A Series of Short Reviews
April 9, 2011 § 2 Comments
I’m a bit behind where I want to be on reviews, and with the read-a-thon starting soon, I’d like to get as caught up as I can before then. With that, I present you with a few quick romance reviews.
Alison Carter has looked up to western hero Silas Quinn since she was a little girl. She even wrote a book about his life in Jubilation, Arizona. Now, Alison is acting as a historical consultant for the Hollywood movie about Silas Quinn based on her book. What Alison never expected was a stranger who tells her she has the whole story wrong and that witnessing an altercation on the film set would put her life in danger. Enter A.J. Gallagher, great-grandson of Jamie “Kid” Gallagher – the enemy of the ever loved Silas Quinn. A.J. hopped in his truck to drive from Heaven, Alaska to Jubilation in order to set the record straight with Alison. It’s not just for himself that A.J. is trying to get Alison to hear the real story of what really happened over 100 years ago though, A.J. is doing this for his great-grandfather whos ghost refuses to leave him until A.J. suceeds. A.J. and Alison work together to explore Jamie’s side of the story, to protect Alison from the men who want to hurt her, and to explore the attraction the two have – assuming Alison can come to terms with A.J.s past.
I loved Infamous. The characters were fantastic. They had faults and they made mistakes – and I love characters that are not perfect, but they also triumphed. There were moments of happiness and sadness, and moments of sheer terror, wondering if they would live to see the next day. I may have only read one other book by Suzanne Brockmann, but even with the two books I’ve read, she’s got romance and suspense down pat. Much as I try not to have expectations lest I be seriously let down, I had high expectations going into Infamous and I wasn’t disappointed.
Unfortunately, since I’ve read roughly 30 some odd books since To Tempt a Scotsman and Dahl’s other historicals, I don’t remember everything well enough to write real synopsis-es (?), but I can give a few sentences for each. To Tempt a Scotsman is the story of Lady Alexandria Huntington who, after being caught up in a huge public scandal has exiled herself to her brothers estate where she has her freedom to work with the horses and manage business. Alexandria lives her life quietly and is quite content until Collin Blackburn shows up to find out what happened to his brother who was killed in a duel as a result of Huntington’s scandal. Neither Collin nor Alexandria get, quite what they expected.
In One Week As Lovers, the Viscount Lancaster has a truth to face, he needs to marry. But when he catches his betrothed with another man, much as he knows he needs to wed, he doesn’t want to force the woman into it, dire finances or no. When Nicholas gets a letter telling him of the death of one of his neighbors, a girl he was once close to, he heads back out into the country to wait out the time before his wedding. Imagince his suprise when he finds that Cynthia Merrithorpe isn’t dead, but hiding out in his home with the help of his housekeeper. It seems Cynthia faked her own death in an attempt to avoid a particularly awful marriage – a marriage her mother and stepfather were determined to sell her into to save their own finances. Cynthia might have an alternative to a forced marriage, and the two might be able to be together after all…
A Little Bit Wild is the first book in a new series from Dahl, the York Family series. When Marissa is found to be compromised and refuses to marry the man she was found with, her brother tries to find her a husband who will save her from social ruin. She knows that betrothal to the son of a duke is as good as she can get, even if that man isn’t quite what she was looking for in the beginning. Jude Bertrand isn’t pretty, he isn’t into fashion, and he is not the best dancer on the floor – all of the qualities Marissa has looked for in a man – and he knows it. In the end though, Jude and Marissa realize that they might just be perfect together.
I first read Victoria Dahl last year. I read all of her contemporary romances and loved them. Dahl is a great writer. Her books are just plain fun. To Tempt a Scotsman was the first of her historical romances I read, but each of them has been fantastic. Her characters are easy to love and the stories are easy to follow. I look forward to the one historical I have left and the books she has coming out this year.
This Side of the Grave is the long-awaited fifth installment in Jeaniene Frost’s Night Huntress series. Cat and Bones have been through a lot in four books, but the fun isn’t over yet. Cat is still adjusting to her new vampire abilities, courtesy of her strange diet, and she and Bones have been called upon to look into the disappearance of several vampires. The conflict between the vampires and the ghouls has continued to escalate, but Cat and Bones are willing to do whatever it takes to avoid a full out war between the two groups. On top of the possibility of war, Cat finds out that both her mother and uncle have been keeping secrets, and she is not happy to say the least. With the help of their friends and the unexpected assistance of the ghosts, Cat and Bones do their best to find a way out of the latest mess.
This Side of the Grave was absolutely worth the wait. For months I anticipated getting my hand on this book, and it was so good to have Cat and Bones back. Plus there was the added bonus of seeing Spade, Denise, Mencheres, and Kira again. Frost’s books are fantastic and as per usual This Side of the Grave had me laughing, sitting on the edge of my seat, and throwing a fit at the situation with Don. Amazing read, and I cannot wait until book six this fall!
When I read How to Flirt With A Naked Werewolf last month I knew I just had to get the next book. The Art of Seducing A Naked Werewolf is the story of Cooper’s sister Maggie Graham. Maggie stepped up to be pack alpha after everything with Eli went to crap and Cooper was still determined not to hold his position as alpha. When Maggie gets the heads up that a reporter is asking questions about the wolf attacks, she goes to investigate. When she ntoices her attraction to Dr. Nick Thatcher, Maggie becomes even more determined to get rid of him and find a mate within the pack. One problem though, Maggie’s efforts to push Nick away only bring him closer which isn’t good. Maggie’s position as alpha requires her to breed pups and mating with an outsider runs the risk of her giving birth to dead liners. At the same time, an outside pack is determined to work their way onto Maggie’s packs territory and someone is determined to get rid of Maggie.
As with the first book, The Art of Seducing A Naked Werewolf is hilarious. The butt biting scene alone makes the book worth reading (at least in my opinion). I didn’t get the chance to know Maggie that well during the first book, so it was nice to get to know her – and the pack – better. The Art of Seducing A Naked Werewolf is a fun read with great characters and a great story. Definitely a book that I’ll be keeping around.
Lilah Young co-runs a kennel by day and is a student by night. For years Lilah has worked herself silly and she really doesn’t need her day to start by hitting the nice brand new truck she did. Or for her Jeep to die afterwards, like it did. Brady Miller, on the other hand, is a bit shocked to find a woman with a piglet, a duck, and puppies trying to start her car after hitting his truck. Brady, who is only in town for a quick visit to his foster brothers finds himself intrigued by the woman, and when he finds out that shes good friends with his brothers he tries to tell himself to stay away. He won’t be sticking around after all, but it seems he can’t quite listen to himself. Adam and Dell are hoping Brady will stick around for awhile, the land their business on is his too, and just maybe Lilah is the thing that will keep him around.
Jill Shalvis writes some great romances. Every time I pick up one of her books I know I’m in for a funny story and a steamy romance. Animal Magnetism is in no way a disappointment. I loved Brady and Lilah and the kennel where all sorts of animals come and go. Another great read from Shalvis and I look forward to Animal Attraction, the next book in the series.
The Undead Next Door is book four in the Love at Stake series. Jean-Luc Echarpe has lived in the spotlight as a mega famous fashion designer for a long time, and with that spotlight, people have begun to question how exactly he has managed to keep his good looks. Since the public cannot find out the Jean-Luc is a vampire, it is decided he must go into hiding for a few decades. With the help of his Angus’s security team, a plan for Jean-Luc’s temporary exile. When Jean-Luc spies a woman copying one of designs during a cover store opening, he is not happy. Heather Westfield certainly couldn’t fit herself into an Echarpe gown, after all she isn’t like her super-model friend Sasha, pencil thin and starving. What started as a misunderstanding, turns into a relationship filled with excitement, but that’s not exactly what Heather is looking for. Ever since the end of her awful marriage she just wants to raise her daughter in a peaceful life. Sword-weilding assassins aside, she just might get her chance to do so, with Jean-Luc at her side.
The next installment, book five, of the Love at Stake series, All I Want for Christmas is A Vampire, is Ian’s story. All Ian’s really wanted was his chance to have what the other vamps have, chance at true love. Finally, he is no longer almost 500 years old stuck in a 15 year old’s body – that’s thanks to Roman’s serum that keeps vampires awake during the day. When Ian returns to the Manhattan town house where he and some of the other guards from McKay S and I stay, the last thing he expects is to find a female bodyguard keeping watch over the men during the day. Toni Davis isn’t playing house with the Vamps for fun. She’s trying to get proof that they exist so she can spring her best friend from the psych ward. In the blink of an eye it seems Toni went from being just your average grad student to fighting for her life, and that of her best friend. Oh, and then there’s that highlander vampire who keeps catching her attention.
Both The Undead Next Door and All I Want for Christmas were great additions to the series. Kerrelyn Sparks continues to entertain me with her vampires, shifters, and their human counterparts. These books are awesome.
Vampire Mine is the most recent release from the Love at Stake series. The other awesome thing about Vampire Mine, it’s Connor’s story. Gosh, but I’ve been waiting for Connor’s story since I read my first book from the series. Connor Buchanan’s friends and co-workers are pretty sure that he is having a mid-life crisis. Connor on the other hand is the one that’s got it right. All of the guys have been falling in love and having children, but Connor knows that sort of thing can only make life worse. He should know, he’s live with the pain of losing loved ones for centuries. When Connor finds Marielle left injured and alone in the woods, he takes her to get help at Romatech. When the unexpected happens and it’s discovered that Marielle is an angel of death, Connor finds himself in a difficult position with a longtime friend. Marielle is amazed by her new human body, but she has a lot to learn about it. In the meantime she has Connor to act as her protector until she finds her way back into heaven. Marielle’s fight to get back to heaven, defense against a demon determined to take her to hell, and the ongoing situation with Casimir and his Malcontents, Vampire Mine makes for an exciting read.
Vampire Mine is awesome! I’m incredibly psyched to finally have Connor’s story. I’ve been waiting for this. In fact, I was so excited about his book that I skipped the three other books I have left before this one just so I wouldn’t have to wait to read it. Connor and Marielle are great together, and I loved the both of them. This was another book that had me emotionally involved from the get-go. I had a moment of anger and sadness with Father Andrew, I couldn’t believe what happened with him, but it was still so good! This was an intense read and it was fantastic.