Sunday, April 24, 2011

May every cloud above you
give way to skies of blue,
And on this Easter morning
let only joy shine through.


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Tall, Dark and Wolfish by Lydia Dare

Tall, Dark and Wolfish
(The Westfield Wolves Book #2)
by Lydia Dare

Genre: Historic | Paranormal Romance

He's lost the most important part of himself...

Lord Benjamin Westfield is a powerful werewolf-until one full moon when he doesn't change. His life now shattered, he rushes off to Scotland in search of the healer who can restore his inner beast, only to find she's not at all what he expected...

She would make him whole, if she could...

Young, beautiful witch Elspeth Campbell will do anything to help anyone who calls upon her healing arts. Then Lord Benjamin shows up, and she suddenly discovers she may need him even more than he needs her...

Ben has lost his wolf, literally . . . he cannot change when the moon is full anymore and he seeks out the only help he can find - a Scotland healer (aka witch). Elspeth's coven is having visions of her being hurt and torn away from Edinburgh by a wolf and on that very night meets a British Lord (aka werewolf). Instant chemistry between the two sparks a sweet love story that reveals discoveries for Ben's future (how to change back into a wolf before the next full moon) and hidden secrets from Elspeth's past (who exactly her Father was/is).

Elspeth was very enjoyable. She's emotionally strong, stubbornly loyal, confident in her powers, and adorably loves Ben. Her friends want to protect her at all costs and her town deeply depends on her healing powers, thus when she falls for the outsider - things begin to drastically change. She keeps a smart head on her shoulder throughout the story and doesn't let Ben boss her around. Oddly enough - Elspeth's coven detests Ben, even to the point of using their [witch] powers to distract him from her charms. Overall, the witches add much needed drama and humor to the tale, plus they open up the possibilities of future couples/matches for later in the series.

Ben was very demanding, but quite cute. He is desperate to change back into his old self - werewolf self that is. He panics when the moon no longer affects him as it did and seeks advice as to what to do; which leads him to Scotland. Expecting to find an old healer, Ben instead locates Elspeth, a much younger and attractive witch who claims to know of his kind - including being half werewolf herself. Being instantly smitten, Ben quickly warms to the idea of marriage between the two and soon finds himself living in her cottage eating blueberries in everything (since they're "ruled by the moon") and taking soaked baths in Magnolia flowers (since they're also "ruled by the moon") but happily enjoying their shared nights together while avoiding fireballs and rouge vines caused by her coven.

Sadly, this book didn't have as much intrigue (for me!) as the last books I read in the series did, but these characters definitely were the kinkiest by far. I enjoyed how confident the two were in their love for each other, but there was something else missing for me that I couldn't quite put my finger on. All in all, another great read that makes me want to re-read Book #3 to catch up with Ben and Elspeth again. I'll be taking a break from this series for a bit before reading Book #4 - The Taming of the Wolf

Likes: Yummy bedroom scenes that even had me blushing! Plus, the matching half-moon marks was really hot!

Dislikes: I think I was expecting a little bit more from the story coming off of Book #1 and felt the story could have had a little bit more plot intrigue since they both knew about each others secrets (ie. werewolf/witch) from the beginning and the discovery of the father at the end was almost too easy with really not much more conflict in between.


Friday, April 15, 2011

Book Blogger Hop # 8



" Pick a character from a book you are currently reading or have just finished and tell us about him/her. "


I'm reading Tall, Dark, and Wolfish right now by Lydia Dare and the male lead of this tale is Lord Benjamin Westfield.

He's the youngest of 3 brothers in the Westfield family (where the males happen to all be werewolves as well) and his siblings cannot wait to make fun of him after discovering his secert [in Book # 1] -- that even at the age of 26, he continues to write weekly letters to this Mother.

Upon discovering that the full moon no longer affects his wolf side, he adventures to Scotland to find a witch who specializes in healing such oddities. For me, Ben's a fun character so far, he knows what he wants and goes and gets it; no matter what stands in his way (i.e. pesky witches with strange powers) He's considerate, loyal to his friends/family, and quite frisky since this book seems to carry a little bit more of a kinkier romance compared to the other books in the series.

Overall, Ben's yummy! :)

Thanks for hopping by!!!


Saturday, April 9, 2011

A Certain Wolfish Charm by Lydia Dare

(The Westfield Wolves Book #1)

Genre: Paranormal Romance | Historic

He gets crankier and crankier as the moon gets full . . . The rules of society can be beastly -- especially when you're a werewolf and it's that irritating time of the month. Simon Westfield, the Duke of Blackmoore, is rich, powerful, and sinfully handsome, and has spent his entire life creating scandal and mayhem. It doesn't help his wolfish temper at all that Miss Lily Rutledge seems not the least bit afraid of him, and in fact, may be as untameable as he is . . .

A women whose charms are stronger than the moon . . . When Lily Rutledge's beloved nephew's behavior becomes inexplicably wild, she turns to Simon, the boy's cousin and guardian, for help. But Simon's idea of assistance is far different from hers, and Lily finds herself ensconced in his house and engaged to the rouge. They both may have bitten off more than they can chew which each begins to discover the other's darkest secret . . .

Lily doesn't know where to turn when her nephew, 12-year old Oliver, becomes a different boy in just over one month. His growth is startlingly, his manners are astoundingly rude, and he is no longer the young sweet boy she raised after his parents passing at the age of 5; thus, she seeks aid from Simon - Oliver's legal guardian. Simon, on the other hand, doesn't have a care in the world; he's a notorious rake whose sexy scandals are in the weekly gossip rages and because of that, Lily is able to track him down and force his hand in assisting with Oliver.

Life for Lily becomes a bit mingled quite quickly though when her reputation becomes ruined by staying alone in the Westfield home without a chaperon and any available men begin to greedily seek out her hand solely for her false dowry. Surprisingly enough, a marriage proposal is placed before her by none other than the Duke himself and there quick marriage causes even more of an uproar for the ton. Yet, Lily knows not all is as it seems within her marriage and some dark family secrets are being kept from her. She desperately wants to discover once and for all the truth behind Simon's (and she even suspects Oliver's) wild mannerisms during the full moon and their shared family birthmark.

I've been on a historic reading fix lately, but YUM, I forgot how much I enjoyed Book # 3 by Ms. Dare; so I'm happy I got back into the series with Book # 1. I'm notorious for reading series all out of order! Lily was a great female character lead and I liked her immensely. Simon grew on me throughout the book, but I felt he became unrealistically enamored with Lily too early on which did keep the story flowing well throughout. The overall "secret wolf" plot was intriguing and kept me turning the pages late into the night and the romance between the two was just right (steamy, but not over the top!). I cannot wait to start Book # 2 soon and even more excited that this series seems to keep growing and growing. More books to come out soon . . . yayy!

Likes: Lily was very down to earth and realistic in her actions, which made it easy to become absorbed in her dealings with the Westfield family and young Oliver.

Dislikes: Oliver's instant infatuation with Lily was hard to fully accept at times, but he was a very dotting and loving husband.


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Highland Guardian by Melissa Mayhue

Highland Guardian
(Daughters of the Glen Series Book #2)
by Melissa Mayhue

Genre: Paranormal Romance | Fantasy

SARAH DOUGLAS is a successful thirty-eight year old romance novelist with big problems. She's come to Scotland on a three month working vacation hoping to recapture her muse - who's deserted her - and resolve the issue of her strange 'feelings' - the ones which allow her to sense the emotions of everyone she touches.

From the moment she arrives, however, her problems only intensify. She's being stalked, but by whom? Is he real or only a figment of her imagination? What about the darkly handsome owner of the cottage she's leasing? How is she ever going to deal with her growing attraction to a man ten years her junior? She knows from bitter experience men - particularly men who look like Ian - aren't interested in women like her.

IAN MCCULLOUGH is neck-deep in troubles of his own. As a half-mortal descendent of Faeries, he's a Guardian, sworn to protect both the mortals of this world and the Portals leading to the Faerie Realm. After six hundred years, he's confident he knows what to expect in just about every situation and exactly how to handle it. But he never counted on a woman like Sarah showing up in his life; a woman who intrigues and charms him. A woman who turns out to be of Faerie descent herself, although she has no idea of her heritage and no belief in any Otherworld beings.

When he's assigned to protect her, Ian finds the job is tougher than he could possibly have imagined. Oh, he can handle the stalker and the ex-husband and even the renegade Faeries trying to kidnap her for their own purpose. It's falling in love and forsaking his status as Guardian, a position he swore to honor at his father's deathbed, he's having trouble with.

Both Sarah and Ian struggle to battle the demons of self-doubt and their individual pasts. In the process they learn that healing will take the strongest magic of all, the true love that occurs only between two souls fated to be together.

Sarah escapes to Scotland to stimulate her muse and get back into writing her books, she chooses to ignore the fact that something else is drawing her there as well. Ian doesn't have the time to be bothered being babysitter to the new "American" arrival at his friend's summer cottage, but upon their first meeting - things drastically change. Now Ian is torn between duty and love while Sarah must make some startling acceptances herself before the Fairy portal is revealed and all ciaos ensues.

I like this series! It's easy to read, fun and sassy, plus the characters are enjoyable overall. Ian and Sarah were very realistic and their relationship together just kept getting better and better. The story wasn't cheesy and their romance didn't feel rushed and/or pushed as many similar tales can be. Don't expect a lot of in-depth story development, but if you want something to read after a long day at work - this is a great series to get into. The author opened up the character field a lot within Highland Guardian, so many of the future books in the series can really go all over the place now - which excites me since Soul of the Highlander is up next in my TBR pile. Plus, it was nice to get a glimpse of Cate and Conner from the first book in the series.

Likes: Yayy! Scotland - I'm all about books set in Scotland since my trip there is in 42 days and counting . . .

Dislikes: The whole plot build up toward the end kind of fizzled out for me and wasn't as climatic as I would have liked. Plus, I'm noticing a similar trait within the female characters that I'm not enjoying - the two female protagonists so far both suffer from horrible past relationships that weakened them until meeting their new Highland male dream dudes (who of course save them from their pity party), but I like my women characters to be strong individually and not broken/shattered emotionally as Mayhue is writing them. I'm hoping that trait changes here on out for the Daughters of the Glen series.