Sunday, July 31, 2011

Forgive My Fins by Tera Lynn Childs

Forgive My Fins
by Tera Lynn Childs

Genre: Paranormal Romance | Young Adult

Lily Sanderson has a secret, and it's not that she has a huge crush on gorgeous swimming god Brody Bennett, who makes her heart beat flipper-fast. Unrequited love is hard enough when you're a normal teenage girl, but when you're half human, half mermaid, like Lily, there's no such thing as a simple crush.

Lily's mermaid identity is a secret that can't get out, since she's not just any mermaid—she's a Thalassinian princess. When Lily found out three years ago that her mother was actually a human, she finally realized why she didn't feel quite at home in Thalassinia, and she's been living on land and going to Seaview High School ever since, hoping to find where she truly belongs. Sure, land has its problems—like her obnoxious biker-boy neighbor, Quince Fletcher—but it has that one major perk: Brody. The problem is, mermaids aren't really the casual dating type—the instant they "bond," it's for life.

When Lily's attempt to win Brody's love leads to a tsunami-sized case of mistaken identity, she is in for a tidal wave of relationship drama, and she finds out, quick as a tailfin flick, that happily ever after never sails quite as smoothly as you planned.

Lily came to the main land to experience life as a "Terraped" (aka 'Human' to Mermaids) and get close to the memory of her long-lost human Mother; who died shortly after she was born. Living at her Aunt's house, she goes to school as a normal teenager and becomes involved with the swim team and yearbook club. Her royal mermaid destiny claims she has to find her mer-mate before her eighteenth birthday, thus she's on a mission to kiss her long-time crush, Brody, and bring him back to her under water kingdom. Unfortunately, her annoying neighbor, Quince, always seems to get in the way of all her romantic attempts and when one finial Brody slip up occurs, Lily has to return to her home in the sea to set things straight, with Quince in tow.

I've been on a mermaid genre reading spree lately, but found this book sadly underwhelming and quite callow overall. Lily can come off sometimes are endearing but mostly she's frivolous & indecisive -- almost annoyingly so! Quince is easy to understand, but quite a push-over when it comes to Lily. Though it's nice that he can push Lily's buttons and add some much needed playfulness to the story. The side characters were all very bland, stale, and didn't really excite me that much; except for the Father/King -- he created an emotional bond that really added to Lily's family history. All in all, if you are looking for an easy juvenile paranormal read ( with silly characters doing foolish things! ) you may enjoy this book more than myself (esp. with Book #2 coming out shortly)

Likes: Lily has quite a collection of ocean-related potty-mouth slang she uses throughout the whole story. (ex: "Son of a Shark", "Carp","Holy Crab Cakes", etc.)

Dislikes: The story's plot was very underdeveloped and Lily's naivety put a damper on the tale as well.


Thursday, July 28, 2011

Wicked Becomes You by Meredith Duran

Wicked Becomes You
by Meredith Duran

Genre: Historical Romance

She’s been burned not once but twice by London’s so-call ed gentlemen . . .Gwen Maudsley is pretty enough to be popular, and plenty wealthy, too. But what she’s best known and loved for is being so very, very nice. When a cad jilts her at the altar—again—the scandal has her outraged friends calling for blood. Only Gwen has a different plan. If nice no longer works for her, then it’s time to learn to be naughty. Happily, she knows the perfect tutor—Alexander Ramsey, her late brother’s best friend and a notorious rogue.

So why won’t a confirmed scoundrel let her be as bad as she wants to be? Unbeknownst to Gwen, Alex’s aloof demeanor veils his deepest unspoken desire. He has no wish to see her change, nor to tempt himself with her presence when his own secrets make any future between them impossible. But on a wild romp from Paris to the Riviera, their friendship gives way to something hotter, darker, and altogether more dangerous. With Alex’s past and Gwen’s newly unleashed wildness on a collision course, Gwen must convince Alex that his wickedest intentions are exactly what she needs.

Gwen considers herself to be a friend to ALL in London's society. She obeys every rule, smiles at insults, charms all those around her, doesn't go cycling becasue it requires split skirts, refrains from singing in company, declines wicked parlor games, and even "refuses every second glass of wine!" (pg. 44) No matter who jilts her at the alter (twice!), she passionate about bouncing back becasue she doesn't want anyone's pity. Yet, she's sick of ALWAYS being cheerful and having her friends "campaign to save Gwen from Eternal Humiliation" (pg. 69) and so she decides to break some rules and finally live on the wicked side. She gets some help from a old family friend, Alex, who happens to be a notorious rake and together they get wild in Paris and quite naughty in Monte Carlo. But, can Gwen keep up the charade when she starts developing feelings toward her partner in crime?

I was blown away with how much I enjoyed Duran's writing style. I got sucked into the story that I finished half the book upon my first time reading Wicked Becomes You. The plot was very refreshing and the reader can easily understand Gwen's innocent personality as well as her new passion to explore the unknown. The visual writing was superb and the settings really come to life (ex: "Smartly dressed ladies hopped fearlessly from omnibuses, and servants shuffled past with their various charges -- nannies escorting little boys in velvet knickerbockers and cuffs of Belgian lace; maids dragged by tonsured poodles, which lunged at the olive peddlers and made the girls selling fresh carnations shriek and jump away.") (pg. 104) Good Stuff! It was also a joy to read how the two main characters bullied each other into silly dares or to reveal shocking truths. Unfortunately, the ending kind of went flat for me and really put a damper on the whole tale, but it won't stop me from checking out more of Duran's work.

Likes: There were parts of the story that had me laughing out loud, which is always a great thing from a book!

Dislikes: I felt like both characters kind of lost a bit of their spark (ie.
what made them both uniquely fascinating) in the end.


Sunday, July 24, 2011

It Happend One Bite by Lydia Dare

It Happened One Bite
by Lydia Dare

Genre: Paranormal Romance | Historic

He's lost, trapped, doomed for all eternity...

Rich, titled, and undead, gentleman vampyre James Maitland, Lord Kettering, fears himself doomed to a cold and lonely existence-trapped for decades in an abandoned castle. Then, beautiful Scottish witch Blaire Lindsay arrives, and things begin to heat up considerably...

Unless he can persuade her to set him free...

Feisty Blaire Lindsay laughs off the local gossip surrounding her mother's ancestral home-stories of haunting cannot scare off this battle-born witch. But when she discovers the handsome prisoner in the bowels of the castle, Blaire has no idea that she has unleashed anything more than a man who sets her heart on fire...

With a mouth like a sailor and a stubborn personality as well, Blaire's brother Aiden doesn't think she'll be able to grab a husband unless she becomes more of a 'lady'. Upon accompanying her brothers to a newly inherited Scotland castle and temporarily leaving her witch coven behind, Blaire discovers some hidden secrets that changes her perceptive on her Mother's past and love. Spooky castles, dark vampires, and historical flashbacks makes Dare's new book a real treat.

It Happened One Bite was a refreshing read since Dare's characters are oddly realistic and yet charmingly headstrong. Since her characters are easy to like, the reader can quickly become absorbed in the mystery, adventure, and romance going on between Blaire and James. Lots of enjoyable side characters enhance the stories depth and the love scenes are just the right amount of steam/heat without overdoing it. For me, James may not be the most dashing male lead out of Dare's supernatural series, but he does have his charms and is very jovial. Blaire begins the story with a bang since she's very out-going and isn't afraid to speak her mind. No matter how much her brother's reprimand her for her daring behavior, it's very apparent they depend on her a lot; but near the end of the book, Blaire's fire-cracker personality fizzles down somewhat, which was nice since she can come off as a little too-much at times. All in all, this was a fun read and I cannot wait to check out In the Heat of the Bite next, followed by Never Been Bit in September.

Likes: The younger brother Brannock wasn't really needed to complete the tale, but his personality added some comical entertainment.

Dislikes: The big bad villains in the story were kind of wimps overall.



Friday, July 22, 2011

Eternal Rider by Larissa Ione

Eternal Rider
(Lords of Deliverance Book #1)
by Larissa Ione

Genre: Paranormal Romance | Dark Fantasy

They are here. They ride. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

His name is Ares, and the fate of mankind rests on his powerful shoulders. If he falls to the forces of evil, the world falls too. As one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, he is far stronger than any mortal, but even he cannot fight his destiny forever. Not when his own brother plots against him.

Yet there is one last hope. Gifted in a way other humans can't-or won't-understand, Cara Thornhart is the key to both this Horseman's safety and his doom. But involving Cara will prove treacherous, even beyond the maddening, dangerous desire that seizes them the moment they meet. For staving off eternal darkness could have a staggering cost: Cara's life.

Ares has been around for over five thousand years, once a human man, now an immortal being who is one of four that will change the world one day - whether they're ready for it or not. Two destinies have been predicted, but no one knows which will come true in the end, thus Ares (who has a well-known Greek God named after him!) must continue the struggle to keep his seal intact. Each Horseman has a different secret key to protect, but Ares's seal has suddenly become more precious & delicate for his chaotic world of war & demons - a mortal women, Cara. Both are now thrust into a battle to keep Cara alive at all costs, but the closer Ares gets to her, the weaker he becomes. Now they have to learn to work together to prevent the Apocalypse, but their attraction to each other might be the most harmful thing of all.

I'm a fan of Ione's hot romances, always very steamy and well-written, but Cara Thornhart just flat out annoyed me. I never warmed up to her throughout the whole tale and felt much of her so-called growth or development within the story was just unbelievable and shallow. Overall, she was either too timid or oddly daring, no middle ground adjustments...thus her character was just too badly constructed for me to truly become absorbed in her journey throughout Eternal Rider. Ares on the other hand was quite interesting and carried much of the story himself. Be prepared for many past characters to resurface, which can sometimes become a little overwhelming but fun as well to catch up. All in all, I highly enjoyed Reseph/Pestilence best and found him the most entertaining Horseman who will keep the series on a dark edge for books to come.

Likes: From a historic perspective, I was fascinated with the immortal's hidden hideouts - secret islands with ancient temples, etc. Nice!

Dislikes: I felt a little sorry that Ares's "war" personality prevented him from interacting with crowds - i.e. no parties!


Book Blogger Hop #9



" What’s the ONE GENRE that you wish you could get into, but just can’t? "


I'm pretty much good across the board when it comes to reading, sure I like some genres more than others, but the one I just cannot get into (and I really don't even wish I could) would be . . . any genre related to politics - it just turns me off! I'm not a fan of peoples ideas about socialism, libertarianism, labor parties, revolutionary leadership, and any other type of governmental regulation even if it's a subtle point hidden within some romantic mystery. BLAH!!! My distaste even goes so far that books that have their male leads as simple police officers or FBI agents doesn't appeal to me. I'm a contradiction in being a romance book lover who does not enjoy the whole 'man in a uniform' fetish, but other than that - I'm easy to please! :) Maybe this all goes back to my intense displeasure of taking Political Science classes back in the day -HA!- who knows?!? Just give me fantasy, history, humor and some paranormal twist . . . and I'm happy.


Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Sleeping Beauty Proposal by Sarah Strohmeyer

The Sleeping Beauty Proposal
by Sarah Strohmeyer

Genre: Contemporary Romance

At thirty-six, Genie Michaels feels like she has hit the snooze button on her life one too many times. When her "commitment-phobic" boyfriend Hugh proposes on national television-not to Genie, but to an unknown mystery woman- Genie's wisecracking friend Patty does hesitate to give her some tough love: "You remind me of that idiot Sleeping Beauty, lying around like a zombie waiting for your price. Well, guess what, he rode right past your castle and no you have choice-you can either go back to bed or you can wake up!"

Genie chooses to wake up. After some questionable advice, her first step is to allow everyone to believe she's Hugh's fiancee. (She'll let him be the one to explain the mistake.) Naturally the good news travels fast and, in a heartbeat, Genie's parents are booking a reception hall while friends are showering her with gifts. Genie feels ad about the deception, but at last everyone is dancing to her tune, and she can't help but enjoy it. Particularly when a certain to-hand-some-for-his-own-good Greek carpenter shows up on the scene thinking he's hotter than Tabasco.

Genie realizes that she never needed a man to start her life-to buy a home, to get a better job, or even to wear a diamond ring. And if Prince Charming wants to show up while she's at it, she just might teach him a thing or tow.

Genie is in a rut and she doesn't know it, until her life turns up-side down. Now she (with the sly help of her friend Patty) is on a new "road to marriage" with no groom in sight; "let the chips fall where they will." (page 75) Yet, as more of her family becomes involved with the marriage plans and things of the side begin to heat up with another guy , Genie begins to confront some stagnant details of her life. Details that may just just lead her in a direction for a better life overall, with a little revenge for Hugh, her "fake" fiancee, of course.

If you feel like a fluffy, lite read - this will do. Something silly for a Saturday afternoon! It was fun to see Genie evolve throughout the story, not necessarily for the better, but a least enough to make some drastic changes in her life. Sure she had a lot of help from her family/friends, so don't expect something based in reality here. The plot does point out some prejudices related to marriage and singe-women - sucks how some mind-sets just never go away. As well as just how wrong the whole concept of "good things come to those who wait" can truly be. Yet, the main thing I got out of the book was that one must be either brazen, bizarre or both to live ones life to the fullest.

Likes: It was enjoyable to read about Genie's close family, even if they were little (sometimes a lot) chaotic!

Dislikes: I have to agree with Genie's mother, Patty (Patricia Ann Minelli McGowan Pugliese) annoyed me as well!


Sunday, July 10, 2011

One Magic Moment by Lynn Kurland

One Magic Moment
(de Piaget Family Series, Book #16)
by Lynn Kurland

Genre: Paranormal Romance | Time-Travel | Historic

There’s no time like the present . . .
if you’re running away from the past.

Tess Alexander has it all: family within reach, work she loves, and the chance to live in a perfectly restored medieval castle. But then a trip to the village brings her face-to-face with the new owner of the local garage, who looks a great deal like the man who married her sister . . . eight hundred years in the past. She’s determined to remain objective about magic and destiny, yet she can’t help but wonder about the mysterious, sword-wielding mechanic . . .

As far as John de Piaget is concerned, he has no past; it’s safer that way. The last thing he needs is the nosy medieval studies scholar from the nearby castle dredging up ancient history—his ancient history. But from the moment he lays eyes on Tess, John can’t help but wonder how he ever took a decent breath without her . . . or how he’s going to protect her from the treachery that threatens both their futures.

Eight years after stepping through one of his brother's "secret" portals, John continues to keep as much of his life hidden as possible . . . even when he starts falling for a 'future' girl, Tess. There is an instant attraction between the two so strong that they easily admit their time together is a mistake and as both continue to fight those romantic sparks with rude manners and crude actions, they eventually slip into a daily routine of contacting each other more and more. Yet, when one too many death threats to Tess's life becomes too much for John's stubborn manliness, both find themselves flung back into the past and a home/family John hasn't know for many years. Can time really be the divide that separates two people truly meant for each other or will some unfortunate accident take Tess away forever?

Mystery, romance, close famly ties, time-travel, etc . . . lots going on in this new book in Kurland's
de Piaget Series and even though the author is a little (ok, a lot!) light on the heavy petting/ deep panting/aka sex scenes that really spice up a story, she created a captivating, yet chaste, tale that kept me entertained throughout. I easily got sucked into One Magic Moment (and it even kept humming that darn Ben E. King & the Drifters song for DAYS!) since the overall plot mainly focused on Tess & John with little side-character interaction. It was nice to see both little by little drop some of their guards around each other and slowly (they don't even kiss on the lips until page 282!!!) fall in love.

It was also a very emotional read, since John (and even Tess) had some great reunions with their family as well as some tearful good-byes. The companionship between the brothers was endearing to read about and their interactions were brilliantly funny. The mystery side of the story was kind of all over the place and came abruptly to a conclusion near the end that it really interfered with my reading enjoyment for the last couple of chapters, but overall it's a fun tale that jumbles the future with the past in more ways than one. It's fascinating to read about the characters adjustment to both time periods, thus it's a great summer book for true romance and historical fun.

Likes: The older brother Nicholas really stood out as a great side character that I was almost sad when his part was finished in the book.

Dislikes: Some words become redundantly annoying, ie. Tess worrying about "forever" and John's constant mentioning of having to "woo" Tess properly . . . it seemed like ever page had them either thinking or mentioning one of the other. Move on!!



Wednesday, July 6, 2011

A Highlander's Homecoming by Melissa Mayhue

A Highlander's Homecoming
(Daughters of the Glen Series, Book #6)
by Melissa Mayhue

Genre: Paranormal Romance | Time-Travel

SCOTLAND, PRESENT DAY. When Faerie Magic swept ROBERT MACQUARRIE forward in time, modern medicine saved him from a fatal wound. But he also left behind an unfulfilled vow—to protect his friend’s young daughter, Isabella. Haunted by guilt for over a decade, he leaps at the chance to go back and keep that vow. The magic of the Fae works in its own mysterious ways, however.

SCOTLAND, 1292. ISABELLA MACGAHAN has reluctantly chosen a lonely existence, scorned for her Faerie blood and uncontrollable power. When she’s caught in a conflict between clans, a pawn in the struggle for power and land, her only option is to trust a handsome stranger. One who swears he was charged with her safety a full twenty years before... although the deluded man seems little older than she is.

No one is safe when Mortal schemes and Faerie magic push Robbie and Isabella to confront their worst fears. Will the magic demand the ultimate price from them both—or will they find their true homecoming in each other’s arms?

Robert has grown accustom to 'the future' but is constantly bothered by a long-ago promise he hasn't kept. Thus when a opportunity presents itself where Robbie can return to the late 1200s, he eagerly volunteers in hopes to easing his conscience. Yet, fairy time-travel is tricky and Robbie finds himself not actually returning to the time he thought. Regardless, he stubbornly takes his friend Thomas's daughter, Isabella, under his watch & protection even though trouble is a brew and feelings are becoming a little to hot to handle.

You kind of go back, forth and back again in this time-travel romance, which was fun and entertaining. Sure, Isabella is somewhat silly in her actions and Robbie is freakishly calm with his motives, but overall - their romance is oddly realistic and enjoyable to read about. Robbie is so adorably persistent in how he handles Isabella's anger that it keeps the reader entranced and he slowly helps her come out of the disillusionment she had made of her current status. On the other hand, Isabella has horrible memories of her past due to her grandfather's neglect, but it's enduring to see some amends attempting to be made; especially when Robbie becomes involved. All in all, great read - nice mixture of lust, love, and romance!

Likes: I highly enjoyed the ending because I was reading this book during the 4th of July weekend, same time in which the epilogue was set and I could easily get into the whole fireworks/ hot dogs on the grill/ outside with drinks setting! Nice!

Dislikes: It's a easy read, good summer stuff, but a bit empty at times as well. I like a little bit more depth to my tales!