November 30, 2008

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Eve Dallas is a New York police lieutenant hunting for a ruthless killer. In over ten years on the force, she's seen it all--and knows her survival depends on her instincts. And she's going against every warning telling her not to get involved with Roarke, an Irish billionaire--and a suspect in Eve's murder investigation. But passion and seduction have rules of their own, and it's up to Eve to take a chance in the arms of a man she knows nothing about--except the addictive hunger of needing his touch.

When the granddaughter of a US senator is killed in a vicious way, lieutenant Eve Dallas gets assigned to the case. It's a case filled with mystery and secrets and when Eve starts falling for Roarke, the wealthy billionaire suspected of the murder, she knows things are going to get a lot more complicated. But then more women are murdered and the necessity to find the killer is more imperative than a budding romance between Eve and Roarke...

Eve Dallas is a police officer in New York who has the reputation of being tough, stubborn and analytical. She is great at her job despite, or maybe thanks to, her own not so happy childhood. She is smart, practical and has a wicked sarcastic streak. She doesn't need or want pampering or luxuries. She's satisfied with the basic necessities in life and is happiest when she can do her job and contribute to society by catching criminals.

Eve is a tough woman who doesn't show weakness but still she is not hard or cold. I found Eve extremely likable and there was never a moment where her character annoyed or irritated me.

Roarke is a very enigmatic character. He is aloof, guarded, confident and used to getting his way. He too has had a childhood that was anything but pleasant, something that isn't deepened out in this book but the hints were most certainly given.

Roarke comes of as very mysterious but at the same time he's very direct and doesn't hesitate to go after anything he wants and in this case he wants Eve. I had heard a lot about Roarke before reading this first Eve Dallas-book and he absolutely met the picture I had formed of him. The way he pushed Eve over her emotional boundaries and got her to open up was a joy to read.

Despite their aloofness and tough exterior behavior both Eve and Roarke have this air of vulnerability that they reveal only to each other. This made them characters I found delightful to read about and combined with the chemistry between them that was palpable throughout the book it made their romance a good counterweight for the exciting and intense suspense plot.

The romance and the suspense complemented each other perfectly and they were a flawless combination of action and emotion. Emotion was provided in the romance between Eve and Roarke and the action came with the unpredictable and exemplary executed suspense plot.

This is the first romantic suspense I've read that takes place in the future, my guess is that it's set around 2050-2060 but despite of all kinds of high tech gadgets, appliances and methods of transportation both on and off earth, the feel of the book isn't downright futuristic. But for the fact that things we find normal in these times like guns, fresh meat and coffee are seen as rare and valuable in Eve's world and time, it could have taken place in the present day and reads just as easy as romantic suspense books that are set in our time.

I also liked that along the course of the investigation of the case you not only get to learn more about Eve and her life and struggles but there's also a very extensive portrayal of the murder victims and their backgrounds.

Inherent to romantic suspense there are lots of secondary characters in the victims, witnesses, suspects, law enforcement people and media. But there were also a few secondary characters taken from the personal environment of Eve and Roarke.
Despite the amount of secondary characters and the plot the focus remains on Eve and Roarke in a very subtle way throughout the story. I can only praise J.D. Robb on the characterization of both Eve and Dallas and for letting them take their place in the book in a very natural way.

From start to finish J.D. Robb’s writing mesmerized me. It kept me enthralled and engaged through the characters, the romance and the plot which all contributed to the enjoyment I had in reading this top-notch romantic suspense.

His voice was smooth, with a whisper of the charm of Ireland over it, like rich cream over warmed whiskey.

It stunned him how much he could want her still, baffled him that she could be blind to how helpless he was under the clawing need for her. It infuriated him that she could, simply by existing, be his weakness.

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November 26, 2008

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The runt of the lab she was created in, Dawn Daniels endured years of torture by her pride brother and the council soldiers. Finally freed from her torment, she’s now a Breed Enforcer, in control of her own life. Until she’s assigned to protect the one man destined to be her mate—and realizes it’s far too easy to lose total control…

One of the Breed’s most important supporters, Seth Lawrence has spent years trying to forget Dawn, knowing that her lost innocence has made it impossible for her to get close to anyone. But suddenly neither of them can find the strength to fight the overwhelming passion between them. At least until the most brutal tormenter from Dawn’s past reappears—and threatens to destroy their newfound love, along with their lives…

This is the story of Dawn Daniels and Seth Lawrence. A story I have been looking forward to since ELIZABETH'S WOLF and KISS OF HEAT. And my anticipation was thoroughly met and satisfied.

Dawn Daniels is a female Breed who suffered horribly in the Labs. The acts committed against her as a child have left a lasting imprint and she tries very hard not to remember them. She has grown into a strong woman, a Breed Enforcer who doesn't take any crap from anyone. But deep down she knows she can't escape the memories forever.

Seth Lawrence knew Dawn was his mate the moment he laid his eyes on her ten years ago but he also knew he couldn't have her because of her horrendous experiences in the past. He has done the impossible and fought the mating heat until it subsided. But now with his life in danger he has no choice but to accept the protection of the woman he could never have.

For Dawn men equal suffering and abuse, so when she starts having feelings for Seth she is utterly confused. Filled with pain and rage Dawn is both vulnerable and strong at the same time. She is defiant and underneath the traumatized and hurt woman there's a lively, playful woman with a witty personality that surfaces only when she feels comfortable, loved and protected. She has a wicked and sarcastic sense of humor that I found very entertaining. But her sarcasm and smart-ass attitude are also ways for her to protect herself and hide feelings that would leave her vulnerable. With Seth she learns how to put her trust in a man and accept the pleasure of a lover's touch.

Seth is the ultimate alpha. He is proud, powerful and honorable but he also has a tender side to him that he shows only to Dawn. These moments took my breath away and there were numerous occasions it would cross my mind that Dawn was one lucky woman to have Seth wooing her.
But before getting to the wooing part of their relationship there were lots of obstacles to overcome. The internal struggle that raged within Seth was intense and heartbreaking. He wants and loves Dawn but he knows his desire for her can evoke painful memories, memories he's afraid she won't be able to handle.

Next to the fiery dialogues between Dawn and Seth there were some endearing and romantic moments filled with emotions that reflected both the loneliness seeping from Dawn and Seth through every scene of this book and the tenderness of feelings that have been developing between them for ten years. Seth and Dawn were amazing, both individually and together as a couple.

There were many familiar secondary characters and some new secondary characters but the substantial supporting roles were saved for Callan Lyons, Cassie and Dash Sinclair. Especially Cassie's character was crucial to the book, not only to both Seth and Dawn and their evolving relationship but to the plot too. As an 8-year old Cassie stole my heart in ELIZABETH'S WOLF, now as an 18-year old she has matured into a creature wise beyond her years and with a future ahead filled with complications and obstacles. I loved seeing her character developed over the years and I can't wait for her own story to hit me.

A very mysterious secondary character pops up in this book. A character that is connected to Cassie but whose identity remains unknown. This character intrigued me to distraction and I really want to know who he is and what his connection to Cassie is.

And of course a Lora Leigh Breed book wouldn't be a Lora Leigh Breed book if there wasn't some enticing tiny subplot concerning a future couple and believe me I'm extremely anxious to see that particular story unfold.

With just the prologue Lora Leigh pulled me right back in and set the stage for this heartrending, emotionally devastating installment of the Breeds series. She took me back to the Felines who secured their place in my bookcase and on my emotional radar from the very first sentence of the first book I read in this series and now at book 14 she gave me the most emotional and heartbreaking story so far.

At first I wondered how Lora Leigh was going to pull this off. How could she get Dawn, with the amount of abuse she suffered, to handle the mating heat, to accept love and to trust a man who needs her trust?
But she came through with flying colors and did it, delivering a believable story, fitting the set-ups from previous books and for me DAWN'S AWAKENING she is her best work in the Breeds series till now.

Even with the recurring storylines of the mating heat and the battle with the
Genetics Council, Lora Leigh managed to give me new angles and developments. She combined everything I loved in all the previous installments into one perfectly executed, well-balanced, emotional rollercoaster and completed it with a mind-blowing plot.
The emotional part of the book invoked tears and was just heartbreaking. The love scenes were hot and sizzling and yet in excellent balance with the plot and the emotions. One moment the avalanche of emotions almost brought me down and to tears and the next I would melt away at the blazing sensuality between Seth and Dawn.

This book ate away at me emotionally and it will take some time for me to get over the heavy impact it left on my feelings. I truly wonder if Lora Leigh can top this one, and if so, how I'll be able to get through it in one piece. And I mean that in the positive sense. This book just blew me away in the emotional sense mixing my favorite characters from her books with heart wrenching emotions, scorching love scenes and a plot that has cost me my nails.

It’s these books that make me overlook the lesser installments in the series because with her canny talent for emotion-filled stories that singe the pages Lora Leigh has delivered my favorite, most appreciated book in the series up to now. She managed to keep me enthralled with known storylines and familiar characters and at the same time surprised me by intertwining them with new characters, elements and twists.

Seth jerked his head back, stared down at her, and God help him, from this moment on, if he wasn't touching Dawn, loving her, tasting her, then he would be completely alone. Because no other woman's touch would do.

"I want to touch you." Her voice was whisper thin and pleading. If she was touching him then he couldn't be stealing parts of her soul a little piece at a time with his words, his touch.

Rating: 10 out of 10
November 22, 2008
This book was released on November 8th and I reviewed it for REALMS ON OUR BOOKSHELVES

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Diana Clare has had enough of London – the balls, the rakes you can never trust… Now, having returned home in disgrace, she is trying to forget what drove her from the ton.

But rake and gambler Brett Farnham, Earl of Coltonby, seems intent on making Diana remember exactly what it was like to be whirled around the ballroom and seduced by the glint in your partner’s eye...
But Brett has ‘mistress’ rather than ‘marriage’ in mind, and Diana is not sure her reputation can stand up to another scandal...

After a disastrous engagement and the death of her fiancé, Diana Clare leaves London to settle in Northumberland with her brother. She has learned her lesson about men who are only after her money and decides to live according to her rules of propriety. She is determined to behave and dress like a spinster so she won't attract rakes to ruin her. But a chance meeting with Brett Farnham, Lord Coltonby, endangers her determination since he represents a temptation able to make her forsake her own rules.

Lovely is the first word that came to mind after finishing Michelle Styles' A QUESTION OF IMPROPRIETY. With it I reconnected with the genuine Regency historical romance, complete with the society gossips, the secretive seduction and wooing, the misinterpreted intentions and the budding feelings of love.

At first I almost started to dislike Brett with his slick and manipulating ways and his intention of using Diana to get what he wanted from her brother. But just in time Michelle Styles made him realize his feelings for Diana, turning him into a romantic hero worth liking and admiring. He developed from a man with a rake's reputation into a man with honorable intentions not allowing Diana to have anything but genuine passion and love.

While reading the first chapters you know there is more to Diana than is being disclosed and throughout the book I was curious as to what her secrets were and when she would let down her guard and give in to Brett's persistent but patient seduction. She grew within the story from a rigid young woman, living by rules of propriety she laid upon herself, to a woman who realizes she can enjoy life and love without being afraid of impropriety.

Because the book is centered on Brett and Diana and their story, most of the supporting characters don't play big parts in it. The more important ones are Simon, Diana's brother, and his son. They are crucial in the character-development of both Brett and Diana. The other secondary characters are neighbors and servants who mainly stay in the background, providing occasional insight mainly into Diana’s character.

Michelle Styles has an amazingly complaisant writing style that enables you to really get to know the characters and sympathize with them.
Both Diana and Brett are characters who evolve during the story when little by little their personalities and backgrounds are revealed.
From the start the dialogues between Diana and Brett are sharp, quick-witted and filled with underlying attraction. Since the story really concentrates on their feelings and the developing relationship there were a lot of these wonderful dialogues.

I used to enjoy historical romances like these but have been sidetracked by intricate and intense historical, contemporary and paranormal romances. Reading this book I remembered what true Regency is all about and I enjoyed it immensely. With Michelle Styles’ keen eye for historical details like clothing and food and her knowledge of subjects typical to the time-period, like horses and engines, she took me on a journey back in time to the 19th century.

The book is character-driven rather than action-driven and because of Michelle Styles' talent to portray realistic and three-dimensional characters the romance is so touching and well-written that I didn't miss the action or intensity I usually look for in my reads.
I will most definitely be looking out for Simon's story, coming next year. I'm curious to know what is behind his brooding exterior and his attitude towards his son.

For me this book was refreshingly original with its gradual build-up of romance and characters. It can be classified under the classical regency that any historical romance lover will enjoy and appreciate.

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November 14, 2008

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Abbie Hughes no longer trusts men, but despite her cool indifference, her long legs and showgirl face still draw plenty of advances. Between working as a Vegas blackjack dealer, going to school, and keeping an eye on her younger brother, Cory, there’s no time for romance—until the night a sexy, mysterious stranger places a wager at her table.

Sam Lang left Black Ops, Inc. when tragedy struck his family. Although he’s determined to retire his M-16 rifle and K-bar knife to lead a quiet life on his ranch, a vengeful quest will send him on a dangerous manhunt for the ruthless international crime lord who murdered his sister.

Though Sam suspects Abbie is in on a lucrative gem-smuggling deal her brother made with the enemy, their attraction is undeniable. Now Cory is missing, and together they search the wild backcountry of Honduras to find him. With evil on their trail and bearing down, they must trust each other completely or face certain death alone. . .

Sam Lang has been after a notorious arms- and drug dealer ever since he can remember. He hunted him when he was part of the Task Force and continued when he joined the Black Ops. He lives and breathes his chase of Frederick Nader until it consumes his life. Until his sister is killed in order to get him to stop his hunt. He gives up and retreats at his family's ranch to avoid more danger for his family.
Abbie Hughes lives a quiet uneventful life until her brother Cory gets mixed up with some shady people and ends up fighting for his life in South America in the hands of the same man Sam hunted for years: Frederick Nader. The connection between Cory, Abbie and Nader leads Sam to Abbie and he decides to get involved in one last attempt to catch Nader. But when Cory, unwillingly, drags Abbie into his troubles Sam has no choice but to help the woman he is developing deep and intense feelings for, regardless that they are unwanted feelings.

Abbie is strong, loyal, giving but careful and who has no qualms about diving head first into a situation she has no control over just to save a loved one.
Her childhood wasn't pleasant and her brother is still suffering from the consequences of it. It has made her cautious and she doesn't trust easily.

Sam is the confident, silent type but underneath all that silence and brooding is a man who yearns to give and receive love from the woman who is able to steal his heart. He goes through life with icy resolve and doesn't let his emotions get in control. But with Abbie he discovers his grasp on control is slipping. Until Abbie his life was first and exclusively about revenge and obligation to his family.

The romance between Abbie and Sam progresses naturally and gradually despite the heart pounding situations they find themselves in. Cindy Gerard did a great job in letting both Abbie and Sam come to grips with their emotions towards each other and the place these emotions take in their lives.

In the secondary cast of characters names from SHOW NO MERCY (book 1) pop up and some are expanded a bit, others stay the same. I was a bit disappointed in not seeing a particular storyline from book 1 continued in this book but hopefully Gerard will pick it up in a future installment.

What I loved about both books was the bond between Sam and his fellow operatives, especially with Johnny Duane Reed (the hero of the next book). The camaraderie and subtle bantering was heartwarming and so much fun to read. From their interactions you can feel how much they trust in each other's abilities and how much they depend on each other.

Next to Sam's buddies there are also some secondary characters linked to Abbie: her brother Cory who plays a big role in the plot and her friend Crystal who will be the heroine of the next book and therefore is partnered up with Reed...their story starts at the end of this book with two intriguing scenes that have left me wanting more, much more

From the very first page I was immersed in the genial plot with breathtaking suspense and thrilling action, in the perfectly written characters and the heartwarming romance. Once I read the first few pages I just couldn't stop reading and I knew I was in for an amazing trip. On the journey I saw the lively Strip in Las Vegas but also the wonderful landscape of Honduras. I had fun, I was afraid, I felt anger and I got hot and bothered, all in the span of 363 pages of superb storytelling.

The whole book was fast-paced, action-filled and masterfully plotted. It was written so realistic and vivid it felt like watching a movie. I could just picture it all and see the bullets flying.
Cindy Gerard's extensive knowledge and/or research of South America, weapons and covert operations make her books rich in background and a true joy to read. I haven't read that much in the romantic suspense genre but I do know Cindy Gerard is climbing fast to the top of my favorite list thanks to this great Black Ops series.

Cindy Gerard has delivered again! She gave me a perfect mix of romance and suspense with characters that nestled themselves deep into my book loving heart and she pulled me into a story filled with action, suspense, romance, great characters and wonderful scenery.

"Go forth and orgasm," Crystal ordered
"Orgasm is not a verb," Abbie pointed out with a laugh
" Oh, sweetie, it is if it's done right."

Some things were worth waiting for.
Some things were worth praying for.
Sam Lang's kiss, she decided, was worth dying for.

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November 13, 2008
I reviewed this book for ROOB at the author's request

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The man of Devon Bradshaw’s dreams is exactly that — in her dreams.
For the past seven months, he has watched her with dark, haunting eyes while she sleeps. Though she yearns to caress those powerful muscles and feel the intense heat radiating from his body, she can't even see his face.

Cael Oneiros is a Dream Wreaker, descended from Greek gods, and ever since his first night at Devon's bedside, he's wanted to fill the luscious redhead's sweet dreams with steamy satisfaction. It tortures him not to touch her, not to stay by her side until dawn -- but without his help, none of his other mortal charges can sleep.

Desperate to touch her dream man, Devon casts a love spell...and is stunned when it works. With a little mandrake, some mugwort, and a few rose petals, she finally has her legs wrapped around Cael's muscular body -- and the sex is a mind-blowing pleasure ride she could never have dreamed up. But her magic didn't come with a warning label, and while she's burning up the sheets every night with her sexy sandman, her love spell has consequences she didn't expect....

Doesn't every woman want a mysterious hot man to visit her dreams at night?

Devon Bradshaw is no different only not being able to touch him or keep him with her for long, if only in her dreams, she does something that has severe consequences. Not only for herself, her dream man and those close to her but for others too.

Cael Oneiroi is a Dream Wreaker, descended from the Greek Gods and sons of Nyx and Hypnos, he and his brothers bestow dreams on humans. They help people dream. Without guiding their dreams they only make sure people have them.
Devon is one of his charges and he's is magnetically attracted to her but when Devon sets something in motion to keep him with her in what she thinks are her dreams, she disrupts the world and causes a disharmony that may even cost her the man of her dreams.

Devon is a photojournalist happy with her life until Cael walks into her dreams. He starts a yearning in her that is unfamiliar and she takes actions to explore this yearning but her actions seem to backfire since she doesn't know who or what Cael is.

There's an extensive cast of secondary characters. There are Cael's brothers, there's eight of them and Devon's best friend Tasha St. James. But also very minor secondary characters like the old man in the greenhouse, Tasha's neighbor, Devon's colleagues and Cael's charges.
Two secondary characters have a notable second storyline in the story: Tasha and her neighbor Jason Rappaport. I liked their storyline, as it was a nice and lighthearted opposite for the somewhat mysterious storyline with Devon and Cael.

I liked this book and had a few pleasant hours reading it. It was easy to read with a fluent writing style that enables you to go through the book very smoothly. I also loved the way Kimberly Dean managed to combine scientific facts about dreaming and sleeping into the story.

The love scenes are very explicit but sensual and tasteful. They are nicely balanced with the plot and the characters’ development.

I did miss a bit of intensity and chemistry between the main characters, which for example I did find in the interactions between Tasha and Jason. Sometimes I felt as if their storyline was taking away to much focus from the main couple. This left me feeling not really connected with Devon and Cael and their storyline. I would have liked for them to be fleshed out more.
But the accessible writing did make up for that a bit. And I loved the last part of the book. In the end it all came together, a few lingering questions were answered and I understood why Tasha's storyline took such a prominent place in the book.

Kimberly Dean sets up the Dream Wreakers' world in this book, preparing things for Wreakers to come. I'm curious for the brothers' stories.
I wasn't really sure what to expect but WHAT SHE WANTS AT MIDNIGHT has whetted my appetite for more Dream Wreakers and any of the Oneiroi brothers can visit my dreams anytime!

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November 12, 2008

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Death is inevitable.
But there are some souls, more wicked and disobedient than most, who defy Death’s claim.
Rebellious souls who must be called to heel.

ARCHER, Lord Black, returns to England at the behest of Queen Victoria to immerse himself in the dark, hellish streets of London’s East End. Among the immortal Shadow Guard, he is the most prolific and cunning of the Reclaimers. He revels in the hunt of his current prey: an ill-mannered, reluctant soul reviled in the daily newspapers as Jack the Ripper. Archer has only one weakness … one distraction … the young woman he spared from death two years before.

ELENA WHITNEY has never wanted for anything – not since coming under the protection of her mysterious and absent guardian, Lord Black, who has gifted her with everything a young woman of quality could ever hope for, including an enviable address, an unlimited income and entrée into the drawing rooms of high society. But now, after nearly two years of indifference, he believes he can sweep into her life and rid himself of her by marrying her off. If he knew anything about her – anything at all – he’d know she had greater aspirations than that.

Immortal Shadow Guard Archer Black is summoned to London to deal with a persistent criminal who's murdering and slashing up prostitutes. Back in London he finds the woman he saved years before while Reclaiming another depraved soul. He discovers the emotional pull she had on him is still there.
Elena Whitney lives in her guardian's home after an accident that left her with severe memory loss. Nevertheless she has ambitions in life and the freedom to follow them. When her unknown guardian, Lord Black, finally makes an appearance, her life is turned upside down, not in the least because of the budding feelings of passion she develops for him.

The main characters are Archer, Lord Black, and Elena.
Elena is a strong young woman who hasn't let tragedy ruin her life and who speaks exactly what's on her mind. She is intelligent, outspoken, strong-willed, sensitive, benevolent, impulsive and rebellious. She has dreams and ambitions and is determined to make them real. She wants to be a doctor like her father was and does everything she can to realize this dream. She volunteers at the charity ward at the hospital and has applied for the School of Medicine for Women. She has no time for romantic feelings towards any one until her guardian shows up in London and for the first time in her life she's aware of him in a way she has never been of any man.
Archer Black is a man of few words. He is elusive, mysterious and compassionate.
Unknown to Archer and thanks to his secretary Leeson, Elena is his ward and when he comes back to London she is the last person he expects to find in his home. He is an immortal hunter and a killer of souls who cannot be saved. His job is to take them and send them somewhere where they can't harm mortals or penetrate the Inner Realm of the immortal world of the Amaranthine. Feelings are unfamiliar to him and he is unable to feel or attach until he met Elena. He doesn't need the complication of living close to the only woman who stirs his cold heart.

I saw both Elena and Archer through their eyes, how they saw each other. Lenox has a way of changing points of view effortlessly; giving me rounded characters viewed from all angles. Elena and Archer are irresistibly drawn to each other from the very beginning. As a reader you follow them in their struggles with each other and their own feelings, all against the background of a dangerous murderer on the loose.

The secondary characters are many. There is Jack the Ripper, whose presence is absolutely tangible in the story even if he doesn't appear physically until the very end. There are Archer's secretary Leeson and fellow Guards, the twins Selena and Mark. There is quite some story between Archer and the twins and in my opinion just part of it is revealed in this book. Selene has a very funny quirk that involves books and I'm sure that there's much more to her than met the eye in this story.
There are also the people surrounding Elena: maid Mary Alice, companion Mrs. Hazelgreaves, the staff and patients in the hospital.
All these secondary characters had their role in the plot and the romance but they never took the focus from Elena and Archer. As true supporting characters they provided the background for the main couple to star against but the book wouldn't be the same without them.

There are so many things I liked about this book that I don't know where to start.
I liked the world, the characters, the romance, and the plot. Everything was mixed together in a breathtaking debut novel with all the elements worked out in a superb way. Slowly Kim Lenox provides information on the Amaranthine Shadow Guards and their world. She builds it up in a great way, mixing explanations and descriptions smoothly with the story. This way she keeps the Amaranthine mysterious until the very end but you don't realize this until the whole picture is formed. Her world building and descriptions of characters and events are meticulous and extensive without interfering with the pace and without making the book dull or repetitive.

Lenox' eye for historical details is amazing. I had no trouble picturing myself in Victorian London at the end of the 19th century. Not in the least because of the way she mixed the fictional characters, both main and secondary, with real historical figures like Jack the Ripper, Queen Victoria and Bram Stoker. She embedded them perfectly in the story. The new and refreshing approach of taking ancient mythology to provide not only Archer's background but also Jack the Ripper's actions and motives struck a cord with me since there are so many books on both mythology and Jack the Ripper and Lenox managed to give it an original twist.

Her writing is captivating and addictive. With the use of just looks, touches and kisses and only one real love scene she builds up the attraction between Elena and Archer in a way that's fantastic. It's like watching two magnets being drawn together slowly but surely. She proved to me, who likes her romances steamy, that romance can be just as tantalizing without many physical love scenes. Reading this gradual journey to love at the perfect pace was utterly enjoyable. The balance between plot and romance was excellent. Both were interlaced throughout the book and neither took a more prominent role over the other. I find it hard to name the plot. Yes, there are murders, yes there's a murderer but the plot is so much more elaborate than just a suspense plot to catch a killer. It was set up magnificently. The gradual disclosure of information kept me at the edge of my seat, waiting for the big confrontation to conclude the plot. With her unexpected twists and turns in the plot she lead me all over the place while reading and she gave the book and the characters that welcome veil of unpredictability.
The book has a great ending that entails closure for Elena and Archer but it's only the beginning for Mark Alexander who is the hero of the next book.
For me it's clear, especially at the end that this first installment of the Shadow Guard series is just an introduction and there's much more to come.

With her first book Kim Lenox gave me a enthralling and original romance spiked with suspense and paranormal elements and in me she has found a loyal reader who's hooked and waiting for the next treat.

He felt all tangled up with her, something his mind rejected, but his soul craved.

While "hauteur" was no accurate description -for he was not arrogant in his mannerisms or speech- he emanated inaccessibility, as if every emotion and impulse were kept behind an impenetrable wall. Elena couldn't help but wonder what he would be like if that wall were destroyed.

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November 6, 2008

Michelle Styles has an amazingly complaisant writing style that enables you to really get to know the characters and sympathize with them.

Click on the cover and go to the "Recently Updated" page to read the full review!

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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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2011 Reading Challenge

Pearl has read 10 books toward her goal of 50 books.

On My TBR Shelf

  • Unforgivable - Laura Griffin
  • Snapped - Laura Griffin
  • Darkness at Dawn - Elizabeth Jennings
  • Sizzle and Burn - Alexis Grant
  • No Mercy - Lori Armstrong
  • Animal Magnetism - Jill Shalvis
  • Crazy for Love - Victoria Dahl
  • Kink - Saskia Walker/Sasha White
  • So Sensitive - Anne Rainey
  • Dark Taste of Rapture - Gena Showalter
  • The Darkest Secret - Gena Showalter
  • Vampire in Atlantis - Alyssa Day
  • Vampire Dragon - Annette Blair
  • Captive Spirit - Anna Windsor
  • Chosen by Blood - Virna DePaul
  • Rebel - Zoe Archer
  • Stranger - Zoe Archer
  • A Taste of Desire - Beverley Kendall
  • Mistress by Midnight - Maggie Robinson
  • To Desire a Devil - Elizabeth Hoyt
  • To Tame a Dangerous Lord - Nicole Jordan

Digital TBR Next

  • Driven - Jayne Rylon (reread)
  • Shifting Gears - Jayne Rylon
  • Beg Me - Shiloh Walker
  • Tempt Me - Shiloh Walker
  • Jazz Baby - Lorelie Brown
  • Playboy Prankster - Pamela Britton
  • Just Like That - Erin Nicholas
  • Sweet Inspiration - Penny Watson
  • Breathe - Donna Alward
  • My Gigolo - Molly Burkhart
  • Scent of Persuason - Nikki Duncan

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