Can we just take a moment to pause and appreciate the book cover? That’s Tristan the pirate. He will invade your heart, and make demands of it, beforeCan we just take a moment to pause and appreciate the book cover? That’s Tristan the pirate. He will invade your heart, and make demands of it, before the unconventional courtship even begins. *sighs* Diana, a proper English woman, sets off to rescue her young brother who was kidnapped by Tristan and his band of unruly heathens. Or so she thinks. First impressions are unflattering, but dubious, until you unearth its heart. The layers of Tina Donohue‘s book undoubtedly declare: First Comes Desire is the path to love.
In no uncertain terms, Tristan makes his intentions known and Diana is not immune to his charms. I found him brazen and off putting initially, but there was never any artifice behind Tristan: He would plunder. Once the story unfolded, however, Tristan merely wanted Diana to look beyond skin deep; to discover what he wanted to give so freely. Oh, there was plenty of desire. Tristan awakened Diana’s sensual self and her lust was as healthy as his. The matter of love, a far more perplexing emotion than desire, shook Tristan to the core. I’m not comparing Tristan to Christian Grey, but there are parallels of the swoon-worthy variety and I was quickly on Team Pirate!
I got so wrapped up in the development of the relationship, Tristan’s approach while possessive was undeniably appealing, I must inform you of a rancorous former lover hell-bent on vindication, a shipload of disgruntled pirates on Tristan and Diana’s tail, a young brother trying to spread his wings, and a heartwarming, unforgettable path to love. It all goes back to love, doesn’t it? If you’re lucky. ...more
Dawn wants to be seen, to be heard, so she starts writing a gossip column for Allenhurst's college newspaper. What she achieves is much more purposefuDawn wants to be seen, to be heard, so she starts writing a gossip column for Allenhurst's college newspaper. What she achieves is much more purposeful: To be relevant. Coming off of an awesome introduction (The Fixer review available here), I couldn't wait to absorb all The Gossip, ;), aka book 2 of Jenny Holiday's wonderful New Wave Classroom series! This is another short, but deliciously full story about time and patience making love even more profound. Jenny Holiday knows how to capture the essence of the 80's and continues to inspire us with her meaningful love stories.
Officer Art is not unhappy at his job as campus police, but his family, those of the "real" variety via Boston PD, can't seem to fathom why he won't move up into the "big league". Art makes a difference for college students living it up, living independent of their parents' roofs.
"Their lives were nothing like my own had been...It was my job to to care about them. Which sometimes meant saving them from themselves."
Dawn is one such student, a prime example of freedom unchecked. Art maintains professional distance, but he is also there at pivotal times to soothe Dawn while she explores and ventures too close to the edge, securing "social power". Popularity has its perks, but Dawn was looking for more, the kind of more that only someone who truly cares would notice.
"I'd gotten into this mindset where I needed to make sure she was okay. She always was, of course. But I had to check. I always had to check. Because something told me that she wasn't actually okay, not really...I wasn't sure why I was so compelled to look out for her, except it seemed like maybe no one else was. She was at the center of everything, but she was also alone."
Jenny Holiday gives us a bird's eye view of college life, the joyous and perilous consequences of decision making when no one is around to hold your hand. Art and Dawn influence each other's choices and breathe life into a friendship that forgives and empowers bold choices. I couldn't get enough of this couple! The ability to balance witty banter with sparring bouts grew the attraction, making themselves too irresistible to, well, resist! You're going to love Art and Dawn individually and root for them romantically.
Another lovely read to lift your spirits and remind you of a more carefree time. Of coming into your own skin after trying on so many others. The Pacifist is undoubtedly destined to conclude the series in fabulous fashion. Book covers are to die for! Well done, Ms. Holiday...you rock!...more
What a spectacular read to finish a series! Seconds to Live by Melinda Leigh keeps you on edge as she examines the mind of a psychotic killer and soot What a spectacular read to finish a series! Seconds to Live by Melinda Leigh keeps you on edge as she examines the mind of a psychotic killer and soothes your soul, downright restores your faith in humanity, with Mac and Stella's burgeoning love story. I've enjoyed every installment of the Scarlet Falls series and I'm bummed to see it end. The Barrett family dynamic is bittersweet due to unconventional upbringing, bless the Colonel's heart, but the devotion to loved ones is unequivocal and truly memorable.
Mac and Stella are facing distinct crossroads that coincide in the town of Scarlet Falls. The setting is immediately darkened, however, by the stealthy presence of a disgruntled, unhinged kidnapper with a twisted purpose:
How could he make his message clear? Some people were unworthy of life. There were consequences for bad decisions. People should be punished for their sins. What would it take for the world to understand?
When the killer decides to showcase his depravity, Mac reacts in the most primal of ways to protect Stella (he is a wildlife biologist). You remember Stella Dane, the police detective? Mac's suddenly gone deaf to Stella's protests of knowing her job and understanding its risks. Caveman-ish. I loved every bit of it! If Mac is to earn his involvement in the case, and more importantly, Stella's life, he has to come clean about himself.
I sort of suspected Mac's revelation, but it was a well-preserved one. It felt like a breath of fresh air for Mac (and the readers) to get to those inner layers of Mac's heart. The erratic behavior that never quite flew under the family's radar? They noticed, as did Stella, and Mac was finally able to unburden himself. Ms. Leigh left Mac open and vulnerable and positively precious to Stella. Just so well written!
A nod to Ms. Leigh for maintaining the killer's identity a mystery. She detailed two deviants and their warped minds. Unsettling clues and tips pointed guilty fingers to both suspects. As a matter of fact, there was a third dangerous character capable of horrors who will also make you cringe. The anger and damage displayed by these individuals leant credence to proper criminal profiling and research. Better you than me, Ms. Leigh!
I really enjoyed Seconds to Live. Just when critical time was running out on the case, another cog of the dastardly wheel jammed progress and had you cursing the monster responsible! The hunt will make your heart pound and keep you guessing, but the developing relationship, the sense of trust and belonging building between Mac and Stella, will inspire you -- will make it all worthwhile. Melinda Leigh wrote a strong, sentimental finale to a thrilling series. It has been my pleasure to fall in love with Scarlet Falls....more
Jenny Fields is aware that her prowess as a newspaper editor, writing impassioned articles, is going to gain her cause notoriety. But when push comesJenny Fields is aware that her prowess as a newspaper editor, writing impassioned articles, is going to gain her cause notoriety. But when push comes to shove, and the art building is as necessary as every other department, Plan B goes into effect: Seek the aid of hot, enigmatic art student, Matthew Townsend. Surely this collaboration is a juggernaut unlike any other, right? The potential to change worlds even. Jenny Holiday, the fabulous Jenny Holiday, writes to make it so in The Fixer. When Matthew and Jenny collide, virtual unknowns save for this chance meeting in their last year of college, a different kind of upheaval imbalances destinies.
While she's no Pollyanna, Jenny's bright clothing and zeal for righting wrongs suggests otherwise to Matthew, the in demand, artist du jour, who can't wait to graduate and leave behind the community, and art building, that inspired so much of his outrage. If they're already at odds, who's going to give? When Jenny realizes there's more behind Matthew's cold exterior, the backing and support she once desperately sought pales in comparison to reaching the heart of the man.
Me, I talked a lot. I wrote- I wrote many, many words. But this? This was something else entirely, something beyond language.
Yes, swooning is a direct correlation to character development. The more honest Jenny and Matthew became, the deeper their emotional connection. I loved the explorations of thought and body. Jenny Fields, you simply rock!
Before long, Matthew and Jenny rearrange priorities and take more than cursory interests in each others' passions. Jenny's mundane observations become extraordinary to Matthew, who couldn't be more dismayed by this new perspective. Without over analyzing (Jenny with the equal astonishment), the pair subconsciously gravitates, in synergy, toward something mutual, something outside their wheelhouse. Those preconceived assumptions and judgments are suddenly quite forgiving. Man, oh, man, Jenny Holiday writes with such energy. Matthew and Jenny are likable, relatable characters who deserve success, and if they end up falling in love...who dares impede their journey?! I freaking want to squeeze them! While I can't stake a claim, consider this review a recommendation of serious proportions!
The Fixer made my heart soar. I enjoyed Matthew and Jenny's unique outlooks on art and writing, and I admired how they weren't only undeterred by their differences, they were captivated and inspired to be more. Now insert the 80's culture, hair and music references, and the images simply revive my own youth. Super sweet short story that includes an epilogue if you subscribe to Ms. Holiday's newsletter. Soooo...what're you wating for? ;) ...more
So Sharon Ashwood is outright encouraging me to read my fill. I've admitted to being less than stellar in my knowledge of Camelot, and its fine characSo Sharon Ashwood is outright encouraging me to read my fill. I've admitted to being less than stellar in my knowledge of Camelot, and its fine characters, but this incredible author delves into one of my favorite themes: Pining after the one that got away! This is current day Lancelot vying to recapture his true love, Nimueh, the Lady of the Lake. Take that, Guinevere! Enchanted Guardian was engrossing and romantic and I gulped it down as my last summer read. The Camelot Reborn series will enchant, and I mean it. Check out the trailer on her website!
He had been her protege, her lover and her champion before ambition had drawn him to Arthur's side-and before the young queen, Guinevere, had stolen away his love. Before he betrayed...
Love is stronger than pride and Nim is set to right her wrongs amidst the hurt, lots and lots of pain, suffered by Lancelot's dismissal. His decision, a veritable weight of betrayal that wipes away good memories. Lancelot, however, endeavors to dissuade her course of cold and persuade Nim into granting him a second chance. Not only is he charming and all things knightly, but their connection, one that transcends time, is enduring. Nim's resolve is futile when time and distance only stokes their attraction. *sighs* To be pursued like this...my kind of fantasy!
When the Fae Queen, Morgan LaFaye, uber schemer and plotter of evil revenge, is closer to resurrect and usurp the power that was long ago ripped from her clan, can Nim and Lance set aside their complicated past, brimming with untold truths and lies of omission, to defeat the looming threat? Collaborating involves trusting each others' instincts and allies. What if they're mutually exclusive? Nim is fae and when her kind have been targeted for extermination, by none other than mighty King Arthur and his famed knights, the concept of unity might derail any future for our H/H.
I'd still falter at Jeopardy if the subject was Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, but Sharon Ashwood's Camelot Reborn series is fully ensconced in Carlyle, the once "insignificant tourist trap to the nexus of the battle between human and fae", I'd hazard I could clear the board successfully. ;) Ms. Ashwood maintains strength and impresses with Enchanted Guardian. There are facts and history interspersed within the excitement, adventure and passion of a love story. Even when HEA is upon them, it was magnificent to see Nim and Lancelot come to life individually. That acceptance, however sacrificing, was empowering and essential. I'm still shaking my head over LaFaye's twists *coughs* corruption, but it's all intricately woven, part and parcel, of a fantastic read.
I'm ready for my next lesson, Ms. Ashwood! ...more
Of course I’ll read His Heart’s Revenge, it’s Jenny Holiday, duh. I loved her regency work. It was only when I read, and re-read, the synopsis that IOf course I’ll read His Heart’s Revenge, it’s Jenny Holiday, duh. I loved her regency work. It was only when I read, and re-read, the synopsis that I realized the lead was Alexander and not Alexan-dra. Cary, our co-lead, will have his hands full with this one! ...more
It seems I’ve stumbled upon book #2 of The Rakes of Cavendish Square series. If Happily Bedded Bliss is any indication of unmitigated delight, I cannoIt seems I’ve stumbled upon book #2 of The Rakes of Cavendish Square series. If Happily Bedded Bliss is any indication of unmitigated delight, I cannot wait to retrace the path to the introductory novel and capture all the magic! Thank you, book gods, for introducing me to Tracy Anne Warren. Happily Bedded Bliss was beautiful beginning to end; it developed and bloomed into a gorgeous story. Though of like minds regarding marriage, avoid it unless absolutely necessary, Gabriel and Esme will have to endure just that “penalty” for indulging in impropriety. Esme’s stunning sketch of an unbeknownst, naked Gabriel has obligated him to propose holy matrimony in Regency England (her older brothers might have beaten down his door?) Oh, joy. Can Gabriel, a notorious rakehell, inspire Esme to embrace their predicament? Will musings such as, “love was a delusion, a kind of temporary insanity that polluted the brain and the bloodstream, ravaging its unwitting victims like a disease until the fever eventually broke” be just those words? Trepidation is far too mild a description of the upcoming nuptials, but who has it worse?! Forced into marriage as a result of her folly, are Gabriel and Esme to make a real go of it? They’re vastly different people. She, an animal lover (the proportions a veritable menagerie); he, a lover of women? What else is on his viscount acumen? Is there a happy medium to be found? Should Esme run back home, nestle in with the family and brave the wave of gossip set to drown her or accept the consequence/relationship as fearlessly as Gabriel -- he had yet to leave the country after all? And suddenly she could not do it. Something about him called to her, like one of her wounded beasts, and she could not turn him away. She needed his name and protection in order to keep from being cast out of Society. But strangely, she realized, he just might need her even more. As with any couple forced into such a corner, you pray for patience while tempers are tempered, and, well, moods managed. Ms. Warren lushly described the push and pull of Esme’s inexperience to the prodding, tempting ways of Gabriel’s seduction. My body caught fire at such pleasure, at such sensations! Though the companionship was amiable, one cross word or misunderstanding and the mood was suddenly ruined. Make mention of falling in love and things got downright heart-breaky! It’s my word – it means big, fat, sloppy tears that coincide with the heaviest of hearts lodged in your throat. ;( Ms. Warren writes a passionate, fraught-with-frustration, why’d-you-go-and-say-that-you-dolt, equally swoon-worthy story that enchants and gives hope for the unexpected miracles of life. An assortment of wonderful, secondary characters expands the humor, partakes in the irreverence, and even makes your skin crawl with enmity (ok, only 1 familial was repugnant, but its effect was long-suffering). I thoroughly reveled in the camaraderie within Esme’s immense family. The punches hurled at Gabriel, both physical and mental, were riotous yet purposeful. What else are big brothers for?! Savvy advice and biting words are exchanged with balance and truly compliment their rougher natures. What an outstanding story! I was bursting from various emotions -- all signs of a must-read! The hardened rake and the tenderhearted innocent shackled together for life because of a single imprudent act. Some people have all the luck! ;) ...more
You’d think a third book of a series might show signs of slowing down? Carey Baldwin has bigger plans for Caity and Spense in Notorious, and we are grYou’d think a third book of a series might show signs of slowing down? Carey Baldwin has bigger plans for Caity and Spense in Notorious, and we are grateful for it! When we last encountered our H/H, they were set to explore their personal relationship in Tahiti (the stars were finally aligning). Lamentably, Special Agent Atticus Spenser and forensic psychiatrist, Dr. Caitlin Cassidy were summoned to Texas by a fellow “feebie” (FBI), Agent Dutch Langhorne. First introduced in Fallen, as part of the Fallen Angel Killer case, Dutch is too stoic a man to request assistance regarding the murder of his wife. When things are just too close, when the case forces Dutch to think outside the box, Dutch astonishingly reaches out to Spense and Caity, and loyalty comes first -- no hesitation. Fret not, the chemistry and compatibility are safe in Carey Baldwin’s capable hands (love finds a way). Notorious is a psychological thriller with engaging subplots, baffling psychosis (replete with gruesome details), and swoons, unforgettable swoons, which make Caity and Spense an exciting, complex couple. “But in truth, the crushing weight of her charmed life made each demure step as torturous as a death march.” You know the saying about not knowing someone unless you’ve walked in their shoes? Meet Cindy, the wife of Dutch, living a life of excess…to the untrained eye. Someone murdered Cindy and there are a bevy of suspects, including Dutch himself. Carey Baldwin takes us through the memories (and regret) of an unknowing husband. Dutch was aware of Cindy’s infidelity, but the extent is a hard pill to swallow. Dutch sucks up his pride, painfully aware that his indifference contributed to Cindy’s demise, and remains fiercely protective; at the ready to find her killer. Spense and Caity try their best to remain detached as they navigate through the layers of proof and compromise in an effort to exonerate Dutch (diaries, the perfect confidante). Interesting wrench in the collaboration process is that Spense and Dutch don’t really care for each other. Ms. Baldwin volleys witty banter and outright jabs between the alpha men to elicit hearty laughs and big smiles. Caity’s pulling double duty keeping her keen eye on their tension and recognizing their similarities (they’re too arrogant to see it, lol). While Caity, Spense and Dutch are on the brink of discovery, the real killer is mirroring their steps, dangerously close, and his intrigue is nefarious in nature; he intends to beat them to, and with, the proverbial punch. They were no longer just looking for a fugitive. They were now on the run from a cold-blooded killer. Profiling is where Caity and Spense meet, and excel, and Carey Baldwin displays her badassness (even when our beloved leads have become the prey). From the exciting profiling to the intriguing subplots, Ms. Baldwin writes engaging characters that matter to us. When Spenser handed off his Rubik’s Cube to the kid, there was an instant reaction; it was an undeniably sweet gesture, but where’s the nearest Target -- Spenser functions better with it! When lines blur for Caity, to tell Spenser or not to tell Spenser, we cringe and recognize that it is delicate ground she walks; indecision so out of character, we fear for what can be jeopardized. These connections are special because we have come to love our unique heroes. Spense and Caity continue to grow and inspire; a dynamic duo who doesn’t feel intimidated by the other’s prowess. Their steadfast professional camaraderie enhances their evolving personal relationship. It’s what my 13 year old daughter refers to as “goals”. For as much notoriety as the killer earned, he left one too many job jobs undone. Shotty work makes you a target. I had a suspicion early on as to who the killer was, but the story unfolded, details cleverly doled out, purposeful and designed, to grip you until the actual revelation. Loved it! I have enjoyed every installment, every development of this series. ...more
King Arthur and his knights are endlessly adaptable. It’s what Sharon Ashwood says, believes, and translates beautifully in her new novel, Enchanted WKing Arthur and his knights are endlessly adaptable. It’s what Sharon Ashwood says, believes, and translates beautifully in her new novel, Enchanted Warrior. With my limited knowledge on the legendary subject, I envisioned Mushu from Disney’s Mulan awakening the guardians. Shame on me. Gawain is no mere protector. He’s sworn his fealty to King Arthur and exhibits an unparalleled devotion. That is, until Tamsin Greene enchants our warrior. “Mordred is using stealth, not armies, and his first priority is finding the tombs to stop the Round Table from rising. You need to find your friends and wake them at once.” A new war with recurring enemies looms and Gawain is set to assemble the Knights of the Round Table as prophesied. The fact that it’s modern-day Medievaland in Washington State is sure to pose problems for an unprepared (let alone missing!) group. Wait. This is Gawain we’re talking about! The dicier the situation, the more from which to adapt and triumph. Aligning himself with faeries, foes-turned-friends, is a question for later, but principal on Gawain’s list is to recruit the assistance of the bewitching (heavy on the base word) historian, Tamsin. Witches aren’t to be trusted and Gawain learned that the hard way. Though his tactics were brutish and domineering, Tamsin would be lying if she said her interest wasn’t piqued by Gawain’s otherworldliness. Tamsin is trying to gain respect as a loremaster within her coven, and as surreal as the situation presents itself, Gawain’s oath took on special significance to her core beliefs. Tamsin sensed Gawain was dangerous, but since she didn’t count herself adversary (something she repeatedly bashes into his head!) the real threat lay in losing her heart to him. When Tamsin’s collaboration comes attached with a quid pro quo, will Gawain honor his bargain or shrug off his chivalry? The cast of characters was large, but easy to follow. The fall of Camelot wreaked havoc on all the factions and, unsurprisingly, no one is particularly trustworthy. “Pain and privation eventually take their toll. Their silence breaks.” Enemies make for interesting bedfellows, but their plights are written so convincingly, so passionately, you champion them all! There’s so much to love in Enchanted Warrior. I found myself swept up in the cloud of magic. Revelations created bonds and illuminated true strengths. Ms. Ashwood gave proper respect to the craft and her spells invoked wonderful imagery as they came to fruition. An understanding, an embracing of power, intensified a love intrinsic to Gawain and Tamsin. The kind of love that transcends time. What a fabulous read! While I may have stumbled on facts and had to research its history, Sharon Ashwood never faltered in her storytelling; I was captivated and bewitched! ;) ...more
When we last explored the world of Lena Diaz (EXIT Strategy review available here), it became crystal clear that the once-respected organization was aWhen we last explored the world of Lena Diaz (EXIT Strategy review available here), it became crystal clear that the once-respected organization was anything but savory, and on the verge of being dismantled. Cyprian, the head of the snake, is under intense scrutiny and only an “inside job” can eliminate his nefarious, misconstrued plotting to salvage the company. Easy enough. Jace Atwell will get close to Melissa, Cyprian’s daughter, professionally speaking, and secure irrefutable proof to oust the bad guy permanently. When Jace and Melissa connect, however, lines blur and easy only applies to yesterday (a motto he lives by as a former Navy SEAL). Hot, I know! No Exit was a wonderful extension of a fabulous storyline with new characters (and previous studs), engaging writing and plots to enhance the overall thrilling effect. As customary, Ms. Diaz grips you in varying degrees, from swoons to sweaty upper lips! :D As nonchalant as Jace purports to handle his new job as Melissa’s bodyguard, he quickly ascertained cross purposes at work; mysterious government watchdogs and rogue missions, to name a few. A worry those, but none more than underestimating Melissa (more like sure to blindside him if he doesn’t give Melissa the respect her business acumen has earned her). When Jace’s efforts are compromised (Melissa’s no wallflower), does he walk away, leaving Melissa to root out real evil or stay to collaborate and bring forth real justice? When Lena Diaz writes a book, the action and romance don’t compete for attention. She weaves them in and sweeps you up, even when you didn’t think it would fit. I sure enjoy that feeling! Jace was written so confidently (no easy task when you compare those previously mentioned studs), I looked forward to harrowing close-calls; to see how they’d hit the ground running when up against the wall. Melissa, in her own right, has a spine of steel and it is called upon more often than not. Dreading the truth will only keep her head buried and this woman needs to live! Romance develops as ideas align. Ms. Diaz has you clutching at your heart in ecstasy and fear. If Jace and the team succeed, will any hope of keeping Melissa’s heart end in failure? “…Losing you, if I lost you, that would be the worst.” It dawned on him that it wasn’t just the rain running down her face. It was tears. “Have I?” she whispered. “Have I lost you?” As if I’d tell?! Ugh, so, so, good! No Exit is a line to cross…to become free. Layers of tangled secrets, lies exposed, truths faced, murder, and then some…It’s all in here! ...more
I saw an episode of Burn Notice once where someone was lost in the Everglades and they were worried about panthers mauling the person. Panthers, as inI saw an episode of Burn Notice once where someone was lost in the Everglades and they were worried about panthers mauling the person. Panthers, as in, that’s not outside the norm of animals found in that area. Wowzers. Lena Diaz allots a huge amount of respect to this “unpredictable, dangerous, land-that-time-forgot section” of Florida. That’s almost incomprehensible to this city girl, but it lends itself perfectly to a missing persons case and a unique love story befitting the town of Mystic Glades. Please welcome back the wonderful Lena Diaz and her first book in the Marshland Justice series, Missing in the Glades.
Jake Young is trying his hand at PI work. Police work wasn’t boring per se, but he partnered up with his friend to expand his horizons. What a first case! Just when Jake catches a break and finds the abandoned vehicle of the victim, a shot rings out too close for comfort. Gorgeous or not, Jake’s going after the gypsy-looking woman with the amazing aim!
Faye Star is a free spirit with a degree in biology and killer survival skills to rival any local’s. When she sees Jake lurking through the ‘Glades, we quickly deduce that she’s worried about being associated with the case.
All she knew for sure was that a private investigator was trying to find Calvin. But he hadn’t mentioned anything about finding her. If someone from Tuscaloosa had hired him, they’d have wanted both her and Calvin, wouldn’t they? But Jake hadn’t tried to grab her…or kill her. Which meant he didn’t know about her connection with Calvin…”
Not only is Jake not trying to kill Faye, he’s killing himself trying to keep his hands, especially his heart, away from her! The attraction is a distraction, of the best kind. Faye may say she’s willing to collaborate on the investigation, but it’s, HE’s, too tempting to ignore. Jake can lose himself in Faye if he’d let his heart dictate, but his gut is telling him not to indulge…and his reasons aren’t entirely noble, either.
He looked down at her fingers working his belt loose, and that brief moment of lost contact between them was just enough for the haze of lust to allow his brain to switch back on. What was he doing? This was crazy, wrong on so many levels. She trusted him, and he was betraying her with every breath he took. He couldn’t cross this one last line. Once she found out the truth about him, she’d hate him forever.
Can withholding information, delivering bold-faced lies, and general deceit (with a healthy helping of subterfuge) be forgiven…all in the name of love? Neither Faye nor Jake can point fingers here. The plot deepens as thick as the marshland when new characters are introduced and seem beyond eager to find (silence?) Calvin. Is Calvin “an idiot tourist with no common sense and a lousy sense of direction” or is he a man with valuable information? Any just why does Faye care so much about what happens to him?!
Oh, this was good! Lena Diaz deftly threads a needle of intrigue throughout the story and subplots. We gain necessary insight, but delight in the unexpected outcomes! Jake and Faye surprised themselves by how quickly they clicked; their chemistry both compatible and steamy. Separating romantic emotions from duty was challenging Jake and Faye gravitated so naturally towards each other, but Ms. Diaz writes it with a fine tension; just with that bit of edge to keep you engaged.
In less than 250 pages, Missing in the Glades is fast-paced and meant to be concise. Do not confuse those features as a sign of mediocrity. I read a complete, fleshed out story unearthing secrets amidst an exotic backdrop. The wow factor is all Lena Diaz....more
I loved reading new Kleypas. She utilized her quintessential flare of humor and romance.
Devon was a stoic yet charming rake. Kathleen was...hot and cI loved reading new Kleypas. She utilized her quintessential flare of humor and romance.
Devon was a stoic yet charming rake. Kathleen was...hot and cold. Under the constraints of mourning phases, her attraction to Devon had to be, well, constrained. My man was able to get under her skin, don't you worry.
The push and go was maddening. How can you deny yourself the one thing that will make your life complete? Both are guilty and both have to adjust.
A romantic subplot was a distraction in my honest opinion. The timing was necessary (especially because of the sequel), but it just ended terribly! That's all I'll say here. It went nowhere fast and I wonder if it won't deter further reading?
Ever the hypocrite, I will proceed. Kleypas is that good! I don't know why it took such a turn, but she'll sort me out and set me to rights again. Before I go, West, Devon' s younger brother, was absolutely scene-stealing! Consider him the Leo Hathaway of the series. Cannot wait for his book!...more
There's a lot to love. What begins as a marriage of convenience develops into a loving partnership. Johanna' s evolution was quite enjoyable while GabThere's a lot to love. What begins as a marriage of convenience develops into a loving partnership. Johanna' s evolution was quite enjoyable while Gabriel's stoicism bordered on egotistical nag.
I'm sure I'm not the first person to complain about Gabriel's incessant demands of rest for Johanna. It might have been charming ONCE, when Gabriel ended up whispering words of love to Johanna while she in fact rested, but it dragged on and was pointless.
I went over my previous review to remember where Allure had left off. Not only did I find my place, but I recouped the joy I experienced stepping intoI went over my previous review to remember where Allure had left off. Not only did I find my place, but I recouped the joy I experienced stepping into the world building of Lea Nolan. Emma, our intrepid heroine, squares off against dark magic from the onset and you’re fighting alongside her until the end, as in the very last word. Illusion is book 3 of the Hoodoo series and also its finale. I weep for its conclusion, but Lea Nolan leaves an enchanting, spellbinding impression on you.
As comfortable as Emma’s become with the practice of hoodoo (an apprentice root worker being mentored by the most powerful of the South Carolina Lowcountry), when confronted by evil, a menacing spirit plaguing Emma from the grave and 2 zealous rivals, it’s beyond tempting to fight fire with fire – even if it means going against what you swore never to wield. Will Emma withstand the allure of revenge? One can only be pushed so far before you’re crossing fundamental lines and absolving such behavior.
“…it’s considered justice work rather than a spell worked for revenge.”
Any way you look at it, it’s a caveat used to ease her conscience. Lucky for everyone involved, everyone good that is, Emma is surrounded by loving, engaging characters who help Emma stay to the light. Emma is young, just about to turn 15, but she displays such fortitude wrestling, and resisting, the passions of vengeance.
Aside from the diabolical maneuverings of malevolent forces, give it up to Ms. Nolan and the swoon-worthy love story *standing up, applauding*. I may have been a tad bit critical in my last review (I was/am a mom embarking on teenage daughter-dom – I’m not so irrational any more, lol). Emma and Cooper should be indulging in the beauty of first love promises, but the enemies stalking and threatening Emma aren’t to be taken lightly; she’s willing to sacrifice her heart to save Cooper’s.
I want to stroke his face or rub his back, anything to take away the lingering pain…But I can’t, because that simple gesture would send the wrong signal and only encourage him.
Foreboding prophecy or not, Emma and Cooper are adorable and completely loyal to each other. In a moment of “weakness”, a hug to forget troubles, “I sink into him like a marshmallow in a vat of melted chocolate.” I felt it! They’re just so stinking cute! Illusion is a great piece of writing that I won’t soon forget.
I wouldn’t dare end this glowing review without addressing the care and respect Ms. Nolan gives to the hoodoo practice. I was riveted by the sounds and scents and solutions alike. You’re mesmerized by the incantations and seduced by the ingredients so fully, you’re committed to the execution of the ward/spell. And in a twist, a distasteful one to be sure, we’re subjected to shiver-inducing, gut-spewing. Emma fights the good fight, but that doesn’t prevent her nemesis from hitting below the belt. Well done, Ms. Nolan!
In a stunning finale, the interest never wanes. You navigate through subplots with equal enthusiasm and Ms. Nolan delivers each with triumphant aplomb. The tears shed were only due to my heart’s overflow. I adored this book and Emma. She embodies pure spirit and is a genuine hero for all to admire. ...more
A fib to quell the insatiable appetite of the London season (her first, let alone the irrepressible ton)? Where's the harm? It spares her the depressiA fib to quell the insatiable appetite of the London season (her first, let alone the irrepressible ton)? Where's the harm? It spares her the depression of actual rejection. So Madeline invents her suitor, Captain (an officer no less) Logan MacKenzie...braving battle in Scotland...impossible to reach...save for the correspondence she keeps up for appearances. A "nigh on" decade long charade Maddie maintains (faithful to a fault, lol), until, of course, said suitor materializes (in fine form to boot!), ready to make good on her promises of hearth and home. Maddie never saw this coming! When a Scot Ties the Knot is a sumptuous, swoon-worthy read that will keep you up all night, unwilling to sleep off the thrill it delivers. If you give Tessa Dare the time, she'll give you the epitome of romance!
This canny little English heiress though she'd come up with the perfect scheme to avoid being pressured into marriage. She was about to learn she'd been wrong. Verra wrong.
Of course Logan would expect/hold her to the letters. It matters little to him that they were merely musings at the time; a means for Maddie to escape the harrowing business of mingling and marriage. Logan's hopes for his clansmen, stemming from his sense of duty for their unwavering loyalty, depends on Maddie's acquiescence. Easy enough...until the briefest of time together, hashing out the details of their beneficial arrangement, brings forth fondness and dreams (don't ever let Logan hear you use that word!) of an intimate nature between Maddie and Logan.
A realization struck her like a lightning bolt. She now had a confidant. A conspirator. Someone who knew everything. All her secrets. He didn't love her for them, but he hadn't run screaming from her, either.
Ugh, who could even blame Maddie?! I'd have given in, claiming Logan mine from the moment he appeared in kilted swagger. But those feelings lead to where the "wondering" begins and those thoughts are a wonder! Maddie imagines a life of love, in love with Logan. Heady business that, especially when she's keeping Logan at arm's length so as not to invest her heart (though the steamy precursors leave her/US in pure delight!) Logan, bless his battered heart, is baffled by his desire to protect Maddie at all costs. Yes, it's physical attraction, the lass is bonny indeed, but in little time, Maddie becomes his soothing balm.
The chase and seduction are utterly romantic; Maddie and Logan are a magnetic couple who make your heart race and release you in sated swoon. There is a darker side to the love story, however, and damn if Tessa Dare didn't gut me before the book's conclusion. The lump in my throat was painful because I fell so deeply in love with their tentative yet unrelenting progress. Simply beautiful!
Is it just me who can't help but liken the book's title to If You Give a Mouse a Cookie? In tribute, When a Scot Ties the Knot, make certain your heart, and every piece of clothing, are open to him!
Tessa Dare wrote this book like it was her job -- buy this book and let her earn her money! ...more