I have a confession to make. This is my very first pirate romance novel. When I first came across Shana Galen’s The Rogue Pirate’s Bride I instantly thought of those Harlequin ‘bodice ripper’ romance novels that came out in the early 90’s with Fabio Lanzoni on the cover. And not even exactly what they are, but more along the lines of what I thought they would be like considering I haven’t read one of those either. However, it’s always a pleasure to be proven so completely wrong.
Matter of fact, I wish there were more heroines like Raeven Russell in our Regency romances. Raeven is the daughter of a British Admiral and has been living with her father on his ship since she was four years old. I suppose that living on a ship doesn’t just help her possess all the things we hope for in our heroines, but gave her the practice to own them in a society that expects the quit and demure. Never the less, Raeven is a spitfire. She’s spunky, cocky, out spoken, resourceful and smart. When she wants something, she goes out and grabs it.
She had the object raised! Damn him if she wasn't going to strike again!
But he had his hand wrapped around her wrist now, and he twisted it violently. She cried out, and he muttered, "Drop it."
The black sea was fading now, and he was able to focus on her face. It was set in a stubborn expression, those green eyes flashing like the ocean during a tempest. He tightened his grip and saw her jaw clench, but she didn't drop the candlestick she held.
Merde. The thing was brass and had to weight two pounds. She really did want to kill him. Anger shot through him as his head throbbed again, and he wrenched her arm. The little hellion held on, so he pushed her up against the door, slamming it closed in the process.
Her eyes were watering with pain now, but she still held the candlestick. "Drop it."
"No!" The word was barely a breath.
He shook his head. "Mon Dieu! Are you always this stubborn?"
"Some might call it persistence," she grit out.
This is why Captain Cutlass –also known as a privateer, rogue, and Sebastian Harcourt, marquis de Valére– is in so much trouble. Raeven is hunting him down and she doesn’t plan to stop until she kills him for his murderous pirating ways, regardless if she dies in the process. She believes he has killed her young fiancé for no other reason than the glory, but we come to find this isn't how Cutlass operates. He's far too honorable for that. An honorable pirate? Raeven can't believe it, it's not possible.
However, Sebastian has his own problems. He’s searching the seas high and low for his enemy, Jourdain, for the murder of his mentor. At first, like Bastian, I found Raeven to be a kin to a gnat that just won’t stop buzzing around. But she grows on you when you learn what she’s really all about. Bastian eventually keeps her, half by sheer circumstance and half because I believe he can’t bare to let her go. He finds her entertaining, unbelievably alluring and something of an enigma. Definitely not the kind of woman he was use to seeing. The rogue himself is smooth, charming with a broody mixture of the dark and mysterious. Did I mention that he was unbelievably good looking and French? I think I’m in love.
One of my favorite scenes for Raeven:
Something zipped past him and struck the man with enough force to cause him to drop his pistol and clutch his abdomen. Bastien had a moment to look behind him and saw his cabin girl, his beautiful cabin girl, standing there with arm out stretched. He'd known she'd be accurate with that dagger.
and one right before my favorite scene for Bastien (you'll have to read to find out how it ends):
"I-I’m not going to take off my clothes.”
Since she didn’t appear likely to take it, he set her wine on the desk. “No? Then why are you here? And don’t tell me it’s simply to retrieve your sword.”
She clamped her mouth closed.
“You could have had another sword made.”
She cocked her head to the side. “Why do you think I’m here then?”
He shrugged, drank some wine. “Me.” He looked pointedly at the large berth.
She laughed. “Oh, really? You have a rather high opinion of yourself.”
He sat down behind the desk, lifted his glass to examine the red wine in the candlelight. “You went to a lot of trouble to see me again. Perhaps my arrogance isn’t entirely misplaced.”
Over all, The Rogue Pirate’s Bride is a swashbuckling good time. There’s tension, lies, deceit, action, adventure, passion, witty dialogue, lust, love and romance – all the ingredients to keep you up until the wee hours of the night. The characters are scrumptiously refreshing, and one is sorry to see them go off to their well-deserved happily ever after. Shana Galen writes a fun, vivid story in this third installment of The Sons of the Revolution series that will keep you turning those pages. I have not read either of the two previous books in the series about Bastien's brothers: The Making of a Duchess and The Making of a Gentleman, but I had no trouble following the storyline and events. I for one am ready for the next. Right now.(less)
My dad says that since the end of the Cold War, two things will never be the same again: James Bond movies and espionage/suspense books. This has often been the truth – I mean lets face it, it’s hard to find a good villain in this day and age and without the east/west division Berlin has just become a rather boring place for drop-boxes.
Which is why I was very excited and intrigued when I received the opportunity to review The Silent Oligarch by Christopher Morgan Jones.
Jones introduces us to the world of post-Cold War Russia – where if you managed to move quickly enough after the fall of the Iron Curtain, you are now sitting pretty as a billionaire thanks to Russia’s natural resources. In our case – Oil.
We are also introduced to three main characters:
Konstantin Malin has reached the top position within the Ministry of Natural Resources – a simple government bureaucrat, no? Well, obviously not. In fact, thanks to his frontman Richard Lock he has been laundering oil money for years – investing and making money abroad and then bringing it right back into Russia.
Richard Lock, the money launderer who is the face for Malin’s many business interests, but he now feels that he is out of his depth – the ventures have just become too big. What started out as a great way to launder funds has now become a billion dollar industry he can’t seem to control.
Thanks to some shady dealings with another shady businessmen – the secrets these two men have been trying to hide might just be about to explode across the front pages of the international media.
Which is how we get to Benjamin Webster – in the days just before the end of the Cold War he was a young journalist trying to make a name for himself. An incident involving a young Russian colleague who was asking one too many questions led him to leave Russia behind. Now a corporate intelligence investigator, he is asked to expose Malin and Lock – and finds out there may be a connection between the events that led to his friend’s murder.
The Silent Oligarch is very much a character-centric book and together with the understated writing style it makes the reader feel as if we’re sitting in the room, on the sidelines watching as the story unfolds – it reminded me a lot of the John Le Care style of writing. Slowly building up the suspense and the drama to a masterful finish.
What I found to be extremely intriguing about The Silent Oligarch is that I was left constantly wondering who the ‘hero’ or protagonist of this book was. The POV changes every chapter or so between Webster and Lock so you get the sense that each of them, in a way, takes on that role. No black and white heroes and villains here – and it was in the grey areas that this book excels.
The POV changes also served to show the reader the similarities and contrasts between these two complex characters. In one chapter we see Webster with his family, the interactions with his wife and children. In the next chapter we see Lock realizing how much of his daughter’s life he has missed and what his relationship with his wife is like.
For both Webster and Lock the outcome of the Malin case will serve as a turning point and for each one there are moments when they wish they could just turn their back on it all and disappear.
Then there is the Silent Oligarch himself – Malin. Through Lock’s eyes we see a man of secrets and power, a man Lock looks up to, despises and fears all at the same time. As the book moves forward we learn more about his motives and how Lock came to become the man he is today.
I should add that there is another character that has a very important role in this book – Russia herself. I don’t know why I feel this way, but to me at least it appeared as if Russia wasn’t just a place where much of the plot took place, rather, Jones’ Russia was an actual presence throughout the book – a living breathing thing.
The Silent Oligarch is Jones’ début novel and I hope that it won’t be his last. Jones has a unique style and has written a brilliant tale of suspense – for the post-Cold War reader.(less)
Kitt: When Suz found out that I got an ARC to Jenn Bennett’s second in her Arcadia Bel...moreOriginally posted at PaperbackDolls.com
Kitt: 3 Stars Suz: 3 Stars
Kitt: When Suz found out that I got an ARC to Jenn Bennett’s second in her Arcadia Bell series, Summoning the Night, she down right viciously attacked me to get her grubby little hands on my precious. Of course, being the fabulous, golden heart creature that I am, I couldn’t just let her pout in the corner could I? That’s right; I couldn’t, because no one puts Suz in the corner.
Suz: You sound a little bit like Johnny from Dirty Dancing, Kitt. “Nobody puts Baby in the corner.” “Oh, Kitt!” ;) But seriously, Kitt – I really loved the first Arcadia Bell book and when I heard that you had an ARC of the second I found myself squeeing like a fangirl. It was a bit embarrassing, really. But I really enjoyed the first one. The world Jenn Bennett has created around Arcadia Bell is pretty compelling and draws me in. I wanted to go back there and see what was cooking.
Kitt: You squeeing like a fangirl? I almost don’t believe it. Almost. Because I know where you’re coming from and think I’d have to agree. Ms. Bennett’s world truly is a fantastic, fresh new angle on magic. Arcadia Bell is a magician who can kindle Heka through electricity, and after Kindling the Moon, we now know about her Moon Child powers too. But it isn’t just her world is it? Her charming characters have this way of completely stealing the show. Who would of thought that a thirteen year old motor mouth could be so entertaining?
Suz: Isn’t that the truth? You know I’m not a big fan of the kiddies, Kitt. It’s not that I dislike kids; I’m just one of those people who does better when I can “awww” from afar and carry on with my day. Even so, it’s the kid’s show in this book, for sure. I don’t mean to take anything away from the rest of the characters, they all reached out and grabbed me one way or another, but that kid redefined “endearing brat.”
Kitt: I know what you mean! But oh we’re skipping ahead, aren’t we? Summoning the Night begins only two months after Cady’s tragic brush with reality. Everything is going swimmingly with her job and her new found relationship with Earthbound demon, rare book collector and rich photographer, Lon Butler. That is until the head of the Hellfire Club, Ambrose Dare, asks them both to look into the case of missing teens and a cold case serial killer, the Snatcher, from the early 80s.
Suz: I gotta tell you, Kitt, I really don’t like that guy, Ambrose. In the first book he was just alluded to as the power behind the throne, so to speak, of the Hellfire Club, and the person who would fix the ills the club had been up to. Turns out he’s a real piece of work in his own right and I’m thinking I’m going to get plenty of opportunity to love to hate him in the future, too. Just a hunch.
But Lon, I think, is a new kind of dreamy that we don’t see very often in romantic leads. He’s not super hunky, but more of a later-hippy-throw-back who kept his decent looks. You’re a bit younger than me, Kitt, so that might not be up your alley, but it brings back memories for me! *eye wiggle* Combine that with his other, supernatural characteristics and his near infinite patience and it’s a pretty attractive package to me in an unconventional way. Although, I could probably do without the mustache.
Kitt: No, I get the appeal – he’s rich, charming with all the right amounts of laid back that some heroes seem to have an allergy to, but I have to admit, he’s not really my type. There’s something about him that didn’t quite resonate with me at first. Also, the mustache! Throws me every time and I have no idea why. Though, the more I see him on the page the more I’m warming to him.
I have to admit that this story brought on a complete state of confusion for me. I understand Cady’s power, but I don’t understand why she would be asked to help find these missing kids. Ok, well maybe not why she was asked, but more like feelings that maybe this story was brought on too soon in the series. Nothing about her seems like the appropriate person to ask and her skills rank somewhere near junior league detectives. Before Kindling the Moon, she was just magician fugitive bartender, and now in Summoning the Night, she still is. Not to mention, that Cady seems to be moving backwards from the self-assured women we saw in the first in the series. What did you think of the plot, Suz?
Suz: I agree there seemed to be holes in the plot and you’ve mentioned one of them that was confusing. I half expect to find out in a later book that Ambrose has some inside information from Cady’s magic society that we haven’t been privy to yet, but I suppose that’s just me trying to fill in the blanks.
For me, however, her moving backwards as you suggest, was the most frustrating. I could have dealt with it had it been a personal growth arc that was book length, but it’s looking like it’s going to be her cross to bear in the long haul and I find that pretty infuriating. She’s acquired tons of magic she’s afraid to use just because she prefers to “not think about it right now” and she puts herself and everyone around her at risk because of it. Again, this is something that when it first appeared in this book I frustratingly thought it had to be a book length personal growth arc but when we reached the end of the book and it was not only unresolved but perhaps in worse shape I have to admit I was disappointed.
Kitt: Same here. Seeing Cady continue down the path of ignorance is just going to make things worse in the end, not only for her new found family, but for readers as well. Summoning the Night started out well enough. And it does have all the action, mystery with a smidgeon of romance that I look forward to in my urban fantasy’s, but I honestly was hoping for more than I was given. Maybe we’ll see a little more personal growth from Cady in the short story, Leashing the Tempest, when it release’s this December.
Suz: Oh! See, I didn’t know there was a short coming out in the same year. That’s a bit of salve on my confusion and helps me lean more to wait-and-see. Bottom line for me is that I loved the first one, was so torn with duality about the second one that it ended up feeling unfinished, even though it’s not, so I could only give it a middlin’ rating. However, the world is so original, the way the magic works and the characters interact is so interesting and genuine, and Cady started out with such a bang that I’m going to continue to follow this series and see where it goes, hoping that Cady finds her figurative cojones soon. I’m chalking this one up to a sophomore slump because I think the foundation is essentially still pretty solid. (less)
When I discovered that Anne Rice had a new novel coming out that would delve into the world of the werewolf legend I was so excited I couldn’t contain myself. I immediately requested an ARC copy of The Wolf Gift and Knopf was kind enough to allow Paperback Dolls a copy. I must say I loved the book and hungrily read each word with anticipation.
In The Wolf Gift Rice tackles the legend of the werewolf much the same way she tackled vampires and witches. She weaves a tale for you creating new perceptions and adding her own twist changing how we perceive the werewolf. One thing that I loved about her created legend is the fact that you are very much aware while you are in the wolf state and this is exactly what makes the story so endearing.
We are introduced to Reuben Golding who is a young energetic reporter searching for deeper meaning in his life when he suddenly finds himself with the “wolf gift”. There are many things I thoroughly enjoyed and loved in The Wolf Gift. The first thing is the fact that Reuben actually considers this a blessing. A quote from Reuben that sums this up quite nicely is “I thank you with all my heart for the gift of life, for all the blessings you have rained down upon me, for the miracle of life in all its forms-and Lord, I thank you for the Wolf Gift.” Since the story is from his perspective we marvel with him as he discovers his newfound strength. We journey along as he discovers his sense of smell is stronger; he can jump on top of buildings and run lightning fast. I also love the fact that we are taken along on his moral journey as well since he struggles with whether or not he is evil and what it means to be good or evil. Reuben has to entertain ethical questions regarding when is it ok to kill, if they are evil, about to kill someone else etc. These are complex issues and I enjoyed the thoughts that Reuben has around the issues and the lessons he learns along the way.
Reuben isn’t the only fascinating character in The Wolf Gift. As we learn more about the history of the werewolf we are introduced to an enchanting group and I was entirely engrossed in the mythological beginnings for the werewolf race that Rice has created. I felt I was sitting at the table leaning in with my head on my hands hanging on every last word. I was a little disappointed to sit the book down and leave the company of such fantastic companions.
The only thing I didn’t like about the book was in the beginning I felt the book was paced a little slow. This was necessary to create the backdrop for the rest of the story but I want to warn you to keep reading!!! Once the story picks up you will find yourself tuning out everything around you as you voraciously read to the last page.
I feel that Rice has given herself lots of room for more books in this series if she chooses. There are many characters introduced and I would love to see books on the back stories of many of them and hopefully we will learn more about Felix, I loved him. This is an enchanting read that draws you in, captivates you, and wraps you in its splendor. I am so excited that Rice is back in this genre. If you are a fan of Rice’s work you must read The Wolf Gift, nothing beats a day curled up on the couch with coffee or tea and a mesmerizing book by Anne Rice.(less)
The fact that we have been celebrating Month of Love on Paperback Dolls means that I’ve gotten to read my share of romances in February. Heroes and heroines galore! And before I get to my review of A Rogue by Any Other Name I need to mention another story I read just before A Rogue.
It too was a story of revenge, of a hero seeking justice for wrongs done to him in his youth or in his childhood, where vengeance has become the very thing that feeds his every move… The hero had every right to seek justice, could have had all my sympathy, and yet, he didn’t. I just couldn’t connect with him. And, as I mentioned to Kitt, I was really more interested in finding out what had happened to his brothers…
Then I picked up Sarah MacLean’s A Rogue by Any Other Name.
In A Rogue we meet the Marquess of Bourne – a young man who had everything and who lost it all on the turn of a card – to his guardian Viscount Langford. The public humiliation and loss of his entire fortune, including the ancestral lands, meant he could not show his face in good society.
Lady Penelope Marbury was Bourne’s childhood friend and neighbor, when he went away to school and she was left behind, they kept in touch through letters wherever he was. But after his parents died, he stopped answering her letters. (Each chapter opens with one of these letters and it was a lovely way to show the special connection these two had growing up).
Now, years later, Penelope is on the shelf (more on why in Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke’s Heart) and in a desperate attempt to get her off said shelf, her father offers up something to sweeten the deal – the land around Bourne’s home as her dowry.
And Bourne? Well, he’s made his fortune from a gambling hell and while he doesn’t need Penelope’s money or dowry – he wants that land and will do anything to get it. Including marrying Penelope – by any means necessary.
See, in this story we also have a hero, who has made revenge the one goal of his life – get his land back, and crush the man who took it from him. And even though I found the reason Bourne was seeking revenge to be a bit lacking – I felt a lot of sympathy for his character and found him to be a much more interesting and multifaceted character than “the other vengeance book”. He was just that well written., the reader, even if she (being me) doesn’t agree with Bourne’s reasons can sympathize with his plight, and that made me understand why Penelope did.
In Penelope I found a heroine like those I’ve come to expect from MacLean – Smart, witty, knows what she wants and finally finding the courage to go out and get it. She was crushed by the circumstances surrounding her broken engagement and now feels that she’s not good enough in some way, that she’s unworthy. She has stood by as two of her sisters married men who aren’t exactly shining examples of what husbands should be – and she blames herself for failing her family. Penelope still has two unmarried sisters and refuses to be the one to stand in their way of a happy marriage.
Well, then she meets Bourne. Again. And yes, she does think the man (boy) she used to know is still in there somewhere but she is also actually realistic. This story could have gone both ways – it could have been a bit too soppy, another heroine who just won’t give up on a hero not really worth saving – but Penelope saved the story from going down that path.
And yes, Bourne was a bit of a so-and-so, revealed in it really, but you could see as the story progressed exactly where that attitude came from.
Moreover, whenever Bourne is being a bit of a “drama queen” – Penelope calls him out on it and refuses to back down. Which means there is plenty of what I have come to love about Sarah MacLean’s books – characters that communicate with each other and no silly misunderstandings. These romances are about the couple and their road to love and a healthy relationship. And there is plenty of that in A Rogue.
This is the first in a series about the owners of the Fallen Angel gambling hell and each of the characters introduced is extremely intriguing, so I’m very really looking forward to finding out about the next instalments…Though I have to say, I do wish A Rogue gave just a little bit more information on Bourne’s time between losing his fortune and becoming the wealthy businessman. It would have helped to better understand his character and motivations.
A Rogue by Any Other Name was a great addition to Maclean’s Historical Romance offerings and just goes to show, great writing can make you like even the biggest rogues.(less)
Noa: Will you be able to bring the new Sebastian St. Cyr book back with you from the states? I’m getting a review copy. Big Sis: *Squee* Yes! This way I can read it first! Noa: But I need to review it. Big Sis: You’ll get to review it…I’ll get it to you ASAP…after I read it
Another conversation between two sisters:
Little Sis: Whatcha reading? Noa: the new Sebastian St. Cyr, I’m reviewing it for Month of Love… Little Sis: OMG! I’m so excited!!! Yes! Sebastian! Yay! When can I read it????
Ten minutes after we finish reading it: How long do we have to wait for the next one????
Is it any wonder we need multiple copies of this series in my family? The beauty of C.S. Harris’ Sebastian St. Cyr mystery series is that it manages to enthral each of us. Yes, enthral. Each of these books (this being No. 7) just captures you from the get go and doesn’t let go even after you’ve closed the beautiful cover.
This instalment was no different; picking up from where we left off in the last book, Sebastian and Hero are starting off on married life together and while it seems that there is a kind of understanding between them, the wall created by the fact that Hero’s father and Sebastian still can’t seem to see eye to eye (understatement of the century) is still there.
Their enmity puts Hero in a very difficult position as in this book she keeps asking herself – who comes first, her father or her husband. Reading about how Hero deals with these issues, with her changing role gives the reader a new view of Hero’s character. She is so complex and when you put that together with Sebastian and his issues…well, wow!
Sebastian also has a lot to deal with – his love for Kat, his feelings for Hero, impending fatherhood, his own father…And then there is the ongoing mystery surrounding his mother’s whereabouts. Oh, and who is this man who seems to have Sebastian’s eyes? ;)
Sebastian needs to discover why Gabrielle Tennyson was murdered – was it because of something she discovered on a dig at the site she had believed was Camelot of old, was it because she was an independent woman who refused to accept the conventions of 19th century England, or was it something to do with Sebastian’s father in law Lord Jarvis… and what does Hero know? Sebastian is racing against time on this one as two children are missing and they may already be in the hands of a killer.
When Maiden’s Mourn also shares new information about Sebastian’s background and while it may not be shocking, it does raise even more questions. I am very happy to say that C.S. Harris does not fall into the trap that often captures authors writing a series – there is no treading water and yet, there are also no forced plot devices used to extend the drama. There is no need. The drama in this series keeps unfolding and like a maze, you take one step froward only to find you need to make a different turn to find the center. I love it!
This installment in the Sebastian St. Cyr series was as usual, a pleasure to read, The romance, conflicts, mysteries… I simply cannot get enough. Totally worth waiting a year. Now if only March 2013 would just get here already…(less)
If you’re looking for a good laugh, you’ve come to the right place. J.B. Lynn has given us the next Stephanie Plum in the form of Maggie Lee.
What’s a girl supposed to do when an accident leaves her sister and brother-in-law dead, her tiny niece Katie in a coma, and the insurance isn’t enough to cover the expenses? As a claims representative for Insuring the Future, Maggie doesn’t make the kind of money needed ensure her niece has the very best care, so she has to figure out how to cover the costs before the hospital turns Katie over to another facility. She also has to take care of Katie’s very small anole lizard named Godzilla….God for short. Oh, yeah, he talks. At least, he talks to Maggie.
After being rudely accosted in the hospital hallway by a sleazy jerk, Maggie decides to give him a piece of her mind and follows him into a patient’s room only to discover that he’s smothering the patient. She does the only thing she can think of—hits him with a plastic chair—thereby preventing a murder. She later learns the man was Alfonso Cifelli, son-in-law to mob boss Anthony/Tony Delveccio. (Delveccio is a twin. Their not-too-bright mother named them Tony and Anthony and Maggie has no idea which one she’s dealing with.) The person she saved turned out to be Anthony/Tony’s grandson…Alfonso’s son.
Anthony/Tony makes her an offer: Kill Alfonso and he’ll pay her one hundred thousand dollars—enough money to keep Katie right where she is. But since Maggie has no skills and only a week to do the job, Anthony/Tony arranges a meeting with someone who will train her. That someone turns out to be police detective/hitman Patrick Mulligan.
The path of the story is never straight, never what you expect, but always darkly funny. Maggie’s three weird aunts, incarcerated father, and mother in the loony bin make it seem she’s the only sane person around. But after talking to God (the lizard), she begins to doubt her own sanity.
The secondary characters are as bold and quirky as Maggie Lee. You’ll fall in love with her co-worker, Armani Vasques, who gives a whole new meaning to the term ‘smart ass’ and Paul Kowalski, who may or may not be a dirty cop. Fifty-something Aunt Leslie, who’s usually higher than a kite, is twin to Aunt Loretta, the sex kitten.
This dark comedy is great entertainment, and I hope Lynn plans to make this into a series, because I can’t wait to read more.(less)
I have a confession to make. I’m really on the fence about this book and I hate that. On one hand, it had all the right ingredients for a topnotch historical romance, but on the other, it missed the mark.
The characters were sometimes mere shadows of themselves, while the protagonist, Emily, often seemed bi-polar. I looked for more depth in the former romantic relationship as well as in Emily’s sisters, but it kept slipping away, never quite taking shape. Francis was a man tormented, yet it never seemed quite real.
The story is set in England in 1811, still a somewhat prudish time; however, at one point the author has Emily and Francis waltzing close together, which we all know simply wasn’t done. Not only that, but while she’s attending a ball, Emily’s white knuckles are mentioned…when it’s generally accepted that women didn’t appear in public at that time with bare hands. Another point that bothered me was the author’s reference to Francis turning off the light as opposed to extinguishing the lamp or candle. In my mind, I kept seeing this man in breeches flipping a light switch. Needless to say, it totally pulled me out of the story.
Emily would have been better served by eliminating half the inner dialogue and sharpening the prose. The reader is smart enough to complete some actions on their own without detailing everything. For instance, if, during a conversation about someone named Dave, I were to say, “He is the noblest man I know,” you could correctly assume I meant Dave. Such was not the case in this book. References were detailed to the point they became annoying and I wanted to shout, “Yes, I get it!” And unless the color of a ribbon has some bearing on the story, I don’t give a flip about it the first time much less the other dozen or so that it’s mentioned.
Anyone who’s read my previous reviews knows that I love books of all kinds, and I can usually find something redeeming in nearly everything I read. I’m sorry to say this was the proverbial straw for me. I truly believe Ms. Barnes has great potential as evidenced by the imaginative premise of the story, but unfortunately, she’s not there yet. Even more disturbing is the fact that the editor let the story ramble and thereby risked alienating future readers. (less)
Minerva Highwood is a geologist at a time when it’s a forbidden occupation for women. That isn’t all that’s forbidden to her…Lord Payne also falls into that category. In her mother’s estimation, he’s reserved for her much nicer, much prettier sister, Diana.
Bespectacled, intelligent, and socially inept Minerva discovers a fossil belonging to an heretofore undiscovered species of giant reptile. Determined to leave her mark on the world, she secretly enlists the aid of Lord Colin Payne to escort her to the Royal Geological Society symposium in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Lord Payne is attracted to Minerva, but he’s stuck in this Godforsaken castle until his birthday….or until he marries. Then he can claim and manage his own life. Until that time, he’s at the mercy of his cousin, Lord Rycliff. He’s also at the mercy of his personal demons.
After witnessing the brutal deaths of his parents at the age of eight, he’s haunted by nightmares and the memories of abuse by his fellow classmates.
As a child, Minerva was considered stupid until someone realized she needed glasses. To compensate for years of feeling stupid, she threw herself into books of all kinds completely shutting out the rest of the world.
How can two such emotionally crippled people possibly work together long enough to get to Scotland? It’s not easy, but bit by bit, mile by mile, they discover unknown strengths in the other that help offset their own weaknesses. They also discover a weakness for each other.
Tessa Dare is one of my favorite authors. Her characters come alive on the page, displaying all the foibles that make them live and breathe. I caught myself rooting for the unlikely couple to make it to Edinburgh, help each other, and find the love they both deserved. At turns, funny and sad, this is a tale that will have you cheering Minerva and Colin on and hissing the naysayers.(less)
This is the sort of book I keep in reserve for when I’m burned out and need a break. I know there will be romance and an HEA, and somewhere in there will be the doubt and conflict needed to keep it interesting.
When I downloaded The Cowboy Takes a Bride, I’d just finished back-to-back-to back PNRs. Needless to say, my vampire meter was warped and needed rest. I figured a contemporary romance was just the thing. I settled in and read it in one evening, and it did the trick….total mental palate cleanser.
While I enjoyed Mariah and Joe, he aggravated me by ignoring the fact that his late wife’s sister, Ila, had the hots for him. Most men seem to have built-in radar for that sort of thing, and I got annoyed more than once when he treated her like one of the guys—oblivious of her attraction to him. He also tended to put his late wife Becca on a pedestal when she was far from perfect.
Mariah’s father had deserted her and her mom for the cutting horse scene when she was very young, and because of this, she has a hard time believing Joe could really be a family man.
Both Mariah and Joe seemed to indulge in an unusual amount of angsty internal dialogue, but they’d both accumulated more than their fair share of emotional scars, so I guess they were entitled. At times, I feared they would completely talk themselves out of falling in love, but in the end true love won out.
Overall, it was a pleasant diversion, and gave me a chance to recharge my mental batteries. After all, a girl can’t live on dark, wicked supernatural beings alone.(less)
Mo (Mouse) Fitzgerald is still adjusting to life without her best friend Verity and the knowledge learned from...moreOriginally posted at PaperbackDolls.com
Mo (Mouse) Fitzgerald is still adjusting to life without her best friend Verity and the knowledge learned from the events in Torn, including her new role in a supernatural world she never knew existed. As if that wasn’t enough…Mo has her own personal family drama going on that has nothing to do with Supernaturals and everything to do with organized crime and family secrets.
TANGLED picks up shortly after the end of TORN. Mo managed to help stabilize things for the the Magical community and took over Verity’s role as the vessel and in now tied to Luc, and though she can admit that the boy has charm and definite appeal, in the back of her mind she still thinks that he is only interested in her because of the prophecy. Collin, Mo’s appointed bodyguard provided for her by her Mob uncle, is still guarding her and despite their mutual attraction Collin continues to push her away and remains highly guarded emotionally.
I know what you’re thinking “UGH! Another love triangle?! Stab me!”. Normally I would agree with you, but this love triangle doesn’t bother me that much. Whenever I am reading scenes with one love interest I am totally into that character and then the next chapter I am reading about the other guy and I am thinking he is the one! With a love triangle with two equally likable guys, what’s not to enjoy?
There are lots of new developments in this book including an unlikely “friend” that shows interest in helping Mo and the family dynamic is really shaken up when Mo’s mother begins making preparations for her father’s release from prison.
The real theme of this book is not love or redemption but secrets and lies and the impact they have on people from both sides of the deceit. It reminds me of that famous quote by Sir Walter Scott;
“Oh what a tangled web we weave, When first we practice to deceive!” -Sir Walter Scott, Marmion, Canto vi. Stanza 17. Scottish author & novelist (1771 – 1832) (less)
I’m pretty sure my squees of excitement could be heard blocks away at the invite sitting prettily there in my i...moreOriginally posted at PaperbackDolls.com
I’m pretty sure my squees of excitement could be heard blocks away at the invite sitting prettily there in my inbox. I actually had no idea that there was a story in the works from Jocelynn Drake, but I’m so glad to have been selected to read an early copy, because quite frankly, I’ve been missing this series something fierce since it’s ending in Burn the Night last year.
For those of you who don’t know, Bound to Me is a short novella of only 100 pages set a couple centuries before Mira’s adventures in the Dark Days series. Available only in ebook from HarperCollins, fans will get one more look back into the past of the Fire Starter.
Finally, we get to see just what it was about one of my favorite sub-characters. I always wondered just what it was that kept Mira looking so fondly towards Valerio, besides his smoking good looks. Caught up in a love affair, Mira travels with Valerio to track down her own kind, among others, and deliver death as the enforcer for the Coven. Though, this arrangement is not without its entertainment as the pair of them travel throughout Europe leaving death in their wake.
In this short, Valerio and Mira go to the home of her maker Sadira, Madrid, to track down a Warlock murdering vampires, but while they’re there, Mira uncovers the real truth behind the Covens request.
Appealing to both new comers to the Dark Days series and longtime readers alike, Bound to Me, is a perfect addition to the rich world Jocelynn Drake has created. While I was both completely heart broken and thrilled that Ms. Drake ended the series when she did, I must admit that visiting Mira again has been nothing less than fabulous.
ETA: Bound to Me will becoming to paperback May 1, 2012: Amazon(less)
Ripper is another book I found while looking for books to review for Paperback Dolls.
While the description drew me in the novel kept me reading. It did keep me reading, though I did stop so for sleep (at a reasonable hour). I finished reading Ripper in a day. Ripper had everything mystery, history, the supernatural, the Romantics with the added bonus of The Pre-Raphaelites. What more could a pre-law/English major ask for?
Ripper is a young adult novel centered on a large cast of doctors. The main character is a seventeen year old female named Arabella “Abbie” Sharp. She’s the granddaughter to Lady Westfield and Abbie has come to live with her after the death of her mother Caroline Westfield Sharp. She moves to London in 1888, to live with a woman she’s never met. Abbie is a little rough around the edges and her grandmother wants her to become a proper lady. Abbie, has different plans. She’s an adventurous young woman who isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty or get into trouble. However that being said she doesn’t like the continuances after she’s done something grandmother deems unlady like or that would mess with way Westfield’s status. As you may have guessed Abbie doesn’t like the lectures her grandmother gives her, and she’s always expecting to be thrown out. No she’s not always in trouble but she likes to do things her way which her grandmother (and others) wants to object too.
You may wonder why, after what I’ve told you, that I liked Ripper. It’s because it has mystery and a little magic. Both of which I love. Here’s the other reason it has history which is something my dad and I loved to discuss. As I’m sure you caught the history portion has to deal with the most famous murderer of all time… Jack the Ripper. Yes, I was stoked, I have three or four Jack the Ripper books as it is. They hit on all of my “callings” (legal and English). However Ripper is on a different level than most Jack the Ripper stories, where most look at the true history of Jack and or who he might have been Ripper has a new point of view. The premise was great, Abbie is sent by her grandmother to help out down in the East End specifically Whitechapel, at the Whitechapel Women’s Hospital, for a week. Lady Westfield thought this would help make Abbie, see her evil ways and the experience would put her on the right track for becoming the “proper lady” Lady Westfield wanted her to be. It backfires. Abbie loves working at the hospital with the doctors and being able to help those less fortunate than she. The longer Abbie works at Whitechapel Hospital and with the doctors there she decides she wants to become a doctor as well. Something Lady Westfield is not going to approve of. Though Abbie does have the approval of the three doctors she’s working with, Dr. Bartlett, Dr. Simon St. John and Dr. William Siddal. When the murders start it’s the doctors (Abbies friends) at Whitechapel who become the suspects. Why you may ask? It’s because of the brutality and the fine craving skills of Jack the Ripper. Skills only doctors would have the training for, or so Scotland Yard thinks. At this time, almost to the day when Abbie starts working at the hospital, roughly two and an half to three months after her mother’s passing, Abbie gains her mother’s gift of visions. Though I don’t think Abbie would call it a gift, she starts seeing the murders take place.
There are many twist and turns as Abbie tries to work her visions to save the women that she cares for. She also wants to true killer whoever that maybe to be brought to justice, so her friends will be left alone, especially Simon and William. To do that she must follow her instincts and use her visions to prove her friends aren’t Jack the Ripper. The only problem, she may not be ready for the answers she seeks, or the family secrets she will learn. They may haunt her, and closure may not come. Especially since Jack wants her as well.
I would be tickled pink if Amy Carol Reeves came out with a second book. I don’t think Abbie or the Whitechapel doctors have told their full story. The one thing that I wasn’t sure about for this book was if the voice (language) was the correct for this time I would gladly join their journey again. Amy Carol Reeves did a wonderful job of drawling me in and keeping me with Abbie the whole time… I can’t want to see what comes next.(less)
My heart is completely broken and I feel slightly sick to my stomach now.
I’ll be honest with you. This review is going to be breif, because I only made it 40 pages before I couldn’t go any further, but I’ll tell you what I know up until that point. I want to warn you though, if you have no desire to see any spoilers, I would stop now.
Bloodright is the second in author Karin Tabke’s Blood Moon Rising Trilogy and I was so looking forward to enjoying another hot and steamy yet fully enriched story by one of my quickly becoming auto buy authors. I had everything – my favorite comfy seat, my cool beverage, and my tasty little snack for later – then tragedy strikes in the first chapter.
Bloodright picks up exactly where Blood Law’s cliff-hanger dropped off. All hell has broken loose after the council’s verdict that either Lucien can take Falon as his one true mate or leave her to Rafe and choose another. Lucien chooses his Bloodright, not for a love of Falon, but only to torture his brother more for his treachery at slaying his own chosen.
Falon is so in love with Rafe and hates Lucien so much that she would rather shoot herself than to go with him. She finds him selfish, mean, callous, and insensitive and quite frankly, so do I. By the time Lucien gets her to his lair; she’s hurt and bleeding badly. It takes five days for her to heal, but for Falon, everything has just happened when she wakes up from her much needed recovery.
Karin is very good at what she does and that’s why I loved reading her work so much. She has me right there with Falon in her distrust, disgust and her broken heart. I feel her pain and her lost.
That’s why it isn’t a shock for me that when Lucien comes for her, she rails against him, fights him tooth and nail, tares at his flesh and shreds his skin.
The shock comes at his actions and her switch in mental voice because of it. I don’t care what “inarguable call of her blood to his” is happening or that they aren’t like us with animalistic instincts. I don’t care that her body betrayed her.
At no time is ok for a man to force himself on a woman.
For me this is NEVER hot, sexy or romantic, but it has come to my attention that there are some women out there who may enjoy this type of fantasy or can overlook it. I, however, am not one of them. I will not be reading Blood Vow when it releases this December.(less)
Jessica McClain: Blooded is Amanda Carlson’s first offering in the urban fantasy genre. In this very short nove...moreOriginally posted at PaperbackDolls.com
Jessica McClain: Blooded is Amanda Carlson’s first offering in the urban fantasy genre. In this very short novella, only about 50 pages, we’re introduced to the world of Jessica McClain and her fight for survival in a pack that will no longer tolerate her existence. As the first female, and human, born to a race of werewolves where bloodlines are only passed down through the males, Jessica is an anomaly that breathes truth into an old myth of the Daughter of Cain bringing fear, panic, and rage to the pack that her father, the Alpha, can no longer control.
In this prequel to Jessica McClain series, Ms. Carlson brings to the table a strong, witty heroine who will go to lengths to ensure her own survival and a premise that promises to be enormously entertaining. If Blooded is just a taste of what is to come, than I for one am eagerly awaiting Full Blooded when it hit shelves this September.(less)
Imaginative world building, unlikely allies, and the hint of a love story keep this novel moving at a brisk pac...moreOriginally posted at PaperbackDolls.com
Imaginative world building, unlikely allies, and the hint of a love story keep this novel moving at a brisk pace. Sydney’s rough around the edges and hovers just outside of respectability, and her on again-off again lover, Zared, makes the reader wonder if he’s to be trusted.
Arrested for stealing from a Guild official, she’s sentenced to hang, but at the last minute, she’s taken to the edge of the forest and tied to the Wizard Tree where, in years past, scores of Tuatha were put to death. She’s rescued by a wizard named Oryn and taken to his castle to meet his granddaughter Vadnae, a knight named Gregor, and Brother Erik, the monk.
This unlikely foursome sets out to defeat the Guild and bring Willem, the bastard heir apparent, to the throne. But the Guild has a terrifying enforcer named Schrammig who is determined to see Sydney hang, and cuts a swath of destruction everywhere he goes.
As they elude Schrammig, a connection between Sydney and Willem develops and grows. She can help him in ways the others cannot, and it’s up to her to get him safely through the underground tunnels in order to fulfill his destiny.
While I enjoyed the story, there were times it needed a little more tension. Sydney’s showdown with Shrammig needed a smidge more intensity, because during that final confrontation, I wondered how she subdued him with a few well-placed kicks to the body. All in all, it was an entertaining read, and I feel that as Ms. Young-Turner pushes past her comfort zone her writing will sparkle. On the plus side for many of you….it didn’t end with a cliffhanger.(less)
In this exciting debut novel by Leigh Bardugo, readers are introduced to a magical Russian inspired setting ful...moreOriginally posted at PaperbackDolls.com
In this exciting debut novel by Leigh Bardugo, readers are introduced to a magical Russian inspired setting full of remarkable characters, creatures, and a truly unique world that I found utterly captivating.
Alina grew up as an orphan placed in a residence that served as an orphanage with another orphaned boy, Mal. Growing up together the two children form a close bond and follow each other into the military. Always exceedingly ordinary, Alina becomes a map maker and Mal excels at tracking. When they attempt to cross a dangerous area known as the Fold, Alina taps into a power that she never knew existed in order to protect herself and Mal.
With a new and powerful ability brought to everyone’s attention, Alina is whisked away by the magical elite order called Grisha and their mysteriously sexy leader known as The Darkling to begin her official training. Although Alina misses Mal, she is captivated by The Darkling and his mysterious ways. As their attraction grows so does Alina’s comfort in her knew surroundings until new discoveries are made that force Alina to make some decisions that she never dreamed she’d be in the position to make . . .
Leigh Bardugo blew me away, I couldn’t put SHADOW & BONE down. With all the amazing characters and world building, this is a truly intelligent book that will leave readers enthralled from cover to cover in it’s fantasies. It isn’t often that side characters are as detailed and interesting as the main characters or that a plot surprises in all the right ways, but SHADOW & BONE is an exceptional debut that did just that and more! I am already waiting on pins and needles for the next installment and will definitely add this author to my “must read” list.(less)
Jennifer Estep has done it again with yet another fun and addicting read that appeals to my inner 15 year old....moreOriginally posted at PaperbackDolls.com
Jennifer Estep has done it again with yet another fun and addicting read that appeals to my inner 15 year old. With more action and development, DARK FROST is incredibly entertaining and page turning story that is even better than it’s predecessors.
DARK FROST is well titled as it’s definitely the “darkest” book in Estep’s Mythos Academy series to date. With battles taking place inside the academy and students coming to their ends at the hands of the Reapers, there is more of a serious tone to this book from the very beginning. That tone is reiterated in Gwen’s inner dialog and allows readers to really see her growth and development especially when she is left feeling more isolated and alone due to a very interesting twist. This isolation causes Gwen to question her abilities and opens the door to revelations about herself and her family.
Despite the bleakness of the situations the characters face, there are a few of what I would consider “cheesy” lines that lightened the darkness. I found myself laughing out loud while reading and I was told that I had a goofy grin across my face at times. But, what can I say? The Mythos Academy books are a guilty pleasure, and one I don’t take too seriously. I just enjoy them for what they are and look forward to each new installment.
I think fans of P.C Cast’s HoN books will really enjoy this series because it has the same teenage angst and drama set in a world with mythology and supernatural powers, but unlike House of Night, these books have some depth and resolution and don’t those have pesky cliffhangers every…single…Book. ;)(less)
In this debut post-apocalyptic Young Adult novel from the incredibly talented actress/screenwriter/lyricist/si...moreOriginally posted at Paperback Dolls.com
In this debut post-apocalyptic Young Adult novel from the incredibly talented actress/screenwriter/lyricist/singer/author, Emmy Laybourne, we are introduced to a group of kids and teenagers (ages 5-18) who are trapped in a superstore while civilization collapses outside the gates. Despite the fact that they have a fairly decent shelter that provides basic needs, they soon discover that the thing they need and desire more than anything else is their parents and comfortable homes.
The more time that passes as the kids are waiting to be rescued inside the store the more things begin to change outside. When a chemical is released into the air, people’s personalities begin to change based on their specific blood type. Things escalate in a heartbreaking scene that pins brother against brother and children are hurt by the hands of other children.
MONUMENT 14 is an emotional book that examines various personality traits in a survival situation. Think LORD OF THE FLIES meets LOST only set inside a Wal-mart style supercenter that provides essentials and shelter and then add some science-fiction elements and you’ll get a good idea of how the story flows. I admit, this wasn’t what I expected and that being said, I’m not sure now what exactly I had been anticipating, but I liked the book and couldn’t stop reading it despite the few slow moments and times that I knew what was coming next. I think Laybourne’s history as an actress and screenwriter helped her character development and aided in creating a story that seemed to play like scenes from a film in my head.
Emmy Laybourne has written a new series that is entertaining but definitely not for those sensitive to obscene language (blasphemy), sexual situations, and violence or opposed to cliffhanger endings.
I really do try my best to finish every book. If the story is interesting enough, I will find the strength to...moreOriginally posted at PaperbackDolls.com.
I really do try my best to finish every book. If the story is interesting enough, I will find the strength to muddle my way through to the end. It’s a compulsion for me, the NEED to know what will happen next. Slowly but surely, I’m learning quickly to just stop instead of subjecting myself further to a book I just don’t like.
Kiss of Pride should have been a triple threat. I mean Viking Vampire Angels? Score, right? Unfortunately for me, no. I tried really hard for over a week to get through the first hundred pages to no avail. From the very first pages we’re greeted with a subject matter that doesn’t match the levity of its language, but instead comes off completely absurd and just plain immature:
”I am deeply disappointed in the Vikings. I made them proud examples of a favored race.” Lightning bolts shot from Gods hands, which He raised on high, and the clouds wept. “Micheal!” God called out, and immediately appeared the Archangel Micheal, feathers flying as he rushed to His side. Without words, Michael could see down below to what had so offended his Lord. “Tsk, tsk!” was the best he could come up with.
“God loved Michael’s idea. “You will head this enterprise. Viking vampire angels. Well, not really angels. More like angels-in-training.” The archangel gasped with horror at his mistake. “Oh, not me, Lord. I have to help St. Peter repair the Pearly Gates. And Noah is building another ark. We have no room to put another ark. And those hippos! Phew!”
Kiss of Pride is the first in Ms. Hill’s Deadly Angels paranormal romance series designed to tell the story of the seven VIK who each committed one of the seven deadly sins and must now spend their lives as one of God’s vangels – vampire angels – fighting against the Lucipires – Lucifer’s vampires.
Now, I will admit to being somewhat shallow myself in choosing Kiss of Pride. That cover is HOT and who doesn’t secretly harbor desires for Viking Vampires, hmm? However, after reading just a short way through, that’s where all my interests ended. I didn’t get much past the introductions to the story and characters to report on more of what happens, but I can say what irritated me the most was the gravity of the situations warred with the humor. I, for one, am all for humor in books, but sometimes too much can make a mockery out of what is trying to be conveyed and make it all sound rather empty and foolish.(less)
Try as I may, it is almost impossible for me to review this book without mentioning some details from previous...moreOriginally posted at PaperbackDolls.com.
Try as I may, it is almost impossible for me to review this book without mentioning some details from previous books in the series and after 12 installments, can you blame me? So, just in case you haven’t read the earlier Sookie adventures, consider this a warning of possible spoilers.
In many ways DEADLOCKED showcases the true strengths in Charlaine Harris’ writing. Despite all the suitor wars (Bill Lovers, Eric Lovers, Sam Lovers etc…) at it’s core the Sookie Stackhouse books were quirky mysteries where some of the characters just happened to be supernatural. Somewhere along the way, whether it was the readers who got caught up in the supe craze or the authors intent, those paranormal elements began to out shine the mystery that is (and always has been) the foundation to each book.
In Bon-Temps, Sookie has settled into her new responsibilities at Merlottes as “part-owner” with her best friend Sam Merlotte. Despite being tired from work, she makes time to go out to ladies night at her cousin Claude’s strip bar, Hooligans, with her friends Holly, Kennedy, Michele (her brother Jason’s girlfriend) and the very pregnant Tara. The fun evening out quickly becomes an evening of surprises for Sookie when an unexpected person is seen stripping at the club and then afterwards at her home with an even more unexpected visit from her grandfather, Niall.
Niall’s appearance at Sookie’s home is awkward as ever, especially since her cousin Claude and great-uncle Dermot (who Niall considers a traitor) are living there. But, Sookie forces Niall to face Dermot and discuss their differences. In doing so, the possibility of a curse being put on Dermot becomes likely and Niall takes Claude back to Fairy to investigate the charges.
The following evening Sookie is strongly encouraged by the lone-were, Mustapha (Eric Northman’s daytime man) to go to a “party” where King Felipe is in attendance at Eric Northman’s home in Shreveport. Once there she is once again faced with visual knowledge that she, in a very “Scarlett O’Hara” fashion, had previously tried not to think about. But, instead of whining about the situation or running away from the problem, Sookie takes charge and deals with things in a rather mature manner. When the dead body of one of the party guests shows up on the lawn and Mustapha is missing, Sookie begins to investigate with the help of her ex-lover Bill Compton. The more they uncover, the more it appears Eric is being framed but the list of motives is long and all the details seem too complex for some of the usual suspects.
Of course, there are other issues adding to the conflicts. Eric is still in negotiations with The Queen of Oklahoma over the proposed marriage between them set into motion by his late maker. And if that wasn’t enough Sookie is having issues with Sam’s girlfriend, the were Jannalyn, who just happens to also be the second in Sookie’s one-time possible flame, Alcide Herveroux’s pack.
I admit, this is a tough book for Sookie and Eric. So many things seem stacked against this favorite couple. No character is perfect in this series and I think that is what allows readers to relate to the characters making these books strike a chord with so many different people. Even with all the turmoil, Sookie repeatedly says over and over that she is in love with Eric and loves him . . .
There is so much that goes down in this book. Charlaine Harris seems to be tying up all those loose ends. So often when author’s of long running series attempt to conclude their story certain things can feel rushed and unnecessary but this is not the case with DEADLOCKED. Readers will be delighted to see Mr. Cataliades and Diantha pop in at a perfect moment, questions about Barry the bell hop (LDID & ATD) answered, Quinn make a cameo on a special day with some big news of his own, Alcide finally atoning for some bad choices and growing up, The Fairy story-line directly dealt with, more of Sam, the Cluvial Dor’s purpose, Jason mature and stable, and Bill in a good place in his existence.
Even Sookie feels like she is in a better place than she has been in the last few books. She goes out with friends, visits people, tans and daydreams like Sookie of old but that’s not to say that there isn’t plenty of tough times and sad moments, just that the character’s growth is evident.
The writing in DEADLOCKED was improved and at times even poetically beautiful. As in these passages:
I woke up to a summer day that mocked me by being beautiful. The downpour had washed everything, cooled the air, and renewed the green of the grass and the trees. The delicate pink of the old crepe myrtle was unfurling. The cannas would soon be open. (Chapter 9)
Loved ones, friends, acquaintances had been mown down by the Grim Reaper. So I was no stranger to loss and to change, and these experiences had taught me something. (Chapter 9)
Not only was there real emotion conveyed in the text, but at times it felt as if Harris was really enjoying her characters, even poking fun at some of the tired behaviorism’s of various characters in a “Laugh out loud” scene between Eric, Pam, Bill and Sookie something that I haven’t really seen since the earlier books. All these things combined to make reading this book a real treat and left me nostalgic for earlier books, wishing I could re-read them all again from a first time perspective.
With everything that is answered in DEADLOCKED there are lots of surprises and revelations that leave so many possibilities that will keep fans guessing all the way to May, 2013.(less)
I requested Lady Maggie’s Secret Scandal completely on a whim. I was looking for something light hearted and f...moreOriginally posted at PaperbackDolls.com.
I requested Lady Maggie’s Secret Scandal completely on a whim. I was looking for something light hearted and fun after all the heavier reads I’ve been devouring lately. As the second in Grace Burrowes The Duke’s Daughters series (or the fifth in her long running Windham series) about the Duke of Morland’s daughters, Ms. Burrowes drew me in from the very first page.
Lady Maggie Windham is the illegitimate, but much loved eldest daughter of His Grace, Percy Windham. She’s a strong, clever, and self-reliant woman, but riddled with self-doubt due to her by-blow and marital status.
Mr. Benjamin Hazlit is in the business of secrets and shadows. An investigator of sorts for the ton finding all things lost or missed placed and ferreting out information. However, that very same skill set has him kept at arm’s length from his own clientele for fear of what he may find out about them.
Ms. Windham and Mr. Hazlit share something in common, though – they both have a secret life. Their paths cross often at Maggie’s father home, but it isn’t until something precious goes missing do these two really have more of a chance to get to know one another when Maggie seeks Ben out for his services.
Sadly, I haven’t read any of the previous books in these series and I really wish I had. There is so much back-story not told or alluded to, that I feel I missed out by not going in order. Those interested, I suggest that you start with “The Heir”. One thing that is truly fabulous – and that I absolutely love – is that Ms. Burrowes has interwoven her whole series with minor characters that will have you longing to learn more.
There was one main major hiccup for me, however, something I just couldn’t wrap my head around – the story of Ben’s secret life. I don’t want to spoil it for anyone, but he is more than the face he shows high society and I just don’t understand how someone of his status and station could have hidden it for very long, if at all, from the likes of the ton – people who have nothing to do, but be in each others business. Not to mention, that he has sisters. Sisters that surely had to have a come out at some point since they are both married. In fact, his sisters situations puzzled me even more. Either I missed what happened from previous books or it isn’t explained very well at all. I’m thinking more the latter than the former.
Overall, Lady Maggie’s Secret Scandal is a light, delightfully told unconventional love story between two passionate and family oriented characters. Both Maggie and Ben are relatable in their insecurities as well as their longings. I found it to be both an emotionally driven and humorous read that not only satisfied my craving for romance, but did it without being too sugary.(less)
Noa: I have to admit before beginning this review that I did not read the first book in the new Smythe-Smith quartet series. I do know who the Smythe-Smith’s are… I loved reading about the annual musicales in the Bridgerton series, and I always felt awful for those poor girls with their lack of musical talent, I was really looking forward to reading a series that focused on them. Sadly, I think my growing TBR pile made me miss out on Just Like Heaven. So I’m really happy I got a chance to review A Night Like This…
Kitt, I know you are a major Bridgerton fan, did you read Just Like Heaven, were you looking forward to the next installment?
Kitt: Like you, I totally missed its debut! I had no idea that Just Like Heaven even existed. I don’t know what happened, because like you mentioned, I’m a huge Bridgerton fan (you can read my review of the series here) and was really looking forward to a series from the Smythe-Smith family point-of-view.
It’s unfortunate that we both failed to read Just Like Heaven, though, because it appears we missed out on quite a bit. Apparently when A Night Like This starts, it’s in the midst of Just Like Heaven’s ending and we’re seeing a major scene from two new, different points-of-view.
Noa: True Kitt, but I do have to add, while the first chapter does involve scenes from Just Like Heaven – the rest of the book does stand on its own. Do you agree?
Kitt: Oh totally! Besides feeling a little pang of regret for not reading the first – you know how obsessive I am about reading a series in order – I had no trouble following the characters or the story.
Noa: So, what do we have in A Night Like This? One governess for the Pleinsworth cousins of the Smythe-Smith family, one prodigal son returning after years abroad, an awful musicale and almost immediate attraction… Kitt, what do you think of the book’s main characters?
Kitt: I completely adored them both! Daniel Smythe-Smith is the eldest son, Earl of Winstead, Viscount Streathermore, Baron Touchton of Stoke – my word, the names! – and he has just returned home to England after three years of forced exile do to a drunken night between friends wherein he accidentally shot a Marquess son. When we first meet him, he seems young and frivolous, but the years abroad change him. His focus has found new avenues, family means more to him, and he’s taking his responsibilities more seriously now. The way he goes about catching Miss Wynter is completely swoon worthy. From the very first moment he lays eyes on her, he has to have her and what made me the happiest is that he never strays away or falters in his determination.
Miss Anne Wynter has a huge secret that keeps her at arm’s length even more so than the average governess. Her past is truly heart-wrenching, but it’s made her stronger and more resilient for it. I like her playful and witty attitude along with how she fights instead acting like a swooning debutante. It did surprise me, though, that she wasn’t more wary of Daniel’s intentions when she finds herself once again in a similar predicament regardless of his perseverance. What did you think of the Earl of Winstead and Miss Wynter?
Noa: I really liked Ms. Wynter, like you said, she fights back and doesn’t just lie down and take things. I also like that Julia Quinn put her in a happy household rather than many books where the stories have a Cinderella feel. Though, I guess she did have her share of bad positions, both as companion and governess in previous homes she worked in.
As for Daniel, I thought he was lovely – a perfectly upstanding young man who is a good brother, a loving son and cousin and who, like you said, realizes he has responsibilities.
So, what was the problem you might ask? It did reach a point where I felt Daniel was acting less than honorable. She’s a governess…he has to realize the problems. His cousin warns him, his aunt warns him…and what does he do? Ignore them. I really found myself disliking him at one point in the book. Especially knowing what we come to learn about Ms Wynter. And like you Kitt, I felt Ms. Wynter should have been a bit more wary of Daniel. I guess what I’m saying is – I needed a bit more story in order to believe that the romance was real and not just a member of the aristocracy trying to seduce the help.
Kitt: I’m totally going to have to agree with you, I’m not the hugest fan of cross-class coupling myself. It seems highly unfair to the poor party – which is usually the woman – that the gentry has even more power over them – which is almost always the man. Not to mention, I really don’t see this as something that would have actually taken place. I will give Miss Anne Wynter some credit though. She’s a governess which holds a significant higher position than the maid.
Noa: I agree, though there have been books where I really enjoyed it, I just felt that in this case their meeting and everything that followed was a bit rushed. I needed “more” to happen between them for it to be believable. What do you think?
Kitt: Actually, I didn’t get the feeling of it being rushed at all, but yet I do still see what you mean. I think it would have helped considerably to see just a little more intimacy between the two of them in some form or another – and not just in the smexing department.
Noa: Lol! The smexing was nice ;) I think Julia Quinn excels at writing a humorous love story, and A Night Like This delivered in that department. It just needed that extra “something”.
Kitt: The smexing was nice. But it seems to me, though, that I enjoyed A Night Like This a smidgeon more than you did. Overall, I thought it was a good showing from Ms. Quinn. I like her style and the humor she adds to each of her stories. She continues to demonstrate why readers flock to her books. I ended up reading A Night Like This in one afternoon and it has me eagerly rushing to find out what I missed in Just Like Heaven.
Noa: Oh, I did enjoy it Kitt, and like you, I really wanted to find out what I missed in Just Like Heaven, but I can’t say this was my favorite Julia Quinn book. She writes such fantastic heroes (and heroines) and Daniel just had a tough act to follow. Of course, I’m now dying to know what happens next… who will the next Smythe-Smith heroine be? ;)(less)
A Blood Seduction hooked me right from the start with a different twist on the whole vampire trope, and I couldn’t put it down.
The protagonist, Quinn Lennox, knows she’s different, but after her mother dies and her father remarries she suddenly becomes an outsider in her own home.
When her baby brother comes along, she’s supposed to stay away from him so of course, she makes him the focus of all her love and attention. Years later when his girlfriend vanishes, Quinn is determined to help him find her, and in the process, the two of them embark on a terrifying journey through a strange dimension filled with vampires.
I’m fascinated by the different breed of vamps that populate the pages, especially Arturo, but I doubt he can be trusted. He appears to develop real feelings for Quinn, but then does or says something that negates them, and I’m right back to square one. Do I trust him or not?
Some of the horrendous acts performed on the humans were hard to read, but since the vamps feed on pain or fear, the acts fuel the progression of Quinn’s attachment to Arturo. By the last chapter, I was convinced Arturo really loved her only to have that certainty blasted out of the water. Now I’m on the fence and don’t know which way to turn.
The world building is wonderful, and I could visualize it as I read. The vamp hierarchy is interesting and contributed to my on/off appreciation of Arturo. Since few truly care for her, Quinn is fiercely protective of those she loves, and that could end up becoming her strength or her weakness. I’m curious to see how that plays out.
Yes, it was a bloody, violent, emotional book—that’s what made the vampire world so horrifying to imagine. It also gave Quinn a reason to fight back, and I can see where her ability to discover and hone her own talents will make or break future events.
Minor spoilers, possible... I've actually searched the internet on how best to describe Pamela Palmer's A Blood Seduction. Some refer to it as a paranormal romance, others as urban fantasy romance, others still as dark urban fantasy romance, but let me make this clear: A Blood Seduction is not a romance. Far from it, in fact. I personally think it would be best described as a horror.
Quinn Lennox, along with her half-brother Zack, fall down the "rabbit hole" into a parallel universe of Washington, D.C. circa 1870, aptly named Washington, V.C. or Vamp City. Everything in this alternate reality is exactly as it would have been back then except in disrepair... and filled with blood thirsty fiends. Though, it's not just neglect ripping this city apart, the magic holding it together is breaking down and letting the human world seep through its cracks bringing with it sunlight to brighten a world in perpetual darkness. After Quinn gets captured by Arturo shortly after her arrival, he soon discovers a secret about her that he hopes will save his world from being destroyed.
I have to hand it to Ms. Palmer, from the very first page, I was sucked into her world, compelled to keep reading even though every part of me was screaming for me to stop. Her world is harsh, violent, sickening and terrifying. I don't think I ever enjoyed one moment. Her vampires are the epitome of terror. Not only do they feed on blood, but the majority feed on pain, fear, and pleasure. After years of honing their skill, most take just as much delight in the chilling acts that they perform as the release given to them by it.
To feed, the vampires make slaves of the poor souls that they stole before their magic started failing or ones unlucky enough to fall through one of the many wholes between the two worlds that have now started popping up all over Vamp City. These humans are nothing more than cattle, no, lower if that's possible, rats to them. They think because they glamour them, nothing they can do will affect them, but most of what we see through Quinn's eyes.. you just can't come back from that. I found in some places it was hard to keep the nausea from rolling up at the things being described - This is definitely not one for the faint of heart.
It’s hard when reading a book not to look for that ray of light. That small glimmer of hope. You want, or need, a reason to fight, but in Vamp City, it isn’t just crushed, it’s obliterated. The vamps are so strong and adept that it magnifies how powerless the naïve and directionless Quinn is throughout the whole book, how she fumbles her way through, never making plans, and always relying on others to save her. To make matters worse, I found myself silently screaming at her repeatedly for making the same mistakes over and over and over and over – like with Arturo.
Normally, I root for the anti-hero. He has always been my favorite. Is he good or bad? Can he be saved? Never before have I ever wished so much for a heroine to grow a pair and kill the hero. This is a first for me. Arturo has absolutely no redeeming qualities. Every time Quinn starts to trust him, he shows her another reason why she shouldn’t have. He’s a snake, a liar, playing on Quinn’s vulnerably and loneliness. The crux is she knows this! But lets him continue to get close to her so he can do it again all because of the burning desire that rears up every time she gets close to him! Sex? Or survival? Sex? Or survival? Hmmm… I pick survival, but that’s just me.
A friend of ours described A Blood Seduction perfect for me – it polarizes the reader. On one hand, this book will have you ranting and raving, shocked and appalled, or just plain irritated by the shear helplessness. On the other, Ms. Palmer seduced me, kept me reading, and fighting for Quinn. Her world building was fantastic and her writing keeps you in abject horror, but you’ll continue to read until that very last page. I think fans of Laurell K. Hamilton will find it to be a perfect fit, especially those intrigued by Queen Andais like myself. I’ll be reading the next in Pamela Palmer’s Vamp City series.(less)
This book made me insane. Oh, it was surely a happy ride and I’d stand in line to go again, but it was without a doubt pure, emotional insanity. I said, about the last book, that Stacia Kane had ridden me hard and put me away wet and it’s true here, too. I feel like the junkie, coming back for more after being wrung out so hard, but I just can’t get enough of this series. For a long time I thought book #3 in the series was my favorite but I do believe this one is now. It might go down as the book I most love to hate in the series, too. There was a lot of emotional dichotomy in this book for me, a lot of emotional extremes.
I’ve been standing up for Chess against the folks who knee-jerk react against her drug abuse since the beginning. I’ve encouraged people to see beyond her drug use to the person behind it. I have to own that I’m tired of her drug use and the self hatred and negative mind talk; and I just want to smack her, and shake her, and smack her again and scream in her face and tell her to grow the fuck up. I’m sick and tired of being patient with her and watching her hover on the border of self-destruction and the annihilation of those around her who care about her (even though she’s so fucking great she always manages to pull it out). There. I said it. I feel so much better. I feel like I need to be going to Al-Anon meetings over my love of Chess. My co-dependency has resurfaced and I am making excuses for a relationship whose chaos I would not tolerate in meat-life. In short, I am completely sucked in!
So, by now you’re thinking that this book is nothing but negative, right? I’ve made it sound as though it’s all bad and you don’t think you could possible stand to listen to Chess mind-fuck herself through it all? Well, Chasing Magic is hands-down the most romantic, most action-packed, and most thrilling of all the books in the already superb Downside series. If you opt out of this book just because I bitched about the stuff that’s driving me nuts with Chess then you’ll miss all the good stuff and there is so much of it that you’ll want to roll around in it like a cat in a patch of cat nip. When I say “good” I don’t necessarily mean “feel good” but it’s good never the less.
We’ve never seen Terrible quite so tender or so effusive. There are so many wonderful moments that if Terrible wasn’t on your romance top hits list before he will be after this book. He’s also never been quite so adamant about putting his foot down and laying down some boundaries while still respecting Chess’ right to choose, and I say “about damned time!”
We’ve never gotten quite so much insight into Bump. But I’ll let that unfold by itself.
I’ve always felt a dichotomy for Lex. I empathized with people who liked him and thought he was charming and cared about Chess and understood that he was not to be trusted, but thought that because he cared about Chess he should be cut some slack. Let me tell you that I read this book two months ago, I’ve had time for it to stew. When I read this book I decided that I didn’t just hate Lex, I loathed him. I waited to see if I would still hate him after it stewed for a while. I still hate him. You may not. I do. I didn’t hate him until this book, and that’s even after he again saved Chess’ life, and I hate him for a scene in this book that he spends with Chess – not for what he tries to do to Terrible (although that doesn’t put him on my fan-girl list, either).
Chess suffers a loss in this book that is very real and ongoing. It’s something that she’ll have to deal with on a regular basis and it’s poignant and, in my estimation, very telling about how strong she really is. It’s an extremely hurtful thing to her, but she rolls with it and finds a way to keep on keeping on even though it hurts. It’s the kind of hurt all of us can relate to in one way or another, I think.
As I write this I have no word about whether or not there will be any more books in this series. The last I heard there might be one more in the U.K. but there were no known plans for further publishing in the U.S. According to Goodreads the paperback and Kindle publishing is Del Rey and the ebook is Random House Publishing (in case you might like to write an email expressing your support) although I have not been able to further verify any of this so please don’t hold me or anyone else to that and I am certainly not suggesting an email writing campaign.
All I know is that Downsides Ghosts is one of my most favorite urban fantasy series. Even when I hate it, I love it and that’s a very difficult thing to get from me as I am not the sort of person who enjoys being teased. I will watch with baited breath hoping that Stacia Kane finds a way to continue publishing whether it be through conventional publishing methods or not. As long as there is more to read in this series I will be there with bells on to read it, particularly if it’s half as good as Chasing Magic.
And with one final shot let me now thank Stacia Kane personally for never having written a cliff hanger in this series. Few things make me feel more respected by an author and this is at the top of my all time favorites list.(less)
Since this is a short novella, there’s not a lot of time for character development, and some of you may find that detrimental. But if you’re looking for something different and hot, this might interest you. It’s definitely for those of you who like some spice in your books, but don’t have a lot of time to read.
I am having trouble writing this review. I don’t want to gush like a fan girl but it seems that is all I can c...moreOriginally posted at PaperbackDolls.com.
I am having trouble writing this review. I don’t want to gush like a fan girl but it seems that is all I can come up with right now so before delving into Somebody To Love I’ll share a little of my reading history with you.
I discovered Kristan Higgins approximately two years ago when I decided I would try to read as much contemporary romance I could get my hands on. I was ordering some Rachel Gibson and Susan Elizabeth Phillips and a Kristan Higgins book was in the “people who bought this book also bought…”. I only had about $20 left on the gift card I was using and I was saving it for an upcoming planned prowl of the Bargain Books section at B&N so I opted out of the website and looked forward to a Monday morning off from work and the kids in school. You know Mommy time, book lover/addict style.
I woke up the next day with two sick kids. After bedding them down and loading them up with meds I found myself bored and bookless. My latest order wasn’t due to arrive for days. I couldn’t leave my sick kids alone while I made a mad dash to Barnes and Nobles for something, right? Right? No, no of course not! I had one option left. I had recently downloaded the new Nook app onto my iTouch. I know what you are thinking, tiny screen, but I don’t care how tiny the screen if I can read a book I’m in!
I sat down with the Mac and started searching for a book. I decided if I was going to finally break down and use a new technology to read then I should christen it with a new author and I downloaded my first Kristan Higgins book, Fools Rush In. Over the next two weeks I downloaded every book available from her. I was addicted to her worlds and characters. I loved them so much I re-read each book a minimum of three times. I was never one to revisit a stand alone title but I found I loved to laugh and cry along with Higgin’s characters and her writing style was so easy to sink into that when I read a different author I didn’t like or found the style to be bothersome I would cleanse my reader’s palette with Catch of The Day or Just One of Guys.
Last year Ms. Higgins released Until There Was You and some of you may remember it made my top ten for 2011. I absolutely adored that book. I finished it so quickly I rationalized an immediate re-read in case I missed something. The truth was I was totally in love with Liam Murphy and I wasn’t quite ready to put him on the shelf. Once I was done, for the second time, I started to feel nervous about Kristan’s next book. I mean how could it live up to Posey and Liam’s story? Will she hit a plateau? Will I find myself wishing for a sequel to UTWY instead of new characters? How can any guy live up to Liam?!? I tried not to think of these question when my book came in the mail and I immediately sat down with Somebody To Love……
A good sign I’m going to like a book? The author has me giggling halfway through page one and laughing out loud by page two. We enter the world of Parker Welles just before it’s about to fall out from underneath her. Of course this isn’t the first time we meet Parker Welles. Parker was a supporting character in The Next Best Thing which just so happens to be my favorite Higgins title. Parker is an accidental writer who has hit a crossroads in her career and her struggle to find her muse is something I can appreciate. She shares custody of her five year old son with her ex Ethan who just so happens to be married Parker’s best friend Lucy. When Parker is forced to move and her only option is to flip a remote property in Maine Lucy encourages her BFF to have a summer fling. Lucy believes Parker has been nooky-less since breaking up with Ethan. Can you say awkward?
Our male lead is James Cahill. I kept seeing Ryan Gosling in Crazy, Stupid Love (after he fell for Emma Stone’s Hanna) *sigh*……. Yeah James is dreamy. James has some issues in the family department and we see him face them along with his growing feelings for Parker. James relationship with Parker’s dad is more than business. It’s more father/son on some levels and Parker resents the closeness because she doesn’t have that with dear old pops. James feels indebted to Mr. Welles but right from the start you can see how much he likes Parker even when she calls him Thing One. I really like James aka Jamie aka super hottie.
The book flows well and we get to dig deep with our leads while getting a nice second visit to Gideon’s Cove, Maine (the setting for Catch of The Day). Kristan is able to hit her stride fairly quickly with S2L, we get a happy balance of humor, angst, and romance. As a reader I never set the book down because I wanted to take a break. It only left my hot little hands because I had no other choice. I recently read a book I wanted to dump in the pool because I couldn’t get close to the characters and everything was distant and cold. Entering the S2L world you are wrapped up in Parker’s life and buckled in for a bumpy yet entertaining ride. Higgins makes it easy to see the world she has created for Parker and James to fall in love in.
The secondary characters help fill up the pages and tell a story worth reading. I have noticed in books where authors revisit characters after a long time away they are a shadow of what they once were. In S2L we get familiar characters we love in Hi-Def. One character in particular I wish would get her own book is animal rescue owner Beth. The dynamics between the new and old meld onto the page as if they were planned from the beginning and maybe even written at the same time. Somebody To Love was a refreshing love story that contemporary romance lovers are going to love. And as for me? There are very few authors that can have me wrapped around their fingers in less than three pages, Ms. Higgins is at the top of that list. (less)
I am trying to not go all fan-girl right now but it’s really hard. Why you ask? Because lately I’ve read some books that have been a major disappointment and thanks to Ms. Shalvis my faith was restored in Contemporary Romance. I do love me some naughtiness between the sheets or on a couch or up against the railing at the pier… *sigh* Oh Sorry where was I? But what I really want is a story I can get lost in. I want characters I feel connected too and a world I would at least love to visit.
I fell in love with Ty Garrison. He’s a bit of a smart ass, he says the sexiest things, his dark layers are yummy, and he is another reason I wish I lived in Lucky Harbor. Yeah he has some issues, he’s a former SEAL who went through some pretty dark stuff but he hasn’t stopped living. He just feels guilty about it. It’s an honest emotion many veterans feel and it is conveyed in LIL in a realistic manner.
Mallory Quinn is someone many women can relate too. She has work goals, a slightly crazy family, and an addiction to chocolate. She also is having trouble hanging on to her Mr. Rights. Ms. Quinn is a likable girl. And I have to tell you I’ve recently been unhappy with more than one female lead. It was refreshing not to have to yell that the woman on the page.
Shalvis has not let this series get repetitive or boring and I know sometimes I have had issue with other authors and their series telling me the same story over and over and over again. Annoying, right? Thankfully Jill has filled this small town chuck full of interesting and complex characters that will keep you wanting more. I’m already pacing around waiting for At Last and I have a TBR that needs some attention. Jill Shalvis is a storyteller who can make you laugh and rev your engine all on the same page. I appreciate a well-written book that can keep me entertained from beginning to end but when a book keeps me from sleeping because I can’t put it down, well let’s just say it ruins me for lesser books.
This book isn’t hit-me-over-the-head-with-fluffy-love-and-all-things-rainbows but it’s also not my usual angst addict fest. Lucky In Love doesn’t insist the reader suspend reality to like the story or understand it. In any work fiction there is a level of that probably wouldn’t happen in the real life but I am a strong believer unless it’s part of the genre the book falls under we shouldn’t have to have to force ourselves to ignore impossibilities. I am an even bigger believer in, we as readers, shouldn’t have to ignore poor editing! Reading shouldn’t feel like work whether your reading for pleasure or to review it, I want to be entertained and find my happy place in the pages of the book.
Lucky In Love helped me find my happy place… several times.(less)
I’m going to tell you right up front that I almost didn’t read this book because the ARC I had was missing chunks of the story and it was frustrating to try to piece it together. I’m so glad I gave it another shot, though, because it was so good I didn’t want it to end. Once I got past the first couple of missing sentences or paragraphs, I was able to glean enough from what I’d read to piece the rest of it together.
The cover blurb tells it all, but without the spirit and fire and emotion that’s woven throughout. Charlotte is determined to rescue her father with or without help. It’s just dumb luck that she ends up at Bryce’s feet…with a clear view of what’s under his kilt.
Thinking she’s a boy, he rescues her from getting arrested and now she’s his property. Laboring under the assumption that she is a he, Bryce is determined to make a decent man out of her. Charlotte/Charles is more than up for the task and can outdraw most men with her bow. Together, they make a formidable team, teaching each other valuable life lessons.
When she’s finally outed as a girl, Bryce is shocked then goes into macho protective mode, which is ridiculous considering she’s saved his hide more than once. She refuses to be intimidated into dropping her father’s rescue attempt, and eventually leaves Bryce behind. But like any hardheaded man in love, Bryce follows her.
A touching, funny ruse that morphs into a love story, A Warrior’s Promise will satisfy the historical and the contemporary romance reader. Plenty of action keeps the story moving at a brisk pace, and the solid bond of trust that develops between Charlotte/Charles and Bryce is the basis for the love that transpires later. I can’t wait for the next book in the series.(less)