Monday, March 31, 2008

Top Book Choices for April!

 


Title: Don’t Tempt Me
Author: Sylvia Day
Publisher: Kensington
Release Date: April 2008
Genre: Historical
Length: 320 pages

I have enjoyed reading the first two books in this series. I haven’t yet read the third, which was released November of last year. Don’t Tempt Me is the fourth book in this Georgian Series.

Here is the summary:
WHO IS SHE?

Simon Quinn can have any woman he wants, but he prefers them jaded, worldly, and free of illusions. His life is one of danger and temporary pleasures. An Irish commoner, he has nothing more than his expertise as a lover and mercenary to recommend him and no title, property, or family to redeem him.

Lysette Rousseau is a deadly beauty who can seduce or betray with equal skill. She should be just the sort of woman Simon entertains, but something about her sets him on edge. At times she is a femme fatale he cannot abide, at others she is warm, sweet, and irresistibly alluring. His reactions to both sides of her are equally powerful, but for opposite reasons. It seems almost as if there are two women in one...

TWINS!

...one wounded and exploited, the other innocent but strong. Lynette Rousseau will do anything to reclaim the sister who doesn't remember her. She will gain the proficiency required to enter the underworld her sibling occupies. But how will she defend herself against the enigmatic, seductive Simon Quinn? A man who can liberate Lysette, but whose insatiable desires may ensnare Lynette forever... Excerpt

 


Title: Klondike Fever
Author: Kate Bridges
Publisher: Harlequin
Release Date: April 2008
Genre: Western
Length: 282 pages

I read Klondike Doctor when it was released early last year. I usually don’t like category romances but I was surprised by this one. It was well written with well developed characters. The level of sensuality surprised me, as well and there was a very original scene involving lots of champagne. After reading the back blurb for Klondike Fever, as brief as it is, it sounded really interesting. I thought, "Why not, I might like it as much as I did Klondike Doctor. Plus it's really hard to find westerns these days."

Here is the summary:
It's a reversal of fortune when Klondike Lily, the richest woman to strike gold in the Yukon, is robbed on a coach headed to Alaska and shackled to fellow passenger, Dylan Wayburn, a man she used to work for as a servant. Excerpt

 


Title: Pursuit
Author: Elizabeth Jennings
Publisher: Grand Central
Release Date: April 2008
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Length: 436 pages

I actually don’t know much about this book. I heard a rumor that Elizabeth Jennings is also Lisa Marie Rice over on the All About Romance message boards. I love Lisa Marie Rice, so if it’s true, then I have to read this book. Unfortunately, there is little information on the author and she doesn’t have a website.

Here is the summary:
With a powerful voice and unstoppable suspense, Elizabeth Jennings makes her Forever debut.

A shocking betrayal...her father's murder...and a life-threatening accusation...Heiress Charlotte Court has walked into a waking nightmare-one that sends her running from her wealthy home to anywhere she can hide.

Across the border in Mexico, Charlotte creates a new identity and finds refuge in the battle-torn arms of Navy SEAL Matt Sanders. Fleeing his past, Matt yearns to protect her and replace her pain with pleasure. But Charlotte can't trust anyone, not even someone she's starting to love. She knows she's a target-and out of sight, a soulless killer is zeroing in on his prey...

 


Title: Unlawful Contact
Author: Pamela Clare
Publisher: Penguin Group
Release Date: April 2008
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Length: 389 pages

Unlawful Contact is the third book in her romantic suspense series. I read Hard Evidence the second book and really enjoyed it. Pamela Clare has written a series of articles on her experience in jail (for research) that she has posted over at The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. It was really moving to read those posts. Definitely, head over there and check it out.

Here is the summary:
Taken hostage by a convicted murderer while reporting at a prison, Sophie Alton has no idea that the man holding the gun to her head is the bad boy who was her first love in high school. Condemned to life without parole, Marc Hunter finds himself with no choice but to break out of prison after his younger sister disappears with her baby.

Though he regrets what he has to put Sophie through, he can’t let anything get in the way of his stopping the corrupt officials who are set on destroying what’s left of his family. But being near Sophie rekindles memories for both of them. As the passion between them heats up, so does the conspiracy to put both of them in their graves. Excerpt

Friday, March 28, 2008

Review - The Spymaster's Lady



Title: The Spymaster’s Lady
Author: Joanna Bourne
Publishing Date: January 2007
Genre: Historical
Rating: A
Sensuality: Warm

Annique Villiers is a renowned French spy, known as the Fox Cub, who has been captured by another French spy, Leblanc. In his dungeon, she encounters Robert Grey and Adrian who are British spies that have been captured by Leblanc as well. Adrian has been shot and is wounded in his shoulder. His life hangs in the balance. Annique helps both Robert and Adrian escape Leblanc, who is a particularly nasty character. Grey recognizes Annique and believes that she had something to do with the death of his men. After she helps him escape, he returns the favor by capturing her, with the intent of questioning her to find out what happened to his men.

First off, let me say that I am not a big fan of spy novels. I hate all the subterfuge and deceit that takes place in these types of books. Having said all that, I absolutely loved The Spymaster’s Lady. The top reason is because of the heroine, Annique. She is the perfect balance of strength and determination intermingled with an innocence and vulnerability. It is amazing to me that with the life she has lived, that she is able to take pleasure in the little things and hasn’t become cynical and jaded. This book is heroine-driven, so more time is devoted to getting to know Annique. For those readers who like to focus on the heroine, this is definitely the book for you.

Don’t get me wrong, though. Robert is a strong hero and, even though he is not the main focus, he is still thoroughly developed. I liked his character and thought he was a good match for Annique. She needs a strong, intelligent man and he definitely fits the bill.

Bourne has the amazing ability to develop the characters so strongly that even when they are acting out one of their spy personas, we can see the subtle nuances of each personality; with the way they talk or with body language, etc. This was just so very, very clever and fascinating to read. There are quite a cast of secondary characters, none of whom seem one-dimensional. One of my favorites is Adrian and I hope he gets his own story.

There has been much talk in romance land about this book and all of it good. I don’t believe I have come across a negative review yet. If you haven’t read this book yet, what are you waiting for?

Here is what others had to say:

Dear Author
The Book Smugglers
Jennie's Book Log
Cupid's Chokehold
Ramblings on Romance Etc...
Dear Author (Janine, an opposing review)

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Joint Review over at Booking Through

 


Hey folks,

I just did a joint review with Nath over at Breezing Through for Christina Dodd's latest release Thigh High. Be sure to check it out if you are interested. I will be posting one of my standard reviews on this book next week.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Romantic Times Booklovers Convention

 



This convention looks like a lot of fun. I am a subscriber to the Romantic Times Magazine. I subscribe, not so much for the reviews, but for the publication dates of romance books. It's a convenient way to see what is hitting the shelves each month. In the back of every magazine is an ad for the booklovers convention. Here is a link to the conventions website. I have to admit it sure does look like fun. They have all kinds of temptations for romance readers like me. They have costume parties, book signings and lots of opportunities to get FREE books and meet famous authors. It sounds like a blast. Has anyone gone to this extravaganza in the past or is planning on going this year? If you have anything to comment about it I would love to hear. I myself am thinking of saving up and attending next year. Anyone... anyone? Bueller... Bueller?

Monday, March 24, 2008

Review - Sugar Daddy



Title: Sugar Daddy
Author: Lisa Kleypas
Publishing Date: March 2007
Genre: Contemporary
Rating: A
Sensuality: Hot

Sugar Daddy is the story of Liberty Jones. It is told in the first person from Liberty’s point of view. She and her mother move to the small town of Welcome, Texas when she is fourteen years old. She meets the handsome, capable Hardy Cates. With his piercing blue eyes and lean athletic body, she quickly develops a crush on him. He is seventeen years old, with a fierce yearning to leave the town behind and make something big happen for himself. He vows never to indulge in his longing for Liberty and strives to keep his distance from her or he knows he will never leave Welcome. I will leave the plot description to a minimum as to not give away too much of the story.

I absolutely loved this book. Liberty is a fantastic heroine. She is the type of person you want to root for every step of the way. She is a strong fighter and yet she is vulnerable and generous too. In her life, she encounters many harsh problems and I felt the despair right along side Liberty. Some moments were absolutely heartbreaking. These obstacles in her life are what make her so strong and when she does triumph, it makes the victory all that much sweeter.

The hero of this book (and I’ll not say who it is as to not give away the ending) is a great match for Liberty in every way. He has to be one of the top heroes in romance, in my opinion. He is strong and protective; a man’s man if you will. He wants to take care of Liberty and provide her with the things she didn’t have when she was younger. He is also caring and understanding of Liberty’s problems and wants nothing more than to give her whatever she needs to be happy. I loved the ending of this book and I couldn’t be happier with the choice Liberty made.

Here is what others had to say:

Dear Author
Renee Reads Romance
Reading Adventures
What Kate's Reading
The Good, The Bad, The Unread
The Book Smugglers
Ramblings on Romance

Friday, March 21, 2008

Review - Kiss of Crimson


Title: Kiss of Crimson
Author: Lara Adrian
Publishing Date: June 2007
Genre: Paranormal
Rating: B-
Sensuality: Hot

Kiss of Crimson is the second book of the Midnight Breed series. It is the story of the warrior, Dante, and his destined breedmate, Tess Culver. Dante stumbles into Tess’s veterinarian clinic after he is viciously attacked by Rogue vampires. His injuries are life-threateningly serious and he needs major help. After he takes her blood, because it is essential to his healing process, he discovers she is a breedmate. He now realizes that he has forced a blood bond on this woman who he knows nothing about.

Dante and Tess are likable characters. I don’t think that there is anything groundbreaking with their relationship. I would have liked for there to have been more development between Dante and Tess’s relationship. The “happy ever after” seemed abrupt and forced at the end of the story. I felt like the reader was left hanging with a couple of issues that Tess had with Dante, such as whom and what he was. I felt that it was glossed over and never dealt with properly.

What I did really enjoy about Kiss of Crimson better, was the new turn of events in the war against the Rogues. Adrian has done a good job with the plot in not only keeping the story continuing, but keeping it interesting as well. A new drug in the club scene, Crimson, has young vampires turning Rogue. This new change, along with a couple of new characters, add to the appeal of this plot. I am looking forward to seeing what she has in store for her readers in her next book, which is Tegan’s story.

Here is what others had to say:

Jace Scribbles
LesleyW's Book Nook

 

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Round 1 is over

 


Wow, so how did everyone do? I hate to brag..... but, I DID AWESOME!!! WHOOT!! The tournament consisted of 16 match offs. There were 8 in historical romance and 8 in category romance. The historical romance competition was held over at Dear Author and the category romance competition was held over at Smart Bitches. Every 3 hours, from 9 am to 9 pm, each website held two match offs. I am so proud to say that I got 15 out of the 16 matches right!! You can view the official standings here and if you click on my name Jill D (I am 4th from the top - whoot!) you can see my bracket. How cool is all this? They are going to continue with the tournament tomorrow so definitely check it out, if you haven't already, and vote!

On a little side note, if you look at Nora R's bracket. This is Nora Roberts's picks. Eeeeeeck!! Isn't that neat, she is playing too! Of course, she voted for High Noon to win it all. I don't blame her, though, and she just might win the tournament. But so far, I am beating her by one point (tee hee hee).

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Review - Pendragon

 


Title: Pendragon
Author: Catherine Coulter
Publishing Date: 2002
Genre: Historical
Rating: C
Sensuality: Warm

Pendragon is the seventh book in the Sherbrooke series. Meggie Sherbrooke is eighteen years old and ready to be presented to society. She travels to London to stay with her Uncle Douglas and Aunt Alex for her first season. At her first ball, she glances across the room, where her attention firmly lands on a familiar gentleman. He is her almost-cousin Jeremy Stanton-Greville, whom she had an all-consuming crush on the summer of her thirteenth year. One thing leads to another, and Meggie discovers he is betrothed to another and her young heart gets trampled on.

After the season is over, Meggie just wants to go home and lick her wounds. She has no desire to find anyone else to take Jeremy’s place or mend her broken heart. She is resigned to become an old spinster and race cats. After just leaving church with her little brother Rory, she runs into Thomas Malcolmbe, Lord Lancaster. His father had passed away six months ago and is just now seeing to his estate. He takes one look at Meggie and wants her, but she has other ideas which baffle him. He has no idea why Meggie isn’t interested. Thomas usually has no problem enticing the ladies. He is handsome, intelligent and wealthy. What’s not to love?

After a couple of months, Thomas proposes and Meggie accepts. Here is where the story takes a very bad turn. Thomas becomes a butt-head and Meggie has the most god-awful wedding night. Really, trust me, it’s bad. Meggie, the champ that she is, just picks up the pieces and continues on. If it wasn’t for Meggie’s golden personality, I would have hated this book and not finished it. Thomas was too wishy-washy in his feelings for Meggie. One minute he loves her and believes that she will be loyal to him, and the next he wants to punish her and teach her a lesson. He irritated and annoyed me most of the book. There is a mystery plot involved as well, but it does nothing for the story. It seemed contrived and very unrealistic. I really enjoy Catherine Coulter’s writing. She usually has a way of keeping me turning the pages quickly. Unfortunately, this was not one of those books. Hopefully the next one will be better.

Here is what others had to say:

All About Romance

 

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Have you made your picks yet?

 



I just love these internet contests. Dear Author has teamed up with the Smart Bitches and created their own version of March Madness dubbed DABWAHA. I had to do some serious research on the chosen books before I entered my bracket. Half the books I had never heard of. The website to enter in your picks is very user friendly and they did a great job with it. Those ladies sure are html savvy. After you submit your bracket, you can view what everyone submitted. That's pretty cool. I looked at a couple of other peoples brackets. I find some of their choices unusual. I will be curious to see how this contest plays out.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Review - Witch Blood

 


Title: Witch Blood
Author: Anya Bast
Publishing Date: March 2008
Genre: Paranormal
Rating: B
Sensuality: Burning

Isabelle Novak, a water witch, has been hunting down the demon who viciously murdered her sister Angela, the one person she has allowed an emotional attachment to. Since the Demon has eluded her, she settles for destroying the warlock (a witch turned bad) who allowed the demon into this world, Stefan Faucheux. She poses as his latest play thing, luring him into her clutches. Finally, she gets him where she wants him - with his pants down; a very vulnerable position, indeed. Yet, right when she has him in her grasp, Thomas Monahan snatches him away and imprisons Stefan at Gribban. Thomas, head of the Coven, notices the desperation surrounding Isabelle. He convinces her to stay at the Coven and join them in tracking down the demon.

Witch Blood had a more serious feel to it; lacking the humorous feel Witch Fire had. In Witch Fire, the heroine didn’t even know she was a witch. So we learned about the new world and her new powers right along side her. In Witch Blood, Isabelle and Thomas are already well established in the use of their powers. There is less written about how they use their powers. What they do discover, the hard way, is that their magic is useless on the demon they are hunting. Therefore, they have to discover what its weaknesses are. We are introduced to more world building as they research the demon. We also meet many new characters in the Coven. Adam, the ‘man-whore’ (what Isabelle calls him in one scene), is a particular favorite. Theo and Micah are interesting as well.

Isabelle is they type of heroine who grates on my nerves. She has had a hard past and because of it, she pushes everyone who gets too close to her away. After two-thirds of the book, this really got old. I thought for a moment in the middle of the story we were going to see some growth, but it didn’t come well until the end. Thomas, bless his heart, knew what he wanted and never took no for an answer. He could read Isabelle like a book, and just bulldozed over her crap. I liked him. As a character, he was much better than Isabelle. One disappointment, though, was we were given no background on him. Isabelle has a fully developed back story, where Thomas has one sentence. It would have been nice to have a better balance here.

I would have given this book a lower grade if it had not been for the kick-ass twist at the end of the book. I totally did not see this coming. I give my congratulations to Bast for her ingenious imagination. The last forty pages had me on the edge of my seat. I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. That being said, I can’t wait to read the next book in the series and see what direction Bast leads us in. It is sure to be interesting.

Here is what others had to say:

The Good, The Bad and The Unread

 

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Review - Agnes and the Hitman

 


Title: Agnes and the Hitman
Author: Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer
Publishing Date: August 2007
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Rating: B+
Sensuality: Warm

Agnes does not need trouble. She has a wedding for her best friend’s daughter to prepare for. She is cooking in her kitchen when a thug comes in and threatens her dog. Agnes, not one to shy away from violence, hits him in the head with a frying pan. A struggle ensues and the thug ends up in her basement dead, after he falls to his death. Her long time beloved friend Joey sends his nephew Shane to protect her. Shane is a professional killer. While involved on a mission of his own, he heads down to the small southern town of Keyes to protect Agnes as a favor to his Uncle Joey.

Let me start off by saying that I am not partial to romances where the hero or heroine is engaged to another at the beginning of the story. Since Agnes steals the show and Crusie is an awesome writer, in this book, it wasn’t an issue for me. Agnes is unlike any heroine I have ever read before. I am not sure how other people will react to her, but I loved her. She will not hesitate to use violence to punish those who have wronged her. Even though Agnes is scary when mad, she can also be nurturing at other times. The best way for her to nurture is through her cooking and she is a great cook. Part of my enjoyment of the book came through the scenes that described what Agnes was making for breakfast or other meals. There were quite a few of them, too. For those of you readers who love food, you will be slobbering over those scenes.

I was worried about the mystery overshadowing the romance. It does to a certain extent in this story, which is why I rated this book a B+, but it’s a very involved mystery and, believe it or not, makes the story what it is….great. There are quite a few twists and turns concerning the suspense part of the book that keeps the reader guessing right along with the characters.

Shane takes a backseat to Agnes. He sort of blends into the background a bit. As far as heroes go, I thought he was perfect for Agnes. He was trustworthy, which Agnes desperately needed. He was calm and sedate, where as Agnes was crazed and insane. They made a really great pairing. Beyond that, there is quite a cast of characters, all interesting. Brenda, the grandmother of the bride, was a little over the top, but that can be overlooked. I really enjoyed this story. It was funny, with an entertaining mystery and a sweet romance all at the same time. Good job, Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer.

Here is what others had to say:

Jennie's Book Log
Natuschan
Dear Author
What Kate's Reading

Friday, March 14, 2008

Review - Wonderful

 


Title: Wonderful
Author: Jill Barnett
Publishing Date: 1997
Genre: Medieval
Rating: B+
Sensuality: Warm

Lady Clio of Camrose promised her father that she will willingly wed whomever King Henry chooses for her husband. When she is fifteen years old, he selects Merrick de Beaucort. Shortly after the betrothal, Clio’s father dies leaving her a ward of King Henry. She ends up living in a convent while Merrick is warring in the holy land. After six long years, he finally comes to claim his bride.

Lady Clio is a hoot. She is head-strong, proud, wily and mischievous. As a child, if she found herself in a difficult situation, she would create an idea and implement it without a thought for the consequences. Usually, the result of her “wonderful” idea would land her in a world of trouble. As she grows into adulthood, this propensity for trouble follows into her marriage. There are many funny scenes involving Clio’s mischief and Merrick’s reaction to it. Where Clio is free spirited, Merrick is rigid and structured. He is used to carrying heavy responsibilities, such as the lives and well-being of his men at arms. Even though Merrick is frustrated with Clio, he is never cruel to her. Deep down he likes Clio the way she is; faults and all. Barnett does a good job of showing how Merrick and Clio slowly fall in love with each other. Wonderful was a joy to read.

One little gripe I had with the story was one instance where Clio’s life was in danger because of her own foolishness. Merrick never really addresses the seriousness of the situation with her. I felt that this should have been dealt with in some way. This is really a minor grumble, because the ending of the story more than made up for it.

Here is what others had to say:

The Book Smugglers

 

Thursday, March 13, 2008

More Books for my TBR Pile

 

I just got back from the library and I am really excited about the books I just brought home. I am really fortunate that no one in my county reads. I was able to check out three new releases and I think I am the first one to check them out. My library actually has a pretty good selection too. I usually go online and request the books I want. This way I can request the new releases that are not on the shelves yet and are still in cataloging. Then the librarian calls me when the books are ready to be picked up. I love the system, but I seem to be one of the few people who actually takes advantage of it. What's wrong with the people in my town? Don't they read? Oh well, their loss, my gain! Here is what I came home with:

I am currently reading the second book in this series and luckily my library just recieved the third one Midnight Awakening. That is the only bad thing about my library, if it is a new release, sometimes they don't get them in until a few months past the release date.

 

 

 


There has been a lot of book pimping in romancelandia for this book, so of course I had to get it. It just came out of cataloging and I do believe I am the first person to check out this book. I will say though, it was a little embarrassing checking this book out with all that glaringly, obnoxious man titty. Jeez, what a ridiculous cover.

 

 


This was one of my top choices for February and my library is just now releasing it. I do believe that I was the first to check out this book, as well. I haven't heard good things about this book, but I am still going to read it. I hope it doesn't disappoint.

 

 


Sybil is having Lisa Kleypas as a guest author March 25. I need to be up-to-date and have Sugar Daddy read by then. I just hate being out of the loop. I had actually checked out this book last summer but never got around to reading it. Since much book pimpage has been happening, I have decided to check it out again.

 

 


This is the fourth book in the ghostwalker series. I think this series is pretty good and since I am not caught up and another book was just released, I need to get in gear. Yikes! The pressure!

 

 

 


The Book Binge is having Rachel Gibson as a guest blogger at the end of this month and I have only read one of her books Sex, Lies, and Online Dating. I thought I ought to read another before she posts and therefore, I chose this one.

So, do you think I will actually get any sleep this month, with all the books I need to read? And here I am blogging about it, instead of reading! Well, what can you do?

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Review - Arousing Suspicions

 


Title: Arousing Suspicions
Author: Marianne Stillings
Publishing Date: March 2007
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Rating: B
Sensuality: Warm

Tabitha March is a psychic dream interpreter. When she makes physical contact with a person while they recount their dream, a detailed vision of their dream will appear to her. She helps this person determine what it is that the dream represents to them. One of her clients has been having dreams that he murdered someone. Then one of his victims actually turns up dead for real. Tabitha goes to the police and meets inspector Nate Darling. Nate, of course, is a skeptic. However, with irrefutable proof, he can’t help but be suspicious of Tabitha herself.

The overall feel for Arousing Suspicions is humorous and light-hearted. Nate and Tabitha both have many witty quips and sarcastic comments that cracked me up. Both characters have broken pasts that they want to try and overcome. They are easily likeable and are a good match for each other.

The suspense plot is well detailed without being grotesque. I really appreciated that. The mystery is resolved at the very end and I never saw it coming who the villain was surrounding the murders. I will admit though, that when I watched Scooby Do as a child, I was never able to figure out who the bad guy was either. Keep that in mind. If you are really good at figuring out mysteries, then maybe this one won’t stump you like it did me.

This book was a quick, enjoyable read. My only complaint is that I would have liked for the story to have been longer.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Meme - Four Things


I was tagged for this meme by Jace

Four jobs I've had:
1. Cashier at a grocery store
2. Technician at a walk in clinic
3. Quality Control Manager
4. Biological Scientist (Yep, I'm a nerd)

Four movies I've watched over and over:
1. The 40-Year Old Virgin
2. Office Space
3. Father of the Bride
4. Groundhog Day
(I could actually list about 20 movies)

Four places I've Lived:
1. Cocoa, Florida
2. Clearwater, Florida
3. Greensboro, North Carolina
4. Winter Haven, Florida

Four shows I watch:
1. America's Next Top Model
2. The Ultimate Fighter
3. Celebrity Rehab
4. Lost

Four Places I've Been:
1. Las Vegas, Nevada
2. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
3. San Antonio, Texas
4. Boone, North Carolina
(I have never been outside the United States)

Four Things I Love To Eat:
1. Bacon (You know the show Fear Factor and how they try to get you to eat gross stuff like bugs. I say wrap it in bacon and I will eat anything.)
2. Blue Cheese Dressing
3. McDonald's french fries
4. Girl Scout Cookie - I like them all!

Four Places I'd Rather Be:
1. My house, in bed with a book.
2. The beach, with a book.
3. The local library
4. I see a pattern here. Anywhere, as long as I can read!

Four Things I Look Forward Too:
1. Watching my children grow up and have kids of their own.
2. My Retirement
3. Dinner (everyday of my life)
4. Settling down with a good book (of course)

Hmmm, who hasn't been tagged yet? Nath...how about you?

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Review - Laird of the Mist

 


Title: Laird of the Mist
Author: Paula Quinn
Publishing Date: December 2007
Genre: Medieval
Rating: C
Sensuality: Hot

Kate Campbell is fighting for her life. The only home Kate has ever known in southern Scotland, Glen Orchy, is attacked by raiders. As she tires from fighting the McColls, Callum MacGregor comes to her rescue and saves her life. The problem is Callum and Kate’s families have been enemies for many generations. Callum kidnaps Kate to flush out her cowardly uncle, Duncan Campbell. He takes her back with him to his home in remote northern Scotland.

Both Callum and Kate are likeable characters. Callum is very tortured and brooding, yet he is kind and caring. Kate is feisty, yet sweet and innocent too. There is quite a long list of secondary characters; all of which I liked as well. But for me, something was missing. Even though I liked the characters well enough, my emotions weren’t engaged on a deep enough level to care what happened to them.

Another thing not going for this book is the tragedy surrounding both families. Each family has caused the other insurmountable suffering. To me, this over shadowed the love story. The “happy ever after” seems hopeless and unbelievable. There is a “happy ever after,” but I wish certain issues would have been explained more clearly. I just couldn’t get into this story. I think people who like Julie Garwood’s characters would probably like this book. For some reason, I was just not able to connect with this story.

Here is what others had to say:

The Book Binge
All About Romance

 

Friday, March 7, 2008

Review - Kiss of Midnight

 


Title: Kiss of Midnight
Author: Lara Adrian
Publishing Date: May 2007
Genre: Paranormal
Rating: C
Sensuality: Hot

Lucan Thorne is a vampire. He is also the leader of a group of vampires known as Breed warriors. They fight Rogue vampires, those vampires who have given into the bloodlust. Gabrielle Maxwell is outside a club and witnesses a brutal murder of a man to a group of Rogues. She takes their picture with her cell phone camera and runs to the police. Only the police don’t believe her. Lucan was also at this same club and he watches Gabrielle unwittingly become involved in his world. He cleans up the mess the Rogues left behind so that humans will remain unaware of vampires. He now has to get those pictures from Gabrielle.

I couldn’t get into this book. I couldn’t connect with the characters. I didn’t care what happened to Gabrielle or Lucan. It seemed like they were only skin deep. I think Adrian has potential though. Some of the things her characters thought or said were quite funny; but it wasn’t consistent. When the Breed warriors were having a conversation together, it was laughable, but not in a good way. Their “he-man” talk was more than a little over-the-top at times and seemed silly.

Kiss of Midnight
wasn’t neatly wrapped up at the end. Lucan and Gabrielle do get their happy ending, but the bad guy gets away. There is a bit of a cliffhanger at the end when the bad guy’s identity is revealed, yet left unresolved. There were many story arcs that will continue in the series. In some ways this book was more of a set up for things to come. I am interested enough to see what Adrian has next that I will be reading the next book. Let’s hope the second book is better than the first one.

Here is what others had to say:

Jace Scribbles
Lesley W's Book Nook
The Good, The Bad, The Unread
Rosario's Reading Journal

 

Thursday, March 6, 2008

February Book Summary



I read a total of 13 books for February. This number brings me right back where I want to be for my reading goals. Yay! I also am going to try really hard and review all the books I read. We shall see how I do with that goal. My intentions may be good, but what I actually accomplish is a whole other story.

 


1. Kiss of Midnight, Adrian (Paranormal) Rating: C
2. Gone Too Far, Brockmann (Rom. Suspense) Rating: A-
3. Demon Moon, Brook (Paranormal) Rating: B+
4. Demon Night, Brook (Paranormal) Rating: A-
5. Untouched, Campbell (Historical) Rating: B-
6. Wicked Deeds on a Winter’s Night, Cole (Paranormal) Rating: A-
7. The Scottish Bride, Coulter (Historical) Rating: B
8. Remain Silent, Denton (Rom. Suspense) Rating: C
9. Wolf Tales II, Douglas (Paranormal/Erotic) Rating: B-
10. And Then He Kissed Her, Guhrke (Historical) Rating: B-
11. The Shadow and The Star, Kinsale (Historical) Rating: A
12. Jane’s Warlord, Knight (Futuristic/Erotic) Rating: B+
13. Extreme Danger, McKenna (Rom. Suspense/Erotic) Rating: B

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Review - Gone Too Far

 


Title: Gone Too Far
Author: Suzanne Brockmann
Publishing Date: 2003
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Rating: A-
Sensuality: Warm

*Note* Do not even think of starting with this book. You must read the other books in the series first. Click here for the reading order.

Gone Too Far begins about six months after the previous book Into the Night ends, with the assassination attempt on the President’s life during a SEAL demonstration at the Coronado naval base. Tom Paoletti’s Navy SEAL Team Sixteen prevented the success of that terrorist attempt. Mary Lou Starrett, Sam’s wife, knows who the terrorists are and runs to Sarasota in an attempt to flee for her and her daughter’s safety.

Gone Too Far had me on the edge of my seat the whole time. The action or suspense starts very quickly in the beginning, with Sam’s discovery of a dead female body in his wife’s home and no sign of his two year old daughter Hailey. He assumes it is his wife Mary Lou. Meanwhile, Tom Paoletti is being brought in for “questioning” concerning the attack in Coronado. He is in danger of being arrested for providing assistance to known terrorists, conspiracy to assassinate the President and Treason. So basically, the shit is hitting the fan. Max Bhaght, of the FBI, is called in to handle the situation with Paoletti and Starrett. Max heads down to Sarasota, which is where Gina Vitagliano is also staying at the same time. Gina and Max’s story arc first started in the book Over the Edge, and continues throughout this book, as well.

There is a quote from Linda Howard on the cover of Gone Too Far, which I think sums up my feelings perfectly. “At last! Sam and Alyssa’s book!...There’s everything anyone could want: action, danger, suspense, passion and tears.”

I was very happy for Sam and Alyssa to finally get their happily ever after. Brockmann gives the reader more background on Sam and Alyssa. Sam, I think, is more developed than Alyssa. The only thing I didn’t like was that Alyssa, at times, could be down right nasty and cruel to Sam. She would say the most vicious things to him, practically shredding him to little pieces. She would show him compassion too, but man, when she wanted to wound him, she did not hesitate and would hit below the belt. Sam is great though. I loved his character, faults and all. His back story is just heartbreaking. Then, at the end of the book, when he declares his love for Alyssa, it is so, so good. I just loved it. *Sigh*

Monday, March 3, 2008

Results for AAR's Annual Reader Poll are up!

 

Drum roll Please..... And the big winner is....

 



Well, none of the other books I voted for in the other categories won. I am not really surprised though, because some of the books I voted for were rather obscure. I am pleased to see that the one book I really thought was great was voted for the big win. I feel bad for JR Ward. She swept the negative categories with Lover Unbound. I am in complete agreement there. I was sorely disappointed with that book.

I am not going to list all the results, but you can view them here.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Review - The Shadow and The Star

 


Title: The Shadow and the Star
Author: Laura Kinsale
Publishing Date: 1991
Genre: Historical
Rating: A
Sensuality: Warm

Samuel Gerard does not know of his family origins. He suffered horrible abuse as a child before he was rescued by Lady Ashland. He grows up in the Ashland’s house in Hawaii and is trained in the martial arts by Dojun, a Japanese servant of the Ashland’s. The Ashland family, along with Samuel, travel to London for the celebrations of Her Majesty’s Jubilee. There, while aiding his foster sister and mother in a dress shop, he meets Leda Etoile. She also grew up an orphan and was adopted by the prim and proper Miss Myrtle. Misfortune abounds for Leda and she winds up destitute. Samuel offers her a position as his secretary. (I have left out a few details in this summary, as to not give anything away).

The Shadow and the Star is an absolute gem of a story. I really liked both Leda and Samuel. Leda binds herself to the rules of society in rigid extreme. Throughout the whole book, she tries very hard to stay true to these mannerisms and never stray from the strictest etiquette. She is also very innocent and has been sheltered considerably in her lifetime. Never has she spent much time in men’s company. (She is one of those heroines who doesn’t know how babies are made, nor can she identify certain parts of the male anatomy). This aspect of her personality is very believable and crucial to her character. I don’t think the author could have written it any other way.

Samuel, himself, has never been with a woman. He too, in certain aspects, is just as innocent as Leda. Samuel is so disciplined that he has never acted on his own sensuality. He is twenty-eight when he meets Leda. She provides a distraction unlike any other that he has ever encountered before and he finds himself losing control over his mind and body. I loved how little ol’ prim and proper Leda gets under the skin of tough, disciplined Samuel. I absolutely love it when the hero falls, and falls hard, for the heroine.

The sad part of this story though, is that Samuel feels that he is undeserving of Leda’s love. They both have a bit of a martyr vibe going on, but Kinsale never takes it to the point where I want to throw the book at the wall. It did get a little too close at the end, but the heroine really pulled through for me. She grows a bit of a back bone and does not let Samuel bully her. Yay!!!

This story is not only great because of the characters, but for the exotic location and people as well. The reader is truly immersed in this unusual culture. Parts of the story take place in Hawaii where the locals speak Pidgin. This gives a very authentic feel to the story. Kinsale also intertwines Japanese history and culture into the tale of Samuel’s training as he goes from being a boy to becoming the shadow warrior. I loved this story and I highly recommend giving it a try.


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