I thought this book would be the first in this series that I wasn't going to love. Aubrey Wellington just didn't aOriginally posted at The Book Nympho
I thought this book would be the first in this series that I wasn't going to love. Aubrey Wellington just didn't appeal to me...think mean girl grown up. Silly me, I should have trusted Jill Shalvis.
Aubrey takes us with her as she travels down her road to redemption. It was fascinating to learn what lay beneath that beautiful and bitchy veneer and feel compassion for her. Her journey was self-revealing, humbling and painful. Wrapping all of this around her surprising relationship with the sexy and brooding Ben McDaniel just tied the perfect bow on the story. He's also finding his way following the death of his wife five years ago, awakening from the self-imposed exile to the most dangerous regions of the world.
Ben and Aubrey's romance was honest, mature and sensual. They couldn't understand their attraction to each other even though it was clear to me. It was lovely to see them become aware of their feelings, finding the depth in each other they didn't know existed.
I also love the friendships between the men and women in Lucky Harbor. Those sad moments were adeptly balanced with some of the funniest situations, true laugh out loud scenes. I had a tough time putting the book down.
This may just be my most favorite story in the series to date. Loved it!
3.5 starsWinter Makepeace has devoted his life to being the headmaster of the home for foundling children in the poverty stricken area of London calle3.5 starsWinter Makepeace has devoted his life to being the headmaster of the home for foundling children in the poverty stricken area of London called St. Giles. However, by night, he's the mysterious Ghost of St. Giles, a sort of a historical version of Batman, trying to protect mostly the abandoned or orphaned children of the district. The night he's injured while saving Mickey O'Rourke from the gallows, he himself is rescued by Lady Isabel Beckinhall. She's a widow and one of the patronesses of the home but doesn't realize Winter and the Ghost are one and the same.
I learned much more about Winter and why he's so passionate about his work, giving him more dimension. At first I was also intrigued by his developing interest in Isabel but then struggled understanding much about her. I couldn't really connect with her or grasp her motivations, finding her character too underdeveloped. That caused the romance to be lacking, despite some rather steamy encounters. Isabel is the weak link in the story.
The mystery surrounding the disappearance of the little girls had promise but was never really fleshed out very well. I don't like it when there aren't enough clues to deduce the villain, as was the case here though there were lots of red herrings.
The story was entertaining but not up to the caliber of the earlier books. The narration, however, was outstanding and I'll continue with the audio versions. Still, a mediocre story in this series is still a good read. 3.5 stars...more
River pirate Mickey O'Connor resurfaces in this story, this time when he's faced with a threat that affects Silence Hollingbrook, now widowed, and babRiver pirate Mickey O'Connor resurfaces in this story, this time when he's faced with a threat that affects Silence Hollingbrook, now widowed, and baby Mary Darling. What follows puts them together for an extended time, revealing their true selves to one another.
I loved the "dance" Mickey and Silence orchestrated throughout the story, their witty dialogue eventually being replaced with honest and sincere revelations. When I began the story, I was unsure if I could warm to Mickey so I was very pleased he eventually emerged as a more substantive character. I also liked how Silence used his given name when she was relating to the man, not the pirate.
The story was exciting with some interesting twists and surprises. The romance was seductive and I enjoyed the way Silence and Mickey's relationship developed. There were so many layers to the story and the narrator, Ashford Mcnab, captured it all brilliantly. She managed a host of characters and dialects so effectively. I loved everything about the story and the narrator's performance. ...more
This second story in the series continues its edginess with two characters that test your acceptance of them and their behavior.
Griffin Remmington, LThis second story in the series continues its edginess with two characters that test your acceptance of them and their behavior.
Griffin Remmington, Lord Reading, has somewhat earned his rake reputation and the onset of the story won't endear him to you (probably). The opening scene is provocative and it took me a bit to get that out of my head. Lady Hero Batten, sister of a Duke and co-patroness of the children's home in St. Giles, has the unfortunate experience of witnessing his debauchery. She's engaged to his brother but this was their first encounter. Hero has committed her life to doing the right thing and living a life of comportment that would never create any issues for her powerful and politically influential brother.
I wasn't certain if I'd bond with either of these characters, let alone enjoy a romance between the two but the story is brilliantly written. The characters have so many dimensions and I found myself embracing them because of their flaws and attempts to be better. The issues at first seem to be black or white but eventually become grayer as the story progresses. Their relationship developed gradually, she emerging from that "perfect" veneer and he showing himself to be a man of substance beyond what he seemed on the surface. All served as subtle reminders to not be so quick to render judgment.
I'm loving this series, including the narration. It's an imperfect world these characters live in and their imperfections make for a much richer story. ...more
Sam and Nick return home late one evening to find her niece, Brooke, naked, wrapped in a sheet, bruised, covered in blood and unconscious on their dooSam and Nick return home late one evening to find her niece, Brooke, naked, wrapped in a sheet, bruised, covered in blood and unconscious on their doorstep. She was supposed to be at the school for troubled girls in Richmond. As Sam tries to figure out what happened to her, it's soon clear that Brooke was somehow connected with a disturbing homicide at the home of one of her teenaged friends.
This was a tough, heartbreaking story, at times hard for me to take in. It's well done and highlights some of the troubling issues our teens face today. Sam's involvement in the investigation skirted that fine line between acceptable and conflicting interests and I'm not sure she always stayed on the right side of it.
While there is other drama going on, Brooke's situation was the one that had me riveted. The ending was exciting with lots of unanswered questions. And, Nick and Sam have to make some life altering decisions. Still loving this series. ...more
Drew Evans has everything...successful career, gorgeous looks and all the women he doesn't have to seduce. He's been spoiled by his family and has nevDrew Evans has everything...successful career, gorgeous looks and all the women he doesn't have to seduce. He's been spoiled by his family and has never been in a committed relationship and isn't looking for one. In walks Katherine Brooks and his life is about to change forever. She's smart, talented and, oh, yes, engaged.
This story is CRAZY good! Told from Drew's point of view, we begin with him during his full "player" status and follow him as he unwittingly falls into love with Katherine and bungles it terribly. I listened to the audiobook and the narrator nails the character and makes him seem as if he's in the same room with you, telling his story with wit, sarcasm and humor. There are lots of laugh-out-loud moments and the sex just rocks.
I highly recommend you listen to the book if at all possible. I received an audiobook ARC from the publisher and had only the first half of the book download in error. It's so good that I couldn't wait for them to resolve the issue and decided to get the book on my own. I'm sure the print or eBook version is good, too, but I had Drew's voice in my head and wanted him to finish telling me his story personally. It really was like I was listening across from a table over cocktails. This was fun. ...more
Gregor MacGregor, known as the most handsome man in Scotland, is the archer for Robert Bruce's Highland Guard, codOriginally posted onThe Book Nympho
Gregor MacGregor, known as the most handsome man in Scotland, is the archer for Robert Bruce's Highland Guard, code name Arrow. When he begins to notice changes in his precision, he takes leave to return home to figure out and resolve the problem. Gregor also needs to determine what he's going to do with his ward, Caitrina (Cate) Kirkpatrick, who he rescued five years before.
This is one of my favorite series, primarily because of the historical aspects. Unfortunately, there were numerous word usages and vernacular that were beyond the medieval period of 1312. Cate is repeatedly referred to as "cute," which has its origins in the 19th century, as well as "nightmare" and "wow." When I saw "chomping at the bit" instead of "champing," it immediately threw me out of the story. I've not experienced so many period errors in this series and these were only the ones I chose to research.
The story has an exciting start but then changes to focus on Gregor and Cait's relationship. Both are keeping some whopper of secrets and it was tough to connect with the romance because of them. When Gregor, in anger, retaliated against Cate in response to a misguided perception of a breach of trust, it was so awful I was ready for Cate to walk away permanently and that didn't change. What he did was unforgivable.
I was hoping for a much stronger story for Gregor as Cait seemed the ideal woman for him. But her duplicity was hard to get beyond and it was too protracted. The best aspects were when the Highland Guard were in action on missions and when they were otherwise part of the story. Unfortunately, the romance and historical parts were a miss though there were some very strong moments that struck an emotional chord that kept me turning the pages. It was interesting in spite of all of its flaws. 3.5 stars
(I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review)...more
This is the story of James Douglas, known as The Black Douglas who was feared for his ruthlessness. He was also favored and a close lieutenant of RobeThis is the story of James Douglas, known as The Black Douglas who was feared for his ruthlessness. He was also favored and a close lieutenant of Robert the Bruce. James is über ambitious and confuses Joanna Dicson into believing his love meant marriage. When she learns differently, Jo is devastated.
I pretty much despised James for most of the story, unusual for me in this series. Both he and Jo do a lot of maturing before they find their way back to each other and my feelings about him shifted when I didn't believe that possible.
It's short and the subject isn't a member of the Highland Guard, which is a departure. However, the history is still here and I enjoyed learning about this important figure in Bruce's inner circle. Plus, the romance was heartfelt. ...more
Quick Summary Colin O'Leary has spent the last year trying to prove to his family, especially his younger brother, Ryan, that he's a better man than thQuick Summary Colin O'Leary has spent the last year trying to prove to his family, especially his younger brother, Ryan, that he's a better man than the one who ran away from them for three years. He sees an opportunity to do just that when Elizabeth Brannigan partners with him to revive a dive bar owned by her father (who's also her boss).
The big issues See, Elizabeth has something to prove to her family, too. Dad's getting ready to retire and she wants his job as CEO but her brother, Keith, seems to be the front runner. Her partnership with Colin is magic...and so is their attraction to each other.
What I loved Colin. Yes, he's a charmer but he's also a man of substance. He's perfect for the prickly Elizabeth, using patience and compassion to disarm and bring out the best in her. They made a great team as business partners and lovers. Both have something to prove and the contrasts of their agendas made the story extremely interesting, especially as it illuminated the best about them and what bonded the two.
The O'Leary clan also added some comic relief at times and I loved the follow up of Quinn & Ryan and Griff & Indy. They're still important to the series.
The bottom line Each story in the series seems to top the last one. I was rooting for Colin before this story and now I'm an even bigger fan. Pairing him with someone like Elizabeth (a control freak, though a talented one) was brilliant and I enjoyed their romance and business relationship. Hopefully we'll get more of them, too, in future stories. 4.5 stars
(I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review) ...more
The set up Colleen O'Rourke has a breezy personality with a witty, flirty retort for evOriginally posted at The Book Nympho
The Matchmaker gets matched!
The set up Colleen O'Rourke has a breezy personality with a witty, flirty retort for everybody. But underneath that generous heart is a serious bruise, created when the love of her life, Lucas Campbell, the only man she's ever loved, left her 14 years ago. Now he's back in town for a brief stay and he still takes her breath away.
The issues No one understood why Lucas left Colleen so abruptly, including her. He had his reasons but they had nothing to do with him not still loving her. Though she's Googled him a little bit, Colleen really doesn't know what's happened in his life the last few years. He definitely hasn't a clue about her life but Lucas was a bit unprepared to face his unresolved feelings about her either.
What I loved about this story Everything. No, seriously, everything. There's not a perfect person in it and most are pretty likable. I laughed my butt off, cried a lot, got angry occasionally and had a few "aww" moments.
I loved Colleen whose mission in life is to see everyone matched with their soulmate and she's got quite the track record to back up her success. No matter how many times life punched her, she persevered and came back with her head held high. Lucas drove me nuts on occasion but he's a really great guy despite his harsh upbringing. Those important in their lives play substantive roles in the story and are completely fleshed out.
The bottom line I loved these two characters and their messy lives and romance. Lucas is über sexy and Colleen is just the dream heroine but is definitely no angel. There's a surprise punch near the end but I was prepared for it and it just made the story richer. This is will always be one of my favorites as I couldn't get enough of these two and the crazy people around them.
Louisa (Lou) Clark is a young woman drifting through her life. When she loses the cafe job she loved, Lou struggles to find something she's interestedLouisa (Lou) Clark is a young woman drifting through her life. When she loses the cafe job she loved, Lou struggles to find something she's interested in and settles for one caring for a quadriplegic, Will Traynor. Will was formerly a highly successful and physically active man who two years after his accident now knows his situation will never improve.
Lou and Will are two of the most unlikeliest people to create a relationship but together they form an odd connection that serves as a lifeline to both. The story uses humor and a subtle level of pathos to address quality of life issues Will faced and Lou's aimlessness. It also spotlights the general failure of society to provide solutions for the disabled community that would allow them to be more self sufficient. I believed I was hyper sensitive to these issues but found this to be an education.
I loved the story and appreciated how Will and Lou's relationship developed realistically. It wasn't predictable and the ending was just lovely, though heart wrenching. Their story will haunt me for some time.
The Barefoot Bay experience continues with this sweet story of the high school geek getting the last laugh as an adult and getting the prom queen.
AmaThe Barefoot Bay experience continues with this sweet story of the high school geek getting the last laugh as an adult and getting the prom queen.
Amanda Lockhart, known as Mandy the Magnificent, has had it tough. Her marriage to a wealthy businessman is over and she's left with nothing, now a maid at the Casa Blanca resort. Zeke Nicholas, known as Ezekiel the Geekiel, is now a billionaire investment whiz and has also blossomed in the looks department. It's almost kismet when they meet at the resort where he's staying and she's servicing his villa.
Though the story is short it covers a lot of emotional ground and backstory. I enjoyed their romance, especially Zeke's elation at finding the woman who was his crush for many years. The twist near the end was a bit unexpected and certainly complicated things in an interesting way. I enjoyed Zeke and Mandy's story and seeing some of the characters from the original series. 3.5 stars...more
I've Got a Secret Jonetta: Audrey can't tell Nate she's on his side because she wants tJennifer (The Book Nympho) and I teamed up for a joint review!
I've Got a Secret Jonetta: Audrey can't tell Nate she's on his side because she wants to protect him. Puh-leeze! He's a killing machine!! Glad this didn't last too long. Jennifer: I agree but really she loves him and wants to protect him. But yeah he's a stone-cold killer when he needs to be.
Money and Politics Jonetta: Loved this combo for the story. I knew we could expect dirty dealing, backstabbing and somebody getting knocked off. Jennifer: Most of the twists I saw coming but they were still written well and I really thought I knew who Audrey's dad was going to be but at last I was wrong. Unless it was another lie...
Mother of the Year! Jennifer: Geez, Audrey's mom is a cold-hearted bitch! I wanted her to die. Jonetta: I wanted her to become one of her test lab specimens! Epic fail as a mother.
There's a New Group in Play Jennifer: What do you think of the new group, Protect? They might be on the opposite side as the Commander but they are just as nuts. Jonetta: These groups never cease to amaze me. They all think their agendas justify the crazy. They both need to go down.
Commander Showdown Jonetta: The most riveting part of the book. Didn't see it coming and it was a great moment. Jennifer: Yeah but he didn't get the ending he needed. I'm sure he'll be around for the last book. If anyone could serve that it would be him.
And How About Karen White! Jennifer: Karen does a great job with this series and the emotions that's written into the characters. She totally nailed Audrey's bitch of a mom. Jonetta: Loved her performance! She nailed Mommie Dearest and brought the characters alive.
Hail or Fail? Jennifer: Hail! BLIND FAITH is my favorite too. Seems each book and brother tops the last. Can't wait to see what Jory brings to the group. Jonetta: Big hail! My favorite in the series to date. I think listening to the series makes a difference, too.
(We received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review)...more
I was pretty critical of the final book in the trilogy, feeling there were missed story opportunities. Against my better judgment, I decided to listenI was pretty critical of the final book in the trilogy, feeling there were missed story opportunities. Against my better judgment, I decided to listen to this novella, believing it would complete what was missing, moving the relationship to the next level. Unfortunately, 2/3 of it was consumed by sexual romps with very little story or other action. I won't be continuing with the spinoffs. ...more
When the series was first introduced, Savannah and Gideon were already together and not much has ever been given about their histories. I was excitedWhen the series was first introduced, Savannah and Gideon were already together and not much has ever been given about their histories. I was excited when I learned of this series prequel and the story doesn't disappoint.
It wouldn't be a Midnight Breed story without mystery, intrigue and excitement to accompany Savannah and Gideon's romance. The mystery didn't seem tough to solve but there was an interesting twist at the end. And, who knew there was more than a fashion statement to Gideon's shades? Lastly, Breed warriors had a bit of a different lifestyle and Lucan Thorne before Gabrielle...not so pleasant.
The narration was excellent! Huber gave distinctive voice to each character and I loved Gideon's.
It's a short story with quite a bit packed in. I'm glad to finally get the back stories for two of the originals in this series.
(I received an ARC from Tantor Audio in exchange for an honest review)...more
Quick summary Ivy begins the story in Bennington, Vermont, the last location of her sister, Jasmine, before she wenOriginally posted onThe Book Nympho
Quick summary Ivy begins the story in Bennington, Vermont, the last location of her sister, Jasmine, before she went missing. As she checks out one of the town's Bed & Breakfast inns, what she thought was a hallucination turns out to be real. See, Ivy's had these visions all of her life and was told they were due to a brain disorder. Now she knows they are real after meeting a hunk named Adrian who seems to know a lot more about her than Ivy knows about herself. And, he's a bit other worldly himself. The race to find her sister is the catalyst for everything that happens going forward.
The mythology There's a mix of religious theology, mythology and fantasy that involves demons and "others from the light" that seems to work here. I'm not normally a fan of demon stories (didn't know they'd be here) but Frost's dark beings are created in a way that makes more sense to me. They look like what you'd think those from dark elements would and they behave accordingly. You can tell the bad guys from everyone else. I also liked the connection to biblical history as it gave me a chance to deduce some things on my own. I needed the help as much as Ivy did.
The world building Parallel realms are nothing new but Frost added what I felt were some unique elements that made the story more complex, interesting and suspenseful. I don't want to share too much as these things are revealed throughout the book, which made everything easier to digest. I didn't have to capture everything at once and it didn't bog down the story. Don't get me wrong, however...there's quite a bit to take in.
Ivy I enjoyed Ivy. There's a lot about her that reminds me of Mac without the initial TSTL (Too Stupid To Live) factor. She uses her brain to figure out stuff she's confronting and doesn't waste time in denial. Ivy gets more right than she gets wrong.
Adrian I hate to continue the Fever series comparisons but Adrian reminded me a LOT of Barrons. Not in how he looked and that sort of thing but in all that mystery he was shrouded in. I, along with Ivy, didn't know what he was, the nature of his secrets and why he felt the need to hide all that stuff. And, he has that alpha male thing going but doesn't wear it like out-of-control testosterone.
The romance? Ivy and Adrian had instant chemistry but did a dance throughout the story for really good reasons. It works here but be prepared to have this play out beyond this first book. It worked perfectly with the story.
Bottom line summary The action starts literally from the first page and almost never lets up. Ivy and Adrian are interesting individually, as a team and as a couple. The romance is the weak aspect but it's in tandem with what's going on. The supporting characters are really, really good and I like the mythology and the created world. It's not perfect but I rolled through the book. I'm in for the next in the series.
(I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review)...more
This story intricately weaves the events surrounding the disappearance of a 3-year old boy (Daniel Ray) in 1933 with a journalist's (Claire Aldridge)This story intricately weaves the events surrounding the disappearance of a 3-year old boy (Daniel Ray) in 1933 with a journalist's (Claire Aldridge) search for answers in present day. There's a somewhat mystical element in how seemingly unrelated situations converge to help unravel the mystery. The transitions were done skillfully, using Claire's journey as a means for her to confront and face her own paralyzing grief.
I really enjoyed how the story was presented as much as the actual tale. The realities of the divide between the wealthy and poor during the Depression era was realistic and enlightening. It's an interesting story with other very strong themes that give it weight....more
The 40-year old narrator returns to his childhood home for a funeral. On his way to his sister's house, he takes a detour to visit the site of their fThe 40-year old narrator returns to his childhood home for a funeral. On his way to his sister's house, he takes a detour to visit the site of their former home. While there, he stops at the old Hempstock farm, located at the end of the lane. It's where he met 11-year old Lettie Hempstock who referred to their pond as her ocean. He has a flashback to a time when he was a 7-year old, rather bookish young boy who had an extraordinary experience there. He's not even certain if it ever happened.
This story can best be described as part fantasy and magical realism. The author as narrator vividly creates a sometimes frightening and often mythical time in a young boy's life. It's beautifully written, taking me back to the time in my life when my imagination was rampant and pretty creative. It had me drifting in and out of both fantasy and realism in the same scenes, not quite certain what was fact or fiction in the story. Somehow it works as I couldn't stop listening. I'm not sure what to make of the ending but feel comfortable having it be whatever I want it to mean. ...more
This was the inaugural read for our then newly formed book club. We learned to do our homework for future selections and not be seduced by the popularThis was the inaugural read for our then newly formed book club. We learned to do our homework for future selections and not be seduced by the popular book of the time.
Two chapters in and I knew we'd made a mistake. The "prophecies" were the most basic idioms of any motivational program. There are no new or mind-challenging insights here.
This was a waste of my time and money and I only finished it because I was the book discussion leader. ...more
This is one of the most exciting books I've read this year! It's similar in theme to The Hunger Games but....diffeOriginally posted at The Book Nympho
This is one of the most exciting books I've read this year! It's similar in theme to The Hunger Games but....different. It is a fusion of Sci-Fi, dystopia and young adult (very mature 16-year olds). Enough about similarities.
The setup The central character is Darrow, a 16-year old who in this world is on par with a 21-year old today in terms of responsibilities. He and the other 1,000 men and women (the Reds) working far beneath the surface of Mars are doing so to help mine for resources to save the people on Earth. He's what they call a Helldiver who mines for the precious, life saving elements. He's married and sort of a hotshot with an extraordinary skill for strategizing and problem solving.
The issues Circumstances evolve where Darrow learns that all he's been told and the life he's lived are utter lies. The world above the surface is completely habitable and his "class" is considered the lowest, relegated to what is essentially slave labor. The rebels who confided in him have done so to enlist him in infiltrating the upper class of Golds via their Command School, beginning the liberation of the underclasses.
Why I'm crazy about this story I knew from the first few pages that the design of this world was well thought out and intricate. While it takes place far into the future, its foundation is firmly entrenched in the human condition. Man's need to be on top (or not the bottom) is the basic driver for most of what has occurred...on steroids. They've created a hierarchical society that makes absolute sense and is absolutely unfair.
At Command School, Darrow is at times amazingly clever and at others short-sighted, always in keeping with his character. The action is insane as nothing about the story is predictable other than human nature. The only times I wanted to put the book down was to fully absorb what I'd read. I loved the times when he made serious missteps as much as those times when he was the most astute and sure footed. The climax of the story had my pulse racing like crazy as no one seemed to be sacred, including Darrow. There are as many uplifting moments as there are heartbreaking ones. You'll experience many emotions along the way.
The bottom line I became so immersed in this world, with its parallels to our current existing societal issues, trying to keep up with each of the challenges Darrow faced. It was a connection I hated letting go for the moment. The only downside is having to wait for the next book. Don't walk, run and get this book. Oh, and the characters may be young in age but this is so not your typical young adult fare. It's one of the best and most exciting books of this ilk I've read in quite some time.
Jennifer and I are both weighing in on this story. I read it and she listened to it so you'll get more than just tOriginally posted at The Book Nympho
Jennifer and I are both weighing in on this story. I read it and she listened to it so you'll get more than just two story perspectives.
Quick summary The story continues, this time with the eldest of the Dean brothers. Matt arrives in Charmed, Idaho, following a lead that points to this town where he might find one of the doctors who knows the key to disarming the chip imbedded in him and his brothers. Laney Jacobs owns and operates a bar there and takes him in and gives him shelter and a job. They are terribly attracted to each other but aren't being completely honest about their pasts and agendas.
The mystery and suspense Jonetta: One of the highlights is the mystery and surprises around every bend. It was impossible to not second guess every character's true nature, not knowing if they were minions for the Commander. Even Laney had secrets that, when revealed, caught me off guard. There were a quite few scenes I found extremely exciting, keeping me on edge.
Jennifer: While the mystery and suspense was well written it didn't take me long to figure most of it out pretty fast. At least who Matt was looking for but the side mystery with the serial killer was great! I liked Sweet Revenge's mystery and suspense more than in book 1, Forgotten Sins.
The romance Jonetta: From the onset, Matt and Laney were either fighting their attraction or giving into it, vowing to restrain themselves going forward. I liked both of them individually, liked when they came together but got frustrated with Laney's inability to decide whether she could trust Matt or not. When the Dean brothers fall, it's fast and hard so you just have to get comfortable with their insta-luv tendencies.
Jennifer: The romance between Matt and Laney grabbed me more than the romance in book 1. Matt is the typical alpha male and Laney is an independent gal so ya, they butted heads a few times. I liked that Laney didn't just roll over and let Matt take charge.
The narration Jennifer: Karen White is well suited for the romance genre. She does a great job with the female characters. I loved her drunken voices for the gals and her southern twang for Claire was awesome. I would like to hear Karen do more female southerns. I need to see if she does any funny chick lit books.
The bottom line Jonetta: I enjoyed this book more than the first, primarily because there was more tension, mystery and action. It wasn't predictable and that kept things lively. Laney knew how to handle herself in spite of Matt's über Alpha-ness. I just wish there had been less waffling with the romance. We got a few steps closer to solving the doomsday chip issue and I'm looking forward to the next installment.
Jennifer: I like that the series is following a series story arc with each bother getting their time to shine in their own books. I agree, Sweet Revenge was sweeter (see what I did there) than Forgotten Sins and I can't wait to read Nate's book, Blind Faith.
(We received an ARC from NetGalley and Hatchette Audio)...more
Quick summary Charleston police detective and forensic artist Josh Harding is recuperating from his injuries incurrOriginally posted onThe Book Nympho
Quick summary Charleston police detective and forensic artist Josh Harding is recuperating from his injuries incurred during the last case. While attending his friend's bachelor's party, he recognizes the hired stripper who he fell in love with eight years ago. Samantha (Sam) Martin can't believe her first assignment as a stripper lands her in front of the only man she's ever loved.
A bit of background Sam's brother, Donnie, lies in a coma after having been shot and hit by a bus several months ago. She's sat vigil by his side, believing that he's in there and will recover, despite his doctors prognosis to the otherwise. Josh and Sam knew each other when he was an art student in Savannah and she was a class model.
What I loved about this story Josh is so wonderful and the only person who doesn't know immediately that he's still crazy about Sam...is Sam. That's because he knows her history and bends too far over backwards not to show up like the men in her past. Sam is just lovely, gifted with a killer body that tends to eclipse her other attributes. She and Josh have a great friendship that was an ideal foundation for the romance that followed.
The suspense stems from Donnie's mysterious attack. There's also a serial rapist and someone who appears to be stalking Sam. While we get the henchman's point of view, which was chilling, we don't know who's calling the shots. It was really interesting trying to connect the dots and scary as I worried for some of the characters who were clearly targets.
The bottom line This series is three for three in finding perfect balance between suspense and romance. I loved Josh and Sam's romance and the stunning disclosure as to what kept them apart...never saw it coming. The suspense was chilling, causing me to imagine the bogeyman around every corner. The mystery wasn't hard to unravel but it still had some surprises in the end. Loving this series. 4.5 stars...more
Quick summary FBI profiler Clay Copeland was ordered to take a week of vacation following the tragic ending to his last case. The serial dater decidesQuick summary FBI profiler Clay Copeland was ordered to take a week of vacation following the tragic ending to his last case. The serial dater decides to spend the time outside of Charleston at his best friend's beachfront home. When he spots Tate Hennessy sunning on the beach, he makes the move of a lifetime.
The romance Clay is one of the most appealing fictional characters I've read. He's bright, handsome, good at what he does and has a wicked wit and sense of humor. He isn't perfect but his honesty and directness more than over compensated for his flaws. Tate was a perfect match as she "got" this man and had a strong sense of self. She's a single mother raising a 5-year old son and is cautious without being overly so. There was a perfect balance in this relationship with him being commitment shy and she being burned in the past but neither too damaged by their pasts. I liked both of them individually and loved them as a couple. It's a really well-designed romance.
The mystery and suspense It was inevitable that Clay would be drawn into some work-related issue while on vacation but what was unpredictable was Tate being a part of the situations. While they were out on a date, they inadvertently witnessed the man who was suspected of abducting a 14-year old girl at the base of a Ferris wheel. Things take a dramatic turn when it appears they've stumbled upon a much larger set of circumstances. The points of view of the victims and villains, along with that of law enforcement, helped create a web of intrigue, tension and suspense as all eventually converge to a chilling climax. It was expertly conceived and executed.
One more thing... Tate's son Max was one of the many highlights of the story, creating opportunities for comic relief and sweet, tender moments. And, Tate comes from a big Irish extended family who were important here and hopefully in books to come. They enriched the story in substantive ways. Bring on the Murphys!
The bottom line I LOVED this book. Period. Finished it in one day. Everything worked...the romance, character development, mystery, suspense, emotional connection. The villains were frightening and cold blooded, creating excitement and wrecking my nerves.
The Murphys provide a fertile foundation for some very interesting stories to come. I was already happy with the Wellington brothers from the first book and am now thrilled at the prospect of future stories about Rogan, Declan and Kathleen. This series is now on my top ten list to finish or get up to date....more
When I started this book I was curious as to how the story would explain the title. It soon became clear how aptlOriginally posted oneThe Book Nympho
When I started this book I was curious as to how the story would explain the title. It soon became clear how aptly it was named as the two main characters' meeting was certainly serendipitous. Ava Martinez and Jordan Wellington were destined to connect in spite of their circumstances and the dramatic differences in their backgrounds.
She's a veterinarian and he's an assistant district attorney. She's from a fragmented, "colorful" family and he's from a close-knit, successful one. Ava's pretty tough and isn't afraid of the goons working for her uncle (she should be) and Jordan's got a strong sense of justice, even if it puts him in the crosshairs of some dangerous people.
There's lots of action and sexual tension as Ava tries to resist getting involved with Jordan for obvious reasons. He's tenacious though and I loved how he refused to back off. Their snappy dialogue and clever repartee is one of the many highlights. It's some of the best I've read in awhile. And, there's no lack of heat between these two.
Ava's failure to be upfront about her background almost derails their relationship but thankfully the story didn't go down a clichéd path or belabor the point. There was more of a romance balance than suspense but it was sufficient.
The bottom line Jordan's got quite a few brothers, too, and I'm looking forward to seeing them in future stories. This was a wonderful find and I'm glad I trusted my friend and read it. It's a well-written, fast-paced story with surprises and twists throughout. The retro looking cover is completely in keeping with the storyline. You'll just have to read it and find out for yourself. It'll be worth it. ...more
You think you know what's going on with Curran and then this gives you a different spin on some of the pivotal moments through Magic Strikes. I lovedYou think you know what's going on with Curran and then this gives you a different spin on some of the pivotal moments through Magic Strikes. I loved it. ...more
This final book in the trilogy focused on the two strongest witches in the group, Branna O"Dwyer and Finbar (Fin) Burke. It's also the final showdownThis final book in the trilogy focused on the two strongest witches in the group, Branna O"Dwyer and Finbar (Fin) Burke. It's also the final showdown between the group and Cabhan, the Dark Sorcerer.
I loved Fin & Branna, both individually and as a couple. They were both powerful witches, skilled in the art of their magic, and very passionate people. I also enjoyed the mythology in which the story was entrenched, especially the involvement of their counterparts from the past.
What was underwhelming was the story given these two to end Cabhan. Most of the book involved occasional clashes with Cabhan, a regroup of the six with Branna doing the cooking and Fin & Branna lamenting why they can't be together after they end the Dark Sorcerer. This was endlessly repeated.
What kept me in the story was the excellent narration, which was outstanding. The characters were likeable and the final encounter with Cabhan was pretty exciting. I liked this trilogy and the characters but just thought the final book would have been meatier. ...more
The set up Honor Holland hears her biological clock ticking and wants to have a child before it's too late for her to have one. Tom Barlow is a BritishThe set up Honor Holland hears her biological clock ticking and wants to have a child before it's too late for her to have one. Tom Barlow is a British professor who is facing deportation unless he can get his visa renewed. He needs to stay in the country to look after his "almost" stepson and his current employer's budget can't handle the cost of the renewal process. After meeting, the two of them agree that an arranged marriage will allow them both to get what they want.
The issues Honor has been in love with Brogan, her good friend with benefits, since high school but he's never going to see her as anything more. While she's committed to her arrangement with Tom, she regrets that she might never experience true love. Tom isn't excited about marrying someone who may still be in love with someone else as he's traveled that path before. While they're both attracted to each other, they're also leery about fully committing to each other for fear of being hurt beyond recovery.
Why I loved this story With any Higgins story, you're either going to really like the heroine or be turned off as there never seems to be middle ground. Fortunately, I found I could connect with the serious and competent Honor Holland who doesn't have anything really wrong with her but is so focused on running the operations of the family business (Blue Heron Vineyards) she doesn't have much of a personal life. She's no dummy but she's not real skilled on relationships, men or women. But, she's also not afraid to allow herself to be vulnerable, which led to some very heartbreaking moments along with the triumphs.
Tom is one of those heroes that you love one minute and the next you want to throttle. His devotion to a boy who was of no relation went beyond admirable and his affection for Honor kept me in the romance, flawed and shaky as it was. I hesitate to call them damaged as that sends the wrong message. They're just normal people faced with unusual circumstances and are trying to make the best of less than ideal circumstances.
And another thing... The surrounding characters (I just can't call them secondary because they are too important) were sometimes hysterical and vexing at others. No matter which, they kept the story lively and interesting. Brogan, however, will be a permanent resident in my anti harem...you'll just have to read the book and find out why.
The bottom line I thought this a wonderful story with the classic blend of romance, humor and heart wrench I've come to expect from Higgins. I really liked the first book but I loved this one. I couldn't put it down and didn't want it to end. There's a lot more going on but I'll leave that for others to discover.
Stolen Goods by Shannon K. Butcher Blacksmith Matthew Brighton wants to hire mercenary Simone Solange to help him retrieve a special hammer the FractoStolen Goods by Shannon K. Butcher Blacksmith Matthew Brighton wants to hire mercenary Simone Solange to help him retrieve a special hammer the Fractogasts are using to construct a portal. Once complete, the portal will allow more of these destructive creatures entry and it will be the beginning of the end for humanity. Simone is all business with her leathers and magical red boots. Matthew has his own skills as she learns when she accompanies him on the assignment.
This story revved up really quickly and the action was pretty exciting. In a few short pages, you got Simone's history and motivation, understanding she wasn't someone to mess with. Matthew's skills are in his craft with leathers and it's clear there's more to this man than Simone first gauged. And, there was just enough time to create a little bit of heat between them. Hopefully, there's more to come with this couple. ...more
Charlotte (Charlie) Stone is a psychiatrist who is studying serial killers at a prison when she is approached by FBI agent Tony Bartoli to assist on aCharlotte (Charlie) Stone is a psychiatrist who is studying serial killers at a prison when she is approached by FBI agent Tony Bartoli to assist on an murder/abduction case. It's almost identical to one she witnessed when she was 17-years old. Before leaving the prison, one of her study participants is shanked and dies while she attempts to save him. Unfortunately, his ghost decides to hang around.
The story begins so interestingly, with heightened tension around Charlie's horrific experience as a teenager and as a psychiatrist in the prison. It continues when she assists the FBI on their murder/abduction case. When the focus was on the investigation, it was hard to put down. But when the focus shifted to the ghost, the story became bogged down with the character's endless internal dialogue regarding her conflicted feelings. The details were endless and unnecessary, bringing the pace to a grinding halt.
I was intrigued by and drawn into the suspense of the story but it couldn't compensate for the ad nauseum details of Charlie's relationship with the ghost and associated musings. The climax was exciting but the overall story was too uneven for my taste. I did a LOT of skimming in the middle of the book. I may continue but only if I can find the audio versions. I'm also on the fence about the direction of the romance. 3.5 stars...more