Who said fairy tales can't be for adults? Certainly not Lila DiPasqua! She's taken yet another well known cOriginally posted at Breath of Life Reviews
Who said fairy tales can't be for adults? Certainly not Lila DiPasqua! She's taken yet another well known children's story and made it into an erotic tale of love, betrayal and adventure. I was so excited to read Undone in part because I love the idea of adult fairy tales and of course, because I just love having the chance to discover a new favorite.
I originally thought Undone was going to be just a sexed up, cheesy story inspired by Rapunzel but no, there really isn't that much of the children's tale in this book, just vague similarities that if you don't already know the story of Rapunzel, you won't notice. Undone didn't disappoint at all. In fact, it exceeded my expectations and made me a fan of author Lila DiPasqua in the process.
Let's talk about the hero and the heroine, I loved both Simon and Angelica immediately after meeting them. Two more wounded warriors I can't recall, they're both passionate and stubborn so it was interesting to see how these two would work around their personal issues.
Angelica isn't a very wordy heroine, I noticed that right away, BUT that doesn't mean she's a push over either. She's just an expert in what I call "Intellectual Warfare." She thinks things through and prefers to prove her point through actions. She's a firecracker that one and I loved this new (to me) type of heroine. One that saves her arguments until she can back them up with actions. She knows that if she goads someone physically stronger than her into a physical confrontation, she won't win, but if she thinks the situation through, she stands a chance of getting her way. Smart, strong woman = interesting book.
Simon. Ah Simon. He exudes such raw sexuality that it's hard not to shiver whenever he graces the pages, let alone when he speaks. He's immediately attracted to Angelica and is torn between his desire for her and doing right by her. He's definitely one of the sexiest fictional characters I've ever come across. Let's just say if Simon were a real man and not a character, I'd be looking at him like he was the last piece of chocolate and I was dying for a fix.
Undone is a sexy adventure that will leave you breathless and wanting more. The characters are memorable, the story is engaging and most of all, the chemistry between Simon and Angelica is off the charts!...more
This novella was my introduction to Vicky Dreiling. I have had her books in my "Must Read" list for quite some time but that list is miles long and IThis novella was my introduction to Vicky Dreiling. I have had her books in my "Must Read" list for quite some time but that list is miles long and I wasn't sure when I'd be able to get a hold of one of her books. Thanks to NetGalley, I have had a chance to read and review this delightful prologue to a new series by Vicky Dreiling.
If A Season for Sin is only a taste of what to expect from the Sinful Scoundrels series, then count me in! Not only are there dashing, irresponsible men to love but a wry humor and easy friendship that begins to develop between the Earl of Bellingham, the Viscount Evermore and the Earl of Ravenshire. These men are intriguing and in desperate need of women to challenge them instead of entertain them.
While there really isn't much insight to Laura Davenport's character aside from that she's a very caring, beautiful woman, she's still interesting enough because of the circumstances she suddenly finds herself in at the end of the novella.
A Season for Sin is definitely a teaser, and as long as you don't look at the actual release date of the first book in this new series (Spring 2013), there should be no tears. ...more
From the moment I read William Langley's reaction to the news that his beloved had been lost at sea, I dAs originally posted on Breath of Life Reviews
From the moment I read William Langley's reaction to the news that his beloved had been lost at sea, I desperately wanted to see him get his happy ending. The love that this man had for Meg Donovan and the devastation he felt upon finding out her twin was impersonating her just left me feeling heart broken for him.
So when I read that Meg was in fact, not dead, merely missing for 8 years, I was ecstatic and of course, super impatient to get my hands on Pleasures of a Tempted Lady. I couldn't wait until Will and Meg were reunited and see what obstacles they would have to face on the road to their happy ever after. I love stories of long lost loves being reunited after years apart, you have the potential for a really great story.
If there's one thing I've learned about author Jennifer Haymore, it's that she's damn good at writing "second chance at love" stories. Just read A Hint of Wicked or Confessions of an Improper Bride (Book 1 in the Donovan Sisters series featuring Meg's twin Serena) if you don't believe me.
Of course, there's always that bit of anxiety that the magic that was present in the first few books won't be there in the next book. I had very high hopes that Pleasures of a Tempted Lady would be filled with conflict, emotion, humor and passion.
I was not disappointed. It was more than I expected it to be. Jennifer Haymore introduced Will and Meg in Confessions of an Improper Bride as secondary characters, made them fall in love, ripped them apart from each other, and then eight years later reunited them but as older, wiser and in Meg's case, tougher characters. It was definitely an experience watching these two get to know each other all over again.
There is definite character growth in Pleasures of a Tempted Lady as expected, but the amount of growth is a pleasant surprise. Meg's growth allowed her to not only survive her years at the hands of a cold blooded pirate but also to develop the courage to flee and ultimately survive and find love again with the one man she never forgot.
Emotionally, this book is a roller coaster and I enjoyed all the ups and downs. The angst and longing between Will and Meg was bittersweet and heart wrenching, making Pleasures of a Tempted Lady more than your average historical romance novel.
I had some concerns about William Langley at first. He seemed too perfect. It's clear he fell in love with Meg from the start and was devastated when she was presumed dead but for him to be a paragon of virtue for eight solid years seemed a little too far fetched. Luckily, or unluckily for our hero, his biggest secret, which was revealed in Confessions of an Improper Bride, was re-introduced into Pleasures of a Tempted Lady and made Will more realistic and human. Well done.
Sometimes in a book, there are far too many conflicts that the book becomes bogged down with problem after problem that the main couple has to face. I am so glad that this wasn't the case with Pleasures of a Tempted Lady. There is one main, physical conflict and that is the pirate chasing after Meg. He is the one real threat to Meg's life, and provides the pushes and shoves that force Will and Meg to deal with the changes in their lives and personalities and to fight for a future together.
Along with Will and Meg's story is the youngest Donovan sister's love story, though it reads more as a quick novella. While I would have loved for Jessica to have her own book instead of being a secondary love story like Phoebe was in Secrets of an Accidental Duchess, I understood why it wouldn't have worked.
All in all, I loved Pleasures of a Tempted Lady. It had more raw emotion from the lead characters than the other books in the series. Rather than being about passion between two people, it was more about long lost love, reuniting and rekindling that love and being ready to sacrifice everything for the one you love.
Thank you NetGalley and Grand Central Publishing for the ARC....more
A bruised and bloodied man crashes Spindle Cove's Christmas ball and immediately collapses at Violet Winterbottom's feet muttering a phrase over and oA bruised and bloodied man crashes Spindle Cove's Christmas ball and immediately collapses at Violet Winterbottom's feet muttering a phrase over and over again and only Violet can understand what he's saying: "Merry Christmas." When she gets a better look at the stranger she can't help but remember the man who crushed her heart a year ago.
Definitely one of the most romantic novellas I've ever read. If you love the idea of a long lost love, spies and short lived angst then this is the story for you. ...more
I feel like I've been waiting for this book for forever! After what felt like a lifetime, I have reOriginally posted on my blog Breath of Life Reviews
I feel like I've been waiting for this book for forever! After what felt like a lifetime, I have read, finished and loved Thief of Shadows!
The fourth book in The Maiden Lane series, Thief of Shadows finally focuses on the Ghost of St. Giles, who was revealed in the previous book (Scandalous Desires, which has been my favorite book of the series) to be none other than Winter Makepeace, the staid and respectable headmaster of the Home for Unfortunate Infants and Foundling Children, located in London's most notorious slum.
Who would have thought right? When I first met Winter it was in the first pages of Wicked Intentions, the first book in The Maiden Lane series. He was described as tall, with a long, thin face and he wore ill fitting clothing. Hardly the description of a character like the Ghost of St. Giles. As the series progressed however, there were more and more signs that the Ghost was one of the reoccurring characters and I became anxious to know his identity.
Once the identity of the Ghost was revealed, I admit I was a little surprised, amused and downright impatient to read Thief of Shadows.
The transition between Scandalous Desires into Thief of Shadows was smooth and evenly paced, there was no long, drawn out summary of the previous 3 books which I appreciated because too much rehashing of previous books takes up too much time and space that is better used for telling a new story.
I've been a fan of Elizabeth Hoyt's for some time. She has the most physically interesting characters and engaging story lines I've ever had the pleasure of reading. Her characters are not always classically beautiful, sometimes they have a physical feature that ordinarily would be reserved for a side kick or another minor character, however Elizabeth's writing is so full of emotion and realism that any physical "flaws" are forgotten because you're too busy falling in love with the characters she's created. Her stories are heart wrenching at times and make them all the more memorable and enjoyable.
Thief of Shadows is no exception. The Ghost of St Giles is a hero, but Elizabeth Hoyt never makes him into an untouchable, impenetrable, larger than life creature. The reader is constantly reminded that he is a man of flesh and blood and emotions that have been kept locked away for too long. She focuses more on who he really is, Winter Makepeace, a noble, self-sacrificing man who is terribly lonely.
Naturally, the woman who captures Winter's attention had to be a rather unique lady and quite the opposite of Winter himself. Enter Isabel, Lady Beckinhall who is everything Winter is not, social, friendly, older, flirtatious, experienced and entirely too curious for her own good.
The banter between Winter and Isabel is something I looked forward to from the very first scene in Thief of Shadows. Suggestive, humorous and at times revealing, each scene between the two was well written and better than the one before. I thoroughly enjoyed reading their interactions, even when they were laced with insults. It made the sparks between the two more palatable and that's what makes a great romance story right? If you thought Elizabeth Hoyt's other books were hot, let me just say that this one makes the rest look like cream puffs. It's that sexy.
Thief of Shadows definitely has more action and danger than its predecessors did and while that might not work for some people, it was a vital part of this particular book's success. What would the Ghost of St. Giles be without a villain or two to vanquish? Or a mystery to solve? He would be a boring, one dimensional character not worth remembering. Even as the Ghost himself overcomes enemy after enemy, it is Winter who faces the biggest challenges, he must become a better man, a living man instead of just existing as he was for so many years, only, he can't hide behind the Ghost's mask as he tries to rejoin the living.
Isabel is as strong as heroines come in books. She's not the feistiest female or the boldest seductress we've seen, she's worse. She's an intelligent female with resources and hidden courage that even she doesn't know about until it's put to the test. A perfect match for Winter, even if neither knows it.
By far, Thief of Shadows is the best book out of the series, I was afraid that all the build up in the previous books would come to nothing in this one but I should have known better. Elizabeth Hoyt doesn't disappoint readers with Thief of Shadows and she yet again begins the buildup for the next book in the series. Thief of Shadows is more action packed and steamier than the other books, when I finished reading it, I was an incoherent, babbling mess that desperately wanted a cigarette....more
The second book in Regency Rogues series contains more action, suspense and mystery than its predecessor, The DevilAs originally posted on Book Haven
The second book in Regency Rogues series contains more action, suspense and mystery than its predecessor, The Devil in Disguise and more humor than I thought possible from one character. Sarah Tisdale was a delight. Smart, blunt, outspoken and so awkward that she sometimes comes across as addled. Without meaning to, she amuses to no end with her verbal diarrhea that appears at the most inappropriate times. Her antics are wild and uncoordinated that one can't help but be charmed by her. In a contemporary romance, Sarah wouldn't be anything special because what heroine isn't smart, outspoken and honest? However, because The Angel in My Arms takes place in Regency England where outspoken, smart, semi-independent, were frowned upon and often ignored, Sarah stands out like a sore thumb. Which is what ultimately attracts, confuses and keeps Marcus' attention and later wins his love.
I enjoyed the overall plot in this book more than in the first book, I also found many of the characters to be more memorable and real as well. There were no useless characters in this book, everyone had some kind of role that was vital to the story, whether it was hero, villain, sidekick, friend, family or some small role as a victim, I never got the feeling of "Why is that person even in this book? They serve no purpose" from The Angel in My Arms.
Marcus and Sarah were well suited as a couple, each one obviously needing the other to balance them out and while Sarah was a tad to forgiving with Marcus, she did stand her ground when it came to helping him catch what turned out to be more than one villain.
Though the book starts off slow, with Marcus and Sarah meeting in an unconventional way and later spending a good portion of the book pondering each other's presence, it is still highly entertaining, mostly due to Sarah and her modern way of thinking and behaving.
Once danger and tragedy strike the quiet town, the book begins to pick up the pace and the mystery and danger only increase from that point on. Surprising twists and turns laced with Sarah's humor and wit keep this book from become dull and repetitive.
I truly enjoyed The Angel in My Arms and look forward to picking up the next book in the series, The Sinner Who Seduced Me which I am sure will hold more surprises, danger and explanations to the questions left unanswered in The Angel in My Arms....more
I adore romance novels with spies so I was anxious to read the first in Stefanie Sloane's series.
William Randall, the Duke of Clairemont is assignedI adore romance novels with spies so I was anxious to read the first in Stefanie Sloane's series.
William Randall, the Duke of Clairemont is assigned to watch and protect Lady Lucinda Grey from a nefarious kidnapping plot, nothing out of the ordinary for a member of the Young Corinthians. What "Iron Will" didn't expect was for Lady Grey to be so enchanting.
My favorite moments of the book where the scenes involving Lucinda's aunts who are referred to as The Furies for their ability to intimidate those around them.
While this was not my favorite spy novel, it had it's entertaining moments and was interesting enough to finish and pick up the second book in the series.
The second book in a series, '10 Ways' is another delightful story, even more so than the first in this reviewer's humble opinion. Having been named bThe second book in a series, '10 Ways' is another delightful story, even more so than the first in this reviewer's humble opinion. Having been named by a women's magazine as "The Lord to Land," Nicholas St. John is looking to get away from London and the female hunting parties that seem to find him no matter where he goes. Before he can make up his mind where to flee, an old acquaintance of his, The Duke of Leighton asks him to track down his missing sister Georgianna who seems to have fled her life of privilege for an unknown reason. The trail leads Nick to Dunscroft, Yorkshire and straight into Lady Isabel Townsend's path.
Lady Isabel is the eldest child of an earl who, on more than one occasion has wagered and lost her during many of his games of chance. Having dispatched of one such "winner" earlier in the day, she is unprepared to come face to face with London's "Lord to Land" but takes his sudden appearance as a sign that she should have him view her mother's marble statues and give her an approximate value on each. As Nick begins to appraise the marble statues in Isabel's home, he becomes aware of a very big fact: The residents of Lady Isabel's home are not what they seem! Isabel is guarding some very big and possibly dangerous secrets about those she has under her roof as well as some emotionally draining ones about herself.
What I really enjoyed about this book was Isabel. Such a strong and courageous character, she is wonderfully flawed at times and at others heartrendingly vulnerable but with a backbone of iron. She is selfless to a fault and upon meeting her in the first few pages I knew it was going to take a very special kind of man to capture her attention and make her fall in love. Enter Nicholas, who may not have as much baggage, evil mistresses or disgruntled lovers laying in wait for Lady Isabel, but he has a scar in his soul that's just as prominent as the one on his face.
It was highly amusing to watch Nicholas begin to put the pieces together about the secret of the occupants in Isabel's home and even more so to watch him come to terms with it as well as Isabel's role in aiding these creatures who so desperately needed and still do need Lady Isabel to protect them from the outside world.
I adored every step of Nicholas and Isabel's journey and can't wait to read the next book in the series....more
From the moment I first met Gabriel and Nick's half sister Juliana I just knew she was going to be the most interesting, surprising character of the sFrom the moment I first met Gabriel and Nick's half sister Juliana I just knew she was going to be the most interesting, surprising character of the series and she didn't disappoint. At first glance she can come off as a selfish creature, not caring about what her actions might cost her newly formed family, her brothers and their wives but then it becomes clear that no matter what she does, she just cannot gain acceptance into London's elite circles, they just won't forgive her questionable bloodline, much less her bold tongue. So why even try? Juliana is just herself, a flawed, insecure young lady trying to find her place in a world away from where she was comfortable. Though she doesn't deliberately try to ruin the little respectability her brothers have gained, it seems she just can't help attracting scandal, including climbing into Simon, the Duke of Leighton's carriage to avoid an over aggressive guest at her brother's party.
Simon, Duke of Leighton or The Duke of Disdain as he is known throughout London is the total opposite of Juliana. He adheres to the strictest rules of the ton. He holds himself above questionable people like Juliana. His breeding is impeccable, he is a Duke after all. He slights Juliana and people like her, not realizing that of the two of them, he is the most flawed, for at least Juliana makes no pretense of who she is.
I honestly didn't like this man at all when I first ran across him in the previous books. He was so snobbish and cold-hearted even towards his young sister Georgianna who committed an indiscretion and had fled his disapproval, and later, recoiled from his cruel and hurtful words when he was reunited with her.
He reminded me of Mr. Darcy from Pride & Prejudice, only I can't recall disliking Mr. Darcy that much.
Beware readers, if you dislike a large amount of angst in your novels then perhaps you should skip this one. I, however, believe that the right amount of angst makes for a truly romantic and at times heart breaking story and creates a buildup of anticipation for the first realization/declaration of love between the protagonists. It also makes the tender moments between the characters more memorable and enjoyable.
The moments between Simon and Juliana start off as cruel barbs (mostly from Simon to Juliana) to sarcastic reminders of the difference in their stations in life, to almost regretful, mournful reminders of why they cannot possibly be together.
Of the two of them, it is Simon who has the biggest obstacle to overcome. Himself. Once he realizes that his way of life is desolate and worthless in its current state, he has to not only question and change the way he was raised to think about himself and others, but actually put it into actions. He is rather a big coward for most of the book, refusing to step outside of his comfort zone, even if it means he will find happiness like he's never known before. He was truly tortured over doing what was expected of him and what was right. That's what made him a redeemable character in my eyes.
Overall this book was very enjoyable, the angst, the longing between Simon and Juliana was something that definitely held my attention even when I wanted to smack Simon around for being such a prig....more
This is my first Lorraine Heath book and I must say it is a pleasant read. I am always drawn to historicalOriginally posted on Breath of Life Reviews
This is my first Lorraine Heath book and I must say it is a pleasant read. I am always drawn to historical romances with mystery and intrigue to go with the romance.
Sebastian is definitely a tortured hero, my favorite, but what's different about him is that he carries physical scars as well as emotional ones and that just gives him more of a wounded soul vibe that was very appealing.
Mary is one of those fictional women that really draws me in. She's feisty and a bit of an oddball for her time. She doesn't allow her gender to be a handicap or an excuse. She has a strong sense of right and wrong and is loyal to a fault. That's what really gets to Sebastian, even after so many years apart, Mary still believes in him and demands that he and his brothers be given back what was stolen from them.
While Sebastian and Mary's chemistry isn't off the charts, it doesn't take away from the overall story and development of Sebastian and Mary as separate characters and together as a unit.
Sebastian has dealt with his exile in a much different way than his brothers and though he carries a dark weight with him, it is his two brothers who just may beat him in the tortured hero contest.
I cannot wait to read the rest of this series as well as pick up more books by this author. ...more