Friday, July 31, 2009

Destined for an Early Grave by Jeaniene Frost

Wow. What a ride. This book was great! Dark, very dark, but oh!

The book starts with Cat and Bones on a boat, taking a "gettin' away from it all" cruise to Paris. The only problem is, Cat's been having nightmares. When they arrive in Paris, Mencheres is waiting, with bodyguards. He informs her that her nightmares are being caused by another vampire, Gregor, "The Dreamsnatcher". Gregor has escaped from Menchere's prison and claims Cat is his wife, not Bones' and he wants her back. Apparently Gregor spent a month with Cat when she was 17, and married her, and she doesn't remember any of it.
Gregor attacks, and Bones locks Cat in a "safe room" while he fights back. She gets upset and takes matters into her own hands and purposely falls asleep so Gregor can snatch her while she's dreaming. In return he must stop the attack. She will take his blood so she can remember her time with him.
I'm not going to post any more of the plot, since the book has been out less than a week, but it was good. The action was great, there were some plot surprises I wasn't expecting. I will say that Cat and Bones need an intervention with Dr. Phil. Seriously. They spend a large portion of the book not communicating with each other.
My only complaint is that I like Tate and would have liked to have seen more of him. I liked Vlad's part in the book and Gregor was a real snake. There were quite a few pop-culture references tossed in that made me laugh. She left a few loose ends that I'm hoping she'll clear up in the next book.
I must also note, a plus for me is that parts of the book were set in New Orleans. I'm a sucker for a N.O. background. She did a good job (no wayward parades) and I liked the character they picked up while they were there.

The Viscount Who Loved Me

Here's my reaction to this book:

Oh, good, the 2nd Bridgerton novel - yay! I liked Anthony in the first book, his story should be good!
Oh, that's how his dad died...
Ugh, Anthony's an ass.
Oh, poor Kate.
Still an ass.
He's so mean to her. And an ass. OMG, HE'S GONNA HAVE SEX WITH THE OPERA SINGER??!!
Wow, that was actually nice, he sat with her until it was over. I think I'm starting to like him...
Uh-oh, a bee is bad.
Holy crap - They have to get married!!
Aww, she's worried he's going to be thinking about her sister when they're together. How sad.
What's his deal with not wanting to fall in love? I don't get it (neither does Kate).
SHE WANTS TO POSTPONE IT A WEEK? haha.....Are they done yet? Okay, he's defrosting my heart - he told her she was beautiful, and he meant it.
He shed a tear when she found out about her mother. Awww...I really do like him...
He's so tortured about his father's death, I do feel bad for him...HA! His brother just told him he's an ass. I am vindicated!
Oh no, a runaway carriage - NO, SHE CAN'T BE DEAD - HE LOVES HER!!!!
And a happy ending.

Seriously, it did turn out to be a good story, but I spent the first half of the book being very frustrated with Anthony. I liked how the story turned out but I don't think it will be my favorite of the series.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Cover Alert - Carrie Vaughn

One of my favorite paranormal series, Kitty the Werewolf, has released the cover for the January release, Kitty's House of Horrors:

In the first book, Kitty and the Midnight Hour, Kitty is a young woman who was turned into a werewolf as the result of an attack and left abandoned. She was found by her local pack, but she was so shy and nervous that for the first book she was at the very bottom of the pack hiearchy, and treated badly. Her day job is as a radio DJ, and she finds her voice doing a paranormal radio advice show, and it empowers her enough to stand up for herself.

Ms. Vaughn writes a great heroine, as well as the supporting characters. Kitty's adventures leave you wanting more, more, more!!

Kitty's House of Horrors is the 7th book in the series.

Ms. Vaughn's website and blog.

The Duke and I by Julia Quinn

Julia Quinn has a new book out, What Happens in London, and I've read several reviews. And they all mention how great her Bridgerton series is. My SIL loves Julia Quinn, but she tells me I should read them in order. If the rest of the books are as good as this one, I've got another author to add to my favorites list. I loved this book - I couldn't put it down!! And so it begins....

It opens with the sad story of a lonely little boy, Simon, whose father, the Duke of Hastings, won't acknowledge him because of his stutter. His mother died during childbirth. He spends his childhood trying to impress his father and overcomes his stutter and goes off to college. He then goes abroad, harboring a hate for his father, until his father dies.

Then we meet the Bridgertons - Anthony, Benedict, Colin, Daphne, Eloise, Francesca, Gregory, and Hyacinth, oh, and their mother, Violet. Anthony, Benedict, Colin, and Daphne are attending a ball when Simon arrives. Simon is a friend of Anthony's from Oxford and is attracted to Daphne until he realizes she's Anthony's sister. After attending a few balls where the mothers of eligible daughters keep pushing them onto the eligible bachelors, Simon and Daphne hatch a plan to fake an attachment to avoid all the matchmaking. It works, to a point. Simon and Daphne cannot stop the attraction between them, and when they are caught kissing behind a hedge, Daphne's brother demands they marry. Simon has major baggage from his childhood and is determined not to marry or have children, so he refuses. Anthony challenges him to a duel over his sister's honor. Daphne runs out to the duel and stops it and convinces Simon to marry her. He explains he can't have children and, despite her disappointment at this news, agrees to marry him.

They marry, and are happy, until Daphne realizes it's not that Simon can't have children, it's that he won't have children. They have a huge arguement and he comes home drunk. Daphne ends up tricking into "finishing" and he is furious. He leaves her to stay at another of his estates. She returns to their home in London and hopes she is pregnant. Once she realizes she is, she sends him a note. He's been miserable without her, and she's been miserable without him.

He comes back, thinking she's pregnant, but it turns out she's not. They have a heart-to-heart and he agrees to try for a family. The epilogue is sweet and satisfying.

I loved this book - the characters are charming and I <3 the whole Bridgerton family!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


So, I read the first Bridgerton novel by Julia Quinn, The Duke and I, and loved it - I've written my review but not posted it yet. But now, I'm reading the 2nd book in the series, The Viscount Who Loved Me. What the hell? I LOVED Anthony in the first book - he was charming and caring and sweet. In the 2nd book? He's an ass.

And Kate? Ugh, how much does her life suck? She had to wait for her sister to turn 16 before they could "come out" together - so now she's 21 (practically a spinster) and is stuck on the sidelines watching her sister get all the attention.

I'm sure they'll end up together, but at this point (less than halfway through), I just hate Anthony and wish someone would be nice to Kate.... please tell me it's going to be okay.....

Update: Anthony did just ask Kate for a boon!!! (how I love a boon). Things are looking up...

Contest Alert!

Cecile, over at All I Want and More, is celebrating her 101st post with a terrific interview with author Kimber Chin and giveaway! Click on the link above or my sidebar - she's got a great blog!

Congratulations Cecile - here's to many more posts and many more books!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Happy Ending by L.B. Gregg

I won an e-copy of Happy Ending by L. B. Gregg last week at Smexy Books. Thank you so much Ms. Gregg, Mandi, Cecile, and Erotic Horizon! I had previously read Ms. Gregg's first Men of Smithfield book, Gobsmacked, so I was looking forward to Happy Ending.

I was not disappointed. This book started off with a bang (of sorts!) and kept my interest all the way through. It begins with Seth Weston, a gay professional, waiting for his regular Friday massage. His masseuse is late and he's pissed. A young man comes in, David, and says his masseuse had an emergency and he is filling in. Seth says whatever and the massage begins. The only problem is this is a REALLY good massage and Seth gets aroused. He gets so aroused that he "finishes" on the massage table. David gets upset, tells him this is not "that kind of massage establishment" and tells him to leave. Seth feels a bit guilty but physically feels relaxed and better than he's felt in ages.

Seth goes home and picks up Molly, his niece, for dinner. Seth's twin sister Nikki had died of cancer 6 months ago and left her 6-year-old daughter in Seth's custody. He's had a hard time of it - he doesn't know what to do with a 6-year-old girl - but they're doing okay. At dinner, who does his waiter turn out to be but David, the masseuse. Seth and David are very curt to each other during the meal, then Seth takes Molly home. He wonders why David has a bunchof part time jobs and tattoos and piercings and thinks he's just got no ambition. That night he fantasizes about David.

Saturday night, Molly was at her godmother's house so Seth went back to the restaurant bar for a drink. David is his waiter and they flirt with each other. They talk about going on a date and Seth waits for David behind the restaurant until his shift ends. They start to go to David's apartment but can't wait and have an "encounter" outside.

Sunday, Seth runs into David at Target while he's shopping with Molly. David has 9 brothers and sisters and Katie is the youngest. She and Molly are friends. David tells Seth he should bring Molly to the library the next night as there is an author reading for the kids.

They get to the library and, surprise, the Children's author doing the reading is David. Seth learns that in addition to massage and waiting tables, David has a master's degree in education and several children's books under his belt. He choses to do massage because he likes it.

Seth is thinking about David a lot. They're opposites but he likes how he feels when he's with David.

While all this is going on, Seth is getting phone calls from Molly's biological father, basically demanding money or he'll try to get custody. He's a loser alcoholic and Seth calls his attorneys to deal with the problem. ALSO, Seth's old boyfriend, Quinn, is in town. Quinn is a fussy-type guy who left Seth when Seth's sister was sick and moved in with them. Quinn took him for a financial ride and Seth hasn't forgiven him for not coming to his sister's funeral. Quinn keeps attempting to talk to Seth and Seth keeps shutting him out.

Seth gets some photos of his "encounter" with David behind the restaurant, and David freaks out. Things get crazy when Molly gets kidnapped and Seth and David try to find her. They also discover who's trying to blackmail them.

Ms. Gregg ties up all the loose ends nicely, with a surprise from David at the end. I liked this book. I liked watching Seth go from a grumpy curmudgeon to a nice guy. His worries over their age difference were cute. David was a likeable character and their relationship was sweet. It was certainly a Happy Ending.

Destined for an Early Whoop-A$$

Destined for an Early Grave by Jeaniene Frost came out today. I've been patiently waiting for this fourth book in her series. I pre-ordered it as soon as it was available to do so, happy in the knowledge it would be waiting for me today. All bright and shiny, with my name wrapped around the spine. Mine.

When I got to B&N, the line was long, so I decided to check the shelves first. Not there. Not in Romance, not in Paranormal. No Jeaniene Frost titles at all. This is not looking good. Frustrated and disappointed, I decide to peruse the racks, hoping a sexy Highlander story will cheer me up. An employee walks past me with three books in her hands, and puts one on the shelf - where a Jeaniene Frost book would go. AND, from where I'm standing, the cover looks familiar..... I casually stroll over and ask her what book she just shelved - it's Destined for an Early Grave!!!! One copy.

I thank her, grab it, and head to the cash register - nope, no reserved copy for me. Apparently I got the only copy on the West Bank. Hmmm...

Here's my thing: If a book comes out on July 28, I want to be able to stroll in as soon as the store opens and buy it. Not wait until the truck comes in or they get around to stocking it. New releases should be stocked the night before. Am I wrong? If video stores can do it, why not B&N?

Now, off to read and forget all about it............

Monday, July 27, 2009

O Happy Day!

I just received my copy of Happy Endings by L.B.Gregg that I won over at Smexy Books (thanks ladies!!) and can't wait to read it!!!

AND, Destined for an Early Grave by Jeaniene Frost comes out tomorrow - I cannot wait!!! Want it nowwwwww!!!

*huge grin*

Friday, July 24, 2009

Eve of Darkness, Eve of Destruction and Eve of Chaos by S.J. Day

I read Ms. Day's first novel in this series, Eve of Darkness, a few weeks ago, then Eve of Destruction and Eve of Chaos this week. Let me preface this post by saying this was a really hard series to write about - there was a lot going on in each book...

Eve of Darkness was good - I liked it, but I felt like there was too much going on to keep track of everything. It seemed like Eve just kept taking hits without a break to recover. The book starts out with a bang - Evangeline Hollis (Eve) is at a baseball game and ends up battling a dragon in the ladies' room. Then, it flashes back six weeks and Eve is headed to a job interview, sees this hot guy who reminds her of her first love, Alec Cain, and has sex with the guy in the stairwell. He then reaches out and "marks" her with a brand on her arm - the Mark of Cain. She thinks she is hallucinating and goes home. There, Cain is waiting for her and tells her she was marked by his brother, Reed Abel (yes, THAT Cain and Abel) and is now a "demon killer" for God. She doesn't want to believe it and doesn't want to believe Cain is back in her life after 10 years, but once she goes through the transition she knows it's true. If I understand everyone's positions correctly, Cain is her mentor/teacher, and Abel is their boss. This book had a lot of storylines going on at once: A water demon was attacking her repeatedly, a group of tengu (sort of like small gargoyles), and werewolves; it's a lot, but Ms. Day ties everything up neatly at the end. Eve's main problem is that the demons she's supposed to be slaying are not marked nor do they smell (all demons are marked to show where they fall in the demon hierarchy and smell bad). She needs to find out why not and how to stop it.

This book lays good groundwork for Eve's "world". The Angel/Mark heirarchy is very interesting, as well as the Demon system. Eve is agnostic, which also makes things very interesting for her. I liked the three main characters as well as the secondary characters - the angels, Eve's family, her neighbor and a mysterious priest. There is a sexual tension that runs throughout the book between Eve and Cain and Eve and Abel. Cain and Abel's hatred for each other is well-written.

As Eve of Destruction opens, Eve is in a 6-week Mark class to learn how to effectively eradicate Infernals, sort of like a boot camp. Outside in the real world, a demon is killing some of the best Marks. Now, the students in the camp are being attacked, one by one. Even though no one else agrees, Eve thinks it's someone in the group doing the killing. As she is trying to investigate, a "reality-TV" crew ends up at the base camp and Eve is trying to keep them from getting killed as well. While all this is going on, Eve is undergoing another Mark transition that leaves her feeling feverish and oversexed, and there's nothing she can do about it which makes her irritable. She is dating Cain and is attracted to Abel but still not acting on that impulse; Abel is very attracted to Eve. Because Cain spends a large portion of the book out of town, this leads to a hot phone sex scene with unexpected results that resonate through the rest of this book and into the next for all three main characters. We meet some new characters that I like in this book, and one of the bad guys from the first book comes back for Eve. The end of the book leaves a few loose ends, including the fate of one of the Angels, who is missing, and Eve and Cain's relationship has taken a hit. By the end of this book I couldn't decide who I wanted her to end up with, both brothers have different strengths and weaknesses and both appear to have deep feelings for Eve.
I tore through this book. I liked it better than the first one. The relationships between Eve and the brothers were good; their reactions to each other were believable. The end was bittersweet as far as her personal life, but I liked it.

Eve of Chaos jumps right back into the action, with Satan putting out a contract on Eve. This leads to a huge number of demons in the area, all gunning to bring her in. Cain and Abel are both doing their best to protect Eve, but Cain has been promoted and it's having a strange effect on him and they're still searching for the missing Angel - they know where he is but not how to get him back or what will happen to Cain if they do get him back. We meet more of the bad guys from Book One, and Eve is pissed about it. She's trying to rescue the angel, fight the bad guys, and work out her feelings for the brothers. Eve is not sleeping with either brother and both brothers are unhappy about it. She loves Cain but his new position makes it difficult for him to feel love for her. Meanwhile Abel's feelings for her have been growing stronger, and she eventually turns to him for comfort. In this book we also meet Cain and Abel's parents - Adam and Eve. Very interesting...
This book has intrigue, deception, and demons galore! I really enjoyed it. And the end - Ms. Day - how could you leave us hanging like that?!? Ohhhhh - I want to know who it was!!!
One thing that confuses me about this series, and I assume Ms. Day will go into more detail as the series progresses, is why both brothers are so obsessed with Eve. Several times over the course of the books they both ponder how they want to ascend to higher ranks in the hierarchy, and apparently having Eve is pivotal to both their plans, but I'm not sure why.
I enjoyed this series and am looking forward to the next installment. Eve is a strong female character who manages to maintain her feminity without being Too Stupid To Live. Go Eve!!!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Christmas in July

I was getting worried because my TBR pile was getting pretty low. Well, my mom called me this afternoon to say a co-worker brought in some books she was getting rid of and did I want any? Hells yeah!!!

Here's what I got:

Nora Roberts - Jewels of the Sun and High Noon

Mary Lynn Baxter - A Day in April

Laura Levine - Killer Blonde

Debbie Macomber - Country Brides

Karen Robards - Ghost Moon

Brenda Joyce - The Third Heiress

Anne Avery - Fire & Ice

Catherine Coulter - The Deception

Julie Garwood - The Secret

William Goldman - The Princess Bride

Now, I've seen the movie The Princess Bride but never read the book. I've read The Secret but it was a loaner and I'm thrilled I can now re-read it as I wish. I know who Nora Roberts is but I've not read any of her books, and I don't know any of the other authors.
Remember when you were a kid and you'd go to the dentist and he'd have the little treasure chest that, if you were good, you could pick ONE thing from the box? And you could never decide what one thing you wanted? Yeah, picking the first book I want to read is kind of like that. What to pick? Which one? This one? Or that one? Is it going to be good or will this be a book I fall in love with? The anticipation builds....

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

What A Lady Wants by Victoria Alexander

This is apparently the 2nd out a series of four (?) books about young men determined not to marry. They have some sort of bet between the four of them as to whom will marry last. I did not read the first book, but after reading this one will certainly go out and find it!

Felicity Melville is a young woman of good family, she has been "out" in society for 7 seasons, which is apparently a lot, but has no desire to "catch a suitable husband"; she wants to marry for love. Astronomy is her hobby, and one night she is out on her balcony looking at the stars and hears a commotion from the house next door - a husband yellling at his wife. She turns her telescope and sees a man climbing out of the window! She is wondering if it is a burglar or if someone was seducing the wife, and she realizes she can no longer see the man. She realizes he's in her garden! He looks up at her and asks if it's safe to leave, she starts to question him as to whether he's a burglar, and then give him directions to the street. Her directions are confusing, so he climbs up to her balcony to get a view of the path to the street. He then climbs back down and loses a shoe in her trellis.

Felicity makes some inquiries and learns the man in question is Nigel Cavendish. Nigel is a from a well-to-do family and has a reputation as quite the rogue. He has a long history of scandalous behavior with married women and widows. Felicity decides she is going to marry him. Nigel finds himself attracted to her but has no desire to marry and tells her so in no uncertain terms.

Felicity approaches Nigel's twin sister, Madeline, and asks for her assistance. She doesn't want to trick him into marriage, she wants him to WANT to marry her. Felicity and Maddy arrange for Felicity to be at all the same social functions as Nigel, and they get to know each other. There is some funny dialogue about whom is stalking whom, and Felicity ends up telling Nigel she plans to marry him. He explains to her it's never going to happen.

When Maddy's birthday party is suddenly moved due to a flood in the house, she asks Nigel to stay and redirect any guests who didn't get notice. Guess who didn't get notice? Yup, that's right - Felicity. A very sweet moment ensues. They arrive at the new location together and are talked into playing cards as a foursome with an older couple. The dialogue during this card game is hysterical. Felicity and Nigel bet on the outcome of the game, and Felicity wins. She claims as her prize a painting that does not belong to Nigel, and insists on taking it home immediately. Felicity wakes in the middle of the night - there is someone on her balcony! She grabs her pistol before she realizes it's Nigel, trying to steal the painting back.

He ends up kissing her, and she drops the gun, which goes off. The bullet hits a large vase at the same time Nigel leaps away from her, through the french doors and off the balcony. Her parents burst in and quickly assess the situation and it is decided that Nigel will marry Felicity immediately to preserve her reputation.

Nigel marries her, and tells her the day after their wedding that he will continue his life as if he were not married - going out to gentleman's clubs, gambling, and staying out all night, BUT he does expect to have Felicity in bed. He does at least promise he will not sleep with other women. Felicity is devastated; she decides not to get mad, she's going to get even. She tells Nigel if he is going to go out nightly and have a good time, so is she, and proceeds to do so. In reality Maddy has set up an astronomy room in a tower of her home and Felicity is going there, but Nigel doesn't know that, he thinks she's going out. And it's killing him...he's falling in love with her.

They decide they're not going to continue having separate social lives, and Nigel accidentally finds out where Felicity has been going. He gets angry at her deception, and yells, but realizes it doesn't matter and he loves her. It's too late, though, because while he's yelling, Felicity decides she's had enough. She goes home to her parent's house, and refuses to see Nigel. He sends notes every day and she refuses him. The end of the book, when he comes to her, is sweet, tender, and funny.

I loved this book! It was laugh-out-loud funny. All the characters were endearing, not just the main couple, and I rooted for Felicity and Nigel. Loved it, loved it, loved it!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Book Binge

I learned something new this week. I did not know how many genres of Romance there are. I knew about Erotica, Larissa Lyons kindly informed me there is Erotic Romance, or "Romantica", I stumbled across Highland Romance, Medival, Regency, Historical, Paranormal, Contemporary, Western, I saw one about a Pirate but I don't know what that would be called - Swashbuckler Romance? I've also run across some m/m and menage.

I've been so involved reading all these Highlander Romances that I'm very behind writing about them! I tore through Julie Garwood's Highland stories - I read one of her Regency (?) romances, Lion's Lady, but didn't care for it too much. I also read one of her contemporaries, Shadow Dance, which was pretty good, although I think there were several books in the series before it. I've also just discovered Kinley MacGregor (Sherrilyn Kenyon). I've read books two and three of her Highlander books and love them! Not a big surprise as I do love me some Dark Hunters!

I also tried to read The Virgin's Secret by Victoria Alexander but couldn't finish it. I've finally given up and will try again later. I'm surprised, because I LOVED What A Lady Wants. I'm going to do a post about it - I spent a good portion of the book laughing out loud.

I'm also looking for recommendations for a good Book Swap. I've found one or two online but don't know if it's more of a hassle than it's worth, or if they're reputable. All I know is I'm gonna have to get another job to keep myself in books!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Secret by Julie Garwood

Okay, I am totally turning into a Julie Garwood fangirl! I really liked The Secret. Hmm...I wonder why: sexy highlanders, fiesty heroines, hot kisses, tender love scenes....mmmmmm...

Oh, where was I? Oh, yes, the book. Ms. Garwood weaves great stories. I love her heroes, her heroines, and her supporting characters. I do wonder about some of the dialogue, whether it's too modern, but thankfully she doesn't do the doonae's and hasna's. But you know what? I don't care! She writes a great story.

The Secret is set in 12th Century Scotland. Judith and Frances Catherine were small children who met at a seasonal fair set on the border between England and Scotland. Judith was from England, Frances Catherine was from the Scottish Highlands. Each year they would meet at the fair and became fast, fast friends, even though the English and the Scots were bitter enemies. Frances Catherine's mother died in childbirth, and her granmother did as well. Frances Catherine was terrified the same fate would fall to her. As a child, Judith swore to help her when they grew up and had babies, she promised she wouldn't let her die.

Fast forward a few years and Frances Catherine is married and pregnant. She is married to her Laird's brother, Patrick. When they got married she made Patrick swear that he would bring Judith to help her with the delivery. The clan elders do not believe Judith will come, but they send someone to ask her to come anyway, so Patrick's vow to his wife is not broken. It's an eight day journey to Judith, and they are shocked when they arrive and she is packed and ready to go. She can't wait to see her friend! The Scottish escort is rough and unfriendly, but Judith wears them down with friendliness and spunkyness. She rides to Scotland with Iain, the Laird, who quickly becomes captivated by her, as do the rest of his soldiers.

By the time she arrives in Scotland, Judith realizes she has feelings for Iain. She has a wonderful reunion with Frances Catherine and starts to settle in. When word gets around that she's there to help with the pregnancy and birth, she receivesa request to assist another woman. Turns out the midwife is a real piece of work and has scared the other expectant mothers silly. Judith learned about midwifery as soon as she found out Frances Catherine was pregnant, but has not ever actually witnessed a birth, so needless to say she is terrified when they come to her for assistance. All goes well, however, and she ends up assisting in a few more births.

The midwife becomes jealous, as Judith is becoming sought after and she is not. Also, the midwife wanted Iain to marry her daughter, and is not happy about his attentions to Judith. She has another small episode with the midwife's assistant, but handles it cleverly and turns her into a staunch ally instead.

Meanwhile, Judith has a secret about her father that no one but Frances Catherine knows. When Judith was an infant, her mother left her father, the Highland Laird MacLean, to go back to England. She told Judith her father was an English baron who died fighting the Scots. Judith didn't find out the truth for many years. The only memento she has of ther father is a ring with his seal on it that she wears around her neck. Her father is one of Iain's enemies.

Ian accidentally finds out who her father is, and convinces her to marry him before it becomes common knowledge for fear his council will object. She begins to enjoy her life with Iain and endears herself to his people.

Then, one afternoon, Judith goes for a ride with a few guards, and they are overtaken by MacLean soldiers and kidnapped. The Laird MacLean intends to use her as bait to kill Iain, but Judith surprises him by telling him she is his daughter and showing him the ring. He asks many questions and embraces her as his daughter and Iain makes an alliance with him without the council's approval. Frances Catherine goes into labor and has some problems, but delivers with Judith's assistance and all is well.

The council has a meeting to discuss Iain's alliance and his wife's relationship to MacLean, and Iain resigns as Laird. Judith prepares to leave and doesn't know Iain has resigned. As they prepare to leave, one by one the rest of the clan states their intent to go with them. There is a scene where they discuss the wants and needs of the clan, and Iain ends up remaining Laird, with Judith at his side.

Loved this story, there is no way my review does it any kind of justice. Her characters are so well-rounded and the storyline is so full! Great read.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Violet eyes, they're watching you....

In a lot, A LOT, of the books I've been reading lately, the authors seem to like giving their characters violet eyes. Now, this has been driving me nuts, I mean, come on, there's no such thing as violet eyes, right? I'm imagining these characters looking like space aliens with flaming purple eyes. Well, I googled it, and apparently there ARE people with violet eyes. I don't know, in this photo of Liz Taylor, her eyes DO kind of look violet. Huh.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Contact Patti

I am currently accepting ROMANCE books for review in the "Romancing the Weekends" feature at Parajunkee's View.  I will read for review books in the following categories:

Romance (Contemporary and Historical)
Paranormal Romance
Young Adult
Erotic Romance
Science Fiction/Urban Fantasy Romance

I can be reached at:

I am also on twitter and goodreads.

Review Policy

THANK YOU for considering Caught in a FAB Romance to review your book!!  I am currently reviewing Romance books at Parajunkee's View in the "Romancing the Weekends" feature.  I will accept Romance books for review (Contemporary, Historical, Young Adult, GLBT, Sci-Fi/UF/Dystopian) and post my reviews at Parajunkee's View, Amazon, and Goodreads, with a 'teaser' post here at Caught in a FAB Romance.

I accept print books and  ebooks (pdf or mobi) although my preference for review is print.  My reviews are based solely on my opinion and accepting your book for review does not guarantee a positive review.  

If you need your book reviewed in a certain time frame, I will certainly work to accommodate your schedule but cannot guarantee to post a review by a certain date.

I reserve the right to decline review requests for any reason.

Please contact me at to request a review.

Rating System

My Rating System:

I loved this book!
I couldn't put it down - the kids are eating cereal for dinner
and the laundry is piling up until I'm done reading.
It's going on my keeper shelf!

I really liked this book.
It was hard to put down - I'll probably whip up something quick
to feed the kids and skip the non-essential chores
so I can get back to reading.

This was a good book.
I wasn't on the edge of my seat but I wasn't bored either.
The household chores are still getting done,
but I might cut a few corners.

This book was just okay. I'm not pushing back
any household obligations to read.

I really didn't like this book/Did Not Finish
I probably made up chores to avoid continuing to read.

Technical Difficulties

I think I've fixed the comments. Let me know if there are more problems!

Favorite Books/Series

Here are a few books and series I just love, love, love that I think you should READ NOW!!!

FYI - "erotic" often = "menage", just warning you :)


Rachel Gibson's Chinook Hockey books:

Deirdre Martin's Blades Hockey books:

Just One of the Guys is my favorite KH book

Victoria Dahl

Julie James

Laid Bare by Lauren Dane (erotic)

Dirty by Megan Hart (erotic)

Stranger by Megan Hart (erotic)

Backstage Pass by Olivia Cunning (erotic)

Comfort Food by Kitty Thomas (erotic)

The Trials of the Honorable F. Darcy by Sara Angelini

And One Last Thing... by Molly Harper

Alice Clayton's Redhead Series

On the Island by Tracey Garvis Graves

A Novel Seduction by Gwen Cready

Charlaine Harris' Sookie Stackhouse Series

Jeaniene Frost's Night Huntress Series

JR Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood

Chloe Neill's Chicagoland Vampires

Molly Harper's Nice Girls series

Patricia Briggs' Mercy Thompson Series

Rachel Vincent's Werecat series

Kelley Armstrong's Women of the Otherworld
my favorites are the Clay/Elena books:

Shelly Laurenston's Pack books

Molly Harper's Naked Werewolves:


Ilona Andrews' Magic Series

Ilona Andrews Edge series

Karen Marie Moning's Fever Series

Kresley Cole's Immortals After Dark

Carolyn Crane's Dissillusionists

Stacia Kane's Downside Ghosts
(It took me a while to get into the first book but I ended up loving this series!!)

Gini Koch's Alien Series

Ann Aguirre's Sirantha Jax series

Tigers and Devils by Sean Kennedy (my favorite M/M book!)

Cheating Chance by James Buchanan

Faith and Fidelity by Tere Michaels

Almost Like Being In Love by Steve Kluger

Gobsmacked by L.B. Gregg

She's Got Balls by Mia Watts

The Assignment by Evangeline Anderson

Heaven by Jet Mykles

Something Like Summer by Jay Bell

Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series

Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase

Addicted by Charlotte Featherstone (erotic)

Young Adult:
Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy Series

JK Rowlings' Harry Potter Series

Stephenie Meyer's Twilight Saga

Th1rteen R3asons Why by Jay Asher

Perfect Chemistry series by Simone Elkeles

Julie Kagawa's Iron Fey Series

Stephanie Perkins:


Thursday, July 16, 2009


My husband told me he was having trouble putting comments on my last post (of course he'd comment on the threesome post!). I didn't think anything of it, but I received this e-mail today:

Hi Patti!I attempted to post the following in comments at your blog, but I don't have an online identity that it seemed to like. I tried a couple then decided to simply e-mail you directly.First off, thanks for giving Ensnared a try. I enjoyed reading your review and think based on what you said that you'll enjoy Deceived by Desire if you decide to give it a chance.It's a novel-length story focused on the brother Nash, more than twice as long as Ensnared. My style grew quite a bit as a writer between these two books and I had a new editor who taught me a ton. If memory serves (which it should, I probably read each scene twelve-plus times while writing it!) I don't think there's any finger-fixation issues. ;) If there are, I owe you an apology!And all of the love and sex scenes are focused solely between the two leads (i.e., no threesomes this time). Let me know what you think if you give it a read, and thanks again for the great write up. I do try to learn and improve based on reader feedback! :-) Larissa

Wow, thank you Ms. Lyons! I'm definitely going to give Deceived by Desire a try!!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Ensnared by Innocence by Larissa Lyons

I'm not familiar enough with the Romance genre to recognize the authors yet, but I knew I had seen this authors name before so I said "what the heck" and went for it. Oh my goodness. Is this considered Erotica? I think it is. When I picked it up, I thought it was Larissa Ione, who writes the Demonica series that I want to start reading. Wrong!

It was a very short book (or maybe I read it too fast, hehe) but by Chapter 3 I needed a shower 'cause I felt dirty. Whew! The premise of the story was good...Lady Francine, a young lady living with her aunt and uncle, is trying to escape the awful marriage they have planned for her. In order to do that she decides to pick someone suitable and pay him to be engaged to her until the end of the season , then break off the engagement. At that point, she won't have to marry the man her aunt picked. The gentleman Francine picks, Lord Blakely, is quite a scoundrel but titled, making him a suitable choice for her plan. Except, once her plan is in motion she is very attracted to him and wants him to bed her.
Lord Blakely is at first shocked, then intrigued by Francine's suggestion, and agrees to go along with it. BUT, Blakely has a secret...he's a werelion, and it's almost time for his Change. He goes along with Francine's fake relationship, and teaches her everything she could ever want to know about sex. He realizes he's falling in love with her, which is bad. It's bad because he once accidentally killed a woman during his Change. Apparently at that time the lion is in constant sexual need and very aggressive about it. The young lady in question was killed when Blakely and his brother fought over her.
So, as the time for his Change comes, Blakely suddenly distances himself from Francine. She is hurt and angry and goes to his home to find out why he's shunning her. She is greeted at the door by Blakely's brother, who won't let her in. She can hear Blakely shouting her name and lots of bumping and thumping noises. She insists on going to him to see what is the matter, sure that she can help. She finds him tied to the bed, in the throes of the Change. He had insisted his brother tie him up to keep Felicia safe.
Well, one thing leads to another and they end up having hot sex. But then it gets a bit weird when Blakely's brother gets involved. Hey, I don't have anything against a threesome (that's what she said!), but with your brother? Uh-uh. No way. Ick. And, throughout the story Blakely had a strange habit of smelling his fingers. During foreplay. And making Francine smell his fingers. Also his brother. Very weird. Then, they all fall asleep and when she wakes up the brother is gone and she and Blakely talk about what happened. She loves him and loves her and is delighted she can handle his brother and his Lion half.
I'm not sure how I feel about this book. If it wasn't for the sibling threesome and the finger fixation, I'd say it was great. But for some reason I just can't get past those two issues. I'd love to hear someone else's thoughts. I'll probably try one more of her books before I decide whether or not to read more of her stuff.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Shadow Music by Julie Garwood

I picked up Shadow Music because I'd recently read The Bride and loved it. I figured I'd like this one too (plus, the cover was safe, no half nekkid people in a scandalous embrace on it). This was a great story. I think I have a soft spot for Highlanders, or maybe forced marriages, or ladies whose reputations have been ruined for no good reason. I'm seeing a pattern in all the Romance stories I've liked so far.

Gabrielle's mother was a princess from St. Biel, and her father was an English Baron. St. Biel had a curious history; there was a story of lost gold, but no one knew if it was true.

Gabrielle was a beautiful young woman, and to keep peace between England and Scotland, her king, John, had promised her to an older Laird of a Highland clan. Her dowry was to be a piece of land in Scotland that belonged to the king, but many clansman coveted this piece of land. As Gabrielle arrived at the Abbey where she was to be wed, she came upon a group of men preparing to murder another and ambush his kinsmen. Under cover of woods, she shot and killed the main attacker (with a bow and arrow!) and his co-conspirators ran. She rushed out and brought the injured man to the Abbey to be nursed back to health, but did not want anyone to know as she was not aware of the parties involved and didn't want to accidentally end up in the middle of a clan war. While at the Abbey her betrothed was murdered. There were two English Barons who had been fighting to marry her before the King gave her away and they each saw this as an opportunity marry her; however things went awry and Gabrielle was accused of being a whore and banished from England. The Baron's plan was to kidnap her while she had no protection, however, Gabrielle's cousin by marriage was there and knew the accusations were false. He convinced his friend, Laird Colm MacHugh to take Gabrielle under his protection and marry her. MacHugh did not want to do it but owed his friend a debt (favor, not money) and took her. He told her they would marry in 6 months so no one would wonder if any children were his. Of course he is very Alpha and expects her to follow his orders and she replies with "as you wish" and does whatever she wants. Oh, and the man whose life she saved turned out to be Colm's brother.

There are many trials they must face, but they do fall in love. The king finds out about Gabrielle's banishment and the lies surrounding it and has new plans for Gabrielle. He sends a messenger to apologize and offer her the land back but she knows it's a trick. She quickly (and secretly) marries Colm and is therefore free of her obligation to follow the king's orders. But one of the Barons is not done with her, he wants the rumored gold and he knows Gabrielle knows where it is! So he kidnaps her! Of course, Gabrielle outsmarts him and gets a message to her husand who comes to save her.

This was a really good book to read but hard to write about, there were so many twists and turns, it really kept my attention. I really liked the characters and rooted for them through the whole book. If Ms. Garwood's books all have such terrific characters and sexy Highlanders to boot, I think she has a new fan!

I'm not sure about the title of the book, I don't know what it had to do with the story. It might be the sound Colm's sword makes before it strikes down his enemies.

He Lives In a Lair

This was actually a post I did on my other blog back in April but I thought it was appropriate to post it here...

Okay, so I'm always searching for something to read. I search the internet sites I like for reader recommendations. Several sites mentioned this Carpathian series (it's 20 books - yay!). Well, I started reading them and wow. Kinda disappointed. They are like vampires but not. When they go bad they become vampires, but not undead. Anyhoo, I'm up to book 3 (I'm so disappointed I keep reading them - yeah, I have issues) and the vampire kidnaps the "independent young heroine" and brings her to a cave. "Where are we?" she asks. "In my lair," is his reply. I mean, please. Who says "this is my lair"? Honestly. Then he proceeds to chain her to the wall. Where are all these caves with convenient chains attached to the walls? Maybe here in Louisiana the water table makes the cave walls to weak to support chains so if you kidnap someone and bring them to your lair you have to just tie them with rope and put them in a corner (technically not a corner since caves are not square - okay put them in a crevice?). In all of the photos of caves I looked at, not one set of chains....hmmmmm.... Oh yeah, my point is....I'm going to call either my house or my bedroom my lair. I can't decide which.

*Update: I never did finish that 3rd book. I dont' know if it's just me or if I'm reading the wrong series because I know Ms. Feehan has a huge fanbase. Maybe I'll try them again later...keep them on the back burner so to speak.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Slave to Sensation by Nalini Singh

I don't know why I've been so resistant to reading these books - they get such high praise by readers. After reading two great reviews on Ms. Singh's Psy/Changeling series, I decided now was the time. I think I'm gonna like this series!

Sascha Duncan is a Psy - a race sort of like humans with no emotion. Lucas Hunter is a changling - part human, part panther. The Psy and Changelings are working togther on a joint venture that will be very lucrative for both parties. Sascha thinks she has been slowly going insane, Psy aren't supposed to have feelings and she does. After meeting Lucas her feelings and craving for touch increase - she is having more and more difficulty sheilding these thoughts and desires from other Psy. If it is discovered, they will destroy her mind and kill her. Lucas, the Alpha for his panther pack, cannot get Sascha off his mind; he's determined to have her.

As they work together, Sascha decides she can work through her thoughts and emotions about Lucas through dreaming; she doesn't realize she is transporting her dreams and he's having them too - raw, lusty dreams where she can let herself so whatever she wants!

Lucas is trying to get to know her better, using any opportunity to touch her and talk to her. Slowly she warms to him and he realizes she's his mate. Then, a female from a local pack of wolf changelings goes missing and there is evidence it's the same serieal killer the jaguar pack has been searching for that tortured and killed one of their own - they have evidence it's a Psy doing the killing.

Can they trust Sascha to help them? Will she be able to help without getting herself executed by the Psy? Can she agree to a mating bond with a Changeling?

I really enjoyed this book. I think one of the reasons I was hesitant to read it was for some reason I thought it was going to be a sci/fi-type story, or set on another planet or something. It was set in the future, but I can live with that! The bit of it that was sort of sci/fi was written so well it was easy to imagine. She wove great backgrounds for both characters and the social dynamics were interesting, they showed very well why the hero and heroine are they way they are. I liked both Lucas and Sascha and how their relationship progressed slowly. Sometimes you get a book where the heroine says "no, no, no...ok, yes" very abrubtly and unbelieveably. Ms. Singh writes it so that you see the thought process and emotional journey Sascha takes to reach her potential. Lucas' patience while he waited for her made me fall in love with him. AND, he has a lair (more on my love of lairs later)!

Now, to get my hands on Book 2!!!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Resting My Eyes

I have been an avid reader as long as I can rememer. As a kid my mom would complain that she couldn't send me to my room to punish me because I'd just go in and read and that was not a punishment. Now, as an adult, I have three kids, 7 years apart. As each of them were born, I put off reading for approximately the first two years of their lives; it's just not possible with all the attention they need! But, now my LAST (really last, not just saying that like we did after each of her siblings!) child is two and I have again discovered the joy of reading. Bliss!

This time around I've had a paranormal fixation, ever since I was introduced to Twilight by a co-worker. I was a late fan, I didn't get into the Twilight Saga until this past August. Since then I've devoured anything I can get my hands on that involves vampires, werewolves, and magic. A little romance thrown in just sweetens the pot (or should I say plot?). I've read more series than I can even remember. Recently I typed a list for a co-worker of some of the vampire/paranormal series I'd recently read and it was two pages long!

Anyway, my sweet husband went out and picked up Underworld for me. I'd never seen it and several of the stories I've read reference the movie and he thought I'd enjoy it (I've also never seen Buffy or Van Helsing). I did, but I fell asleep a couple of times at the big fight scene (was there more than one, I'm not sure if it was several fights or one continuous scene that I kept dozing off and waking up) at the end. Don't get me wrong, I liked the movie and we're supposed to watch the second Underworld tonight.

Here's the thing: I can stay up reading until midnight if a book is good enough (I get up at 5:30), but I couldn't stay up until 10:00 to watch the movie? I'm wondering if it's because reading is active (for your brain anyway) and watching TV is passive? That I have to be alert to read so I can imagine what my brain is processing, whereas watching TV doesn't take much in the brain activity department? I don't know, I just thought it was weird.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Kiss of the Highlander by Karen Marie Moning

Kiss of the Highlander by Karen Marie Moning is my favorite of her Highlander Series. Gwen Cassidy is a 25-year-old genius who's having a life crisis and decides to take a bus tour of Scotland, hoping to find a guy to lose her virginity to. Little does she know it's a senior citizens tour! So, feeling frustrated, she leaves the group to wander the highlands and gather her thoughts. She falls into a ravine, and realizes she did not land on the ground - she landed on a man!
Drustan MacKeltar is a Druid and the laird of his castle. He wakes up, not knowing where he is, and there is a scantily clad woman straddling him. He does not know who she is or how he got there, but slowly realizes something else isn't right. It's 500 years in the future since his last memories! He must get to his castle, but when they arrive it's a ruin. He knows he must use the standing stones near the ruins to go back in time to save the castle and all it protects. He intends to take Gwen with him but has not shared this information with her.
On their way to the castle they've started to get to know each other, and attraction builds. Gwen wants Drustan to be the one to take her virginity. There is a very tender moment between them, then they go through the stones back into the 1500s, except Drustan disappears! She goes, naked, wrapped in Drustan's plaid, to the castle where Drustan's father lets her in. The next morning she shares her story with Drustan, who doesn't believe her. She spends the next few weeks trying to convince him of the truth, while also trying to prevent the death of his brother, which she had heard about in the future.
Finally, in a scene that was both funny and touching, he comes to believe her story and remembers. They spend some time together and she is content to live in the past with him. Except by her being there they have changed the past - and certain events do not unfold as they would have and she is hurtled back into the future, with out Drustan.
Ms. Moning takes us on a wild ride in this book. It's funny, romantic, and sexy. There are actually three happy endings to this story! I enjoyed all of her Highlander stories, but this one is my favorite - it has everything! I liked all the characters in at least two spots I caught myself going "Awwww! How sweet!"

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Wicked Deeds on a Winter's Night by Kresley Cole

Wicked deeds on a Winter's Night is the story of Bowen, the werewolf competitor from No Rest for the Wicked, and Mari, a witch prodigy. They are both competitors in the race, and end up at the same cave after one of the goals. There is attraction between them that they both deny. Bowen denies it because he wants the prize, the key to go back in time, so he can save his mate who died centuries ago while running from him, and Mari denies it because she is young and unsure.

Bowen grabs the goal and seals Mari, along with 5 other competitors, in a cave. Unbeknownst to him, there are also ancient incubi in the cave who attack Mari. As he was doing that, she hit him with a spell to make him mortal. Bowen makes it to the final round but he is severly injured and ends up trapped for weeks, and spends a lot of that time thinking conflicting thoughts about his lost mate and Mari; he thinks she put a love spell on him. When he is rescued, he learns Mari is still trapped and her witch family is going to start a supernatural war if she is not returned; Bowen is the only one who knows where she is. He goes back for her to ask her to remove the spells, but she is pretty sure she didn't put a love spell on him. He decides maybe she could be his mate, and asks for a chance to prove it to her. Mari doesn't want to, she's pretty angry at him, but the circumstances surrounding her returning to her family throw them together and she starts to fall for him. Meanwhile, her powers are growing. After she is returned home, his first mate returns to him and he must make a choice between them. At the same time Mari is attacked and Bowen is the only one who can help her....

Another good book; I am enjoying the series and can't wait to see what's next!!!

No Rest for the Wicked by Kresley Cole

I do like this Kresley Cole series. No Rest for the Wicked was about Kaderin, a Valkyre who lost her ability to have feelings, and Sebastian, a vampire. She intended to kill him but was unable to, and she notices she has feelings when he's around. As a bit of background, her sisters were killed by vampires.

Kaderin joins a "supernatural Amazing Race" competition, which she's won the last dozen or so times she's competed (it takes place every 250 years). This year the prize is a key to go back in time; she plans to use it to bring her sisters back. Sebastian knows she's his mate and wants to be near her, so he joins with the intention of helping her. She pushes him away every chance she gets, but he is persistent. She is neck-in-neck in the competition with a werewolf, and he's a brutal competitor, desperate for the prize. As Sebastian follows her, helping and sometimes protecting, she can no longer deny the attraction between them but she knows her family will not approve of a vampire mate. Ultimately she must put her trust in him, not only for her own survival but that of her sisters as well.

I hope the rest of the series is this good!

The Brides of Fortune Series by Nicola Cornick

There are three books in this series, the final installment, The Undoing of a Lady, is not out until August. There was also an e-book prequel that I did not read.
I picked the first book, Confessions of a Duchess, because the cover was not ridiculous, and you know how I am about those Romance book covers. I guess I'm not self-assured enough to flaunt them. (Although my SIL has very kindly given me a gift that solves that problem nicely!)
Confessions of a Duchess is about a widow who moves to a small village, Fortune's Folly with her three-year-old daughter after the death of her awful husband. Shortly after moving in, the Lord (?) of the village decides he needs money and revives a medeval tax on all maidens - he get's half their fortune! So now all the poor young men in the area are arriving in Fortune's Folly to snag a rich bride. While out and about, Laura runs into an old "acquaintance" after she almost drowns in a boating incident. Seems she had a torrid one night affair with this gentleman four years ago. She's tried to put it out of her mind and move on, but she cannot stop thinking about him. Dexter is a law-enforcement-type man who is in Fortune's Folly searching for a wanted criminal and cannot believe Laura is there. He has not forgotten her over the four years and dreams of her often. They proceed to avoid each other as much as possible but keep getting thrown into situations where they are alone together and cannot help reacting! She is keeping secrets from him that he must never find out (of course he does) and there is a happy ending to this story.
Two of the supporting characters from this story, Alice - a rich woman who used to be a servant but inherited her employer's fortune, and Miles, a rake of the worst kind, also a law-enforcement-type guy with Dexter. In Confessions, Miles had expressed in Alice, and she was interested in Miles, until he left her to pursue a richer woman in another village, then took up with a mistress. She promptly wrote to him and told him to never contact her again. As luck would have it, he caught her attempting to steal a wedding dress from a shop that had gone out of business. The dress had been paid for, but the contents of the shop were being held for creditors. Dexter used the threat of exposure of the theft to blackmail Alice into marrying him. There was a catch, however. According to the terms of her inheritance, he had to prove to her solicitors for three months that he was an honorable man and worthy of her hand in marriage. So she hates him and he only wants her to use her inheritance to pay off his debts passed down to him by his father or he will end up in jail. There are many side stories and intrigue as these two grow in affection for each other.
I enjoyed both of these books and would like to read the third, Undoing of a Lady, when it comes out next month. While I will not put them in my "keep" pile, they were entertaining and fun.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Bride by Julie Garwood

I came across this book by accident. I was in Barnes and Noble and I was trying to get my daughter to behave so I could pick one more book, so I asked her to pick one for me. She actually picked the book next to this one, which didn't look very interesting, but this one caught my eye.
I really liked this book. Alec is a Scottish warlord who had been in England at the behest of his king, and was told to pick a wife from four sisters on his way back to Scotland. His friend Daniel was to pick a wife as well. Jamie's father didn't pay his taxes, so he was forced to offer up two daughters to wed in payment. Alec chose Jamie and they were immediately married and off to Scotland that day. She didn't like him because he was Scottish, he didn't like her because she was English. Jamie was quickly accepted into Alec's clan after she healed one of the warriors they thought was dead. Her prickly temper kept her at odds with Alec, who also had a quick temper. As they began to know each other and understand each other's personalities, they grew closer. There was a bit of mystery - someone was trying to kill Jamie! It was not the person I thought it was. This was a very entertaining story. I'll try another of Ms. Garwood's stories.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase

So, I wanted to try another Romance, because I keep reading blogs where the Romance stories are great! I saw this book on a couple of sites as a "favorite" and decided to give it a try....Loved it!!

Lord Dain is a rake who had a rough childhood (mother abandoned him and ran off with another man, father couldn't bear to look at him and sent him off to boarding school where he was teased mercilessly) and as an adult drinks, gambles, and womanizes. He meets the sister of a friend, who is trying to get her brother away from Lord Dain's bad influences. There is some attraction between them that they both deny. Then, they finally act on their feelings and are discovered. He thinks it's a set-up by her to blackmail him for money, while she thinks he means to ruin her reputation as a lady. She retaliates by shooting him!!! Through a series of legal maneuvers, she is able to sue him for ruining her reputation, so he decides if he's going to have to pay her he might as well get his money's worth and tells her she must marry him or get nothing at all. She calls his bluff and they are married. There are several more surprises after the wedding, as at that point they both barely tolerate each other. A former flame, an illegitemate child, traiterous friends, this book's got it all! Ms. Chase wraps up the ending in a nice, tidy bow. A very good read.

One of the things I liked about this book is that it didn't end at the wedding. I enjoyed watching them grow to care for each other and support each other. Apparently I'm a sucker for a romance that starts off with the hero and heroine detesting each other. (Come on, the first time I laid eyes on my husband and his friends I told my friend we needed to avoid them at all costs!! 17 years later I'm glad we didn't!)

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Prey by Rachel Vincent

Wow. It's probably not good to start a post when you're speechless. Ms. Vincent writes such a good story that I still feel like I'm in her world. I re-read Stray, Rogue, and Pride this week in anticipation of Prey coming out yesterday. I stayed up until midnight reading and finished it at work.

Stray introduces us to Faythe, a were-cat who has been trying to make a life of her own, away from her family and pride. We are also introduced to Marc (fictional boyfriend!) early on as he arrives at college to bring Faythe home because someone is kidnapping the female were-cats (tabbies). Each pride has only one tabby, they are very rare and "valuable" to each pride to ensure the continuation of the species. Faythe's father is the Alpha of her pride. Faythe is very stubborn and does not want to marry and have children as the other tabbies do, she wants to be independent. She makes some mistakes along the way and ends up kidnapped. She eventually frees herself and another tabbie and goes after the kidnappers. We also learn about Faythe's relationship with Marc - she left him at the altar five years ago but still has feelings for him. He definately still has feelings for her.

In Rogue, Faythe's story continues. She is out with Marc, learning how to be an Enforcer (sort of were-cat self-police) and several strays end up dead. This leads her on a search for the killer and a character from the first book reappears - with a surprise for Faythe. Faythe and Marc's relationship hits a few snags in this book.

In Pride, Faythe is facing a tribunal-type hearing regarding her actions in book 2. She is facing the possibility of being de-clawed or execution. During the trial, a bruin (were-bear) barges in complianing about the cats bothering him. The only problem is that it's not the cats there for the hearing - there is a renegade group of strays causing trouble and humans go missing. Then a tabby lands on their doorstep, except that she doesn't know how she came to be a were-cat. Faythe spends time helping her adjust while also dealing with the tribunal, who decide to spare Faythe's life if Marc will leave the pride. Then one of the other Alphas challenges Faythe's father for control of the Alpha council.

Prey, the fourth book in her six book series picks up about two months after Pride left off. Marc is living in the "free zone" (not pride land) and Faythe and some fellow enforcers are escorting another were-cat to a trial so Faythe is able to stop and visit Marc. While there they are ambushed by an unprecedented group of strays working together to attack their group. They manage to escape and drop the were-cat at her trial and Faythe returns home. Shortly after that she receives a call that Marc is missing and presumed dead. They rush to search for him, getting assistance from a stray who has befriended Marc since he's been in the free-zone. While this is going on, they are having problems with the rescued tabby from book 3 (she won't shift to cat form and is getting very sick because of it) and the council tries to steal her through a sneak attack that has disasterous results. While searching for Marc, Faythe and her group discover someone is tagging stray were-cats with a homing device and they are trying to see how all that fits in with the kidnapping and attempted takeover of the council, AND Faythe makes a bad decision in a fit of alcohol-fueled grief.

This book had me hanging on the edge of my seat. I "OMG'd", "Oh no'd", cried, and cheered. March 2010 cannot get here fast enough - I need to know what happens next!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

To Beguile a Beast by Elizabeth Hoyt

I decided that since I liked What Would Jane Austen Do? that I would try another historical romance. Based on several mentions that I saw on the internet, I picked To Beguile a Beast. Bad choice. I hope this book is not representative of historical romance.

Where to begin? I just couldn't get with the plot. The heroine was the mistress of a Duke, Ms. Fitzwilliam, that decided to run away with her (and the Duke's) children because he didn't pay attention to her anymore. Not because he beat her or was blackmailing her or anything. He kept her in a house and gave her expensive gifts, he just didn't have sex with her anymore. I didn't buy it. She went to the castle of a codgerly man who lived alone and had let his castle go to rot after he was disfigured in an unfortunate accident; his face was scarred, he'd lost an eye and 2 fingers. She showed up on his doorstep to be his housekeeper at the recommendation of a mutual friend. He told her to go away and she wouldn't; she took charge and hired new staff!

Of course, the Duke came looking for his children to steal away and force her back to her life with him, and Mr. Munroe helped her rescue the children and free her from the Duke's clutches.

I just didn't buy it. The running away, knowing society would not acknowledge her because she was a mistress; her taking over Mr. Munroe's castle and falling in love with a horribly scarred and grumpy man - not believable to me.

Whew, crisis averted!

I had to go out of the office for work today, and while I was out I decided to stop by my neighborhood B&N to grab Prey, out today. I reserved it quite some time ago and have been anxiously awaiting it.

Prey is the 4th book in Rachel Vincent's Shifter series. Faythe is a were-cat who has been having a hard time accepting her responsibilities to her pride and throughout the series I've enjoyed watching her grow and learn about herself and her family (and Marc - see my fictional boyfriend list at right). I loved the first three and can't wait to see what happens next.

So, I stroll in and ask at the desk if my copy is in. No, it's not in and they don't have me down as reserving a copy. It came out today and they haven't unloaded their trucks yet. Damn! Well, her site said many places have put her book out early (maybe because she's not as famous? Dunno.) so I go into the back to check the SciFi/Paranormal section. Nothing. I'm really disappointed and am thinking about trying another B&N and as I'm walking down the Romance aisle - THERE IT IS!!!!! It was already on the shelf, in Romance??!! Whatev. I've got it!!!!!

Don't call me tonight.