Two questions have been on Damian’s mind since his transformation: will I ever find a second soulmate, and is it really possible to change? Only time...moreTwo questions have been on Damian’s mind since his transformation: will I ever find a second soulmate, and is it really possible to change? Only time will tell if he figures out the answer to either of them.
Damian wasn’t exactly a saint during his short first life, and his thirst for violence only becomes more unquenchable once he begins his Undead one. His severe lack of empathy and self-awareness brings depth to his personality even if certain horrid choices make it difficult to find many positive things to say about him early on. What I found most interesting about Damian’s character development, though, was how slowly it takes place. Centuries can pass between the first glimmer of change and the next step in Damian’s evolution, but because those moments are given so much time to take hold in his mind they always felt genuine to this reader.
I would have liked to see more time spent exploring the personalities and interests of Damian’s potential life partners. Some of them are developed well enough for me to understand his attraction to them, but others were given very little time to express their unique qualities. Even love at first sight eventually needs something to back up that first flush of emotion, and this novel would have easily earned a much higher rating had I better understood why he chose some of his paramours.
From the opening scene Mr. de Vissage kept my interest piqued with strong, even pacing. By covering Damian’s journey through such an incredibly long period of time the author is able to slowly build a complex supernatural society that would have been hard to flesh out in such detail in a shorter story. I found certain subplots even more captivating than the focus of Damian’s mission because of how expertly the author weaves everything together from one millennia to the next.
As someone who has never had any exposure to the French language, it was sometimes difficult for me to determine the meanings of French words and phrases that show up routinely in the first few sections of this novel. Some of them were easy to figure out because their English equivalents were so similar to them, but certain words remained a mystery to me until the end. While I understand why the author wanted Damian to retain this part of his heritage, it would have been helpful to either have had a glossary of the terms at the beginning of the book or more context clues about their meanings embedded in the text near them.
By far my favourite part of this book involves how effortlessly the author brings back the traditional approach to vampire mythology. Damian and his associates are sexually alluring to humans, but they are also extremely dangerous, unpredictable creatures. The horror elements of this tale are ubiquitous and include the darkest themes of that genre.
I would especially recommend The Night Man Cometh to anyone who is a fan of Dracula. Even with its flaws, this is a noteworthy example of what vampire fiction can be. (less)
Jocelyn and Leo’s story is riveting from beginning to end. Not only does it have an enchanting love story, but the budding relationship is surrounded...moreJocelyn and Leo’s story is riveting from beginning to end. Not only does it have an enchanting love story, but the budding relationship is surrounded with mystery, murder, complicated in-laws, and conspiracy. This story truly has something for everyone and I just could not get enough of it.
Jocelyn’s background can be considered sketchy at best, but if you pull back the layers you see a woman who is a victim of circumstance trying to do the best for herself and her mother. Jocelyn took on the role of caretaker to her ailing mother at a young age, no matter the consequences to herself. This immediately made her character endearing to me. I can say that I wanted her to have a happy ending from beginning to end, and sometimes questioned if Leo was capable of giving that to her.
Leo is a man of mystery to say the least. His deceased wife met with an untimely death leaving him the sole caretaker for their daughter, and trying to find a suitable replacement. Jocelyn seemed to be a wife of convenience for him, since she had some of the traits his previous wife lacked such as discretion and loyalty. The author wrote his character as one of mystery in many ways and I never quite knew if Leo was the hero or the enemy. I found this entertaining and definitely added depth to the story. Even in the end I found myself questioning his integrity. One thing I did not question, however was his feelings towards Jocelyn. I could immediately tell he was smitten by her, even if he did not recognize his developing feelings towards her. This made me want him to be the good hearted man he tried to appear to be, because I knew if he was, he would be the man to care for sweet (but not so innocent) Jocelyn, which she needed and deserved.
This plot had more twists and turns than a windy road in the middle of the night. I can honestly say that the author surprised me with some of the angles of the story. This kept me enthralled the entire time, and wanting to find out more and more. I am new to author Shelley Munro’s work, but I can say that after reading this story, I would love to read more. (less)
Savage Deception was a fantastic romantic suspense that kept me turning pages. While it’s technically the start of a new series, i...moreIn a word… Awesome!
Savage Deception was a fantastic romantic suspense that kept me turning pages. While it’s technically the start of a new series, it directly follows another book in a previous series. When I first started reading Savage Deception, I hadn’t read that other book, and have to admit to being pretty confused. I don’t think it stands alone well … though I might have gotten things sorted over time, if I wasn’t already a big fan of the author, I might not have kept reading.
What I did do is read that other book and once that was cleared up, it was full speed ahead! Now I was fully engaged and loving every word. The plot here was tightly created with plenty of twists I wasn’t expecting. The heroine, Nickie, is put through the wringer here with her past bumping into the present and she finds out some things that nearly break her.
Don’t worry… she has Duncan. And he’s the most awesome boyfriend ever. I really do love the man and wouldn’t hesitate to steal him away from her if I could. He’s not perfect, thankfully, but his flaws make him that much more wonderful. I really love their relationship, and it developed well here. It’s sweet and romantic, hot and sexy, and really very realistic. They have their ups and downs, but thankfully they know they can trust each other and that makes everything work.
The secondary characters here were just as great as ever. Duncan’s family is so much fun. I really love them all and am glad to be able to keep up with what they’re doing. Nickie has a surrogate family, since her biological one is worse than useless. Her captain, her foster mom … they’re really what give her a solid foundation.
My confusion at the start, along with a few editing errors (the first I remember seeing in Ms. Wolfe’s books — these were wrong words or typos) are all that kept this from being rated higher. I really did enjoy the story once I got my head wrapped around it. It was everything romantic suspense should be: exciting, interesting, well plotted, romantic and had a solid, satisfying wrap up.
I’m sold on this new series and excited to continue on with Nickie Savage, at least as long as I get the whole crew of characters along with her! (less)
Get out the fire extinguisher, this story is scorching! It’s one long, slow seduction that builds and builds until it explodes in scenes of out of con...moreGet out the fire extinguisher, this story is scorching! It’s one long, slow seduction that builds and builds until it explodes in scenes of out of control passion. Margo and Dash’s convoluted romance is woven in amongst a very suspenseful and dramatic plot that pits their fledging trust and love against a dastardly scheme. Many times it was almost impossible for me to step away from the book – so much happens in each chapter, I was hooked.
Ms. Foster presented two dynamic characters to work her magic with. Margo is the hard-edged, take-no-prisoners heroine who is a police lieutenant who doesn’t know how to relax, and Dash, the hero, who seems like relaxing is all he does. It’s amazing how deceiving the surface of a person can be. The author wasted no time in sharing the sparks between the two protagonists and truly, the first two chapters are a doozy. In them, the author sealed my interest and invested me 100% in caring for her hero and heroine because the action starts almost immediately and danger flavors the drama to a startling degree. There wasn’t any skipped paragraphs or glossing over any scenes – everything is pertinent, intense and fascinating. A must read.
The sensual tease is extreme. Dash’s plan is to love Margo into loving him. It sounds impossible until I saw his plan in action. Wow, does that man know his way around a woman’s body. And his words! His intent! Never mind his delivery – the hero isn’t so laid back and fickle as everyone seems to believe. He proves it without a doubt in Dash of Peril. Not only that, but having a brother who is also a police officer has given him an edge when it comes to crisis and he proves his mettle many times throughout the novel. Maybe he was a bit too good to be true, but I didn’t care. It was all part of telling a great story that entertains and believe me, I was highly entertained.
Margo’s character is the one that has the most to gain, lose, learn and grow. Dash was her sounding board and her catalyst for change. She certainly enjoyed the process and the author took great pains to make a reader understand just how much of a challenge it was for her to adjust, open up and believe in someone. At times it was painful and many times it was beautiful. It was also very sexy.
This tale is also an emotional roller coaster due to subject matter. The mystery is finding out who is committing the crimes, the drama comes from the bad guys targeting Margo and the suspense comes from hoping no one dies but never really being sure if anyone is going to come to the rescue in time and if any of the villains were going to get away. The topic of the crime is disturbing as I’m sure it was meant to be. I didn’t like it at all but that is why it was so important for the good guys to win – vile things like that should be stopped.
Although there was an intense external plot conflict, the internal one for Margo was rather sad. She comes from a very cold, dysfunctional family so it makes sense that her opening up to Dash would be such a leap of faith. The hardest part was towards the end, when she really believed the worst. That broke my heart.
I’m going to reiterate how intensely sexual this book is. Dash is commanding and Margo slowly learns to accept that being submissive does not equate with being weak. Not at all. Ms. Foster practically singed off my eyebrows with some of the scenes, so get ready.
Secondary characters are extremely important in the telling of this novel. Many I remember reading about when they were the stars of their own books so it was an absolute thrill to see them in action again, but rest assured this is completely a standalone book. If anything, reading about Logan or Rowdy only made me want to read their stories again. There is a reason they are on my keeper shelf.
I would be negligent if I didn’t mention the kitty. It’s a great touch, and it provided a wonderful ‘awwww!’ factor. I loved reading how the cat reacted in many scenes. It was very telling and important and the best was how Dash interacted with Margo’s pet. So sweet – how could I not love Dash as a hero?
I know I’m leaving a ton out because this was a very busy book. There are so many other aspects of the book worth sharing but I think it’s best to just read, enjoy and be surprised. I had a blast reading Dash of Peril and I highly recommend it to all readers of sexy romantic suspense. It’s a sure winner and, the crime element notwithstanding, a very fun book indeed. (less)
Matt always understands her and she only feels safe and comfortable when around him. He tells her she’ll be chosen as one of the Elite and then they w...moreMatt always understands her and she only feels safe and comfortable when around him. He tells her she’ll be chosen as one of the Elite and then they will be able to be together. What he doesn’t tell her is that he’s a dragon who can look human…
This author creates a magical world where male dragons rule the world. They take a human shape (a pretty hot one, by the way) and live in the big castle. The two main characters are twins: Matt and Jason. While they are twins, they are not alike. Ms. Jenkins tells you they are “touched”. She doesn’t explain what that means in this book. Twins are not common the in the dragon world and their father has big plans for them.
Ms. Jenkins uses this story to set the platform for future books in the series. There’s a lot of info here that doesn’t seem to tie together and make much sense now but, as the tale progresses in future books, I think the missing ends will all begin to fill in.
When the dragon twins chose mates, the twins are no longer so close. They’ve always been together. Now they have another person to care for. I like the fact that they both want to be in marriage with love. That’s not a common dragon reaction; most males are simply looking for heirs, not love. It’s also fascinating to watch their father groom Matt for a special role. He leaves Jason out of meetings and ignores him for the most part. Surely this will turn into a conflict later. There’s also a smell of a power play coming.
I found the story interesting and enjoyed the dragons. I would have like to have a bit more detail so I was sure I understood the nuances. As it was, I liked this book enough to want to pick up the next in the series and see what good old dad is planning next. I also want to see more of Joshua and Gwen; they are slowly falling in love. So Ms. Jenkins got me hooked anyway, didn’t she?
Richard may be considered old in human years, but for a shifter he is still an immature teenager trying to find his way through life. Then he sees the...moreRichard may be considered old in human years, but for a shifter he is still an immature teenager trying to find his way through life. Then he sees the girl who sends sparks shooting through his veins and makes him want to become the man his father has tried to force him to be for years.
The plot in the story had plenty of depth and excitement. I really enjoyed Derek’s involvement in the conflict as well as the overall story development. The conflict also helped to introduce other types of shifters, which helped to build the tension to figure out which type would be the alpha or strongest. Richard’s enemies also helped to move the story along well and helped to develop both the personal and romantic growth of all the characters.
While Richard and Molly are good characters on the surface their characterization lacked a certain depth that made it hard for me to fall in love with them. I got a little about what makes Richard tick, but would like to have understood his internal process throughout the story. This would have allowed me to appreciate his development a bit more. With Richard being the main focus of the story I got very little about Molly — only that she is a victim of circumstances who really doesn’t seem to fit in anywhere.
While this is a young adult novel some may find it difficult to process the relationship between Richard and Molly. He is not close to Molly’s age as we would normally view it, but because of his shifter blood it was easy for me to see him as a teenage boy. I appreciate this because it gave a certain air of truth to the character. Since shifters can live so long it makes sense that their adolescents is longer than humans, but I can understand why some may find this a bit uncomfortable. Another aspect that some may question is the amount of violence. There are a few physical conflicts that can get a bit gory. Again, I did not view this is a problem, but I would not let my pre-teen read a story with this amount of gore.
This is a story that I think old teens and parents can enjoy alike, especially if you are looking for a good shifter story to pass the time.
Amelia had a real crush on Rising Wolf, but she knew it would never amount to anything. She was a half-breed and Rising Wolf was an important warrior...moreAmelia had a real crush on Rising Wolf, but she knew it would never amount to anything. She was a half-breed and Rising Wolf was an important warrior in his tribe. He’d undoubtedly marry a full-blooded Indian tribe member.
This author takes you for a walk back in history. The story is set in the time period when Native Americans were first being confined to reservations. Indians had their own ceremonies, their own land, and their own lifestyles. The Army was only interested in confining them and had no remorse in the way they abused the Indians and killed the warriors. All they wanted was to have them confined. And, once they did, they stole the meat the government sent to feed them and told them they couldn’t hunt their own food. This is a shameful piece of history that the author shows accurately. It doesn’t take long until you’re rooting for the Indians and hating the bad white men, too.
Amelia is amazed when Rising Wolf makes an offer for her. She lets him know she won’t live in marriage without love, and he tells her she need not worry about that. She knows he’s a big part of her life, but she doesn’t find out just how much she loves him until a bear attacks him and he almost drowns in the river. She’s deathly afraid of the river because her mother almost drowned in it long ago. There’s no hesitation on her part, though. She leaps in, fights the bear, and drags her husband out of the river. Unfortunately, he’s been injured very badly and no one knows if he will live…
Ms. Smith’s tale is factual and leads you down an ugly path in our history. She makes Amelia’s family and the Indian tribe feel alive and vital. Love is a strong power when shared. Her words flow well and make you feel like you’re living in that time era. This story is suitable for young adults as well as adults. History can be a good teacher if we listen.
The true bonds of friendship are tested in this explosive story with that left me speechless at times.
Boogie and Trapper where known all around town f...moreThe true bonds of friendship are tested in this explosive story with that left me speechless at times.
Boogie and Trapper where known all around town for their wild and crazy antics. I immediately recognized the special bond these two had, and could understand why neighbors couldn’t tell them apart even if they looked nothing alike. Reading this story made me reflect on my own childhood and bonds I shared with my peers. The flood of emotions this story brought back to me was exhilarating and one I will not forget for a while.
The conflict and plot buildup of this story was monumental. While the storyline was a bit slow to start, once it began to pick up I was mesmerized about what would happen next with these two heroic boys. With their quick wit and intelligence I knew they would figure out a way to get out of their predicament and I was just happy I could go along for the ride with them.
This story is based on an old man writing about his childhood, but it’s also a historical story. The author had a way of transporting me to that time period with their words making me feel as if I had a front row sheet of Boogie’s life. Since this story was based on the 1940′s for the most part some of the language was a bit difficult to understand since they spoke differently than what I am use to, but I was still able to follow along pretty easily. Another aspect of the language was the vulgarity and racial slangs. There were a few occasions when I had to remind myself that unfortunately that was the mindset and language used during this time period by both children and adults alike. While Boogie and Trapper may have only been kids in the story in that time period they were almost men in their day.
What first attracted me to this story was the time-period of the story. I have read other stories based in this time period that involved a lot of racial confrontation that was common during that time. I also knew that kids in that period tended to live wild and free which I enjoy. This story did not disappoint I can say that it was truly entertaining.
Ivy is so tired of her parents trying to match make for her. She doesn’t want to marry for money; she wants to marry for love. After all, her sister f...moreIvy is so tired of her parents trying to match make for her. She doesn’t want to marry for money; she wants to marry for love. After all, her sister found love and enjoys her marriage. She’d rather be an old maid than marry a man she can’t stand, especially not one three times her age!
The author does a nice job of setting this story in the Christmas season. She has created independent, stubborn characters who are determined to make their own choices and she throws them together by chance. I found it amusing to watch Ivy and Phillip blush when they meet and then accidently meet several more times while helping needy children have a special Christmas. The interaction between the two is sweet and they act more like young teens than adults.
While activities and festivities abound that both must attend, they find themselves thinking about their chance acquaintance. My favorite part of the story is the fact that Ivy doesn’t want to even meet the Duke of Greenbriar. Why should she, she’s already met the man she loves. It’s unfortunate that he’s a toymaker. On the hand, Phillip, the toymaker is actually now the Dean of Greenbriar because his Uncle died. Since he hasn’t admitted that to Ivy, he’s in a real pickle.
Watching the two characters dance around each and make mistakes in courtship is fun. Ivy even insinuates more has happened between them has. When he admits he is a Duke, things go downhill from there. The author does a very nice job with development of the relationship and demonstrates how easily it is to mess one up if you don’t communicate well.
Mr. Springsteen’s novel reads well and she adds a nice little surprise at the end of the story. You feel like you’re living in that time period, and you certainly care about the characters. I really enjoyed this read. Why don’t you grab a copy and see what you think?
This is a fun story and not just for children who have a parent in the Armed Services. Lots of the experiences in the book, like facing the school bul...moreThis is a fun story and not just for children who have a parent in the Armed Services. Lots of the experiences in the book, like facing the school bully and having to make new friends after a move, are topics most children can relate to.
I liked Spanky and I think the author did a great job with showing us who his was through his thoughts and actions. The only thing I felt was that sometimes Spanky and his buddies used dialogue that seemed more mature for their age, and some of their actions seemed more like teenagers.
There are some touching scenes in the story like when he’s at the airport and saying goodbye to his dad. Also, the author created a sense of suspense every time Spanky didn’t hear from his father when he was actually serving in Afghanistan. In the end, I, like Spanky, was hoping that his dad had a safe tour of duty.
In the second part of the story, is the part where Spanky really proves himself and makes his father proud. I won’t give it away but it’s a little slice of adventure within this book that I think young readers will especially enjoy.
I think this would be a fun story for both boys and girls and the ideal read for children whose parents are away on active duty.
Wolves don’t usually play well with cats, but Grayson and Beth are the exception. There is a instant connection that cannot be denied, which means onl...moreWolves don’t usually play well with cats, but Grayson and Beth are the exception. There is a instant connection that cannot be denied, which means only one thing, they were meant to be no matter their species. Beth knows she can trust the wolf in man’s clothing, especially since he has come to help them. He seems to get along with everyone even though wolves are known for trying to become the alpha. Beth is rewarded with one of the most kind and compassionate men around vying for her attention.
The family connection in this story was evident from beginning to end and was a real driving force that kept me interested. I like that Beth and her family seem to look out for one another even if they did not know it. It is a type of kinship that many of us seek within our own families. It was clear to me that though they may not be perfect, everything they did was for one another. I also enjoyed Gray’s longing for such a family. It helped me to know that he many finally found home.
The relationship development between Beth and Grayson while continues seemed to fall a bit short for me. I would like to have seen a bit more wooing and reluctance on the part of the characters. I think a bit more build up between the wolf and cat compatibility or lack of it would have made the relationship that much more explosive in the end for me.
The antagonistic conflict within the story was a nice added feature. It had its start in a previous story, but I was still able to follow along easily as should anyone who is new to the series, or a veteran in the Were Chronicles world. This author does like to feature relationships that cover both straight, gay and anything in between, so while the main characters are m/f, they do have some gay supporting characters in case anyone is squeamish about these types of topics. It was a nice add in for me since I enjoy all types of relationships.
This is a series I have recommended in the past and will continue to do so because the author is great at producing high quality stories, just like Pack Community.
I knew I had just read an awesome book by the aftermath – nails bitten, teeth aching and hyperventilation, check – check – check. There is action, suspense and more twists and turns than the Pacific Coast Highway; and it can leave a reader just as breathless. A Highland Werewolf Wedding delivered surprises, shocks and heart pounding adventures that had my brain spinning. What a ride!
The author first introduced me to the lead characters way back in history. Because werewolves live a long time, fate had a nice, leisurely time span to work its magic. Ms. Spear’s writing is diabolical and clever. She wove an intricate little mystery about a time honored tradition – hunting for buried pirate treasure. There was murder and betrayal along the way, naturally, but there is something infinitely more intriguing buried with the stash – destiny.
Elaine is young and scared when the story opens. When next a reader meets her, she’s all grown up and a force to be reckoned with. Life has hardened her and made her more cunning, determined and a woman who knows her own mind. She stands up for herself, and because she’s been on her own for so long, knows what it’s like to have no one to guard her back. That makes her a woman of action. If there’s injustice, she stands against it. If there’s a wrong, she is going to correct it. And if someone is going to try to feed her a load of blarney, she’ll call them on it. Elaine Hawthorne is no one’s fool. Despite everything she’s lived through and survived, there is this little spark of romantic yearning inside that has lain dormant all these years. It will take one man to ignite it and his name is Cearnach MacNeill.
I originally met Cearnach in A Howl for a Highlander and he was portrayed as a man who is jovial in nature with a will of steel. In his own story, I got to see a greater depth from him that pleased me. That easygoing manner that his family is familiar with isn’t present in this book. He’s taking a stand against injustice; a right choice in the face of one hundred percent disapproval. And yet, the hero can do no less. It’s that sense of honor, integrity and the unwillingness to let a wrong go uncontested that made him an awesome choice for winning the heroine’s love. The fact that he is drool-worthy in a kilt, or nothing at all, is an added bonus.
What kills me is that I can’t talk at length about the villains. The whole lot of them play a key role in getting Elaine and Cearnach together long enough that they fall in love, wholly and completely. So much happens to the two of them because of the actions and manipulations of the bad guys that it’s astounding. The conflict is genius, the action sequences of fighting, running and fighting some more were tightly written and the final culmination of a century’s old mystery finally getting solved was satisfactorily wrapped up.
At first, their romance seems to be humming along without a hitch, mostly because they’re both wolves and they know the mating expectations. The hero and heroine are not shy by any means, which had the effect of providing me with some oh-so-sexy seduction scenes. Both characters know what they like and want and go after it. I was enjoying their getting together so much that when the villains made their dramatic strike it was a like being splashed with frigid Arctic water. SHOCK! I yelled at the book, put it down, stalked off, came right back and started reading again. I could not believe my eyes. What an amazing, truly amazing gift Ms. Spear has for storytelling!
I absolutely enjoyed the romance, the back story and the delivery but the novel isn’t totally perfect. There is only one thing that could have made the book one hundred percent ideal and that was less repetition of Elaine being an “alpha-she wolf”. I get it. Cearnach totally loved that about her, was enamored of her personality and appreciated that she was an alpha-she wolf. But I was beat over the head with it and after a while all I could do was roll my eyes. It almost came to the point that she was over-alphing the hero, which wouldn’t have been a good thing. The author managed to prevent the heroine from usurping the hero’s place as a hero, but barely. In the end, the most important fact is that they came out equal, Elaine and Cearnach are well matched and their union is truly blessed. A piece of the pirate treasure proved that.
Another component to enjoy was seeing Duncan again from A Highland Werewolf Wedding. In this story he acts like the other book said he usually did but because he was falling in love at the time, a reader didn’t get to see him in action. His devilish bloodthirsty nature came out loud and clear in this tale and it was a great benefit for Cearnach. Not only did I get to see Ian, the oldest brother again, but I had the distinct treat of seeing I was right about an observation that I’d made when reading the other book. Uncle Ethan is fitting right in. I’m tickled pink.
Even though I’m making references to a previous book, please don’t let that dissuade you from reading this one. It’s a great standalone read because the story is complete unto itself. Yes, there are little references from the previous books that a fan will be able to pick up and enjoy all the more. It’s like a double layer of fun – it’s great for both new and old fans of the series.
A Highland Werewolf Wedding is not only sultry, sexy and satisfying but it has a plot conflict that stuns, shocks and bowls a reader over from the surprise. This is a book that kept me on my toes, kept me glued to its pages and bouncing in my chair. I cannot even express the myriad of emotions this book wrung from me but it’s all due to the awesome talent that Ms. Spear possesses. It was amazing how she lulled me into thinking that this was going to be a sweet but hot romance with a mild bit of drama. Readers are in for a wild time. I feel like I’m straining against the bit because I want to reveal just what made this novel as cool and diabolical as it is and I can’t. It’s a major spoiler and I want readers to feel what I did, experience the whole sensation like I did and that can only come from the not knowing. I guess some readers might figure it out. In retrospect I think the author did drop clues. But I didn’t catch on so it made the revelation all the more powerful. So, rush out and get this book when you can and find out for yourself. A Highland Werewolf Wedding a sure winner.(less)
If ever a blurb was misleading then the little snippet for A Wedding in Springtime is totally off base. This story isn’t all fluff and boring internal angst between the classes and a man overcome by a lady’s charms. Not by a long shot. This book has intrigue, action, mystery, betrayal, twisted intentions, and a love scene that was totally not what a person expected. This tale started off so innocently and slowly built with starts and stops, but that was only a ploy to lull a reader into thinking that this was going to be an historical romance like all the rest. Ms. Forester wove a tale that embraced humor, women with spunk and men who are unwittingly at their mercy. In short, it was a blast to read.
This novel is also busy with a lot of story threads that work through the main story arc and which involves many secondary characters. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that there were more than just Genie and William on center stage. Some of the supporting cast were just as integral and strong in presence as if they too were the focus of the story. It is because their lives are so intertwined that it’s hard to think of only the hero and heroine. Even with stating this, the author should be commended for her strength of writing. Every time someone else was on stage, it benefited the plot movement that swirled around William, a/k/a Grant, and Genie. Everything they did and said had a domino effect that propelled the main protagonists to discover important things about each other, to make certain choices that ultimately lead them to a romance reader’s ultimate goal – the happily ever after. To that end, the author was wildly successful if unconventional.
Eugenia a/k/a Genie starts off in a pickle. The man who sealed her doom eventually becomes her salvation. Before that can happen, however, I was treated to a young woman who has an adventure beyond anything she could have imagined. She is faced with difficult choices, some fun, some heartfelt, and others that showcased what a wonderful, caring and ingenious woman she could be. There was one scene that made me think of her as a cross between Mary Poppins and Dirty Harry – sweet but don’t mess with her or she’s going to make you pay. I didn’t expect that and didn’t know she had it in her. It was awesome.
Grant was a typical rogue and confirmed bachelor. Many an historical romance features a man filled with ennui and it takes an ‘original’ to bring him to life and lust to the point he rethinks his aversion to marriage. Fans of Regency romances will find that is true for the hero in this book as well. Unlike other rogues, he’s not a bad sort at all. In fact, Grant is charming, suave, happy-go-lucky and in his estimation, delightfully clueless about things regarding estates. It’s said that a good woman makes a good man better. That is how I saw the hero. He was good but everything that transpired during the course of this tale made him grow as a person, a man and a son. If asked, I’d say the most dramatic element of the book was seeing Grant go from frivolous male to an aware, decisive and proactive man, willing to do what needs to be done to do the right thing. His inspiration was Genie and his proposal was as original and spectacular as could be. He was a terrific hero.
As for secondary characters, this book was flush. I enjoyed getting to meet every single one, everyone that is, except the villain. I suspected who the cur was but I never anticipated the nasty nature that the bounder hid. In fact, I strongly and completely suspect that all is not wrapped up in a neat and tidy bow. There was someone else I didn’t trust and I was taken aback when it didn’t turn out the way I thought it should. I could have sworn that he was in collusion but I am supposedly proved wrong. I’m going with my gut feeling. You see, the Duke of Marchford and Penelope, the companion to the dowager duchess, have this buzz thing zinging between them. They don’t recognize what’s going on but as a fan of all things romantic, I believe I saw a sequel starting to bloom and when Ms. Forester does write James’ story, which I implore her to do, I fully expect to have my suspicions confirmed. To that end, I firmly and loudly state that Ms. Forester’s next book is going to be an auto-buy for me. The people she has introduced me to during the telling of this tale have completely enchanted me. I also want to know what becomes of the quick-fingered Jem.
A Wedding in Springtime is simply delightful with storytelling filled with charm, heart and a good dose of addictive fun. I never knew what kind of ploy Genie would come up with, when the next twist of the plot would occur or what would make Grant swallow that lump in his throat and get around to proposing. The external conflict kept the pages turning and the well rounded characters kept me engaged. This might have been the first book written by Ms. Forester that I’ve read, but it won’t be the last. I liked her writing style and if this is what I can expect, I expect to be a happy reader. I encourage other readers to give this book a whirl and discover what made me like Genie and Grant so much.(less)
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.(less)
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!(less)
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.
Nick was forced into a life that many would cringe at, including myself. Yet, he somehow made it out of that life and just wants to live the life of a quiet professor just like he deserves. However, his past catches up with him and threatens to destroy everything he has created over the years.
I had been previously introduced to Nick in another story about his brother, so I knew a bit of what I was getting into. Nick reminds me of a tiger waiting to pounce. He seems beautiful and majestic from a distance, but get too close and you will get scratched. Lucky for Gen he pounces on her, but in all the right ways. He introduced her to a lifestyle that many of us read about and what to know more of. Nick is a character that was elusive enough that I wanted to know more even at the end of the story. I would love to read a story about his and his brother’s childhood so I can better understand the man he has become.
Gen was a surprising character to me. At first I expected her to be some type of secret spy, detective or even a hired hit woman. There was something about her that just screamed “I am more than what meets the eyes”. What I had not expected was for her to live such a mild mannered lifestyle. She just seemed like she needed adventure and excitement on a regular basis. Which was further confirmed when she and Nick got together, because their time spent together is anything but calm and mild.
The plotline within this story had a lot of complex turns that kept me on the edge of my seat. Whether it was the characters’ budding relationship with one another, their relationships with friends and family, or the threat of being discovered at any minute, there was never a dull moment. I know that this pair will have a long and exciting life together, and I hope I get to see them again in future stories.(less)
He’d inherited an old mansion that had knight’s armor set up in the hallway. As he was on his way up the next landing, he “pets” the old armor on the way by. Then he notices there is an extra set: Where could that have come from? The worst part was that there was someone in the armor and that someone was determined to have his head!
Mr. Greenough has written a fairy tale that includes time travel, wizards, giants, a dragon and, of course, a beautiful princess. He includes more than one source of danger and adds a little life lesson to the story, too. His words flow well, the story was interesting and I liked the ending. I won’t tell you about it, you’ll have to read this story yourself to find out what happened at the end.
Alexander manages to keep his head but he’s amazed to find the knight trying to kill him is a wizard and he’s here to transport him to another kingdom to kill the evil wizard. Alexander attempts to explain he has no fighting skills and is not a knight, but the wizard isn’t listening. The “new” earth he visits is in the medieval age and is a lovely place. Well, mostly lovely, if you don’t count the evil wizard’s monsters.
Before he gets to the castle, he acquires a strange pet, meets the princess, and has to fight off monsters. He’d love to steal the red ball of power and go home, but it’s not happening. He has thirty days to learn to fight and kill the evil wizard.
The story has humor, sacrifice, and a goodly amount of self-realization that you don’t have to accept how things are, you can change them. It’s an entertaining story with characters you grow to care about. It’s a novella, so why not get a copy and enjoy a reading treat today?
Finally, an author has written a story about a shifter female finding a human mate. You find in so many paranormal stories a human female and a shifter male lead that I found it refreshing to see the opposite in this story. On top of that, the author found a way to have a strong shifter female without emasculating Pete, the hero in Undone. While it may be questionable at times on who can win physically, it is clear to me that Pete is every bit an alpha male even if he cannot turn into a ferocious bear.
Marianna is a character that I quickly fell in love with. She has a spice for life that you just don’t see in many stories. While she can certainly be a reckless party girl, she also bears a lot of weight on her shoulders from various places such as her Amoveo blood, family, friends, and enemies – whether they be forthcoming are hidden in the shadows. While at first I saw some of her behavior as reckless, as I learned more about her I discovered that she needs a way to let her hair down to keep from crumbling under all the pressure placed onto her. She also discovers that she can depend on Pete to help lift some of that burden as well.
Pete is an awesome man; he is the ultimate good guy. He clearly wants to make life better for those around him. It’s one of the attributes that made him a good cop previously and a good bodyguard/babysitter for Marianna. He has a way of seeing situations differently than the average human which makes him a true asset to the Amoveos and humans. One characteristic that I absolutely adore is his ability to push back. He never sees himself as weak especially when surrounded by preternatural beings, but instead analyses a situation and figures out how to make it work for him. This quality was truly enduring and makes me have a special appreciation for him.
I am a long time fan of this series and have truly enjoyed seeing the progression of not only the storyline but also the author’s ability. While all of the previous stories have been entertaining, I can see the progress that the author has made in finding a way to connect with her audience by painting a picture so clearly, it makes me forget the world around me. Many times I found myself so enthralled, that I had to shake my head just to jostle myself out of the Amoveo world and tend to the real world.
If you are not a follower of this series you can still enjoy Undone, though you may find certain areas unclear. I appreciate that the author does not go in too many summaries or explanations about characters and conflicts from previous stories. I have always found summaries tedious and downright boring. So some of the group or Amoveo conflicts, such as the counsel breaking up, may baffle a new reader, but Marianna and Pete’s romantic plot will keep anyone more than interested. Plus, if you have not read the series this will be a great time to pick up the previous books as well as this one and I assure you will not be disappointed.(less)
Can a stolen Therizinosaur egg laid millions of years ago actually hatch? How does a girl go about solving the mystery of what happened to it when her mother insists on shipping her off to a ranch in the middle of nowhere for two weeks?
Chiana may have a knack for getting into scrapes but she’s also good at navigating her way out of them again. At twelve years old she’s just beginning to understand why her mother disapproves of her tendency to get caught up in adult investigations but this doesn’t mean that Chiana will stop acting like a private investigator anytime soon. Her witty and sometimes sarcastic opinion of how the adults around her handle delicate situations injects some much needed humour into the plot. While The Case of the Missing Dinosaur Egg appears to be part of a series I was not familiar with the earlier stories when I picked this book up. I had no trouble understanding what was happening or how everyone knew each other.
My major concern about Chiana is how her relationship with her step-sister, Sarah, is portrayed by Ms. Whyte. Chiana is an intelligent, brave, and resourceful girl who hates the thought of dressing up while Sarah is described as a natural beauty who is obsessed with wearing flattering outfits and making sure every hair is in place even after a long afternoon of training with her horse. The dichotomy between Chiana and Sarah seems out of place. Why can’t a girl love fashion and running around in the woods solving mysteries?
Professor Goodenough helped to make up for the odd relationship between Sarah and Chiana. I sympathized with his efforts to keep nosy kids off of his property. Farms can be full of dangerous objects and creatures and it completely made sense that the professor would want to limit his legal liability. His sense of humour was also well developed and unflappable. It would have been amusing to observe certain scenes through his perspective as Chiana’s understanding of what is happening is only tangentially related to Professor Goodenough’s point of view.
This tale doesn’t contain any material that is inappropriate for readers age 10 or older. Some of the vocabulary used might be too difficult for younger preteens, though, which is why I’m recommending it for the 12+ age group, but younger children with more advanced reading skills would enjoy it, too.
The Case of the Missing Dinosaur Egg is a classic young adult novel in the best sense of the term. Despite a handful references to modern day books and movies I could see it being popular with late elementary and middle school students for many years to come. It is a good choice for reluctant and avid readers alike and I look forward to recommending it to young friends and relatives in the future.(less)
When a cop decides you’ve been a bad girl, you’ve got to take your punishment!
Lilly is riding with cop Jake as part of her internship. On the last of their three days riding together there is an incident in a house and she, despite it being against the rules, follows him into the property. He’s unhurt, but furious that she put herself at risk and all those heated emotions soon turn to her agreeing to letting him dominate her in return for his not telling her superiors. But it’s okay, she’s been eyeing up his sexy body for days, she’s happy to get sweaty and dirty with him, hardly a punishment!
Riding with the Cop is hot and short, the situation the characters find themselves in is unique and risky. I liked how the author threw in some of the back story, so I knew there had been sexual tension simmering, and as a reader it was great to be there for the climax! There was a little twist too, which I enjoyed.
It could be longer, but only the characters’ story. This particular scene would have made a nice middle or end to a story but I knew it was just a quickie when I started reading it, so that’s not a complaint, if any thing it proves I enjoyed it. I’d be interested in reading some of the other books in this series. The author has a snappy, fast-paced voice with good dialogue between Jake and Lilly and the sex was smoldering hot – well, it’s going to be when a cop decides to use handcuffs to harness a girl to the bed – oh yeah!
A good, quick read, that whisked me away to a steamy fantasy. Definitely enjoyable with a cup of coffee or a glass of wine, and yes, I will no doubt flush next time I see a cop swinging his cuffs!
This truly spectacular book features a dynamic plot line with a multitude of twists and turns that kept me reading into the wee hours of the knight.
Polyxena and Arsenio’s (the Lorengar-Lorraine) were never honored enough to meet one another, but that did not change the fact that they were forced into an arranged marriage which began with scandal that never seemed to end. Polyxena never got to meet her late husband, but her determination to honor the man he was, as well as herself, is noble and made me take a instant liking to her. I really enjoyed that she immediately considers the people of Lorengar-Lorraine her people, even if they do not know or trust their new Duchess. While the people of Lorengar-Lorraine may hold her attention, the mysterious knight Duccio somehow takes grip of her heart, even if it leaves both of them extremely vulnerable to their enemies.
The romantic development definitely plays second fiddle to the external conflict within this story, which pleased me. I found the conflict between the Duke Ludwig of Saxe-Hanover and Polyxena and her deceased husband completely enthralling. The action and tension is immediately and increases beautifully until the final climax. I typically do not favor this time period, or know much about it, but found this book entertaining. If you enjoy a unique and dynamic plot line, you’ll undoubtedly want to read this story over and over again.
The author did a great job depicting the time period without losing her audience. I have read some historical fiction stories that are to0 modern to believe, and others that are to historical to understand and this story is neither. While the history or stories about the knights templar do play a role in the story you do not need to be familiar with them to understand or follow the storyline. Though I would have liked to have known a little bit more about the secret hidden treasures, I understand and appreciate the mystery because that was one of the largest aspect of the knights that made them fascinating.
I would highly recommend this story to practically everyone, and will absolutely re-read it myself again on a few occasions. I have a feeling this is one of those stories that you learn a little bit and appreciate it more each and every time you pick it up no matter how many times you have gone through it.
Actions send adrenaline racing and loves scenes take the breath away and inspire the imagination. Thrill Ride does indeed live up to its title.This is the fourth Black Knight Inc. book, but it stands alone beautifully. Of course, if you have read the earlier books, you’ll have a special treat. You’ll get to catch up with characters that swept you away on previous death-defying missions and into breathtaking love scenes. Ozzie, Becky and Frank, Billy, Eve, just to mention a few, add a special spice and humor to the do or die action. They are a kaleidoscope of personalities, intelligence, and actions. Each has a special something to enhance the story.
Thrill Ride is Richard “Rock” Babineaux and Vanessa Cordero’s story. The smooth-talking Cajun, with his wit, Southern charm, and gift for getting the truth from people, has supposedly gone “rogue”. Vanessa, the curvy, petite, stubborn, lionhearted communications expert at Black Knights Inc, is the best one to find him in the jungle area settlements of Costa Rica. She speaks the dialects of the region and has the moxie to finish what she starts. The connection Rock and Vanessa make as they struggle to stay alive in the jungle and the events that seem determined to sever that connection make page-turning reading.
The “burn and delete” that the CIA puts out on Rock sets the Black Knights in high gear to find him before anyone else does, but Rock is not easy to find. He can “disappear faster than a cry on the wind”.
The secretiveness of missions breed distrust among agencies and when ‘powers-that-be’ use this to promote their own agendas, actions do get wild and deadly. The unknown Rwanda Don wrecks havoc with lots of lives via actions of others and seems to be an untouchable antagonist. However, the Black Knights work their collective intellect and magic, keeping the reader on high alert for the entire book.
The inventive, descriptive, often outrageous language; the imagery; the bigger-than-life characters along with the intriguing, suspenseful, tangled plot that Julie Ann Walker uses, captures and sweeps the reader along into a vicarious experience that bombards the senses and sends emotions skyrocketing.
Crater Lake Park attracts many tourists and Chief Park Ranger Henry Shore is happy to see people enjoy the scenery and peacefulness of his domain. He and his wife live in the park and their divorced daughter and her baby live nearby.
Trouble arrives when an earthquake uncovers dinosaur bones near the upper part of the lake. Henry knows this discovery will mean more visitors, but would they be the right sort? He’s just got used to the dinosaur bones discovery when rumors begin to fly about a huge creature haunting the lake – then people begin to disappear! Henry knows something must be done to keep the park visitors safe, but bureaucracy fights him at every turn.
I found this book to be an enjoyable read. There were a few thrills and chills when the belief about the monster in the lake became more solid. Henry and his wife have a loving relationship but Ann has a mind of her own. They reminded me of many husband and wife teams who work together to a common good. There were many characters in this book, but somehow the author managed to keep me from getting too confused. Only a couple of times did I have to flick back to see the part played by the person she mentioned.
Towards the end of the story as the pace was cranked up to the finale, I found some scenes slightly unbelievable, but on the whole this really could have happened. Our planet has many hidden facets and who knows what lies beneath the surface?
Dinosaur Lake is a planned story and equally well written.(less)
What do you get when you mix a matchmaking Cajun ninety year old lady named Tante Lulu with a Viking vampire angel and a sex deprived lawyer? A very entertaining read and it’s all found in Ms. Hill’s latest masterpiece, Kiss of Temptation .
With Ms. Hill’s Cajun romances, Tante Lulu was always there as not only an effective stirrer of the plot using charming hijinks, but her character was always a guarantee that there’d be laughter at the most unexpected times. Imagine my delighted shock when I found out that this author, with her knack of tickling the most stubborn funny bone, decided to toss in a little of that generational humor and a lavender ‘longcar’ towards a hapless Viking whose sin was lust.
The author set up the story by first giving a reader insight as to the worst possible outcome of unbridled lust. There are consequences and Ivak learned it the hard way. And he’s still learning. Although the hero tries to walk the straight and narrow, he has too much naughty humor and tactless quips to share that drive the warden of the prison nuts. He’s wise to the world and yet all his experience hasn’t taught him how to deal with real emotions, true feelings and the difference between love and lust. In this book, he figures it out. His journey is well worth reading.
Gabrielle is a woman on the edge of despair. She’s worked so hard to help her brother be released from prison. When I first met her in the story, I got the impression that she was starting to see enemies and liars in every corner, that everyone was a foe – which is the beginning of the end of hope. However, she made one last stab at trusting a person and that choice opened up whole new avenues and adventures. In fact, I think she not only ended up finding true love, but she found a family and a sense of belonging that totally filled the dark spaces in her heart that she didn’t know she had. The things that Ms. Hill had her do to realize both being in love and being loved is what made this novel so fun to read. One of the more amazing things is the heroine finding out that who she viewed as a person being profoundly against her ended up being one of her most fervent supporters – in a quiet sort of way. It was that tying up of an emotional loose end that made me appreciate Ms. Hill’s storytelling talent all over again. The author has the ability to throw something innocuous at a reader in the beginning without us ever knowing how large a role it would eventually play. Those are cool surprises.
Jasper, the villain and sexual sadist, is back. Hugs to Ms. Hill for giving me just enough detail and descriptions to make me squirm in discomfort, but not enough gross stuff to make me want to walk away from the book. The villain is not a redeemable character and that belief is reinforced in each book of the series. He’s vile, twisted and a major pain in the Vangels’ very delicious tushes. His minions are disgusting and equally perverse but rest assured, once again, good triumphs over evil. Mostly.
As much as I enjoyed and was entertained by the novel as a whole, there were a couple of parts that seemed rushed. There were some minor conflicts that came across as being too easily solved and Ivak’s path seemed smoothed over by the lack of detail and closure. It was like a narrator came in to hurry the characters along so readers could get to the good stuff – the romance. I’m not complaining because I really liked the ‘good stuff’, but, I did notice the change in storytelling. I can even understand the why of it because if the author delved too much into those scenes and let them lead her, I suppose the book would then have been more about the conflict itself than the romance between Ivak and Gabrielle. Another thing that struck me as ‘off’ was the guard. Ivak and his nose should have figured out long before what he was. Heck, even his brethren should have gotten a whiff. But none of them did. It allowed for a conflict to occur that I guess was integral to the story, but I don’t believe for one minute that they couldn’t have averted that particular situation. I think that was the only truly weak point in the whole book.
Once again, St. Michael the Archangel is on stage and I loved how Ms. Hill had him be …wrong. It reinforces the understanding that angels, even an Archangel, are messengers, helpers and interpreters of God. They are NOT God however because only He knows everything. Which means St. Michael got a shock of his own. Not only was it adorable but it provided another fascinating aspect of Vangel life. I have to wonder though, what’s next?
Secondary characters abound in this novel and they contribute flavor, ambiance, plot hilarity and surprises. All of them enhance the romance growing between Ivak and Gabrielle and it’s all good.
Don’t resist reading a Kiss of Temptation because if you do, you’ll be missing out on a fun adventure of romance and mayhem from the talented Ms. Hill. There is so much to like and enjoy that I could not cover it all in this review. I didn’t even get to cover the naughty dream sequences! Check out for yourself why I believe books by this author are worth spending time with. Bet they’ll make you smile.
What do proto-humans living during an unforgiving ice age, peasants and dragons maintaining an uneasy peace and the dangers of crashing your spaceship onto another planet have in common?
The best entries in this collection are the ones that dabble in other genres. Matty in “The Clone Wrangler’s Bride” acts like a character from a romance novel at first. She’s headstrong, intelligent and fiercely determined to grit her way through an arranged marriage which only makes what happens to her next even more memorable. “Flying Solo” starts out with a dramatic crash on a barely inhabitable and uncharted planet far from the narrator’s true destination. Katherine chronicles her struggle to survive as she waits for assistance by writing a series of letters to her brother. Gradually the correspondence begins to include her interactions with the other living creatures she finds on the planet and that’s when her adventures truly begin.
The missteps in Push of the Sky happened when more attention was paid to flowery language and describing the scenery than character or plot development. “The Butterfly Assassin” in particular evoked vivid imagery in my mind as I read but never quite got around to sufficiently explaining how a medieval civilization could be technologically developed enough to keep someone with severe disabilities alive or build machines that require delicate parts or are easily damaged. “The Beetle Eater’s Dream” was another good example of an intriguing concept that spent more time describing how the main character adjusted to the mundane realities life on a spaceship after growing up on a nearly uninhabitable futuristic earth than it did explaining her motivation for deciding to travel in deep space on a whim.
Even though not all of the tales in this collection were appealing to me Ms. Alexa left this reader wanting to know more about almost all of them. She consistently packed a novel’s worth of intrigue into a few short pages and I would gladly pay to learn more about almost all of the men, women, robots and dragons I met in this book. Push of the Sky is a great choice for anyone interested in pushing the boundaries of modern science fiction and fantasy and I recommend it.
I was amazed to find out that the main character in this story is a prostitute. I was expecting a cozy mystery with a cook featured. That was not to be, and I’m actually glad it wasn’t. Having this unusual occupation added an injection of “food for thought” to the story. (Pun intended.)
The author obviously has given some thought to his plot. This is not the first mystery he’s written with Diana Andrews as the main character. She already knows the cop that shows up at the murder scene after her call. They even have a discussion over why the male would be using her services on Thanksgiving Day. That’s not something my family ever thought about before.
Mr. Tucher writes a good story within a few pages. You not only get a short course on prostitution, you see the cop fail to find the murderer and watch Diana use psychology to figure out the identity of the murderer.
The author manages to amuse you, makes you wonder why the man would be murdered now (he’s not a new customer), and intrigues you with Diana’s thought processes in all of four pages of text. I especially liked the motive for his death; it’s very ironic and not at all what I expected.
If you’re looking for a short read that will entertain you, this is a good one. If you want to know why Mr. Tucher has a prostitute detective, you’ll have to ask him. In my case, it made the story even more enjoyable because it was so incongruous.(less)
When succubus Inari Chayse refuses an order to seduce and drain a very special target, she gets the attention of the Highest of Powers, and she becomes something she never expected. She is granted the status of Principatus, one of demon assassins working for the protection of humanity. For twenty years, she has ignored her passionate side, thinking that she must not give in, or she could lose her status as Principatus, but her dreams of a dark and alluring master vampire have her confused and on edge.
When the ghost of her sister visits her, she believes she is losing her mind. When she actually meets the vampire she has been dreaming of, it is a shock, both because he actually exists, and because of the unusual circumstances of their meeting. Ezryn Navarr is a master vampire, of royal blood and once the destined leader of the race, until the machinations of his twin caused a breech and Ezryn was passed over in favor of Haral. When Inari kills a rogue vampire preying on innocents, Haral orders Ezryn to destroy the Principatus, and gives him a deadline: kill her in four days, or Haral begins murdering vampires who supported Ezryn as the true heir. As Ezryn and Inari grow closer, both fight what is building between them, until time runs out and Ezryn must take a stand. Can a Master Vampire and a Principatus together stop the insanity of the vampire leader? Can Ezryn ever forget what he has learned about Inari and trust her again? Can there be a happy ending for two individuals so strong, yet so wounded?
Dark Embrace is the second of Lexxie Couper’s Principatus books, and is a dark and thrilling story of greed, lust envy and desire. The world Ms. Couper has created is an intriguing mix of supernatural beings living in the real world, side by side with humans in the modern locations around Sydney Australia, and a look at things that go bump in the night. I like this world, because I know there will always be something there to tempt me to the darker side, and yet, there is always a thread of wonder in Ms. Couper’s stories as well. The characters are compelling, with depth and feeling and passions.
Inari Chayse is a former succubus, now fighting for the Highest of Powers to eliminate evil and protect humanity. She is strong, dangerous, and very lonely. She feels guilty for the death of her sister Tianya at the hands of a demon, and she wants to avenge that death. I like Inari, with her sense of loyalty and her desire to protect humanity. I enjoyed watching as she believed she had lost her power as a Principatus, and learned how to integrate her two so different sides to become the true protector she was meant to be. I also enjoyed watching her confusion concerning Ezryn, a master vampire she should hate, but wants to love.
Ezryn Navarr, born and raised to assume the position of overlord of the vampire race once his father passes, is strong, loyal to friends and family and race, handsome and determined. When his twin, Haral, uses trickery and deceit to take the position that is rightfully Ezryn’s, he puts as much distance as he can between them. Until Haral makes mistakes, and shows how evil and depraved he truly is, Ezryn has ignored him, but now he has to act. Ordered to destroy the Principatus, he is determined to protect those his brother threatens until he meets Inari, then he is torn by his feelings. How can he kill the one woman who makes him feel alive? When he thinks Inari has betrayed him and lured him using her succubus powers, he is ready to destroy her. I like watching Ezryn come to terms with all that he has to do, and his tough decisions concerning his people, his friends and the evil his brother represents.
This story is strong and the passions are hot and extremely potent, and there is a sense of evil at times, mostly when Haral is present. The characters in this are all well crafted, and the presence of the first Principatus, Ven Watkins, was an added draw for me. There are several story threads here that are brought to a more than satisfactory conclusion, and the addition of Inari’s sister Tianya was intriguing: is she a ghost, or just a figment of Inari’s imagination? As a Lexxie Couper book, of course the sex is off the charts hot and frequent, and I was thoroughly satisfied by the way this story came to its conclusion. I look forward to more from this world, and hope that Ven gets his own story as well. This is for those who like their romance paranormal with a dark twist. But be aware that this one just could melt your ereader, or burn your fingers, so keep the ice close at hand.
With complex, riveting characters and a dynamic plotline this story was mesmerizing. LeeAnna’s background story especially made the story intriguing. She has had to cope without her sense of hearing as well as dealing with the murder of her family at such a young age. Her sweet, innocent demeanor after this grave loss left her vulnerable to others, including other family.
Jacob had been protecting LeeAnn for longer than she realized. He spent most of his life protecting humans from the vampires that prey on them in the night, so protecting one more didn’t seem like a big deal. It shows how strong Jacob’s sense of honor and compassion is for people who don’t even know he exists. It was clear to me that Jacob held his honor above everything including himself. Even the way he interacted with the other watchers enforced this belief. It definitely warmed my heart to see the way he took LeeAnn under his wing when it was clear so had no one else to turn too. I was happy to see that they found one another because they both seemed to fill a void the other had without even realizing it themselves.
Williams, LeeAnn’s uncle really knows how to bite off more than he can chew. Like many other misguided individuals, only his wants and needs matter. This is particularly displayed not only in the way he treats LeeAnn, but also his own mother. I was hoping he would get exactly what he deserves by the end of the story, but I have a feeling I have not seen the last of him.
I have been a long time fan of the Watcher Series. I have to say that this is one of my two favorite stories within the series. I think the author really found a way to strengthen the characters and heighten the tension in the plot by adding some really exciting reveals and twists. I would highly recommend this story to anyone who is looking for a great paranormal story to read, whether they are familiar with the series or not, but cause anyone can enjoy the incomparable story.(less)
Ben and Quinten want Camilla, bad. But she has a rule and they don’t want to ruin things with her before anything ever gets started. Leave it to a little competition to finally make them show Camilla that some rules are made to be broken.
Camilla is a sassy, energetic assistant manager at the club Ben co-owns, and Quinten works at as head bartender. She is great at what she does and when she starts wearing “costumes” to work, the men are positive it’s just to tease them. Of course it brings in more customers and gains more tips for her but it also makes control a hard to reach thing for Ben and Quinten. They have both lusted over this woman for years and decided to partner up and build a life in hopes of Camilla one day joining them.
A series of shady events bring the threesome together outside of work, and for Camilla the line she had drawn in the sand–work is work and pleasure is pleasure–is starting to blur. But she’s had feelings for both men for a while and decides to take the bulls by the horns. All the while Camilla is getting closer to realizing her dream of opening her own club with the help of a guardian angel, and some really great friends. Danger is lurking and Camilla struggles to let her men protect her and keep her safe because no one has ever cared enough too. The men work to destroy the walls she’s built, yet she manages to complete and heal the men at the same time.
Tiny Dancer is another great addition to the Divine Creek family. Ben and Quiten are great characters individually but together they are like the two halves of the ying and yang and Camilla is the energy that sets it spinning. Ben is dark and intense as Quiten is light an easy going while Camilla is like the sun and full of energy and brightness. This trio is a wonderful compliment to each other, probably the best of all.
One of the things I really liked about this book is that Camilla was a very sensual person and she really embraced that. We typically see heroines needing to be brought out of their shell, a la Grace from book one or Dr. Emma from book 9, but here Camilla was not only a former exotic dancer but also part of the lifestyle that is BDSM. I felt that this particular book was more sexually charged overall whereas most of the previous books start off sweet and loving before turning the sex factor up to full blast. Camilla, Ben and Quinten scorch the pages from beginning to end.
Heather Rainier has done a great job again with adding interesting secondary characters, setting up potential protagonists for future books and not recycling any previous tales in her ever expanding city of Divine, Texas. I personally think it should be called Smexyville R US, where there is something in the water they should bottle and sell. But that’s just me.
I don’t think I can sing anymore praises for this book or series, so if you are not reading it you are missing out. But if you are with me on this ride, you’ll know how excited I am to see where we go next.(less)