More Short Reviews

Well, I definitely meant to get these up last week, but between Easter weekend (a killer at work – 40+ hours in 4 days killer) and my final paper for my Applied Psych class due this week, book reviews were not first and foremost on my mind. Hopefully you understand…

Emma Jensen was raised by a man who loved to indulge in life’s pleasures, but she never thought the desensitization she went through as a child would help her when she became an adult. Posing as a widow, Emma heads to London with her new housekeeper who’s just escaped her abusive husband just before the season starts to win a fortune that she can finally make a life for herself from. When the Duke of Somerhart first meets Emma, he doesn’t realize that he’s met her before, but it’s been so long he can’t remember and Emma isn’t complaining about that. When Emma realizes just what her attraction to the Duke could cost her, she had to find a way to stay away from him and make her fortune so she can begin that new life.

I finally got my hands on a copy of A Rake’s Guide to Pleasure – and isn’t that a horrible title? – the last of Victoria Dahl’s novels I had to read to be caught up, and I loved it. While it’s not surprising that I loved this, I’ve liked everything I’ve read from Dahl at this point, I’m still going to tell you about it, mainly because I loved Emma and the Duke together. When I read my first historical from Dahl, the Duke had a part, but we don’t get to know him very well. He’s mostly a quiet man who loved his sister, though most seem to think of him as severe. Who doesn’t love someone who is dark and broody, though? Having the chance to know him here, well certain parts of his character surprised me, but all in all I still liked him. Emma is, in my opinon, totally kick ass – in a very 19th century, daring woman way. If I had been a woman in 1800s England, I hope I would’ve been like Emma – embracing life the way she wants to, even if she’s doing it because she is so badly in need of money. I have yet to be disappointed by Dahl and very much look forward to more of her work.

Rodeo Queen Jodi Brand beat feet out of her small Wyoming hometown to grab her chance at college and hasn’t been back since. During the time she’s been away she’s done far more than get a college degree, she’s overcome her resentment against her mother and she is pretty sure she’s over Purvis bad-boy Teague Treadwell. Armed with her degree and her determination to open a horse therapy clinic for children with disabilities, she’s ready to head back home to the family ranch to make her dreams come true. But when Jodi get back to town, things are a little bit different, and it seems that maybe she isn’t over Teague, and perhaps there is some competition.

Last year, I discovered Joanne Kennedy and she quickly became a favorite author. While I did like Cowboy Fever overall, there were certain things that I really didn’t like which made the book… difficult. At least for the first half. When Jodi lets her mother try to dictate her life, even though she’s an adult, I got seriously pissed. Why should her mother tell her what she can and can’t do, especially when she (mom) is judging someone she really doesn’t even know. Letting herself be ifluenced by this made me dislike Jodi for a while, but like I said, things pick up after a while. Her mother admits she was wrong to make Jodi promise to stay away from someone. Plus there’s the new girl in town, who I strongly disliked the entire book and misjudged for being a daddy’s girl.

Regardless of what I didn’t like in Cowboy Fever, the relationship between Teague and Jodi is fun to follow. The two are great together. Lets also not forget Teague’s brother, Troy. He is definitely my favorite character from the book, especially with his love for ACDC. Bottom line, Cowboy Fever has some down points, but is full of great characters that make the book worth reading.

Tara Daniels swore she wasn’t going to stick around in Lucky Harbor this time. She was going to meet her sisters, sell her mothers inn, and get back to Texas, where her life is. When Tara does end up sticking, she’s got to find a way to deal with Ford and that one summer from her past that keeps haunting her. When her ex-husband shows up in town, things start to get really crazy and Tara’s got to figure out how to deal with the two alpha men and the HUGE surprise that she’s not at all expecting.

The Sweetest Thing was really good, and to be honest, I’m surprised at just how much I like the book. In the first book of the series, you don’t really get a chance to know Tara and because of that, it makes her difficult to like. A few chapters into The Sweetest Thing, and I’d learned about Tara – who she is and what she’s been through, and I found out she isn’t that, sorry there’s no nice way to put this, frigid bitch she seems at first glance. As the book went on I was rooting for Tara and Ford, regardless of the fact that I knew they would end up together – and when the surprise comes all chances of me putting the book down were lost. Basically, this was just another awesome Jill Shalvis book, and let me just say I cannot wait until the last book comes out in a few months!

Reporter Merinus Tyler has finally gotten her brothers and father to let her work with them on the case surrounding Callan Lyons, a man who was actually created by a group of scientists experimenting with human and animal DNA. Callan wants nothing to do with the reporter or her deal, he simply wants to protect his pride, the five others who are just like him, but believed to be dead. Callan realizes that Merinus isn’t just going to leave town, and when something attracts the two to each other, an urge that neither can deny, he’s got to do something. Eventually, soldiers serving the group that created Callan and his pridemates track him down, and now they don’t just want him, they also want Merinus and Callan’s got to find a way to protect Merinus and get the council off his back once and for all.

Fifteen months ago, Taber broke Roni’s heart. Fifteen months ago, she didn’t know the truth, but now she does. Taber, the man she’s loved all those years is the result of a genetic experiment, and the reason she hasn’t been able to feel a thing for any man other than Taber the last fifteen months… the mark on her neck. A mating mark. When Roni is assaulted by media reporters one day, she is flown to the compound that Callan’s pride has taken over for protection. For the first time in over year she sees Taber, and she needs answers. Taber has always wanted Roni, he has spent months apart from her, out of respect for her wishes, but when he see’s that she’s been chased by reporters he’s got to get to her first, before the people from the genetics council that created him can get to her.

Since reading the first review I ever had for Lora Leigh’s Breeds series, I’ve been curious – even the terrible covers couldn’t keep me from reading these books. I found the first two books to be really interesting and read them in quick sucession. I’ve read from some of Lora Leigh’s other series and liked them, but for some reason I expected these would be all sex with little and terrible actual story behind them – not so. While these are first and foremost erotica novels, I found that for the life of me I couldn’t stop reading.

I loved the idea of the genetics council, government backed, but never acknowleged. That they never gave up going after Callan. Even after everything is exposed and hundreds of others come out of hiding, they don’t give up, they just find a way to be more quiet about what they’re doing.

As for the characters… The breeds are certainly interesting to read. A mix of human and animal instinct, a biological change that no one ever expected and isn’t understood – it’s a great addition to the rest of the story. The leading females, Merinus and Roni, aren’t difficult to dislike either. Their lives are irrevocably changed with the mating, and it all happens quick enough that there’s not much time to deal with things. The men have to deal with their man and beast sides – they need to find a balance and learn along with their mates what is happening to them. Very little is understood about the mating attraction – but it is undeniable, and it changes the men in an instant.

Basically, the Breeds series (or at least what I’ve read of it so far) is made up of a great story and great characters, but it is erotica, and if you don’t do stories with lots of sexual content, I wouldn’t suggest even cracking the cover.

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