Everybody remember the dark, brooding, and jerkish Creed from IN TWILIGHT’S SHADOW, the second book in the Light Warriors series? You may or may not rEverybody remember the dark, brooding, and jerkish Creed from IN TWILIGHT’S SHADOW, the second book in the Light Warriors series? You may or may not remember that he mentioned being estranged from his family (for classified reasons)—well, meet his estranged little sister Shona. She’s been raised as normal as normal gets, become a glass artist (although currently she's hit a creative blockage) and doesn’t have a clue why sexy Logan Andrews suddenly wants to protect her.
Enemy? What enemy? Classified. But why? Classified. Who ARE you? Classified. That’s kind of how their talks go. Though nothing is ever easy—if it was, why bother reading?—and Logan goes from tight-lipped to ‘how fast can I get information out’, because it becomes clear that Shona is FAR from normal and can help him.
Shona is, in a word, strong. It’s not that she’s the toughest chick I’ve ever read about or that she could kick anyone who comes at her; it's more that she reacts proactively to what happens to her. She doesn’t sit down and shut up and hope it all goes well.
Logan isn’t so bad, at least not next to Creed (still haven’t read Deke’s book yet). He can be gruff, bossy, and overly cautious, but at the heart of things, he just wants to do a good job and keep it as uncomplicated as possible.
Overall, this book didn’t excite me as much as IN TWILIGHT’S SHADOW, but EDGE OF DAWN was still very interesting. The end of the book, when consequences are to be had for rash decisions and actions, is possibly the best part. Shona Vs. Creed—sounds kind of like a Street Fighter or Mortal Kombat fight, huh?...more
There's just something about SPELLBENT that seemed...off to me. I read it twice through, with a couple months between reads, but it wasn't until the sThere's just something about SPELLBENT that seemed...off to me. I read it twice through, with a couple months between reads, but it wasn't until the second read through that I understood what it was. The main character, Jessie, is unbalanced as a 'person'. She goes from one extreme (emotional anguish) to another (she barely bats an eye at losing a limb), but doesn't seem to connect with those emotions.
Premise wise, SPELLBENT worked as a good start up to Lucy's new series. I'm a sucker for novels that have a girl going all-out to save her lover, and the book doesn't disappoint on this. Jessie is tough and ballsy and powerful. She's also a resourceful person who knows more ways to screw a person using what she can find in the average trash can than anyone else I've read about. Sometimes her spells verged on the too much information side, and I didn't really need to know what one could do with a maxi-pad.
Yet, through it all, Jessie remains vague. Not her intentions or motivation, but more who she is. The fight against the demon went badly the first time, and that's when there was two of them, so why is she so set on going another round? I'm all for flying by the seat of your pants, but when another option is given—a much more reasonable one, where the chances at succeeding are higher--shouldn't she have paused to think?
In the end, SPELLBENT didn't satisfy my curiosity and left me with more nagging questions than is healthy. The next book, SHOTGUN SORCERESS, is due out in the fall, so maybe more answers will be given then....more
I first read Treanor's erotic fairy tale retellings she did with Bonnie Dee, and I enjoyed those quite a bit. When I heard about her paranormal vampirI first read Treanor's erotic fairy tale retellings she did with Bonnie Dee, and I enjoyed those quite a bit. When I heard about her paranormal vampire novel, BLOOD ON SILK (first in the Awakened by Blood books), I was interested in seeing how it turned out. The blurb makes it sound a bit more typical of vampire romance then it really is—there's a definite bite (get it?) to this book, a darker undertone that I appreciated all the more because I knew it wasn't a stand alone.
At times things were a little frustrating between Elizabeth and Saloman. There was very little discussion between them at first, much of the 'do it this way!' approach from the both of them. However, little by little, things gave way, and I enjoyed their entanglements.
Saloman's continual threat was felt throughout the novel. It was always there, no matter what joy they felt, no matter what love or passion. He meant what he said—he would kill her. Their conversation in the last chapter is the best indicator for what was truly at stake, their personalities, and possibly my favorite exchange because it was so painfully truthful.
Treanor does give us some levity and humorous moments, such as Elizabeth constantly chiding Saloman and pretty much rolling her eyes at his 'I will kill you!' attitude. He's mystified by her fearless (almost reckless) disregard for the fact he is so much more powerful then she. Then there is also the tutoring sessions Saloman undergoes in order to better understand the modern world. He was entombed three centuries ago, so everything is a marvel to him (and not all in good ways).
In all, this was a dark, intense first entry into a new series I'm intrigued by. The first chapter excerpt for the second book, BLOOD SIN, was a tease given everything that occurs in the last two chapters. Here's hoping things look a bit brighter for Elizabeth and Saloman—though truthfully, I can't see how much worse it can get for them relationship-wise....more
The heroine of TEMPTED BY HIS KISS is a sometimes frustrating blend of level-headed maturity and naivety that begins as charming, then slowly becomesThe heroine of TEMPTED BY HIS KISS is a sometimes frustrating blend of level-headed maturity and naivety that begins as charming, then slowly becomes tiresome. Margaret Amberley, Meg for short, is quite enjoyable to read about as long as the hero, Cade Byron, doesn’t befuddle her senses. Cade Byron, not related to that Byron at all, isn’t so bad either, as long as he isn’t thinking about his actions too deeply.
Their romance is sometimes awkward to fathom. Cade is stuck in the past, stubbornly determined to stay there even though it gives him nothing but pain, and Meg is content to let him make all the first moves, convinced that every time he does, he’s toying with her. Neither one is particularly good with expressing their feelings and both act as if the world would end if they did.
The surrounding cast of characters are lively and given enough development and meaning to justify future books that may feature them prominently. I would have liked to know a bit more about Cade’s younger sister Mallory—she wanders in and out of Meg’s world to be support for Meg—but I hope that a future book might enlighten us as to her particular future.
There is some content that caused me to squirm a little—not any of the romance scenes—but some flashbacks from Cade’s (rather horrific) past tragedy. Nothing overly explicit, but the imagery leaves its mark for certain.
All in all, I do look forward to the next Byron novel and did enjoy the fact that neither the hero nor the heroine gets off lightly for their ridiculous behavior and antics....more
PERDITA is written in an unusual way than most Regency romances. Written almost like a diary being read out loud, PERDITA is told by the title charactPERDITA is written in an unusual way than most Regency romances. Written almost like a diary being read out loud, PERDITA is told by the title character's governess/companion/cousin Moira, as she details her younger cousin's reckless scheme to get out of her arranged marriage.
Moira describes her cousin as having the typical fairy tale life—a wicked stepmother, pushover father, loads of money and incredible beauty. Her wicked stepmother had plans to wed Perdita off to an older gentleman, to get her out of the house, but Perdita will have none of it. Dissatisfied with her countrified life she is desperate to find adventure by being an actress.
Impulsive is an understatement of Perdita's personality—she runs off with an acting troop in the middle of the night without any thought as to her reputation. Moira, determined to look after her cousin and keep her respectable, follows after her. Her first thought is to drag her back, but seeing that they are now indebted to the actors, she agrees to let Perdita be the troop's newest leading lady until other circumstances can be made.
In a genre where romance is a key to the story, PERDITA seems to dwell less on the romances of either Perdita or Moira, and more on their adventures and predicaments. This isn't necessarily a bad thing. Moira isn't prone to daydreams of romance and Perdita is too easily swayed by a handsome and cheerful compliment, so it came as a surprise that Moira fell in love at all! Especially considering her love interest's first meeting with herself and Perdita.
The only real complaint I have is with the cover artwork—I'm not certain if that is supposed to depict Perdita, who is eighteen, or Moira, who is well over eighteen but not a fair-haired female. Whomever it does depict makes her very old looking and entirely too hard. ...more
KING OF SWORD AND SKY, third in C.L. Wilson's Tairan Soul series, following LORD OF THE FADING LANDS and LADY OF LIGHT AND SHADOWS, continues the chroKING OF SWORD AND SKY, third in C.L. Wilson's Tairan Soul series, following LORD OF THE FADING LANDS and LADY OF LIGHT AND SHADOWS, continues the chronicles of Ellysetta Baristani and her soul mate and husband Rainer vel'En Daris' quest to save his Kingdom and help his true mate save her soul.
In KING OF SWORD AND SKY, Ellysetta travels with Rainer through to the Fading Lands, but is met with anywhere from lukewarm hospitality to downright hostility by the people. She is unfortunately marked by a great evil, Vadim, and many would already have her selling them out to him for her own personal gain.
Ellysetta and Rainer have a steep hole to climb out of; despite his claim that she is his soul mate, many counter that she is using dark arts to bespell him into thinking that. For the Fey she is guilty, and the idea she could be innocent is beyond consideration—she is tainted with Dark Magicks, ergo she is just as bad as Vadim.
You can't go into KING OF SWORD AND SKY without having fully read the first two books in the series. Plenty is explained, but much of the character development of secondary characters were explored in the earlier books, and tensions are carried over from each book as well. The plot is also just as complex, layered with threads that make sense later in the story and mysteries that are flirted with, but left unanswered.
I highly recommend this book, but do yourself a favor and read her other books as well first. With the fourth book (QUEEN OF SONG AND SOULS) not being released until next year in June (2009), you have plenty of time to catch up, investigate and be thrilled....more
First, you need to know that this book is the sequel to Liz Maverick's earlier Shomi title, WIRED. Events and relationships are mentioned from the firFirst, you need to know that this book is the sequel to Liz Maverick's earlier Shomi title, WIRED. Events and relationships are mentioned from the first book that are glossed over only briefly in this new book, so occasionally the reader might get lost while reading. On the plus side, for anyone who had read WIRED and needed to know more, here you go! IRREVERSIBLE does not disappoint or let down.
The story is sometimes more complex then I am used to in a romance. With Katherine 'Kitty' Gibbs 'perfect week' constantly reset back to the first day (Monday), and only Kitty none the wiser, the other people in the farce are hard put to keep things as they should be. The lengths needed to keep the world perfect are sometimes hilariously ludicrous, but Kitty doesn't question these things.
Leo was eerily creepy and his manner of revenge and 'love' were psychotic. Several times throughout the book I found myself hoping that Q or Kitty would find a conveniently placed rifle to end his mad scheme, but fortunately he gets as he deserves.
Overall the mild case of déjà vu that repeated events and reactions caused was well worth enduring to finish the book....more
For a lot of people, I think THE POISON DIARIES will be somewhat confusing. The book begins much like the historical middle grade novels by Karen CushFor a lot of people, I think THE POISON DIARIES will be somewhat confusing. The book begins much like the historical middle grade novels by Karen Cushman—a young girl going about her ordinary life. Jessamine is an apothecary's daughter, and really, for the first half, nothing else happens. We see Jessamine's day-to-day life and chores, we read about how she yearns for something to happen, and her thoughts about the various plants found in her father's garden.
As for myself, I would have happily read an entire book about such things, as I'm fascinated by what an 'ordinary' life was like back through the ages. The book, however, took a turn for the fantastical with the arrival of Weed. It began to spiral into a more conventional tale of the paranormal, young love, and melodrama.
Don't misunderstand, I enjoyed the novel, but I was left feeling dissatisfied as it became less focused on the plants and the mystery surrounding Weed, and more focused on Jessamine and Weed's growing attraction. We begin to see some of the narrative from Weed's perspective, which is at least enjoyable, since I did *love* Oleander quite a lot, but the book never recovers from its dive into gothic teen dramaland....more
Christmas time, a time for family, friends and gaiety—unfortunately for Miss Blanche Amberley, her Christmas season was going to be a rocky one. A CHRChristmas time, a time for family, friends and gaiety—unfortunately for Miss Blanche Amberley, her Christmas season was going to be a rocky one. A CHRISTMAS COURTSHIP unfortunately plummets Miss Amberley from almost affianced to the man she loves (beyond good sense) to utter desolation as ugly lies surface about her beloved brother Jonathan.
The romance of A CHRISTMAS COURTSHIP is almost second banana to the going-ons of the Amberley family. That's not entirely correct; the romance is not the forefront of the book, but it is very clearly there in hindsight. The attraction between Blanche and the current owner of her former House, Sir Edmund Brandon, starts slowly and builds through numerous unplanned meetings and a gradual sharing of their troubles. It felt very natural despite the quickness of it all (the book takes place over the course of about a week).
My only real complaint is that aside from Blanche and Edmund, the other characters are rather one-dimensional. There is very little spark to their characterization and no real deep depth. Even Miss Jennings, whose role in Jonathan's affairs changes dramatically throughout the book, offers little beyond what we find out during her first official scene.
A CHRISTMAS COURTSHIP is a good light-hearted read for the yuletide season that at least places all the villainous people in their place in the end and rewards the good folk....more
I will be honest here, RAKEHELL'S WIDOW by Sandra Wilson, bored me. I was so excited by the blurb, too! Unfortunately, I just did not enjoy this bookI will be honest here, RAKEHELL'S WIDOW by Sandra Wilson, bored me. I was so excited by the blurb, too! Unfortunately, I just did not enjoy this book too well. I wasn't really sympathetic with the female lead, Alabeth, as I felt she should have known what she was getting in for when she married Manvers. Also, she was entirely too harsh with Sir Piers Castleton. I understand that after the accident things might have been awkward and uncomfortable, but to not listen to the man for years?
I felt sincerely bad for Piers in fact, as he seemed like a decent guy. The Count, Adam Zaleski, however, was vastly annoying! There are few things I can stand less then a conceited, prima donna male, in real life or in fiction. They go from being amusingly arrogant, to annoyingly all-knowing, to downright irritating as a bee in no time flat. Adam Zaleski lost me pretty much his second appearance.
It's not often that I won't, or can't, read every single word on every single page, but I found myself skipping sentences and skimming interactions in hopes of something livening up. I was disappointed and finished the book with a dissatisfied frown....more
A FRAUDULENT BETROTHAL is more or less standard Regency fare. I should add, classic Regency fare, since it stays safely within the PG range of amorousA FRAUDULENT BETROTHAL is more or less standard Regency fare. I should add, classic Regency fare, since it stays safely within the PG range of amorous intentions (so think more Georgette Heyer and less Julia Quinn). And, I have no problems with that, whatsoever. The story combined two of my favorite tropes, in fact—identical twins and mistaken identity, which alone makes it enjoyable for me.
The better chunk of the story is spent with Clarissa, since Marianne (who she replaces) is meant to be missing. I liked her well enough, though she didn’t really grow much of a personality until after realizing her feelings for Leighton. She grew much feistier then—questioning, a little snarky, and very good with the deceiving.
You can tell from how Andersen sets things up that this is meant to be a story about how Clarissa came into her own, but I felt as if it was rushed and inconsistent. Her common sense seems to have fled her rather abruptly at one point in the story, and for a little while, it seemed like every little thing would make her feel so utterly guilty that she had to confess the deception to whoever was closest.
We see little of Marianne until closer to the end, and what little I saw could have been taken one of two ways. Either Marianne wasn’t quite the frivolous birdbrain everyone assumed her to be, and we just didn’t see her enough early in the story to see that, or she was entirely without any common sense in her body and honestly didn’t understand the implications of her actions. A lot of the personality for Marianne is told to us by various sources; very little of it is shown, so it was hard to tell.
What saved the book for me, however, was Leighton. Especially Leighton around page 200. He was pretty interesting to begin with, but he literally steamrolled over everyone and everything to make things work out the way he wanted them. 'What’s that, you say? No marriage license? No worries, chap. I not only got you that, but got you the necessary time off from your job, told everyone you know, and got you all the official papers for it!' (I am paraphrasing, but you get the idea). The entire scene is really something a reader should read themselves, since if I divulge too much of the hilarity of the situation it will give away a lot.
In the end, this was a light, enjoyable read. It was quick, had some pretty amusing moments, and as long as you don’t want too much substance to the characters, quite diverting!
(this review was originally posted at Romance Reader at Heart)...more
In many ways I feel as if LADY SARAH’S REDEMPTION was two stories in one. Indeed, roughly halfway through the book, Sarah’s charade is up and the consIn many ways I feel as if LADY SARAH’S REDEMPTION was two stories in one. Indeed, roughly halfway through the book, Sarah’s charade is up and the consequences of rash behavior are what drive the last half. Consequently, my enjoyment of my book took a blow.
The first half, when Lady Sarah Miles was acting as Miss Sarah Moreland, the governess, was delightful. Sarah was an odd combination of innocent and flirt that both annoyed and intrigued the cast of characters around her. Of the characters presented, Roland, Caro, and Sarah undergo the most development. Cecily really never alters from her initial bitter, petty self, and her two daughters, both under 12, remain sweet natured and fun loving.
Not to ruin what engineers the second half of the book, but the events twisted my stomach a little bit. The perpetrator of the heinous act was possibly one of the vilest men to ever grace the pages of a Regency set novel I’ve ever read. He gets his, at least, in an amusing and clever turnabout.
The problem is, though, that after the heinous event, things dragged out. Roland was pandering to his male ego and pride, Sarah was morose, and when the two do see each other once more, Roland is convinced she hates him! She’s practically begging him to marry her, and he’s convinced that she has no idea what she is saying, that she needs to let him step aside because he is clearly not manly enough for her. I wonder at Sarah for not smacking him with a heavy book!
When matters of the heart finally come to a head and words are had, the ending is sweet and wonderful. I just wish that it had occurred about seventy pages sooner. ...more
I had no idea this was the 4th book in the Burgundy Club (a group of avid collector's of books), but that is probably just as well since I wasn't veryI had no idea this was the 4th book in the Burgundy Club (a group of avid collector's of books), but that is probably just as well since I wasn't very interested in the other characters (all of whom featured as the main characters in the preceding three books). Maybe would have read the second book, THE DANGEROUS VISCOUNT, as it is the direct precursor to the events of this novel and gives fleshing out of everything they mention as backstory.
Then again I don't know if I want to see Blake and Minerva at each other's throats, I rather enjoyed the slow build up as they came to tolerate, respect and enjoy each other's company.
Some of it annoyed me. I felt Neville draw out their misconceptions and prejudices against each other too long. I was also irrationally irked by Minerva's age (19)--it seems I've gotten used to old historical romance heroines and to me Minerva being 19 felt...odd (especially as my sister is 19 and I can't see her acting that mature).
I would have liked a bit more resolution in regards to Blake's 'dark secret'. It all comes tumbling out to Minerva and one other person within pages of each other and for the latter its just kind of 'Oh so that's why' moment. We're never quite told if he tells everyone else or not and the 'epilogue' had me gritting my teeth as it seemed to contradict what they had said earlier about acceptance.
I can't deny though that this book had me hooked. I started it and finished it within the same day. Neville is a new author for me, but I think I'll keep a look out for her forthcoming novels.
A sidenote--why is the man on the cover wearing his BOOTS to bed? As least I assume that's a bed, it kind of resembles a scene near the middle. ...more
Prelim Review: I was surprised by how much I kind of wanted to smack Avry at times. Some of the problems she has became problems because of her assumpPrelim Review: I was surprised by how much I kind of wanted to smack Avry at times. Some of the problems she has became problems because of her assumptions and stubbornness. She wasn't quite too stupid to live much of the time, but that didn't preclude her from being airbrained. If someone tells you 'Bad mercenary band is out hunting for you in this forest', the next logical leap of thought shouldn't have been 'let me wander aimlessly in this unknown forest'.
The story progressed quickly as the merry band of miscreants traveled closer to their goal (the Nine Mountains). Several adventures and calamities befell them--the Death Lillies, merc band that nearly kills one of them, merc band that kidnaps a girl they have to save, ex-fiancees stirring up issues, religious cults, Undead Warriors, old feuds, new feuds, death, family who should have stayed gone, blind disobedience, blind faith, romance, dancing--yeah I could go on but that'll just stray into really spoilery territory. Snyder packs A LOT into this book. An unbelievable amount in fact. There's very little 'down time' for the troop--whenever things settle Avry does something life-threatening, a merc band shows up or Kerrick is a jerk.
Full review to be posted at Romance Reader at Heart...more
Prelim Review: I thought I would enjoy this book a lot more than I ended up feeling. Lily did not appeal to me as a character; honestly when you beginPrelim Review: I thought I would enjoy this book a lot more than I ended up feeling. Lily did not appeal to me as a character; honestly when you begin a book with the main character unabashedly discussing how she is stalking her ex-boyfriend...well. I expect some sort of pay off. Or improvement.
Lily continues to make the same mistakes, regarding men and her life, up until the last twenty pages. Any revelations or epiphanies she comes to through the course of the novel tend to be forgotten in her exhausting hunt for her Jane Austen Hero.
Full review to be posted at Romance Reader at Heart...more
Prelim Review: WHERE DEMONS FEAR TO TREAD was an up and down sort of novel for me. I wouldn't say that this was hugely religious, but because of the nPrelim Review: WHERE DEMONS FEAR TO TREAD was an up and down sort of novel for me. I wouldn't say that this was hugely religious, but because of the nature of who Serena is the topic comes up a lot. I wasn't comfortable with that. I did appreciate that Chong didn't espouse the belief that in order to be 'good' you had to be pure and innocent of all evil. Believe me if that was the criteria there would have been huge issues for Julian and Serena.
What worked for me was the gradual...compromise I suppose that both Julian and Serena go through together during the course of the novel. Through their association with each other they reach a middle ground, one that works for them individually and together as a couple. Plus Gabriel wasn't a brat in this book, which is always rather nice to see. He was much more 'Keep the light in your heart and things will be overcome' then 'Thou be dutiful and pure, let nothing sully thy soul'.
Full review to be posted at Romance Reader at Heart...more
Prelim Review: THE ONLY REASONs THIS IS FOUR STARS INSTEAD OF FIVE for two reasons 1) you can't do 4.5 and 2) is because the ending leaves you hangingPrelim Review: THE ONLY REASONs THIS IS FOUR STARS INSTEAD OF FIVE for two reasons 1) you can't do 4.5 and 2) is because the ending leaves you hanging. If this was a stand alone, which thank the book gods its not, it would be a 'Will she or won't she?' scenario that would have me begging Rachel to tell me the answer. As it stands however we should find out in the second book her decision.
And that is all I'm saying on the subject until at least July....more
Prelim Review: The first chapter of this book, or I guess the preface, had me intrigued. Lots of stuff to explore in that short section and lots of stPrelim Review: The first chapter of this book, or I guess the preface, had me intrigued. Lots of stuff to explore in that short section and lots of stuff to uncover and find out about. Eagerly I began the first Part and at first I wasn't let down.
Riley is a bonafide HBIC (Head B**ch in Charge) and she's proud of it. She's a legendary tattoo artist, treasure to her community, adoring older sister and she dragged herself up out of a very bad life thanks to Preacher man. In between her brother becoming Mr. Hyde Riley reminds us, almost every two pages, how bad a life she scraped herself up out of.
She's worried about Seth because she knows the kind of crap that goes down in the Shady parts of Savannah. She's been there, done that and doesn't want that for him. Truly I get it. I understand she redeemed herself through hardwork and will power to give Seth a good life. Its admirable! I just wish she wouldn't tell us every single time the thought crosses her mind that her brother may be mixed up in bad stuff.
On the one hand I can see that Jasper is trying to set up backstory for later on, so that we see that Riley has credentials to back up her claims and orders, but it became too much. By the time that knowledge came in handy I was so sick of hearing about her BAMF (Bada$$ Mo-fo) days that I really wanted something to happen. Anything at all.
Full review to be posted at Romance Reader at Heart...more
Prelim Review: When I originally read The Diamonds of Welbourne Manor I had a sincere wish that the stories therein were longer. The Fitzmanning BroodPrelim Review: When I originally read The Diamonds of Welbourne Manor I had a sincere wish that the stories therein were longer. The Fitzmanning Brood was an odd, interesting mixture of people, all related in some way or other. The anthology focused on the female part of the Fitzmanning's (mostly) and Marlowe chose Stephen of the boys left.
The Stephen of this novel is a more somber fellow who seems to have become a worry-wort in the years since Charlotte's wedding (about 2 years or so ago I believe). He decided to take his responsibilities to the estate his mother left him, Fincote, seriously and let that rule his life. Mae meanwhile took his rejection of her, nursed her feelings of unhappiness for a bit and then took off to live her life.
Some of the ridiculousness from the anthology's premise finds it way into this story as well, but its nowhere near the level it was. We see first hand the damage that was wrought by Stephen's father. Issues that were only brushed upon in the anthology took full root here--such as Stephen's mother and the devastated state she lived in after his father left her.
Full Review to be posted at Romance Readers at Heart...more
I can say without hesitation that I enjoyed this book more so than the first. Maybe this is because Sprunk took more time to detail the world or becauI can say without hesitation that I enjoyed this book more so than the first. Maybe this is because Sprunk took more time to detail the world or because my two favorite characters (Josey and Kit) proved themselves more than Caim's match in dealing with the unknown.
Our Merry Band of Miscreants have gone in different ways after Caim's decision to head North (to help his people) and Josey became Empress of Nimea. I was relieved that Sprunk didn't spend too much time on Josey becoming acclimated to being Empress; having been raised in a noble house she fell into the role of Empress easily enough (as far as manners and customs). Caim for his part didn't spend a lot of time moping that he had to leave Josey despite their feelings (and the beginnings of a relationship). At odd moments he will regret not being with her and accepting the easier road (as her husband), but he's doing what he knows to be right and that sustains him.mostly. By contrast Josey spent more time silently cursing Caim for leaving her, but she had a slightly better reason to do so.
Caim's family history is deeply discomforting. It would be better to say that the culture of his people makes it hard to be comfortable around them. Kit relays news to him that could be construed as good news, but straight on the heels of that revelation she reports about a family member that puts everyone else's Crazy Aunt Judy to shame. Sprunk spends time going from character to character to round out the worldview--we follow Caim, Sybelle, Josey, Kit and a small host of minor characters when they're viewpoint adds something different to the proceedings. This was frustrating at times because not everyone is given equal time--Caim will sometimes have entire chapters to himself while Josey is given only a small portion of one, or Sybelle will repeatedly show within a few chapters.
I think what pleased me the most was in between Caim and his new Merry Band of Miscreants fighting their way further North to purge the menace threatening everyone, we had the time with Josey and the Court machinations. Reading about Josey handling the precarious balance of power and unrest in Nimea, while being hunted by a creature of murderous intent, was more entertaining than the constant battles Caim found himself in. Sprunk definitely upped the body count for this book.
The various plot threads all end with the same purpose in mind--to get North and resolve things one way or another. I look forward to a reunion between Josey and Caim, as well as the nature of Kit and Caim's past being fully revealed. There's a showdown a-brewing and I'm rubbing my hands in glee for it.
review originally posted at Night Owl Reviews...more
Prelim Review: In a rare moment for me, at least as far as romances go, I didn't want the main characters to get together in this book. Its not that IPrelim Review: In a rare moment for me, at least as far as romances go, I didn't want the main characters to get together in this book. Its not that I didn't think they suited each other, they did in a weird way, but I wanted to see more of their fighting and bickering and awkwardness. By the end of AMERICAN VAMPIRE I was left feeling vaguely disappointed by the turn of events.
Full review to be posted at Romance Reader at Heart...more
I read very few contemporary authors, at least in comparison to the paranormal or historical romance authors I devour. Kristan Higgins is one of thoseI read very few contemporary authors, at least in comparison to the paranormal or historical romance authors I devour. Kristan Higgins is one of those writers who touches upon just the right blend of sweet, witty, and endearing, to make me want to read more.
Her latest book, MY ONE AND ONLY, has formerly married couple Harper and Nick reuniting during a cross-country road trip. The thing about Higgins that tugs at my heart strings every time is that she writes about problems that happen every day to couples. Nick and Harper are no different.
The rekindling of their romance is difficult and fraught with problems. Neither is able to let go of the past. After twelve years and lack of closure, they're both too wound up to think straight. Slowly they rebuild what they had, with the impending wedding as a mile marker almost. Harper looks at her sister's marriage as a disaster waiting to happen. Nick sees it as a work in progress that will smooth over.
And that was at the heart of their own problems. Harper was terrified that love would fail her, and Nick was blindly certain that love conquered all. There was no gray road for either of them.
The parts that really spoke to me were when Nick would ask Harper what happened, and Harper would tell him everything she should have told him twelve years before. I was a little bit peeved at a rather predictable outcome regarding her sister, as I think it only served to lengthen how long Harper and Nick stayed apart, but MY ONE AND ONLY was a relaxing and light read. ...more
Prelim Review: I'll admit to something a little bit scandalous as a reader of romance to say--I know very little about Jane Austen or her novels. ThePrelim Review: I'll admit to something a little bit scandalous as a reader of romance to say--I know very little about Jane Austen or her novels. The only book of hers I've read in completion is NORTHANGER ABBEY, all the rest I've only read pieces of at various times. When I first saw the cover and heard the title of I WAS JANE AUSTEN'S BEST FRIEND, I thought it was like so many of the other 'Jane Austen' books; not so much about the woman as the writer.
Harrison makes it immediately apparent that what she sought to do with her novel was to paint a picture of a girl who knew her very well. Not necessarily a family member, but one who is related to her none the less, who could look at the Austen family with different eyes.
This is an enchanting novel filled with all the joy and problems one has with a large family. Though Jenny is circumspect and grateful to the Austens, in her diary she doesn't hold back her thoughts. How uncomfortable she sometimes feels when Jane and her mother snipe at each other, the sulky manner which Cassandra views her, or breathlessness she feels around Henry, Jane's older brother.
Full review to be posted at Romance Reader at Heart...more
A WEREWOLF IN MANHATTAN was a so-so book for me. Nothing in it really stood out to me, honestly. I think part of my problem stemmed from something saiA WEREWOLF IN MANHATTAN was a so-so book for me. Nothing in it really stood out to me, honestly. I think part of my problem stemmed from something said in the beginning in regards to how the main character (Emma) would salivate over the hero (Aidan) because he is her 'dream guy'. The development of the relationship pretty much relied on that fact. Aidan fought his mating instincts for her (badly, I might add; he was all 'no, no, no' and then naked), and Emma would think 'He's hot! I want to sleep with him!' and...there you have it.
Everything else was just thrown in, though I did like Roarke (Aidan's younger brother) a bit more since he seemed more...interesting. He teased and pushed and slyly poked fun at Aidan, who was more reserved.
The inclusion of Aidan's genetic flaw (if he's aroused and left unfulfilled, he shifts) could have been used more effectively. As it was, it basically was the means to why Aidan finally chucks the fact he has a duty to his family to marry another werewolf and sleeps with Emma. Many times. This goes back to the fact that Thompson doesn't really develop a strong foundation for their relationship. Before hormones got involved, there was a tentative attempt to engage the reader in this couple, but it all fell to the wayside, sadly.
The rogue werewolf element that set this happy train into motion originally is dealt with anticlimactically and what felt like too quickly. The last few chapters are devoted to Emma meeting Aidan's family and their worrying that they will have too much opposition to their relationship, and what will they do then?
You can imagine how that went.
This was ultimately just not up to the promise of the first few chapters. Everything felt a bit more shallow than Thompson ordinarily writes, which is a letdown to many of her fans.
Prelim review: At times gothic, and other times confusing, A Bewitching Bride ended up very sweet, but left me wondering what the heck had happened. KPrelim review: At times gothic, and other times confusing, A Bewitching Bride ended up very sweet, but left me wondering what the heck had happened. Kate sort of ping-ponged back and forth in her emotions--I thought she was pregnant at one point because in the span of half a page she went from euphoric to screeching shrew for no reason I could ascertain.
It was however an intriguing story that was different and entertaining to read. Neither Kate nor Gavin were people particularly comfortable with themselves, or with each other half the time, but prophecy is a powerful thing. The true villain is rather easy to discern, though the motivations are muddied, but the real fun was watching Kate and Gavin being stuck in each other's company....more
Prelim Review: I adored Ridley's first gothic historical romance "Too Wicked to Kiss" and was eagerly awaiting this next book (which features the cousPrelim Review: I adored Ridley's first gothic historical romance "Too Wicked to Kiss" and was eagerly awaiting this next book (which features the cousin of the main characters in Too Wicked). It did not disappoint at all!
Gothic romances and me have a sort of love/hate relationship, and make no mistake this is definitely a gothic romance. There are more dead bodies in this book then eligible bachelors--and there's about twice as many suspicious characters besides! Susan was quirky, curious and determined to do the right thing, even at the expense of her own life (multiple times at that). She was as quick with her tongue as she was with her smiles and infinitely clever. Evan was a puzzle, a smuggler and libertine he didn't quite fit the same mold the others in the book were in. Which outside of being explained later on, are shown through his actions.
Full review to be posted at Romance Readers at Heart!...more
Prelim Review: This is very different from Michelle Moran's "Cleopatra's Daughter", which also examines Princess Selene's life immediately following hPrelim Review: This is very different from Michelle Moran's "Cleopatra's Daughter", which also examines Princess Selene's life immediately following her parents' death and her tenure in Rome before she married Juba. This Selene is much more...aggressive in a way. Not stronger, but more cunning. Whereas Moran's Selene understood her place and sought to live a life outside of her parents' shadow, this Selene strives to remember them in everything. To remember Egypt and who she would have been if things had been different.
Dray also is more liberal with the mysticism that was part of Egyptian culture and the backlash everyone felt after Mark Antony, Cleopatra's and Julius Caesar's death. Octavian is manipulative, cruel and merciless--he wants the Rome he only heard about, a rose-tinted Rome untainted by Cleopatra's influence.
Full review to be posted at Romance Reader at Heart...more
Prelim Review: I applaud Nicola for the fact that she made me all teary-eyed at one point in the story. I knew it was coming and I knew it had to happPrelim Review: I applaud Nicola for the fact that she made me all teary-eyed at one point in the story. I knew it was coming and I knew it had to happen, but by golly that didn't make it any more emotional!...more