Wednesday, December 30, 2009

More New Books

Books bought with gift cards:

Bone Magic by Yasmine Galenorn
Swallowing Darkness by Laurell K. Hamilton
Must Love Hellhounds (anthology)
Heart Change by Robin D. Owens
Whispered Lies by Sherrilyn Kenyon and Dianna Love
Phantom in the Night by Sherrilyn Kenyon and Dianna Love
Hunters: Heart and Soul by Shiloh Walker
Succubus On Top by Richelle Mead
Deep Kiss of Winter by Kresley Cole and Gena Showalter

Saturday, December 26, 2009

New Books

Books I received for the holidays:

Soulless by Gail Carriger (almost done, it's terrific)
Hot for the Holidays (anthology)
Blaze of Memory by Nalini Singh
An Echo in the Bone by Diana Gabaldon
Midnight Rising by Lara Adrian
The Lost Fleet: Dauntless by Jack Campbell (SF)
Bound to Shadows by Keri Arthur
Unbound (anthology)
Written on Your Skin by Meredith Duran

and the new Dan Brown, but don't tell anyone. :)

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Highland Beast (Anthology)

Highland Beast is a paranormal anthology featuring stories by Hannah Howell, Heather Grothaus and Victoria Dahl. It is similar in feel to last year's Nature of the Beast anthology which also featured a story by Hannah Howell. I reviewed that last October.

All three stories take place in Scotland in the past, all are in the 80-90 page range and all feature vampires. Given those similarities, it is surprising how different the stories felt. They all shared one important thing, though--they were all excellently written.

It's hard to pick out a favorite this time, which is rare in anthologies where the quality usually varies, but if I had to it would be the first one in the book. In "The Beast Within" by Howell, my one quibble is with the hero's name Gybbon. All I can think of is the ape, not really what I want to picture when I am thinking of a romantic hero. Other than that minor issue, the story is wonderful. Gybbon is searching for the Lost Ones who share his MacNachton bloodline when he comes across Alice Boyd who has been running from hunters for years. Both Gybbon and Alice are very strong characters and there was a lot of action and suspense. I'm rating this 8.5 out of 10.

The second story is "The Vampire Hunter" by Heather Grothaus. Beatrix Levenach is a witch who lives in the Scottish highlands where she runs an inn and protects the village from vampies. The villagers come to suspect her of the deaths the vampires are causing and Alder the White comes to her rescue. He's a vampire who can only regain his humanity if he kills Beatrix. This is a very exciting tale, full of non-stop action and a variety of paranormal activity. I'll rate this 8.0 out of 10.

The last story in the collection is "Laird of Midnight" by Dahl which is set in Scotland in 1595. Finlay Maclain is a vampire who has been hunting those vampires who killed his family and he only has one more to take care of. He finds the widow Kenna Graham working at a tavern and she is threatened by his nemesis, Jean. The sexual tension is delicious and the pace never lets up. I enjoyed watching their relationship develop and watching both of them change. I'll rate this one 8.0 out of 10.

Seducing an Angel by Mary Balogh

I've been having computer problems and have a backlog of books to review, so will try to keep these short and to the point.

Seducing an Angel is part of Balogh's Huxtable Family series and tells the story of the youngest Huxtable, Stephen, the Earl of Merton. It is a Regency that takes place in London. The heroine is Cassandra Belmont, an impoverished widow who decides to take a lover to survive and take care of those she loves.

I've read other books by Mary Balogh and thought this one wasn't up to her usual standard. I did enjoy parts of it, such as the brave heroine and the secondary love stories. The other characters such as Cassandra's maid and former governess were all interesting. Even the dog didn't annoy me like so many animals in romances do. I appreciated that the author took on the serious subjects of alcoholism and domestic abuse.

The weakness of the book for me was the hero. There was nothing offensive about Stephen, he was just boring. He seemed to be the perfect man and perfection is just not fascinating to read about. There was no sexual tension, not much action and little suspense. I think with a different hero it might have been a much better book. Seducing an Angel lacked the emotional punch that many of Balogh's books have.

I'll rate this book 6.0 out of 10.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Books Bought

Books bought:

Tempted By His Kiss--Tracy Anne Warren
Seduced By Your Spell--Lois Greiman
Windfall--Rachel Caine
Thirteen Chances--Cindy Miles
Immortal Sins--Amanda Ashley
Seduce Me in Shadow--Shayla Black
What a Dragon Should Know--G.A. Aiken
Unraveled--C.J. Barry
Lucan--Susan Kearney
Ashes of Midnight--Lara Adrian
My Wicked Vampire--Nina Bangs
Unleashed--C.J. Barry
Bewitched--Sandra Schwab
Never Marry a Stranger--Gayle Callen
How To Tame a Lady--Kasey Michaels

Ordered from

The Angel--Carla Neggers
A Wicked Liaison-Christine Merrill
Awakening the Beast (anthology)--Linda O. Johnston & more
Lord of Sin--Susan Krinard
Immortal Wolf--Bonnie Vanak
Moon Kissed--Michele Hauf
More Blazing Bedtime Stories--Leslie Kelly & Julie Leto
Staying Dead--Laura Anne Gilman

Books from library:

Highland Beast (anthology)--Hannah Howell, Heather Grothaus, Victoria Dahl
Seducing An Angel--Mary Balogh
The Memoirs of Mary, Queen of Scots--Carolly Erickson

I have five books I've finished and need to review, which I'll do as soon as I can. Happy Reading!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Duke of Her Own by Eloisa James

A Duke of Her Own is a gem. It's set in 1784 and closely follows This Duchess of Mine (which I reviewed in August.) Although I think you'd still enjoy the book without reading This Duchess of Mine first, I think it added a lot to my understanding of the hero, the Duke of Villiers. He's an important secondary character in Duchess and the book shows the beginning of his search for his illegitimate children.

Leopold, the Duke of Villiers, has decided he needs to find a mother for the children he is gathering, and he wastes no time in searching for an acceptable wife. Lady Eleanor has been nursing a broken heart for years because her beloved married someone else and she has declared she will only marry a Duke to keep other men from bothering her. Eleanor was wonderfully direct and honest, and quite a contrast with Lisette, the other candidate to be Villiers' new Duchess. I loved how James gave Lisette some of the stereotypical traits of a romance heroine, but with a twist.

This book wasn't quite as emotionally intense as This Duchess of Mine, but it's hard to compete with a dying hero. I did think that James handled the serious topics of mental illness and orphans amazingly well. I loved all the characters and found them refreshingly original. I even liked the dog and Villiers' son Tobias and I often find dogs and children poorly done in romances. The ending is a bit unusual but perfect for the characters.

I'll rate it 8.5 out of 10 and highly recommend it for anyone who likes British historicals.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Kiss of Midnight by Lara Adrian

Kiss of Midnight is the first in Adrian's Midnight Breeds series. I've had the first three books in the series sitting in my TBR pile for ages and now I'm kicking myself for not getting to them earlier.

At first Kiss of Midnight reminded me of Christine Feehan's Dark series but by the end it reminded me much more of J.R. Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood series. This is another band of immortal warriors premise, with the Breeds as the good vampires who fight the bad vampires known as Rogues. It takes place in present day Boston and the paranormal world is kept secret from the humans.

Gabrielle Maxwell is a photographer with an unhappy childhood who first encounters the hero when she witnesses a Rogue vampire attack that no one else seems to see. Lucan Thorne is the powerful vampire who finds out she is a Breedmate, one of the rare humans who can mate with vampires and who have unique abilities. Although the focus is very much on Gabrielle and Lucan's romance, there is an exciting plot line featuring the fight between the Breeds and Rogues. I enjoyed finding out about the other warriors, who will no doubt have books about them in the future.

One of my favorite things about the book was all the action. It's very fast paced and full of tension, but I wasn't quite as emotionally affected as I was by the first few J.R. Ward books. It was a very satisfying read, though, and I have already started reading the second in the series, Kiss of Crimson.

I'll rate it 8.5 out of 10.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Highwayman by Michele Hauf

The Highwayman is in the Silhouette Nocturne line and is the first in the Wicked Games series. The Wicked Games series takes place in the same paranormal world as Hauf's Bewitching the Dark series. I haven't read any of those but have one in my TBR pile and look forward to reading them all.

Max Fitzroy is a French highwayman who is possessed by a demon (actually part of a demon) in 1758. After that he can no longer eat, sleep or have an orgasm. On the other hand, he is immortal and has superhuman strength. He is driven by revenge and goes around the world killing demons and familiars. Familiars are cat shape-shifters who bring demons into this world during a magic sex ritual. Aby is a Familar who has a werewolf protector. Max tracks her down planning to use her to call up the demon whose shadow lives inside him and then kill her.

What I loved about this book was the originality. The Highwayman and his super cool whip are unique and a welcome change from vamps and weres. Although Aby is a shifter, the Familiars are also new and fascinating. I was not too happy with Max having killed so many of them, though. It's a fast paced book with lots of fun action and surprises. Aby was an enchanting heroine, so innocent in many ways in spite of being so sexually experienced. I especially liked the part of the book that took place in Paris. The only complaint I have is that the ending seemed rushed and I would have liked to find out a little more about what happened to them.

I'll rate it 8.0 out of 10 and will look for the next in the series, Moon Kissed, which is the story of Severo, Aby's werewolf friend.

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Darkest Whisper by Gena Showalter

The Darkest Whisper is the fourth in Showalter's Lords of the Underworld series. I reviewed the first three in August 2008 and explained the premise of the series.

I had eagerly awaited the next installment and The Darkest Whisper did not disappoint. Sabin is the keeper of the demon Doubt and he rescues the beautiful Gwen from the Hunters. The Hunters are out to destroy the Lords of the Underworld, thinking them responsible for all the evil in the world, and they are breeding themselves a paranormal army. The Hunters are led by Galen, keeper of the demon Hope, and traitor to the rest of the Lords.

Gwen was a marvelous heroine. It was fun to learn about a new creature (the Harpy) and to watch her grow during the book. She was easy to sympathize with in spite of her powers and when we found out who her father was--wow! What a shock. I really enjoyed her sisters, too, who provided some humor (and muscle.)

Sabin is my least favorite hero so far, which isn't really his fault. He was wonderfully powerful and sexy, but his demon was just not that interesting. I was really touched by the scene where he tells Gwen his weaknesses to gain her trust. We learn a bit more about the other Lords as well, and I can't wait to hear their stories, especially those of Paris (Promiscuity) and Torin (Disease.)

I'll rate it 8.0 out of 10 and look forward to the next book in the series, which I think is Aeron's (Wrath.)

Sunday, October 18, 2009

A Highlander for Christmas by Sandy Blair

A Highlander for Christmas is an excellent time travel romance by Sandy Blair, author of the Kilt series of historical romances.

Claire MacGregor is a Boston antiques dealer who is bequeathed a chest that holds a puzzle box. When she opens it, Cameron MacLeod appears. The last thing he remembers is getting ready to fight the English in 1745. I generally like the time travels best when the hero or heroine travels back in time, but this book shows just how good it can be when one of them comes to the present day.

Claire is a wonderful and realistic heroine who is easy to sympathize with. The sexual tension between her and Cameron was sizzling and one of my favorite parts of the book. I really enjoyed seeing Cameron react to the modern world as well and some of his misconceptions were hilarious. The reindeer scene was very funny, even if a little over-the-top.

The book had some serious and emotional points, too, and brought me to tears when Cam found out what happened to his family in the past. The secondary characters were all well written and I loved the setting since Boston is one of my favorite places. The fast pace and many surprises kept me glued to the book until the satisfying end.

I'll rate this book 8.5 out of 10 and hope Sandy Blair will write other time travels because she clearly has a knack for them.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Twin Peril by Susannah Carleton

Twin Peril is a Signet Regency Romance and is only 217 pages long. I haven't read many of these types of books so don't have much to compare it with.

I have to admit I zoomed right through this book and it kept my interest the whole time in spite of some problems I had with it. I think some of the faults I perceived are because of the short length. There just isn't time in 200 pages to develop secondary characters or plot lines.

The basic premise of the book is that the Duke of Fairfax needs to find a wife and decides on Lady Deborah Woodhurst, one of the famous Woodhurst twins. Diana, Deborah's twin, decides she wants to marry the Duke instead and does what she can to achieve her goal.

The romance between Michael and Deborah was very sweet and ran surprisingly smoothly. Both are quite likeable characters, but they could have been more interesting. The only really lively character was the evil Diana, who would have been more believeable if she had been more complex and not just a stereotypical spoiled brat.

I'll rate Twin Peril 6.0 out of 10.

The Scandals of an Innocent by Nicola Cornick

The Scandals of an Innocent is the second in Cornick's The Brides of Fortune series, following The Confessions of a Duchess. I didn't read the first book and didn't feel like I was missing anything.

The book takes place in the village of Fortune's Folly in Yorkshire in the year 1810. The book gets off to a strong start when the heroine, Alice Lister, is caught by the hero, Lord Miles Vickery, in an act of theft (it's not as bad as it sounds.) Miles is in a terrible financial bind and tries to blackmail Alice into marrying him so he can have her money.

Alice is a very interesting and unusual heroine because she was a former maid who inherited a fortune from her former employer. I liked how the author explained how she had to go through a great deal (dance lessons, speech lessons, etc.) and only achieved limited acceptance in society, which made her position seem more realistic. I liked Alice's personality very much, she would be the perfect friend. Miles, on the other hand, was a total and complete cad for much of the book. You gradually learn why he acts how he does and he does change thanks to Alice's influence and his love for her. It was frustrating that he took so long to see the light, but maybe that long wait made the ending all the sweeter.

I'll rate Scandals 7.0 out of 10 and will look for the next in the series.

Confessions of a Little Black Gown by Elizabeth Boyle

Confessions of a Little Black Gown is part of Boyle's Bachelor Chronicles series. It closely follows Love Letters From a Duke which tells the story of Felicity Langley. Little Black Gown features Felicity's sister Thalia Langley. I felt that having read Love Letters From a Duke did add to my enjoyment of Little Black Gown, but it isn't strictly necessary.

The book takes place in England in 1814. The hero, Lord Larken, is masquerading as a bumbling vicar in order to find and kill the notorious escaped pirate Dashwell. Larken attends a house party hosted by Felicity where he meets Thalia (Tally.) She knows from the first that Larken is more than he appears.

The most enjoyable feature of the book for me was the interplay between the two scheming main characters. They were both intelligent, witty and a bit unusual. There were a couple of secondary plots, one dealing with the relationship between the pirate Dash and Pippin, Tally's cousin. The other concerned a member of a French secret society who was also searching for Dash, but it was somewhat over-the-top. Everything was tied up neatly at the end, except for Pippin and Dash's future, which is taken up in the next book in the series, Memoirs of a Scandalous Red Dress.

I'll rate it 7.5 out of 10 and look forward to reading more of Boyle's romances.

I'm Back

I'm back after my science fiction binge and after a week of illness when all I wanted to read was historical romance. I guess that is my comfort genre. I have four books here ready to review and two more that I'm nearly done with.

I also got a new bookshelf and organized my TBR books. I have them on three tall bookshelves now, all crammed full but organized by genre. Should make it a little easier to find whether I already have a book.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Books Bought

I've been reading a lot of science fiction lately, including an alternate history series by Eric Flint. I have seven books in the series so far and they're all at least 600 pages. So I haven't had much time for romances, but I do have one historical I've finished and will review shortly.

I did get to the book store on Saturday and picked up a few more books for the pile.

What Happens in London by Julia Quinn
Secret Desires of a Gentleman by Laura Lee Guhrke
Moonlight Warrior by Janet Chapman
Then Comes Seduction by Mary Balogh
Lady Pirate by Lynsay Sands (I won this, have started reading it and it's very funny so far)
Goddess of the Hunt by Tessa Dare (I was lucky enough to win this book, too)
The Darkest Whisper by Gena Showalter (can't wait to read this one, it is Sabin's story)
Monstrous Regiment by Terry Pratchett (I love Pratchett, missed this one somehow)
Angelica by Sharon Shinn (bought on a whim, I know nothing about it but I think it's SF)

Monday, August 24, 2009

Bad Moon Rising by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Bad Moon Rising is the 17th book in Kenyon's Dark-Hunter series. This book is more of a stand-alone than some because it does explain a good bit of backstory. I think you could enjoy the love story if you haven't read the previous novels even if you were confused about who all the characters are.

I have some mixed feelings about Bad Moon Rising. I have been looking forward to Fang and Aimee's story for a long time. I enjoyed following their perilous path to happiness very much and their relationship is one of my favorites from the past few books. Fang, a wolf shifter, is my favorite kind of hero--tortured beyond belief, honorable, strong. Aimee was also strong, not surprising since she is a bear shifter. It's great to have a heroine who is a good fighter and I also liked her interaction with her large family.

I did have a problem with the timeline of the book. It takes place before or at the same time as recent books and repeats some of the events we already know about (but from a different viewpoint.) There are also the issues that come along with having such a long running series. The cast of characters is huge and hard to keep straight. It is also hard to remember which groups hate each other, which demons are evil and which good, who has what powers, etc.

Kenyon is a master at writing emotional love stories and I have to admit that I cried during a scene near the end. It takes quite a bit of skill to get actual tears from me. I was willing to forgive any faults in the novel since I got such a beautiful ending. Although I enjoyed the usual fast paced action and suspenseful situations in the book, the top reason to read it is the touching relationship between Fang and Aimee.

I'm looking forward to reading Nick's story but the next one to be published features Dev, the brother of Aimee. I am wondering if Savitar will ever get a book of his own because he's really fascinating. I'd also like to learn more about Thorn, who was introduced in this book.

I'll rate this book 8.0 out of 10.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Deadly Desire by Keri Arthur

Deadly Desire is the 7th in Arthur's Riley Jensen series. You really need to read them in order to fully understand some things, like Riley's relationships, her job and her developing powers. Arthur is one of my favorite authors and I have enjoyed all of the books in the series very much.

In Deadly Desire, Riley is facing someone or something who is killing vampires and raising zombies. Someone is also killing young human females. To complicate matters, Kye Murphy, the werewolf bounty hunter who Riley hates, is back and interfering in her investigation.

The book moves at breathtaking speed, with one action scene after another and a lot of suspense. We do find out who is the villain sooner than I expected, but we don't find out all the details until the end. The sexual tension between Kye and Riley is very strong, which she resists with all her power because of her love of Quinn.

Arthur's worldbuilding is excellent, and her paranormal aspects fascinating (hellhounds, anyone?) Her characters are all original and even the minor characters are extremely well done. This is the kind of book that it's hard to put down and I can't wait for the next in the series, Bound to Shadows, which will be out in October.

I'll rate this book 8.5 out of 10. I highly recommend the Riley Jensen series to anyone who likes paranormals or urban fantasy.

Hunter's Salvation by Shiloh Walker

This is the 10th in Walker's Hunters series and follows Hunting the Hunter, which I reviewed in December. As I said in that review, you don't have to read them in order to figure out what's going on.

Vax is a powerful witch who has retired from being a Hunter. Jess is a psychic who is trying to find her sister's killer. I liked Vax in Hunting the Hunter where he was a minor character, so was glad to read his story. Jess was interesting because of her psychic ability as well as her minor telekinetic skill, and I had to admire her determination and bravery, but otherwise she wasn't my favorite heroine.

The book moves very quickly and has quite a bit of sexual tension. The bad guys are appropriately chilling, and we get some of their viewpoints, so it makes the ending even more powerful. The last fifty pages were the best part of the book--very exciting, satisfying and emotional. There's a twist at the end that I didn't see coming at all.

I liked Hunting the Hunter a little bit more than Hunter's Salvation, probably because I liked the hero and heroine better, and I'll rate Hunter's Salvation 7.0 out of 10. I look forward to reading more books in the series.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

More Books Bought

A Duke of Her Own by Eloisa James
Faefever by Karen Marie Moning
Bound By Your Touch by Meredith Duran
Vicious Circle by Linda Robertson

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Demon Mistress by Yasmine Galenorn

Demon Mistress is the sixth book in the Otherworld series and continues the story from Menolly's perspective. I've previously reviewed Dragon Wytch (Aug. 2008) and Night Huntress (March 2009) so I won't go into the premise of the series again. You need to read the books in order to fully understand everything that is going on.

Although these books are marketed as paranormal romance, I think they fit better in the fantasy genre. There was not much romance in this book, although I was happy to see Menolly did find a couple of partners to help fight her loneliness. She can be a difficult character to like, because what she has been through and what she has become makes her stand apart from the others.

Besides the ongoing Otherworld politics and the search for the spirit seals, the sisters face two potential disasters. One is a monster unlike one they've ever seen before that seems to suck the souls of Fae and it gets its hooks into Delilah. The other is a secret society that has been raising ghouls, among other things that could cause a great deal of trouble. The book is full of action and interesting paranormal elements but I think the strongest element in the book is the relationship between the three sisters.

I look forward to reading the next book in the series, Bone Magic, which will be out in January. I'll rate this book 8.0 out of 10.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Lover Avenged by J.R. Ward

J.R. Ward became one of my favorite authors after I read the first couple books in her Black Dagger Brotherhood series. The book featuring Zsadist, Lover Awakened, is one of my favorite romances. But I had been disappointed in her last two books and I had low expectations for Lover Avenged, especially because I had not been particularly interested in the character of Rehvenge in the previous books.

I'm glad to say this book was much better than the last two, though it is not as good as the first three. The book follows several story lines. One of them is the love story between Rehvenge and Ehlena, a vampire nurse. There is the story of what is going on with Wrath, the King, and to a lesser extent Tohr, as well. We also follow John Matthew, an ongoing line throughout the series, and we find out what Lash, the main bad guy in this book, is up to. I enjoyed all of them except Lash's story. I don't know why because it seems like he'd be an intriguing villain, but I found his parts of the book boring. You definitely need to read the previous books in the series first to fully understand what is going on in this one.

I thought Ehlena was one of Ward's better heroines, and loved watching her grow and find her strength. The love scenes between her and Rehvenge were very moving. Rehvenge turned out to be a fascinating hero, with the tortured past you'd expect and the complications of his symphath nature. Ward actually makes a drug dealer sympathetic (no pun intended) and I had tears in my eyes a couple times near the end of the book.

Although the author excells at creating an interesting world and she has some of the best heroes around, the books are not without fault. They are not like typical romances which annoys some people who want stories with a major focus on the hero and heroine. That doesn't bother me, but I do think the book was a bit long and could have benefitted from some careful editing. I also agree with some of the criticism about the dialogue. It does sound out of date and almost silly at times, for instance when this huge warrior vampire says he's going "outtie."

In spite of minor faults, it's still a wonderful read that stirred my emotions and I am looking forward to reading the next in the series, which I believe will be John Matthew's story. I'll rate this book 8.0 out of 10.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

This Duchess of Mine by Eloisa James

This Duchess of Mine takes place in London in 1784. It is part of the Desperate Duchesses series. It's one of the best historicals I've read this year and could be used as a textbook on what a historical can be.

Jemma, the Duchess of Beaumont, fled to Paris nine years ago after she found her new husband having sex with his mistress. She is now back home to do her duty and produce a heir. Jemma sets out to seduce Elijah and make him fall in love with her. That's just one aspect of the book, though, there is much more.

In addition to the beautiful love story, there are some fascinating historical elements that are essential to the plot and are not what you'd expect. I don't want to give too much away, but the treatment of prisoners was appalling and the treatment of the illegitimate offspring of the nobility was not much better. I also really enjoyed learning a bit about medical research of the period.

The character of the Duke of Villiers provided some welcome lighter moments amid some serious subjects. I was glad to find that his story is told in A Duke of Her Own, which has just been published.

The novel has a lot of suspense because it turns out that Elijah is not well. This adds intensity to the romance, because Jemma and Elijah never know which day will be their last together. The love scenes were well done and unusual, one taking place during a chess game.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes English historicals and I'll rate it 9.0 out of 10.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Books Bought

Broken by Kelley Armstrong
Bengal's Heart by Lora Leigh
Irreversible by Liz Maverick
1632 by Eric Flint (SF)
Shadows Return by Lynn Flewelling (Fantasy)
Red Kiss by Deidre Knight
Catspell by Colleen Shannon
Like No Other Lover by Julie Anne Long
Confessions of a Little Black Dress by Elizabeth Boyle
The Mad, Bad Duke by Jennifer Ashley

Make Me Yours by Betina Krahn

Make Me Yours is a Harlequin Blaze Historical and only 209 pages. It feels more like a novella than a novel, but it is a fun, fast read.

It takes place in England in 1887. Mariah Eller is a widow who runs an inn in the Lake Country. One night she attracts the attention of Bertie, the Prince of Wales, a womanizer who has a rule about only having affairs with married women. The Prince sends his trusted friend, Jack St. Lawrence, to find Mrs. Eller a husband and arrange the details of their liason.

Mariah feels like she has no choice because another friend of Bertie's threatens to call her debts due if she doesn't cooperate. Jack is given a list of men who would make eligible husbands and Mariah insists on meeting them before she decides on a spouse. They are a uniformly awful lot (well, except for the one that is already engaged) and the author had me laughing at some of their antics.

Besides the humor, the book also has some wonderful sexual tension. Mariah really likes Jack and thinks he would make a good husband, but she has to convince him of that which she does by driving him mad with frustration. Mariah is a delightful character and you could certainly see why Jack would be attracted to her. She was not only funny, seductive and smart (and more than a little bit manipulative), she is also caring and compassionate.

Despite the short length, Make Me Yours is an enjoyable read with an excellent heroine. I'll rate it 8.0 out of 10 and would like to read more by Betina Krahn.

Ravenous by Sharon Ashwood

Ravenous is the first Sharon Ashwood book I've read. It's the first volume in the Dark Forgotten series. I was happy to discover a new author who writes great urban fantasy in the same style as Keri Arthur and Kelley Armstrong.

The heroine is Holly Carver, a witch who specializes in the removal of ghosts, poltergeists and imps to raise tuition money. The book opens with Holly being hired to "de-spook" a house, a job that turns out to be much more complicated than it appears at first. She is helped by Alessandro Caravelli, a sexy vampire, and later gets assistance from a werewolf named Perry Baker.

One thing I liked about the book was that it was not immediately clear who the hero was. The characters were mostly complex, not stereotypical at all and I enjoyed them, especially Omara, the vampire queen, and Holly's grandmother. There is a lot of action, including a big battle scene at the end of the book, and a fast pace. The romance takes a back seat to the fight against evil, but it's very intense and ultimately very satisfying.

I'll rate it 8.5 out of 10 and look forward to reading the next book in the series, Scorched, which will be out in December.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

My Lord Pirate by Laura Renken

My Lord Pirate is the best pirate romance I've ever read. Granted, I've probably read fewer than a dozen, but it's still very good. It manages to make a very unrealistic premise (the honorable, romantic pirate) seem completely believeable. It does not gloss over the harsh realities of the time, either.

Talon Drake, the pirate, kidnaps Regan Welles by accident, thinking she is the betrothed of his nemesis, Harrison Kendrick. Regan pretends to be Arabella to save her cousin and is forced into a marriage with Talon. Regan thinks Harrison, her half-brother, is a saint, but she is sadly mistaken. She also thinks that Talon was responsible for her parents' deaths, which certainly is an impediment to a happily ever after.

Talon is a fascinating character, driven by revenge for the horrible things done to his family and himself, but deeply honorable. Regan is complex. At times she seemed annoying but it was realistic that she would act the way she did considering her misinformation. Her strength really came out as the book progressed and she grew more confident.

There was almost constant action and suspense, with some very harrowing escapes from disasters such as hangings and storms at sea. The sexual tension was scorching, and the book packs quite an emotional wallop.

I'll rate My Lord Pirate 8.5 out of 10 and I've already started reading the next in the series, which features Talon's brother.

Stolen by Kelley Armstrong

Stolen is the second in Armstrong's Women of the Otherworld series. Bitten was the first, and it introduced us to Elena Michaels, the only female werewolf. Bitten was about Elena's adjustment (and resentment) after she is bitten by her lover and was full of angst. Happily, by the time Stolen takes place she is comfortable in her skin(s.)

Elena comes into her own in this book and is a strong kick-ass heroine up there with the best of them. She reminds me a bit of Riley Jenson from Keri Arthur's series. Both series are written in first person and both have strong women with an attitude. But Riley works for law enforcement, while Elena answers only to her pack leader. Also, Arthur's series takes place in Australia and Armstrong's is set in North America.

In Stolen, we meet some other members of the supernatural, such as witches, demons and sorcerers. Someone has been kidnapping these paranormals, but before the Pack and their allies can do much investigating, Elena is taken. She is imprisioned and treated as a lab animal for much of this book. It was very suspenseful and full of action, with twists I never saw coming. It was intense and even scary in parts. By the end you are not sorry at all about what happens to the people who captured her.

I did miss seeing more of Jeremy and Clay, her pack leader and her lover, since they are two great characters. I enjoyed meeting the fire demon Adam and Xavier, a demon who can transport, which is a very handy skill. I'm hoping we'll see more of them in the future.

I'd rate this 8.5 out of 10 and look forward to reading the next in the series.

The Outrageous Lady Felsham by Louise Allen

The Outrageous Lady Felsham is a Harlequin Historical. It takes place in England in 1815 shortly after the battle at Waterloo (a popular time for historicals.) It is part of a loosely connected series called Those Scandalous Ravenhursts but I don't feel I missed anything by not reading the first in the series, The Dangerous Mr. Ryder.

Belinda, Lady Felsham, is a widow recently out of mourning who decides to do something totally out of character and asks the dashing Lord Dereham (who was an officer in the war) to have an affair with her. The author made Belinda's actions believeable and I liked her even when she was being too proud. I also liked the hero, though he seemed rather generic.

I enjoyed the book, but it was not much above average. It could have used some more conflict or suspense. It was pleasant but I never felt deeply moved. The best part of the book for me was when Belinda decides to help wounded veterans and starts a charity. The historical elements were nicely done and I especially liked the scene when Belinda went bathing in the ocean.

One more note, which has nothing to do with the author--this book needs a better cover. Harlequin should look at covers for authors like Eloisa James and Elizabeth Hoyt and take notes.

I'll rate this 6.5 out of 10 and would read other books in this series.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

What Would Jane Austen Do? by Laurie Brown

What Would Jane Austen Do? first caught my attention because I'm a Jane Austen fan. The cover with the abs of steel and the stately British home didn't hurt, either. Then I saw it was a time-travel--I was in heaven!

Eleanor Pottinger attends a Jane Austen Society conference and encounters two ghosts who need her to go back in time and save their brother's life. Enticed by the chance to meet Jane Austen herself, she agrees. She promptly falls for the dashing Lord Shermont.

I thought this was an excellent time travel. It was more believeable than many of them, and the historical details seemed spot on. I was a little disappointed that Jane Austen hardly appears in the book, but she is still a part of it because Eleanor uses Austen's books to help her figure out what to do in sticky situations. I liked Eleanor very much and Shermont was a fine hero, although he didn't really come into his own until the last part of the book.

The book was original, the time travel elements were handled with great skill and the heroine was a real gem. The book had some humor, some suspense, some delicious sexual tension and a couple of huge surprises. I would recommend this to anyone who likes time travels or English historicals.

I'll rate this book 8.5 out of 10 and look forward to the next book by Laurie Brown.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Blood Noir by Laurell K. Hamilton

Blood Noir is the umpteenth (okay, actually I think it's the 16th) book in the Anita Blake series. I've read and enjoyed every one, some more than others of course. I'd advise reading them in order so you can understand all the relationships.

I have seen a lot of criticism of the author, primarily because of her sex scenes. I happen to enjoy sex scenes as long as they are well written and I think Hamilton's usually are. I think most of the time she uses them to advance the plot and they can be quite creative. My criticism is not about the lovemaking, but more about the angst. Anita Blake can be whiny and annoying at times, but she did seem to be more accepting of herself in this book.

One of Hamilton's strengths, besides her fascinating characters, is the way she builds suspense and creates fascinating mysteries. In Blood Noir, the ongoing story lines about the powerful vampire Marmee Noir and Anita's developing powers continue, but the main story is about Anita and Jason going to North Carolina to see Jason's dying father. Boy, does Jason have one dysfunctional family. He is mistaken for his look-alike cousin which causes all sorts of complications. I enjoyed getting to know Jason more, but I did miss my favorite, Jean-Claude, who was in the book very little.

I'll rate this book 8.0 out of 10 and look forward to the next in the series, Skin Trade, which is out now in hardcover.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Passion Unleashed by Larissa Ione

Passion Unleashed is the third book in the Demonica series. I've reviewed the first two books, Pleasure Unbound and Desire Unchained. Although I enjoyed both very much, I was especially looking forward to this one because it features Wraith, my favorite of the Seminus Demon brothers. You could read the books in any order, but the first book does give a lot of info about the demon world that helps in understanding the setting.

Wraith is half vampire, and was terribly abused by his mother and other vampires which has given him an understandable vendetta against the race. He's just been poisoned and of course there is no antidote (that would be too easy.) The only way to save his life is for him to get a charm from Serena Kelley. The charm gives her protection and immortality (saving her from the fatal disease she has) as long as she remains a virgin.

I just adored Wraith--not only is he a sexy tortured hero, but he's half vampire and a demon to boot. I wanted so much to see him find happiness and peace at last after the horrors he'd been through. I liked Serena, too, and thought she was a fitting mate for Wraith. We get to see more of Gem and Kynan, also, which is a plus.

Much of the book is set in Egypt and on a train, which keeps the book original and quite different than the first two. There's a lot of action and a fast pace, climaxing in a big battle and very satisfying ending. The emphasis is definitely on Wraith and Serena, though, and their seemingly doomed relationship.

I loved this book, but if I had to pick my favorite of the three, I don't think I could. They are all excellent and all different. I can't wait to read the next in the series, which will be story of newly found brother Lore. I'll rate Passion Unleashed 9.0 out of 10.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Secret Life of a Vampire by Kerrelyn Sparks

Secret Life of a Vampire is the 6th in Sparks' Love at Stake vampire series. They are in the "Vampire Lite" category and the funny vampire bachelor party scene that starts the book is a perfect example of why I enjoy these stories.

It's not all fun and games and fooling the humans, though. There's an interesting story line involving disappearing young college women that has some surprises. The heroine, Lara Boucher, is a police officer and she gets to show what she can do. She really shines in the last part of the book when she's sent undercover to solve the mystery. She's brave, smart and someone who would make a great friend.

The hero, Jack, is the son of Casanova (yes, THE Casanova), so you can imagine the problems that causes. He's your typical strong, protective vampire whose best quality is his devotion to Lara. Although I liked him a lot, I felt he didn't have as much personality as Lara.

This is not my favorite in the series, but it is a fun, fast read and I look forward to the next in the series. I'll rate it 7.5 out of 10.

Burning Wild by Christine Feehan

This is Christine Feehan at her best. There is an uber-alpha male with paranormal abilities (he's a leopard shape-shifter) and a fast-paced suspenseful plot. Burning Wild is a follow-up to Wild Rain, but they are only loosely connected and you don't need to read Wild Rain first to enjoy this book.

I enjoyed the hero, Jake Bannaconni, very much. He was such an alpha that he's the kind of guy you'd run from in real life, but his personality fit perfectly considering he is a leopard. Everything he did made sense in that context. I liked the heroine, Emma Reynolds, a lot, too. She is stronger than some of Feehan's female characters, and no pushover. My only complaint (and it's slight) is that she seemed a little too good to be true.

This is also a complaint I had about the villains of the story, in reverse. Instead of being too good to be true, they were too bad to be true. But I have to admit I thought they were deliciously evil and didn't have a problem with it while I was reading the book.

This is a long book at 443 pages and it gives Feehan plenty of time to gradually build the relationship between Jake and Emma. It also builds the sexual tension to amazing levels. They don't have sex until halfway through the book, which means we really know and care about them by then. The love scenes are intense and fit the nature of the characters.

I'll rate this book 8.5 out of 10 and I look forward to the next in the series.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Blood Ties Book One: The Turning by Jennifer Armintrout

This is perhaps the most "vampirey" of all the vampire books I've read. In many of them, the fact that one or more of the characters is a vampire is not absolutely essential to the story. In The Turning, the fact that the main characters are vampires IS the story.

This book follows Dr. Carrie Ames as she becomes a vampire after she's attacked in the morgue and learns what that means. It is NOT a romance, so don't expect a HEA ending. Do expect a lot of interesting and thought-provoking details about vampire life. These vampires are most definitely not "vampire lite."

The relationship between Carrie and Nathan, who serves as Carrie's reluctant teacher, and between Carrie and her sire, the evil vampire Cyrus, is the most fascinating part of the book. The author does a good job of getting us into the heads of the two men. We come to understand them both and the villain Cyrus turns out to be far from a stereotype.

I have one major problem with the book. One of my favorite characters is killed. I know, sometimes characters have to die, but I didn't see the reason for this death. Because of this, I'm giving the book a slightly lower rating than I would have otherwise.

I'll rate this book 7.0 out of 10 and I already have the second book in the series, Possession.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie by Jennifer Ashley

I had read some stellar reviews of this book which is why I picked it up but I was skeptical that it would be that good. I've read a few books by Jennifer Ashley and while I enjoyed them I was not blown away. Well, I WAS blown away by The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie. It's one of the three best historicals I've read so far this year.

There's so much to love about this novel, but for me the character of Ian Mackenzie was the highlight. How often do you see a hero who is actually mentally ill? Ian has Asperger's Syndrome, (which I didn't know until I read the reviews,) which causes him to be unable to meet people's eyes, have a photographic memory, be unable to lie, to take things literally, to be mesmerized by patterns, etc. Ian has spent time in an asylum where he was subjected to what we would consider torture but was considered treatment for his madness in the 19th century. The author does a marvelous job of taking us into Ian's world and showing us why he is a brave and worthy hero. I was so glad that there was no miraculous cure at the end of the book (a device that has ruined books for me before.)

The heroine is also wonderful and unusual, though not so unusual as Ian. Beth Ackerly is the daughter of a French con-man and spent time in a poorhouse as a child. She is also the widow of an impoverished vicar and it was refreshing to find that she actually had a very happy, if brief, marriage. First marriages in romances are so seldom happy, and an astonishing amount of the time they aren't even consummated. After she was widowed, she spent time as a companion to an elderly woman who left Beth her fortune. Beth is far from naive but her past has not hardened her and she shows an amazing amount of patience and understanding with Ian and his brothers (who all have their own problems.)

I haven't even mentioned the fascinating mystery of the book, the marvelous secondary characters (what a surprise Inspector Fellows turned out to be!) and the way Ashley brings the settings of London, Paris and Scotland to life. There is much to praise in the book and nothing I can think of to criticize. If you like historicals, you'll love this original and highly satifying novel.

Fortunately it is the first in a series of four books about the Mackenzie brothers. The next is Lady Isabella's Scandalous Marriage, which will be released next year.

I'll rate The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie 9.0 out of 10.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Books Bought

Books I received/bought for my birthday:

Demon Mistress by Yasmine Galenorn
Faeries Gone Wild (anthology)
Blood Noir by Laurell K. Hamilton
This Duchess of Mine by Eloisa James
Red-Headed Stepchild by Jaye Wells
Blue Diablo by Ann Aguirre
Ravenous by Sharon Ashwood
What Would Jane Austen Do? by Laurie Brown
Burning Alive by Shannon K. Butcher
Guardian by Angela Knight
Forbidden Nights With a Vampire by Kerrelyn Sparks
Till There Was You by Lynn Kurland
The Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance (anthology)
The Betrayal by Pati Nagle
Blood Magic by Jennifer Lyon
Nightwalker by Jocelynn Drake
Tails of Love (anthology)

Jaye Wells, Jennifer Lyon, Jocelynn Drake, Pati Nagle and Sharon Ashwood are new to me.

I have three books to review here by the computer and I'm almost done with 3 or 4 more so I'm going to try to do those before I start on the new ones. I said TRY. :)

Crouching Vampire, Hidden Fang by Katie MacAlister

I love the titles of MacAlister's books. If you don't get the titles, you probably won't get the books either. Crouching Vampire, Hidden Fang follows Zen and the Art of Vampires (which I reviewed) and you definitely need to read the first before you read this one. It is really one book divided into two volumes.

The first book did not have a happy ending, but I don't think it gives anything away to say this one does. Pia and Kristoff soon reunite and Pia finds out Kristoff has been framed for embezzlement and they are both suspected of foul play in Alec's disappearance. Pia is caught between the vampires and her duties as a Zorya and as if that wasn't enough she needs to find Alec who has an agenda of his own.

Pia is still a bit too insecure and that can be annoying, if understandable (at least by those of us who don't look like models.) It was fun to watch her gain confidence and develop her relationship with her Beloved. I really enjoyed their banter.

I loved the secondary characters, in particular poor Mattias, Esme the ghost and Magda, the perfect sidekick. The book had a fast pace and a lot of action. The details about the lore of the vampires and the reapers were fascinating, and I'd have liked to know even more about the Zoryas and Ilargi. My favorite things about the book were the humor and the characters.

I'll rate this book 8.0 out of 10.0 and I eagerly await Katie MacAlister's next book.

Kiss of Fury by Deborah Cooke

This is the second in the Dragonfire series. I reviewed the first book, Kiss of Fire, and rated it 8 out of 10.

Unfortunately, I did not enjoy Kiss of Fury as much as the earlier novel. It took me a long time to finish it because I kept getting bored and putting it aside. I think one reason I enjoyed Kiss of Fire much more is because I liked the hero and heroine better. Donovan Shea and Alexandra Madison just didn't come alive for me.

Yes, Donovan is sexy and brave, but other than that he doesn't seem to have much personality. Alexandra is smart and brave to the point of recklessness, but she was not very interesting to me. And together, they didn't seem to have much in common other than the lust driven by the Firestorm.

I do think the world that Cooke has built with the shape-shifting dragons is interesting, as is the rivalry between the good dragons and the evil ones, but the characters in this book didn't live up to the promise of the series. Some of the secondary characters, such as Rafferty and Sophie, were more interesting than the main ones.

I'll rate Kiss of Fury 6.0 out of 10.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Murder Game by Christine Feehan

This is the 7th in Feehan's GhostWalker series. I've enjoyed all of the books except for the first very much. They feature psychically and genetically enhanced soldiers paired with women who were experimented on as children by the evil Dr. Whitney. They all have different talents and abilities and how they use these is a lot of the fun of the series for me.

I thought Murder Game started a bit slow, but by the 2nd chapter the pace had picked up and it never slowed down after that. Although the author is a romance writer, and she certainly produces some amazingly intense sex scenes, I think her skill at suspense is her biggest strength. She had me on the edge of my seat numerous times.

I liked the hero, Kadan Montague, but felt that for once the heroine in a Feehan book really had the spotlight. Tansy Meadows has the ability to receive impressions by touching objects, which she has used in the past to help catch killers. After a breakdown she has retreated to the wilderness to take wildlife photos and Kaden has to convince her to help him solve a series of murders that seem to be committed by GhostWalkers. She was a fascinating character with a mix of strength and vulnerability.

It was great to see some of the characters from former books helping out their friend Kaden. The murderers and the man who was directing them were chilling.

My favorite GhostWalkers books are the two about the Norton twins, but this one was very good indeed. I'll rate this 8.0 out of 10.

Alpha Wolf by Linda O. Johnston

Alpha Wolf is part of Harlequin's paranormal Nocturne line. As you can guess, it features werewolves, and I enjoyed it more than I expected.

I thought this would be a run-of-the-mill werewolf story. Not only was Alpha Wolf very well written, but the werewolves were some of the most convincing that I've come across. It was easy to believe that if werewolves existed, this is exactly what would happen.

The hero, Major Drew Connell, is an uber-Alpha. He is not only a werewolf, but he's also a military officer and a doctor. In spite of this, he is very likable and not obnoxiously overprotective or domineering. The heroine, Dr. Melanie Harding, is a vet with some alpha tendencies of her own. She seemed very real to me, brave and intelligent, yet not perfect.

The Nocturnes are short in length and there wasn't much time to develop secondary characters. I wish there had been a bit more time spent on the villain, because when he was revealed I thought for a moment "Who?" I did think the big mystery of who had been shooting the dogs and people in the area with silver bullets, was interesting and full of action.

I'd recommend this to anyone who enjoys werewolf tales and I'll rate it 7.5 out of 10.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Secret to Seduction by Julie Anne Long

The Secret to Seduction is not my favorite Julie Anne Long novel. I have really enjoyed her other books but this one let me down. I think it was mostly because I didn't care for the heroine, Sabrina Fairleigh.

Sabrina is the adopted daughter of a clergyman and she is planning to marry a curate, Geoffrey, and be a missionary in a foreign land. She and Geoffrey go to visit the Earl of Rawden to ask for his funding of their mission (Geoffrey has other motives as we find out later.) Rhys, the Earl, is captivated by Sabrina's innocence and apparently feels that he has to live up to his nickname of The Libertine.

This is what I had trouble believing in. I thought Sabrina was totally prudish and boring at this point in the book and did not believe she would attract Rhys at all. She does improve in the second half of the book but doesn't really come into her own until the end. The ending was interesting, but didn't make up for the rest. Rhys was a more interesting character, but did a couple of things that were very unheroic that I had a hard time forgiving him for.

Although this book was a disappointment and I'll rate it 6.0 out of 10, I will continue to read Julie Anne Long's books because the others I've read have been very good.

Succubus Blues by Richelle Mead

This is the first book I've read by Richelle Mead and I can't wait to read more. Like Larissa Ione's Demonica series, Mead's Succubus series focuses on the darker side of the paranormal.

Georgina Kincaid is a succubus who hates her job. It also has the unfortunate side effect of preventing her from having sex with any man she really likes because she'll suck the life from him quite literally. So if you're expecting a book with "succubus" in the title to have lots of steamy bedroom scenes, you'll be disappointed.

Georgina has a group of very entertaining friends, including vampires, an imp, an angel and humans. I hope we get to see more of them in later books, because each one was interesting and unusual. The characters are probably the strongest part of the book, although the plot and the worldbuilding are excellent as well.

There were a lot of surprises in the story, including the identity of the person who had been attacking the local demons. I didn't know who was going to end up being her love interest until the very end. I thought their relationship was handled very well although I'm not sure how or if they will live happily ever after--guess I have to read the next book!

I'll rate Succubus Blues 9 out of 10 and will be reading Succubus on Top, the second book in the series, as soon as possible. The third book, Succubus Dreams, and fourth book, Succubus Heat, are also available now.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Red Fire by Deidre Knight

Red Fire is the first in the Gods of Midnight series. A group of warriors from Sparta, led by King Leonidas, are made into immortal protectors of humanity by the god Ares. The premise of the novel reminded me of Gena Showalter's Lords of the Underworld series and of course the "immortal band of warriors battling evil" concept is common, and happens to be one of my favorites.

I love the concept, but the book fell short for me in execution. I had a hard time trying to figure out why. The book is well written, the pace is good with lots of action, the characters are interesting, the setting of Savannah is well done--what's not to like? I finally decided it was because I couldn't feel the emotions of the main characters.

Ajax Petrakos is the hero and he is suitably brave, strong and devoted to his predestined soul mate. But the author didn't make me care about him. The same is true of Shay Angel, his love. The story of her finding out her abilities to see and fight demons should have been fascinating, but I just didn't connect with her. This may well be my fault, not the author's. If you like paranormals with the immortal warriors theme, you may enjoy this book very much. I'm going to have to give it a 6.0 out of 10, though.

Friday, May 22, 2009

The Duke Next Door by Celeste Bradley

The Duke Next Door is the 2nd in Bradley's Heiress Brides trilogy. I haven't read the other two, but after reading this one I want to. The series features three granddaughters of a man who leaves his fortune to the first of them to marry a Duke.

Deirdre Cantor proposes to Calder Marbrook, who is in line to become a Duke, after her cousin jilts him. He is a widower who is known by the popular press as "The Beast of Brookhaven." He accepts the proposal, to his own surprise, and most of the book takes place after they are married which is an intriguing change.

They get off to a bad start when they arrive at his home after the wedding and she finds he has a daughter he hasn't told her about. She has an evil stepmother and is afraid of being a stepmother herself. I had a problem with Calder springing this on her and of her reacting like she did, but I adored the little girl, Meggie. She has a foul mouth and a love of trouble.

Deirdre has quite a job ahead of her because she has to make her husband fall in love with her, as she has been with him secretly for years, and develop a relationship with her stepdaughter who idolizes her mother. Unknown to Meggie, her mother died on the way to meet her lover, and Calder feels all women are untrustworthy because of his experience. Calder is absolutely horrible when it comes to communicating with Deirdre and he knows it but doesn't know how to fix it.

I enjoyed the interplay between Deirdre and Calder very much. I especially liked the way Deirdre never backed down. I did feel sorry for Calder because I think he was outmatched by both his wife and his daughter. The ending of the book is very exciting, with suspense, tears and a good dose of humor.

I'd recommend this to anyone who enjoys English historicals and I'll rate it 8.0 out of 10.

The Vampire's Bride by Gena Showalter

The Vampire's Bride is the 4th in Showalter's Atlantis series. Atlantis is a world hidden in Earth's ocean and populated by creatures such as dragons (men who shift into dragons), vampires, nymphs, demons and others.

This book features the Vampire King's story. Layel lost his wife and unborn child when they were slaughtered by dragons and he has been out for revenge ever since. Delilah is an Amazon who longs to be loved. Layel was interesting to me because he struggled so much with his feelings for Delilah, fearing he was being unfaithful to his wife's memory. Delilah was less interesting, though I did appreciate that she was a strong warrior, smart and brave.

I liked the premise of the book, which is a sort of Atlantis Survivor arranged by the Gods. The loser gets killed rather than just leaving the island. I would have liked to have seen more of the challenges, and more original challenges. I did like the secondary characters, particularly the romance between Shivawn and Alyssa.

An interesting, if not outstanding, paranormal romance, I'll rate it 7.0 out of 10.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Desire Unchained by Larissa Ione

You know how sometimes an author has a great start to a series but then it peters out, like she used up all her best ideas on the first book? Well, that sure didn't happen with Desire Unchained, the second book in the Demonica series by Larissa Ione. Desire Unchained is at least as good as Pleasure Unbound (which you will remember blew me away) and perhaps better.

This book tells the story of Shade, the demon brother who is a paramedic at Underworld General, and Runa, a newly created werewolf. There are a couple of things that prevent an easy happily-ever-after. For one thing, Runa hates Shade and wants to kill him because she blames him for her tranformation. For another, Shade is the victim of a curse that will kill him if he ever falls in love. Quite a lot to overcome!

I loved that the book opened with the two of them imprisioned in a dungeon. There was no beating around the bush, the author jumps right into the action and the story moves swiftly from one fascinating dilemma to the next. The tension built to a fantastic ending that left me completely satisfied.

The secondary characters continue to play an important part in the book, and there's not a boring one in the lot. I'd recommend reading these books in order so you can follow all the storylines easily. It's not that the book is terribly complicated, but there is a lot going on and a lot of different people/creatures to keep track of.

If you like paranormals, or have never tried one but think you might want to, this series has the highest recommendation I can give.

I'll rate this book a 9.0 out of 10.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Some Like it Wicked by Teresa Medeiros

It's been a while since I read a book by Teresa Medeiros and Some Like it Wicked reminded me of how much I enjoy her work. I now plan to look for the books I've missed.

I was predisposed to like this book since it has a sexy Scottish hero and a brave, smart heroine. Pamela Darby meets Connor Kincaid when he is holding up her carriage. Yep, not that original but Medeiros does it very well. She does have a few plot twists that require suspension of disbelief, but I was having so much fun I didn't mind. Pamela convinces Connor to pose as the long-lost heir to an English Duke and it's great fun to watch them scheme.

I thought one of the strongest parts of the book was the characters. It was not only Pamela and Connor who were so well done, but almost everyone mentioned. I really had a soft spot for Connor's "valet" Brodie. I also thought what she did with Connor's cousin Crispin was excellent. He could have so easily been a cardboard villain, but instead we have a character who is both good and bad and we come to care for him. The real villain turns out to be someone else entirely.

The book moves quickly and there are a couple moments of real suspense. There is a lot of humor in the book, but also some sad memories that are dealt with. I have to admit there were two scenes where I teared up. I loved the ending, it was perfect.

I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys British historicals. I'll rate it 8.0 out of 10.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Zen and the Art of Vampires by Katie MacAlister

Zen and the Art of Vampires reminded me of just how much I enjoy Katie MacAlister's books. They are pure escapism--fast, fun, sexy and more than little bizarre.

This book is listed as the 6th in the Dark Ones series but I think it stands alone. You certainly don't have to have read the others (although I have) to follow what is going on. It's a bit different than the average paranormal romance because it does not have a HEA ending, but the story continues in the next book (Crouching Vampire, Hidden Fang, out May 5) and I'm confident that one will have the HEA.

The story features Pia, who is pushing forty and takes a singles tour to Europe in hopes it will spark her love life. Boy, does it ever, but certainly not in the way she imagined. The book takes place in Iceland, which I found an interesting setting. There are two potential vampire heroes, Alec and Kristoff, and many twists and turns in their complicated relationship. She does end up with one of them, but neither of them is overjoyed. I can't wait to see how their issues are resolved in the next book.

I have read some negative reviews of this book, which I don't entirely understand. I think Katie MacAlister may be one of those authors you either enjoy or you don't. Like Nora Roberts for me--I just don't get her appeal. I do enjoy MacAlister's sense of humor, her originality, her wacky secondary characters and her likable heroines. Yes, Pia can be a bit whiny and she makes mistakes, but that just makes her more believable to me.

If you're in the mood for a funny, light, action packed paranormal, Zen and the Art of Vampires fits the bill. I'd rate it 7.5 out of 10.

New Books

Yes, I continue to buy books faster than I can read them. The latest acquistitions:

Some Like It Wicked by Teresa Medeiros
How to Lose an Extraterrestrial in 10 Days by Susan Grant (the only one in this series I haven't read)
Love Bites by Lynsay Sands (I already read this, didn't realize it was a reprint--argh! I hate when I do this)

I was lucky enough to win three books by Melody Thomas (under her pen name Laura Renken.) They are the Winds of Fury trilogy which features sexy pirates--yum! I'm looking forward to reading them.

My Lord Pirate by Laura Renken
Night Shadow by Laura Renken
Heart of the Condor by Laura Renken

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Pleasure Unbound by Larissa Ione

I was just a few pages into this book when I got excited about discovering a great new author. I wish she had a huge backlist I could read, but at least I have the first three Demonica books to enjoy. I'm sure Larissa Ione is going to be one of my top new finds for 2009 and I hope she's writing fast because I'm really looking forward to her next book. She does have several books out under the name Sydney Croft which I plan on buying.

Pleasure Unbound has a great premise. The series has been described as "ER with demons" but although the hospital founded by the three brothers is an important part of the books, the focus is on the brothers and their mates. Eidolon, Shade and Wraith are brothers with the same father but different mothers, which means they each have different abilities. They are all of the Incubus species, so you know you're going to be in for plenty of passion.

Pleasure Unbound tells the story of Eidolon and his mate Tayla who is more than she appears at first. She is a demon-slayer who watched a demon murder her mother so as you can imagine she is less than thrilled to end up in Underworld General Hospital after she is injured. The book is more than just a story of two lovers discovering each other, though. It is also the story of how Eidolon and Tayla both learn about themselves and change.

Ione's world-building is excellent. She has created a completely believeable world existing parallel to our own populated with a large variety of fascinating demons and other beings such as fallen angels and vampires. I loved learning about all the different creatures and seeing them acting realistically rather than what you sometimes see in paranormals where all non-humans are misunderstood philanthropists.

The plot moves quickly, with plenty of surprises. There is a whole host of interesting secondary characters. There's humor, suspense, damn good writing---really there's nothing I can find fault with. I highly recommend this book and this author to anyone who enjoys paranormals.

The fourth book in the series is due out in February 2010. Stay tuned for reviews of books #2 and 3.

I'll give Pleasure Unbound 9.0 out of 10.0.

Win Big with Jill Shalvis, HelenKay Dimon & Alison Kent

Friday, April 10, 2009

Love With the Perfect Scoundrel by Sophia Nash

Love With the Perfect Scoundrel is the third in Sophia Nash's Widows Club series. It's an English historical that starts off with a bang when the heroine, Grace, is injured in a carriage accident and Michael Ranier saves her from freezing to death. The novel moves quickly and there were a couple of interesting twists in the plot.

Before I tell you what I liked about the book, I do have to say that there is not much original about the plot. It seems to be several often used plot devices cobbled together. There's the wrongly accused fugitive hero, the heroine saved from certain death and stranded with the hero during a blizzard, the blacksmith who turns out to be something more... Throw in a couple of disadvantaged children and a rather ordinary villain and you may wonder why I bothered finishing it.

What makes this book better than average is the characters. The heroine is marvelously done. She is cold on the outside, but so vulnerable inside. The author made me feel I really knew her and I liked her a lot even when I was wincing at the mistakes she made. This is really a story of Grace Sheffey becoming who she was meant to me. The hero is rather typical, in spite of his troubled past (which is a bit too complicated in my opinion), but likable. The secondary characters, however, are excellent, from the stableboy to the woman who works at the orphanage. Nash really has a knack for making the most minor characters seem interesting and unique.

A fast-paced historical with an exceptional heroine, I'll rate it 7.0 out of 10.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Update and Books Bought

Wow, I didn't realize how long it's been since I last posted. I've been sick and since I recovered I've been working on catching up on everything.

While I was ill, I read a lot, but most of it was A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon, a 1157 page tome. No, I'm not done yet, but I'm about 3/4 of the way through. I had had the book in my TBR pile for a long time but I put off reading it because it is so long between her Outlander books. The next is due out in September. I am not going to review it here, since it's not a typical romance, but I am enjoying it very much. I love all the little historical details she throws in and the way we get to learn about the characters in such depth.

I have four books that I've finished and need to review and will try to get those done ASAP.

I've got five new books on my TBR pile:
Hope's Folly by Linnea Sinclair
Deadly Desire by Keri Arthur
Her Notorious Viscount by Jenna Petersen
Too Hot For a Spy by Pearl Wolf (author is new to me)
Passion Unleashed by Larissa Ione (Wraith's book, reading it now)

I also have a book that the publisher sent me for review:
Eternal Craving by Nina Bangs

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Howl at the Moon by Christine Warren

Howl at the Moon is the fourth in Warren's Others series. It is set in a world like ours except with paranormal creatures like shapeshifters, demons, vampires, etc. The series is centered on one pack of werewolves who live in New York. I've read the first three books as well and it was nice to see characters from those play a part in this one. I don't think you have to read the others first to enjoy Howl at the Moon, though.

The heroine, Sam, is a werewolf and the hero, Noah, is a human. That is a nice change since it seems the male is usually the "other" and the female a human. It was great to have a heroine who was stronger than the hero for once. I liked both of them, although I did think Sam forgave Noah a bit too easily.

The plot line about the DNA research was interesting, but not as much as the relationship between Sam and Noah. There was a lot of sexual tension and some nice bits of humor. I especially liked the scene when Noah met Sam's family. The action and suspense was slow in the first half of the book, but really took off in the second half. The ending was satisfying, but did leave me with a couple of minor questions.

This is an enjoyable read if you like werewolves. I'll give it 7.0 out of 10.

Monday, March 9, 2009

The Warlord's Daughter by Susan Grant

The Warlord's Daughter is part of the Borderlands series which I've been enjoying. I reviewed Moonstruck, the previous book in the series, here earlier. A few characters from previous books have important roles in this one and I would advise reading at least Moonstruck before you read The Warlord's Daughter.

The hero is Aral, son of a vicious Drakken Warlord. Aral has been leading a double life and secretly helping the Drakken's enemies for years. The heroine is Wren, neglected daughter of the assassinated Drakken leader. She is an endearing young woman and it was interesting to watch her grow during the book and realize who she really is.

There is a wonderful and emotional secondary romance between Bolivarr, Aral's brother, and Hadley, who was important in the previous book. She becomes a Captain, gets her own ship and comes into her own in The Warlord's Daughter and I was glad she got her happy ending.

Although I would give Moonstruck the edge if I had to pick which of the two books I liked best, primarily because of Moonstruck's hero Finn, they are both fun, action filled reads that I recommend to anyone who likes science fiction romance. I'd rate this book 8.0 out of 10.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

The Duke of Shadows by Meredith Duran

The Duke of Shadows is one of the best historicals I've ever read. It is definitely in the intense and serious category rather than the light and humorous one. I was blown away by the excellent writing, the emotional impact and the nail-biting suspense. I was also very impressed by the way Duran handled the history of India that is at the core of the book.

The heroine, Emma, goes to India in 1857 to marry her finance Marcus. Her parents are killed in a shipwreck on the way and her reputation damaged during her rescue. She meets Julian, the Duke, shortly before the Indian rebellion against British rule. He helps her escape but they are eventually separated and meet again after several years in London.

The plot is complex, but not confusing. There is an amazing sense of atmosphere and the contrast between India and England is striking. Serious themes are explored, including prejudice against Julian because he is half Indian and the horrors of war. But the book is not depressing--the writing is a joy and the ending is uplifting. These two characters go through a lot and surely deserve their happy ever after.

I haven't even mentioned the fascinating secondary characters, including the villain, and the few but powerfully sensual love scenes. This is the kind of book that will make you think. I doubt I will forget these characters for a long time. If you like historicals, READ THIS BOOK.

I'll rate this book a 9.0 out of 10. I can't wait for Duran's next book, which will be out in June.

More Books Bought

Had to use up the Barnes & Noble gift cards. I'm annoyed that I couldn't find Hope's Folly at Borders or Barnes & Noble. Guess I'll have to order it from Amazon.

Tangled Webs by Anne Bishop
Desire Unchained by Larissa Ione
Love With the Perfect Scoundrel by Sophia Nash
Angels' Blood by Nalini Singh
Into the Storm by Taylor Anderson
Opening Atlantis by Harry Turtledove
The Vampire's Bride by Gena Showalter

Thursday, March 5, 2009

New Books

Devil of the Highlands by Lynsay Sands
The Secret She Kept by Amy Knupp
The Darkest Touch by Jaci Burton
Riding Temptation by Jaci Burton
Be With Me by Maya Banks
Hot Nights Dark Desires (Anthology) by Eden Bradley, Sydney Croft and Stephanie Tyler

There are a few books that have just been published that I can't wait to get my hands on, including Hope's Folly by Linnea Sinclair, Desire Unchained by Larissa Ione and Angels' Blood by Nalini Singh, so I'm hoping to get to the bookstore on Saturday.

Night Huntress by Yasmine Galenorn

Night Huntress is the 5th in the Otherworld series. The series features the three D'Artigo sisters, who are half-Fae and half-human, and each of them has different abilities. I've enjoyed all the books so far and am looking forward to the next in the series, Demon Mistress, which comes out in June.

In this book the focus is on Delilah, the sister who shapeshifts into a housecat and into a panther. She's my favorite, perhaps because she seems the most vulnerable. I have to admit I don't think much of her human boyfriend Chase, though, and I would have let the demons eat him.

This book never slowed down, it went from action scene to action scene. It was exhausting just reading it, but in a fun way. I couldn't wait to see what trouble Delilah would land in next. I enjoyed catching up with her sisters Menolly and Camille as well as the many interesting secondary characters. Smoky, the dragon shapeshifter, is a favorite, as is Maggie the baby gargoyle. I know some have criticized the series because they say Galenorn has thrown in everything but the (paranormal) kitchen sink, but I think that makes the books more fun. You never know what will pop up next!

I'll rate this exciting read 8.0 out of 10 and recommend you start with the first in the series, Witchling.

Too Many Good Books?

I've been giving out some high ratings lately and I'm about to do more, so I thought I'd explain. Since I get to pick which books I review, I pick books I think I'll like. Often they are books by authors that I enjoy or books that caught my attention because they got high reviews.

I have started quite a few mediocre books, but haven't finished them. I am more likely to finish books I like quickly, although this is not always true. Sometimes I misplace the good ones (if you saw all the books in my house you'd know how easy to do this is) or sometimes I put off finishing a book because I don't want it to be over.

I really don't like reviewers who rate everything they read a 9 or 10. That's one reason I'll never rate anything a 10 (except for Jane Austen's books--I'm a total Austen fangirl.) In my system, a book rated 5 is average so it's a respectable rating. A book rated 8 or 9 is very good indeed.

Too Scandalous To Wed by Alexandra Benedict

Too Scandalous To Wed is an English historical set in 1821. I thought a sentence toward the end of the book summed it up nicely: "He wasn't perfect--neither was she--but he was her imperfect hero."

The book is completely focused on the relationship between Henry (nickname for Henrietta) and Sebastian. There is a villain, but he plays a very minor role until the end of the book. Both of the main characters are entirely self-centered and stubborn as well. It would have been nice if one of them showed some sort of consciousness of the world around them, even if it was only that they were kind to animals or gave alms to the poor. Although I started out disliking both of them, as the book went on I found them more endearing. Perfect people are so boring, after all. They really did deserve each other so the ending was very satisfying.

I couldn't wait to see what happened next and finished this book in record time. There were a couple of things that made me wonder (would Henry really use the word "bugger?" Would she never have heard of the Hellfire Club?) but overall I thought the book was well written. It's a light and entertaining read.

I'd rate it 7.0 out of 10 and look for more books by Benedict.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Vexing the Viscount by Emily Bryan

Vexing the Viscount has one of the best first chapters I've ever read. It has it all--humor, mystery, sexual tension, a fascinating look at history and original characters. I knew after the first few pages that I was going to love this book and I was right.

This book is hard to classify because it fits in neither the light and funny historical romance category or the dark and emotional category but manages to be both. It has wonderful humor and is a fast paced read that never slows down, but it also deals with some serious themes and tugs at the emotions. There are some twists and turns that I did not expect, and the action-packed ending has a big surprise.

I adored the heroine, Daisy, who is so natural and easy to sympathize with. She's smart and brave, yet vulnerable. The sexy Lucian, Viscount Rutland, is not your typical aristocrat. Besides being more intelligent and responsible, he is impoverished and desperate for funds. Instead of the usual plot device of having the hero try to marry an heiress, the author goes in a much more interesting direction. Lucian is convinced that he has found clues to a Roman treasure and he tries to find it to change his fortune.

There is so much going on in this book that it's amazing the author could fit it all in. Yet nothing seems rushed, it all fits perfectly and adds to the story. This is a book with depth and soul, yet it also had me on the edge of my seat wondering what would happen next. I applaud Emily Bryan for creating a wonderful historical romance and can't wait to read her next work.

I'll rate this book a 9.0 out of 10.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever by Julia Quinn

Julia Quinn is a master of the light British historical. Her books are always fun, fast paced and yet full of emotion as well. They are perfect reading when you just want to forget about the modern world and get lost in the romantic escapades of an earlier time.

Secret Diaries features the likable and intelligent Miranda ("no great beauty") who falls in love with Turner when she is only ten years old and he is kind to her. It's easy to sympathize with her, especially because the diary device lets us see exactly what she's thinking. The diary entries could have easily become annoying or gotten in the way of the story, but Quinn uses them sparingly and to good effect.

While Miranda is growing up, the hero, Viscount Turner, has been deeply wounded by an unhappy marriage that ended in the death of his wife while she was riding to meet her lover. It is fascinating to watch him slowly overcome his bitterness during the book. Of course the road to happiness is not without potholes, and at a couple points I just wanted to shake him and tell him to stop being an idiot.

I'd rate this book 7.5 out of 10 and recommend it to anyone who wants an entertaining English historical.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Dream Warrior by Sherrilyn Kenyon

I am a big fan of Sherrilyn Kenyon and have read all of her DarkHunter (and connected) books except for The Dark-Hunter Companion. I enjoy her work, but I'm not blind to her faults. Her DarkHunter series is getting very long and the cast of characters is overwhelming. I had a hard time keeping track of all the different demons, gods, Dream-Hunters, Dark-Hunters, etc. and I've read all the books. I don't see how someone who just picked Dream Warrior up (perhaps because of the great cover) could make sense of it.

Inside the bigger story of the fight between these supernatural beings is a romance. Cratus, known now as Jericho, has been tortured by Zeus for centuries because he refused to kill a baby. That baby is Delphine, a Dream-Hunter, who goes to Jericho 6,000 years later to beg for his help in saving the gods who are being defeated by the evil Noir and Azura.

Jericho is one of Kenyon's tortured heroes, a type she does well. Unfortunately she has done so many of them now that they are starting to blend together. Delphine is fine as a heroine, especially when she is both standing up to and standing up for Jericho, but she isn't one of the most memorable women Kenyon has written. The love story is enjoyable, though, and I found the ending very satisfying.

I'll rate this a 7.0 out of 10, and if I wasn't hooked on this series I might rate it a little lower. If you haven't read any of Kenyon's work, don't start with this one. Start with Fantasy Lover or Night Pleasures and you, too, can become hooked.

Books Bought

Yes, I know I have a problem. But I gave my husband $20 to throw in the slots when he went to Vegas on a business trip and he brought me $80, so I don't feel guilty at all. Too bad we didn't invest our 401K in slot machines....

Coyote's Mate by Lora Leigh
When You Believe by Jessica Inclan
Killer Secrets by Lora Leigh
Impractical Magic by Karen Fox
Hundreds of Years to Reform a Rake by Laurie Brown
Never Romance a Rake by Liz Carlyle
My Lord and Spymaster by Joanna Bourne
Slightly Sinful by Mary Balogh
The Warlord's Daughter by Susan Grant (which I'm reading now and enjoying very much)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

It Happened One Night (Anthology)

It Happened One Night features stories by Stephanie Laurens, Mary Balogh, Jacquie D'Alessandro and Candice Hern. I was intrigued when I read the premise behind this collection. All of the novellas have the same basic plot: a couple who haven't seen each other for ten years meet at a inn in the English countryside.

It was surprising to me that each story was so different. They all have the same basic plot, have the same setting and approximately the same historical time period and yet each was unique. Perhaps I shouldn't have been surprised, since these four authors are among the top historical writers, but I was impressed at the quality of the work. Each one was a small gem.

"The Fall of Rogue Gerrard" by Stephanie Laurens made me laugh and "Only You" by Jacquie D'Alessandro brought me to tears twice. "Spellbound" by Mary Balogh had a heroine I adored and the touching From "This Moment On" by Candice Hern featured an older couple. I can't pick a favorite because I liked them all and can't point to notable flaws in any.

I'd rate this 8.0 out of 10 and recommend it to anyone who enjoys English historicals.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Tanner's Scheme by Lora Leigh

Tanner's Scheme is another in Leigh's Feline Breeds series. The series features a world like ours but with genetically engineered beings who were created to be the perfect soldier. Of course some humans want to eliminate them since they've broken free and made a life for themselves. One of the main enemies of the Breeds is the heroine's father.

I enjoyed this book very much, but I did find the heroine's name, Scheme, annoying as hell. I also thought there was a period after the hero Tanner kidnaps Scheme and is holding her prisoner where the book got bogged down for a short period. Other than those two minor points, this book is a fast paced, action filled, steamy romance. The paranormal elements are fascinating, but I think there is more focus in the book on the suspense and action. There were twists and turns and a very nerve-wracking and emotional ending. Of course, with any Lora Leigh book, you know there will be very erotic love scenes.

I'll rate this book 7.5 out of 10 and I can't wait to read her new Coyote Breeds books, Soul Deep and Coyote's Mate.

Taken By a Viking by Michelle Styles

I picked up this book because I was in the mood for a medieval historical. There aren't that many of them out there and I hadn't read one in a long time. Unfortunately, I wasn't very impressed with this one.

Taken By the Viking surprise here...about a woman, Annis, who is kidnapped from Northumbria in 793 and taken to Haakon Haroldson's homeland to be held for ransom. I thought the book was well written, I just didn't ever really care about the characters. I did think the writer did a good job of integrating the history into the story and it felt accurate to me (though I am no expert on that period.) I liked the action sequences, particularly at the end of the book.

I'm not sure why I never felt drawn into this story. It may be that it was more my fault than the author's. I plan to try another medieval to see if maybe the period just doesn't catch my interest. I'd rate this book a 6.5 out of 10.

Kiss of a Demon King by Kresley Cole

Kresley Cole does it again. If I counted correctly, this is the 7th in her Immortals After Dark series and once more she hits a home run. She is the master (mistress?) of keeping a series fresh. Each book is quite different and each one has everything you could ask for in a paranormal romance.

Kiss of a Demon King features Rydstrom, the Demon King, who has played a small role in previous books. The heroine is Sabine, the Sorceress of Illusions, who is working for the evil Omort. Sabine imprisions Rydstrom and the story begins. As soon as I got over the confusion I felt because this book takes place at the same time as the previous book, I enjoyed it very much. The hero and heroine were complex and fascinating, not your typical romance types but all the more interesting because of their differences.

If you liked Cole's previous books, you will not be disappointed in this one. If you haven't read her before, what are you waiting for? I'd rate this book an 8.0 out of 10.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

New Books, Part Two

Here are the rest of the new books, in no particular order.

Acacia by David Anthony Durham
The Eye of Night by Pauline J. Alama (reading for book club)
Phoenix and Ashes by Mercedes Lackey
The Duke Next Door by Celeste Bradley
Broken Blade by Ann Marston
Night Huntress by Yasmine Galenorn
Touch of Darkness by Christina Dodd
Immortals: The Haunting by Robin T. Popp
The Nightwalkers: Elijah by Jacquelyn Frank
A Lady at Last by Brenda Joyce
Atlantis Awakening by Alyssa Day
The Protector's War by S.M. Stirling
Murder Game by Christine Feehan
Forbidden Captor by Julie Miller (I won this--cool, huh?)
Traitor's Kiss & Lover's Kiss by Mary Blayney
The Devil and Drusilla by Paula Marshall
A Bride By Christmas by Heather Graham, Jo Beverley and Candace Camp (anthology)
The Mistletoe Wager by Christine Merrill
Red Fire by Deidre Knight
Wanderlust by Ann Aguirre
Kiss of a Demon King by Kresley Cole
Dawn's Awakening by Lora Leigh
Zen and the Art of Vampires by Katie MacAlister
Vexing the Viscount by Emily Bryan (from publisher for review)
It Happened One Night by Stephanie Laurens, Mary Balogh, Jacquie D'Alessandro and Candice Hern (anthology)
Howl at the Moon by Christine Warren

New Books

I have a big pile of new books (HAPPY HAPPY JOY JOY) thanks to holiday gifts of books and gift cards. I've only screwed up and bought one book I already read (so far.) Here's a list of about half of them, mainly romance but a few SF/Fantasy in there.

Dragon Heat by Allyson James
Through the Veil by Shiloh Walker
Careful What You Wish For by Lucy Finn
Too Scandalous to Wed by Alexandra Benedict
Mistress of Scandal by Sara Bennett
What a Scoundrel Wants by Carrie Lofty
Bad Blood by L.A. Banks
Last Wolf Standing by Rhyannon Byrd
Possession by Jennifer Armintrout
Wicked Woman by Denise Eagan
Mr. Cavendish, I Presume by Julia Quinn
A Rake's Guide to Pleasure by Victoria Dahl
Spirit Gate by Kate Elliott
Knight's Fork by Rowena Cherry
Not Quite a Lady by Loretta Chase
Pleasure Unbound by Larissa Ione
To Seduce a Sinner by Elizabeth Hoyt
Scions: Resurrection by Patrice Michelle
Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson
A Meeting at Corvallis by S.M. Stirling
Dancing With Werewolves by Carole Nelson Douglas

I've been reading a lot, even though I haven't been posting reviews. I've been reading some SF/Fantasy series and ebooks, which I don't review (maybe I should, but I'm sticking to reviewing print romance books for now.) I also have three books sitting here that I just finished and need to review.