Liam is cursed by the past while Anna is privileged and free. When the two come together again on the timeless island of Dòchas, it seems as if they’d never been apart. With a love as strong as theirs, it’s no wonder the Otherworlders not only sit up and take notice, but decide to place a wager on the strength of their love.
Liam McGregor is quite the fascinating character. Convinced from birth that he’s harboring a demon within him, he strives to keep his head above water and simply survive. However, despite the hatred and bigotry from the community surrounding him, he immerses himself in the beauty of the written word and the world of art. What I found most impressive was that, even though Liam only had the use of one arm, he still managed to paint, draw, and hold down a job. Even when everyone around him swears he’s evil incarnate, he doesn’t let it get him down. He just accepts it – for better or for worse – and continues to do what he needs to survive.
Anna Leighton, on the other hand, starts out as just another spoiled rich girl slumming it at her parent’s ancestral home on the island. However, her character probably has the most growth over the course of the novel. She evolves from a rather self-centered and self-absorbed teen and becomes a selfless, loving woman. There were moments where I didn’t like Anna very much, but she always managed to redeem herself later.
Ashes on the Waves is a beautiful and haunting retelling of one of my favorite Poe poems, “Annabel Lee”. The author did an amazing job translating the darkness and strength of the narrator’s love for Annabel Lee into a gripping novel. Although the ending left me feeling a bit cheated, every page leading up to that point was pure enjoyment. A very enjoyable, if heartbreaking novel, Ashes on the Waves was nothing like I’d expected, but everything I had hoped it could be.
Vivian’s innocent compassion set her up as an object of gossip and possible ruin before she was really old enough to realize she had done something that Regency rules deemed taboo. She tells herself she will act just the way she should and not cause her brother anymore grief, but her delightful, high-spirited ways keep her life teetering on the edge of social disaster most of the time.
She was only a child when she was betrothed, but is determined to be the perfect lady when her intended, the duke, comes. The threat of the village gossip, Mrs. Honeywell and her brother’s threat of sending her to a nunnery loom, but her curiosity and exuberance for life keep her in trouble most of the time.
Lucas (Luke) Forest, the Twelfth Duke of Foxhaven, does not want the responsibilities of a duke nor does he want the young woman his father betrothed him to years ago. However, her brother insists the agreement be honored. He writes that his nineteen-year-old sister is obedient, docile and domesticated. Luke gets a jolt when he learns his affianced swims like a water sprite in only her chemise, rides horseback astride, skips stones on water, shots a pistol quite well, is inclined to act before she thinks, and freely expresses opinions that seem to “sprout up like dandelions”.
Luke’s near-fatal accident in his youth changed his world. He is shamed by some of his disabilities but knows he should not have dumped ducal responsibilities on his brother Richard like he did. How he sets things to right after he takes Vivian to his mother’s house party at Irvine Castle reveals much about his character. Even more revealing is his emotional struggle when his plan to help Vivian find a husband so he will not have to marry her. This proves to be an insurmountable problem for him—nobody is good enough for her.
As the secondary characters grow in number so do Vivian’s problems. What she wants with all her heart is Luke but her compassion makes her consider the shame she would bring to his family should her ‘indiscretion’ ever come to light.
Samanatha Grace keeps the reader turning pages as she creates near-disasters with Vivian’s actions. She adds to the tension with characters like Mr. Collier that is a villain of the first order. Also, Johanna Truax, a cousin of Luke’s mother, adds an undercurrent of treachery that makes the reader want to shout ‘watch out’ to Luke and Vivian.
Ms. Grace uses an uncomplicated plot and slips in the sense of love in Luke’s family that is unconditional along with side stories about Luke’s brother Andrew and his adorable family; of Vivian’s Cousin Patrice and Vicar Ramsey; her brother Ash and his harridan of a wife Muriel. She also works in tidbits of Vivian and Luke’s past. Best of all she lets the reader share poignant moments, humorous moments, scary moments, and breathtaking lovemaking moments with Vivian and Luke.
Lady Vivian Defies a Duke has just the right ingredients blended together to give a marvelous vicarious experience that makes the reader gives a happy sigh that love wins again. Most enjoyable reading!
What a journey! From the birth of Markus — already marked with special powers– there is tension present in this book. Although his older brother tries to counteract the influence of their father, more and more Markus turns hard–killing for the pleasure of killing and no longer merely to provide food.
Eventually, his behavior leads to the fruition of a curse promised at his birth–and the death of his family. Now, he has to find a way to reverse it before his brother dies.
The author has done a great job creating this world where the families of the village depend on hunters for their survival–and shows the fine line that exists between the necessary killing for survival and killing for the sport of killing. Other issues she touches on are child abuse and the need to take care of the environment.
Her primary accomplishment, though, is the creating of characters that leap of the page and come to life. All of them, even the secondary characters, are fully drawn and three dimensional. The reader cares about the characters and what happens to them. And, since this is just the first book of the series, leaves the reader anxious to find out what will happen next.
Originally posted at: http://www.longandshortreviews.com/bo... This book is not for the faint of heart or those sensitive to blood, gore, and general nOriginally posted at: http://www.longandshortreviews.com/bo... This book is not for the faint of heart or those sensitive to blood, gore, and general not-nice-activities–but, if you are you probably wouldn’t pick up a book about demons anyway, because–let’s face it– demons, by their very nature– are evil. And, evil beings do things that are— well— evil. Which leads to the conflicts in this book.
Andel is in the same position Satan was in before the fall–he wants to take Satan out and be worshipped himself. Joanna and her family come from a long line of angel warriors who stand against the evil–however, it takes them a while to find out about this because there was a family schism. There’s also a hidden connection between Joanna and Andel that complicates issues.
I can see Halo of the Damned as a movie. It’s fast paced, there are a lot of characters, and Ms. Rae doesn’t let you catch your breath from start to finish.
The main issue with the book, though, is it could have used an editor’s hand. Ms. Rae is very fond of using words instead of said in tag lines–so much that it took away from the story for me. For example, on one page –out of five paragraphs–the tag lines were “demanded Joanna”; “Harriet announced”; “Kim yelled”; and “warned Harriet”. There were also incidents where the author told the reader what the characters were feeling, instead of showing us–again, taking this reader out of the action of the book. I only mention these because if they took me out of the book’s action, I’m afraid they would other readers as well.
However, if technical issues like that don’t bother your reading, the storyline itself is very well done. Like I said before, reading this book was like watching a fast-paced horror movie… and, in the end, there’s an awful lot to be said for that. A good story is a good story—and Ms. Rae is (pardon the pun) one hell of a good storyteller....more
Moving on from a first love is difficult. For some, it’s impossible.
Nick Spencer should be on top of the world. He has all the success he could ever want, but there’s something missing. After a failed marriage to a woman all wrong for him, he’s looking for happiness and hopes to find it in an old love.
Jennie Mayfair has also had her share of troubles. Married to a man who did little but verbally beat her down, she’s struggled to put her life back together after her divorce. Her budding design business has helped build her confidence, but she’s yet to dip her toe back into the dating pool. Enter Madame Eve and her 1Night Stand service.
This story has so many positives. Nick is a great guy who carries his heartbreak on his sleeve. He seems determined to win Jennie’s heart, no matter what it takes. Jennie, meanwhile, is trying desperately to protect her heart, promising herself she was not going to allow herself to love again. To watch these two previous lovers rekindling their past was such fun. The heat between them was irresistible, and as they unleashed their passion, there was no doubt they would have a future.
Infused in the book was a little action as well. While brief, it gave the story an unexpected twist and helped progress the story. I did question whether Nick knew Jennie’s ex, and how long they’d known each other, but in the end it didn’t really matter.
One glaring omission that kept me from scoring this a 5. Both Nick and Jennie speak of their past, and each looks back at their missed years regretfully, but the reason for their split isn’t mentioned. Why did they break up and marry other people? Why were they involved enough to engage in oral sex, but the relationship was never consummated? I was anxiously awaiting the reveal, but it never came, and I’d still love to know.
Despite the missing piece, the story was very well done. Nick and Jennie are a great couple and the happily ever after was rewarding, as always. 1Night Stands are always a pleasure, and this one is no exception....more
When Ivy escapes the clutches of the rogue werewolves she must find a way to get her life back. Chet is the last thing that she expects. When he finds Ivy, Chet doesn’t think his bachelor days were over. The two are thrown into a world of lust and love that neither one wants to escape but the rogue werewolves refuse to give up their prize and Ivy cannot forget those that she left behind. Can they find a way to balance it all or will it be too much for Ivy and Chet to handle?
I loved Ivy and Chet; they make a wonderful couple. Ivy is a strong woman and is more than willing to stand up for herself and those that she cares for. Chet is an honorable man who loves with all his heart. Alone they both are stand strong but together they are a force to be reckoned with. Watching their bond grow stronger was a great read. Their love shines through in everything and no matter what happens they each must find a way to rely on each other.
Along with love, friendship plays a big part in this story. Not only does the main romance shine through but the pack loyalty and friendship glows. I enjoyed seeing everyone join together and help those that need it as well as the easy camaraderie between the werewolves. The men have a great relationship and Ivy soon joins in to that friendship and loyalty. I loved meeting both Ivy’s friends and the werewolves that came to their rescue.
Treeland Pack Tales 3: A Trace of Ivy is full of great characters and emotions that not only make it a wonderful installment to this series but also have this reader eagerly awaiting the next book....more
Are gut instincts always trustworthy? Is it better to listen to them and take a chance at being wrong or ignore them and risk something you won’t realize you’ve surrendered until it’s gone?
Dick honestly believes he’s an objective reporter and all-around nice guy but the truth behind these assumptions is about to be sorely tested. As I read this book I changed my mind about this guy several times. In the beginning I admired his personality and character but as his social prejudices began to emerge I wondered how someone so intelligent and well-educated could know virtually nothing about other cultures in his own country. To be fair to him, though, Dick’s lack of knowledge is due to what I can only assume was a lack of opportunity to befriend people from rural backgrounds rather than a conscious attempt to ignore them.
I was never sure why Dick would travel to such a remote location without bringing along a cell phone. While reception can be spotty in rural locations wouldn’t it be better to bring the phone along and have a chance of contacting the outside world than to leave it at home and hope for the best? Mr. Janz’s stereotypical characterization of certain groups was also disappointing. The tropes he relied up to build tension in the plot are so well-known in the horror genre that I half-expected him to surprise the audience by subverting them. When that didn’t happen it was difficult for me to maintain interest in those characters.
Mr. Janz definitely knows how to tease an audience. While in retrospect there were several well-placed clues in the first few scenes I genuinely expected this story to produce a different ending than the one we were given. It was deliciously easy to misinterpret what was actually happening and while I would have strongly preferred to see less stereotypical treatment of certain characters the author maintained a consistently frightening atmosphere from the beginning to the end of this tale. By the final scene I had to remind myself to keep breathing as I uncovered the final mystery.
The Clearing of Travis Coble is gut-wrenching, politically incorrect horror. It’s a good choice for readers in the mood for a truly frightening story that works best when taken at face value....more
Time travel has always fascinated me. While it sounds totally fascinating and like it could be fun, I would view it with great trepidation if it were available. “Safe” is not word that is synonymous with time travel.
Gavin is seventeen years old before he even realizes why photography appeals to him so much. And his first photo travel on his own almost got him killed…
Mr. Gonzales does a nice job of creating a different world where photo travelers are scarce but still surviving. His main character, Gavin, has been living with an abusive stepfather and has no living relatives to his knowledge. When, in the heat of battle, he hears about his grandparents, he’s off to find them. This is the story of Gavin learning about his heritage and about the real circumstances of his parent’s “death”. Gavin is coming of age, but still has a lot to learn.
The author draws you in and makes you care about Gavin. I found myself sympathizing when he made mistakes. One thing I liked was that the author shows how little changes in the past can cause consequences in the future. Mr. Gonzales has created a large consequence for Gavin that totally surprised me, but makes perfect sense.
While Gavin is just trying to survive with his new knowledge, he finds he has enemies trying to kill him. How do you decide who your enemy is when you don’t know anyone where you live? There’s good tension from the worry of who might be after him. And I was even shocked over the death of one of the characters,
It reads well, kept my attention, and I enjoyed the story though sections of it made me feel sad. This would be good for both young adults and adults. The story ends with a cliff hanger and I’ll be watching for the next book in the series to read more. Have you ever imagined time travel? How about looking at a photo and being able to transfer yourself to that time and place? Open this book and you’ll be on your way....more
Best friends for life – but what if one begins to have romantic feelings for the other? And what if both of these two happen to be men who’ve never shown any signs of being gay?
Rex is a backcountry ranger who spends weeks at a time away from home. Because of his job, and close friendship to his friend Paul, a firefighter who also spends a good deal of time out of the house, the two share a condo, figuring neither needed anything more. They had been friends for years, sharing many things – including double dates. But lately, Rex’s feelings for his old friend have become more. He has a crush on Paul, and contacts Madame Eve to set up his dream date. Unbeknownst to Rex, Paul shares this hidden desire, and also signs up for a 1Night Stand.
I enjoyed reading the tale of how Rex and Paul, who we met previously in Two Men and a Virgin, originally became romantic. Neither having participating in a gay relationship prior, it was interesting to watch them figure out the mechanics of it. I think there are normal questions people have – how does it work? What do we do? The author does a good job of handling a delicate subject with tenderness and understanding, and even a bit of humor.
The only negative I’d really have is there is not much written to distinguish the two characters from each other, so it is difficult to tell them apart. In a typical male/female story, pronouns are easy and there’s no confusion. In male/male stories, it’s helpful to have a way to determine who’s who without much thinking. Mannerisms, dialogue, etc. can help differentiate each character, but in this story, both men are very similar. That helps with the friendship and attraction, but made me think a bit more while reading, to keep them apart.
The book ends abruptly, and I would have enjoyed a conversation between Rex and Paul as resolution, but both seemed to be on the same page. The love the two felt for each other came through, and this was ultimately a tale of discovery and exploration. If you’re looking for a story of first time gay love, this may be one to look into....more
It was not love…it was lust…fueled by too much champagne.
Obsession is a fitting title that expresses obsession from two characters in the book. One is a vampire tale of passion. The second is a tale of a lovers revenge. Lucien St. Clair, a mysterious blue eyed, blond mane of thick hair, lacked feelings of stimulation and sensation for over 300 years, that is until songstress Blanche Paradis becomes the object of his desire. Blanche refuses Lucien’s advances being that she is committed to her involvement with Bart Donovan. One night this commitment is tested. Bart is away on business and isn’t able to attend Blanche’s performance, but her admirer Lucien is there and feeling confident that tonight will be the night that Blanche will choose him.
While on stage in song Blanche finds herself caught in Lucien’s avid gaze and feels her heated desires rise. Something about Lucien’s persistence and obvious desire flatters and arouse Blanche’s curiosity. The events that night leave Blanche satisfied but full of guilt and shame. When Bart returns she begs for his forgiveness after she confesses to him her discretion. As with all love triangles they can get complicated and when dealing with a vampire someone is likely to get bit. Lucien isn’t one to give up and makes Blanche “like him” in hopes that she will come to him willingly. This obsession that Lucien has for his Cherie (Blanche) fuels and starts the obsession for Blanche to seek solace in the vengeance she has for Lucien.
I am not sure if the author is playing a cruel joke, but I found myself cheering for Lucien to win Blanche’s heart over. I felt the passion and the attraction and was pushing Blanche on to do the same. I feel in love with Lucien’s distinctive qualities and his swag. The passion between the two was so real and so much more than what she shared with Bart. What really made me enjoy this novella is the 1850 setting in New Orleans, the strong attraction and desire that Lucien has for Blanche but he wasn’t over barring in his confidence to where he was conceded and a turn off. I enjoyed the thrill of Blanche being torn between Bart and Lucien. Her fighting the passion and lust that was obviously there. I think the author did a great job in incorporating a few French lines which really added to the context.
I would highly recommend reading Obsession by Paige Bennett. It’s a short magnifque read of one man’s desire and passion for a woman who is already spoken for....more
When a tragedy strikes, some people make a decision that could change everything. Frankie Byrne has made one such decision. While the world is still reeling from the events that changed things on that fateful day in September 2001, Frankie wants nothing more than to fight for what she believes in, even if that means leaving her family.
I have to applaud this character for taking a stand, for fulfilling a voluntary duty that changes her life forever. Fighting in a war is a scary, yet honorable thing to do for our country. It’s brave people like her that we must thank everyday. Yes, Frankie is a fictional character, of course, but her situation is most definitely not.
What happens after one comes back from the war is constant struggle, a battle, but this time, it’s a battle within themselves. This woman’s family has learned to be without her as she was far on the other side of the planet, doing things that we can’t even imagine. What is her place here now?
When She Came Home is one woman’s struggle to cope with every day life, and with the demons that she tries to hold at bay. She can’t keep it together anymore, and her family is struggling right along with her. This story is compelling, emotional and very realistic. I hurt for Frankie and her family, as they have to lean to pit the pieces together to be a family. It’s not just Frankie that has to overcome things, but her daughter, her husband, and her family. The plot pulled me in, and I was rooting for the family the entire time, that they could learn hope to cope with the reality of the situation, come together to find peace, love, and forgiving.
I recommend this book because it’s so true to today’s world. It’s moving, and the story tugged on my heartstrings and made me cry a few times. Why not get yourself a copy?...more
Two strangers converse in the dark as they retreat from the “Ballroom Battlefield” for a respite. They kiss for luck. His kiss speaks of kindness, hers of wonder and courage. Nicolas Haddonfield, Viscount Reston and Leah Lindsey connect as fellow sufferers. He deems her a damsel in distress and sets in motion actions to ease her seemingly hopeless plight. Thus begins an ardently giving, loving love story that is brimming over with lifelike characters. Nicholas is a Regency romance lover’s dream come true.
Nicholas, a gorgeous, gentle giant of a man has been no better than he had to be as he sowed his wild oats, but now feels duty bound to put his “wild and free” years behind him and marry as his ailing father wishes. He loves the ladies and is whispered about as “the berserker of the bedrooms”. He deals amiably with his public image, but his private person is another story all together—intriguing and compelling. Unknowingly, he operates from a false premise, but with the best of intentions as he seeks a wife for a “white marriage”. My goodness, what a tangled web he gets himself into with Leah somehow getting tangled in the same web. This makes for amazing reading.
Leah is a “staked goat” in London’s Polite Society marriage market as she is long past her prime. Even though her brothers, Darius and Trenton, help her as much as they can, her cruel father is determined to make a profit off her marriage and is in negotiations with an odious, diseased old man who has had several wives, all of them now dead. Leah’s has suffered much from her father all ready and knows she will lose all hope and what little self worth she has if she has to marry the old man; but she is penniless and defenseless—at the mercy of her merciless father.
The captivating secondary characters, some of whom the reader will recognize from Darius and the fabulous Moreland Series, influence the main characters and support while giving the reader insight into the ‘doings’ of the times. Valentine Windham’s music speaks to Nicholas as he struggles to do the ‘right’ thing and keep a balance in his life. Valentine’s declaration that “it would destroy you not to marry for love” sets Nicholas on edge. Nicholas’ grandmother, Della, Dowager Marchioness, loves him dearly but is not above manipulation and machinations to nudge her grandson in the direction she sees his true happiness lays. She is a darling who does much to reconnect Nicolas with his family and especially with Ethan, his half-brother, that has a unique place his Nicholas’ heart. Leonie is a mystery that unfolds as the story progresses. She and Leah’s little half-brother add a new layer of love to the story.
Grace Burrowes exquisite writing style with its subtle humor (I love the scrappy little duck in the park) and revealing metaphors brings vibrant characters into a compelling plot with many subplots to create a love story that is breathtaking and heartwarming. Much of the story is told from Nicholas’ point of view and reveals an awesome giving love from both the hero and heroine. Nicholas is chocked full of special spots of love and actions that give the reader a vicarious experience long to be remembered. Nicholas is a keeper to be enjoyed more than once....more
Eleven year old Tyranna Wolfskin was used to being different. Among all the orphans at Lipkos Monastery, she was the only female. She was always pushed into activities like mending clothes or working in the kitchen when she would much rather be studying or learning about the forest. But if she thought she was different just because she was a girl, she would soon discover a much greater difference as she came to learn about the non-human species she had never known existed. These “retics” were as different from each other as they were from humans, but they had a common goal of surviving against the human “retic” hunters.
This story revolves around the theme of difference and how those differences are treated. T. J. Lantz’ story is very loosely set in Europe during the time of the Spanish Inquisition. While Lantz has the Coalition of the Burning Heart searching out non-humans or half-humans, the message is the same as it was in the Inquisition. Differences will not be tolerated and those who are different must be destroyed. In order to save themselves, the “retics” have built a hidden sanctuary governed by the Counsel of Rosehaven. The “retics” must learn to put aside their own personal differences and work together for the survival of all.
I like the way Lantz tells the story from multiple perspectives. We begin with Tyranna, who discovers she is half human and half elf, and then we are introduced to Jaxon, a demon/human half-breed. One of the problems with the “retics” is that they too have difficulties with differences and they also don’t like half-breeds. So for Tyranna and Jaxon the challenges become immense.
Tyranna is forced to learn about the world of the retics very abruptly and cruelly. Nevertheless, she doesn’t lose her smile and her enthusiasm for learning. She is also a very kind person, able to see the true nature of others, and in this way, her gentleness and her determination, her skills and her wisdom, enable her to make friends with a variety of personalities in a way that has her friends working together even when they had begun as enemies. Her vision for herself and her world is one which sees past any individual differences and instead focuses on what individuals have in common.
Lantz does an excellent job of portraying the many different species in his world. Each character is well developed with a clear and unique voice. Lantz alternates between Tyranna’s story and Jaxon’s, but the switches are easy to keep up with and by the end Lantz has brought them as well as a smaller third thread into a cohesive ending for this first novel in his series.
I really enjoyed this novel and I feel that Lantz tells a compelling and riveting story about how differences are handled. I can recommend it for any reader of fantasy, adult or young adult. I can’t wait for the next book in this series....more
Being born fully grown and eighteen years old would be a shock to anyone. Being born as quadruplets just as their mother died was heart-breaking and yet the girls, Anila, Terra, Aydan, and Yara, knew they had been brought into the world of Rare Root for one purpose and that was to destroy the evil known as the Rot. Finding that their first task was to bury their mother and then all the villagers in a neighboring town meant that they had no time to discover who they were. They had to hit the deck running and learn as they went.
Alyce Lewis has crafted an excellent story filled with diverse and well-defined characters. The plot moves along swiftly as the girls discover their elemental powers and grow into their fullness as Sprites. It is captivating to see them mature as they train. While they were born with fully functional young adult bodies, their emotional age seemed far younger at the beginning. Lewis does an excellent job of showing how each of the four Sprites masters her own element, fire, air, water, or earth, and learns to wield appropriate weapons in the fight against the Rot, while at the same time, maturing into a fully functional adult. The quadruplets are definitely individuals and their different voices and personalities are clearly shown and developed.
The Sprites are also forced to learn about the nature of love and friendship. They make mistakes, and they have to learn to see themselves as individuals, but ultimately they mature into a strong team with the ability to work together. They discover that while each of them is powerful in her own right, together they make a team which has a power beyond the linking of their individual gifts.
The book was most enjoyable even though the plot was a bit predictable. While there were no major surprises, Lewis keeps her readers engaged. I did feel that the love scenes between King Luster and Lady Harte were more sensual than sweet. For this reason, I rated the book for 14+ even though most of the book would be fine for younger readers. I also felt that this added sensuality felt jarring and out-of-place, given the tone of the rest of the novel.
The interactions between different species was handled with great sensitivity and clarity. It was easy to see the scenes between sirens and fairies, for instance, and the descriptions of the world of Rare Root were vivid and colorful. Rare Root is a consistent,well-crafted. believable world.
This is the first in a series and I am looking forward to reading the next in the series about the adventures in Rare Root and the battle between Light and Dark....more
Magical! And Hot! And Sweet! Sol and the Magic Fingers had me enraptured from page one. Like with many good short stories, it would have been fabulous to know more. It would have been great to delve more into the characters and especially into the history of the genie, but Sol and the Magic Fingers is also perfect the way it is.
In little less than 30 pages, the author provides a quick short romance and erotic fix that didn’t leave me hanging in any way. The story flows easily, from a captivating beginning to a romantic and sizzling middle to a magical end. There were moments where I was squirming in my seat and moments were my heart was breaking for the characters. Characters that were well built for such a short space. Karen is easily identifiable with through her insecurities and loneliness whilst Sol is plain dreamy.
Well written, the sizzling sexual scenes play a major role in this erotic romance and they alter from scorching (loved the shower scene) to sweet.
Overall, Ms. Doris O’ Connor’s short story is an enjoyable read for any given moment of the day. I was only left with one question: where can I find one of those e-readers?...more
Sam Enderson is a human private investigator who just inherited his Uncle’s building and detective agency. He’s new to the whole detective game and is determined to only help humans, but his first client is a witch who curses him for not wanting to help paranormals. I liked Sam from the beginning; he was enthusiastic and super excited to be a detective and I was swept up in that excitement. I enjoyed watching him be drawn into the paranormal world despite his objections.
Then comes Bob, the vampire, whose name alone made me chuckle. How can anyone named Bob be a big bad scary vampire? Bob rents a room from Sam and their chemistry is off the charts.
This is a new spin on the world. The idea that humans and paranormals exist in the same world, yet live separately is very intriguing. It had that gritty feel of an old detective novel with some sexy scene thrown in.
There were some phrases that made it obvious this book was set in England that as an American it took me a few moments to figure out what they meant, but that is a plus to the story. The slang enriched the story.
This is a new series and it left off with plot points unresolved and with the feeling that next book will take up immediately following this one. I’m looking forward to reading the next book and with the cliffhanger that it left off on; I’m hoping that the next one is out soon. I recommend this book for the gritty storyline, the sexy men and the imaginative world the authors have created.
Daughter of the Earth and Sky is absolutely captivating!
I jumped at the chance to read Daughter of the Earth and Sky, the second book in Ms. Bevis’ Daughters of Zeus series. I loved the first book, Persephone, and I couldn’t wait to read more about Persephone and her adventures. Ms. Bevis completely blew me away with this latest offering. This book picks up not long after the events in the first book ended, so anyone wanting to enjoy this story should read Persephone first in order have a complete understanding of Persephone’s situation.
When Persephone found out that she was a goddess, her world was turned upside down. Now that the initial shock has worn off, Persephone is discovering that her status as a goddess changes every facet of her life, particularly her relationships. Persephone’s journey is very touching and I felt every growing pain she endured as I read. My heart ached as she and her best friend Melissa fought. I wiped away tears and she struggled to trust her mother, and I felt Persephone’s frustration as she tried to make Hades see a secret she was unfortunately bound to keep. The emotional rollercoaster was exhausting at times, but I’m so glad I was able to take that journey with Persephone. She is certainly a stronger young woman at the end of this book, and even though the dynamics of her relationships have changed, the bonds between Persephone and her friends and family are stronger than ever.
Persephone suffers a great deal physically and emotionally in this book, and yet she remains one of the toughest young adult heroines I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. Even though Persephone hasn’t grown into her full powers, she is never content to sit on the sidelines. She does everything she can to fight against Thanatos and Zeus. Even though Persephone is a goddess, she is far from perfect. She makes good and bad choices, especially where Aphrodite and the human boy, Joel are concerned. Her mistakes serve to make her an even more relatable and well rounded character.
I must say that Hades makes an interesting hero. In other paranormal or fantasy books, I’ve run across heroes that are supposed to be “dark,” but more often than not these heroes are not very scary. However, Hades really does have a dark side that is truly frightening. When I stop and think about some of the things he’s done to punish people who have hurt Persephone, I am chilled to the core. As dark as Hades seems, he is not a bad person and he loves Persephone very much. I really enjoy watching them grow as a couple.
I thought I had things figured out as I approached the end of Daughter of the Earth and Sky. However, Ms. Bevis threw in a twist that completely floored me. I knew something wasn’t quite right concerning a certain character, but I was definitely not prepared for the way the story ended. The conclusion of Daughter of the Earth and Sky is a cliff hanger. As soon as I finished reading, I literally jumped up and ran to my computer so I could find out when the next book will be out. I can’t wait to find out what happens next!
Daughter of the Earth and Sky is one of the best books I’ve read. Long after I finished reading, I continued to think about Persephone and wonder what sorts of challenges she will face in the future. I highly recommend Daughter of the Earth and Sky to anyone looking for a young adult tale of love and friendship....more
What an excellent start to a brand new contemporary series from Shelli Stevens. This red hot series is set on an island in the Puget Sound area. The players are a sinfully sexy family of transplanted Scots. I’ll take a hot Scot any way I can get them- gotta love a guy in a kilt- and this story played out well for me, keeping me on the edge and raptly attentive. No wandering interest on this one. No time for that… with all those wonderful characters and a big old secret just waiting to be let out. And blow up it did and I was glued to the pages for every minute of it.
Sarah came back to the island to tie up some family business. The last thing she needed was to run into her first love, bad boy Ian McLaughlin. He was her high school flame and her biggest temptation. She was a good girl who lost her heart to a bad boy. You know that old story. Then Ian broke her heart when he betrayed her just like her dad predicted. Sarah took off to Japan with the Navy family and hasn’t been back to the island since. A bad marriage behind her, she doesn’t want to get involved with Ian again.
I found out fast why Ian was the bad boy of the McLaughlin family. He really was… bad temper and bad habits for sure. He was into Sarah big time and wanted to be better for her. But alas, like the rebel he was, the boy broke her heart. Yeah, you can guess what he did. It was a nasty scene and it tore them apart. Ian did some hard time before he got his act together but now he’s in a good place. So now Sarah is back and he can’t help but act like a jerk. He’s still hurting and he gets pretty nasty with her. Can you see where this is leading ? It was some heady stuff indeed and I loved all that angst.
Sarah was a great heroine. I loved her to death ! She was vulnerable from having her life shattered by the men in her life. But she was strong, taking the crap that a pouting Ian dished out. She sucked it up cause she wanted to get out quick. Got a guess as to why ? Oh, she’s got a secret all right. It’s a big one just waiting to get out. Of course, it gets out and things get real emotional. Ian gets even angrier and so did I. I wanted to kick his butt for being so mean.
The story had an extensive cast of wonderful characters to build this series. A bunch of sexy brothers and a secretive minx of a sister. Emily, Sarah’s little girl, was a lovely addition to the story and she really brightened it up. This story is completely character driven. They made the story engaging, made me want to know their secrets (they have a lot of them I’m thinking) and find out what was going on with them. An angry hero … a vulnerable heroine… and a past that comes between them. I got fighting mad at Ian but the guilt he felt when he learned about everything his woman went through from her douche bag ex… my heart just melted. I got that he felt it was all on him. You know… cause he drove her away and all. Another surprise and a big reveal as to the instigator behind the scenes.
That was good for a couple more surprises that cleared up some mistakes and revealed even more secrets. It also opened the door for another book. Could it be ? Can this series really get more intriguing ? Why yes, I do believe it will.
I loved this story and am already sold on the series. I can’t wait to read more. This one was engaging and chock full of angst. Lost love … that’s some good stuff. Everything flowed just right with things happening at a credible pace. This couple did not go after each other right away… not romantically any way. They were mad as hell and weren’t shy about letting it show. The characters were incredibly likeable. I completely fell for Ian and totally admired Sarah for standing up to him. The plot was interesting from beginning to end. The only flaw that I saw was that the writer didn’t go anywhere with regards to Ian’s old pal, the crook. I felt that she was going somewhere but it never happened. It wasn’t that big of a loss… but it could have brought some suspense to the whole story. It kinda looked like she started to take that road and then changed her mind. How’s this for descriptive talent ? When Ian calls Sarah doll and he says shite…. I was imagining that sexy Scottish accent. That’s some kinda talent....more
While, perhaps not romantic suspense in the current sense of the word, With Murderous Intent is a softer, sweeter version of the genre.
Caitlin leaves her home and country in an attempt to stay safe from a crazy ex-boyfriend, but she trades that danger for others. Much of this book reads like an Australian tour guide. We learn about flora, fauna and how to stay safe in the bush. It’s important to the tale, and quite interesting, especially to someone like me who’s never been.
Caitlin isn’t stupid, thankfully. And while she’s attracted to her new boss, Jake, she also recognizes that he’s nearly engaged. I do wish the author had made Jake’s girlfriend a bit more viable as a potential rival. It reminded me of “The Sound of Music”: the sweet nanny who adores the children versus the wealthy, gorgeous woman who can’t wait to put them in boarding school.
Still, the story has teeth and the plot was engaging enough to keep me reading. I think fewer words could have been used to tell the story and make things move along a bit more quickly. The end was heart-stopping, though, and the love story sweet.
If you don’t need non-stop action in your romantic suspense, and enjoy a touching romance, then this book might be for you....more
The witching hour is a seriously sexy time of the day when Nicodemus Frost is on the hunt!
Esmerelda Payne is basically a good witch, but things haven’t gone so well for her and now, after a roll of serious misdemeanours she’s on the run. Trouble is, one seriously sexy Witchfinder, Nicodemus Frost, is after her in more ways than one.
Of course spells abound, one in particular that makes Esme ravished with lust for Nicodemus, trouble is, the spell works in a mutal way, making him as drawn to her as she is to him. He’s supposed to kill her, instead he wants to get inside her, and it seems, she isn’t going to be complaining about that.
This story ticks along in a magical way, there’s lot of information to take on board about this fantasy world but once you’ve got that you can get to know the characters. Esme wasn’t as likeable at the beginning as I usually would expect in an erotic romance, but it’s nice to have something a little different for a change, though I have to say I thought Nicodemus was hot – and that name, I swear, I’m giving it to my first born, love it!
The tension and sexual chemistry between the couple is executed with competance by the author and there were a few really nice lines that I reread. The sex was hot and with an undercurrent of other emotions and factors rolling beneath the surface this added to the moment.
If you like witch fantasy, and a plot line that is more than just the H/H relationship then this might be a book for you....more
Althea is the younger sister. The one who is different. Her parents want her to be more like her older sister, Caroline. Her peers at school tease her to the point of retaliation, causing her to be suspended. Her life goes further downhill when sister Caroline comes home from college and resumes her goal of making Althea’s life unbearable.
The only bright spot in her life is her boyfriend Jacob who sees a beauty in Althea that no one else does – not even Althea. The return of Caroline and the arrival of Jacob’s brother Davis sets her life spinning. Unable to please anyone and frustrated by her parents believing Caroline’s lies, the final straw comes when her sister taunts her about why Jacob is dating Althea. She snaps and hits out at Caroline who falls to the floor – dead.
Althea is a strong character, despite her conviction she’s not worth anything. Her problems are similar to those of most teenagers but enhanced by her own dark nature. Davis has a similar type of personality although he tends to come across as a bit psychopathic. All the main characters are well defined and the author had me wondering how Althea would cover her part in her sister’s murder.
At this point I found the story became confusing. However, that could be due to the fact I’m not a teenager. I’m sure that age group would read this with a different outlook on the story than I did. Despite this, I believe Althea’s character was an accurate portrayal of teenage angst and Ms Dotson has told the story with definite insight into teenage life.
Sometimes the most heartwarming love stories are about couples who find one another again. Barefoot in the Sun is that sort of story and what I liked best about it was the reason for the couple not getting together in the first place. Sometimes those storylines are contrived, and without giving too much away, let’s say this one isn’t. It’s all part of a backstory that’s intriguing and has you cheering on not only Zoe, but her great aunt too.
I found myself wanting Zoe and Oliver to find their happily ever after but at the same time wanted everything to be okay for her aunt too. However, Ms. St. Claire did a great job keeping me on the edge of my seat wondering what was going to happen to not only the hero and heroine, but just about everyone else in this book.
The setting is also nicely portrayed and perfect for the level of sensuality of the story. I also enjoyed being introduced to the other characters who I believe will feature in another Barefoot book.
Mostly because of its suspense and the secondary story thread, it’s a quick read because you find yourself reading another chapter and then another one. The romance is hot; the setting is scorching which I think makes this a good candidate for a beach or swimming pool read this summer....more
Two men, in love and lust, looking for a third to share their bed and their lives.
Jack Samson, a vet in Sumerset, finds himself the center of attention between Brady and Simon, an established couple who put pleasure top of their list of priorities. Things heat up between them, but is it just fun or is there more to be had from their connection?
This book jumps straight into some steamy M/M/M action in a dark corner of a club. It went for the jugular so to speak and set the tone for the rest of the story, in other words, sexy, seriously steamy and well written.
I adored all three characters, they each had flaws, they each had things about them that appealed to me. The author really got their individuality across well. The sex was smokin’ throughout, like seriously e-reader burning if M/M/M is your thing!
There were the usual ups and downs in the plot but it was more relationship focused than anything else, apart from a bit at the end with a sick horse, and I liked that. The author got it just right for me, so much so that it felt real, like these guys really could live this way, happily and together for all of time.
If you enjoy reading about handsome, sexy men getting off together then this is a good book to try. Solid characters, sex that makes sense on every level for them and a nice long read you can get your teeth into. I would certainly read more by TA Chase....more
“No strings” dating sounded great to Stephanie but only up to the point where she realized that no strings meant her wolves would have to look elsewhere for a mate. She might have to give them up but she didn’t have to be happy about it.
Boys can be so clueless sometimes. Jordan and Shaw are trying to obey the packs orders to find a mate. Even without knowing that the three of them belonged together, I could see that Jordan and Shaw wouldn’t be happy with anyone but Stephanie and vice versa. Their story was going to be one of those “You don’t know what you got till it’s (almost) gone” type tropes. I figured that out pretty early on but it didn’t detract from the story in the least. I was anticipating how the author would bring them all to the realization that they didn’t just have great chemistry during the full moon phases. They were totally meant to be!
I liked all three of the characters in Ms. Tortuga’s short story but Shaw is just precious. He’s such a typical wolf pup. He’s eager to please, loves to play and he wants so bad to keep Stephanie. Jordan isn’t the pack alpha but he clearly makes the calls for this threesome. He’s just controlling enough with the right amount of gruff to keep both Shaw and Stephanie on their toes and ready to follow orders. Stephanie comes from a long line of magick. She’s independent, talented and is just realizing how much actually loves two clueless wolves.
Ms. Tortuga doesn’t make her readers wait long to see just how hot these three are together. The first time is fast and sweaty but who can blame them when they only see each other once a month. It works for this story. Plus, I knew the true plot would deal with how the guys would talk Steph into helping them find their mate, how she’d take the news and how they’d eventually find their HEA, because they simply had to end up together. Ms. Tortuga didn’t disappoint. It’s not all mating and fun for Steph and the guys. Someone’s come to town to cause some trouble and does he ever?
Be sure to play close attention to Stephanie’s friend Wendy. I think we’ll be seeing more of her as well as the pack alpha, Brett. At least I hope to read their story! If a short, hot, tension wrapped little novella is what you’re in the mood for and you fancy the paranormal like I do, be sure to pick up a copy of Mating Call....more
Vicki Hansol has a bad rep as a white trash trouble maker. Sometimes she lets her temper get away, but darn it, she’s got good reason.Vicki’s not the same as her mom and sister. She doesn’t sleep around and she’s not looking for a sugar daddy. But it’s hard as hell to live down a bad reputation, deserved or not. So when opportunity comes knocking, Vicki jumps at the chance to get the hell out of dodge. But first she’s going to need help getting over her personal phobia. She lowers her stubborn pride and asks sexy Joel Coleman for the help she needs.
Joel has a naughty reputation of his own. He and his twin have been known to share a woman or two. But Joel has been growing up and he’s tired of backing Jessie’s play. He’s had his eye on Vicki, so he’s happy to give her all the help she wants. In bed and out.
Vicki was a heroine after my own heart. She was a spunky gal who caught some bad breaks because of her family. Joel was the kind of man that we all dream about finding. Protective of Vicki right from the start, he easily won my heart and cemented his place as favored Coleman hottie. Making their romance even more credible was the realization that these lovers had a lot in common. They both wanted to ditch the notoriety of their pasts and sometimes that is difficult to do . Much of the tension and conflict of this story stemmed from Vicki and Joel’s fight to overcome their pasts and grab onto a new future. The author made this glaringly clear with all the disapproval and harassment that the heroine had to endear. Even from some of the usually open minded Coleman clan.
What was disappointing was the rift that opened up between Joel and his twin, Jessie. It was sad to see how truly nasty Jessie acted toward Vicki. I could not decide if he was jealous because his brother didn’t want to share or because Joel was growing away from him.Yet I found myself intrigued by this darker side to Jessie, that is sure to bring an exciting story on down the road. After all, readers do love a bad boy.
I found this story emotionally heart wrenching. Trying to refrain from judging a book by it’s cover ? Far easier said than done. And I feel that the underlying lesson here is that even the best people sometimes judge without knowing the real person. The plot flew with an ease that kept me engaged in this story from start to finish. I could not put it down and read it in one sitting. I was totally entranced by the story and how things kept changing between Vicki and Joel. What started out as a few lessons in life turned into some lessons in love.
Rocky Mountain Rebel is book #5 in Vivian Arend’s ever popular Canadian cowboy series, Six Pack Ranch. Overflowing with angst, it is by far my favorite book in the series and I enjoyed every minute of it. It is one read that you do not want to miss, and I happily recommend it to all contemporary romance readers....more
A murderer stalks the wild woods of Maine. He has set his sights on Mandy Brown, an innkeeper with secrets that may threaten the safety of all she holds dear.
Four months ago, Danny Sullivan thwarted a murder attempt on Mandy Brown and her best friend Jed. Nathan, the town mayor, had erected a Celtic human sacrifice deep in the woods. Nathan vanished, leaving Mandy to pick up the pieces, Jed to recover from a nearly fatal wound and Danny to track down the killer’s steps, even if they lead back to a place no one would ever suspect.
Mandy is a woman burdened with the responsibilities of caring for a special needs brother, an ailing mother and running an inn all by herself. She begins to receive threatening messages and photographs in the mail and begins to fear that Nathan has come back. She dare not let anyone get too close, lest Nathan rip what is left of her life to shreds. She holds a secret that could knock the murder case right on its head.
Danny Sullivan is a man on a mission. He is trying to solve the murder of his sister at the hands of Nathan. Not only has he fallen for the pretty innkeeper, he has a score to settle with the murderer of his sister. As strange accidents begin to happen, and he and Mandy are forced together he begins to wonder what dark secrets are hiding in the Maine woods and behind the eyes of the woman he is growing to love.
The mystery and intrigue in Midnight Sacrifice are a catalyst for a brilliant page turning experience. Add in the romance between Danny and Mandy and you have some pretty intense sparks ready to burst into flame. The murderer has someone helping him even as I devoured the pages in search of an answer, author Melinda Leigh didn’t give it away with anything obvious. She had me guessing until the last second and that is something in a mystery novel that I value immensely. Don’t hand it to me on a platter, make me work for it and that was exactly what she did.
Seeing Nathan growing up with the twisted circumstances of his family made him very real and all the more scary. Is there a kind of disease that warps the mind like that until you can’t sleep and it totally degrades the brain into a pile of mush? I don’t know, but wow that was a great story line. Using the Celtic mythology and the re-birth of spring with Beltane and the May Queen ideal was a brilliant use of symbolism.
The romance between Mandy and Danny was fraught with insecurities. Commitment issues, guilt over secrets and shame all played a part in how they reacted to each other. The tension between Jed wanting Mandy and her becoming infatuated with Danny was another element that added spice to the mix. The sexual tension and love scenes were well done. I love characters that aren’t perfect and have the scars to prove it, whether they are physical or have something lying just beneath the surface that they have to tame before they can really see the other person staring back at them in the mirror, let alone someone else. Danny had that big time, and so did Mandy. Each of them had their own demons to slay and that made it much more identifiable and realistic.
I enjoyed the building suspense of this novel. The mystery interwoven with romance and the sheer terror of experiencing what the victims were experiencing at Nathan’s crazed whims were enough to have me bringing this book everywhere I went until the last page was turned with a sigh. I wanted it to last forever and I will be watching for more books by this author.
When I am in the mood for mystery and alluring characters that tug at my heart strings, I will be reaching for another Melinda Leigh. I just hope she writes another one quick!...more
As a self-professed, high-maintenance and naturally optimistic person, confidence is key to Sara Bradford’s everyday life. Lately though her confidence has waned where one Mac Gordon is concerned. Sara just can’t seem to figure him out when it comes to his feelings for her. He’s been her long-time friend and confidant, but after years of growing up in front of the man who’s become so much to her, Sara is tired of waiting for Mac to make the first move. For once in her life, Sara decides to take things into her own hands and prove to Mac that she is the woman he wants. After a test of Mac’s lust goes wrong at her brother’s wedding, Sara becomes even more determined to prove herself to him. First stop, St. Croix where Sara will travel to become a more enticing woman, which means gaining the kind of sensual and sexual experience she believes Mac is looking for in a woman. But how much does she really know about Mac? Well Sara’s about to find out who the real Mac is and what he really wants.
Mac Gordon fully believes he is not boyfriend material. Nice girls like Sara don’t really want guys like him and besides she’s his best friend’s little sister, so just being there for her like a big brother is for the best. Or is it? Sara is Mac’s wildest dream and worst nightmare combined, especially after she takes off and he’s left with no choice but to go after her. Mac knows that Sara always gets what she wants and everyone treats her like a princess, but this time he may have to teach her a lesson she won’t soon forget. It’s time to shock her into admitting they aren’t a good fit for each other and push her boundaries so she’ll push him away. The only way to do that is to take her home and let her experience a different kind of living. But is it enough scare away “princess” Sara or will she finally find what she never knew she wanted and is Mac willing to live with the consequences.
When it came time for Mac to own up to his lustful feelings for Sara, he flirted toward the lines of exhibitionism and BDSM, but never took it to that next level, which was slightly disappointing. I was prepared for it, but the story turned out to be much tamer than I thought it would be. Still there was excellent usage of a pink fur wedge and some cotton candy flavored body powder to keep things fun and interesting, so Mac’s experienced self wasn’t a total loss and Sara’s inexperienced self was satisfied.
I was happily surprised with the turn of events in this story and series for that matter, and how the author takes two unlikely matched characters and makes them likely. It is sort of an opposites attract situation, but the love was already there courtesy of Mac being Sam’s best friend especially during Sara’s formative years. So Mac and Sara had their hearts in the right place and now just needed to work on getting their minds and bodies to follow. If you’ve read previous Bradford siblings installments then you know feelings of humor, anger, lust, love and guilt are bound to ensue, which creates a sort of realism that’s easy to relate to in drama-filled family/friends situations. As in real life, change is inevitable and some of us take it as it comes and some are a little more stubborn to accept and in this story between Mac and Sara, it’s very prevalent, but their journey through compromise is full of surprises and should definitely not be missed....more
Hotties and Hawaii . . . really, what more do we need for a stellar romance? Well, a good plot helps. Fortunately, Ms. Cade supplied that, also.
Burning Up the Rain is part of the “Hawaiian Heroes” series, so readers get to visit the Ho’omalu family again. This time, a cousin and a family friend experience the romantic magic and chaos that seem to surround the members of this family. Added to the steamy interactions, a potential marriage, familial expectations, a drinking problem and that pesky drug family all rear their head. Oh yeah. . . Pele makes an appearance, too!
This time, the Ho’omalu in question is Lalei. A cousin of the Ho’omalu’s met in previous stories, she is expected to marry a gentleman her mother feels is suitably wealthy enough to take care of both of them. Lalei is not happy about this, nor is she sure how to get out of the situation. This leads to many twists and turns that keep the reader guessing as to what is going to happen next.
Enter Jack, alcoholic best friend and Californian high-end realtor. He also happens to have a thing for Lalei. As if that wasn’t enough conflict, the Helman drug family appears to be harassing the Ho’omalu’s from beyond the grave.
As with past stories, there are plot twists and tangents, plenty of hot, steamy-hot sex, and personal struggle. There is also the possibility of the family’s relationship with Pele, the protector of Hawaii, to show itself and their unique powers. While these facts, at times, make for difficult reading (one might have to re-read passages from time to time), it leads to a well-written conclusion and thoroughly satisfying end to the book.
Speaking of the end of the book. . . while I am going to claim “spoiler alert”, I don’t think I’m giving away too much by saying a few key things that might tempt the reader to pick this book up now instead of placing it into their “to be read” pile. First off, visits with Pele are not uncommon in the family, but not necessarily with family friends. Secondly, there is nothing like a courtroom drama to give the possibility of your jaw dropping and an inability to stop reading (both of which occurred with this reviewer!)
I’d like to make note of the author’s use of the Hawaiian language throughout the book. It is, in all instances noted by the reviewer, followed by an English explanation.
Despite being a bit more confusing and full of personal angst and torment than previous interactions with this family, the story is well worth reading. The sex is definitely on par with past books, and the evil just as present. All-in-all, I would recommend grabbing this one now and start reading it immediately.
Neighborlee is a college town with magic! Ordinary citizens don’t see the magic but the creatures from other worlds make Neighborlee their base when in the human world. At the center of the magical world – but at the edge of the town – is Divine’s Emporium and its guardian, Angela. Beside her in this magical store is Maurice, a Fae who has broken the rules. He has to serve out his probation at the Emporium and part of his punishment is being shrunk to six inches tall and having wings on his back, although he is allowed one day a year at normal size.
Angela’s world is shaken when two robbers bypass the magical safeguards of the Emporium, something that should not be able to happen. When she confronts them they throw her into a painting which is a doorway to an unfriendly world. Luckily she clings to the frame and Maurice returns home from his one day a year as a normal size in time to rescue her.
This is another stupendous book about Neighborlee. Maurice is cheeky but learning to think of others, especially librarian Holly who he has fallen in love with. Angela tries to remember her past while struggling to defend Divine’s. Behind these two important characters are the magical beings of Neighborlee. Lanie, the paraplegic newspaper editor with telekinetic abilities; the children of the Hunt who in reality are adults from another world protected by the Hounds.
A new character to the novels is Ethan, a private investigator who has been hired to find a missing girl. His search leads him to Neighborlee but he brings chaos and evil with him. He and Angela sense there is a link between them but until the threat to Divine’s Emporium is over, neither is willing to take a step into the past.
I love these books. They always make me feel as if I’m sitting in front of a roaring fire with a mug of hot chocolate, relaxing as I read the book. Ms Levigne has a marvelous way of showing me the world she has created and making me believe all I read. Well written and wonderful. Great book....more
Ten-year-old Nikki Landry lives in the same home she was born in, but she has moved several times each and every year of her life. She lives with her mother, father, and younger brother on a houseboat, and her father relocates them frequently as he searches for the best crabbing spots. Nikki hates moving. She no sooner starts making friends when she is uprooted once again. The latest move to a really mysterious bayou takes her from her best friend, Lydia, and forces her to start over yet again in a new school. If that weren’t enough, Nikki thinks she is being watched by something on a nearby island.
Rita Monette has spun a wonderful mystery based on the life of the Cajun people in Louisiana during the mid-1950’s. The reader is immediately drawn into life along the Bayou. The characters are believable, and the hardships of life aboard an old houseboat, where the family is living in poverty and the father is doing his best to keep things together, is portrayed with sensitivity and compassion. Monette details clearly Nikki’s trials as she tries yet again to adjust to a new school, make friends, and avoid a bully. Nikki’s bond to her beagle, Snooper, is shown as a vital element in Nikki’s life, providing companionship and stability through all the family’s moves. So when Snooper goes missing and there is a legend of someone on the nearby island stealing dog’s souls, the reader is right there, following Nikki into danger as she hunts for Snooper and tries to solve the mystery of the island with the strange howling sounds.
I really enjoyed this book and I think Monette has done an excellent job of capturing a time and place now gone. The issue of language, for instance, is shown as Nikki wants to learn Cajun French after hearing her father and others speaking it. This novel is set during the time when it was illegal to speak French in public. The laws changed in 1961, but for Nikki, learning French was like a forbidden fruit.
Monette also describes in mouth-watering detail the food that was common for the Cajun community. She uses a number of words common to this part of Louisiana as well, and she provides a brief glossary at the beginning of the novel defining the terms. I found that this technique of using a glossary first, but then letting the words flow naturally in the novel, was most effective. Monette’s own drawings scattered throughout the novel are most effective in showing Nikki’s world. I really think that Monette’s readers will find it easy to learn about the Cajun people as they read a suspenseful story with plenty of action. The ending ties things up a bit too neatly, but it is satisfying to have everyone sorted satisfactorily.
I think that this novel would be a fun read for anyone from middle-school upwards. It is a very good story in its own right. In addition, I could really see this being used in a classroom with the possibilities for many teaching moments....more