February 25, 2009


Back Cover Copy:
The ruthless enforcer of Scotland’s most powerful clan, Jamie Campbell is the most feared man in the Highlands. Raw physical strength coupled with cunning political acumen make him a powerful force with whom few men will dare to reckon. Determined to see the Highlands tamed of its lawlessness and unrest, Jamie’s objectives are clear: under the guise of seeking the Chief of Lamont’s daughter’s hand in marriage, discover whether the Lamonts are harboring any outlawed MacGregors. But guise turns to desire when he meets the beautiful spitfire who rules the household with a dainty iron fist. The fierce Highlander never expects that the woman he wants above all others will test his duty and loyalty to his clan to the breaking point.

Cosseted and adored by her family, Caitrina Lamont has no intention of abandoning her beloved father and doting four older brothers for a husband—especially a Campbell. But Jamie Campbell is nothing like the parade of suitors that Caitrina’s father usually traipses across their hall. His raw masculinity threatens her in a way no man ever had before. But when Caitrina’s idyllic world is shattered, could the man she blames for her tragedy become her only hope for the future?


Caitrina Lamont and Jamie Campbell meet at the Highland gathering at Ascog, Caitrina's home. Jamie is on a mission, which he hides by pretending to court Caitrina. Soon real feelings start to develop but Jamie's reputation as Campbell's Henchman is one of the reasons Caitrina rejects him and his proposal. After an attack on her home and family Caitrina is more bitter than ever and vows to avenge her family. Her pampered life is destroyed by the attack that was led by Jamie's brother.
In an attempt to make up for the wrongdoing by his relatives, Jamie offers Caitrina marriage again so he can protect her with his name and return her home to her and her clan. Caitrina accepts and their marriage starts out troublesome and before they can life happily ever after they will face difficulties almost impossible to overcome.

Caitrina is bold, opinionated and haughty, but she's also stubborn, proud and resilient. She grows up protected by a father and brothers who indulged her and spoiled her. She has never known real hardship and when her world does become a cruel and hard place, she learns quickly that life isn’t a bed of roses.

Jamie is possessive, commanding and intimidating. Beneath his commanding powerful and ruthless presence there's a man who is lonesome and who can be tender and gentle. These are sides of himself he just doesn't let people see easily.

The character development, in both Jamie and Caitrina is stunning and gave the book enough depth to make it more than an average Scottish historical romance. Even with the fast-paced historical plot it was a character-driven book, focusing on the development of the feelings and relationship between Jamie and Caitrina.

Against a background of Highland political turmoil and feuding clans, the battle of wills between Caitrina and Jamie was what gave this book its intensity. Gradually fight turns into passion and love but this doesn't happen easily. There are trust issues, family issues and hard choices to be made. The choice between the love for each other and the loyalty and duty to their respective family members runs strongly throughout the second part of the book and made the book less light compared to the other books I've read by Monica McCarty.

Even though the characters, the historical details and facts, the love story and the plot all enthralled me here was a minor thing that bothered me a bit throughout the book. It had this somewhat modern feel to it, despite the historical details, Scottish vocabulary and a story fitting the time-period. It's not something I can clearly explain but without the historical facts it could have been a story placed in a more modern time and this is not what I expect in a historical romance from Monica McCarty. I remember having a few moments where I thought: "Did they really do or say those things those days?" Of course there is always something called the author's creative freedom and it's still fiction but I don't remember having this feeling in the other trilogy and I hope this feeling will be taken away with the next installment of the Campbell Trilogy.

That being said, overall it was another great book that I really enjoyed reading. The very first pages of this novel pulled me straight into a story that was rich in historical details, filled with highland politics, star-crossed lovers and lively characters. I went through a number of emotions, from endearment to anger to sorrow. At the base of the story is the vendetta (based on true historical facts) between the Campbells and the MacGregors. Monica McCarty did a great job in fusing historical facts and romantic fiction together in a compelling, ornate and wonderful tale of passion, action, duty, betrayal, loyalty and trust.


Quote:
The taste of him was like the darkest, richest wine, pouring into her soul until she was drunk with pleasure


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February 18, 2009
I reviewed this book for ROOB at the request of the author

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Back Cover:
Darkness will summon her…
Elizabeth Phoenix once used her unique skills as a psychic to help in the Milwaukee Police Department's fight against injustice. But when Liz's foster mother is found viciously murdered—and Liz is discovered unconscious at the scene—her only memory of the crime comes in the form of terrifying dreams...of creatures more horrific than anything Liz has seen in real life. What do these visions mean? And what in the world do they have to do with her former lover, Jimmy Sanducci?

To places she's never been before…
While the police question Jimmy in the murder, Jimmy opens Liz's eyes to a supernatural war that has raged since the dawn of time in which innocent people are hunted by malevolent beings disguised as humans. Only a chosen few have the ability to fight their evil, and Jimmy believes Liz is among them. Now, with her senses heightened, new feelings are rising within Liz—ones that re-ignite her dangerous attraction to Jimmy. But Jimmy has a secret that will rock Liz to her core…and put the survival of the human race in peril.…


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Elizabeth "Liz" Phoenix is a young woman with psychic abilities, which have led to her leaving the police force and taking up a bartending job. When a psychic compulsion leads her to her foster mother's house she finds Ruthie Kane dying, her last words causing confusion right before Liz slips into a coma.
Awakened from her coma she finds out ex-lover and foster brother Jimmy Sanducci is the prime suspect and he has some disturbing news about the end of the world and her role in it. This is the start of a journey to stop the end of the world as we know it, a journey during which Liz learns not only things about Ruthie, Sawyer and Jimmy, but also about herself and her destiny in leading the battle of good against evil. The battle between the Federation and the Nephilim.

In ANY GIVEN DOOMSDAY Lori Handeland approaches the age-old theme of "good versus evil" and the battle against supernatural evil out to destroy the world, from a fresh and original angle combining an agreeable writing style with a heroine who will appeal to many urban fantasy reader and I do think that true fans of urban fantasy poured into a multi-installment series (chronicles so to speak), will appreciate it more than I did because it’s a well-written first installment with promises for the rest of the series but for me some things just didn’t click into place enough for me to be overwhelmed by it.

This is clearly the first book in the series with a lot of world building, introducing of creatures and preparing Liz for her future purpose. The way this was done from Liz' point of view complemented the vibe of this first book of The Chronicles of Phoenix. Even though I was intrigued by the whole concept and the story kept me glued to the pages thanks to the action and Liz' character, there were some elements that just weren't my cup of tea. Still these elements didn’t bother me to the point of not liking the book.

The situation with the two men (Jimmy and Sawyer) in Liz' life is complicated and for me as an avid romance reader a slightly uncomfortable one. Knowing this book is classified as an urban fantasy, I wasn't expecting romance as in the paranormal romances I'm used to but in the beginning I was inclined to go that way because of the way Liz' relationship with Jimmy was being described. But then halfway through the book there are some twists in the plot that left me a bit uncomfortable because they were a little contrary to the way Jimmy and Liz' story had been set up. Further developments in the plot and the relationships with between Liz, Sawyer and Jimmy only added to my confusion. I understood the developments were important to Liz' coming into her powers, but that didn't take away the uncomfortable feeling.

I was a bit less enthusiastic about the overall pace and plot-developments in the last part of the book. The pace varied in different parts of the story. The beginning was fast-paced despite the world building and explanations. But in the middle part of the book the pace changed and slowed considerably. The end was fast-paced again but it also seemed a bit rushed and some storylines that were started were left without closure. I understand that in this series the story continues with future books but there were some things, like the Summer-Jimmy story and the exposing of the traitor that caused Ruthie's death, I wanted to be worked out better. Especially that last storyline was rushed and I'm still trying to grasp what exactly was the deal there. I was left with a bit too many questions and loose ends and would have liked to see these storylines wrapped up in this installment.

Because the story is told from Liz' perspective, she is the character the reader gets to know the best. I liked Liz' character in the way she accepts her destiny with realistic reluctance at first and in the end embraces it wholeheartedly but I feel at the end of the book that there are hints at certain things about Liz but they are left untold. I guess and hope this will be done in future books. I did like Liz' sense of humor a lot. She has this dry, sarcastic sense of humor that pops up mostly in situations where she's confronted with things she has trouble handling.

I loved the writing style, which was crisp, snappy and witty. I loved the premise of the series with Liz as a powerful seer to lead the demon killers into battle against the spawn of the fallen angels and humans. I also liked the narrative. While I'm not a fan of first person narrative in this book Lori Handeland made it work for me.

Since this was my first venture into urban fantasy I can't tell if my not being blown away is because I'm not that into the genre or that this was just not the book for me to start this genre with. Time will tell since the excerpt of the next book in this series, DOOMSDAY CAN WAIT, did leave me more than a bit curious how the story is going to proceed.




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February 16, 2009
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Embraced (book 6)

Back Cover Copy:
Marey has run from herself and from Sax for over three years. Lost years, hiding in the home her parents left her, living on the fantasy, too wary to reach out and make real the dreams of the life and man that torment her.

Sax Brogan is the embodiment of sinful and sexy—tall, dark, handsome and every inch of him the fantasy of Marey's dreams come to hot, throbbing life. And he's more than ready to claim his woman.

Now the time has come for Marey to stop running and embrace not just the fantasy he represents, but also the reality.
That is, if her ex-husband will let her live long enough to enjoy it…


Sax Brogan has been in love with Marey Dumont for three years but she keeps holding him off out of fear of her abusive and possessive ex-husband. When her ex lures her into a motel, supposedly with a message from Sax, and beats her up, Sax decides that he has given her enough breathing space. She needs not only his love, but also his protection. He wants her but doesn't want to force the issue. He wants it to be her free choice to be with him. Once he realizes Marey will always be running away from him and her feelings, he decides to take matters into his own hands and show her why she belongs with and to him.

Marey is afraid but stubborn. She knows Sax is the man for her but fear and insecurities about how to please him cause her to keep him at a distance for three years now. She is afraid of letting him into her life and her heart even if she has been in love with him for years. Part of it is uncertainty about her ability to please him but another part is her fear that her ex will do something horrible to him because of her.

Sax made me melt. He's made it to the upper regions of my Trojan list. He is honorable, caring and protective but he's also a take-charge sexual confident man who knows how to please a woman. The way he slowly and carefully won Marey's trust, after first giving into her need to keep him away, sealed the deal for me.
Me liking Sax this much took me a bit by surprise because in book 2 where he was the third for Ella and James and in book 5 where he was a secondary character, his appearances didn't make a lasting impression on me. But I guess Sax is one of those characters that leave the impressing for their own book.

As with the other books in the Bound Hearts series the focus is on the two main characters and supporting characters aren't on the foreground and the amount of secondary characters is small, which leaves plenty of room for Marey, Sax and their story. Still in this book there are some secondary characters who are important in providing backgrounds for Marey and Sax. Ella and Vince (Marey's ex) in Marey's case and James and Daniel in Sax's case. Daniel is the third for Marey and Sax and since his last name is Conover, he must be related (brother?) to Lucian and Deverill from book 4. This is not disclosed in this book but I hope Daniel will have his own story too some day. He was intriguing to say the least.

It's been a while since I read the previous installment in Lora Leigh's Bound Hearts series but from the first chapter I was thrown right back into the intriguing and emotional world of the Trojans and their women. I was treated to a great love story, a small plot that was nicely executed and characters that pulled at my heartstrings. Even though I've discovered some new authors in this same genre, with the same sexual themes and intensity since I read the last Bound Hearts book, Lora Leigh still holds on to her special spot on my bookshelves. She has the ability to make me immerse into her stories and infuse me with emotions like no one else can.

Lora Leigh has this unique way of writing explicit love scenes in this series. They are beautiful; I have no other word for it. They are explicit without getting vulgar or crude. They touch subjects like threesomes, toys and bondage without causing discomfort. They are emotional without taking away the hot sensuality.
Next to these love scenes she also is amazing at describing the dilemmas faced by the characters and the choices and decisions they have to make. Even if this story wasn't very long (118 pages) it still offered a well-rounded erotic romance with smoldering sex scenes and a nice albeit small plot.

As I'm nearing the full-length books in this series, I'm getting more and more curious as to what Lora Leigh will dish out in those, knowing she'll have even more pages at her disposal to flesh out characters, burn the pages with the sex scenes and create her stories.


Quotes:
A man shouldn’t be so sinfully sexy, she thought. He shouldn’t steal a woman’s last breath with a frown, or make her knees weak from one of those hot little looks from dark, chocolate brown eyes.

“It doesn’t take a decision.” Gripping the neckline of the T-shirt with both hands, he tugged forcefully, ripping it down the front as she stared back at him in shock, gasping in arousal. “It doesn’t take anything from you, baby. I’m not asking for anything. I don’t have to ask. I know what’s mine and I know how to claim it.” (...) “I know how to love my woman,” he whispered as his lips slid from her lips to her ear. “I know how to protect her, and I know how to hold her. And I will hold you, Marey.”


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Shameless (book 7)

Back Cover Copy:
She's a temptation he can't afford.
Ian Sinclair, the man with no heart, the ultimate Trojan, the untouchable, the unreachable, may just have met his match. As wild as the untamed winds, as innocent as love itself, Courtney's vivacious spirit shines as brilliantly as the brightest star. And he wants nothing more in life than to see the sweet innocence that is so much a part of her survive. That can never happen if he allows her to be drawn into the wicked, sexual excesses of his life.

He's a hunger she can't deny.
Courtney Mattlaw has understood her destiny her whole life. Her lifetime of happiness hangs on this moment in time, and forcing a man who feels he is unable to love, to trust his heart. Haunted. Filled with loneliness. Incomplete. Ian is the very breath of her soul. She knows the battle to steal his heart could ultimately destroy them both, but it's a risk she must take.

When these two come together, sparks fly and the lust simmering between them ignites in a conflagration that will burn them to their souls and leave them…Shameless.


Courtney Mattlaw knows what, or rather, who she wants: Ian Sinclair, her father’s younger friend who helped her him rescue her and her mother when they were held captive by her mother's family when she was a little girl. She has carefully planned how to get him and make the dreams and a desire she's had since she was seventeen, come true. Ian is afraid Courtney won't be able to handle his sexual desires, his need to dominate his sexual partners and his need to share. He's afraid it will ruin their fragile friendship and her view of him, so he fights the temptation Courtney is to him. But he couldn't be farther from the truth.
Seven years of mutual wanting, desiring and hungering for each other leads to an explosive relationship between Courtney and Ian in which it's all about control...Ian trying to hold on to it and Courtney trying to make him lose it.

Courtney is a little hellion and spitfire. She's adventurous, reckless and wild but still has an air of innocence over her, or so her father and Ian would like to think. They don't see the mature woman she's grown into and this frustrates her to no end. Luckily when she realizes she's fighting ghosts from Ian's past, he realizes that she is different from the women in his past. She holds her own and gives to Ian as good as she gets. She doesn't settle for just the passion and sexuality between them. She wants nothing less than his heart.

Ian is cautious, distant and very dominant but utterly controlled. Control is everything for him, whether in his personal or professional life. But Courtney shatters his control, she is the only person who can make him turn loose his control and answer to his primal instincts. He is the elusive owner of the club that houses the men known as the Trojans, men with intense sexual proclivities. The club that has played crucial roles in former books in this series.
Ian is very intense and protective and he initially refuses to give into his feelings for Courtney, but before this extreme protectiveness actually starts to get annoying an explanation for it is given to provide understanding of his refusal and it made me realize what a complicated and layered character Ian is.

The recurring storyline of the third in the couples' relationships is present in this book again too but it is also again secondary, like in book 5, to the emotional turmoil surrounding the main characters, which takes a more prominent position in the story. Although I did miss the usual sensual tension this storyline provides, I did understand the reason it stayed in the background was Ian's struggle with his feelings for Courtney which created the presumption of him fighting his need to share Courtney with a third.
Like in the previous book (EMBRACED) the wives of the other Trojans form an important part of the supporting cast. It's very nice to see tidbits of them and their relationships with their Trojans.

This installment is emotion- and character-driven rather than plot- or action-driven and provides variation in the erotic genre so this series is definitely staying on my buying and reading lists. In this book there's no plot and none is needed but still the plot in the previous book did whet my appetite for more and it made me appreciate the addition of a plot to the emotional and sexual angles of the stories. That being said, no Bound Hearts book is the same. Even if the setting and framework may be similar, it is a series after all; Lora Leigh manages to give each couple/threesome their own intricate and unique story with their own problems, dilemmas and emotional intensity. She delivers on the promise every time.

Sometimes there are stories that are a bit less intensely emotional or a little shorter than others but every time that happens it's always followed by an installment that's so strong and emotionally charged, it blows me away. SHAMESLESS for me was one of the stories that wasn't less emotional but there were some things to make it less mind-blowing in the beginning. The major thing was Ian's stubborn behavior that almost started irritating me but it stopped just in time. After the first part, when Ian gives in to Courtney, it turned into the mind-blowing material I'm used to by Lora Leigh. Even though it seemed a bit slow in the build-up, once it picked up the pace and the third was brought into Ian and Courtney's relationship it worked it's way to an end that was amazing, heartbreaking and really made up for the slow start.

The combination of fierce eroticism and emotions so strong they seep through every page and every word is one that is exclusive to Lora Leigh's writing in this series. The books in this series portray the journeys of men and women toward exquisite passion, heartfelt emotions and an utterly satisfying love life and SHAMELESS fits right in there with strong and well-written characters.

This was the last Bound Hearts book published with Ellora's Cave and now that I've finished that line of stories I'm ready for the full-length books in this series. I have the feeling that the best is yet to come with Lora Leigh having even more pages to write her emotional and extremely hot stories and give them plots to make them even more intense and give them more body.


Quotes:
She was going to seduce the un-seducible. She was going to capture the most elusive prey in the world. The heart of the most cynical, jaded male she had ever known. A man who had sworn to possess no heart, no tender emotions.

“Feel, Courtney,” he whispered as he tucked her head against his chest, his lips at ear. “The pleasure and the pain, the fire and ice. Feel it, baby, let it have all of you. Let me have all of you.”


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February 11, 2009





Sharon Page's first mass market novel offers a historical treat with a thrilling mystery that needs to be solved and a well-developed romance that is rich in detail and background. She found the perfect way to create a solid, sensual and captivating historical tale of love and suspense.

Click on the cover and go to the "Recently Updated" page to read the full review!
February 9, 2009
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Back Cover Copy
Ever since Zack Hunter, the ultimate alpha boy, left her ten years ago and broke her heart, Sky MacKenna hasn’t been able to find a man who sets her on fire the way he did. Then he comes striding back into her life–bigger, badder and sexier than before…

ICE agent, Zack Hunter never thought he’d return to his small home town and he never thought he’d set eyes on Sky again. Leaving her behind had been the stupidest thing he had ever done but this time he isn’t going to let her go. And as soon as he lays eyes on Sky he makes it clear that he intends to make her his all over again.

When Sky becomes entangled in the case he’s investigating, Zack can’t help but take the threat personal. As the danger mounts, their passion burns even hotter.


When a case of stolen cattle brings Zack Hunter, former deputy-sheriff turned ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) agent back to his home town, he decides to seize the opportunity to look up his ex-girlfriend Skylar MacKenna and try to get back together. He left her ten years ago in a bad way and wants to give their relationship another chance. Skylar is one of the ranchers whose cattle is being stolen and that puts her in the middle of Zack's investigation but after he broke her heart ten years before, Skylar has absolutely no intention of giving him another chance with her.

Zack and Skylar's childhood have been very different. Where Sky's had loving parents and grew up knowing she was loved and supported, Zack had to deal with first an abusive father and later with an equally abusive stepfather. With the latter things escalated when Zack almost beat him to death after he found him beating on his mother. This event was crucial in his decision to break up with Skylar, his girlfriend of 6 months. He doesn't think he's worthy of her love and is afraid of the violence he discovers in himself. Now ten years later he's back and he is determined to show Sky that he's changed and he's willing to commit to her.
Sky was devastated when Zack left and though she has tried to forget him, by dating other men for example, she has never truly succeeded. But when he comes back to Douglas declaring he wants her back, she puts her foot down and refuses to let him lure her into his clutches again. She has suffered a broken heart once and that's more than enough.

But slowly Zack and Sky do pick up where they left of 10 years before and their relationship is rekindled but now at a much more mature level. The romance between them is alternately hot and chilly. From Zack's point of view it's clear he wants to go back to the hot, passionate relationship they once had. Sky however, tries to keep him at a distance because of the way Zack hurt her in the past. Because of this there aren't that many love scenes in the book, especially in the first half. The ones that are fleshed out are definitely scorching but there's a lot of suggestion and thinking about sex instead of the real thing from both Zack and Sky. Sometimes suggestion can make a book very sensual but for me in this one it missed the mark. Many times I thought it was going to somewhere, just to be a little let down when McCray would switch back to the suspense, leaving me hanging there.

Contrary to what I'm used to by Cheyenne McCray, this book just didn't do it for me. I think it has to do with expectations. I was expecting covert operatives dealing with weapon smugglers or drug lords and hot love scenes and instead of weapons or drugs I got a ranch and cattle. Not that this is bad the back cover blurb just didn’t prepare me for it and so ZACK and I started on the wrong foot and to be honest we never got quite on the right foot. Eventually the hot love scenes and the touching and fiery relationship between Zack and Sky made up for some of it and it was the relationship between Zack and Sky that kept me reading on. I liked the book but the mix of romance and suspense just wasn't good enough. It didn't blend together fluently and there was something off that's hard for me to pinpoint. The promise is there in the plot and the romance but McCray didn't deliver it well enough to blow me away like other books by her hand did.

At first there seemed to be two different suspense plots that were linked and the true plot didn't become clear until after halfway through the story but still the plot just couldn't keep me enthralled. A ranch, cattle, cowboys...In this setting it just doesn’t do anything for me. This book once again proved that for me. This setting only appeals to me when strong emotions or hot eroticism is there to balance the scale but unfortunately I missed both in this first installment of the Armed and Dangerous series. The romance on its own had potential but the mixture with the western themed plot didn't come together for me.

In conclusion, I loved the romance separately, loved the love scenes but the western theme and the plot just weren't my cup of tea and even though I was intrigued by Sky's foreman, Luke Rider, who is the hero of the next book, I am very hesitant to invest my time and attention in this series.


Quote:
Just the thought of what she wearing under that scrap of a dress was enough to make him want to throw back his head and let loose a primal chest-beating howl, throw her over his shoulder, and take her home and bury himself inside her.


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February 7, 2009
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Back Cover Copy:
NO SURRENDER
Renowned cryptologist Noelle Blanche refuses to have blood on her hands. So when the military asks for her help in a covert operation, she refuses - until masked gunmen raid her home and threaten her life. Suddenly it’s all too clear that the blood spilled may be her own. Noelle has no choice but to trust the dangerous stranger sent by the military to safeguard her. A stranger who is everything she detests, everything she fears…and everything she desires.

NO LOOKING BACK
Former Delta Force operative David Wolfe thought he left it all behind—the horror, the hurt, the guilt. But now the men who savagely murdered his wife have set their sights on a brilliant cryptologist who can lead them to the cache of weapons they prize. As passion ignites between David and the woman he’s sworn to protect, what began as just a mission escalates into the fight of his life. But can he prevent history from repeating itself?

NO REGRETS


Cryptologist Noelle Blanche has no idea that an assignment from the U.S. Army she turned down will be the start of a series of events she never thought would happen in her quiet, uneventful life. When it turns out that a terrorist organization called "The Swarm" has possession of the same cipher text leading to hidden weapons from the Cold War, the threat on her life becomes imminent and former special agent David Wolfe is brought back into Delta Force to guard Noelle. David has a past with The Swarm and protecting Noelle isn't his only motive for returning to Delta Force. After a few attempts on Noelle's life they camp out in a remote and deserted cabin where Noelle works on the decoding the text, David plans his revenge on The Swarm, old acquaintances, both friendly and hostile, pop up and the shimmering attraction between David and Noelle develops into full-fledged passion.

Noelle epitomizes the brainy, rational, analytical and brave scientist. She has no clue about her own attraction and men have never been a priority in her life. She lives for her work and her family. In order to save her own and David's life Noelle needs to make some uncharacteristic decisions. These decisions aren't to be taken lightly and they go against her nature and everything she has always said she would never do. This makes her a great character in the book. She was a true heroine in every sense of the word.
David is the personification of a covert operative. He is cool and aloof, masculine and skilled in combat, gruff and merciless. But he is also guilt-ridden by his past failure to save the woman he loved from The Swarm. He is hesitant when he's asked back into Delta Force for the assignment of protecting Noelle. He's afraid he'll fail again and another life will be lost. But Noelle brings instincts and feelings to life he thought were long dead.

There are many secondary characters in this book. Almost all of them are connected to David. His commanding officer in Delta Force, his fellow operatives from Delta Force and of course the bad guy who was crucial in David's past dealings with The Swarm. The bond between David and his former buddies from Delta Force, Caleb Stone and Grant Kent is great. They tease each other but they know they can count on each other when it counts or when one of them is in trouble.
David is the earnest, responsible and cautious one. Caleb is the brooding, silent and intuitive one. Grant is the one who comes across as goofing of and womanizing with a wicked sense of humor, but there's much more to him than meets the eye. Just from their small roles in this book, I am very curious to know what Caleb's and Grant's stories will bring to the table in this trilogy.

The first two chapters of this book had me on the edge of my seat and the rest took me on the thrilling ride these two chapters promised.
My first encounter with Shannon K. Butcher's writing gave me a realistic and suspenseful love story, filled with nail biting action sequences, scorching sensuality, genuine characters and an interesting and intriguing plot. For me it's a true promise for the future and another addition to the romantic suspense section on my bookshelves.

With small fragments of the enemy's point of view you just know there's so much more to be unraveled in the suspense plot. And there is. Butcher sets this up brilliantly by slowly feeding the reader facts and knowledge to get to the bottom of the plot. She does the same with the characters; bit-by-bit she reveals their pasts, their personalities and their backgrounds. As a reader you have the feeling you really get to know them throughout the book.

Besides the great plot and characters, Butcher's writing style is very agreeable and fluent which allowed me to get through the book quick and easy but by no means is it a breezy, light read. I was grateful for Noelle and David's nice sense of humor that popped up now and then and the subtle humor played a big part in providing counter-balance to the sometimes-brutal suspense.
It seems like lately every romantic suspense book I pick from my reading pile is a winner.

Shannon K. Butcher proves to be no different. She knows how to set up a romantic suspense from the get go and keep me enthralled with a story of suspense and romance that rivals with other great authors I've read in this genre.


Quotes:
Her one and only boyfriend, Stanley, was an unimaginative toothpick of a man who generally preferred his PlayStation to sex with Noelle. After a couple of romps in bed with him, she preferred the PlayStation as well.

She was completely feminine and fragile, and it made every primal protective urge in his body stand up and roar.


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February 3, 2009

HEROES
(in random order)

  • Damon Roche (Sweet, Maya Banks)
  • Cabal St. Laurents (Breeds, Lora Leigh)
  • Colt McKay (Rough Riders, Lorelei James)
  • Jake McGregor (Magic, Cheyenne McCray)
  • Stacey Quinn (Susan Donovan)
  • Johnny Duane Reed (Black Ops Inc., Cindy Gerard)
  • Gregor Faustin (Faustin Brothers, Evie Byrne)
  • Ben Lawson (Tumble Creek, Victoria Dahl)
  • Rehvenge (Black Dagger Brotherhood, J.R. Ward)
  • Nikolai (Midnight Breed, Lara Adrian)
  • Jake Lowell (Dark Crescent Sisterhood, Anna Windsor)
  • Sean McCloud (McCloud Brothers, Shannon McKenna)
  • Lucien Knight (Knight Miscellany, Gaelen Foley)
  • Kane Tyler (Breeds, Lora Leigh)
  • Raine (Lords of Satyr, Elizabeth Amber)
  • Lachlan MacLean (McLeods of Skye, Monica McCarty)
  • Evanor (Sons of Destiny, Jean Johnson)
  • Ethan MacCarrick (MacCarrick Brothers, Kresley Cole)
  • Jack Cole (Wicked Ties, Shayla Black)
  • Ven (Warriors of Poseidon, Alyssa Day)
  • Butch O'Neal (Black Dagger Brotherhood, J.R. Ward)
  • Vane Cynster (Bar Cynster, Stephanie Laurens)
  • Vane Kattalakis (Darkhunters/Werehunters, Sherrilyn Kenyon)
  • Jack Devlin (Suddenly You, Lisa Kleypas)








FUTURE HEROES (Their books have not been released/written yet)

  • Addison Foster (unnamed "Skin" series, Ava Gray)
  • Wade O'Riley (Pacific Heat, Jill Shalvis)
  • Brennan (Warriors of Poseidon, Alyssa Day)
  • Aeron (Lords of the Underworld, Gena Showalter)
  • Sterling Chase (Midnight Breed, Lara Adrian)







HEROINES(in random order)

  • Molly Jennings (Tumble Creek, Victoria Dahl)
  • Crystal Debrowski (Black Ops Inc, Cindy Gerard)
  • Gwen (Lords of the Underworld, Gena Showalter)
  • Riley Dawson (Warriors of Poseidon, Alyssa Day)

Nice to meet you!

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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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GR Reading Challenge

2011 Reading Challenge

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

In My Mailbox

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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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