May 27, 2007


Unleashing your inner tigress isn't easy when you're a doormat by nature! Still, after escaping a wretched marriage to a cheating SOB, Dallas party planner Naomi Delacroix isn't about to let another man sweet-talk her into sheathing her protective claws. Not even hunky millionaire Royce Powell, who's hired her to arrange his mother's surprise party. Even if he does make her purr like a kitten with one heated glance . . .

Royce claims he's been in love with her ever since she threw a party for one of his friends a year ago. But if that's true, why is this incredibly eligible CEO currently taking applications for a wife? Despite herself, Naomi is tempted to fill one out. But can her inner tigress believe a man might change his stripes?


After having read her Imperia-series I was really impressed by Gena Showalter and with Animal Instincts she still has me impressed.
It’s a contemporary romance taking a small detour from the otherworldly this time with both hero and heroin being from 21st century earth.
It’s written from Naomi’s perspective, and though first person narrative really isn’t my favorite, Showalter really makes me forget that. Her writing is so good and filled with witty banter and thoughts that she really did a good job of getting me to appreciate stories written in first person perspective.

Naomi Delacroix is determined not to be a doormat any longer. Her failed marriage to cheating Richard has left so distrusting of men she thinks all men are cheating liars. Royce is madly in love with her and relentlessly pursues Naomi, he even uses his mother to get to her.

Naomi refuses to acknowledge her feelings for Royce and fights the attraction constantly. She is witty and endearingly stubborn but I must say it takes just a bit to long for Naomi to let her guard down and trust Royce's sincerity, his commitment and his love for her. In my opinion it wouldn’t have been bad if this happened earlier in the book. It was almost starting to get annoying when she finally gave in.

Royce was simply to die for, he is a determined man and used to getting what he wants. For me he is one of the best male characters I’ve read in a long time. His patience with Naomi was extraordinary and he remained calm and understanding of her insecurities. But never turning into a wimp, Royce is every girl’s fantasy dream man….and extremely hot!

It was hilarious how the stereotype roles between men and women were switched between the two: Royce holding out for marriage while Naomi just wants to have a good time in the sack and tries to get Royce in her bed at every opportunity.

The chemistry between Naomi and Royce is sizzling!
The depth of the characters makes them seem real and they were absolutely great together!
Even the secondary characters have depth and personality and really are a nice addition to the whole story. I think this is extraordinary in a first person narrative.
But for me the book’s strongest point is that it’s laugh-out-loud funny. From the first page to the very last.

I have yet to read the books in Showalters other series and I know the Alien Huntress-series is also written in first person. But I really don’t have any doubts about them. I’m sure I’ll love anything Showalter writes.
After the Imperia books and this one she has definitely launched herself straight into my autobuy-list. She can keep them coming at me and I’ll devour them one by one.


Quotes:
Like I ever wanted to get married again. Like I wouldn’t rather sign up to be a contestant on Fear Factor and eat rotten bugs wrapped in pig uterus and smothered in a nice cow-blood sauce.

“One day soon, Naomi, I’m going to show you just how much pleasure I can give you. And neither one of us will be able to walk for a week.”



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May 26, 2007


He watches her from across the crowded dance club, a sensual black-haired stranger who stirs Gabrielle Maxwell’s deepest fantasies. But nothing about this night—or this man— is what it seems. For when Gabrielle witnesses a murder outside the club, reality shifts into something dark and deadly. In that shattering instant she is thrust into a realm she never knew existed—a realm where vampires stalk the shadows and a blood war is set to ignite.

Lucan Thorne despises the violence carried out by his lawless brethren. A vampire himself, Lucan is a Breed warrior, sworn to protect his kind—and the unwitting humans existing alongside them—from the mounting threat of the Rogues. Lucan cannot risk binding himself to a mortal woman, but when Gabrielle is targeted by his enemies, he has no choice but to bring her into the dark underworld he commands.

Here, in the arms of the Breed’s formidable leader, Gabrielle will confront an extraordinary destiny of danger, seduction, and the darkest pleasures of all. . . .



This is the first book in the Midnight Breed series by Lara Adrian, debuting in paranormal romance. As Tina St. John she wrote medieval historical romances.

Lucan Thorne is the leader of a group of vampire (Breed) warriors, the Order fighting the Rogues, who are vampires lost to Bloodlust, becoming addicted to blood. The warriors from the Order, especially Lucan are treading the fine line of turning Rogue as well but they fight it with everything they’ve got.

Gabrielle Maxwell is a human destined to become a vampire’s Breedmate. She’s a very talented photographer but always the loner. Feeling different compared to the rest of the world.

I really had trouble getting into the story, into this world Lara Adrian created and I can’t exactly say why that was.
Maybe it was the lack of wit, which is something I appreciate so much.
Maybe it was because of the very descriptive writing style which left little to nothing to my own imagination.
There was something preventing me from getting pulled into this dark and intense world of Breeds, Breedmates, Rogues, Bloodlust, a brooding full-on War between vampires, betrayal and intrigue.

But luckily and thankfully the trouble I had getting into it completely disappeared when I was about the get to the midsection of it.
Maybe it was Gabrielle discovering what Lucan really was.
Maybe it was because the writing style got less descriptive and more fast-paced.
I was glad no matter what the reason because it proved to be well worth the struggle of the first 10 chapters.
Because Lara Adrian has created an unique and original world of warrior vampires. This concept of course isn’t new, think of Ward’s Brotherhood and Feehan’s Carpathians, but it really has a different twist. For example the Breedmate concept or the otherworldly origin of the vampires. These are new and refreshing approaches to well known concepts and Miss Adrian does a really got job on it.

I closed this book with very mixed feelings. As struggling as I was in the in the beginning, after being half through the book the struggling ended and now I can’t wait for the next one to know what will happen between the Order and the Rogues, and hopefully will catch another glimpse of Lucan and Gabrielle.
And of course I’m dying to know the stories of the other Breed Warriors, especially Dante and Nikolai.
Luckily I don’t have to wait long for Dante, because he’s coming next!
And for the ladies who love “bad boys with an attitude”: be on the look-out for Tegan!

So, in conclusion, after a wobbly start Ms Adrian delivered a nice piece of paranormal work.



Quotes

He shot a cold smile at the Rogues, his fangs stretched long in anticipation of the fight to come. “Evening, ladies.”

Maybe he hadn’t called to apologize or to explain his absence beacuse he physically couldn’t.
Right. And maybe she had checked her brain into her panties from the second she first laid eyes on him.



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May 25, 2007
A Dream of Desire Awakened…
Beautiful Lady Emily dreams of the rapture of love and the joys of marriage. The youngest daughter of an English lord at war, she is shaken by the arrival of a mysterious stranger to her father's castle. Could this breathtaking man be Emily's yearned-for lover? Indeed, Draven de Montague, Earl of Ravenswood, has come for Emily...but romance has nothing to do with it.

In the Tender Embrace of an Enemy…
Draven would never have entered the home of his most hated adversary had not the King himself ordered him to take in his foe's daughter for a year to forge bonds of peace between their two feuding houses. Worse still, here is a lass whose exquisite loveliness could tempt Draven to betray his sworn vow never to let anther close to his heart. Emily knows the searing heat of her passion could burn down the defenses of this proud warrior. But will the surrender of the sweet nectar of his lips and his bold, sensuous caress ignite a blaze so hot it consumes them both?


I enjoyed reading this book. It was delightfully funny as known of Kinley MacGregor. She manages to write an intense love-story filled with wit and depth at the same time.



The characters are well developed and have depth to them. The interactions between Draven and Emily send sparks of the pages and those between Draven and Simon are filled with humor.



Draven is a good man but torn between his feelings for Emily and the honor of upholding his oath to the King. You can just feel the desperation in him, trying to keep distance between him and Emily in spite of the huge attraction she forms to him. And there is also the burden of the alleged curse in his family that prevents him from caring for a woman in fear of hurting her.



Emily is endearing, strong-willed, resourceful and intelligent. She’s a lovely heroin. Her directness and honesty are heartwarming and refreshing.
Simon and the maid Alys are great secondary characters.



This isn’t the first Kinley MacGregor I’ve read because I read both the novels in the Seawolves-series before but I liked this one much better and probably because of it’s genre that I like more than the pirate-genre.
I think it certainly won’t be a burden to entertain myself with the other MacGregor books waiting for me on the shelves…



Quote



Simon: “Allow me to present myself milady, I am Simon of Ravenswood, brother to the ogre, and your most fervent protector for this journey.
Draven: “And pray tell who will protect her from your drooling? Should I have my squire fetch rags now, or should I wait until she starts to drown?”

Emily: “Where are you taking me?”
Draven: “Wherever and as many times as it suits me.”




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Amber is rescued from a demon attack by Adrian, a leather-coated, sword-toting warrior.
He reveals that he is one of the Immortals, created at the dawn of civilization to protect humanity from Death Magic.

Together they discover that the demon is an Old One, determined to drain life from the world, and he's convinced Tain, the youngest Immortal, to turn on his brothers and help him.

The only way to stop them is to gather the remaining Immortals in one place--but the spell to do it has been lost, and the Immortals no longer want to play nice...


What can I say?
I’m almost speechless, Jennifer Ashley has written a breathtaking start of this series. The teasers thrown at us were promising and those promises were certainly met and then some…
This first book took me on a journey of love, sacrifice, lust, hate , fun and magic. From a warehouse in Seattle to a beachhouse in L.A to the icy-cold North Pole.
And along the way I was treated to everything that makes a book a keeper for me!
Strong and witty characters, both main and secondary:
Adrian, a strong alpha-male Immortal demi-god who’s knocked of his feet by Amber, a beautiful, stubborn and strongwilled Earth-witch.
Taine, Adrian’s youngest brother, an Immortal gone rogue with a death wish.
An Old One (ancient demon) who give you the shivers.
Shape-shifters Sabine (wolf) and Valerian (dragon).
Septimus, a Vampire Lord who turns out to be not as bad as you would think…
Sizzling sensuality, suspense and magic both literally and figuratively!
And amidst all this a love, beautiful and strong develops between Adrian and Amber. A love that proves to be able to overcome everything…
It was fast-paced and almost impossible to put down.
I qualify it as a romantic suspense, drenched in a magical and paranormal sauce. A story of the fight between life magic (good) and death magic (evil).
Ashley penned down a magical and vivid story that was a little Kenyon-ish in the beginning, using similar phrases (the “reject-in-a-bad-movie”-line used in I think it was Kyrian’s story) but fortunately this feeling disappeared very quickly.

On the first page I drowned in a pool of magic and on the last page I wanted to stay submerged and didn’t want to come up ever again.

I’m on a rollercoaster and the ride will only end when I turn the last page of the last book in the series. I really hope the other authors can deliver on the next installments. Ashley proves a challenge to live up to but I’m sure the others will give her a run for her money…


Quotes

Her smile did things to him, from warming his icy, lonely heart to warming other parts of his anatomy.

When Adrian qualifies Valerian as transportation, Valerian answers:
“Oh no. Don’t tell me you need me to fly you somewhere.” He pointed to his backside. “Do you see an airline logo on my tail?”



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May 23, 2007


SIX NIGHTS OF PLEASURE . . .

Georgianna Exley's passionate nature has always been her undoing-and for this reason the beautiful young widow allows her lovers only a single night in her bed. But Ivo Dauntry has come home to England, and for him she'll break her most sacred rule: granting him six nights of sensual bliss, one for every year he's given up for her . . .

SIX YEARS TO WAIT . . .

As a gentleman born, Ivo risked his reputation and his life in a duel to defend Georgianna's honor. Now, returned from exile, Ivo discovers that she has proved to be less than a lady . . . and soon, his daring seduction becomes a sensual contest of wills. But the long-ago duel that bound them forever has fueled the hatred of a madman determined to make Georgianna pay for her misdeeds with her life, and once again, Ivo must risk everything to save the woman he loves . . .


Another smashing debut-author.
Ms Hughes delivers an enticing, appealing early Regency-novel (Georgian Period).
With a heroin who knows what she wants: her freedom to do whatever she want, when she wants it and the way she wants it and there’s no man who can dictate otherwise.
And a hero who’s the perfect man for her.
Georgianna (George) Exley is an extraordinay heroin for the time-period in which this book is set: she hunts, she smokes, has male friends and takes lovers on her own terms. She could easily be a 21st century-woman. But because Kalen Hughes describes her so well, she is never out of place in the 18th century.

Ivo Dantry is handsome, mysterious and determined not to want Georgianna, despite his ernormous attraction to her. Picture two magnets but with the wrong polars towards each other. Attraction and rejection fighting to win. It’s not hard to imagine that the attractions wins...and how! Because when he finally gives in to his feelings, he’s determined to have and to hold Georgianna...I melted away at the scene at the end of the book where he comes in and literally sweeps Georgianna of her feet and carries her away

The love-scenes are beautifully written and hot without getting too explicit or raunchy. For me that’s one of the things why I liked this book so much. Another is her description style. I’ve read books where everything is described in so much details it get’s boring and takes the attention away from the actual story. Same goes for the use of language. But not in this book. I felt like being swept into the 18th century from the first page without a single moment of boredom or annoyance. I know that Ms Hughes does a lot of research into the time-period and it shows in a very good way!
Every chapter starts with a made-up quote from a column that actually existed in het Morning Post at that time, called Tête-à-Tête

The only less praising thing I can say about the book is that it has an enormous amount of secondary characters: friends, enemies, children, family, members of society.
Sometimes it’s hard to remember all the names and relations between them. And I guess because of the great number of characters they are not really deepened out which leaves Ivo and Georgianna the most powerful characters in the book. Of course that is not a bad thing since they are hero and heroin but I always like a few secondary characters having a bigger role in the book than just being there hanging around in the background.

Her writing reminds me of Elizabeth Hoyt, one of my favourite authors, but luckily she has her own unique style which I can only applaude.
I can’t wait for Lord Scandal, her second book with Gabriel Angelstone, one of Georgianna’s best friends, as the hero.


Quotes:

He knew exactly how to ride her, how to wind her up into a ball of pure need and desire.

Georgianna after being thoroughly satisfied by Ivo:
“Do you intend to remove your coat and boots or is the point to spend the afternoon taking me like a pirate?”



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May 22, 2007


Animal Magnetism – Maggie Shayne
Listen to the secrets of a beautiful animal whisperer who’s drawn intimately closer to danger, and t the most suspect of all male animals: man...

I liked this story very much. As known in Anthologies, the stories are too short for full indepth charactarization but Maggie Shayne did a good job nonetheless. The story is about Macy MacNamara, a vet who can “talk” to animals, and Jay Harris, a hot detective who brings a dog in that was shot by a serial rapist and the rest you can fill in yourself: vet and detective fall in love, have sex and in the meantime also solve the case of the serial rapist.
This sounds very shallow but the story absolutely wasn’t! Ms Shayne has a fast-paced and appealing writing style and I would love to read more of her work.



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Paradise - Meljean Brook
Follow the dark shadows that stalk both the living and the undead in a world of restless vampires and guardian angels...

I don’t know what to think of this story, There were lots of interesting elements: Selah: a female Guardian Angel and Lucas Marsden: a male vampire, a very nasty Demon, a pact with Lucifer. But the mix of it into a story didn’t quite do it for me.
It was well written but no heavy emotions were stirred while reading it. Whereas the previous story (by Shayne) left me wanting more and full length work, with this one I dare say I’ll not be buying something by Meljean Brook soon.



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Hunter Kiss – Marjorie M. Liu
Enter the forbidden and recklessly exciting world of the demon horde and their willing victims...

Great story despite being written in I-form (first person). I don’t particularly like this form of writing but the story fascinated me so much that it didn’t bother me at all and the characters, both main and secondary more than made up for it.
The story is about Maxine Kiss, a Demon Huntress and Grant Cooperon, an ex-priest who can read aura’s and change them with the music he makes. Maxine has 5 demons tattooed all over her body; “The Boys”. Leaving her body at sunset and returning at sunrise,they are her guarantee for immortality. They remind me of Kenyon’s Simi (Acheron’s demon).
It’s an enticing, well written story that left me wanting more, full length work by Ms Liu

Quote:
...mouth curving into a smile that is more intimate than any touch; unspoken, secret, a riddle between my heart and his, where the truth is simple and profound: I belong with him. And he belongs with me.



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Wild Hearts in Atlantis – Alyssa Day
Get swept away by the passions that rise out of the unfathomable depths of the lost city of Atlantis...

The fourth and last story brings me to known territory, since Alyssa Day’s first Warriors of Poseidon full length novel (Atlantis Rising) is already on my bookshelf.
The story starts with the wit and banter between the Warriors I loved so much in Atlantis Rising so I started with a big smile.
And the only disappointment was the fact that this was an Anthology-length story: too short to make it really, really good.
When you have a limited amount of pages you must cram everything in that small amount and that takes away the intensity the full length books can create.
But that said it was nice to read Bastiens story, the Atlantean Warrior of Poseidon who finds his lifemate in Kat(herine) Fiero, half shapeshifter (panther)/half human.

Quote:
Bastien: Oh damn. Poseidon, please help your humble warrior here. Because I’m falling down a black pit of lust-induced stupidity.



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May 21, 2007


Alec MacLean, a branded rakehell who scorns the ton for its snobbery and insincere ways, is in a damnable predicament. Having promised his dying grandfather to save the family fortune, Alec finds himself eloping with an avariciously accommodating society miss.

But when Alec open the door of his coach, he finds the wrong woman -- prim do-gooder Julia Frant! Desperate, Alec strikes a bargain with the reformer; marry him that night and Julia can use part of his fortune for her charitable works. Julia agrees and takes on her biggest project ever -- reforming the wild-living rake who'd unknowingly won her heart long ago!


It took me a while, several chapters to be honest, to get into this book and I can’t quite pin-point why that was. The story was defenitely nice but still it didn’t grip me as some other books recently have done.
I was really at the verge of putting it down and picking another book to read and that would have been a first because I’ve never done that.. I always finish what I start!
But luckily I hung on and from chapter 6-7 I really got pulled into the story...
Maybe because the story really began to take form whereas it didn’t before.
Maybe because the interactions between hero and heroin began to sparkle and the witty dialogues started to kick in.
Maybe because the interesting secondary characters (Nick, Maddie, Edmund, Lucien) began to drop in now and then.

I find “The Abduction of Julia” a pleasurable, uncomplicated story with nice dialogues. I liked both hero and heroin, especially Julia because she’s so independent and determined to save the less fortunate ones in her world. She’s a heroin who’s very easy to sympathize with.
Alec is the dime-in-a-dozen Regency-rake, but nonetheless also a very aimable character in the book.

It's not a really good sign if (one of) the main characters are outranked by secondary characters and for me that was the case in this book.
In my book Alec was positively outranked by Nick Montrose, Earl of Bridgerton and his sinfully wicked cousin trying to trick the heritage right from under Alec. He’s the bad guy in this book but a bad guy you also admire and empathize with. So I’m very glad he has his own book: the third and last in this trilogy.
Can’t wait to get to that one because I really want to read what kind of hero he’ll be.



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May 20, 2007

I read this book in April 2007


THE ONE THING A LADY MUST NEVER DO...
Wealthy Lady Georgina Maitland doesn't want a husband, though she could use a good steward to run her estates. One look at Harry Pye, and Georgina knows she's not just dealing with a servant, but a man.

IS FALL IN LOVE...
Harry has known many aristocrats—including one particular nobleman who is his sworn enemy. But Harry has never met a beautiful lady so independent, uninhibited, and eager to be in his arms.

WITH HER SERVANT.
Still, it's impossible to conduct a discreet liaison when poisoned sheep, murdered villagers, and an enraged magistrate have the county in an uproar. The locals blame Harry for everything. Soon it's all Georgina can do to keep her head above water and Harry's out of the noose...without missing another night of love.


I can’t find anywhere if this trilogy (currently 2 books are released and the 3rd one is coming in September 2007) has a name but I call it The Prince Trilogy.
This is the second book by Elizabeth Hoyt and subsequently the second in the trilogy.
These two first books are another refreshing approach of a commonly known thing: a love-affair between employer and employee.
In the Raven Prince it’s a female employee and a male employer, in The Leopard Prince it’s the other way around.

Lady Georgina Maitland (George) is the daughter of an earl, She is keen and very smart and she has a ready tongue.
Harry Pye is her land steward and on a trip from London to her estate in Yorkshire to investigate who is poisoning her neighbour’s sheep, they have an accident with the carriage. The book starts when they have just ended up in a ditch and they have to seek shelter and for the first time George notices Harry for the attractive man he is and it turns out that Harry isn’t quite immune to George’s charms either.

George is feisty and intelligent, although she tries to hide this by sometimes playing the silly aristocrate. She says what she thinks and feels without thinking of the consequences. She would go through fire and water for the people she loves.
Sometimes rambles a bit. Especially when she’s around Harry en she feels a little uncomfortable, aware of her feelings for him. This annoys Harry in the beginning but the more time they spend together, the more he starts to find it endearing.

Harry is a sincere, honest man who also goes through fire and water for the ones dear to him. Marked by his past and background he’s doesn’t trust aristocracy. He is also quiet and reserved. But there is much more to him than meets the eye.
Behind his seemingly inpenetrable outward appearance he holds for everyone to see, there’s a passionate and sensitive man who’s past made him who he is now.

After The Raven Prince I was really looking forward to this book and Ms Hoyt certainly didn’t dissapoint me. Not at all!
She continued her easy-to-read, fast paced, refreshing writing style and her witty, sometimes borderline sarcastic, sense of humor in this book and topped it of with a delicious plot. I just can’t say anything negative about the secondary characters or the plot of poisoned sheep, murder and Harry being the prime suspect. Nothing predictable about it too...When you think you’ve got it figured out, she gives it a twist and leaves you hanging. Brilliant!

The title this time refers to a fairy tale George tells Harry in parts throughout the book. Of course this fairy tale is a metaphor for the story of George and Harry. Like the book in The Raven Prince was the metaphor for Anna and Edward’s story.
This is also masterfully done by Hoyt. It gives her books deeper layers that turns them into so much more than standard Regency!

And then the erotic scenes in the book. They’re explicit but it didn;t bother me a bit. Hoyt has such a classy writing style that it never gets vulgar. She just describes deliciously how two people develop feelings for each other and how they express these feelings in a physical way.
If you like sensuality, you won’t be dissapointed.

So again Ms Hoyt has delivered a masterpiece that has certainly earned it’s own special place between my other booktreasures!


Quotes:

[…]Put himself inside her and stay there until she told him why she had run away. Until she promised never to do it again

Her mouth was warm and wet and tasted of her morning’s tea. He could spend the rest of his life just tasting her.



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I read this book in April 2007


There is only one word for a passion this sizzling…Scandalous!

Katherine Fleming has lived her life without even a hint of indiscretion. So she is devastated to discover the nobleman she’s engaged to has a secret he’s kept from her: a wife! Suddenly Katherine’s enmeshed in a scandal that has the ton buzzing--and forced to accept a most unconventional proposal from the notorious seducer Dominic Mallory, her faithless fiancé’s brother…and precisely the sort of rake she has sworn to avoid!

Charming and dangerously sensual, Dominic has desired the stunning beauty from the first moment he spied her. Now, with Katherine’s reputation in tatters, it’s the ideal opportunity to bed her--though it will take wedding vows to do so. But can a rogue be reformed by the unleashed passion of a normally reserved lady? And can a marriage made for all the wrong reasons flame into the love match of the season?


I really loved this one.
The interactions between hero and heroin were sizzling and intens.
The sensual tension between the two is almost palpable.
This was my first Jenna Petersen book and I liked it very much.

Dominic is the hero who's tormented by his past. He is the result of an affair his mother had and he doesn't know who his father is. His only goal in life is to find out his parentage. His mother's husband and his halfbrother never accepted him and their actions and those of his mother lead to him not believing in love.
Until he meets Katherine (Kat).
Because of the problematic relationship her parents had, Kat also doesn't believe in love. Love is humiliating and painful in her eyes.
Until she meets Dominic and must marry him to prevent scandal to come over her and his family.

Once they are married they start developing deeper feelings for each other. But because of their pasts they won't admit to it and settle for just the physical side of marriage.
Of course lies and secrets puts a wedge between them and drive them apart but fortunately everything works out just fine.

Jenna Petersen has a delightful writing style, easy to read and accessible. This book was't fast paced but that wouldn't do the story justice. This story is meant to be taken in slow and easy so you can savor every word, every feeling, every emotion.
She knows how to pen down a beautiful story of love that conquers all.
While reading I went through a whole bunch of emotions but what touched me most was their hurt caused by their pasts and in the end of the book I just had to cry.

The secondary characters were also brilliantly pictured and true additions to the storyline. They also made me feel emotional but in the angry sense of the word. Man....At some point I really wanted to strangle the halfbrother Cole and his wife Sarah. They were so evil and selfish.
Halfsister Julia was a nice and lovable character though.

I'm really looking forward to reading more by Jenna Petersen because this one has sparked a flame that hopefully won't extinguish very soon!



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May 19, 2007

I read this book in April 2007


When Santa Fe antique dealer Julia Anderson was curiously drawn to purchase a battered jewelry box, she didn't expect it to contain her own personal love slave. Especially not tall, dark and sinfully handsome Tristan -- a man hard to resist and determined to fulfill her every desire.

Though Tristan was a rogue of the battlefield and boudoir, making love with Julia was like nothing he'd ever known. Yet revealing his true heart would break the centuries-old spell and separate them forever. And Tristan would do anything to go on loving Julia. . . even remain a slave through all eternity. . .


Tristan is a proud Imperian warrior. He is determined never to beg for anything ever again because in his youth his father made him beg for every small thing. He is cursed into jewelry box to serve as a pleasure slave by a vindictive Druinn Priestess and sent whirling through dimensions and parallel worlds by the Druinn High Priest he ends up in Julia Anderson’s home in the 21st century.

Julia is calm and reserved and a bit insecure.
Underneath her calm and reserved exterior, a fiery and passionate woman is lingering, waiting to be discovered. And who better to discover this woman than the pleasure slave who appears from a strange jewelry box she bought.
But in spite of the way Tristan makes Julia feel she doesn’t want Tristan to be her pleasure slave but she does have a request, she wants him to help her entice her neighbour whom she considers plain and reserved like herself and therefore safe for her to get involved with.
Tristan agrees and during the lessons the lingering passion between them just drips of the pages and not it's not long before this passion turns into a deep self-sacrificing love.

Again the secondary characters are well written and a real contribution to the story of Tristan and Julia.
Zirra is a mean selfish Druin Priestess who uses everything and everyone to get her way. Romulis is the son of Percen and Heather (characters froum The Stone Prince) who is madly in love with Zirra and he'll do anything for her, including help her trace Tristan.
Peter is the boring and plain nextdoor neighbour whom Julia thinks is her ideal partner and she asks Tristan to help her making Peter fall in love with her.
Tristan calls him “Puny Peter” and I must admit that is a fitting description.

This is the second book in the Imperia-series by Gena Showalter and the last one written so far.
And again I loved it and I hope Showalter will continue this series in spite of the other series she’s got going on.
She has created a nice mix between the mystical and mysterious world of Imperia, with it’s alpha male warriors and the modern day 21st century earth with it’s independent women. This mix leads to a fun read, which spikes your senses and leaves you wanting more of these stories.
Although this book and The Stone Prince are from the same series you can easily read them stand alone.

I must say this one was a little bit less hilarious than The Stone Prince, it has a more serious underlying atmosphere but that doesn’t make it less good.
In the contrary…I enjoyed it till the very last letter and went through a caleidoscope of emotions and feelings while reading it. And don't get me wrong there were really funny scenes in the book that made me laugh out loud like the scene where Tristan and Julia talk men’s underwear or the scene with the gay sales man in the mall who hits on Tristan. So no worries for the ones who love humor in their stories.


Quotes:

He was a exquisite specimen of manhood. So exquisite, in fact, she wouldn’t be surprised if he had “Grade A one-hundred-percent pure beef” stamped on his butt.

Tristan: “My tongue burns for the taste of you. My hands itch for the feel of you. And my shaft screams for the core of you. Let me have you.”



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The Foster Fangirl Society
Courtesy of Bree


Foster Fangirl Society


I *heart* BatPunisherMan!



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Courtesy of Leontine

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The Smutty Society



May 18, 2007

I read this book in April 2007


Three determined young ladies vow to give three of London's worst rakes their comeuppance - but when these rogues turn the tables, who truly learns a lesson in love?

Once upon a time, the notorious Viscount Dare charmed Lady Georgiana Halley out of her innocence - to win a wager, no less! - and now he must pay dearly. The, plan is simple: She will use every seductive wileshe knows to win Dare's heart...and then break it. But his smoldering gaze once again tempts Georgiana to give in to desire - and when he astonishes her with a marriage proposal, she wonders: Is he playing yet another game...or could it truly be love this time?


I liked the plot of this book. Why?
Because it took a whole other, refreshing look on the “teaching someone a lesson-and fall in love with them-story”
In the most romance books with this kind of plot it’s the man who is the one teaching a lesson and in this one it’s the woman.
The book was really fun to read! The way Georgie goes about it was at times hilarious. Her vicious remarks toward Tristan and the way he takes it were delightful.
The focus of the story is Georgie and Tristan’s interactions with enough sensuality to make it a very nice read.
The secondary characters were great and blended well in the story. I really hated Amelia and loved Tristan’s aunts and brothers and Georgie’s aunt and friends.
Geogie is one tough cookie and determined to teach Tristan a lesson but that determination starts to falters when she discovers that he’s not as bad as she thougt. But still she won’t admit it to herself.
Tristan is a sincere and proud hero. He’s not the insensitive rake he wants everyone to believe. This shows in his actions towards Georgie.
He turns out to be a true gentleman who has genuine feelings for her even though he has a hard time admitting it, even with himself.
I loved the way he kept giving her a fan everytime she broke one on him...
He’s a man who pays attention to small details where the woman he loves is concerned...and that scores points in my book!
And his proposal to Georgie at the end of the book was just breathtaking and needless to say that I needed Kleenex...again!

I really enjoyed this book. Enoch has an easy to read writing style and the plot was fun and original. I’m looking forward to the next book in the series!


Quote:
Tristan during a session of the House of Lords: “Parliament isn’t exactly your usual haunt.”
Saint: “If I don’t appear ever so often , they try to declare me dead and confiscate my property, It gets to be annoying.


I understood that this remark matches the abundance of arrogance Saint seems to have!


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May 17, 2007

I read this book in March 2007


A LOVE AS BRIGHT AS THE STARS AND ENDURING AS STONE...
Beautiful and bold home renovator Katie James is unlucky in love-so unlucky she’s been reduced to kissing a marble statue in the garden of her newly bought Victorian mansion. But her luck changes when the statue warms to life in her arms-and turns out to be a hunk straight out of any woman’s fantasy! Well, almost….Jorlan en Sarr hails from another planet and like all the other men Katie’s known , he comes with a lot of baggage. Before long, she is swept up in tumultuous passion that will either save this man she has come to love, or destroy him.

A CURSED WARRIOR WITH A LOVER’S MAGIC TOUCH…
Jorlan en Sarr, a mighty alien prince, is cursed by his half-brother to spend eternity as a marble statue, able to see, hear and feel everything around him, yet be unable to respond. His one chance for freedom is a spell that catapults him to Earth, where he spends one thousand years awaiting a woman’s kiss.
Entombed in his stony skin for centuries, Jorlan has been waiting for a maiden fair to break the spell. Yet this statuesque beauty with the will of an Amazon an d kisses like flame is a far cry from the obedient damsels of Imperia. And though Jorlan is tempted to abandon all for the sake of Katie, unless he can convince her to give him her heart in two week’s time, he’ll be turned back to stone. And she’ll be lost to him forever.


Embarking on a new author I find myself totally blown away! In the most positive way possible! Humor, sensuality, passion, the ultimate dominant alpha male, these are the ingredients for a great journey!
Delightful and witty are the first words that came to mind after reading the first two chapters.
I devoured this book, the plot involves not only a sort of time-travel but also “planet-travel” for Jorlan is an alien from the planet Imperia.
A planet where women are obedient, meek and compliant and there only purpose is to serve their men who are there to protect the women.
And now Jorlan finds himself on earth in the twenty-first century where women, and especially Katie James, are independent, self-sufficient and don’t need any man for protection.
This causes hilarious dialogues between them.
Especially the one where he demands that she sleep with him to end the curse for once and for all. This only happens when the woman who kissed him also declares her love for him. Jorlan is utterly convinced that one sensual bedding session is enough to make her fall in love with him.
I truly loved Jorlan as the ultimate alpha male with his conception of women being vulnerable, meek, submissive, needing protection all the time.
And Katie is great! A modern, independent young women who stands her ground but at the same time falls head over heels in love with this amazing alien creature.
Katie grew up with 4 older brothers and a very protective father and she’s fed up with overbearing men telling her what do to so she knows exactly how to deal with this dominant male.
His reaction to her ordering him around is priceless. How dare she -a weak female- order him –a mighty warrior and above all a man!- around.

Besides the love-story there is also the story the relationship between Jorlan, Percen and their mother and why his half-brother Percen cursed Jorlan into a statue. Their triangle is very complicated and difficult but strangely enough I could understand and sympathize with the reasons and motivations of Percen’s actions, however mean they were towards Jorlan.

Again I have found a treasure in this book. The reason for it was the feelings, motivations and actions being so pure, basic and “real”! No pretences, deceitfulness but everything direct and in the open, pure and raw. I noticed that I’m really starting to favor this kind of writing I really enjoy these books. This combined with fun and sensuality makes it a keeper for me and I really am looking forward to reading more by Ms Showalter’s hand.


Quotes:
When Katie sets a few rules he has to uphold if he wants her to allow him to come home with her, he first demands some adjustments of the rules and then says:
“If I break one of your rules, I will allow you to give me a severe tongue lashing all over my body.”

Ms Showalter also has a funny way of using food-metaphors, with a special preference for chocolate and icecream. I found at least 7 or 8 in the book but here the two I liked the most:
- She might as well have asked him if he wanted to finger paint her naked body with caramel-and-chocolate ice cream and lick it off
- Since he first appeared in her garden she had lusted after him like he was a piece of chocolate in a PMS survival kit



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May 16, 2007

I read this book in March 2007



Alex Scarston: Earl of Selbourne. Rake. Spy. With his efforts for England in the war against the French suspended, family obligations compel him to investigate the disappearance of Viscount Brigham's son. When the viscount's daughter becomes involved as well, Alex finds himself entangled in a venture that risks both heart and soul.

It's not that Lucia Dashing, youngest daughter of Lord Brigham, wants Alex to go away. She just wishes he weren't always so close – perhaps a few rooms, or streets, or continents between them would bank the heat of her attraction. But when her brother disappears and every clue indicates his safe recovery essential to the very sovereignty of England, she's no choice but to engage the earl in a battle risking her brother, her country, and her love.


I really liked this book. It took me a while to finish it but this had nothing to do with the book itself, it was due to lack of time to read.
After reading lots of paranormal/vampires in a row I really needed a good regency and I got that with this one.
It was original and unique.

The characters were well-developed and accessible .
Lucia is a heroin who actually touched my heart. She tries so hard to gain her family’s approval, especially her father’s and I was glad to see that she achieves in doing that without changing who she is.
She is feisty and spontaneous, to the point she sometimes gets carried away in her enthusiasm but it’s so endearing that I didn’t find it annoying.
Alex is the perfect rake who doesn’t know what hits him when he finds true and genuine love. I really loved reading how he was falling for Lucia but still was in so much denial. All the signs were there but he refused to acknowledge them and when he finally did, he did it well.

The plot is fast-paced and well written. The side characters are a great addition to the whole story, especially Freddy and Lucia’s mother with her obsession for everything Italian.
The love and sensuality between Lucia and Alex just comes of the pages en you can almost feel it developing and growing.
Again a book that stirred many emotions inside me and that’s always a good sign!



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May 15, 2007

I read this book in March 2007



Eleven thousand years ago, before the seas swallowed the Atlantaens, Poseidon assigned a few chosen warriors to act as sentinels for humans in the new world. There was only one rule-desiring them was forbidden. But rules were made to be broken…

When she calls…
Riley Dawson is more than a dedicated Virginia Beach social worker. She's blessed with a mind link that only Atlantaens have been able to access for thousands of years. Being an "empath" may explain her wistful connection to the roiling waves of the ocean, the sanctuary it provides, and the sexual urges that seem to emanate from fathoms below…

He will come.
Conlan, the High Prince of Atlantis, has surfaced on a mission to retrieve Poseidon's stolen Trident. Yet something else has possessed Conlan: the intimate emotions-and desires-of a human. Irresistibly drawn to the uncanny beauty, Conlan soon shares more than his mind. But in the midst of a battle to reclaim Poseidon's power, how long can a forbidden love last between two different souls from two different worlds?


When it comes to the choice between duty and love...Is there really a choice?

What do you get when you put together a hot Atlanthean Prince, his sexy Warriors, a witty human empath, a pack of rebel shape-shifters, a powerfull and depraved vampire goddess, a bunch of bad, bad vampires and an even more powerful seagod?
A fun and definitely sizzling beginning of a terrific series!

Ms Day promised and delivered, signed and sealed.
I read some reviews on the net that stated that because this is a first in the series it was packed with too much information...I really did not experience this. Yes there was information but it was so well delivered it never bothered me a bit. I took it all in with the plot. And some plot it was. Everything just fell into place. The hero, the heroin, the secondary characters, the evil villains...everything.
What I liked best in this book was the humor. It was really a fun-packed read next to the sensuality and ingenius plot.
Both Conlan and Riley come up with remarks and thoughts that just made me laugh out loud. And let’s not forget the others: Ven, Alaric, and Quinn.

The book just exudes alpha male testosteron, especially in the interactions between the warriors. And Riley does a fine job standing her ground in the midst of the raging testosteron. It was so refreshing that she just blurts out everything that’s on her mind. This of course adds to the humor in the book.
Riley is one kick-a$$ heroin. If I were to make a list of my favourite heroins, she’d be at the top of my list: funny, spontaneous, loving, feisty and brave. A perfect match for hot, tall and dark Conlan.
When she called out to Anubisa: “hey b#tch, wanna play” I just wanted to cheer for her!

And Conlan is endearing and awesome at the same time. And this was also why I liked this book so much. Ms Day gives a different twist to the all-known “alpha male”. Where in some other books there have been some that annoy me with their all dominant: I-am-the-big-strong-man-and-you-are-the-weak-female-so-do-as-I-say, I really didn’t get that vibe from these warriors and don’t get me wrong, I really count these ones among some of the hottest alpha’s I’ve read so far. But they also acknowledge their own weaknesses (without coming across as weaklings!) and fight them, instead of projecting them to the women they love. Maybe it’s the humor with which it’s written that causes this feeling.

And now confession time: I have to admit that the character I liked best in this book wasn’t Conlan or Riley. It was Ven! (Can’t wait for his book!!)
He caught my attention before even Conlan did with his sarcastic witty remarks but what did me in was:

Anubisa is going to find out exactly what it means that I am the King’s Vengance [...] I’m gonna shoot me some vengance right up her puckered a$$[...]The b#tch is going down.
Now there’s a man after my heart!


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May 13, 2007

I read this book in March 2007


Powerful. Sensual. Seductive. He is all that is shamelessly erotic in a man. In her sexiest Highlander novel yet, New York Times bestselling author Karen Moning stirs up a sizzling brew of ancient mystery and modern passion as she brings together a devilishly handsome Celtic warrior trapped in time . . . and the woman who's about to pay the ultimate price for freeing him. Age-old secrets haunt them. Deadly danger and irresistible desire shadow their every move. It's a relationship for the ages. And all that separates them is a mere thirteen hundred years. . . .

Jessi St. James has got to get a life. Too many hours studying ancient artifacts has given the hardworking archaeology student a bad case of sex on the brain. So she figures she must be dreaming when she spies a gorgeous half-naked man staring out at her from inside the silvery glass of an ancient mirror. But when a split-second decision saves her from a terrifying attempt on her life, Jessi suddenly finds herself confronting six and a half feet of smoldering, insatiable alpha male.

Heir to the arcane magic of his Druid ancestors, eleven centuries ago Cian MacKeltar was trapped inside the Dark Glass, one of four coveted Unseelie Hallows, objects of unspeakable power. When the Dark Glass is stolen, an ancient enemy will stop at nothing to reclaim it, destroying everything in his path-including the one woman who may just hold the key to breaking the ninth-century Highlander's dark spell. For Jessi, the muscle-bound sex god in the mirror is not only tantalizingly real, he's offering his protection-from exactly what, Jessi doesn't know. And all he wants in exchange is the exquisite pleasure of sharing her bed.

Yet even as Cian's insatiable hunger begins to work its dark magic on Jessi, his ancient enemy is about to obtain the final and most dangerous of the Unseelie Hallows-and the ninth-century Highlander must stop him from getting it. Nothing less than the very fabric of the universe and two passionately entwined lives are at stake-as Cian and Jessi fight to claim the kind of love that comes along but once in an ice age. . .

 

And with this book we conclude the series for now.
I closed this book with mixed feelings: overwhelmed by another great story with an amazing plot, but also a bit sad because for now it’s the last of the Highlanders and I really enjoyed this series.
The best part is that every book has a unique storyline to top it off so you can't get bored.
Moning has the power to draw you into the story and make you wish that it was happening to you…

It was not the best in the series (for me that’s still Immortal Highlander) but I really loved it.
If you’ve read all the previous books in the series you know the main ingredients: a scrumptious Highlander, a feisty heroin, a lot of sensuality and a fast-paced plot.
Cian is a product of his times and to see him deal with a thoroughly modern Jessi is so much fun to read!
I really liked the parts where Cian tries his powers on Jessi and finds out they don’t work on her. Simply hilarious!
Ms Moning wrote a thoroughly sexy, alpha-male hero but also a heroine who is his match.
Not to mention, I loved the appearances of the other MacKeltars.
It was a fun read with a mix of suspense, magic and of course, steamy love scenes.
This book is a bit lighter and funnier than some of the others but no less steamy and exciting.
The only problem I had, was that the book ended.



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May 12, 2007

I read this book in March 2007


Enter a world of timeless seduction, of ancient intrigue and modern-day passion. Enter the dazzling world of Karen Marie Moning, whose acclaimed Highlander novels have captivated readers, spanning the continents and the centuries, bringing ancient Scotland vividly to life. In a new novel brimming with time-travel adventure and sensual heat, the nationally bestselling author of The Dark Highlander delivers a love story that will hold you in thrall-and a hero you will most certainly never forget. BEWARE: lethally seductive alpha male of immense strength and dark eroticism, do not look at him. Do not touch him. Do not be tempted. Do not be seduced.

With his long, black hair and dark, mesmerizing eyes, Adam Black is Trouble with a capital T. Immortal, arrogant, and intensely sensual, he is the consummate seducer, free to roam across time and continents in pursuit of his insatiable desires. That is, until a curse strips him of his immortality and makes him invisible, a cruel fate for so irresistible a man. With his very life at stake, Adam's only hope for survival is in the hands of the one woman who can actually see him.

Enter law student Gabrielle O'Callaghan, who is cursed with the ability to see both worlds: Mortal and Faery. From the moment she lays eyes on this stunning male, Gabby is certain of one thing: He could be her undoing. Thus begins a long, dangerous seduction. Because despite his powerful strength and unquenchable hungers, Adam refuses to take a woman by force. Instead, he will tease his way into Gabby's bed and make her want him just as he wants her.

Now, no matter how hard Gabby tries to avoid him, Adam is everywhere, invisible to all but her-perched atop her office cubicle in too-tight jeans, whispering softly from behind the stacks of the law library, stealing her breath away with his knowing smile…all the while tempting her with the promise of unimaginable pleasure in his arms. But soon danger will intrude on this sensual dance. For as Adam's quest to regain his immortality plunges them into a world of timeless magic and the deadly politics of the Faery queen's court, the price of surrender could be their very lives. Unless they can thwart the conspiracy that threatens both mortal and Faery realms…and give them a shot at a destiny few mortals ever know: glorious, wondrous, endless love.


What do you do when the one creature you’ve always been warned to stay away from, comes to you for help. You fall head over heels in love with him, screaming and kicking, but still....

Did I say in my last review, the one of The Dark Highlander that that book was the best in the series so far?
Well I have to amend that after reading this one!
Man, how does Moning do that? Just when I thought I had read the creme de la creme of The Highlanders she throws Adam Black at me.
Nothing, absolutely nothing in the previous books he made his appearance in could have prepared me for this Fae. Known to be the blackest of Fae’s but oh how they were wrong.
I thought Dageus was a drool-worthy hero,but Adam wins it by a landslide.
Gabby was the heroin I was looking for in Chloe in The Dark Highlander: Fiery, stubborn, sharp-tongued and ready to take on Adam against all odds. I almost love Gabby more than Adam, but of course that’s impossible.
Of course it was also a treat to see the MacKeltars and their lovely wives again. And the Fairy Queen managed to get a little bit of sympathy with me, I truly saw her in another light than in the previous books.

At the risk of starting to sound like a broken record again the plot was brilliant. It had everything! It was thrilling, moving and romantic.
The ending just took my breath away. Who knew Adam had that in him?
I certainly didn’t.

It’s getting better and better still with each new book in this series I plunge in so I have really high expectations of Spell of the Highlander....what will Cian bring? Well he’s a MacKeltar so I’m sure it will be nothing less than good, really good!



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May 11, 2007

I read this book in March 2007


Journey to a world of ancient magic, breathtaking sensuality, thrilling time-travel.... Journey to the world of The Dark Highlander. Crisscrossing the continents and the centuries, here is a novel as gripping as it is sensual--an electrifying adventure that will leave you breathless....

I am Dageus MacKeltar, a man with one good conscience and thirteen bad ones, driven to sate my darkest desires…

From his penthouse lair high above Manhattan, Dageus looks out over a glittering city that calls to the darkness within him. A sixteenth-century Scot trapped between worlds, he is fighting a losing battle with the thirteen Druids who possess his soul, dooming him to an eternity of sexual pursuit. When Chloe Zanders, student of antiquities, is drawn into his world, she finds the insatiable alpha male an irresistible lure.Before long, she is caught up in an ancient prophecy that will sweep her back into time to medieval Scotland. Plunged into a world of timeless magic and dark seduction, she will soon face the challenge of a lifetime: fighting thirteen evil spirits for the heart of one irresistible man....


What is the only thing that can save a Highland Druid fighting not to lose himself to the darkness of evil?
The love of his true mate...

For me this is the best in the series so far.
The explosive emotions are back, the book excited me as well as made me tear up. The previous two didn’t quite succeed in doing this.
Dageus was the perfect hero, handsome and fierce, romantic and dark and don't forget: sinfully sensual!
I would have liked Chloe a bit more fiery than she was, but this still didn’t make the book any less good.
Again Moning delivers a wonderful plot, again we briefly meet Adam, he’s such an enigma...and I really can’t wait to read his story.
Again the secondary characters complete the story.

I was enthralled by the world of the Tuatha Dé and the Prophecy. Moning pens down such a vivid world you just get sucked in, and it’s hard to come down to earth again.
Then she entwines this all with a lovestory so beautiful and powerfull and you find yourself utterly lost in the world of a dark highlander fighting to find his light and in doing so he finds true love.

This story was so fast-paced I finished it in a day, I just kept turning and turning the pages wanting to know where it was leading to and how it was going to end.
There is nothing I appreciate more than unpredictability in a book and this series really deserves my appreciation because not a single book has been predictable.

Move over on the keeper’s shelf cause there’s going to be another treasured addition.



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May 10, 2007

I read this book in March 2007


A laird trapped between centuries...

Enchanted by a powerful spell, Highland laird Drustan MacKeltar slumbered for nearly five centuries hidden deep in a cave, until an unlikely savior awakened him. The enticing lass who dressed and spoke like no woman he'd ever known was from his distant future, where crumbled ruins were all that remained of his vanished world. Drustan knew he had to return to his own century if he was to save his people from a terrible fate. And he needed the bewitching woman by his side....

A woman changed forever in his arms...

Gwen Cassidy had come to Scotland to shake up her humdrum life and, just maybe, meet a man. How could she have known that a tumble down a Highland ravine would send her plunging into an underground cavern — to land atop the most devastatingly seductive man she'd ever seen? Or that once he'd kissed her, he wouldn't let her go?

Bound to Drustan by a passion stronger than time, Gwen is swept back to sixteenth-century Scotland, where a treacherous enemy plots against them ... and where a warrior with the power to change history will defy time itself for the woman he loves...


Once again I loved this story.
Though the time travel-theme returns in almost the entire Highlander-series Moning knows how to give each book it’s own twist and that way you don’t get the sense of repetition and each book holds something unique to it.
And I really like the twist she gives Kiss of the Highlander.
Though another time travel it’s so different from the previous one. The angle is different and refreshing. Intentionally and with a purpose in stead of by accident or part of revenge.

Drustan and Gwen are a hero and heroin you just want to end up happy together and they do through time and space.
I truly love Moning’s heroins. Gwen is fiery, stubborn, smart and she doesn’t let Drustan push her around. She gives as good as she gets! And that’s just what Drustan needs.
And Drustan, well he’s something else! If you don’t just love this hero, there must be something wrong with you. I really tried to describe why but I just can’t. There’s just something about him that makes you want to take him in your arms and never let go. And that’s exactly what Gwen did.

I didn’t think this a very fast-paced story, but in my eyes this is not a bad thing. It felt like it was supposed to just seep in bit by bit into your system and stay anchored there. In stead of fiery explosions, more like smoldering ashes, slow but definitely just as scorching.
The secondary characters as Silvan, Dageus and Nell add something extra to the story and the whole plot is just original, ingenious and fascinating!

And can someone tell me what it is with the word “tupping” that makes my heart go pitty-patter more than any other word used to describe that activity???

This series is really a keeper and I’m really glad I finally got to read it.



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May 9, 2007

I read this book in March 2007


A woman called Passion.
A man who would make her true to her name

In her second year of mourning, lovely young widow Passion Elizabeth Dare never dreamed she would be with a man again--and certainly not a complete stranger. But amidst the crowds of London's Crystal Palace, Passion finds herself discreetly, yet insistently, pursued by a sensual gentleman who awakens her long-supressed desires. After a loveless marriage of restrained propriety, Passion abandons herself to true bliss for the first time.

Intoxicated by his encounter with the beautiful stranger, Mark Randolph Hawkmore, Earl of Langley, cannot wait to see her again. As a series of rapturous rendezvous follows, he and his mystery lover find something rare and wonderful blossoming between them. But a blackmail scheme against the Earl threatens to destroy everything. As a scandal brews, each will have to choose between duty and desire...their love for their families--and their love for each other.


This book starts with a bang.
The title promises passion and passion is what it delivers from the very beginning.
Two strangers meet at an exihibition in the Crystal Palace and before you know it their are doing their thing behind a huge screen, in public so to speak.
To be honest I thought that if this was what the book was going to be about I would read it quickly and put it into the not-worth-the-time-pile without any further ado.
But it turned out to be a treasure in disguise because it’s not only passion that you get. It’s also quenched desires and needs that break free into a love so deep, pure and honest, it touched me deep within my heart.

Mind you, if you prefer a proper, sweet and nice historical romance, don’t read this book.
If you prefer a passionate, hot and intense historical romance and you don’t mind graphic and explicit sexscenes, DO read this book.
This one is not for the faint-hearted, it’s borderline erotica.
Ms Valdez tells it like it is. No eufemisms, no embellishing language, no metaphores. Sex is sex, hot passionate and explicit. But also romantic and genuinly respectful despite the graphic use of language.
It suits the purpose and the story, intense and powerful.

I just loved Mark and Passion. The initial in-your-face lust between them develops into a beautiful love-story and for this you can’t but give credit to the amazing talent of Ms Valdez. She pens down characters that are so three-dimensional, they just jump of the page. Not just the hero and heroin but also the secondary characters as the evil mothers, the docile cousin, Mark’s brother and Passion’s sisters.
Mark and Passion are clear and honest in their feelings, no lying, conniving or deceiving. And that’s what make them so easy to like, despite Passion’s determination to do the right thing and Mark’s sometimes foul mouth.
They are so in tune with each other, from the very start. They are so in sync, both sexually and emotionally.
He needs to be loved, she needs to love for they both suffered cold indifference, he by his mother, she by her deceased husband.
He makes her forget to be dutiful, responsible and inhibited.
She makes him forget to be cold, distant and distrusting of women.

Halfway through the book the tone changes from passionate lust to wrenching heartbreak . I literally teared up when they realized they loved each other but could not be together because of the machinations of two evil witches of mothers, which lead to Mark being married of to Passion’s cousin.
You just feel the heartbreaking pain coming of the pages.
Their declarations of love when they say their goodbyes are utterly beautiful.
And this last part of the book, has earned Ms Valdez her 5 stars in my book! For me this was definitely a page-turner and I can’t wait for the rest of this series. If they are as intense and beautiful as this one, I’m saving them 3 more spots on my keepers-shelf!


Rating: 10 out of 10
May 8, 2007

I read this book in March 2007


Butch O'Neal is a fighter by nature. A hard-living ex-homicide cop, he's the only human ever to be allowed in the inner circle of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. And he wants to go even deeper into the vampire world-to engage in the turf war with the lessers. His heart belongs to a female vampire, Marissa, an aristocratic beauty who's way out of his league. And if he can't have her, then at least he can fight side by side with the Brothers.

But fate curses him with the very thing he wants. When Butch sacrifices himself to save a civilian vampire from the slayers, he falls prey to the darkest force in the war. Left for dead, he's found by a miracle, and the Brotherhood calls on Marissa to bring him back, though even her love may not be enough to save him.


Holy. Crap.
I didn’t just read this book. I absorbed it, took it into my veins. This was one helluva book!
I’m speechless, or to steal a phrase from Rhage: I’m barren for words....
I hope I’ll be able to find the words to do justice to this book. But I’ll give it a shot.

For me there were 3 major characters in this book: Butch, Marissa and V. They carried the story and did it beautifully.

Both Butch and Marissa came through major style...They are so good...together, for each other. Their love overcomes both their insecurities and makes them both worthy of each other.
Butch turned out to be everything I speculated and then some. His past, his present and his future. I was under his spell from the first time I read about him in DL but now in his own book he just completely blew me away and left me wondering what just happened to me.
He was and most definitely always will be my favourite Brother. The changes he went through from DL to LE to LA and now in this book make him a hero who just takes my breath away.
And how about Marissa, she turned out to have the backbone I suspected must be somewhere inside her. I knew she had it in her to be a magnificent woman and it really surfaced in LR.
She stood up for herself and her love for Butch.

And then there is V.... Now there’s a male who’s definitely more than meets the eye (no pun intended!).
He just ambushed me, caught me totally by surprise. I know others have been fascinated with him from the first but I never really got him in the past books. There was something about him I couldn’t grasp.
In LR I got him. Got his feelings for Butch, his fears, his desires. Got him big time and I guess we haven’t even scratched the surface with this guy.
My heart broke for him and I know he has a lot coming at him but he’ll take it and survive.
This promises a whole lot for his own book. It’s going to be off the scale and I can’t wait!

Ms Ward outdid herself on this one. This series just keeps getting better and better with each book.
Some parts of the book were a confirmation of my speculations but of course Ward also threw some surprises at me.
I don’t know how she does it and frankly I don’t care as long as she keeps doing it. She had me laughing, crying, horrified, excited, moved, repulsed, angry, all in the span of those 462 pages.
She knows how to give you a complete story with the focus around the love between Butch and Marissa, but the sidestories are just as important and significant without being overbearing: The Lessers, the glymera, John, Rehv, the Brotherhood....
Every tidbit reveals a part of this intrigueing world and leaves you wanting more.



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May 7, 2007

I read this book in March 2007


The windy city isn't quite ready for Phoebe Somerville-the trendy, outrageous and curvaceous New York knockout who has just inherited the Chicago Stars football team. And Phoebe is definitely not prepared for the Stars' head coach Dan Celbow - an Alabama-born former gridiron legend and blond barbarian.

Calebow is everything Phoebe abhors - a sexist, jock tacskmaster with a one-track mind. The beautiful new boss is everything Dan despises - a meddling bimbo whos doesn't know pigskin from a pitcher's mound, So why is he drawn to the shameless sexpot like a heat-seeking missile? And why does Dan's good ol'boy charm leave cosmpolitan Pheobe feeling awkward, tongue-tied and frightened to death?


This is one of the few contempary romance I’ve read ever since starting reading in English and I must say I liked it as much as an old school Regency or a good paranormal/vampire.

It’s sassy, its funny and Dan and Phoebe cause so much sensual tension, the book is really on fire!
Both of them have a similar past that prevents them from trusting each other but the attraction is so palpable you know from the beginning there’s no escaping it.

Phoebe had a bully for a father and was assaulted when she was young by her cousin. She runs away and returns for her fathers funeral after a more than a decade. It turns out he has left her his footballteam just to prove that she can’t do anything right. She takes the challenge.
Dan deep down is just a nice guy with a bit of a temper who just wants to settle down with a good woman and have some kids. Everything he didn’t have in his childhood with his alcoholic mother and abusive father. He didn’t find it with his ex-wife either who just wanted to play wicked sexgames.
And now he has to deal with a new owner of the team whom he thinks is just a brainless bimbo who’s only going to screw everything back.
Phoebe is just as unhappy cause to her Dan’s a brainless selfish, cranky jock.
But they’re both very wrong and immediately attracted to each other.

After some misunderstandings and difficulties they discover they love each other and of course everything turns out all fine and dandy. Just like a nice romance should end.

Ms Phillips has a great writing style. The story, even with all the background tidbits and football-terminology, is fast-paced and a delicious read. I laughed out loud several times, but also needed some airconditioning with some of the love-scenes! I just love men who know what they want and aren’t afraid to take it!
Every interaction between Dan and Phoebe not only has a nice sensual undertone but is also a battle of wits. You feel the attraction but also their insecurities and fears. And you just know they belong together.
But not only Dan and Phoebe are fun to read. The secondary characters like Ron (managing-director of the team), Bobby Tom (player) and Phoebe’s poodle Pooh just steals the show from the first scene…laugh-out-loud funny!

I never was a fan for football but this first book in the Chicago Stars-series was certainly a touch-down and has left me wanting to read the rest of the series!



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May 6, 2007


I read this book in February 2007


A Warrior Of Immortal Powers

He was a mighty Scottish warrior who lived in a world bound by ancient laws and timeless magic. But no immortal powers could prepare the laird of Castle Brodie for the lovely accursed lass who stood before him. A terrible trick of fate had sent her 700 years back in time and into his private chamber to tempt him with her beauty-and seduce him with a desire he could never fulfill. For this woman he burned to possess was also
the woman he had foresworn to destroy.

A Woman Caught In The Mists Of Time

When Lisa felt the earth move under her feet, the fiercely independent 21st-century woman never dreamed she was falling...into another century. But the powerful, naked warrior who stood glaring down at her was only too real...and too dangerously arousing. Irresistibly handsome he might be, but Lisa had no intention of remaining in this savage land torn by treachery and war. How could she know that her seductive captor had other plans for her...plans that would save her from a tragic fate? Or that this man who had long ago forsaken love would defy time itself to claim her for his own....


After a side-step to the legend of the Beserkers, we’re back to time-travel again. We get reacquainted with Adam Black and meet an mighty fine Highlander: Circenn Brodie.

Once more a feisty heroin, in Moning tradition. For I think it’s pretty gutsy to take on a man who is so big the top of your head barely reaches his chest. The scene in which they’re lying on the floor after she tried to ambush him in his own room is great and immediately sets the tone.

Their interactions are so sparkly en the emotions between them are so strong. I really felt for Lisa when it finally hits her that the object that brought her back in time cannot return her to her own time. And I loved the way Circenn reacted to that, so loving and caring. A definite Kleenex-moment.

Adam’s part in this book did astonish me a bit. In BTHM I thought him fine piece of maleness but with a not so fine character sometimes annoying even. But I really have to take that back now having read this book because contrary to his actions in BTHM his actions now weren’t coaxed by wounded pride or arrogance but by affection toward someone else in stead of himself.
He really started to grow on me in this book and I think this will only be more in his own book. Can’t wait to read that one!


Quote:
“Lass, I’m going to love you until you cannot walk from my bed,” He whispered, before kissing her.



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Pearl
Netherlands
39, married to my real life romance hero, addicted to TV shows, reading romance novels and Twitter. I'm a chronic (e)book hoarder and my absolute favorite genres within romance fiction are contemporary romance and romantic suspense, but I don't shy away from historical, paranormal or erotic romance either. Even the occasional (urban) fantasy romance, futuristic and sci fi romance may make it to my Mount TBR. This is my corner of the world wide web where I let you know what books I'm hoarding, reading and reviewing.
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  • Unforgivable - Laura Griffin
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  • Vampire Dragon - Annette Blair
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  • Driven - Jayne Rylon (reread)
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  • Jazz Baby - Lorelie Brown
  • Playboy Prankster - Pamela Britton
  • Just Like That - Erin Nicholas
  • Sweet Inspiration - Penny Watson
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  • My Gigolo - Molly Burkhart
  • Scent of Persuason - Nikki Duncan

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