Isn't that just a gorgeous cover? I'm not sure how this one ended up at my house but what a nice sOriginally posted at Herding Cats & Burning Soup
Isn't that just a gorgeous cover? I'm not sure how this one ended up at my house but what a nice surprise. I'd never read any of the authors included and think I've found two new ones I'll be reading a good deal more of in the near future. Balogh and Cornick had me humming Christmas tunes with a smile on my face and very much in the mood for Christmas. Great holiday reads that were fun and sweet. Then there was Milan. [did you so just hear the dum.dum...dum bit there?] I know a lot of people LOVED her contribution but it had me wishing my iced tea was spiked. Two out of three's not bad though. Not bad at all.
A Handful of Gold by Mary Balogh Facing an arranged marriage, dashing and wealthy Julian decides to celebrate his last weeks of freedom the only way a rake knows how...a Christmas fling with the woman of his choice. In desperate financial straits opera singer Verity quickly agrees to be his Mistress for the week. Little do they know what surprises await them both...
This one was my favorite of the bunch. The scandalous proposition, the characters, the humor and surprises along the way and the overwhelming Christmas spirit. It was all very nicely done even if bits were almost too sweet. Julian was the perfect mix of bored/hard edges and a good natured sport and Verity was an absolute force of nature with an infectious personality. All Julian wanted was a quiet week away with no Christmas fanfare and lots of time spent in a nice warm bed. And oh how the best laid plans just never go quite as expected. From surprise guests because of a storm to finding out Verity wasn't quite what she seemed. I loved all the twists and turns, how Verity got everyone involved in celebrating the holiday and decorating, the romance that developed between Julian and Verity (and I just love that name). It was just a fun little read.
The Season For Suitors by Nicola Cornick After some close encounters with rakes in which she was nearly compromised, heiress Clara Davenport realizes that she needs some expert advice. And who better for the job than Sebastian Fleet, the most notorious rake in town? But the tutelage doesn't go quite as planned, as both Sebastian and Clara find it difficult to remain objective when it comes to lessons of the heart!
Ah one of my favorite storylines. I love characters with a bit of history and Clara and Sebastian definitely have that going on. Afterall she did propose to him years earlier! Clara was sassy, determined, innocent and oh so in love with Sebastian despite her attempts to forget the blasted rake who'd turned her down. I really liked Sebastian too. He could be a jerk pushing her away but under it all he's terrified of having someone depend on him and doesn't think he's good enough. He breaks your heart a little with what he's gone though in the past and how it affects him now. Still there was a good bit of humor and I loved the use of secondary characters. Was just a sweet read and a great enemy's to lovers story.
"Congratulations?" Martin's expression was like boiling milk. "Congratulations? I will not permit my sister to marry such a rogue." "Martin, darling." Juliana said, putting a gentle hand on her husband's arm, "I completely understand your misgivings but I do think we should consider the matter calmly." "Calmly!" Martin spun around. "I am not calm!" "I think we all realize that, dearest," Juliana said.
This Wicked Gift by Courtney Milan
Lavinia Spencer has been saving her hard-earned pennies to provide her family with Christmas dinner. Days before the holiday, her brother is swindled, leaving them owing more than they can ever repay. Until a mysterious benefactor offers to settle the debt. Innocent Lavinia is stunned by what the dashing William White wants in return. Will she exchange a wicked gift for her family's fortune?
Holy crap was this one freaking depressing. Damn. I'll give Milan points for going outside the norm and doing things a little different with her hero/heroine being in the working class and struggling financially. You really don't see that too often in historical romances. Lavinia and William both have hard lives and they LOVE to focus on all their hardships and struggles. I'm all for a brooding hero/ine but damn they need some other qualities that make them endearing and leave you wanting to root for them. Never got there with these two. There was too much woe is me, I'm not good enough moping about. And despite what the blurb said Lavinia so wasn't stunned by William's demands on her. That girl dropped skirt so damn quick in exchange for a 10 pound debt being canceled it wasn't even funny. Nope. Sorry. Didn't work for me at all. ...more
Shelter Mountain, book two of Carr's Virgin River series, was a fantastic read. Carr really doesn'Originally posted at Herding Cats & Burning Soup
Shelter Mountain, book two of Carr's Virgin River series, was a fantastic read. Carr really doesn't hold back and takes you on an emotional ride in each of her books. From spousal abuse to teen pregnancy, dealing with miscarriage and life altering injuries. Her characters experience so many difficult things and do so with such grace. They're people you quickly grow attached to and ones you can't help but find yourself caring about and worrying over. The world she weaves is one that feels honest and believable and easily draws you in and leaves you wanting more. The relationships aren't too hot and steamy right away but more of a slow burn and in Preacher and Paige's case a really slow burn. I actually like the change of pace and getting to see the hero/heroine spending weeks or months getting to know and trust each other before the relationship develops into something more.
I loved Preacher's character in book one so was pretty excited to read his story. He's a huge bear of a man. Intimidating, solitary, quiet, and shy when it comes to women. Then Paige and her son Christopher stumble into the bar on a rainy night and everything changes for him. I loved getting to see Preacher change as the story went along. To soften a bit, realize he wanted more from his life than just being a cook and hunting. Carr did an amazing job getting across the emotional state and frame of mind of Paige who was a battered wife and on the run with her young son. How much fear and how little hope she had because of the abuse she suffered was heartbreaking. Pairing her with a woman-shy Preacher who was there to protect her but didn't push her relationship-wise was fantastic. I loved the two of them together and how their relationship developed. And that he'd do anything to protect and care for her and her son even if it meant her walking out of his life.
“Can't any of us stand up to those women?" "Nope," said at least three men in unison.
My only disappointment was the use of secondary characters. I usually love when they come back into the picture and you can see how they're doing but in this case they ended up seriously overpowering the main couple. Half way through the book it was almost as if Carr lost inspiration for the main couple leaving them with hardly any part in the storyline. She'd get back to them with a paragraph here or there but having major events taken place behind the scenes. [highlight for spoiler] Like the freaking proposal! We don't even get to see that happen. Just get told about it after the fact. That was pretty disappointing. The second half of the book is basically a continuation of Jack and Mel's HEA, a set up for future characters and a chunk about teenage Rick's life. It was all beautifully and emotionally written and I loved seeing all of the other characters but I was expecting a full novel about Preacher and Paige and felt a bit jipped how their story amounted to being more or less a novella. So a little disappointment for me but I'm still loving the series and the emotional reaction her writing brings out and am looking forward to diving into the rest of the series. ...more
I've read a couple of books by Daniels now and I'm really liking her writing style. There's somethOriginally posted at Herding Cats & Burning Soup
I've read a couple of books by Daniels now and I'm really liking her writing style. There's something about the flow and characters that just draws you in keeps you reading. Even though the writing isn't complicated and the mystery is pretty easy to figure out early on in the story I still found myself very entertained throughout and enjoyed watching everything unfold. With previous storylines wrapping up, family secrets being exposed, old attractions being rekindled and danger around every turn there's a lot going on in Wrangled and it's a very good ride.
I really enjoyed the relationship between Zane and Dakota and that they had some past history together. It's been years since they've really seen one another but when Zane is framed for the disappearance of a young woman Dakota cares about the two end up working together to uncover the truth and old attractions end up being too hard to ignore.
There's a lot of respect and trust between them despite the rough reunion and I liked how they worked together as equals. Dakota's not one to sit in the background and watch and I loved that about her. Heat-wise there's a little kissing with sex scenes that are nearly the fade-to-black variety. It's a nice romance but more sweet than steamy and plays a secondary role to the mystery and investigation
If you haven't read the rest of the series the secondary storyline that deals with the Chisholm family parents and their housekeeper can be a little difficult to get into since you go in missing a lot of back story. Once I got it all figured out though I found it fascinating. I'll definitely be going back to the beginning of the series the next chance I get to see where it all started. It really does fine as a stand alone but I think the overall experience would be so much better if you've read the series in order.
Wrangled is a quick read that moves along at a nice pace with likable characters and a nice touch of danger that'll get your heart pounding. It's a little predictable but there are some bumps and turns along the way that might surprise you. All in all a very nice read.
I received a copy of Wrangled in exchange for an honest review. ...more
Oh I loved this! I won an ARC of Mate Claimed last week and was pretty excited about it. Especially when I saw there were kitty shifters because I LOVOh I loved this! I won an ARC of Mate Claimed last week and was pretty excited about it. Especially when I saw there were kitty shifters because I LOVE a good kitty shifter. This was my first Jennifer Ashley book and I absolutely loved it. The characters were fun and exciting, the suspense/mystery nicely done and interesting and the romance hot, steamy and oh so sweet.
It was very easy to fall into the story without reading the other books in the series first. I'll definitely be going back and reading every one of them though. I can't wait for the next book in the series to come out and really hope some of the other secondary characters will end up getting books of their own.
If you're looking for an excellent shifter story this is one to check out. It won't disappoint. ...more