THE LOST DUKE OF WYNDHAMJulia QuinnC+I’d say this was more a B- only the ending was so anticlimactic and assumed, I was very disappointed. I really enjoyed the dialogue between the h/h, and the hero was indeed charming as everyone described him. But I also felt there was little character development, and the romance lacked spark. I did really like both the h/h, though. I just wish I felt that they grew more. The book was a quick, light read with nothing unexpected or surprising. A nice little package and a decent beach read.WICKED DEEDS ON A WINTER’S NIGHTKresley ColeC+This is the third, I believe, in Cole’s IMMORTALS AFTER DARK series. I skipped it when it first came out, and read DARK NEEDS AT NIGHT’S EDGE before. The first half of the book flew by quickly for me, while the second slowed with THE BIG MISUNDERSTANDING that kept happening. Over and over and over. Brought on by the characters’ inability to trust each other. I find it interesting that Cole is able to really intensify an issue like lack of trust and play it out (a little too much sometimes, IMO), but then things like a character being abandoned, assaulted and tortured for 3 weeks gets brushed aside with a few tears. I don’t care if you are immortal. That isn’t very light material. The ending of the book was a bit over-the-top and silly and lacked the drama I think Cole was going for.
I picked up Lisa Kleypas' SUGAR DADDY on a lark at the UBS on Saturday. Ifinished it last night at 11:45 p.m. I would hazard to say that this isnot her best offering, but that it was a good contemporary debut for her.It actually took me by surprise.Told in the first person POV by Liberty Jones, our intrepid heroine, SUGARDADDY read like the glam novels of the 1980s/early 90s. You know the type- down on her luck heroine starts off poor and supporting her youngersister, and by the end of the novel, she has everything she's ever wanted.The first half of the book is told by a teenage Liberty as she comes ofage in a trailer park outside Houston, TX, nursing her love for HardyCates. The second half of the book is a grown up Liberty struggling toprovide for her sister after their mother's death, and becoming part of afamily headed by Churchill Travis, a billionaire financier who takesLiberty and her sister, Carriington, under his wing.There was a lot of telling, rather than showing in this book. Something Ifind very frequently with first person POV books. All the same, Isympathized with the heroine and found her POV riveting, from herobservations of the inhabitants of the trailer park, to her description ofher sister's infanthood and her mother's post-partum depression (or what Iassume was PPD). Kleypas' heroine actually captured a lot of the realitiesof raising an infant that few books really get.I found myself more captivated by the heroine's life rather than by theromance, which felt like an afterthought. The heroes in general were a bittoo goody-goody near-perfect, up until the end, in which Hardy's actionsfelt somewhat unbelieveable and out of character for me. And the familysecrets denouement was very brief and very easily resolved.All the same, I'll be looking for the sequel, BLUE-EYED DEVIL, when it'sin paperback.
This was a new-to-me author. Every so often I try someone new :)Marietta’s brother has been arrested for a murder he didn’t commit. She’s given a referral to Gabriel Noble, who’s sort of a troubleshooter and takes jobs for either 10,000 pounds, or 3 favors. Not having the money, Marietta promises the 3 favors, in exchange for his help in exonerating her brother. He forces her to help him as he investigates the murders, leading her into situations where she must dress like a shopgirl or a tavern wench to fit in.I’m ambivalent over this book. It wasn’t awful, but it just didn’t feel put together well. I didn’t connect with the romance, and felt the author spent too much time trying to make Gabriel feel like this dark, mysterious man of mystery (one of my favorite types of heroes). But there was too much hinting from secondary characters that he wasn’t this stern, scary guy. I liked Marietta pretty well, however. She had spine, but knew when a situation was too dangerous for her to turn into a TSTL heroine. But I didn’t feel the romance very strongly. The lust, yes. And while the back blurb claims that she’s promised 3 nights of sin with Gabriel, that wasn’t quite the case. There was the threat of her having to give him 3 nights, but he never cashed in. Lots of steamy love scenes seem to be this book’s strong point.The ending confounded me. I found it thoroughly unbelievable and just wrong in general. I’m intrigued enough, however, that I think I’ll look for a couple more of this author’s books used to see if any of them are more appealing to me.Overall grade: C-
Paranormal RomanceGrade: B+*Warning: This book contains a scene with sex in non-human form. For thosewho are icked out by that.I think very likely I would give this a solid A, except for the fact thatthe ending was dragged out by about 50 pages more than it should havebeen.However, I would still recommend this to those who enjoy paranormal romance.( Synopsis behind the cut. No serious spoilersCollapse )As I mentioned before, I like that Meljean Brook seems more in tune with ayounger audience. Or at least, with a geeky demographic of readers. I'mjust now 30, and while I enjoy other authors, many of my favorites writefor an older audience, so I don't always connect with them.Brook's universe is an interesting one - it reminds me somewhat of themovie Constantine (yeah - that one with Keanu Reeves), though withjust a touch less religious overtones. In Brooks world, you have the usualfall from Heaven, Hell below, and Lucifer's minions - demons, as well ashybrids created by Lucifer from creatures he called out of Chaos. Thereare the Guardians above, who protect humans from these demons. BothGuardians and demons are bound by rules - they cannot interefere in ahuman's free will to choose, or outright kill a human.Lillith should be a creature of complete evil; however, the method of hercreation has her at odds with herself. While she serves Lucifer, it oftenseems that she targets humans who deserve to go to hell - murderers,rapists, and abusers. I suppose Brooks has to find a way to soften hercharacter, to avoid alienating the reader from the character. All thesame, her moral ambiguity (willingness to lie and steal and arrangematters to her advantage) makes her quite an interesting character. She'stough, yet has her own vulnerabilities that the reader can relate to.Then there's Hugh, who is as stalwart and honorable as the knights of ourromances. Yet he carries an enormous amount of guilt from actions he tookas a Guardian and for actions he took against Lillith, whom he believesdead.The romance between Lillith and Hugh is quite poignant and angsty, as youhave two individuals who have spent a millenia fighting - both for soulsand against their own attraction - who are caught up in politicalmechanisms beyond their control. Watching them overcome their differenceswith each other, as well as overcome the situation they find themselves inis fascinating.My only problem with the book was the amount of dialogue. Some of it whichdidn't add much to the overall plot or character development. Particularlyin the end. There was so much dialogue going on between characters, whichdidn't provide much to the climax and denouement of the plot, I got lostand confused as to what was going on and who was speaking. I found myselfquite frustrated in the last 100 pages as the plot slowed and thecharacters spent way too much time in dialogue about their angst, or theirsituation, or explaining things. I'll likely go back and try to reread theend, because I have no idea why they did what they did, and what it wassupposed to do.But at the same time, I found myself buying the other two full-lengthnovels in this series, and will likely look for the anthologies containingthe short stories.
Title - An Affair Before Christmas, Eloisa JamesRelease date - November, 2007It's about what? - One spectacular Christmas, Lady Perdita Selby, known to her friends and family as Poppy, met the man she thought she would love forever. The devilishly attractive Duke of Fletcher was the perfect match for the innocent, breathtakingly beautiful young Englishwoman, and theirs was the most romantic wedding she had ever seen. Four years later, Poppy and the duke have become the toast of the ton . . . but behind closed doors the spark of their love affair has burned out.
Unwilling to lose the woman he still lusts after, the duke is determined to win back his beguiling bride's delectable affections . . . and surpass the heady days of first love with a truly sinful seduction.
Notes - It's a little overdue, but I finally got around to reading James's latest offering.
I was harsh on Hannah Howell after reading Highland Wedding. However, she redeemed herself with Highland Campion. I'm using a scale of 1-5 with 5 being the best. Please click the lj cut below for review.
Story line: 5
Character development: 4.5
Love scenes - 4.5
I'll attempt to give this review without using any spoilers as I knew some of you are planning on reading this book. "Liam Cameron is certain he's died and gone to heaven when he opens his eyes to the angel before him. But the pain that wracks his body proves he is still earth-bound. Keira Murrary McKail saved Liam's life - and he has some enticing ways he would like to thank her. Soon, lust gives way to a feeling much more profound for a woman whose battles he wants to fight...through he fears the most difficult one will be for her heart..." "Keira quickly learns that Liam has danger chasing him. As her healing kindness frees him to tell his tale, she confides the trouble that plaques her: she is a laird's widow now responsible for saving a small village pillaged by cruel invaders. But even as Liam makes the crusade to reclaim her lands his own, he will face a far greater challenge to win her trust - and her love - for all time..."
If you're into Highland romances - I'd put this one on the "buy list" I'll read it again for sure.x-posted to personal journal, romancenovels, & romance reviews
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Okay, so I'm using a scale of 1-5 with 5 being the best. Please click the lj cut below for review.Story line: 4Character development: 3.5Love scenes - 2I'll attempt to give this review without using any spoilers as I knew some of you are planning on reading this book. ( Review found hereCollapse )This is my first Hannah Howell read, so I'm giving her another chance. I'm starting Highland Wolf today. Also, in all fairness, I did just recently finish Highland Unchained by Monica McCarty, who, in my opinion, has the best highland love scenes ever. So, perhaps my expectations were too high. So, I WOULD recommend Highland Wedding. It was a good read and I got some laughs out of it. However, I would suggest checking it out from the library as opposed to buying it. It's not one of those that I will reread over and over.X-posted to personal journal, romancenovels, & romancereviews
Story line: 4
Character development: 3.5
Love scenes - 2
I'll attempt to give this review without using any spoilers as I knew some of you are planning on reading this book.
This is my first Hannah Howell read, so I'm giving her another chance. I'm starting Highland Wolf today. Also, in all fairness, I did just recently finish Highland Unchained by Monica McCarty, who, in my opinion, has the best highland love scenes ever. So, perhaps my expectations were too high.
So, I WOULD recommend Highland Wedding. It was a good read and I got some laughs out of it. However, I would suggest checking it out from the library as opposed to buying it. It's not one of those that I will reread over and over.
X-posted to personal journal, romancenovels, & romancereviews