The title of this book pulled me in because it brought back memories of watching old Doris Day movies with my grandmother. So what a nice surprise to read the first few pages and realize that the main character is somewhat obsessed with Doris, plays her songs, and even has taken in a stray cat and named him Rock.
Besides giving me a trip down memory lane, I also enjoyed the story and it’s wonderful lead characters and their push-pull attraction for one another. In fact, I thought the opening scene could have easily been played by the late Rock Hudson and Doris Day. It was funny, made me laugh and had me cheering for them from the beginning.
I also loved the setting of the quaint Welsh village and the theme of can you ever go home again. The secondary characters were also well rounded and I found myself also cheering for another couple, Kitty and Adam. Some of the characters were quirky and the author did a great job giving me a feel for the workings and sometimes bickering politics of small town life.
If you’re looking for a fun read on a winter’s day and like me, remember some of the old Doris Day classics, this story is a delight and one that I recommend.(less)
Finally! I’ve been waiting to see what kind of woman that Anders would fall for. I bet he was a challenge for the author because he was such a quiet guy with a huge deep and dark attitude. Not only does he get his well-earned happily ever after but readers get to find out what happened in his young life that made him the man he was at the time of this story. Get ready to have your sympathy strings played by a master. Ms. Sands has presented fans with a very poignant, sad and tragic beginning for a man destined to be a hero. To say that I was satisfied with this book is an understatement. I’m thrilled that Anders not only gets to be a happy guy but the journey getting there was an adventure and a wonderful example of the author’s writing style.
It starts off pretty harsh with the heroine escaping the bad guy. The conflict is set up with a sharp edge because just when she thinks she’s safe, she’s not. And when Valerie figures out that this really sweet and gentle pregnant lady is more than she appears, the heroine’s world gets rocked on its axis. As Valerie gets to know the family and Anders’ role in it, she waffles from being fascinated, like the poor guy she makes drink while she gets to prod, poke and study him, and being fearful because she is not too sure who she should trust. But Valerie keeps her sense of humor, her sense of self and I enjoyed her determined and down-to-earth personality.
One thing that really impressed me was Ms. Sands’ attention to detail. I refer to the dog, Roxy. The author didn’t miss a trick. A reader knows that the heroine loves her dog and every detail, from doggie bags, feeding, walking and generally caring for Roxy’s welfare, was incorporated seamlessly throughout the story. I really liked that. The dog wasn’t a prop but a real part of Valerie’s life and Ms. Sands treated it as such and was consistent. That, was excellent writing.
As for the suspense and drama? Good gravy, you would not believe the hilarious predicament Ms. Sand put Valerie in with Lucas’ wife, Leigh. Remember Lucas? The handsome but scary guy in charge? It’s his very pregnant wife that gets to be involved in the most action-packed, hairy-scary scene in the whole book. What could have or should have been a very dramatic and suspenseful chapter ended up being one of the funniest parts in the whole book, in spite of the truly dire circumstances they found themselves in. I couldn’t be scared, I was laughing too hard. It was awesome!
Immortal Ever After is everything a fan of this series could hope for. Once again, Ms. Sands has delivered a truly fun, entertaining and sexy story that will delight old and new fans alike. This novel stands on its own merits because everything about Anders is new. This is the book that solves the mystery of who the hero is and what makes him tick. Valerie is the woman who re-awakens his lust and in true Immortal fashion, brings joy, peace, a craving for ice cream, and true love to Anders, a man who never thought he deserved it. I had a great time reading this novel and highly recommend it.(less)
Not only did she not know who this man was, he stuck her in a barrel and put the lid on it. Then during a fight with others, he managed to knock her barrel into the river! She hated being confined in the dark and couldn’t swim. What was she going to do now???
Ms. Copeland writes western historical novels with a touch of romance. She brings her characters to life; they no longer live in the pages, they walk in your mind just like real. She also creates endearing characters. You have Trinity and Jones, the two main characters, who have been getting along fine and aren’t looking for love. She also adds Trinity’s grandmother, who happens to be 94 and is sparking with a long-time love that she denied in younger years but is feeling a bit mellower about in her old age.
Life is not easy for a woman alone in the west. Trinity had nothing of value but the ranch her brother was trying to build. Her parents had died and now her brother is gone, too. When rustlers come through and destroy the cabin and her belongings and steal her money, it’s bad enough. But then locusts come through. Anything that had any value is gone now. She only has the land left. How will she locate the title to sell the land? She has no idea, but she knows she may have a relative in town, so she starts walking.
The dance between the couples facing love is the best part of the book. Grandma is still feisty and her suitor isn’t about to give up. Trinity and Jones keep trying to separate and go on with their lives, but somehow it never works out. The author tantalizes you with the back and forth emotional war they are living through.
It’s a good read about strong personalities and good people and I liked it well enough I’m going to keep the book in my personal library so I can read it again. I do that when authors can bring their characters to life and keep my attention though out the book. After all, I wouldn’t mind taking Jones home with me…
Maya Deleina creates a descriptive tale in this journey between reality and fantasy. Luna Kalen seems displaced and in a state of limbo from a prior car accident. While Luna is out on her secluded early morning stroll along the beach, curiosity gets the best of her and she ventures into a near by cave. What Luna finds in the cave will alter life as she knows it. All that she thought was a fantasy can turn out to be real. Or it could be the other way around.
Luna is a graphic design artist that just received great news from Renny Morgan, a author of a soon to be released vampire book. While driving to their destination the fog starts to roll in. Chapter one opens with Luna strolling along the shoreline just before sunrise, in her therapeutic ritual after the car accident. On this particular morning Luna’s interest is piqued by the caves near by that she has heard so much about. As she ventures into the cave she has a suspicion that someone is in there. She finds a dirty, nude mystery man. She allows the man to follow her to her bed and breakfast to clean up. Along the way she notices how handsome the mysterious man is.
Between Luna’s undiagnosed black outs and the unprotected rush to have sex with the handsome stranger I was left with a reminded that yes this is truly fantasy. This author has a talent for extraordinary details. The steamy sex scenes were visually appealing. At this point I was curious as to where the plot was headed. I kept reading to find out where the mystery would lead and would the plot pick up.
The introduction to the vampires were very descriptive and quite spooky. At times the details were gruesome as would be expected with a vampire novel. Something was missing in the plot of the vampire origination. Personally, it opened a lot of questions that didn’t seem to be answered. Characters were popping up out of the blue. At one point I was wondering if this was a sequel to a previous book. Maybe it was due to the fact that the vampire characters were briefly mentioned without much details or description to really get to know them. Although I know this is a work of fantasy, the author’s vampire section didn’t make much sense. I wanted to feel the vampire as something that could be believed as real. This wasn’t the case in this novel. The author’s approach was different and interesting so therefore I kept reading because I was interested in how this all was going to play out.
I thoroughly enjoyed the author’s writing style. She has a style that gives you enough details that the description of the surrounding elements make you feel you are there in the scenes. For a book to have very few characters, the author left little room to create in-depth character description. I didn’t connect with the characters, nor did I get a visual of how the characters would look. It was as if they only had names.
The brief epilogue did reveal the twist and helped clear up the cliff hanger left in the prologue. Overall the book is a nice combo of fantasy, sex and suspension.
If you enjoy a hot and steamy descriptive quick read, I definitely would recommend this book.(less)
The book begins in the present with the arrival of the Minotaur as a guest lecturer to a room of students. I am sure they got as caught up with his words as I did when the huge bull-headed beast told his life story, reflecting on the historical ages and events he witnessed. He made me feel as if I traveled with him during his long life. I experienced his escape from the Labyrinth and accompanied him as he traveled through events in the past I’d read learned about in history class. Now the Minotaur colored in the pictures and brought the smells, sights and sounds to life. His story not only revealed historical facts and pictures, I also found out how the Minotaur felt, what he thought about mankind and bovine (he is half bull) and why at times he shunned both man and animal and lived a life of seclusion.
I enjoy reading Greek Mythology so wasn’t really sure I’d like a fictionalised version of the classical story, especially as it was written in the first person. A lovely surprise was in store for me; the book kept me spellbound from beginning to end.
It doesn’t matter if you haven’t read or don’t like Greek Mythology, or if history is not quite your thing; this book tells it as it is with no long treatises. It’s pure entertainment from beginning to end. I commend the author for his attention to detail and for writing a story I thoroughly enjoyed and was sad to put down (because I’d reached the end of the book).(less)
Oh my! It was very hard to write a review for Night After Night. The major reason is because the story had several elements that did not sit well with me. But in the end I up liking the way the story was told.
So, let me start by saying that author built the plot really well and I enjoyed how story was developing. I had such mixed feelings about all the characters but the heroine in particular. On one hand her naivety, politeness and niceness drove me crazy. But on the other I really enjoyed her strong side. It was great to see that a character who is naïve and nice but not spineless. Finally I enjoyed how she was fighting for what she thought was right. The hero was completely different story. He was supposed to be tall, dark, handsome and mysterious, but for me he was brute (but not towards the heroine) and a cold blooded killer. It works for the story, it simply didn’t work for me personally. The characterization of the secondary characters is done perfectly they were presented as a typical small town people: meddling and nosy.
Night After Night is a romance, but the story, at least in the beginning, is more focused on the heroine and her new life in the small town rather than on her relationship with the hero. Therefore it seemed as if that aspect of the story dragged a little bit. More important for me was that it was difficult to pinpoint the exact moment when the hero and heroine fell in love, but also why and how.
Despite the few downfalls I actually did enjoy this story as a whole and I wanted to find out what kind of happily ever after the heroine and hero would find. It was a satisfying one.
I recommend Night After Night to readers who like western historical, sweet romances, virginal heroine, small town settings and meddling matchmaking secondary characters.(less)
I really cannot say if a twenty two old virgin is rare or not in the real world, but it seems to me that it is very common in romance novels – especially in New adult ones. I do not see virginity issues as a problem, but in the case of Losing It, the whole story revolves around it without any significance.
In Losing It, the drama is toned down, there are no major ups and downs, but certainly there are attempts at them. I missed the lack of significant drama. Actually, I didn’t appreciate that the conflict was tuned down especially because the cornerstone of the story was an illicit relationship between a teacher and the student. But also I did not like it because the author introduced another good place for development of it – love triangle – and then she resolved it too neatly.
On the other hand, the characters are realistic, and their friendship and relationships were believable. They act like what they are: college students. Cora Carmack captured and presented the fun part of a student’s life really well. Not only that, the author presented well students who are in their final year and have to choose their future career path. All the fears and questions related to this are told through Bliss’ eyes, since the story is written from the heroine’s POV. The relationship between Bliss and Garrett is complex and I believe the story would have been stronger if it had been written from alternating points of view.
Losing it has funny moments. It is a light read without a tortured hero and wounded heroine, but with one completely crazy cat. This is a story for readers who prefer less drama, more fun and no huge emotional roller-coaster twists in their stories.
Peacock feathers have long been thought to be unlucky. So when Drusilla accidentally comes to possess an India fan made of peacock feathers she has to decide whether she lets the unlucky myth follow her for the rest of her life, or try to live her life to the fullest.
Drusilla spent her entire life watching the eccentric Framlings live a life of privilege and little consequences. Drusilla, the practical one, spends too many years trying to fix everyone else’s mistakes and seemed to forget to live her own life in the process. Drusilla really got to experience a lot when she befriended Lavinia Framling as a child. It saddened me however, that Drusilla seemed to forget about her own needs in order to try to keep her mischievous friend in line. It made for a truly entertaining story.
One thing that did puzzle me was the lack of romantic development between Fabian and Drusilla. For a better part of the story Fabian isn’t even present. While it is obvious he has some type of infatuation with Drusilla the romance just seemed to be missing. I think part of this is because of the time period in which the story took place. Courting was different back then, and Drusilla was a very modest girl. With such little relationship development I would not consider this story a romance novel at all, but by no means does this mean the story was not entertaining.
This was a true adventure of two very different girls who are thrown together by circumstances. I think this is a great story to show morality at its best. While Drusilla may seem plain and uninteresting to some she has a good head on her shoulders which leads her to make practical life choices, as well as try to guide her friend on how a young lady should conduct themselves. The story completely enthralled me from the first page and pulled every emotional imaginable out of me, and in the end I didn’t want the story to end. I would definitely read this story again and again for years to come.
When Jamie Marten falls through a mirror in the present day and lands in a rather chilly 1816 England, her troubles are only just beginning. Between convincing the Earl of Dunnington that she really is from the future, fending off jealous women, and simply trying to keep it together long enough to make it back home, she’s got her work cut out for her. However, the more time she spends in the presence of this mysterious earl, the less she seems to want to return home.
Jamie Marten is my kind of girl. She’s brash, brazen, and quite the geek at heart. She’s also so very, very out of her element in 1816 England. However, her 21st century determination and desire for happiness help to keep her on her feet, moving forward at all costs. I really loved the way that no matter what happened, she found a way to counter it, even when her heart was breaking.
Micah Axelby, Earl of Dunnington, is every woman’s dream man. Well, maybe if you exclude the accusations of murder hanging over his head. But to his credit, he’s handsome, he’s well-off, and he’s a pretty great guy on his own. His complete and utter confusion and enjoyment over Jamie’s predicament is endearing and at times highly amusing. Despite being quite flummoxed by her modern ways, he’s unable to deny his attraction to her, showing that opposites not only attract, but draw together.
The Geek Girl and the Scandalous Earl is an amusing, heart wrenching and sometimes very steamy twist on the standard time-travel romance. Mixing romance, humor, and the perils of being a modern woman in a not-so-very modern time, the author brings a rollercoaster of emotion into this story. My only wish is that we had been shown more aspects of Jamie’s geekdom. If you’re in the mood for a well-rounded story that will appeal to a wide range of readers, this is a great choice.
Angelique Beaumont is a student pastry chef in Paris. Sad that she’ll be returning to New Orleans soon, she decides to enjoy herself and stops off at her favorite Patisserie. There, she meets a handsome waiter named Phillipe and the attraction is instant and very mutual. Overcome by each other, they indulge in a week long affair and fall madly in love. Reality hits them, however, as Phillipe needs to return to Switzerland and Angelique New Orleans. Upset, but both determined to continue their dreams, they go their separate ways.
While the connection between Angelique and Phillipe is strong and passionate, this short story is slightly different from many others in that our hero and heroine spend the middle section of the tale apart. Angelique needs to live her own life and come to her own conclusions about what she wants and who she needs as part of her life. A sweet story, but still infused with the l’amour of Paris and delicious delicacies of both a master chocolatier and pasissier, this is a fun and tempting read.
Despite the break between our protagonists I enjoyed the differences in this story from so many others. I felt it let us understand Angliquie’s position far better than had she not struck out for herself. The warmth and chemistry between her and Phillipe is undeniable and with all the luscious foods described it made a mouth-watering read. Recommended. (less)
Odaria has never been able to trust a single soul on her small isle. Though she lives as an outcast, her life is relatively peaceful until the village leader, Brennan decides the village needs to be “cleansed” of Odaria’s witchcraft by burning her alive. When Odaria calls down a curse on the village, she didn’t expect a band of Norsemen to come charging out of the shadows, but will the brutal raiders be her savior or her downfall?
Odaria is a very brave and strong woman. She has lived her entire life on the isle where she was. Since her mother’s death, she has been alone in the world, with the other villagers only coming to her in secret when they need her magic to help them. With the way Odaria is treated by the others, I couldn’t believe she had never attempted to leave the isle. However, Odaria is far too stubborn to admit defeat, even when it becomes clear she’s in grave danger.
When Rothgar enters Odaria’s life, she feels an immediate connection to him. The attraction is mutual, and it isn’t long before the sparks start to fly. However, Odaria and Rothgar are both very strong willed, and are constantly bickering and butting heads. Despite their intense fights, Odaria and Rothgar also share some moments where they both open up about some very personal and private details of their lives. Their vulnerability is quite touching.
Ms. Wilkins also did an excellent job of building the sexual tension between Odaria and Rothgar. Though they were certainly attracted to each other physically from the moment they met, they weren’t able to act on it right away. I found the interruptions to their romantic interludes very amusing at times. Consequently, Odaria and Rothgar were able to form a strong emotional attachment. When Odaria and Rothgar were finally able to act on their feelings for each other, the timing felt perfect.
I do have to say that the conflict between Odaria and Rothgar at the climax of the book didn’t feel entirely genuine. I can’t say much without spoiling the plot. However, I will say that Odaria is led to believe something terrible about Rothgar. I find it very hard to believe that Odaria would lose faith in Rothgar so quickly after they had shared some very intense, personal, and private moments.
Still, Ms. Wilkins did a great job of depicting the brutality of the time period. Both the Vikings and the Picts had very cruel ways of dealing with enemies that made me shudder, and I am very grateful that I have never witnessed such violence first hand. I do wish there had been a bit more depth to Brennan, the main villain in the story. Brennan simply comes across as an evil man misusing religion for his own purposes. I can’t help but wonder about the deeper motives behind his actions and what drove him down the path he was on in the first place.
Overall, I enjoyed reading The Viking’s Witch. Odaria and Rothgar are entertaining characters and their romance is beautifully written. Fans of spicy historical romance should certainly give The Viking’s Witch a try. (less)
The older woman meets handsome younger man. Honestly I enjoyed this novel. I like how the author played on something most women have had an issue with - dating younger men, especially women who don’t even like telling their age for fear of being called “old.”
Colleen is so strong and so independent that it’s no wonder she would still be single. I bet she's intimidated more than one man! Add in the fact that she’s a highly ranked ex-military and you understand the issue. But Colleen didn’t count on meeting Matt, who will make her rethink everything she thought she knew. Plus Matt is hot! Even this story couldn’t hide the handsome book nerd who makes Colleen’s pulse race. Throw in some funny family members from both Colleen and Matt’s family and you’ve got a great read.
This story is the epitome of sweet. It’s even sweet enough to allow an older teenager to read. And it’s brutally honest. Most people don’t tell you when you get married that you should like your in-laws and this story covers that as well as what to do with those pre-marital woes and jitters. (less)
Anything you can do, I can do better... or at least when it comes to bronc riding.
I know when I read a book by Carolyn Brown, I'm in for a treat. The writing flows and the words leap from the pages. I'm immersed in the world of the characters and tend to finish the book in one sitting. The same was the case for Just a Cowboy and His Baby. I devoured this book in what seemed like no time at all and thought about the characters after I put the book down.
Here's my quandary. I liked this book. I did. But for me there were aspects that tripped me up. I love animals and I tend to talk to all four of mine. When Trace talked to his dog like it was a person, I got him. Totally. But there were moments when he went on a long time. Was this bad? Not really, but it stuck with me and temporarily ripped me out of the story. Another thing was Gemma. She talked to herself a lot, too. Seeing as how I tend to talk myself through things, I could relate to her. What I had a hard time with was her overwhelming determination to be the best. Be the best, by all means, but she went overboard. Everything had to be her way and she had to win. I like strong women, but there's strong, then there's so strong I wanted her to break a bit.
Still, this book has lots of good points. The writing is solid and the storyline is fantastic. I felt the connection between Gemma and Trace and rooted for them to have their HEA. The scenes in the arena are vivid. I've never been to a bronc riding show, but I feel like I have.
If you want a book that's the right mix of sugar, spice and broncs, then this might be the book for you! (less)
Violet’s back in a whole new adventure that is as thrilling a ride as the previous two books in the series. There is something for everyone; thrills, chills, chases, ghouls and giant beasties, not to mention more of Vi’s and Chaz’s turbulent romance as it weathers more bumps and bruises, bites and scratches, not all of them the bad kind.
Once again Ms. Arista takes us on a first person journey with the heroine, Violet, as she battles and juggles her new responsibilities as Prima of Dallas, her growing love for Chaz and her bittersweet, and eventually shocking, reunion with her cousin. My favorite parts about the heroine are when she cracks puns that make a reader giggle and snort. Even when things are dire, Violet manages to throw in a clever quip or observation that breaks up the tension just a bit. And there is a lot of tension and suspense sprinkled throughout this tale that made it very hard to stop reading, even when I should have. Every chapter revealed something of interest whether it was a reason to gasp, tear up, sigh in wonder or stare at the words in wide-eyed wonder. I did that ‘great googly moogly!’ thing quite a few times because the author managed to surprise me when I least expected it. I couldn’t have dreamed up the scenarios and peccadillos that she managed to throw Violet into. That bad guy kept her on her toes.
Spencer is the re-occurring bad seed. Just when I thought he was restricted by where he was, I found out something important. You are what you eat. Ms. Arista took that saying to new and depraved heights that only a villain could love. Spencer was a very convincing villain and when the actual showdown finally happened, it didn’t go according to anyone’s plan. Well, maybe the person who smelled like honeysuckle sort of had a clue. That scene had me thinking so hard, my brain hurt. The Jordan genetic line is much more than anyone realized and I had a wild time learning all about it. Well, as much as the author let us know during this story. It definitely had me wanting to learn more about Violet and her family.
Chaz is still sticking to Violet like a burr on a sock. I’m so happy to see that. In fact, the hero has to make some very life changing choices in this story and the process was painful. What makes his character so interesting and mysterious is the fact that I never get into his head. This truly is a first person point of view novel and I only learn about him as Violet does. So, when he does things like, disappear, or come back exhausted from who knows where from doing who knows what, it’s as frustrating for me as it is for Violet. And yet, she trusts him, loves him and makes mistakes with him – he’s a great asset to her character and the series. In fact, by the end of Nine Lives of an Urban Panther, Chaz has a whole new level of learning to do and ties into my previous comment about Ms. Arista’s ability to surprise a reader. Color me gleefully astounded.
The gang’s all here as far as Violet’s new pack is concerned. But there are some new ‘kids’ on the block that pose some interesting contributions to this book as well as possible future plots and conflicts. They certainly made an impact and I’m confident I’ll be seeing more of yummy Valiance and fascinating Willowbourne as well as the very interesting Wayne and Lexie. I enjoyed the camaraderie and feeling of family that the author is building. Future books will be less a couple of people after this go-round. I was saddened but I understood. The author’s descriptions of one of the characters lead me to believe that it was coming, but at no time did I expect it to happen as it did. It was all the more effective and was where I sniffled and grabbed a tissue. It was powerful writing.
Nine Lives of an Urban Panther is stunning in its scope, brilliant in delivery, grabs a reader’s emotions with heartfelt writing and doesn’t let go. I enjoyed how the author built up the suspense, orchestrating her characters to best effect, and, even though the hero and heroine fought darkness and evil, Ms. Arista still found time to make her characters laugh, joke and be like real people. This series is turning out to be like a necklace studded with jewels – each book is unique, special and has so many facets to explore, it’s not a wonder this one is going on my keeper shelf. I can’t wait to find out how long the earthquake derailed a certain something. I certainly hope it’s not for long, because I really want Jessa’s hard work and enthusiasm to find fruition. This is one cliffhanger I'm delighted to wait for. The next book in the series can’t come fast enough for me. (less)
Deadlocked is like a huge pot of gumbo, slowly cooking and building steam until it’s hot and yummy enough to eat. There are a lot of elements that make this book enjoyable, interesting and at times, quite surprising. There are old friends and foes that cross paths bringing story threads to a head which created shockwaves that left me reeling.
What I found surprising was the tone of the story. It was almost conversational. For a change, Sookie was able to enjoy mundane, normal human events without the paranormal influence. The author took precious moments in the story to explore the heroine doing everyday things with her friends and family. I interpreted it as giving readers short bursts of insight as to what her life would or could have been like without the high octane influence of Eric, Bill or Alicide, and the supernatural politics that follow them.
Unfortunately, that isn’t Sookie’s life and any oasis of normalcy only served to showcase how crazy her life has become. It really amazes me how much her character has changed over the course of the series. At one point, the fact that she has killed is brought up and its revelation really made me stop and think. Oh yeah! That’s right, that happened! And that. And, I can’t believe I forgot that one! Her thought process has certainly matured, but I’m not certain if it’s a good thing or a sad thing. One fact remains, she’s not a pushover, she’s not afraid to make hard choices nor does she cower away from the consequences. Those are good characteristics to have because every single one was tested in this book.
I can’t put my finger on who the hero is this time around. It’s not clear cut and in fact, I think there is a new reality starting to rear its ugly head and it’s not a happy thought. That brings up something I’ve realized about Ms. Harris. She’s not afraid to take the road less traveled, nor does she bow to popular pressure. Her characters do what they must, even if it hurts or they bleed because of it. That is true in this book.
The pace of the tale wasn’t as tight and hard-hitting as some of the past books have been. There were a lot more pages expended on downtime than actual dealings with crises. At one point, it seemed like it had elements of Perry Mason – sleuthing, asking questions and trying to put together a puzzle by cross-examining one’s self conscience with the little facts they knew. I mean, it was good she was making a sweet potato casserole, but I would have been happier with less descriptive steps of the process.
As for bad guys, there are always trouble makers that complicate Sookie’s life. In this installment, I expected one of them because it’s a carryover character from the previous book. What I didn’t expect was the other villain. That was a shocker. I suppose it made sense as the person did have a sour attitude for a lot of the time that the bad guy was on scene. In retrospect and in thinking back with the knowledge I now have, would I have seen it then? Probably not. The bad guy was very clever.
The one thing that really made this novel a must read was the cluviel dor. Finally, its mystery is solved. It’s about time Sookie made her wish and its use was one of the most significant shockers in the whole book. It was pretty dramatic.
Romance for the heroine is a rocky road. Each man she’s been with has helped her grow and learn about herself. Through the pain of separation, she’s learned that she can survive and move forward. I believe that Sookie is going to grow a bit more and I won’t be surprised if it’s going to be even more painful than in the past. I’m not sure which way it will ultimately fall, but at the end of this book a new possibility nipped at my brain. Could that even work? Only the author knows. But I did find a few of their actions as something that could feed that kind of development. As for her usual hunky beau, Eric and the word sex don’t go together much in this one, much to my disappointment. In fact, there is not a lot of togetherness with anyone in Deadlocked. I think I’m being set up.
I want to make it clear that this is not a standalone read. Too much character by-play has gone on between all the characters, both main and secondary, for a new reader to jump in here. What has happened in past books has a clear impact on the plot and its effect on Sookie in Deadlocked.
Deadlocked lulls a reader with a false sense of calm illusion before it explodes into an amazing tale of drama, suspense and intrigue with shocking revelations that leaves a reader stunned. For fans of the series, it’s a must read because so many threads are being gathered and some important ones are solved. There is no doubt that Sookie is loved by the men in her life but which one will be the love of her life? That is the one final mystery that I hope one day will be solved. In the meantime, sign me up for the next Sookie adventure. It’s going to be an auto-buy for me. (less)
This change of pace time travel story takes the reader on a delicious, exciting adventure from twenty-first century America to eighteenth century England and Scotland near Hadrian’s Wall.
Panna Kennedy says, “Old librarians don’t retire, they just turn the page”. She truly does just that. Through a little closet door under the stairs in the library, she goes to the chapel of the opulent MacIver Castle on the English side of Hadrian’s Wall at a time when hostilities threaten to erupt at the drop of a hat. Her first glimpse of the owner of the castle, Capitan James Bridgewater, is a shock. He looks so much like the statue of the long ago benefactor of the library where she works in twenty-first century Carnegie, Pennsylvania. He pulls her like a magnet.
Two years after her beloved husband’s death, she still struggles to move on with her life. Now in the eighteenth century, she has major decisions, life-changing decisions to make. The reader gets to share in her pondering and in her narrow escapes as she makes her way through a maze of “what-ifs” and “must-dos” while she tries to stay alive in a society alien to her except for what she has read about it in romance novels.
James, born of a Scottish mother and English father, is an “outlander” to some and to others an “abomination”. Yet, his skills as an officer in the English army are respected enough that he is accepted on a certain level. His entrepreneurship in water pump business has made him a very wealthy man.
When James and Panna first meet, he has been beaten by soldiers and is under house arrest in his own castle. He thinks she is a whore the English have sent to him. They do snap at each other but soon find common interests in books and astronomy. Even a bit of humor creeps in as they talk of “the Butcher’s Cleaver” and the “surveying seat” in a bay window overlooking a vast area. When his nemesis, General Bridgewater, almost sees a secret message that would get James hanged for treason, Panna saves him by the skin of his teeth. They find themselves working as a team to stay alive.
The secondary characters are a little confusing as Panna arrives in the eighteenth century, but information begins to creep in to help sort them out. The loyal followers of James are his only true “family”. Clare, a burly man; Thomas, just a lad but invaluable; The Hillers, and many others add texture to the story that allows the reader to see the commoners’ plight in the year after years struggle for power that improvised and killed so many who long to just live in peace and get on with day to day living.
The antagonists, especially Viscount Adderly, bring personal conflicts to a fever pitch, While Hector MacIver, James’ Scottish grandfather, creates an even different kind of conflict. The subtly of his manipulation is unique and rather ambiguous. He seems to blow hot and cold.
Gwyn Cready’s attention-keeping Timeless Desire is chock full of special bits and pieces that make the story rich. Subtle foreshadowing gives the reader some great ‘ah-ha’ moments as events unfold, so the she has a feeling of being on the inside track. The sneaky ways of delivering messages, the sparkling touch of humor, the love scenes that wow, and remarkable descriptions and metaphors fill the reader’s senses.
The fast pace Ms. Cready set keeps the adrenaline pumping and the heart racing much of the time. Yet, there are times it slows as Panna struggles with strong emotions and difficult decisions and when James wrestles with his deep need to be acknowledged and loved by family that denies him. The reader feels the heart aching needs of Panna and James.
The life-like characters intrigue. Historical tidbits set the time and place perfectly so the story rings true. Best of all, Ms. Cready writes with a special touch of magic that makes the reader suspend disbelief and share in a love story that transcends time and transports the hero and heroine to a happy-ever-after where they are “loyal subjects of Marie Clare”—a place where James is not and never will be an “outlander”.
Timeless Desire is a captivating story—that is spine-tingling, heart-touching, and pulls the reader in to a thrilling adventure. (less)
One night, she decides to let it all go. One night with a sexy, sensual stranger that makes her heart pitter patter and her insides turn to mush. One night, and she'd probably never see him again. Isn't it strange how one night can change your life in a heartbeat?
Michaela Roarke is ready. She's been under scrutiny for far too long. Her father is an important man in the community, so it's good behavior for prim and proper Michaela....until she decides it's time to let that all go--even for just a few hours. Good for her! I applaud her for giving in. Why, you may ask? Well, wouldn't you? If you were always in the eye of media because one of your family members is in politics, or anything else for that matter? Could you really keep up the good girl (or good guy) image, all the time? Think about that truthfully...
Now, for the man that changed her life. Jackson. Michaela describes him as Mr Sex-on-a-Stick! (Yes, I loved that line. Cracked me up!) He's not about to turn down a woman raring to go. It's a fling. No entanglements. Come on, he's all for it. Until they meet again.
Jackson has now been hired to keep watch over Michaela as a threat has been posed at her. So, that one night? There's how it changed her life. And his. Jackson and Kayla can't keep their hands off each other!
The love scenes are emotionally charged and very sexy. The chemistry between Jackson and Michaela is very intense and keeps things very interesting as the pair has ups and downs, such is the way of real life. Oh, and not to mention trying to get to the bottom of a stalker, whether it be going after Michaela because they want to get to her, or get to her father. That fact is unknown, adding in some great suspense.
A Night of Southern Comfort is a book very well written and plotted out. I thought about the characters even when I wasn't reading. I was very engaged while reading, and wanted to be reading it when I had other things to do. The villain at the end surprised me completely......someone I never once even had on my mental list of suspects. All in all, there's nothing to complain about around here- this story sizzles with flair. Need a great read to finish off your summer? Don't miss A Night of Southern Comfort. Turn down your air conditioning thermostat, as the pages heat up with suspense, intrigue, drama, and one happily ever after in the making. (less)
“…they’d exchanged the sense of intimacy they always had between them for the assumption of intimacy.” This profound remark is a theme that resonates throughout the story.
Even though this is a remark made about one couple’s relationship, it is evident in many of the ‘so-human’ characters’ relationships. The change from one type of intimacy to the other happens so subtly that it is hardly noticeable until suddenly despair and discontent set in. The reader sees the people, once so in tune with each other, no longer share meaningful conversations. They let awareness of each others’ needs slip away. They stop feeling contented pleasure in doing things together or just ‘being’ together. They no longer feel that special jolt of joy in just seeing each other across the room and their lovemaking loses the all-consuming sharing that engages body, mind, and spirit and transports them as one to ecstasy. How they cope and overcome or succumb keeps one’s rapt attention.
While the Gold siblings are still grieving the death of their parents, life goes on and must be dealt with. The Sugar Maple Inn that seems a symbol of their lives with their parents is sold and a last hurrah—the traditional Halloween party—is to be organized and the community invited. The reader is pulled into the fray and sees personality traits emerge that intrigue.
Tyler, the youngest of the Gold siblings, not only grieves the loss of his parents; he also is adrift after Patrice, his love for the last five years, steps away from their relationship; added to that his photography business is alarmingly slow. His less than enthusiastic interest in being in charge of the decorations for the Halloween party is understandable. Even his relationship with the siblings he has been closest to through the years seems to be on shaky ground. The ups and downs of his coping process range from heart-breaking to humorous. Just when he needs it most a memory comes—in a most unusual way. He remembers his special relationship with his sister Deborah. It seems to bring peace and helps him get his act together.
Deborah, the head chef at the Inn, has lost her anchor. How does she move on? The near panic she feels at times and the “foodie” (so much like her) that she meets keeps her life on a rollercoaster through much of the story. Of course, dealing with Corrina, her bossy sister who feels compelled to order everybody around, often without the desired results, is one of the most complicated of the siblings. Her hurts that she keeps to herself are overwhelming. With a husband who begrudges her his time and a stepson that needs more help than she can or knows how to give, she is stressed to the max much of the time with no relief to come. Maybe in another book Mr. Baron will help her find a happy-ever-after.
Maria, though suffering from empty-nest syndrome, brings music and hope to the story. Her husband has lost touch with her as a person, but she perseveres and bridges some gaps while still reaching for her own dreams and connecting with their daughter Olivia in a special way. The music she brings to mind brings back great memories for this reader. Lots of good things ahead it seems.
Maxwell, the oldest sibling, and his wife Annie, a discontented soul that longs for more in life than to be Joey’s mom and Maxwell’s wife, weave a discordant note through the story that keeps the reader a little on edge. Maxwell’s political life absorbs his time. He seems not to see the seriousness of Annie’s need. He just takes care of little two-year-old, hyper Joey when she says she has to be away for awhile and makes plans for his future. His blindness to Annie’s need does not bode well for their future.
Michael Baron takes these complex characters, places them in a quiet little town in Connecticut among people they have known and have known them all their lives; sprinkles in a few newcomers; adds October the most colorful, beautiful month of their year; and invites the reader in for a enthralling vicarious experience. The special memory that each sibling has that helps them repair the frayed relationships with each other is a touch of supernatural that gives a haunting quality the story. The precious memories the reader gets to vicariously share with each of the Gold siblings and the “joint hallucination” they all share is heart-warming.
The charm of Michael Baron’s writing brings a special polish to a poignant story, making it sparkle and enchant like October leaves in New England. (less)
One downside to getting into really good book is reading the last sentence. The sad feeling that you’re saying goodbye to characters you’ve come to know and love. That’s what happened to me after reading A Walk In The Park. It held me captivated and longing to find the time to read more. I think a big part of its appeal for me was the wonderful characters that Ms. Mansell created. Not just the main ones, but secondary characters too. Every one of them was painstakingly crafted making them jump off the page. I felt like I knew everyone of them and they came across as very lifelike to me.
Besides the people who lived in this book, the plot was great too. Just when I thought the author was taking the story one way (and convinced myself I knew what would happen next) she took me by surprise, revealing things I hadn’t seen coming.
There’s more than one romance that develops in this story and each one is fun to follow. I must say I was pulling for Lara and Flynn from the moment they reconnected. As I read on I hoped I wouldn’t be disappointed.
I should also give a mention to the setting, which is Bath in the UK and having been there myself many times I can say that the author did a wonderful job using it as the backdrop for the story. It was almost like revisiting the city all over again.
This is the first book I’ve ever read by Ms. Mansell but it won’t be the last. If you’re looking for a great book to add to your fall to read list, I highly recommend this one.(less)
A lover! A patron or patrons yes, but a lover for a courtesan brings a wealth of different emotions and conflicts to the mix.
At first just surviving was Francesca’s number one desire and then surviving well by charging big fees for what she had, at one time, been forced to do for nothing seemed like a good way to secure her and her daughters’ futures.
In the sixteenth century, women and children could be used and abused or adored and cared for as the man of the family saw fit. Francesca had not been among those adored and cared for. As a courtesan she is desired by many but available to only a few. She is like both sorceress and temptress as she divines and meets the needs of each of her patrons—fulfills their fantasies and sends them on their way—no strings attached. Of course, she does keep her “Book of Encounters” for insurance.
Modesto, Francesca’s house servant, nurse, pimp, bodyguard and faithful friend, sees the two of them as ‘the seedless and the strumpet’ against the world. His story is compelling. He can sing with the voice of an angel, albeit a sad angel.
Luca della Rovere and his sons Carlo and Gianni, without knowing it, change the course of Francesca’s life as well as the lives of all those who depend on her for a living. Gianni, the virgin, who shows her compassion like she has never known before has a profound effect on her life. Carlo, who fences illegal goods for privateer s and lives a life style that could get him burned, creates the most anxiety-ridden episodes in the novel. His associates chill the blood. And then there is Luca, a university professor—ten years a widower, who creates a tingling of surprise and need in Francesca every time he walks into the room.
The many secondary characters entangled in the evolving of Francesca have secrets and fears that create astonishing sub-plots that affect the main plot. The political and religious power enters into the motivation of many of the characters. Miguel Vasquez, a patron of Francesca, lives in fear of losing his place of power if his secrets are discovered, a fact that comes in handy for Francesca as the story unfolds. Signor di Cicciano, another patron, wild, depraved, and unpredictable brings terror and chaos into the primary characters lives. Filippo and Maria’s story, though somewhat twisted and dark, intrigues. Most charming of all are Beata and Isabella, Francesca’s twin daughters. They wiggle their way right into the reader’s heart. When they get caught in a forbidding situation, it sends the heart pounding.
Gabrielle Kimm weaves together a tale of opulent living, depraved living, and lascivious living with characters that seem to come alive on the pages of The Courtesan's Lover. In a few places the verbiage slows the story and it seemed the bad overwhelmed the good too much of the time. But the story is rich with emotion and throbs with life. Even though some of the scenes are horrifying and some are sordid, the descriptions are so vivid that the reader’s senses are brought to full alertness with smells of the filthy and the fine, with the touch of fine satin and silks then the hurt of harsh hands, the taste of gourmet food, sounds of happy giggles and angelic singing and sounds of a fight to death in a filthy tavern on the waterfront. Ms. Kimm manages a tangle of characters with amazing skill as she weaves in a touch of history and mores of the time with intrigues and clandestine doings that captivate and sometimes takes one’s breath away. The happy-ever after for these lovers is hard won and precious. (less)
Originally posted at: http://www.longandshortreviews.blogsp... with suspenseful, action packed, vivid characters, steamy sex, a vintage world, violenc...moreOriginally posted at: http://www.longandshortreviews.blogsp... with suspenseful, action packed, vivid characters, steamy sex, a vintage world, violence and action, this is a story that will keep you turning pages with its suspense. Set mostly in the 1920s and 1970s, the books flips between the two and touches the decades in between as well, following the lives of vibrant, memorable characters. Gino is something else, coming from such humble beginnings to change his life. He may do questionable things, but he shows he has a heart as well. His daughter Lucky is just as dynamic as he is. She gets into her own share of trouble and is sometimes misunderstood by her father, a man she adores—mostly. Carrie is such a strong character that she is inspiring. The things she survives…
The story flows effortlessly, bringing the reader along on an adventure with details so rich it’s almost like watching a movie. The characters are complex. One can sympathize with their suffering even though a few of them are tainted. When these characters do bad things though, they have their reasons. The leads are very strong, surviving against great odds amongst poverty and dire circumstances to finally live in privilege. They work hard, they play hard, and they face extreme danger.
The sex scenes would make some people blush. Reading this story will give one a glimpse into the world of the other side, how the mob lives. The vintage aspects are interesting as well. It’s fun to read about characters trying to make it in bygone eras.
Fans of The Godfather books and movies should check out this book. It’s the first in a series, epic in scope, following an intriguing family.ces-by-jackie-collins.html(less)
Wow. I haven't read a book in a while that I enjoyed this much!
First, let me say that, although this is the second book in the series I didn't feel lost. I do think my experience would have been even richer if I'd read the first book (and I plan on rectifying that immediately), but Demon Hunt stands strongly on its own. Very strongly.
The author has created a paranormal world that fits neatly into our own. Her characters aren't over-the-top different, even Serra the Fae warrior (well, aside from what happens to her when she has sex for the first time with our hero... I loved that!). Except for her ability to create firebolts and make the earth shake, she seems much like you and me and even has a love of jeans and other human clothing.
And Gregor? He really wants to be normal. He's in denial of his powers and refuses to acknowledge them, even when they start whapping him upside the head. It reminds me of an ostrich with its head in the sand, or a child with fingers in their ears, "lalalala... I don't hear you!". Eventually, though, Gregor has to confront those powers. He has no choice.
The author has serious skill with words, and creates her world with enough description to make sure we can see it, but not so much that we're being knocked over the head with it. She's a true master of "show don't tell" and I really enjoyed her voice.
The romance and sexual tension simmers throughout with the occasional flash bang when they can't ignore their feelings anymore. It's sweet. It's hot. And quite believable, despite the speed with which it happens and the occasional inappropriate feelings of desire (like when they're fighting a demon).
The secondary characters were just as well-rounded as the main protagonists. I was nearly as wrapped up in Justin's story as I was in Gregor's! The Caine brothers are fascinating men, and I can't wait to dive into book one to see what I missed.
Looking for a paranormal story full of equal parts action and romance? Want a book that keeps you completely entertained and turning pages to see what happens next? Look no further than Demon Hunt. I hope book three comes out soon.(less)
Layla had been warned about the Amoveo, but now it was too late. Her mate had somehow found her. She did the only thing she could think of. She ran to the only place she has ever felt safe. What she had not anticipated was William following her.
Layla was like any of the other hybrids featured in the previous stories. For one, she seemed to have a certain amount of understanding out the Amoveo people and herself. This made it even more difficult for William to claim his mate, because there was a reason that the Amoveo people were unaware of her, even if she knew about them. This made their relationship that much more complex and intriguing. Especially, since William also quickly learned that Layla came with some extra hybrid baggage.
William was a character I was familiar with from previous stories, and it was interesting to see how his character developed. Deemed The Iceman, he is known for his calm unemotional disposition. It was fun to watch Layla take him out of his comfort level. What I had not anticipated was how he was so quick to accept this new role as the caring consort trying to win Layla’s heart. However, I would have liked to have seen him a bit more off balance by his emotions. He seemed to just fall into the role rather easily. While I enjoyed this new William, I also loved that the author brought back the Iceman when needed to protect his friends and mate.
The dynamic plot line of this story was inspiring and kept me reading well into the night. I loved that there were multiple facets including the romantic relationship, various antagonistic conflicts, friendship developments and more. I never really knew what I was going to get next. Small things like Layla’s reaction to William made the story just that much more entertaining. In addition, the author even brought back incorporated couples from previous stories for fans of the series.
I have already gotten a few of my fellow readers hooked on the Amoveo series and if the author continues to produce these high quality stories featuring remarkable story lines and enchanting characters, I am sure more and more will jump on board the Amoveo train.(less)
It wasn’t June’s fault she was forced to return to Sultry Springs and face the people she thought she'd left behind. Though I will say I was glad she had to return because it created a heck of a story about a second chance at first love.
The author’s characterization of June made me sympathize with her immediately. She had a lot of heartache and pain throughout her life, and no matter what, she continued to follow her own path. This attribute made me stand by her and hope she received all the blessings that her grandma’s god intended for her to receive, even if she was selling the devil’s juice and fornicating with the neighbor.
Luke does not have a chip on his shoulder, he has a whole mountain. He seems to take not only his mistakes, but also the mistakes of others on his back. While a martyr can make for an interesting character sometimes, I just wished he would get over just a bit. Yes, he had some setbacks but he also had some great moments in his life, and he seemed to only see the downside of everything. No wonder he needed June so much even if he was too self-absorbed to see it. In the end, June spun her magical web, Luke realized what he had been missing all those years, and I loved watching her entrap him.
This story was captivating and I really enjoyed reading it. I even find myself hoping that this becomes a series because the storyline, as well as supporting cast and interesting main characters made for a great read. It's a true story of self discovery, and not just with the main characters. People like June’s mom and Luke’s best friend seem to find themselves a bit. I think it was the inspiration of the main characters that made everyone want to grow including myself as the reader. So if you are feeling a little sultry curl up in a comfortable spot and take a trip to Sultry Springs in Sultry With A Twist. (less)
Archaeologist Verity Grey, coaxed to a dig by Adrian, a former boyfriend and often a fellow worker, finds a world apart—a world rich with mystery, ghosts and, psychic energy, besides all the incredible people that open up a whole new world for her.
Eyemouth in Scotland, steeped in the lore and the blood of past people that inhabited the land, welcomes Verity into its midst and whispers secrets to her in its mist. Even before she arrives in Eyemouth, things begin to happen. Stuck on a stopped bus, she looks across the moors. Whether it’s the wild wind of Scotland’s Borderlands, the restless spirits of those who’ve come before, or Verity’s imagination, the man striding around bracken and thorn looks like “a spectre from a bygone age, a fearless border laird”. But he is, in truth, just an ordinary man in his thirties, wearing modern jeans and leather jacket. Then again, up close, he is not so ordinary. David Fortuna, broad-shouldered and beautiful, with a Scots brogue hard for Verity to understand, a brogue that vanishes when he realizes she is English, is captivating.
David, while a native of the area, is an archaeologist who lectures at Edinburgh University. He will be working on the same dig she is going to. He soon finds that Verity’s impulsiveness, independence, vivid imagination, and the confusion that seems to follow her around impact not only the dig but the lives of all she meets. He finds her much like his mother, Granny Nan, whom all agree is trawn, meaning one who delights in being difficult and obstinate, yet in a most delightful way. The gentle, slow development of their relationship is revealed in exquisite fashion.
Verity brings energy, expertise, and love of many kinds to her new job. Her name is so true to her personality--Everity, truth, real and enduring.
She connects with characters, both primary and secondary, in ways that endear her to them and them to her. She and the loveable, psychic Robbie relate to each other at once and they connect with the Sentinel. More than connecting to just live characters and the ghost Sentinel, she hears the galloping horses at night, feels the cold presence of the ghost, and feels that presence when special events related to the ghost happen.
She also embraces Peter Quinnell, the eccentric Irishman who believes with all his heart the last marching camp of the Ninth Roman Legion is on his Rosehill estate. Some say he is mad, but he is intelligent, wealthy, and determined to gain respect from the archaeological community, that heretofore has discounted his work. He brings a diverse group together to make it happen. His story, though sad, has a sense of destiny being played out to it. He believes in Robbie’s unwavering declaration that the ghosts of the Sentinel, who was with the Ninth Legion, walks about and tries to talk to Robbie.
The many secondary characters like Adrian; Granny Nan; Fabia, Peter’s granddaughter; Brian, Robbie’s dad; Jeannie, Robbie’s mom and the cook/housekeeper for Peter play dynamic roles in the unfolding of this mesmerizing story.
Susanna Kearsley weaves together a fantastic tale full of humor, historical facts, lore, legends, psychic phenomena, modern-day smuggling, and human beings interacting with each other—interactions that are full of twists and turns. Her use of symbolism charms the senses, especially the story of the swan of Eyemouth River. She tells the story in first-person and takes the reader along for every moment of frustration, fun, fear, falsehood, and most especially for the awakening of a forever faithful love.
The Shadowy Horses is a keeper that can be enjoyed again and again. It has layers and layers of actions, relationships, and emotions to be pondered.(less)
I apparently need a steady diet of Ms. Shortland’s books. In between reading them, I tend to forget the depth of character and insight into their personalities. I especially forget how devious and evil her villains can be. This makes their presence even more subversive and menacing. The truly ingenious aspect of her villains are the way they could be someone we, the reader, know and have experience with in our own lives. I especially enjoyed Fergus. He comes off a creepy and a little sick throughout the entire story, but the climax of the story truly reveals his personality. The potential reality of his character is what makes the story frightening.
But, I stray from the most important aspect of the novel – the romance! While perhaps “unbelievable”, the connection between Ellis and Kieran can resonate with the reader, and help them remember or imagine that grand passion one can feel when with the right person. I’m not sure I could walk up and down a street and locate my beloved based on said connection, but oh-so-many of us have felt that electric “spark across the room”.
This reader could definitely sense the love Ms. Shortland has for her main characters . . . Kieran can not possibly have been playing for that long and have achieved those chops and not have a healthy dose of self-absorption and elevated self-worth. The reader could probably blame it on his responsibilities with running his own business and caring for his sister, but truly, our author’s love of this character is shining through in his honesty, caring and generosity.
I believe most women reading this story will resonate with at least one aspect of Ellis’ personality. Whether the reader has been a victim of the “sleep with the boss to get ahead or else” situation, or on the receiving end of a careless lover who imparts the poor body image and deflated self-worth, we can all identify with part of her. This makes the eventual connection with Kieran that much sweeter! Our author’s delight in the countryside and its’ people are evident in her descriptive passages throughout the book. However, none tickled the senses quite as much as her extended description of the tea cakes and the delight both Kieran and Ellis experienced while eating them.
This book will engross the reader fully. You will not want to put the book down. This means it will be over far too quickly! The good news is, as soon as you finish it, you get to read it again! (less)
Savage Hunger is as steamy a story as the humidity of the jungle it takes place in and is just as dangerous. Take a good look at the wonderful and vibrant cover. See the woman peeking over the shoulder of the hot hunk? That is none other than Kathleen, the heroine, and I have to give the artist credit. Kat has this really saucy and cheeky wit that pops out with a mischievous twinkle in her eye and the artist captured her at a moment of devilish plotting. Poor Connor doesn’t stand a chance.
Ms. Spear cracked me up with what she gave the heroine as her little problem. It placed Kat in quite a few prickly situations that always led to exciting scenes that I couldn’t step away from. Time to eat? “Let it cool down, I’m at a good part.” That’s pretty much how my whole experience was in reading Savage Hunger. Every time I thought things were going to smooth out or they’d have a moment of reprieve, something seemed to happen that compelled me to keep turning the pages. The adventure of discovery, of outwitting the bad guys and staying one step ahead of certain torture and death insured that there wasn’t a dull moment in any of the chapters. Certainly, I didn’t want to stop reading until I got to the final wrap-up and happy ever after.
In addition to Kat’s embarrassing difficulty is the new predicament she finds herself which leads her to experience eating raw fish with its subsequent stinky breath, and stripping at very inconvenient moments. It’s going to take a special kind of guy to guard her when these quirks take place and there’s no better hero than Connor to get the job done.
I enjoyed reading the story in Connor’s point of view. I liked it when he took it in stride when Maya, his sister, and Kat ganged up on him. I loved how protective he was of both women, yet he respected their strengths. His love for his sister came through strongly in the writing. His growing love and wonder over finding as wonderful a mate as Kat was great to read. His sense of honor almost cost him having Kat in his life, but as much as he loved his sister, she loved him just as much and proved it, providing an opportunity for Connor and Kat to bond. It was hit or miss in the beginning and caused its own level of drama and suspense, but the journey was worth it.
A heightened level of drama came from the bad guys. One evil drug lord pulled the strings and he was persistent, deadly and vicious. Every time I thought the trio would finally make headway in getting to safety, someone somewhere would say something that gave the criminals a lead. It drove me nuts but it also allowed the lead characters to show off all that they could do and would do in the name of survival. It didn’t hurt that Ms. Spear threw in an effective hook for another jaguar story. The stalker turned out to be who I thought it was but I’m really hoping that he will indeed turn out to be a good guy and I know just the person who’d be good for him. It didn’t help matters any that Kat’s ex mentioned something that made me think otherwise, but I refuse to be deterred. I think he’d make a great addition to the jaguar family.
Speaking of Kat’s ex-fiancé, he’s a worm. Enough said.
What is awesome to mention is the waterfall scene. Why that water didn’t evaporate from the scorching heat generated between Connor and Kat, I have no idea. It was seductive, effective and a delicious bit of writing. That was my favorite but the author gave the hero and heroine plenty of opportunities to explore, delight and please the other with an intensity that might make a reader or two blush. I had fun.
Some readers might take exception to Kat’s seemingly easy acceptance to her new station in life. Not me. I found it refreshing to not have to deal with drama queen antics on top of life and death situations. What was done was done and Kat, being the practical military woman she is, assessed the benefits versus cons and concluded she was getting everything she ever wanted plus benefits. She just had to survive first to enjoy them.
The happy ever after was satisfying. The author touched base on a lot of little subjects that appeared throughout the story and tied the loose ends up with a huggable ending. Now the only thing left is to read the next book in the series to find out if Maya is going to meet who I think she might meet. I am eagerly looking forward to the next jaguar adventure.
Savage Hunger leaves a reader hungering for more of this awesome and exciting new world that Ms. Spear has created. The author has written a story with a lovable heroine, an alpha hero who’s not obnoxious or overbearing, and a fun sister to tag along and complicate Connor’s life. The food they eat is exotic although the eating establishments are earthy, and they spend more time using trees than Tarzan. This new series is exhilarating and filled with rich and vibrant descriptions to make a reader feel like they’re in the thick of the Amazon jungle. There are moments of humor, of tenderness and pure hot loving. In short, Savage Hunger has the best of all the elements that make readers of paranormal romances happy. Pounce on your own copy and see for yourself. (less)
Danger, confusion, and a barbaric bunch of Scottish clansmen derail Lady Amalie Ellin’s neat, tidy plan to impersonate a governess for a while to escape having to wed the imbecilic son of a rich duke.
How Amalie, who is accustomed to luxury and privilege, adapts to often harsh and always challenging circumstances enthralls. She had no idea freedom came with fear, risks, and peril in so many forms. But she is smart, resilient, self-reliant, and courageous with an imagination and play-acting ability that serves her well in dire situations.
Thayne MacGowan, in a spur-of-the-moment maneuver to protect ones dear to him, grabs the unknown “English governess” to use in a ploy to defer an out-and-out battle with the cruel Dunne-Fyne. The tiny, sassy, argumentative Amalie, with the amber-eyes, sets his libido on full alert. He knows it’s just lust because his dead Mary is his only true love, but the little, sharp-tongued woman snuggled tight against his chest as they ride through freezing rain, makes his ache with need and wanting.
What a tangled web they weave when, in order to stay alive, Thayne and Amalie both say, in the presence of all, that they are married and Baby Mary is theirs.
The code of chivalry Thayne lives by is cold, lonely, punishing, and seemingly fruitless. He carries a burden of guilt for not being able to fulfill the promise to his father, on this deathbed. Thayne had been unable to hide Jamie’s perfidies as his father had demanded. All knew of the new laird, Jamie’s drunkenness, his gluttony, and his cruel womanizing. The old laird wanted to keep the name MacGowan noble, feared, revered, and sacrosanct.
Jackie Ivie creates secondary characters that pulsate with energy and intrigues as they ramp up the tension in the story. Even the harsh, unpredictable weather, the magnificent Castle Gowan, and the harsh yet beautiful environment seem to come alive as characters that influence the outcome of events.
Among the ugly, cruel and threatening events, a humorous, comic relief is the MacKennah young girl with whom Thayne broke betrothal. She, in her own inept way, does a good thing, but only because it suits her own purpose. Her attitude and actions set the reader’s mind at ease. She is not one to pine away her life shut away in the recesses of some old castle. She is looking out for number one.
Then there is Jamie’s wife, of the Douglas clan, and a harridan. She stirs a totally different set of emotions. She too is looking for number one, but in a threatening, angry way. All her rich attire and surrounds cannot hide her ugliness both inside and out.
As the conflicts ebb and flow, love grows. Amalie, young and naïve, knows not how to define the stirrings within when she sees, touches, or thinks of Thayne. Of course, Thayne maintains love is a woman’s weapon—akin to slavery, However, Amalie, beautiful as a Grecian statue, only made of responsive flesh and blood, ties his body and mind in knots with wanting and need. Everything about her calls to him and the lust turns to love with his denying it every step of the way—an emotional journey that captivates. The earth-shattering love scenes make A Perfect Knight For Love throb with ecstasy and sensual sweetness—breathtaking. Ms. Ivie’s magnificent descriptions, incredibly realistic characters, and her amazing ability to pull the reader into the emotional whirlpool of feelings from spine-tingling fear and horror to breathtaking, mind-blowing rapture make A Perfect Knight For Love fantastic reading. (less)
Do you like pirates? What about werewolves? And ghosts? Gargoyles?
How would you like it if all those pirates, werewolves, ghosts, and gargoyles decided to come together into one book? Fun, right?
Luisa is a young pirate in search of her missing father and when she gets information that he is on a supernatural island, she knows where she needs to go to rescue him. While on the cursed island, she gets to meet all kinds of creatures ranging from zombies to were-hyenas. In the process, she befriends a ghost, a gargoyle, and falls in love with a werewolf. But with every step she takes, trouble follows.
I really don't want to give anything away so I'll stop there but believe me, you need to read this. It's a romance and an adventure story. It's full of comedy and sadness. Some scenes make you laugh and others cry.
I fell in love with all the characters, from the very charming Xander, who is what every hero should be, to the adorable pet monkey. The villains were truly horrible and I hated them.
One big talent that author Maria Zannini has, that is so hard to pull off, is her ability to make the reader feel. It's like all the emotions these characters experienced, the readers did too. They flowed through the page. Her writing is flawless. I've read several of Ms. Zannini's books but this one was the best, in my opinion.
I really enjoyed this book and couldn't recommend it enough. I think there is a little of something for everyone and I'm sure you all will enjoy it. So go ahead and get yourself a copy of Mistress of the Stone today! (less)
I am a big fan of this author and especially this series. I was eagerly awaiting this book and excited to be able to read it but sad that this is the finale chapter in this series. I have come to know and love many of the characters in these books and saying goodbye was a hard thing. Thirteen brings us back into the wondrous world that this author has created. Savannah is our guide throughout most of this book. It's a story of trying to stop the war that could ruin them all; laws are being broken left and right, beings are crossing over, and demons are joining in as well as are so many others. In short total chaos has arrived and the battle has just begun. Can Savannah and her friends and allies stop things before it is to late?
There is so much I want to say but so much of it would be spoilers and I so do not want to spoil this read for anyone. I want you to enjoy this book as much as I did. If you have followed this series from book one you will not be disappointed.So much is going on in this book, everywhere you turn there is something happening. I loved seeing how everyone has grown throughout this series. The bond that they all share makes for a great read. Savannah and Adam are all grown up and I enjoyed seeing them take that step towards a permanent relationship. It was nice to see many of the major players in this world come into play. As a follower of this series I know most if not all of the characters and their personalities and I enjoyed seeing just how each one fit into this story. The main women from this series each get their turn at telling us part of this story. I loved that a short story featuring Elena and Clay is added to the end of the book bringing it all back to the characters that started it all.
This book is fast paced and full of emotion, reminding me why Kelley Armstrong is on my auto buy list. Many questions were answered yet there were still some things left unanswered, hopefully this means that this author might just gift readers with a return to this world some time in the future. (less)