Monday, April 30, 2012

The Glimpse by Claire Merle

The Glimpse
Once you've seen into the future, can you change your destiny?

In a near future, society is segregated according to whether people are genetically disposed to mental illness. 17-year-old Ana has been living the privileged life of a Pure due to an error in her DNA test. When the authorities find out, she faces banishment from her safe Community, a fate only thwarted by the fact that she has already been promised to Pure-boy Jasper Taurell.

Jasper is from a rich and influential family and despite Ana’s condition, wants to be with her. The authorities grant Ana a tentative reprieve. If she is joined to Jasper before her 18th birthday, she may stay in the Community until her illness manifests. But if Jasper changes his mind, she will be cast out among the Crazies. As Ana’s joining ceremony and her birthday loom closer, she dares to hope she will be saved from the horror of the City and live a ‘normal’ life. But then Jasper disappears.

Led to believe Jasper has been taken by a strange sect the authorities will not intefere with, Ana sneaks out of her well-guarded Community to find him herself. Her search takes her through the underbelly of society and into the pits of the human soul. And as she delves deeper into the mystery of Jasper's abduction she uncovers some devastating truths that destroy everything she has grown up to believe, but she also learns to love as she has never loved before.

Wasn't able to finish, so I won't rate it on principal. Didn't like it and couldn't get into it. I really wanted to like it, but it just didn't work for me.

First, the story is vague. I got about a third of the way through, and I couldn't, for the life of me, figure out what exactly was going on. I had a vague grasp that Ana had gone to save Jasper from the "Crazies." But it seemed to veer off track and as I kept reading, I became more and more confused as to what exactly the story was. Once Ana crossed over into the part of the city where the Crazies lived, she seemed to forget about Jasper and didn't mention him as far as I got.

That leads us into problem number 2: The characters. For some reason, I couldn't get myself to even like them. I especially disliked Ana because she seemed so...detached. When she found out about the false test results, she didn't have any emotional reaction, not when she was bonded to Jasper, and not when Jasper disappeared. She would say she was upset,but she didn't act like it. I just couldn't get myself to even care about her problems. I liked Jasper, he was endearing and an interesting character...but he vanished a couple of chapters in and didn't come up again. All of the other characters just fell flat to me.

The last problem I had with this is the world building. I didn't ever get the reason as to why the country was split into Crazies and Pures, the very basis of the book. Not some kind of war or upheaval, like most dystopians, not any kind of apocalyptic event, nothing as to what necessitated the split of the population. There was mention of a genetic marker of mental illnesses that was found which began the systematic split, but, to me, I would think that the discovery would make it easier to track the defect and fix it prenatally, like some tests that are done today. And wouldn't that make mentally ill people more accepted, rather than be split away from society? And some of the scientific facts were skewed, so that made me raise an eyebrow for the entire 150 I managed to get through. Add to that some people may find the references tactless and somewhat offensive, and you get a potentially interesting plot that was executed poorly.

I really hate having to give a bad review, it makes me feel horrible, but I just didn't like this book at all. There were so many problems that I couldn't overlook that ruined any potential enjoyment. On principal, I won't give this a rating. I'll just say that this wasn't for me. If you feel you can overlook the problems that I couldn't, I would definitely encourage you give this a shot but warn you to proceed with caution.

With all due rating

Thanks to Netgalley for a copy

Friday, April 27, 2012

Love's Magic by Traci E. Hall

Love's Magic (Boadicea, #1)

While her sisters are tall and beautiful, Celestia Montehue is the misfit in a royal family—petite, with one green and one blue eye. The only thing she has in common with her ancestors is her magical healing ability. Fearing no one will ever accept her, she vows never to marry. Meanwhile, Nicholas Le Blanc, a haunted man, was trained as a knight but his childhood has convinced him he is a bastard. He is captured while on crusade and eventually forced to kill for his freedom. An arranged marriage between the two does not bode happiness, nor does Celestia's new home—a broken-down keep haunted by the ghost of Nicholas' mother. Soon a curse is set upon them, and they must decide if their love will save them or, ultimately, doom them.

I really loved this. The characters were intriguing, the plot was unique, and the ending was perfection. My one problem is the fantastically stubborn determination the two lovebirds had to push each other away. It grew a little frustrating after a time. But otherwise, Love's Magic is a cute, sweet, feel-good romance with just enough action to keep you on your toes.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Dark Kiss by Michelle Rowen

Dark Kiss (Nightwatchers, #1)
I don't do dangerous.  Smart, über-careful, ordinary Samantha-that's me. But I just couldn't pass up a surprise kiss from my number-one unattainable crush. A kiss that did something to me...something strange. Now I feel hungry all the time, but not for food. It's like part of me is missing-and I don't know if I can get it back. Then there's Bishop. At first I thought he was just a street kid, but the secrets he's keeping are as intense as his unearthly blue eyes. If he's what I think he is, he may be the only one who can help me. But something terrifying is closing in, and the one chance Bishop and I have to stop it means losing everything I ever wanted and embracing the darkness inside me.... NIGHTWATCHERS When angels and demons must work together, something beyond evil is rising...

Finally, a good angel YA! And, wow, was it spectacular! LOVED it
The story was excellent, the characters were engaging and the entire book was simply perfection.

Let me start with the characters. 
Sam is a refreshing lead. She's modest, but not to the point of being self-depreciating. She's genuinely kind and she's very clever. When she finds out all the paranormal happenings, her initial disbelief is justifiable but she was smart enough to accept the reality when she faced irrefutable proof. She's very careful with who she trusted, which seemed a good idea to me as I was reading because there was so much sketchy business going on. I especially liked that, while she did't back down from a fight or take the coward's way out, she knew the limits of her abilities and was clever about it rather than just barging into a suicidal mission (*cough*Bella*cough). She was a lovely character to read about. 

Bishop was, without a doubt, incredibly hot. Especially with the delightful descriptions of his "glowing blue eyes." There's a lot more to him, however. He's not your average YA love-interest, especially not with what we find out about him towards the end. I don't want to give it away because it's one of the most important-and shocking-secrets revealed, but I can tell you that you'll never see it coming. He's loyal and keeps to his promises, placing absolute importance in carrying them out. This proves a disadvantage a few times, because he agonizes over any promise he wasn't able to keep, but I loved that about him. I definitely grew a soft spot for the haunted angel.

Kraven, a demon, was a fascinating character. I loved it whenever he was on the page because entertainment by sarcasm was sure to follow. He reminded me a little of Tod from the Soul Screamers series. His darker nature and his sarcasm combined with his undeniable ability to grow on you until you adore him definitely paralleled Tod's charms, which-for me-only made me like him more. I wonder, though, whether there is more meant for him-perhaps a later love triangle-because there seemed to be something particularly important about him. His past is dark and it shows, besides the obvious. I fell in love with him a little by the end of the book and I can't wait to see more of him.

The story is unique and original. There are several surprises in store, each more shocking than the next. By the end, I was nearly having a heart attack from all those twists. I loved that about Dark Kiss; it's by no means your average paranormal YA. 

The ending left the characters in a thorny situation and now I'm incredibly anxious to get my hands on the next book to find out what happens. Dark Kiss is a resounding victory for YA angel.

Without a doubt: 5/5

Thanks to Netgalley and Harlequin Teen for a copy!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Lady Drusilla's Road to Ruin by Christine Merrill

Lady Drusilla's Road to Ruin
Considered a spinster, Lady Drusilla Rudney has only one role in life: to chaperone her sister. So when her flighty sibling elopes, Dru knows she has to stop her! She employs the help of a traveling companion, wholooks harmless enough….Former army captain John Hendricks is intrigued by this damsel in distress. Once embroiled with her in a mad dash across England, he discovers that Dru is no simpering woman. Her unconventional ways make him want to forget his gentlemanly conduct…and create a scandal all their own!

Lady Drusilla's Road to Ruin is an unconventional book with unconventional characters and an unconventional story. And I couldn't have loved it more. 

Lady Dru is considered a spinster, though she isn't old enough to be one, set aside so that her sister could shine. Her job is to watch over the reckless debutante, so when she runs away to elope, Dru has no choice but to follow her and stop the marriage. On her way, she meets John Hendricks, who agrees to help her for payment. And so begins the frantic chase.

Dru was a delightful character. She's been overlooked and pushed aside for her younger sister, so she is disillusioned with the world. Obviously, her expectation that she is unlikable because suitors would always choose her sister makes it hard for her to believe John is capable of loving her. Her determination to protect her sister is commendable (I wouldn't put that much effort to help that shrew of a sister, but more on Priscilla later). Despite her insecurity, Dru is capable and confident. I was happy that she didn't languish in mistrust of John-other than one understandable incident-like what occurs in other romances. She trusted implicitly that he would help her and that trust was extended along with their relationship as it progressed.

John is a sweetie. I loved that he wore glasses. It made him seem like a hot nerd, which I have a soft spot for. Besides his adorable looks, he's loyal to his word. Regardless of all the trouble the chase caused, he never backed down from his word. He was so precious to Dru. When their relationship grew, his loyalty grew to her until nothing in the world could prevent him from staying true to Dru. He's clever and the perfect person to bring along when chasing someone down. He's an adorable gentleman and I just fell head over heels for him.

Priscilla, Dru's sister, is a selfish little shrew. I swear, if I were Dru, I would've just let Priss suffer the consequences for what she did and not cared a bit. Even when Priss was trying to be "nice" she was still being horrible. I just couldn't stand her. And Dru's father is even worse. He's made Dru feel bad about herself and clearly favored Priss despite her tendency to attract scandal. I couldn't stand Dru's family at all and I'm so glad they only made brief appearances.

The plot was unique and fast-paced. There was never a dull moment during the frantic chase. The ending is different from what is normally done in romances, and I loved it.

This book is perfection at its pinnacle: 5/5

Thanks to Netgalley for a copy!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Rake with a Frozen Heart by Marguerite Kaye

Rake with a Frozen Heart
Waking up in a stranger's bed, Henrietta Markham encounters the most darkly sensual man she has ever met. The last thing she remembers is being attacked by a housebreaker—yet being rescued by the notorious Earl of Pentland feels much more dangerous!

Since the cataclysmic failure of his marriage, ice has flowed in Rafe St. Alban's veins. But meeting impetuous, all-too-distracting governess Henrietta heats his blood to the boiling point.

When she's accused of theft, Rafe finds himself offering to clear her name. Can Henrietta's innocence bring this hardened rake to his knees?

Rake with a Frozen Heart is an adorable love story with shocking twists and turns. There's never a dull moment as Henrietta and Rafe fall in love while proving Henrietta's innocence. 

But I'm getting ahead of myself. Henrietta has been working as a governess and finds herself in a stranger's bed one morning. The stranger happens to be an Earl, but we'll know him as Rafe (love that name!). Henrietta finds out that she had been left in a ditch by a thief who robbed her employer's house. When Henrietta is accused of stealing the jewels, Rafe promises to help clear her name...and so the adventure begins.

Henrietta is a refreshing character. She's blunt and speaks whatever is on her mind...sometimes to a great disadvantage as she tends to think out loud. Despite her situation, she remains brave and determined and not too happy with accepting help. She loves Rafe, but she refuses to settle in their relationship. And in the end, her stubborn determination gets her a happily ever after.

Rafe is a delightful love many ways ;) Not only is he sinfully handsome, adorably sweet and intriguingly tortured but he's also a truly interesting character to read about. His past has ruled his life ever since his first marriage fell apart in the most painful way possible. His agony over those happenings and his guilt about what he could have done differently come through clearly, making you feel for him. Though his actions weren't always the most honorable, when you find out why, you can't even blame him. 

Their relationship is very sweet. It's a bit of a whirlwind romance, as the book occurs in about a week or so of time. But with everything happening around them, it made sense for them to fall in love so quickly. 

There are so many plot twists and unexpected revelations, it's incredible that the author managed to keep the story as smooth as she did. When you think you've figured out what's going on, the plot takes an unexpected turn. In other words, I found it awesome :)The ending was sweet, the perfect ending to this whirlwind book. I loved everything about it.


Thanks to Netgalley for a copy!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

In the Flesh by Portia Da Costa

In the Flesh (The Ladies' Sewing Circle, #5)
Society already believes she's a scarlet woman.

Why not become one?

Posing nude to appease her now ex-fiancé perhaps wasn’t the most prudent idea Beatrice Weatherly has ever had. With the photographs scrutinized up and down the ton and her brother running them into debt, Beatrice’s hopes of making a respectable marriage are dashed.

After one glance at Beatrice’s infamous racy cabinet cards, wealthy, powerful Edward Ellsworth Richie is soon obsessed with Beatrice’s voluptuous figure. His indecent proposal—one month of hedonistic servitude in exchange for enough money to pay her brother’s debts—is one she can hardly refuse.

Determined not to let the rogue best her, Beatrice sets out for the infamous House of Madame Chamfleur to learn how to appease Edward’s well-known appetite. Soon the couple is playing out exquisite fantasies…and feeling emotion that goes deeper than flesh. But Edward harbors a shocking secret, and Beatrice must decide if she’s prepared to give up everything for a man who can offer her nothing, but who means everything.

Okay, I thought I would like this book more but it fell flat for me.
The plot involves a woman, Beatrice, whose reputation has been ruined by her nude pictures-which she was tricked into posing for. Edward Edmund Richie saw the pictures and was overtaken with a need to hook up with her. They strike a deal: Beatrice will offer her "services" for a month in exchange for her brother's debts being paid off.

Let's get the bad over with. 

Richie seemed like a bit of a creeper in the beginning. Though I eventually grew fond of him, the whole situation of his obsession was a little bizarre. 

The real problem, however, was the constant sex. The character were constantly jumping onto each other. That's all well and good if done right but this amount seriously detracted from the plot. It wasn't just Beatrice and Richie. Bea's brother, Charlie, was hooking up with Richie's employee, Jaime. Yes, this is guy on guy action. I was a little unprepared for that revelation, to say the least. I don't mind guys being into each other at all, but I don't seek out the particulars. At the same time, both of them are doing Bea's lady's maid, Polly. Eventually, this escalates into a threesome. Their tri-relationship was a little bizarre for me. I'm not really into all of that. All of this constant hooking up on every other page became wearing. I lost interest after a few hot scenes and started skimming until a found part of the actual plot. Quite honestly, the first 90% of the book could be condensed into 10 pages in terms of plot. 

So what saved this from being a total tank? The last chunk of the book. The ending was when the plot finally kicked into gear and took off. Not only that, but it actually became exciting. The stakes were suddenly raised and I found myself getting in to the story. The revelations are shocking and I found a distinct parallel to Jane Eyre in terms of one aspect of the plot. I don't know if this was on purpose because it doesn't really mention it in the summary, but there was a very clear influence of Jane Eyre on the last bit. I can't say why without giving away the best surprise, so I'll leave you to speculate on that. 

Really, the ending was so brilliant that it saved this book from becoming a one star, adding a whopping two stars. It was that good.

So, if you happen to really like a mountain load of graphic sex, I'm sure you will love In the Flesh. If you don't like it but can find the patience to bear through A LOT of it, I think you'll find the magnificent ending worth the wait.

Pulling a massive save right at the end...3/5

PS, thanks to Netgalley and Harlequin for a copy!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Surrender to the Roman by Marty Kindall Chester

Surrender to the Roman
As the Romans storm the last stronghold of Dacia, Princess Ademeni awaits her fate. Taken as a slave, she is deposited into General Marcus Cordovis's home as a gift.

Driven to avenge her family, Ademeni plots to kill her captor and escape. Though not the cruel victor she expects, Marcus keeps her too close to make escape easy-so close that Ademeni is soon tormented by an unbidden, traitorous attraction. In a moment of weakness, a passionate kiss almost undoes them both.

But the handsome, widowed general has another surprise for Ademeni: a young daughter. Marcus dares ask Ademeni to help him bridge the gap between him and his little girl. And now, Ademeni is growing too fond of those she is supposed to despise. As Marcus prepares for the triumphal march and the opening of the gladiatorial games-where captives of her homeland will be sacrificed-Ademeni readies for her own battle-between revenge and love.

Simply excellent. I loved it!

Surrender to the Roman is a magnificent, sweet, tender romance that is true to the time period of the Romans.

Ademeni is a Dacian princess who was taken as a slave in General Marcus' home. She plots revenge against the leader who conquered her home and fights her attraction to him. That becomes harder as her proves himself to be a decent man who shows her true kindness. I really liked that she didn't hold a grudge. When she falls in love with Marcus, she lets go of her anger, albeit reluctantly. She's a very strong character, which is especially remarkable considering the time period, when woman-especially female slaves-were treated poorly. She's loyal and clever and a wonderful lead.

Marcus is an admired Roman general but he's not cruel to his conquests. He's kind and fair and shows remarkable patience to Ademeni's various attempts to kill him and his second in command, who, by the way, is creepy and cruel and crazy (I have to say I was endlessly pleased with his ending). When he realizes he's in love with Ademeni, he ignores all the opposition of society and does everything he can to build a life for them. He really was sweet and I adored him.

The other characters are wonderful, especially Marcus' daughter and his mother. His daughter was adorable and his mother's matchmaking schemes were hilarious. 

As I said, this book is true to the time period. It doesn't shy away from the negative aspects of Rome, particularly how they treated their slaves. I gives a true look into the reality that was Rome. I really loved that about it. It gave it an air of authenticity that was special in a historical romance. 

The ending was heartwarming. I was very happy with the ending for each of the character. I wish there was a sequel just so that I could see more of them. If you like historical romance, or are just interested in ancient Rome, you'll love this.

Thanks to Netgalley and Carina Press for a copy!

Improper Relations by Juliana Ross

Improper Relations
Dorset, 1858

When Hannah's caught watching her late husband's cousin debauch the maid in the library, she's mortified -- but also intrigued. An unpaid companion to his aunt, she's used to being ignored.

The black sheep of the family, Leo has nothing but his good looks and noble birth to recommend him. Hannah ought to be appalled at what she's witnessed, but there's something about Leo that draws her to him.

When Leo claims he can prove that women can feel desire as passionately as men, Hannah is incredulous. Her own experiences have been uninspiring. Yet she can't bring herself to refuse his audacious proposal when he offers to tutor her in the art of lovemaking. As the tantalizing, wicked lessons continue, she begins to fear she's losing not just her inhibitions, but her heart as well. The poorest of relations, she has nothing to offer Leo but herself. Will it be enough when their erotic education ends?

Improper Relations is a very HOT novella with tons of smutty scenes for those who enjoy some doing the dirty. There actually is a story to it, so it's not just two people getting it on.

Hannah and Leo are actually and adorable couple. Despite how their relationship started, they do grow to love each other. When Leo's mother comes between them, Leo goes after Hannah, regardless of any consequences. He truly is a with naughty tendencies ;)

The short story is both steamy and cute. If you like your romance that way, you'll love Improper Relations.

Thanks to Netgalley for a copy.

The Perfect Imposter by Wendy Soliman

The Perfect Imposter

Struggling to escape her past and make ends meet as a modiste, Katrina Sinclair hopes the daring new wardrobe she's designed for her childhood friend Julia—now a marchioness—will attract the business she desperately needs. But Julia's help comes at a price: Katrina must take her place at a house party. They look enough alike for the ruse to work...until Julia's handsome former fiancé arrives.

Leo Kincade has been tasked with catching a traitor who steals from house parties to fund Napoleon's armies. Three women are suspected—including Julia. But when Leo intercepts her at the party, he finds an impostor who stirs an attraction stronger than anything he felt for Julia.

The mysterious woman shares Leo's interest, even if she won't trust him with her true identity. He should expose her at once, but he's too tempted to play along and see where her deception—and their passion—will lead..

I LOVED this book. It is a brilliant, suspenseful, shocking romance that takes so many twists and turns, your head will spin. 

The story is that Katrina Sinclair, a modiste, is cajoled by her friend, Julia, to masquerading as her in an upcoming house party. As is that isn't complicated enough, Julia's ex-fiance shows up at the party, looking for a potential jewel thief...and Julia is one of the suspects. Add an insane brother-in-law of Katrina's jerk of a dead husband and you have The Perfect Imposter.

Katrina was a great character to read about. She's in a sticky situation, always under the threat that she will be found out but she manages to keep herself together and take every challenge thrown at her. She hasn't had an easy life, especially since she was married but she's doing her best to get it together as a modiste with Julia's patronage. Her strength is admirable and she feels very real in her reactions to her situation.

Leo was a swoon-worthy love-interest. He's very clever and a total sweetie to Katrina. He figures out himself that "Julia" is actually Katrina and then works to help her while tracking a jewel thief. I loved that when he made a mistake, he didn't hesitate to make amends regardless of his pride. He is a total beast in his job. He takes down a jewel thief while paying the social customs and seeing every little inconsistency in his surroundings. Not one thing will escape his notice and if you have any reason to be guilty of a crime, he will take you down. It was totally awesome. 

Julia was really irritating. She was so selfish and materialistic and uncaring of anyone but herself. It really made me mad.

The story is constantly tense with Katrina having to slip through the party without being caught. There is never a dull moment with this complex, twisted plot. The villains are clever yet totally insane (well one is, the other is more a victim in this twisted saga). The ending provided a huge shock for Katrina. We find out something about her that I never saw coming. The rest turned out to a wonderful ending. 

The Perfect Imposter is fantastic book combining romance with contatnt suspense. 


A Gentleman Says "I Do" by Amelia Grey

A Gentleman Says "I Do"
Iverson Brentwood has finally met his match. Catalina Crisp heats his blood like no other lady. Her alluring countenance has stopped him dead in his tracks. But no matter how attracted he is to her, he can't give into his desire to possess her in every way...she is the daughter of the man he's sworn to destroy.

Catalina's father is a well-known writer, but wastrel whose disappearances continuously put them close to destitution. Something drastic must change, so it is with quill in hand, that Catalina completes her father's latest parody of Iverson and Matson Brentwood's spectacular arrival in London. When the story hits the newsprint, a darkly handsome man is at her door, looking for her father.

Seeing the dashing rogue in the flesh, for a bewildering moment dallying with the rake seems like the perfect fictional escape—and it's all she can do not to give into the madness of the intriguing man.

A Gentleman Says "I Do" is a magnificent book that showcases a true love that can overcome anything. This sweet romance will enchant.

The story is fairly straightforward. Catalina is a young woman whose author father is prone to taking off at a moment's notice, leaving her to finish his works so that they can get the necessary money. When she finishes a story about two scandal-prone twin brothers, one of the real life brothers comes to confront her father about the story. When she and Iverson begin a relationship, she has to keep her part in the story a secret lest that knowledge tear them apart.

Catalina is a lovely character. She is kind and realistic and can be incredibly stubborn. She handles Iverson's temper deftly, matching it with her own. The fact that her father is off in his own world most of the time means she had to grow and mature faster than any other young woman and his tendency to bring home unfortunates has taught her to be kind. 

Iverson hot it's ridiculous. He has a fiery temper and is extraordinarily impulsive but he's still an absolute sweetheart to Catalina. He's protective of the people he loves, from his family to, later, Catalina. Even when he's angry with Catalina, he's still the sweetest gentleman. It was so endearing.

The other characters were fun to read about, particularly Aunt Elle. She was hilarious; the woman does  not know how to hold her drink. Her antics were incredibly entertaining.

The story was engaging and ending perfectly. I wouldn't have changed a single word. The entire book is a masterpiece of romance.


Thanks to Netgalley for a copy!

A Lady's Revenge by Tracey Devlyn

A Lady's Revenge
British agent Cora deBeau has spent the last three years seducing secrets from the most hardened of French spies while searching for her parents’ killer. When her latest assignment goes awry, she suffers at the hands of her French captor until Guy Trevelyan, the Earl of Helsford and master cryptographer, saves her during a daring rescue. Scarred and wary of men, Cora shies away from the one man who could heal her savaged heart.

After rescuing Cora from a French dungeon, Guy discovers it was one of his deciphered messages that led to her captivity. While her enemy tracks them across England, Guy strives to earn her forgiveness. But will he find the scars on her wounded soul run too deep?

Brilliant, just wonderful!
The stakes couldn't be higher in A Lady's Revenge and a mix of romance, suspense, and action create a magnificent story.

Cora is definitely a tormented character. She works as a spy for the British during the Napoleonic War and she is found out by the Valere, man she's spying on. He tortures her for information until Guy, her childhood friend and future lover, saves her from the prison. Cora is incredibly strong. Not only can she take down a man twice her size but she has also suffered a lot in her life and managed to grow past it. She is determined to bring her parents' killer to justice and won't rest until she has found the murderer. 

Guy is amazing. He's very sweet to Cora and very protective of her. Though this causes him to go against allowing her to put herself in danger, he does accept that she can hold her own. When society threatens to turn their noses at Cora for her questionable work, he stands by her, refusing to let her face their scorn alone. 

The story is constantly fast-paced and tense. Valere refuses to to let Cora go, both because of the information she could divulge and because he's in love with her in a disturbing, perverse way. The stakes are literally the lives of the characters and the freedom of their country and you can never forget it with the constant threat of Cora being recaptured. 

The ending is flawless. The perfect ending to such a brilliant book. All the loose ends were tied in a realistic way, no too-tidy ending. It definitely doesn't disappoint.

So, A Lady's Revenge is a perfect book that combines romance with high-stakes.

A definite 5/5
Thanks to Netgalley for a copy

Caring Is Creepy by David Zimmerman

Caring Is Creepy

Fifteen-year-old Lynn Marie Sugrue is doing her best to make it through a difficult summer. Her mother works long hours as a nurse, and Lynn suspects that her mother’s pill-popping boyfriend has enlisted her in his petty criminal enterprises. Lynn finds refuge in online flirtations, eventually meeting up with a troubled young soldier, Logan Loy, and inviting him home. When he’s forced to stay over in a storage space accessible through her closet, and the Army subsequently lists him as AWOL, she realizes that he’s the one thing in her life that she can control. Meanwhile, her mother’s boyfriend is on the receiving end of a series of increasingly violent threats, which places Lynn squarly in the cross-hairs.

One of the strangest, creepiest books I've ever read...
Caring is Creepy is spine-tingling, horrifying, and truly bizarre.

The story is that Lynn meets some soldier online (I think) and, when he runs away from the army, she decides to keep him trapped in her room. She decides that she will control him because she can't control anything else in her life. And so begins this creepy tale...

Lynn was truly off her rocker. She is INSANE. It was the creepiest thing ever. The way she manipulated Logan to keep him trapped was...bizarre. 

Logan was more likable. He was really the victim of Lynn's insanity, though he wasn't blameless. The man was 25 and he was hooking up with a 15 year old insane girl. That was hard to swallow. 

The entire story feels like a horror movie. The ending was really strange. But then, the entire story is. This wasn't really my kind of book. As much as I like creepy, I like to have happy in the mix. This book is completely devoid of happiness. 

I would only recommend this if you like books that seem like a psychological thriller. If it isn't your kind of thing, stay far away from this because I can guarantee you won't like it. 


Thanks to Netgalley for a copy.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

A Faerie Fated Forever by Mary Anne Graham

A Faerie Fated Forever (Forever #1)
A faerie curse promises that one perfect love awaits Laird Nial Maclee. To claim its passionate promise, he must find his fated lady while avoiding the traps, snares and schemes of females lured by his position, looks, charm and the blasted legend. A single misstep will condemn him to his father’s fate - a lifetime of craving the love he can never have nor ever forget. Despite his vow never to face that fate, Nial knows that a laird must put the needs of his clan first, even if it means wedding the wealthy heiress and daughter of the only rival clan on the Isle of Skye, “Heather the Hag.” To save the Clan Maclee and secure its future, he should marry the dowdy lass even though she won't “set the claws of passion” to his manhood, as the curse provides, so she can't possibly be his faerie fated forever. Before his solution to the dilemma sent Heather fleeing to transform herself for launch on the marriage mart in London, Nial should have recalled that faeries sometimes make the impossible the inevitable

This book is excellent, just magnificent. 
This is going to be a quick review; I'll just hit the high points.

The characters are a delight. I loved Nial and Heather. They were adorable (and very HOT) together. The story is engaging. It was ADORABLE how Nial would get jealous over Heather. I usually get annoyed when a guy is possessive but I just couldn't find it in me to be annoyed with Nial. Heather is strong and doesn't give in to Nial the moment he claims her as his faerie fated forever. She expects him to prove it and prove it he does. 

The story is fast paced and the ending was happy for the couple but ominous in what it foreshadows for the next book. If you like your romances hot, rest assured, this book is full of scenes of these two constantly going at it :). Seriously, I'm pretty sure it's not even possible to have that much endurance. They could never have enough of each other. It was mind-boggling.

So, Faerie Fated Forever is brilliant. I LOVED it!

No doubt 5/5

How to Ravish a Rake by Vicky Dreiling

How to Ravish a Rake (How To Series #3)

Amy Hardwick has one last Season to shake off her wallflower image and make a love match. If she can't, she'll set aside her dreams of romance and return home to a suitor who can provide security-if little else. What she doesn't count on is the inappropriate-and irresistible-attention lavished on her in a darkened library by rake extraordinaire Will "The Devil" Darcett . . .


When Will is caught in a tryst with the ton's shyest miss, he knows he must offer for her hand. Yet Amy is not the shrinking violet she seems to be. Passion lies beneath her prim exterior and Will is eager to release it. But winning Amy isn't simply a matter of seduction; first, Will must convince her that he's mended his wicked ways . . .

How to Ravish a Rake was an excellent read. It was hot, engaging, and brilliant. It helps that I have a inclination for romances about a married couple falling in love. This one is definitely a worthy addition to the list of greats in that area. 

For one, Amy is very admirable yet still seems real. She has her flaws but she does her best to overcome them. I love how she set out to reinvent herself and managed to very successfully. And after she and Will are forced into a marriage to avoid scandal, she doesn't back down and do what society expects her to do (live a separate life from Will after popping out an heir). And she doesn't back down from Will either. They are an adorable couple and I loved seeing them together. 

That brings us to our delightful hero, Will. He is interesting in the best way possible. Not only is he a delicious love interest but he is also a dynamic character that will manage to surprise you a few times. And he is so sweet to Amy. Despite the odd circumstances of their marriage, he rises to the occasion and becomes a perfect husband to Amy. 

Now, about the way they were forced into the marriage... 
They were found in an uncomfortable situation and they had to get married to stem the impending scandal. That whole situation that they were caught in was hilarious. It was so funny and so cute. It made me laugh when they found themselves in the sticky situation. I don't want to say what happened and ruin the surprise so I'll just conclude with: you will love it. It's just the perfect situation to bring this quirky couple together. 

The ending was sweet and fairly standard. My only issue was how Amy reacted to certain news about Will and Will finding out certain news about her. She overreacted to epic proportions only to cave in quickly the next morning (after all her bags had been packed). I could see why she was bothered by it, but I didn't think it warranted all that drama. 

Besides that, How to Ravish a Rake is top notch in historical romance. 
Loved it! 


Thanks to Netgalley for a copy!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Too Tempting to Resist by Cara Elliott

Too Tempting to Resist

In the Wolf's Lair . . . 

Determined to stop her wayward brother from squandering their dwindling fortune, Lady Eliza Brentford decides to follow him to his favorite den of depravity. There, among the candlelight and raucous revelry, she encounters her brother's role model in debauchery, the notorious Marquess of Haddan, Gryffin Dwight. Staring into his smoldering green eyes, Eliza can't help but find the rakehell nobleman seductively charming-and sinfully attractive. 

In a Lover's Paradise . . .

When Gryffin appears on Eliza's estate as a guest of her brother, a stolen kiss among the garden's blooms leads to a night of unbridled passion. Suddenly the lovely widow feels herself opening up, like the petals of a rose. Could this master of seduction possibly feel true emotion for Eliza? Or is he leading her down the garden path to an Eden of delights no woman can resist-and a fall no woman can escape?

Too Tempting to Resist is a sensual read with only one issue but it irritated enough to knock off a star. 

The story itself is interesting and engaging. The ending was sweet and standard of a historical romance. 
Eliza was a lovely character. She may be a country widow, but underestimating her would be a bad idea. This is a woman who will brave a brothel to rein in her little brother, so anything else would be a breeze. It's wonderful how she is able to use her talents to support herself, even if she has to operate under a male alias. 

Gryff is sweet and delicious and delightful. Excepting my one issue with this book, he was incredible. 

And, may I say, I loved the cats in this book and their adorable characters. They were just precious. 

My one issue is the big misunderstanding that caused a rift in their relationship. It was...rather shallow. I didn't think it was a legitimate cause for the problem that arose. I think Gryff should have been reasonable enough to respond better, if his earlier actions were any indication. He redeemed himself later but it was irritating enough that I knocked off a star. I can deal with these misunderstandings that tear the couple apart but this one was a little too overdramatized. 

Besides that, this book was hot and entertaining. 


Thank you Netgalley for a copy!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Secrets of an Accidental Duchess by Jennifer Haymore

Secrets of an Accidental Duchess (Donovan Sisters, #2)
With her pale hair and slim figure, Olivia Donovan looks as fragile as fine china, and has been treated as such by her sisters ever since a childhood bout with malaria. But beneath her delicate facade, Olivia guards a bold, independent spirit and the kind of passionate desires proper young ladies must never confess... 

It was a reckless wager, and one Max couldn't resist: seduce the alluring Olivia or forfeit part of his fortune. Yet the wild, soon-to-be Duke never imagined he'd fall in love with this innocent beauty. Nor could he have guessed that a dangerously unpredictable rival would set out to destroy them both. Now, Max must beat a Madman at his own twisted game-or forever lose the only woman to have ever won his heart.

Secrets of an Accidental Duchess is a magnificent love story that turned into a high stakes suspense. Olivia is sickly and fragile...and totally unaware that Max Buchanan has made a wager with Fenwicke to seduce her. And when the two fall in love, the complications begin. 

Olivia is a sweet character. She knows her illness will repel most suitors so she had resigned herself to be the spinster aunt. She's not weak, however. She may not be physically strong,but she is strong enough to take everything that was thrown at her in this book. Once she realizes she's in love with Max, she accepts it rather than denying it because it would be easier for her. And when she finds out about the wager, she reacts reasonably and realistically rather than flying off the handle and overreacting like the women in other romances would. She's a lovely character to read about. 

Max is amazing. Hot as fire but sweet as sugar. He treats Olivia gently but doesn't coddle her like her sisters tend to do. He is determined to protect her from anything, including the psychopath Fenwicke (more on him later). The scenes between Olivia and Max are always charged and erupt on more than one fiery occasion, if you understand the innuendo. 

Fenwicke is so psychopathic, it will send shivers down your spine. He is so screwed up in the head, as you see on several occasions. He is completely and totally out of his mind. This made him an interesting character, but not in a good way. I have to say, I am endlessly pleased with is ending. 

The whole suspense of Fenwicke trying to break apart Max and Olivia and take Olivia for himself was riveting. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time, going crazy trying to figure out what would happen. 

So, Secrets of an Accidental Duchess is a wonderful book. The combination of romance and high stakes makes it riveting. Anyone who likes romance, you will love this book. 


Thanks to Netgalley for a copy

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Lady Maggie's Secret Scandal by Grace Burrowes

Lady Maggie's Secret Scandal (The Duke's Daughters, #2)(Windham, #5)
Maggie Windham, oldest of the Windham sisters and a by-blow from His Grace’s pre-marital wild oats, finds herself in desperate needs of an investigator to help her retrieve a missing reticule. Benjamin Hazlit knows the Windham family secrets, and can be trusted to keep them to himself, so Maggie turns to Benjamin, though it means ignoring his too-broad shoulders, his too-knowing smile… and his too-skilled kisses. 

As Benjamin starts the search for Maggie’s missing purse, he realizes two things: First, whatever was in that purse, its loss has Maggie not just rattled, but terrified. Second, Benjamin will go to any lengths to see Maggie’s peace of mind restored, even if it means he must keep himself in very close proximity to the shy, secretive lady who says she wants nothing to do with him

Lady Maggie's Secret Scandal is a lovely story that combines sensual romance with thrilling suspense. 

The story begins with Maggie enlisting the help of investigator Benjamin Hazlit to find her reticule, which contains important items that could cause some problems. As romance between Maggie and Ben grows, so do the stakes in this scandal. 

First, let's go through the positives: 
Maggie was very self-sufficient and independent. She made her own money and lived on her own. She's determined to stay that way, even if it means turning down offers of marriage. 

Benjamin is a worth hero. He's not only sexy beyond belief but he is clever as a fox and supportive of Maggie's independence. And the sex scenes...they are fiery and passionate and oh, so delightful. 

Maggie's brothers just captured my heart with how protective they were of her, even though she's the oldest. It was the cutest thing and it made me want to give them all a hug. The rest of her family is equally sweet and it was wonderful to see them work together to fix the scandal that threatened them. 

Now, there are just a few negatives but they were enough to knock off a star. First, some parts were incredibly confusing before they were finally explained. I know I wasn't supposed to understand those parts at the time but it irritated me a little. The other problem is how stubborn Maggie was about going for help, be it from her family for from Ben. I get why she did it but still, this whole problem could have been avoided had she gotten some help to nip it in the bud. Even if she couldn't tell them until it got as serious as it did, it didn't make sense how she was still unwilling to go for help. This wasn't a huge problem but it was a bit of a nuisance. 

Otherwise, this book has it all: romance, suspense, high stakes. If you're looking for a book with all of this, then you'll love Lady Maggie's Secret Scandal. 


Thanks to Netgalley for a copy!