Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Eagerly Anticipating


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Review: Serpent's Kiss by Thea Harrison

In order to save his friend's life, Wyr sentinel Rune Ainissesthai made a bargain with Vampyre Queen Carling—without knowing what she would ask from him in return. But when Rune attempts to make good on his debt, he finds a woman on the edge.

Recently, Carling's Power has become erratic, forcing her followers to flee in fear. Despite the danger, Rune is drawn to the ailing Queen and decides to help her find a cure for the serpent's kiss—the vampyric disease that's killing her.

With their desire for each other escalating just as quickly as Carling's instability spirals out of control, the sentinel and the Queen will have to rely on each other if they have any hope of surviving the serpent's kiss…

The slow build almost took my attention span away from this book.  I had high hopes for Rune and Carling's paring, given the effect Carling has on Rune in Storm's Heart, but once I'd reached the end, I didn't feel as fulfilled as I'd hoped. 

Rune has promised a service to Carling.  They strike a bargain in Storm's Heart, though Rune is not sure what exactly Carling wants him to do for her.  He knows what he'd like to do.  Carling is a vampyre who has come to accept her time is soon ending.  She's brought Rune to San Francisco, yet she's not exactly sure why.  With Rune's presence, however, she feels something she hasn't felt in a long time: the will to live. 

Given the explosive sexual tension between the leads of the previous books, I expected Rune and Carling to be off the charts.  Their passion felt a little ho-hum.  There were also some plot threads left hanging which I assume will be revisited in future books, so the sense of finite closure for this book wasn't present.  That being said, I cannot wait for Oracle's Moon (March 2012), and I'm interested to keep up with the characters we've been introduced to thus far. 

Monday, November 28, 2011

Review: Scandalous Desires by Elizabeth Hoyt

Can a pirate learn that the only true treasure lies in a woman's heart?

Widowed Silence Hollingbrook is impoverished, lovely, and kind—and nine months ago she made a horrible mistake. She went to a river pirate for help in saving her husband and in the process made a bargain that cost her her marriage. That night wounded her so terribly that she hides in the foundling home she helps run with her brother. Except now that same river pirate is back...and he's asking for her help.

"Charming" Mickey O'Connor is the most ruthless river pirate in London. Devastatingly handsome and fearsomely intelligent, he clawed his way up through London's criminal underworld. Mickey has no use for tender emotions like compassion and love, and he sees people as pawns to be manipulated. And yet he's never been able to forget the naive captain's wife who came to him for help and spent one memorable night in his bed...talking. 

When his bastard baby girl was dumped in his lap—her mother having died—Mickey couldn't resist the Machiavellian urge to leave the baby on Silence's doorstep. The baby would be hidden from his enemies and he'd also bind Silence to him by her love for his daughter. 

I have been waiting, waiting, waiting for this book since Silence completed her walk of shame in Notorious Pleasures, Book 2 of the Maiden Lane series.  I knew there was more to Charming Mickey that what's presented at first glance, so I was doubly excited to learn more of the heart of gold he keeps under lock and key and that this book was completely worth the wait.

In response to threats from the Vicar of Whitechapel a/k/a Charlie O'Grady, Mickey brings Mary Darling to his palace in order to keep her safe.  Silence believes the child would be safe with her and her brother Winter at the Home where Mary has lived her entire life.  Mickey won't hear of it.  Silence can tend to Mary -- that is why he put Mary into her care, after all -- but Silence and Mary must stay at his home.  Mickey believes that with Silence in close proximity he'll be able to control her and ultimately get her out of his head.  

He is 100% wrong. 

If anything, their everyday interactions strengthen the siren's pull Mickey feels for Silence, and she is able to see a new side to the river pirate who scandalized her and her now-deceased husband.  Theirs is a love affair simply brewing under the surface.  When it boils over, sakes alive, it's scalding.  

Start with Wicked Intentions and read the Maiden Lane series in its entirety.  This is Ms. Hoyt's best work yet, and I don't expect to be disappointed come July and Winter Makepeace's book, Thief of Shadows.     

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Review: Bad Boys Do by Victoria Dahl

Olivia Bishop is no fun. That’s what her ex-husband said. That’s what her smart bob and glasses imply. And with her trademark determination, Olivia sets out to remake her life. She’s going to spend time with her girlfriends and not throw it all away for some man. But when an outing with her book club leads her to a brewery taproom, the dark-haired beauty realizes that trouble – in the form of sexy Jamie Donovan – may be too tempting to avoid. 

Jamie Donovan doesn’t mean to be bad. Sure, the wild streak in his wicked green eyes has lured the ladies before. But it’s time to grow up. He’s even ready for a serious romance. But how can that be when Olivia, the only right woman he has ever met, already has him pegged as wrong.

We pick up with the second of the Donovan Brewery series which features Jamie Donovan, kilt wearing bartender and well-known flirt.  He and his older brother, Eric, were way too over-protective of their younger sister, Tessa, in Good Girls Don't, so I really enjoyed getting to see the three Donovans from another point of view.  And, man, do they still have some issues with one another!  

Eric and Jamie were constantly at each other's throats.  Jamie wants to add to the brewery's atmosphere; Eric sees it not as a step up or good for business but as an act of all-out war.  Tessa plays both sides, as she did in the previous book.  What bothered me most is that this is a family who communicates via shouts and slamming doors.  There's no clear moment to listen and process, even when one of them apologizes.  I liked seeing and getting to know Jamie through his own eyes rather than what Tessa or Eric thinks.  

Olivia and Jamie have some very nice moments of sexual tension.  He helped her realize (or remember) fun, and she kept him grounded in his desire to better the brewery.  Is it enough to base a long-term relationship on?  That's the kicker -- I just don't know.  I  think they are a very cute couple and balance each other well.  There just wasn't enough emotional oomph between them for me to sigh happily and believe they'll be together forever.  

(A very special thank you to Harlequin and NetGalley who provided me with an ARC of Bad Boys Do.)

Monday, November 21, 2011

Review: The Goblin King by Shona Husk


A man was cursed to the Shadowlands, his heart replaced with a cold lump of gold.  In legends, he became known as The Goblin King.

For a favored few he will grant a wish.  Yet, desperately clinging to his waning human soul, his one own desire remains unfulfilled: a willing queen. 

But who would consent to move from the modern-day world into the realm of nightmares?  No matter how intoxicating his touch, no matter how deep his valor, loving him is dangerous.  And the one woman who might dare to try could also destroy forever his chance at a happily ever after.  

Except for the movie Labyrinth and mentions of goblins in Laurell K. Hamilton's Merry Gentry series, the goblin world is one overlooked in paranormal romance.  So the use of an underused species -- as the hero of a romance -- really intrigued me. 

There were multiple layers woven throughout The Goblin King, and the emotional impact of the narrative as a whole made for a very good story.  The concept of doing what one knows is right also lends more of a fairytale vibe to the underlying romance.  What I disliked was Eliza's fiance almost becoming a caricature of an evil villain.  His insistence that Eliza belonged with him and he would do whatever he could to keep the lifestyle to which he'd become accustomed was a bit over the top.  I almost hoped he'd become the new goblin king, though he wouldn't have maintained his humanity as long as Roan had. 

Overall, I thought The Goblin King was just what I needed to step away from the typical paranormal romance and take a chance on a lesser known paranormal species. 

Friday, November 11, 2011

Review: Slow Ride by Erin McCarthy

As a tribute to her late journalist father, Tuesday Jones is planning a career benefit, auctioning off racing memorabilia and meet-and-greets with drivers.

Ex-racing star Diesel Lange has had his own brush with death, and is determined not to waste another minute of his life- especially when he meets Tuesday. He wants nothing more than to shift their romance into high gear, but he knows she's still grieving. Can Diesel do the one thing he could never do on the track and take it slow?

Spoilers below.  This is my least favorite Fast Track book. 

Related Posts with Thumbnails