do think that there are only VERY few disabled people owning a Porsche with hand controls.
The heroine - smart, pretty, not to say beautiful, but otherwise not very interesting - had it in her head that she was only a distraction for Hank. That a man like him would never look twice at a girl like her, if he wasn't in a bad situation and had no alternatives. Just because he did not jump her when he saw her for the first time, which was right before the accident, she got that idea that he found her unattractive and stuck with it. But of course, this did not keep her from having sex with him numerous times. She hadn't left her hometown because she waited for a man to come along, and when he did come along, she wanted to leave as soon as possible, giving up a good career opportunity (which she got thanks to him). Talk about messed up.
If you liked the first book, you might want to give this a go, especially as you will see glimpses of Dane and Willow here and there....more
To put Al Qaeda and PETA in one sentence and on the same level is quite something. I had to re-read this sentence because I could not believe it. ThatTo put Al Qaeda and PETA in one sentence and on the same level is quite something. I had to re-read this sentence because I could not believe it. That was it for me. DNF. ...more
Oh, I don't know, I expected a lot from this one, but somehow I am disappointed. When I started reading I wasn't even aware that it was a sequel, so IOh, I don't know, I expected a lot from this one, but somehow I am disappointed. When I started reading I wasn't even aware that it was a sequel, so I did not get to read all the falling in love part. At the beginning of the sequel the love is already established, albeit somewhat hidden at first due to hard feelings. There was a separation ten years earlier because of the age difference and Caroline and Sebastian haven't heard from each other since. Much to his chagrin.
The older woman - younger man angle I liked, why should it always be the other way around? Unfortunately - even though there were tons of declarations of love and feelings galore, I just wasn't feeling it, I'm sorry. It might have to do with the fact that Sebastian leered and smirked quite a bit. I cannot stand guys that do that! There were too many love scenes (who knew I would ever say that), some of them - at least for my taste - even inappropriate. Picture this! A small makeshift room in a makeshift barracks in Afghanistan. You can barely stand upright or stretch out. You are dirty and sweaty. The disclosure of your relationship can cost both of you your careers. An attack can happen anytime and you have to run for your lives. And you can't help having sex!? Give me a break! I am not buying it.
And afterwards? The problems after returning home were just too superficially dealt with. These were big issues and all of a sudden they were gone? And then as a cherry on top, the inheritance! All too much, this. I don't know, I couldn't get into this book....more
This story was definitely different from what I expected, it had a GLBT feel to it.
The heroine Dani did get on my nerves in the beginning with her conThis story was definitely different from what I expected, it had a GLBT feel to it.
The heroine Dani did get on my nerves in the beginning with her constant whining about her plain looks and her non-deserving nature. I don't have much time for people who always think the worst because "they don't deserve better". Where is your self-esteem? If you don't respect yourself, not many other people will.
Anyway, she got a bit better later on in the book, and I forgave her anyway, as she was extremely funny. And for once I read a scene with imminent sex where the girl actually followed through with her original plan and kept wanting to talk about stuff! Have you ever heard of that in a romance novel before? Normally it's like "no, we need to talk....oh well, we can still talk AFTERWARDS" - but THAT never happens because either they are both so knackered from the hot sex or the guy gets up and leaves, because of, you know, his issues.
So Dani was sort of good. Liam was better. I suspected what his secret was early on - which was a first for me, usually I am oblivious to these things - and found it quite unusual for this kind of romance story. And for some reason I missed a bit more insight into it. This is a topic not many people talk about, let alone experience it first hand, so more of what was going on inside Liam would have been good.
Other than that, this is a good romance with likeable characters and an original storyline....more
There were quite a few things wrong with the plot, starting with the main driving force, Dane's secret/problem.I understand that without that secret tThere were quite a few things wrong with the plot, starting with the main driving force, Dane's secret/problem.I understand that without that secret there is no story, nevertheless I need to say it.
Why could Dane not divulge his secret to Willow and tell her, look, this is how it is, now what do you say? Why did he not get a test earlier? OK, I understand he did not want to know but this makes no sense. It's not that not knowing made his life any better, not even in his own mind. He suffered from the word go and didn't enjoy his life AT ALL. Getting a positive test result would have meant his life was misery, getting a negative result would have meant enjoyment. So the worst consequence would have been the status quo.
Willow is a bit clueless, isn't she? Going on about her money situation when it was clear that Dane was not only loaded, but willing to share with her. Yes, yes, she might not want to be kept and all that, but, after all, this is not only about her.
(view spoiler)[I didn't care too much for the pregnancy angle either, as this is really too trite, but I have no idea how else you could have made Dane get the test. Either the author had planned an unexpected pregnancy from the start or manoeuvred herself into a corner and had to find a way. Tada, pregnant! (hide spoiler)]
All that being said, I loved the story, I loved the characters. There was chemistry from the start. I usually hate sex scenes when there are no established emotions, but Sabrina Bowen pulled it off beautifully. Because Dane and Willow were extremely likeable and the connection between them was great I let all the other things slide.
Some people complain about him not grovelling enough towards the end. Come on, people! If you accept the somewhat contrived problem then you must cut the poor guy some slack and give it a rest. He went through hell, after all, so don't make him crawl to boot!
I also liked the fact that the book did not end with the reconciliation but continued a little afterwards to see how the relationship develops a bit.
What can I say? I might like books for all the wrong reasons, but I loved this one. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
I had thought that the highlander theme was dead. You would think that by now every possible angle of the Scots has been throughly explored, but it seI had thought that the highlander theme was dead. You would think that by now every possible angle of the Scots has been throughly explored, but it seems, there is still a demand for them. Hannah and the Highlander ist the first book in the series and I got it because of the more than enthusiastic reviews on Goodreads and Amazon. It was supposed to be completely different from other books, made people happy and what not. I was intrigued.
To cut it short, the hype is a bit over the top. How Hannah, who is a down to earth and sensible girl could take a speech impediment for a lack of attraction - even though clearly Alexander was attracted to her like there is no tomorrow - is beyond me. I would imagine that even the least observant person would notice the difference between not WANTING to talk and NOT BEING ABLE TO. Again, as so often, the misunderstanding device failed for me.
The "desperate secret, one that could destroy them both" I could not even identify. But that doesn't matter, as I hate those things anyway.
There was an interesting secondary romantic couple that will get its own book in the series. Hannah's little sister and Alexander's overlord, the duke, were quite appealing (once he had changed out of his dandy outfit and into a kilt, that is). As the romance has been almost established already, maybe their book will be more of a mix between a romance and a quest to remove Lachlan's curse. That would be a change.
The love scenes were quite nice - sorry for the lacklustre word, but as the first love scene was done in the wrong spirit (at least for me. I hate love scenes where there needs to be talking first and there is none, leaving the love scene taking place under the wrong star.). There are other books that pull that off, but this is not one of them. Again, this is just my personal bugbear, other readers thought that they were steamy and perfect.
I am definitely giving the next book a miss. It is about the middle sister and Alexander's younger brother. He suffers from the second son syndrome and was neither fleshed out nor appealing to me. A kissing contest? Give me a break! I might do him an injustice, but I am not interested. However, the third book I will pick up immediately as Lachlan and Lana sounded like they will make an interesting couple, more interesting than this one here. ...more