Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Review: Kiss of the Goblin Prince by Shona Husk

The Man of Her Dreams

He is like a prince in a fairy tale: tall, outrageously handsome, and way too dark for her own good. Amanda has been hurt before, though. And with her daughter's illness, the last thing she needs right now is a man. But the power of Dai King is hard to resist. And when he threads his hands through her hair and pulls her in for a kiss, there is no denying it feels achingly right.

In a Land of Nightmares

After being trapped in the Shadowlands for centuries with the goblin horde a constant threat, Dai revels in his newfound freedom back in the human realm. But even with the centuries of magic he's accumulated, he still doesn't know how to heal Amanda's daughter—and it breaks his heart. Yet for the woman he loves, he'd risk anything...including a return to the Shadowlands.

While Kiss of the Goblin Prince is the second book of a series, I don't feel it's 100% necessary to have read book one, The Goblin King.  And though Kiss of the Goblin Prince is book two, it is very much a different story and tone.  

Dai has lived in the Shadowlands for centuries.  Now that he and his brother, Roan, have been freed of the goblin curse and are living in the Fixed Realm, Dai is unable to fully acclimate.  He depends on magic, yet is unable to stop thinking of Amanda or how to heal her sick daughter.  

This novel focuses on Dai and Amanda equally, together and apart.  Both are struggling; both are alone.  In a way, both are tortured.  They learn more about each other and their love grows from that.  Kiss of the Goblin Prince is a well-written and intriguing romance. 

(A very special thank you to Sourcebooks Casablanca and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of Kiss of the Goblin Prince.) 

Monday, May 7, 2012

Review: Now or Never by Michele Bardsley

In Nevermore, Texas, witches and wizards live side by side with humans in harmony. But when a woman with magical powers is taken hostage, the residents of Nevermore find themselves at odds....

Lenore Whyte’s blood might be able to open a portal to the underworld, but she doesn’t understand how to wield the powerful magic bound within her—knowledge that would have come in handy when she was kidnapped and set to be sacrificed.

...and Haunted
Tormented by nightmares of a woman’s death, Sheriff Taylor Mooreland is shocked to find the woman from his visions chained to an altar in the woods. Even though he barely knows her, Taylor is determined to protect the mysterious Lenore no matter what. Even if it means dealing with magic.

And when an investigation into a series of suicides leads Taylor deep into the town’s past, he discovers that the key to saving both Lenore and Nevermore may require the ultimate sacrifice…

I liked the first book of this series, Never Again, so I had hoped I would enjoy this new take on paranormal romance.  Now or Never, I think, just had too many aspects pulling the narrative in varying directions.  

We are reintroduced to Sheriff Taylor Mooreland, who has murder and/or suicide to solve.  He's irritated because (1) the gun found at the scene of the crime should be under lock and key and (2) he's the man with the key.   Add to this mystery the strange dreams he's been having, and Taylor is imbibing more coffee than he's like to stay awake and keep his mind focused.

Gray Calhoun, the Guardian of Nevermore, expects a visit from his mother.  Gray plans to formally introduce his wife, Lucinda, to his mother, so he doesn't want a murder investigation adding more tension to what he assumes will be a very tense visit.  When Taylor discovers Lenore and an altar in the woods near his home, he turns to Gray for help, meaning Gray has to juggle his mother, his wife, and protecting Nevermore from possible invasion.

The various plot threads and secondary characters bisect one another, which makes it difficult to keep the action 100% straight.  And the romance between Taylor and Norie is firmly in the background, perhaps a distant second (or third) to stopping whatever evil force is coming for Norie.

I am disappointed in Now or Never.  I'm even more disappointed in and frustrated by the cliffhanger I fear I won't learn more about until March 2013 when the third and final book is released.       

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Review: Serendipity by Carly Phillips

Faith Harrington was the classic girl of privilege–until her father was convicted of running a Ponzi scheme and then her marriage crashed and burned.

Now Faith is back in her hometown, hoping for a fresh start. But her father’s betrayal has rocked Serendipity – and not everyone is ready to welcome her with open arms. Then she runs into her teenage crush — the dark, brooding Ethan Barron. Ethan, no stranger to scandal himself, never imagined he’d own the mansion on the hill, much less ever again come face to face with Faith–the princess he once kissed senseless. The chance meeting reignites the electric charge between them.

Still, when Ethan hires her to redecorate what was once her childhood home, Faith is sure that getting involved with the town’s notorious bad boy will only lead to trouble. But her heart has other ideas. And so do the townspeople of Serendipity …

Serendipity was my first Carly Phillips book, and I'm pleased to say I really enjoyed it.   Actually, there are a lot of things to enjoy.

While we're first introduced to Faith and learn her reaction to her father's financial scheme's failure, Serendipity is as much as Ethan as it is about Faith.  Theirs is a story of reconnection -- Faith to her hometown and its people; Ethan to the brothers he left behind -- and though these reconnections aren't always easy or end happily, they are very true to life.

I cannot wait to revisit Serendipity, New York to learn more about the town and Ethan's brothers, Nash and Dare.      
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