Sunday, March 27, 2011
Author: Jade Lee
Publishing Date: 2005
Book Disclosure: I downloaded a free ebook from Amazon.
White Tigress is the first in a series by Jade Lee. Lydia Smith left England to sail to Shanghai in search of her fiancé. Once there, she mistakenly accepts the help of a captain and ends up in a brothel, sold to Cheng Ru Shan. Ru Shan is a prominent businessman who buys Lydia in the hopes that her Yin will help his Yang reach full enlightenment. They both come to many misunderstandings because of culture clashes before they begin to realize that they truly care for each other.
I found White Tigress to be quite an entertaining story that captured my interest right from the beginning. Lydia is kind of a bone head for getting herself into the situation she is in by being impulsive and not thinking things through. Lucky for her, Ru Shan is the man who ends up taking her home at the brothel. She is lucky that a worse fate did not befall her. Ru Shan needs Lydia, for he believes that by being with her - as she is the Yin to his Yang - he will reach enlightenment. He treats her with respect and reverence. Even though she is there against her will, Lydia begins to see that Ru Shan is a good man.
Eventually, these two characters develop real feelings for one another. They have to learn to accept their different cultures. This was one of the highlights for me in the book. I enjoyed experiencing the different cultures through the character’s different view points. There are lots of misunderstandings that they have to talk about and work through before they get to their happy ever after. I liked that this book was different from most regency historical books that I have read and I found the change refreshing. Lydia's impulsiveness may be off putting to some readers but overall, I found this book to be quite enjoyable. I recommend it for those who are looking for something different from the norm.
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Author: Susan Elizabeth Phillips
Publishing Date: 2000
Book Disclosure: I listened to the audio version that I borrowed from my library.
Cornelia Case wants nothing more than to escape her life in the public eye. After her husband, the president of the United States was assassinated Cornelia longs to experience the ordinary. She manages to disguise herself and elude the secret service men tasked with her safety. On her adventure she meets up with Matt Jorvich who finds himself the guardian to two children Lucy and Button. Lucy at 14 whose Mother recently died has been raising Button by herself. Cornelia finds herself on a journey with the Jorvich to find the girls' grandmother. Along the way Cornelia finds herself part of a family.
First Lady was an enjoyable read. I thought the characters were endearing. The adventures they found themselves in were fun to listen to. First Lady isn't my favorite book by SEP. I can't really put my finger on why. I enjoyed the characters. Although I thought maybe towards the end that Cornelia and Matt were extremely stubborn in their resistance to their feelings for one another, Matt especially about having a family. If they would have just talked about things, misunderstandings could have been avoided. I know this review is short, but I just don't have much more to say about it. I enjoyed the story, but it wasn't my favorite by SEP. That about sums it up for me.
*Interesting factoid:* Lucy makes an appearance in SEP’s latest release Call Me Irresistible as Teddy Beaudine’s fiancé.
Monday, March 21, 2011
Author: Victoria Alexander
Publishing Date: 1996
Book Disclosure: I received this as a free book from a friend a year ago.
Sabrina Winfield has longed for stability for her daughter and herself since her first husband died young and virtually left her penniless. She has been an example of just what a young woman should be, not calling attention to herself and living an exemplary lifestyle. The Earl of Wyldewood's son is engaged to her daughter, yet he might just have designs on the Mother of the Bride. After all, he is in need of a wife himself and what a lovely woman she is. Sabrina has vowed never to need to depend on a man. Very uncharacteristically of her she decides to head to Egypt in search of treasure that will provide her daughter with a proper dowry.
I had a lot of problems with this book. I will say that I was quickly sucked into the story by a charismatic character in Lady Sabrina and her wild adventure after a treasure. However, Lady Sabrina after a few short chapters turned out to be a very annoying character. She was extremely hard headed with her own perception of things with not much bending room. She came across as immature and flighty, which I did not find endearing in the least. I liked Nicholas more than I did Sabrina. He seemed to have a good head on his shoulders and I was quick to take his side over things rather than Sabrina's, but in the end, I wondered what he saw in her.
There was a secondary love story between Sabrina's daughter Belinda and Nicholas's son Erick. Their relationship was just touched upon but did not really delve beneath the surface. I cringed at Sabrina's reaction to her daughter at times and vice versa. Belinda was exactly as Sabrina raised her, yet Sabrina would get annoyed with her daughter's behavior when that was how she was taught to behave. Sabrina and Nicholas’s love story was moderately believable at best. I can't really recommend this book. It was definitely not my style.
Sunday, March 20, 2011
Author: MaryJancie Davidson
Publishing Date: 2007
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Book Disclosure: I listened to an audio book that I borrowed from my library.
Undead and Uneasy is the 6th book in MaryJanice Davidson's Betsy Taylor series. Betsy Taylor is the Queen of the Vampires. She really doesn't want to be a Queen. She didn't even want to be a vampire. She woke up one morning to find that she was dead and had been turned into a vampire. In the big Book of the Dead, it prophesied that she would be queen and her consort would be the delectably sexy, Eric Sinclair. Sure enough it comes true and now Betsy is planning her wedding to Eric. Betsy is about to pull her hair out because nobody wants to help her with all the arrangements most of all, the lucky groom.
I have only listened to this series on audio and never read any of the books. I like the way that Lucy Woo narrates the stories. She does Betsy's voice really well, but I don't like the way she does Sinclair. I think it is hard for women narrators to do men's voices well. Sinclair always comes across as sounding very condescending and I don’t think that if I was reading the book myself he wouldn’t sound condescending.
Anyway, I thought this Betsy book was average. Betsy is very demanding in this book and she tended to get on my nerves. Sinclair and most of the usual cast was missing in this book most of the time, so it was mainly Betsy front and center. I thought the mystery was obvious and it takes Betsy a while to catch on. It was just an okay read. I don't know if I will continue on with the series.
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Author: Susan Elizabeth Phillips
Publication Date: 2009
Book Disclosure: I borrowed the audio version from my library.
Match Me if You Can is the sixth book in Susan Elizabeth Phillips' Chicago Stars series. Annabelle Granger is desperate to land Heath Champion as a client for her new match making company, Perfect for You. With such a prestigious client, her new company will be sure to succeed and in doing so will get her family off her back. She is basically the black sheep in the family. Heath Champion is a very well known sports agent who is as ruthless as he is handsome. He is looking for a wife and has unrealistic expectations of the type of woman he is ready to settle down with. Annabelle has her work cut out for her if she is to be successful in finding him his perfect match.
I had a lot of fun listening to Match Me if You Can. First of all the narrator Anna Fields does an excellent job of getting the humor just right. She is able to use really good inflection when delivering those zingers. There is a lot of really great dialogue between Annabelle and Heath. These two go back and forth throughout the book and readers who love a lot of banter between the hero and heroine are going to really enjoy this book.
I loved Annabelle. She is my kind of heroine. She is funny, smart and completely driven and focused. She was a little insecure but it was only a small part of her character. Heath too was an excellent match for her. He is just as driven, funny and smart. He too has his own little insecurities to get over. I thought this was a great read with many memorable scenes. The dialogue is fantastic and is chock full of rich characters. I even found the secondary love story between Portia and Bodey a treat. Two thumbs up. I highly recommend it.
Thursday, March 10, 2011
Author: Kresley Cole
Publishing Date: February 2011
Book Disclosure: I purchased a new ebook for my Nook from B & N.
Dreams of a Dark Warrior is the ninth book in Kresley Cole's Immortals After Dark series. Regin the Radiant and Aiden the Fierce have an ill-fated love. Throughout the centuries, Aiden a mortal Berserker was killed before he could earn his immortality. Since then, he keeps being reincarnated but as soon as he kisses Regin he remembers Aiden's memories. Shortly after that, he dies. Regin is taken captive by Declan Chase the Magister of the Order. Regin realizes right away that Declan is Aiden reincarnated once again. Somehow Regin has to escape without alerting Declan to his past or she knows he will be killed again yet at the same time, she must keep her own self alive too.
I didn't enjoy Dreams of a Dark Warrior as I have some of the other books in this series. Mainly it was because of Declan. I had a really hard time with his character. He was very badly damaged as a teenager and his hatred of immortals has shaped his whole life. I found his character not very appealing. I thought his behavior was hard to redeem.
Now having said how much I didn't like Declan, I did really like Regin. She had a lot of funny one liners that were quite humorous. If you have liked Cole's humor in the past you will continue to enjoy it in this book, as well. Regin and Declan have such a struggle in this book. The reader really wonders how all the problems are going to be solved between Declan and Regin. I think the author did a pretty good job of showing a change in Declan. He just wasn't a very appealing hero for me, though.
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
I was already more than a quarter of the way into the book and I thought it would best just to continue listening to it. I did end up finishing it and I enjoyed listening to it. But it just really irked me that I was missing parts of the book. Over and over, in my mind, I kept wondering which scenes I was missing and just exactly how much was I missing. This was really messing with my head.
I went online to find out if there was an unabridged version of the book. Yep, sure enough there is. You will not believe how much was cut out of the book. I was just shocked. SHOCKED, I tell you! The version I listened to was 13 cds and 15 hours long. The unabridged version is 47 cds and 56 hours long. That means that the version I listened to was less than a quarter of the whole book. That's crazy!!!
Needless to say, I feel gypped! I am going to have to go back and read the book. Lesson learned. Pay attention to abridged/unabridged books. Sheesh!
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Author: Richelle Mead
Publishing Date: 2008
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Book Disclosure: I purchased a used copy.
Storm Born is the first book in Richelle Mead's Dark Swan series. Eugenie Markham is a shaman. This means that she can walk two worlds, the natural world and the unnatural. Eugenie has been trained since she was a young girl to banish the unnatural back to their world. Recently, more and more attacks by these supernatural creatures have been aimed specifically at her. She becomes the object of much attention because of a prophecy and these creatures even know her by name. Eugenie discovers that a young girl has been kidnapped by the fey. To get the girl back Eugenie must traverse the unnatural world and face a most dangerous fey. To do that, she needs the help of Dorian, another dangerous fairy king. Along the way she also meets a sexy shapeshifter.
Why has it taken my so long to read Richelle Mead? I loved this book! It was rich with world building. I loved the strange fairy world and the beautiful picturesque descriptions. I found Eugenie to be a very straight forward and endearing character. She is a total hard ass when it comes to banishing the bad guys. She doesn't hesitate. Yet she does have a soft vulnerable side, which makes her very appealing to readers. I liked that Eugenie is a work in progress. She doesn't have all the answers. As she walks among the fairies and she learns more about them, she realizes that maybe she misjudged them.
As far as the romance goes, there is a little bit of a love triangle. I know some readers love that and some readers hate it. This has to be the one time that I really can't pick the hero the heroine is leaning towards. I have my own favorite, but I am not sure if that is who Eugenie will pick. I really enjoyed this first installment of Richelle Mead's new urban fantasy series. I can't wait to see where she takes readers next into this interesting world.
Sunday, March 6, 2011
Author: Anthology: Julia Quinn, Eloisa James and Connie Brockway
Publishing Date: 2010
Book Disclosure: I purchased a new copy.
Lady Finchley, the sister to Hugh Dunne, the Earl of Briarly, decides to throw a party at her country house inviting the most eligible young ladies. Hugh has decided that it is high time to get married after recently being close to death. He has asked Carolyn to help him find a suitable wife. Carolyn not only plans to match make for her brother but for her best friend Georgina too, who was widowed young. Not two, but three couples find love at this country party.
I don't usually read anthologies but this one caught my eye with the great list of authors participating. I really liked that all three stories were related by taking place at the country party and involved all the same characters. There are three distinct couples who find love at this party. I am not going to go into specifics because part of the fun of reading the book is discovering who ends up with who.
I felt that the stories flowed seamlessly together to where I would not have been able to identify the different authors if not for the labeling at the top of the page. I did however feel that the character Hugh's personality went from mildly appealing to greatly appealing by the end of the story. I like the direction the author's took his character and I enjoyed his romance the best. I thought all three stories were fun to read, but not overtly exceptional. This anthology is just a nice way to pass the time and I enjoyed the three sweet stories.
Thursday, March 3, 2011
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Author: Ilona Andrews
Publishing Date: 2009
Book Disclosure: I received a used copy from Paperbackswap.com
On the Edge is the first in a new series by Ilona Andrews. Rose Drayton lives in The Edge. It is a narrow strip of land that divides our world, known as The Broken and the magical world, known as The Weird. Rose can cross over to the Broken. She holds a job there to support her two young brothers. However, Rose has never entered the Weird. Even though her magic is strong in the Edge she is afraid to cross over to the Weird where it might not be strong enough.
Rose is quite a prickly heroine. She has good reason. She is living on the edge of poverty, the guardian to two rambunctious boys and has lived through attempted abductions from people wanting to use her as a brood mare. You'll have to forgive her for not extending trust to anyone who comes her way. One such traveler finds himself at the mercy of that attitude when he stumbles into her front yard.
Declan and Rose work together to fight an evil army that has been infiltrating Rose's small world and threatening her loved ones. Regardless of whether or not Rose wants Declan's help, she can't turn him away all the while fighting her attraction to him. This book is chock full of sexual tension. Declan and Rose fire up the pages. The world building is very creative and thorough. If readers can get past Rose's prickly disposition they are in for a treat. Ilona Andrews has written an intense story that fantasy fans will find hard to put down.
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
Seeing how February is a short month, I feel quite comfortable with the ten books I was able to read. And a nice variety it was too, with most of the books being an above average read. My favorite was When Beauty Tamed the Beast by Eloisa James, who just might be moving up my favorite author list. This latest release is currently in my number one slot for this year's releases. Just saying.
1. Ecstasy, Frank (Paranormal) Rating: B-
2. Raine, Amber (Historical/Erotic) Rating: C-
3. When Beauty Tamed the Beast, James (Historical) Rating: A
4. The Trouble with Paradise, Shalvis (Contemporary) Rating: B-
5. The Doctor's Wife, Brundage (Suspense) Rating: B
6. Lean Mean Thirteen, Evanovich (Mystery) Rating: B+
7. Second Chance Pass, Carr (Contemporary) Rating: C+
8. On the Edge, Andrews (Paranormal) Rating: B+
9. The Lady Most Likely, Anthology (Historical) Rating: B
10. Storm Born, Mead (Urban fantasy) Rating: B+
How did you fare this month?