First of all, Eloisa James use to be one of my favorite historical romance authors, and one that I am grateful to for turning me on to the genre. Abou...moreFirst of all, Eloisa James use to be one of my favorite historical romance authors, and one that I am grateful to for turning me on to the genre. About three years ago, there was one book that I just couldn’t get into. I don’t remember off-hand the name of the book, but likely, it was just me and the mood I was in the night I was trying to read it. It happens occasionally, but I’ve been more hesitant in buying her books again, until recently. She’s won me back over with the fairy tale themed books, and I can say in all honesty that I am eagerly awaiting The Duke is Mine, the next of those books. Not to mention that the beautiful cover is reminiscent of the Princess and the Pea, one of my favorite fairy tales.
I enjoyed Winning the Wallflower, and I do recommend it for a quick read, but I’m going to start with what I didn’t like so that I’m ending on a good note. (I like ending with the good, so much nicer, don’t you think?) To me, the entire first chapter and first paragraph of chapter two were unnecessary. Unless I’m reading a well-written and important Prologue I want the hero or heroine (or both) right away. Bad people and unapproving mothers can wait their turn. I don’t feel like there was anything in the first chapter that was necessary to the development or introduction to the story.
Now the good. The hero (Cyrus) and the heroine (Lucy) were very well written, entertaining, and you want things to work from the moment Lucy starts talking in chapter 2. I love strong, decisive, and blunt heroines in historical novels because they’re women, in my opinion, who are not the norm for the day. All of my favorite historical heroines have this trait and Lucy is added to that list. There were two things I enjoyed most about Cyrus: (1) The moment that he realizes he’s truly been a ‘pompous ass’, which is always an entertaining moment when a hero discovers how others perceive him (2) The moment he realizes that he wants Lucy, really wants Lucy, and decides to do something about it. He listens and he’s fast moving (part of which I’m attributing to the fact the story was a novella, he didn’t have the pages to not move fast).
If I was giving stars, I’d give Winning the Wallflower a 4 out of 5 based on the introduction. It was fun and witty, and a great quick read that won’t keep you up all night. Enjoy!(less)
A few years ago (sometime between 2007 and 2009), I ran across The Immortals Series in the library and although it took a while to hunt them all down...moreA few years ago (sometime between 2007 and 2009), I ran across The Immortals Series in the library and although it took a while to hunt them all down in both libraries and bookstores, I think I managed to read them all. This is when I was first introduced to Jennifer Ashley (aka Allyson James/ Ashley Gardner) and I immediately fell in love.
Bodyguard is book 2.5 in the Shifters Unbound series. I enjoyed both of the other books in the series so far, Pride Mates and Primal Bonds, but a lot has happened since March and I had initially forgot about the Shifters in Shiftertown until I actually started reading Bodyguard.
I don’t really have anything bad to say about this story, but if I had to nitpick I’d say it’s a little bit frustrating to have Ronan’s past “almost mating” brought up, but that isn’t talked out, a complication to the plot, or even referred to in thought at any further time in the story. Why was it mentioned if it wasn’t significant to his character or the development of the plot?
That said, I forgot about it while reading the story and it didn’t bother me until I started writing the review. I like how much action the story had and how complicated and strong of a character Elizabeth was throughout the story because of it. I also enjoyed the way that such a strong, multi-faceted hero was able to deal with the complications in his heroines’s past and how completely unpushy he was. You don’t see that often of males in paranormal and history romances — there is often a much greater inner conflict and overbearing attitude in such heroes, but Ronan seems to take everything in stride.
All of the characters in this series are well developed and that’s part of what makes the series so enjoying to read. I love getting small glimpses of characters and the excitement that follows waiting on more stories to delve further into their lives.
If you’re a fan of historical romances I highly recommend the Highland Pleasures Series featuring the Mackenzies, also by Jennifer Ashley.
Maybe I should make some star images to go on the new blog. 4 1/2 out of 5 stars!(less)
I’m blaming grad school for the insanity of my TBR (to be read) pile – well, list, since most of them are now on my nook. The latest of the Hurst Amul...moreI’m blaming grad school for the insanity of my TBR (to be read) pile – well, list, since most of them are now on my nook. The latest of the Hurst Amulet series by Karen Hawkins was published in October and I FINALLY received the chance to read it this weekend.
I’m a huge fan of Karen Hawkins, with both her historical and contemporary romances. In all honesty, I fall in love a little more with her writing with each new story that I read. I’ve been looking forward to this book since the end of the last Hurst Amulet story.
If my memory serves me correctly, and it’s quite possible that it’s not reliable in this instance – in the previous stories in the series, Robert is the do-gooder that excels at his job with the Home Office, the reliable brother that the rest of the family can count on. It was somewhat exciting at the end of the last novel to discover that the beautiful red-headed thief is non other than Robert Hurst’s errant wife.
I knew in that moment that the story between Robert and Moira would be a fun, exciting read, and Karen Hawkins did not dissapoint.
Robert and Moira are both very strong characters equally determined in their goals. And yet, they are also each other’s weakness – better yet – once their secrets are openly revealed to one another, they become each other’s strengths through mutual love, trust, and vengeance
4.5 out of 5 stars for A Most Dangerous Profession..(less)
First of all, I had a really tough time writing this review. I’m torn between the fact that I loved this book, and the fact that I was completely bore...moreFirst of all, I had a really tough time writing this review. I’m torn between the fact that I loved this book, and the fact that I was completely bored through the first four chapters. In fact, I only kept reading because I’m a big fan of Candace Camp’s books and I just kept thinking, this has got to get better, this book has got to pick up its pace. Thankfully, around the end of chapter four, things got better.
The pace at the beginning of the book is really the only bad thing, but it will be enough to turn some people off completely, especially if they’re not already fans. There seemed to be a lot of back story that wasn’t needed. In fact, except for maybe two pages, I felt as if I were reading notes on the characters rather than the actual story.
Things get better when Thea finds the baby in the manger and confronts Gabriel, the new lord in the area that does’t remember her from London ten years previously. The real personalities of the characters are brought to life and the story truly begins with the introduction of the baby, young Matthew, into the situation. The plot is filled with hope, betrayal, and love. It’s a heart-warming story worthy of a Christmas release. And the characters of Thea and Gabriel, are truly memorable.
A rating, with the story as is, would be a 3 out of 5. I can’t discount the monotony of the first four chapters, if I could, A Winter Scandal would receive a solid 4.5.(less)
Books that I've read more than once are difficult for me to review. Agnes and the Hitman is one of my all time favorite books. Ever. But I also just r...moreBooks that I've read more than once are difficult for me to review. Agnes and the Hitman is one of my all time favorite books. Ever. But I also just reread it, and that's the review rule for the new blog, so here goes.
The cover art of this book is what first grabbed my attention a few years ago at our public library when my husband was an RI (Ranger Instructor) in a small town in North Georgia.
I like the bullet holes and I like the chick with the glasses. It sort of felt like coming home in a book cover. Isn't it great?
The characters are both amazing and well developed. You love Shane even though he's a hitman. You love Agnes even though she's cranky, angry, and imperfectly perfect. The secondary characters are just as well written and you quickly feel yourself pulling up a chair to the table joining this quirky cast of characters.
Each character has their own set of troubles, and yet they are woven together beautifully creating an interesting, always entertaining, and exciting plot. I almost always read this book in one setting every time I pick it up.
Now, my favorite thing about the Crusie/Mayer writing duo is always the dialogue the easy flow of voice and the great "he said/she said" conversation that is some of the best I've ever read. These two make a great pair in writing adventurous comedic romance novels.
I am a big fan of the Christine Feehan's Carpathian series. All of her series are good and well written, but the first book I ever read from Feehan wa...moreI am a big fan of the Christine Feehan's Carpathian series. All of her series are good and well written, but the first book I ever read from Feehan was the Dark Prince several years ago, and the Carpathians will probably continue to be my favorite of her stories.
I enjoyed finally getting to read about Zacarias de la Cruz. The de la Cruz brothers were all well written and it was nice to see the eldest find his life mate. We've read a lot about Zacarias in previous books and I'm glad that his might and terror rang true in this book as well. I like that we see a more powerful and uncontrollable Carpathian in Zacarias as well, and that his confusion on his reedeemability through a life mate enhances those attributes that we don't often see in a Carpathian except against the vampires.
Marguarita was a great match for Zacarias despite the fact that she could no longer speak from the vampire attack that she had previously suffered. We read so much that the Carpathian males are the ones with the better instincts that it was very nice to see the turn of events with a human female being able to use her instincts to recognize in him what he could no longer be certain that he could recognize in her. That seems like turnabout phrasing, but I'm trying to avoid spoilers on the blog.
41/2 out of 5 stars! I highly recommend this for Carpathian fans.(less)
First off, I usually like Kristan Higgins, but I always feel like I'm missing something with just the heroine's POV. I am so excited that she decided...moreFirst off, I usually like Kristan Higgins, but I always feel like I'm missing something with just the heroine's POV. I am so excited that she decided to include the hero's POV in this book.
Liam is at times a stereotypical bad boy: he's got the motorcycle, the dark hair, the leather jacket, and the reputation to go along with it. But he's also the widower father of a fifteen year old girl. His past is no doubt whopping him on the head.
Posey is not the stereotypical love sick girl who was crushed. She let a defining moment in high school change her - in that she never really became someone else. She still wore the carharts, the flannels, and work boots - even with a dress on occasion. She didn't worry that she needed to be "girlified" even if she did, on occasion, make the attempt.
When Liam and his daughter return to town, Posey is thrown off - even more so because she was unaware of his wife's passing. Posey had considered his wife, if not a friend, a sweet girl that was nice to her, and she felt genuinely sad at the news. At the same time she remembered the unrequited love and harsh words that had scarred her youthly heart.
Liam has changed over the years becoming a great father. On the outside of all his OCD attributes, panic attacks, and over-protective-father-zealousness appear to come from the death of his beloved wife. And he had loved her, but we realize throughout the story that their marriage was anywhere but perfect.
A medicine induced confession that he'd almost been killed in a motorcycle accident, makes Posey realize that there's more to his behavior that just sadness over his wife. The confession, and an equally timed kiss start the romance into action.
A few things did bother me about the story though. Liam seems like a smart guy, but he has a horrible memory when it comes to people he went to school with and the girls he slept with. I've been out of school almost as long, but I'd still recognize faces, if not names. If his memory is a condition of the accident, there's no mention of the link. Instead, Liam often comments on the fact that he'd been totally enthralled with Emma at the time.
Posey on the other hand, seems cautious enough about their relationship, despite her feelings, but she doesn't ever have any real good stand up for herself moment. There seems to be a tight nit group of friends that she's surrounded herself with, but the other relationships are not well defined.
Overall, it was a good read. Funny and poignant. I enjoyed the hero's point of view, even if I think there could have been a little more at times.(less)
There aren't a whole lot of authors that write on the spicier side of romance that I like all that much. Jackie Barbosa is a rare exception for me. Sh...moreThere aren't a whole lot of authors that write on the spicier side of romance that I like all that much. Jackie Barbosa is a rare exception for me. She takes the time to develop her characters, her plot, and overall adding a depth to the story that's more than just sex.
I read the teaser to The Lesson Plan at the end of another e-book a few months ago, and I've been waiting its release and the chance to read it ever since.
I love the characters of Freddie (Winifred) and Con (Conrad). I like that Freddie remains the same strong woman throughout the story and I like the fact that their sexual interactions show a more complete picture of them as individuals and lovers helping complete their characters. To me, that is what makes a great romance no matter the spice level or the length.
Without revealing any spoilers, I can also appreciate Con's inner battle in regards to his relationship with Freddie as both a historical male and as part of his conservative nature.
The Lesson Plan was a great read and I highly recommend it if you like spicier reads 4.5 out of 5 stars! I can't wait to read more Jackie Barbosa.(less)
The story was good, but I felt like it was missing what I love most about Jackie Barbosa's novellas...an understanding of the characters beyond their...moreThe story was good, but I felt like it was missing what I love most about Jackie Barbosa's novellas...an understanding of the characters beyond their sexual preferences. In the novella before this, there was a greater understanding of who the characters were and why they made theur decisions. I felt like I was missing something important, and didn't enjoy the stort as much.(less)