Tempted is Megan Hart's most recently published novel with Spice publish[review originally posted on my blog the happily ever after.. in March 2008.]
Tempted is Megan Hart's most recently published novel with Spice publishing. It is marketed as an erotic novel, and while it does have erotic elements, Tempted is more a novel of romantic realism. It is a realistic novel about strongly intertwined relationships brought about by real life actions, reactions, and consequences. It is the bittersweet emotional story, told from Anne's perspective, of what transpired over the course of one summer between Anne, her husband James, and his best friend Alex when the three became lovers.
Anne has everything a woman could want. Her husband James is handsome, loving and attentive and they live a happy and comfortable life together in their charming lake house. But things aren't exactly picture perfect. Anne is stressed out from dealing with her critical and impossible to please mother-in-law, and the ever present consequences of her father's alcoholism. In addition, each of Anne's three younger sisters are dealing with some serious problems of their own. Then a call comes from Alex, James' best friend from his youth, and everything in Anne's world changes.
James and Alex were inseparable childhood friends until they had a huge falling out the night before Alex left for Singapore on a business venture ten years ago. No one talks about the mysterious falling out, not even James, and it must have been intense if they dropped from each other's lives for ten years in a heartbeat. Now Alex has sold his company and is returning to the States to stay with James and Anne for the summer. Anne has never met Alex until he arrives at their home, and she is instantly overwhelmed by his sensuality and the mysteries of his past with her husband. She immediately senses a deep bond between James and the enigmatic Alex that is complicated, yet clearly depicts love and possibly even sexual attraction. Inevitably, Alex joins Anne and James in their bed and it isn't long before their relationships transcend fun and games and the boundaries of friendship, sex, and love are tested. Emotions develop in complex tangents between the three of them, and Anne and James' marriage is put on the line. The consequences of the threesome are engaging and a also a bit disturbing, forcing the characters to make decisions that may forever change their lives. Ms. Hart's characters are real and complex. They have flaws, they make mistakes, and are forced to deal with the consequences of their actions. They address things about themselves that they may not have otherwise, had this affair not happened. And in the end, each have to make important decisions about the love they choose to embrace.
Tempted is not a typical erotic romance novel. While there are indeed erotic sex scenes, including several menages a trois scenes, it isn't the eroticism that gives this novel its power. The power behind this novel is the intense emotions and complicated relationships that drive the plot. Anne's personal struggle to understand her own emotions and desires, as well as those of James and Alex, and how it all affects her life, her loves, and her family is what makes this novel what it is: intense, honest, engaging, and thought provoking.
The ending of Tempted is not the kind of happily ever after ending I have come to expect and love from reading romance, but since this novel is not a lighthearted romance or erotic novel, the bittersweet ending is true to the complexity of real life. Initially, I had some issues with the circumstances surrounding the ending because it went against the resolution that already took root between the characters and didn't provide any closure. But after I thought about it for quite some time, I decided that the ending that Ms. Hart wrote is actually the only possible ending that would give Anne, James, and Alex the closure they each needed to move on with their lives, which is a good thing, even if it was disconcerting.
I had a really hard time coming up with a grade for Tempted. There are a few decisions that the characters make that I thought were inconsistent with the circumstances. I also felt that the story could have been even more interesting and compelling if James' character, and his relationship with Alex were more deeply developed. Then the fact that the ending threw me for a loop and I kept analyzing it gave me doubts about the book. However, I enjoyed reading Tempted because the relationships were so compelling and I couldn't help but examine and reexamine the characters and their actions for days after finishing the novel and that is what moved me the most. Perhaps that was Ms. Hart's intention after all - to write a powerful and thought provoking novel that left a profound impression on the reader. If so, her mission was accomplished with me. ...more
One Foot In The Grave is the second novel in The Night Huntress Series by Jeaniene Frost. Half human, half vampire Cat Crawfield works for a secret government agency that was established in order to track and kill rogue vampires. Because a half human, half vampire is extremely rare, vampires are unable to sense her true nature, yet Cat is still able to detect them by their aura. This unique trait puts Cat at a great advantage as she is able to hunt vampires by baiting herself, and then using the element of surprise along with her part-vampire enhanced strength to go in for the kill. It is for this valuable trait, and her kick ass fighting skills, that the government hired Cat as leader of this new agency's field team four years ago. It was also four years ago that Cat claimed to have killed the master vampire called Bones. Unbeknownst to the agency, Bones was both her personal trainer, partner and lover. By making that claim, Cat walked away from their love forever, thinking she was protecting his life. She has not seen or heard from him since.
In the four years since Halfway to the Grave, Cat has settled into her job and has dedicated herself unconditionally to her men and the agency, despite the fact that some of them doubt her. At the opening of One Foot in the Grave, Cat is on assignment and about to make her kill when in a moment of despair her victim reveals his true name-- that of Bones' sire. In a moment of reverence for he who gave Bones the immortality to have lived long enough to have eventually come into her life as the only man she has ever loved, Cat allows him to escape. This act may prove to be a life threatening mistake, as Cat then becomes the target of several assassination attempts. Shortly thereafter, Bones returns to Cat's life and will stop at nothing to be at her side. Still on personal mission to hunt and kill her father, and in need of serious protection, Cat may have no choice but to accept his help, and in the end his love, too. He's that irresistible.
One Foot In The Grave is full of surprises and plot twists that had me at one moment wanting to rush through to find out how all the complications got sorted out, and at the next moment wanting to read it slowly so that I could savor Cat and Bones and all their predicaments. Cat is a fighter and a survivor, but often impulsive which usually gets her into trouble. Which in turn usually brings out her frankness and sarcasm, interjecting a good dose of humor into the otherwise tense story line.
Cat has also grown more mature and less discriminatory against any and all vampires or other creatures of the night. She is learning to judge individuals on their actions, not soley on whether they're human or other. In fact, in a heated discussion with one of Bones' ex-lovers, Cat defends Bones by stating, "We are who we become, not who we start out as." And the best part is that I think she finally believes this about herself, too.
Bones is a fantastic hero. As a master vampire, he is one of the most powerful and impressive vampires, yet he never flaunts it-- especially to Cat. He never uses his power as a means to win her over, and in fact, he actually holds back whenever possible, just to make her feel comfortable. His love for Cat is steadfast and unconditional. He's sexy, romantic and will do anything to protect her. And let's not forget that he is an amazing lover. ;)
One Foot In The Grave is an entertaining combination of intense action and sexy romance splashed with laugh out loud witticisms. Surprise turn of events and Cat's stubbornness to let Bones back in her heart kept me captivated by the story. At times, though, I did find myself waiting for the conflict of the story to have a more profound impact on the vampire-human world and the mission of the agency--not just on Cat's personal well being and agenda. However, it is a Night Huntress novel, hence centered on Cat and even told from her point of view, so it does make sense that the storyline would focus strongly on Cat. Still, I do look forward to future conflicts in the series that threaten their entire world and put Cat and her team into action. I also look forward to Cat and Bones' relationship getting more intense, which I'm sure is inevitable because there's already a whole new complication between them by the end of this story. I can't wait to find out what's next on the horizon for the endearing Cat Crawfield, the delicious Bones and Cat's supercharged team!...more
Why haven't my romance reading friends pressured me to read this one before? What a gem! It's been out since 2008 and on my shelves for at least a couWhy haven't my romance reading friends pressured me to read this one before? What a gem! It's been out since 2008 and on my shelves for at least a couple of years now. It jumped out at me from my box of unread books the other day and I devoured it in just two days (fast for me..). I absolutely loved this one. Hope to write a more thorough review soon! ...more
The highly anticipated story of the leader of the Dark Hunters, Acheron. Like many r[originally posted on my blog the happily ever after... in 2008].
The highly anticipated story of the leader of the Dark Hunters, Acheron. Like many readers of Kenyon's Dark Hunter series, I was worried how Kenyon could possibly give this man the story he deserved after building on his character for over twelve novels, but Kenyon did it. She actually wrote Ash's story from his birth over 10,000 years ago through to present day. I was so afraid of disappointment, but Kenyon delivered. The first part of the novel was Ash's story from his 'human' birth to the birth of his Godhood and his role as the leader of the Dark Hunters. This segment was heart wrenching and painful as Ash was intensely neglected, abused, and tortured both emotionally and phsyically. At times it felt that this part would never end, but it seems that everything had purpose in justifying the character Ash is today. The second part of the novel is the love story of Ash and his mate. I couldn't be any more satisfied in this part of Ash's story. Their relationship was realistic and their path to their happily ever after was at times amusing, tender, and passionate. Truly the HEA a man... er... god... like Ash deserved....more
This rating is for the story "Thicker Than Blood" by Meljean Brook only. I haven't read the other stories in this anthology and honestly may never getThis rating is for the story "Thicker Than Blood" by Meljean Brook only. I haven't read the other stories in this anthology and honestly may never get to them. I bought this book solely for the aforementioned story, book #3.5 in the Guardians series by Meljean Brook. Of all the short stories and novellas I've read... Meljean Brook nails it every single time with a five star read. [The only other short story that impresses me equally is "Alpha and Omega" by Patricia Briggs in the On The Prowl anthology.]
"Thicker Than Blood" can be read as a stand alone story, but if you are already reading Ms. Brook's Guardian series, I highly recommend you hunt down a copy of this anthology and read this one. The story is has a strong bittersweet tone, but intense drama in the world known only to Guardians, demons and vampires. In her signature style, however, the story is still very sexy and romantic with a happy ending that romance readers will surely appreciate. ...more
While searching my stacks of books, I stumbled across this book, which is the fourth and final book in a series that I started reading a few years agoWhile searching my stacks of books, I stumbled across this book, which is the fourth and final book in a series that I started reading a few years ago. and the only book I hadn't read. So I figured why not just get to it and read it. I wondered if it would be slow going since I may have forgotten a lot about the series story arc, but a lot of it came back to me as I read the story and the author reviewed some details from the first three books within this storyline, so it worked out fine. Into the Flame is an exciting conclusion to this story of a family held together by faith, love and goodness as they face the consequences of a pact their long ago relatives made with the devil. In the first book a prophecy is revealed that slowly comes to fruition in each of the four books in the series with a shocking plot twist in this last book. The romance part of this story didn't get much page time in this story, but it actually seemed fitting for the characters and the plot and was no less believable than the others. Overall, this book and the series as a whole is enjoyable for the author's ability to blend good story telling with mythology, strong family bonds and a little bit of romance. ...more
A Harlequin Blaze romantic suspense story involving a Navy SEAL on leave, asked by his best friend to watch over his sister who is in over her head inA Harlequin Blaze romantic suspense story involving a Navy SEAL on leave, asked by his best friend to watch over his sister who is in over her head in a lawsuit against some very powerful and dangerous people. It is a friends to lovers story that is exciting and almost bittersweetly romantic....more
The fourth installment in Kate's Brotherhood of Blood Series. It is an historical paranormal series with vampiric mythology based on the Templar KnighThe fourth installment in Kate's Brotherhood of Blood Series. It is an historical paranormal series with vampiric mythology based on the Templar Knights and a Blood Grail. Let The Night Begin is the story of the vampire Reign and his love Violet. What made this story special and unique is that Reign and Violet are husband and wife and have been apart since their wedding night 30 years prior. At the beginning of this story, they are brought together again and while the work together to find Violet's abducted nephew, they also work out some huge problems in their relationship to find love again. The conflict was a bit predictable, but the characters and their relationship was rewarding enough to give this book a B grade....more
Re-read in November 2011. Originally read in March 2008.
Soooo good! Wonderfully developed characters. The heroine was fantastic.... I loved her. LotsRe-read in November 2011. Originally read in March 2008.
Soooo good! Wonderfully developed characters. The heroine was fantastic.... I loved her. Lots of intrigue and emotions layered within a really wonderful love story. Even if you’re not a fan of historical romance, I recommend you pick this one up. It's a keeper. ...more