If you read enough of my reviews, you'll know that one of my pet peeves is poor editing. "Crime Scene At Cardwell Ranch" by B.J. Daniels suffered fromIf you read enough of my reviews, you'll know that one of my pet peeves is poor editing. "Crime Scene At Cardwell Ranch" by B.J. Daniels suffered from this...which caused me to suffer while reading it.
Five years ago Hud left his small hometown, and his love, behind after he was caught in a compromising situation with his love's sister. Now a mysterious letter and a job offer have hastened his return and Hud intends to get to the bottom of exactly what happened that night. Before he can start his own investigation, he's called out to his ex's ranch where the bones of a body have been found in a well. It doesn't take long for his 'new' case and his own personal case to converge. Pretty much everyone in town seems to be a suspect and his ex is suddenly in the cross-hairs of a killer.
Incorrect words (i.e., ...land looked rung out...um, do you mean wrung?), jumps in locations/scenes, blatant clues and an overwhelming number of unlikeable suspects with motives (not to mention unlikeable victims) left me fairly uncaring about the mystery portion of the story. The 'romance' was G-rated and I though BOTH hero and heroine behaved childishly in the past AND present. Do I really need to say that I didn't enjoy this read?...more
The back-cover blurb is what drew my attention to this book since this is my first read by author Zoe Klein. The story has strong mystical componentsThe back-cover blurb is what drew my attention to this book since this is my first read by author Zoe Klein. The story has strong mystical components as well as many references to the story of the Biblical prophet Jeremiah. Readers who are unfamiliar with Jeremiah's story may find it hard going, but I didn't have any problems.
Page is an American archaeologist who has been working in Israel for more than a decade on the excavations at Megiddo. She likes her work, but is realizing a sense of dissatisfaction with her current situation. Her long-time friend/mentor and boss recently made a pretty strong pass at her; her refusal and his inability to accept it have resulted in a very strained working relationship. So Page is ripe for change and when a Palestinian couple approach her on the dig, she listens to their story more closely than she realizes. Her boss scoffs at their claims of a haunted chamber underneath their home at Anatot, but Page cannot seem to forget. When she drops by their home on her day off, she quickly becomes drawn into the thrill of discovery and risks her career and professional reputation when she leaves Megiddo and begins work in Anatot.
Those familiar with the story of Jeremiah will either love or hate this story. Klein fleshes out the prophet far beyond what is known and connects her life with that of a young woman who 'loved' the prophet. The author quotes from a fictional 'Scroll of Anatiya', the story of the young woman from long ago who passionately loved the prophet. Each chapter is headed by a quote and the author admits to having actually written the entire scroll while in school as a parallel to the life of Jeremiah. Biblical purists will no doubt be up in arms and screaming at the extent of poetic license Mrs. Klein uses in her tale.
I found the 'mystery' and archaeological discovery portions of the book quite riveting. But I had to wade through the author's metaphysical meanderings as she psychoanalyzes her lead character during the entire novel. It could just be that I'm shallow--if I want to read a character study, then that's what I look for; if I want to read an archaeological mystery, then that's what I want. I just wish the author had limited herself to one or the other and I would have enjoyed "Drawing in the Dust" much more....more
Maybe I need to keep a list of heroine names separated by author; because for the first few pages I had the heroine of "Demons Not Included" confusedMaybe I need to keep a list of heroine names separated by author; because for the first few pages I had the heroine of "Demons Not Included" confused with another heroine of the same name (slightly different spelling I think) by another author and it threw me for a bit. Cheyenne McCray's new 'Night Tracker' series began with a bang and, at least for me, ended with a bit of a whimper.
Nyx is a one-of-a-kind gal--half-human, half-Drow. By day she's a blonde human--at night she's an amethyst (NOT PURPLE)-skinned, dark-haired Drow. She grew up living in the Drow underworld pampered by both parents and got her strong will and strength from her Dad the Drow King, and her unwillingness to submit and daytime human looks from her Mom. She's also likely the only Drow female to be trained as a warrior and she can certainly kick butt. However, all these things made her a sort of outcast in Drow society...not that it really bothered Nyx' she'd much rather live in the human realm anyway.
Nyx also has a plethora of sexy, available men--one a Drow, one a human, and one a...something. This first book really mostly sets the scenery and rules for McCray's new series (even though it's an offshoot of her previous 'Magic' series) and introduces the main cast. Maybe that's why I felt a little let-down at the end...because although there is AN ending, it's not an END...is that too confusing?
There's sex (and with more than one character), there's mystery (of the paranormal sort), there's action (all over the place), and there's lots of bad guys and a big battle towards the end. Now, even though "Demons Not Included" wasn't a five-star read for me, I fully intend to follow the series and see where she's headed and what happens next with Nyx. So did I enjoy the book? Yes. Will I continue to read Cheyenne McCray? Yes. Was I a little disappointed? Yes....more
I waffled back and forth on Caroline Linden's newest read, "A View to a Kiss". She writes with flow and emotion and her characters become people I wanI waffled back and forth on Caroline Linden's newest read, "A View to a Kiss". She writes with flow and emotion and her characters become people I want to know. However, I really dislike amazing coincidences that solve problems and this novel had that at the very end.
Mariah is the daughter of an Earl--an Earl who is very highly placed in political circles. After spending several years with her parents on the continent, doing business for the government, they have finally returned to London and Mariah will now have her season and find a husband. The problem is that all the eligible men she meets see her only for her dowry and political connections. Mariah wants a man who will see and love her for herself. Now where to find such a man?
Harry Sinclair is a spy. He works for the Home Office, hoping to eventually raise himself high enough to do political work to help those less fortunate. He's in disguise watching over some highly placed politicos after the Home Office received hints of treason...Mariah's father is one of these. From his first sight of Mariah, Harry is bowled over by her beauty. From their first meeting, on a dark and deserted terrace, he's attracted to her brains and temperment. But Harry is not titled and knows Mariah is so far above his station, seeing her is only a form of self-torture. But neither can seem to let it go.
A great match of hero and heroine. A fairly interesting mystery, but I guessed the 'bad guy' and his methods pretty early on. The relationship between the lead characters was well handled and grew over time rather than in the whole 'love at first sight' thing. My only beef is with the very end, but it really wasn't enough to spoil my enjoyment of the overall story.
Caroline Linden knows how to write attraction and love scenes that are both touching and racy. Her characters are multi-faceted and slowly unveil themselves to both readers and each other. While "A View to a Kiss" won't make my keeper shelf, I enjoyed the read very much. Now I hope she continues in this vein with one or two of her engaging secondary characters from this story!...more
I'm really enjoying Cheryl Brooks' futuristic series about a group of amazing men with incredible sexual powers/abilities. Grabbed your interest? WellI'm really enjoying Cheryl Brooks' futuristic series about a group of amazing men with incredible sexual powers/abilities. Grabbed your interest? Well, these men are the last of a race that whose home planet was wiped out. This group was captured and secretly sold into slavery. So far there has been three other books, each the tale of one of the survivors. The series rides the erotica line for me as the sex is graphic, plentiful, and a genuine part of the storyline. Not to mention it just makes me hot!!
Lynx was one of the youngest when he was captured and sold as a slave to a harem of women. Of course, with his amazing 'talents' it didn't take long for him to become a favorite in the harem. A young man's dream right? But for 10 years? It didn't take even that long for his dream to become a nightmare. When his 'talents' quit working...he was quickly sold again--this time to a more ethical planet where he could work to gain his freedom. But he's still a child in many ways, and soon he ends up on yet another planet where he must find work or be deported. If only the only job available wasn't working for a Woman! He hates women!!
Bonnie hates men. They've done nothing but lead her on and let her down. Now she's pregnant and trying to work her farm alone. She realizes she must have a farm hand and gets Lynx. His anti-social behavior and dislike of her become a challenge. But the more she learns about his past, the more she understands his feelings. How can he EVER care for yet another woman who needs him?
I think this is probably the 'deepest' book in regard to exploring feelings and psyche. Lynx is damaged; in his heart, his body, and his soul. His retreats are his defense against feeling and Brooks did a Class A job in portraying this. Bonnie is a strong character who just wants help; not to be taken care of...just help. But the more they learn about each other, the more each begins to understand just how different they are from their preconceived notions. Very touching.
Did I mention these books are also way hot? Don't read them without a glass of cool water and a fan handy. Cheryl Brooks 'Cat Star Chronicles' will provide a thrill and a fun read at the same time. "Outcast" was perfect for a hot summer afternoon. ...more
How nice! I was afraid I would have to wait for book three to get Noah's story, but "Return to Me" delivers with all the suspense of "Rescue Me" withHow nice! I was afraid I would have to wait for book three to get Noah's story, but "Return to Me" delivers with all the suspense of "Rescue Me" with Noah as the hero. I had to go looking for Reece's bio, wondering if maybe she has published under another name. The good news is, this trilogy IS her first published work/s and she's already got another one (trilogy) set for publication in Feb, Mar, and Apr 2010.
Noah is the head of LCR (Last Chance Rescue). It's his baby and the only thing he lives for. He set up the organization to atone for his perceived past and even though he rarely acts an operative, he still knows every man and woman he's recruited and trained to help those who can't help themselves. But his latest case will pit Noah against a criminal he's all too familiar with and one he's not sure he can kill.
Samara thinks Noah is the MOST arrogant and irritating man she's ever met. Sure he's gorgeous, but then he opens his big, fat mouth and infuriates her! She knows when a man is attracted to her, and he IS, but she gave him his chance and he blew it. So what is he doing tracking her down now? Sure, he needs her help...to act as bait and save young teens from an online predator. Samara knows she couldn't live with herself if she doesn't help, but having to live with Noah may be too much of a price to pay. Then the evil comes closer than either of them thought, and both Noah and Samara will have to face their fears together to win.
Noah, Noah, Noah. What a yummy, heroic, and STUPID man! That's my only negative for this book. How can such an intelligent man continue to harbor such delusions? No matter how I tried I just couldn't make that fit with Noah's other characteristics and that bugged me throughout the book. Other than that...really enjoyed the whole shebang. Plot, pacing, hot sex, intrigue, action, dialogue...they all work together to form one hell of a read that will have you on the edge of your seat throughout. Now you'll just have to excuse me while I run out and pick up book three "Run to Me"....more
"Stolen Magic" is my second book by author Esri Rose. Both books are set in a contemporary world much like ours where elves are struggling to stay ali"Stolen Magic" is my second book by author Esri Rose. Both books are set in a contemporary world much like ours where elves are struggling to stay alive as humans encroach more and more on the land that gives them life.
Adlia is both elf and orphan. She doesn't remember her parents (which is odd for an elf) and the elf who took her in functions as the leader of the Boulder elves, but has never managed to truly make Adlia feel loved and wanted. Then suddenly, a strange elf appears in town and elves begin forgetting (once again, a very strange thing for an elf) and are in danger of dying or becoming mortal and eventually dying anyway. As the small group struggles to find a cause, Adlia learns alot about herself and love.
Mark is a human and is very attracted to the remote and rather strange student in his photography class. She seems unsure about her beauty and is uncomfortable in just about all social situations. But when it appears her life may be in danger, Mark is ready and willing to do whatever it takes to keep her safe.
I had difficulty feeling a connection to Adlia. There seemed to be many things about her life left undisclosed or mentioned and then unexplained. She seemed to go from unsure attraction to sex kitten with lightening speed and the pace just seemed 'off' to me.
Mark as well was a mostly unformed character for me even at the end of the book. He was teacher, friend, and then BOOM!...lover who would sacrifice all. It just felt forced and I didn't buy it.
The pacing was jerky in enough places that it pulled me from the story enough to become irksome. The plot and 'bad guy' as well were glaringly obvious and the barest of explanations was given for his actions.
My reservations about this book are similar to those I had after reading the first one and I think I'll probably wait a bit before trying another. I would say that I think these books would likely do well if they were a little tamer in the sex category and were sold as teen fiction. Just my opinion....more
I like Toni Andrews 'Mercy' series and her latest "Cry Mercy" had me glued to the pages. This isn't really a romance, per se; there are romantic elemeI like Toni Andrews 'Mercy' series and her latest "Cry Mercy" had me glued to the pages. This isn't really a romance, per se; there are romantic elements, but this is essentially the story of a woman with unusual abilities living her life. Her differences and the reactions of people in her past have caused her to close herself off. Recent experiences though, have brought her into contact with people-some with special talents, some without-and she's learning that EVERYONE is different in some way. So although this series so far has centered on her growing talents and her struggle to use them without abusing herself or others, for me it's just a fascinating series of stories about someone struggling to be themself and be happy...and find love of course.
Mercy works as a hypnotherapist, very convenient since she has the ability to 'push' her wishes on others. Her work gives her the opportunity to use those talents to help others and keep the talent from escaping her control. Recently, she's noticed some changes in her talent and that's not necessarily a good thing. She's also become involved with a group of 'friends', very different for the loner Mercy's always tried to be. But now having friends means trying to help them, and somehow Mercy has become involved in trying to save a friend and his younger brother from continued life in a gang, but to do that she'll have to use her 'push' in ways she's never tried before. Mercy also delves into her past; trying to discover more about her birth parents and prove, once and for all, if she's really human...or something more.
If you've not read any of the Mercy books, I wouldn't suggest beginning here--you'll miss alot of the changes in Mercy's life that make each book so engrossing. Toni Andrews' style of writing works well as Mercy tells her story in the first person and let's us peer inside her mind and her struggles in using her ability without crossing the moral boundaries she's set for herself. That personal touch of being inside Mercy's head is part of what makes this such an 'unputdownable' series. Like I said, not exactly your normal romance. More of a fantasy with light romantic elements, mystery, and some action. Or maybe just the story of an unusual woman...or you could always read it and decide for yourself!...more
I'm two for two today with Alissa Johnson's "McAlistair's Fortune" as my second gem of the day! This is a wonderful historical brimming with snappy diI'm two for two today with Alissa Johnson's "McAlistair's Fortune" as my second gem of the day! This is a wonderful historical brimming with snappy dialogue, humor, heart-warming romance, a tortured hero, and a not-so-perfect heroine.
Evie's always been pretty sure that love and marriage weren't in her future. She does, after all, have a facial scar and a limp as a result of a carriage accident when she was a young girl. So she's turned her life towards different pursuits and helping abused women and children escape from their tormentors. But one night she 'overhears' (with her ear against a door mind you) a plot to find her a husband via a bogus threatening letter situation for her 'hero' to then save her from. And shortly later when she receives receives a real threat in the mail, she assumes it's all for show. And it's almost worth it when she realizes she'll get to spend time with the infamous Hermit of Haldon Hall. Especially since they once shared a romantic kiss!
McAlistair is a man tortured by his past actions...he was an assassain for the war department. When he 'quit' he became a hermit, living in the woods in silence and alone...then one day he heard a woman laughing and his world changed. He knows he's not the right man for her, but he's also determined that he will protect this woman with every skill he ever learned.
How romantic! Neither the hero or heroine is perfect, titled, ultra-rich, gorgeous, etc.; instead both are real people with real flaws. Johnson did a fabulous job writing a gradually unfolding closeness and intimacy between these two. There's even humor which they both need in their lives. It's a smart story with characters I grew to care for and when I finished I had a very large grin and the desire to read more of Alissa Johnson's stories.
There is a connection between this and two previous books, but reading the others isn't necessary to enjoy "McAlistair's Fortune". Of course, my bet is that once you read this one, you'll be looking for Ms. Johnson's backlist!
Hmmm. "Ashes of Midnight" is book six in Lara Adrian's 'Midnight Breed' series. I have to say that it wasn't my favorite. I also have to say that it fHmmm. "Ashes of Midnight" is book six in Lara Adrian's 'Midnight Breed' series. I have to say that it wasn't my favorite. I also have to say that it follows very well on the heels of book five, "Veil of Midnight", since events here pick up where it left off. This series is about Adrian's version of vampires (there's good ones and bad ones) and the good guys' fight to save humanity.
Claire never knew she was special--until Wilhelm Roth saved her from an attack and through him, she met the love of her life, Andreas Reichen. But though she thought Andreas loved her too, he just up and disappeared one day...and she allowed Wilhelm to comfort her and ended up married and bonded to him. They've long since settled into a marriage of strangers and when Claire heard about the recent death of Andreas, she was just glad to be able to greive alone. But now something isn't right and Wilhelm's properties are coming under attack...and that includes Claire.
Andreas WILL have his revenge on Wilhelm Roth. He knows Roth was the dastard (G-rated review folks) who ordered the cold-blooded killing of Andreas' entire family...and soon Roth will know that Andreas is still alive. Because Andreas intends to take from Roth just what Roth took from him...everything.
The overall plot of the series doesn't advance too far in this book, but I enjoyed it all the same. Andreas has been an interesting character for me from his first appearance and I wondered about the reasons for his demeanor and distance. Claire was (eventually) strong in her own way, even though she did have a few TSTL (too stupid to live) moments and needed to shed the overly naive outlook she had on life. By the end of the book, she was a good match for Andreas and the passion and strength of their love made for a powerful ending.
I will warn that if you don't like Andreas, you probably won't like this book. Although there are scenes with other characters, the story still firmly revolves around Andreas and Claire. There is a bit of an interesting development (for the next book I'm guessing) towards the end and a possible expansion on the current series' storyline. That's all the hints I'm willing to drop...if you want more, read the series. It's a darn good one.
Her next book, "Shades of Midnight", is scheduled to release at the end of December 2009 and it's already on my list.
"Everlasting" was originally published in 1986 by Bantam Loveswept. It is part of a fairly extensive series of books connected with the fictional midE"Everlasting" was originally published in 1986 by Bantam Loveswept. It is part of a fairly extensive series of books connected with the fictional midEast kingdom of Sedikhan. Although reading the other books in the series isn't necessary, there are a few areas where some foreknowledge is helpful. And definitely keep in mind the time when this book was written...the world was quite different in 1986 and male-female relationships and interactions depicted bear out those differences!
Princess Kira needs a man--not just any man, she needs Zack Damon. Her beloved nanny/companion has been imprisoned in an effort to force Kira's compliance to her brother the King and his darkly mysterious 'advisor'. What Kira doesn't know is that Zack has been watching her for years...and waiting for just this opportunity to claim her.
If you didn't live through and read romance during the 80s, you will likely have many bad things to say about "Everlasting". For those of us who did both, it's a quick blast from the past that delivers a warm feeling and a fond smile--either a longing for how things were then, or gratitude for how they are now.
I truly enjoyed "Watch Over Me", Lucy Monroe's latest book in her 'Goddard Project Agency' series about Alpha male former mercenary heroes and the womI truly enjoyed "Watch Over Me", Lucy Monroe's latest book in her 'Goddard Project Agency' series about Alpha male former mercenary heroes and the women who semi-tame them. Monroe is one of those authors I count on to deliver a story I'll enjoy, without having to deal with 'too' much reality in the form of death and destruction. She also delivers the heat without fail!
Lana is a genius and a scientist. She's also a bit...well, let's just say there doesn't seem to be much of a filter between her brain and her mouth, and thus social situations aren't exactly her forte. She doesn't consider herself pretty, isn't rail thin, and believes her only asset is her brillant mind. She's a firm believer in empirical evidence and the few experiences she's had with sex and relationships...well, she just can't understand what all the fuss is about. That is, until a hunky stranger shows up in her lab.
Mykola considers himself an underachiever in a family of geniuses, but that's OK with him. He lives for his job as a DEA agent until his last undercover assignment reveals a threat to his sister and the science firm where she works. So he reluctantly leaves the DEA and signs on to the Goddard Project to protect his sister. While touring his sister's workplace, he happens upon a delicious looking female...who's a total nerd...and it appears that turns him on!
How wonderful to read a story about a socially inept, non-physically perfect female. Haven't we all felt that way at one time or another? For me, it's just the latest example of how Monroe writes characters I can relate to in some way, and then makes me care for them and their lives. Her hot bad boy heroes don't hurt either!!
"Watch Over Me" was another winner for me. I read it while on vacation and it was the perfect beach read--not too tense, not too serious, not too long. Just me, my mai tai, the pool, and this book. AHHH....more
None of these stories are great...but none are bad either. There are ten stories in 335 reading pages which (if my math is still good) is about 33 pagNone of these stories are great...but none are bad either. There are ten stories in 335 reading pages which (if my math is still good) is about 33 pages a story...ish. The biggest reason to still buy this anthology? A portion of the proceeds goes to the Animal Adoption Foundation--'nuff said?
I won't try to detail each story other than to say that every one revolves around a pet or stray and their meaning to one, or both, of the main characters. There are stories by Lori Foster, Stella Cameron, Kate Angell, Dianne Castell, Ann Christopher, Marcia James, Donna MacMeans, Sarah McCarty, Patricia Sargeant, and Sue-Ellen Welfonder. There are contemporaries and historicals, straight-up romance and the occasional touch of paranormal. At least one story made me cry, at least one story made me laugh, and I had a smile on my face when I was done....more