Wednesday, May 18, 2011


About to do # 60 on My Someday List, totally NOT # 78 ;)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A Hellion in Her Bed by Sabrina Jeffries

(Hellions Series Book #2)
by Sabrina Jeffries

Genre : Historical Romance

Furious at his grandmother’s ultimatum to marry or lose his inheritance, Lord Jarret Sharpe wagers his luck—and his heart—at the card table against a most unlikely opponent.
Mired in scandal after his parents’ mysterious deaths, notorious gambler Lord Jarret Sharpe agrees to tamely run the family’s brewery for a year if his Machiavellian grandmother rescinds her ultimatum that he marry. But the gambler in him can’t resist when beguiling Annabel Lake proposes a wager. If she wins their card game, he must help save her family’s foundering brewery. But if he wins, she must spend a night in his bed. The outcome sets off a chain of events that threatens to destroy all his plans…and unveils the secret Annabel has held for so long. When Jarret discovers the darker reason behind her wager, he forces her into another one—and this time he intends to win not just her body, but her heart.

Annabel is in a deperate situation, her brother has taken to drinking while their family brewery is losing money, thus she decides to plead her case to another brewery house in hopes of combining business. Things don't work out as planned though when the brewery she wishes to work with has recently changed managment and instead of placing her hopes in another strong indipendt female boss, she's making under the table bets with a gambeling rake - bets that begin to lead her on a slippery slope into lust and repeating mistakes from her heavliyl guarded past. Lord Jerret is begrudingly assisting his gradmother by running the brewery in her absense and is tempted both by Annabel herslef and by her daring business deals. Can they both save both her family's future as well as their heart in A Hellion in Her Bed?

I can easily get sucked into a Sabrina Jeffries's book because her writing style appeals to me on all levels. Her chapters flow smoothly, her characters are very realistic, and her plots are usually something new with a twist that it's hard not to become fascinated by the overall tale as well. Yet I find I'm reading this series all out of order again beginning with Book # 2 instead of #1 (a usual bad habit of mine), but at least I understand the general theme of the Hellion siblings and highly enjoy it. The side characters all add some quirky entertainment without over-shining the leads and the romantic growth between Jerret and Annabel was nice - not coming on too strong but growing gradually throughout and expect lots of fun flirting.

Jerret grew on me throughout the story, as a reader, we get glimpses of him as a sorrowful youth after the tragic loss of his parents to the stubborn cocky adult male he's grown into. Right off the back, we see the emotional barriers he puts up to prevent being hurt again and that helps the reader understand his relationship struggles, especially with Annabel. On the other hand, Annabel is punishing herself for a mistakes she made in her youth and I feel both frustrated in her actions but admire her tenacity in handling everything. She's just a stubborn as Jerret and the two adorably bunt heads at time, but from the very beginning they come off as the perfect pair. After tackling Book #1 in The Hellion Series, I'm excited about reading further with Book # 3 with yet another book releasing in the Fall.

Likes: Separately, Jerret and Annabel had obvious weaknesses they were trying to overcome, but Sabrina Jeffries wrote the story so well that together they appeared braver --- something hard to find in other historical romances. They truly complimented each other and that really completed the tale nicely.

Dislikes: Annabel, to me, came off a little too high & mighty at times. She acted as if she had to take on all the family troubles on her shoulders alone and fought that fact throughout much of the book, which eventually became tiresome. She was defiantly a caring Lady, but a rather stubborn and persistent one at that!


Sunday, May 15, 2011

Iron Crowned by Richelle Mead

Iron Crowned
(Dark Swan Series Book #3)
by Richelle Mead

Genre : Urban Fantasy | Paranormal Romance

Shaman-for-hire Eugenie Markham is the best at banishing entities trespassing in the mortal realm. But as the Thorn Land’s queen, she’s fast running out of ways to end the brutal war devastating her kingdom. Her only hope: the Iron Crown, a legendary object even the most powerful gentry fear…

Who Eugenie can trust is the hardest part. Fairy king Dorian has his own agenda for aiding her search. And Kiyo, her shape-shifter ex-boyfriend, has every reason to betray her along the way. To control the Crown’s ever-consuming powers, Eugenie will have to confront an unimaginable temptation--one that will put her soul and the fate of two worlds in mortal peril…

Eugenie is in a Fae war and doesn't want to be. She doesn't like the loses, destruction, and death that war brings and wishes there was another way out - something her current male squeeze Dorian doesn't believe in. Yet, when the story of the Iron Crown is brought to Eugenie's attention, she jumps at the chance of claiming something that could lead to a peaceful end. Knowing its the struggle of claiming the crown itself that creates the fear within surrounding kingdoms, Eugenie invites her previously male squeeze, Kiyo, along on the dangerous journey. Thus, not all is as it seems when the crown is finally obtained and nature decides to play a nasty/surprising trick on Eugenie - something that will change her life and future from here on out.

I'm a big fan of Richelle Mead and adore her writing style. Her stories are easy to read, enjoyable to get lost in, and always keep me up way past my bed time. Thus, I finished this book in less that two days, but I think really liking the Dark Swan series overall added to that reading speed. Eugenie can really get under my skin though, since there are times when I highly enjoy her and others when all I wish to do is smack her. She has such a quick and abrupt attitude of changing her mind that it can give the reader whip-lash if not use to it. Also, she's so stubborn that I'm not sure if I should admire that about her or feel sorry since she usually ends up regretting her actions in the end, but her hard-headed character adds greatly to the story's intensity.

The romantic juggle between her two male counterparts is great, every book adds to that battle and I will always hold out for Dorian in the end (since I'm such a sucker for the bad boy!) But Kiyo sure did add a nice twist to the story near the end of Iron Crowned that it's really intriguing to see just how Eugenie and his relationship will lead Book # 4 on. Dorian himself is just a cocky and adorable in this tale, but the reader is also really beginning to see more emotion from him as well - which is nice for once and I hope to see more of in the series's future. All in all, highly liked the book and cannot wait for more, but I need a break from Eugenie and her stubbornness first.

Likes: I enjoy that Eugine can admit her sex life with Dorian is kinky, because so
me of their scenes had me blushing! ;)

Dislikes: The "ghost" part of the plot feel flat for me and didn't really add much to the story. I felt like it was only created to add a connection between certain characters, but honestly - it was boring!



Saturday, May 14, 2011

Pleasure Unbound by Larissa Ione

Pleasure Unbound
(A Demonica Series Book #1)
by Larissa Ione

Genre: Paranormal Romance | Dark Fantasy

In a place where ecstasy can cost you your life…

She’s a demon-slayer who hungers for sensual pleasure—but fears it will always be denied her. Until Tayla Mancuso lands in a hospital run by demons in disguise, and the head doctor, Eidolon, makes her body burn with unshakable desire. But to prove her ultimate loyalty to her peers, she must betray the surgeon who saved her life.

Two lovers will dare to risk all.

Eidolon cannot resist this fiery, dangerous woman who fills him with both rage and passion. Not only is she his avowed enemy, but she could very well be the hunter who has been preying upon his people. Torn between his need for the truth and his desire to find his perfect mate before a horrific transformation claims him forever, Eidolon will dare the unthinkable—and let Tayla possess him, body and soul…

Eidolon is on the cusp of turning into a full succubus demon with no conscious between good & bad, but if he can find his soul-mate before the change - things won't become so dark and deadly. Thus, it's a bittersweet miracle that Tayla should arrive at his hospital in need of assistance but not so lucky that she happens to be a hunter of his kind and is hated by much of the hospital staff. Things between the two quickly heat up as the mystery of the underground demon market seller unravels. It's a bumpy ride overall, but in the end, both must let down some emotional guards and be willing to trust each other in order to survive.

I was in the mood for something hot & steamy, plus I'm taking a bit of a break from Highlander tales since I'm off to Scotland in a few days! ( Whoo-hoo! ) Anyways, this was a re-read for me and I'm glad I did - it was yummy! I forgot much of Eidolon's story since my first read and I could only remember him as the "older brother" from the later stories in the series. Plus, it was refreshing to have a likable female lead who was both stubbornly strong and emotionally distraught since the last few books I've read have been bummers in that department.

The relationship between the two was fun to read about not only because it was juicy, but also quite realistic. They had their moments of bonding through heated debates and comical conversations all while fighting to stay together when everything/everyone else around them was trying to separate the two. The brothers' interactions added much entertainment and were all very enjoyable and the plot ran smoothly throughout with a very satisfying ending. I can't wait to let a few months go by again before re-reading Pleasure Unbound again!

Likes: I'm usually not a fan of characters getting it on without much communication, but in this case - it was a very sexy read without crossing too much into the erotic genre! Plus, the demon/monster society was interesting to read about.

Dislikes: There were a few boring parts here & there - example : the demon-slayer society.


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

A Highlander of Her Own by Melissa Mayhue

A Highlander of Her Own
(Daughters of the Glen Series Book #4)
by Melissa Mayhue

Genre: Paranormal Romance | Time-Travel | Historic

TEXAS, PRESENT DAY. ELLIE DENTON's world has spiraled out of control. A strange new birthmark, animals talking to her, and her mother's ex-husband laying claim to the family ranch have her thinking life can't get more complicated. But Ellie doesn't know the birthmark's connection to her Faerie ancestors. Complicated takes on a whole new meaning with her innocent wish to find her true love.

SCOTLAND, 1304. CADEN MACALISTER has more trouble than he can handle. With his brother held for ransom
and the laird missing, the last thing he needs is another problem. But the Fae have other plans.

A mysterious woman shows up in his stables, sent by Faerie Magic to find her true love. Fighting his attraction, Caden insists she's meant for one of his brothers. With his history, he has no desire for a woman in his life—especially a woman sent by the Fae.

Only the magic of the Fae can determine whether Ellie will find a Highlander of her own...

Ellie has had to deal with a lot of shocking things recently: her Mother passed away, she's getting a new birthmark medically tested, her ranch is in danger of falling into the wrong hands, and suddenly she's communicating with animals. On top of all that, she even finds herself stuck in another place and time that isn't exactly Texas. She soon learns 'words' are a lot more powerful than one thinks and sets herself on a mission to discover her future soul-mate by accepting the past.

I love time-travel romances (plus adding faeries and highlanders makes it even more exciting) and on my trip to Texas for Easter . . . I thought reading about Texas would be enjoyable, but I found this tale almost too silly. Personally, I'm just beginning Mayhue's
Daughter of the Glen series and while some books have really held my attention, this one just feel flat and was rather boring throughout. The characters of Caden and Ellie's were to drastically different that it was hard for me to really get evolved in their romance and to become absorbed in their story.

I felt the book skipped a lot of character development and because of that I really missed out on feeling emotions toward the leads in the story. Ellie was just
too accepting of her situation that it was just so unbelievable and Caden too stubborn of his future that they just didn't mesh well together. Plus, I am NOT a fan of dogs in story (sorry dog lovers!) so I would skip ahead many of the parts that included Ellie's Missy & Baby. Ugh! There were a few interesting parts of A Highlander of Her Own that I liked, (the bath house scenes-being one) but all in all - it was a bore (love scenes included!)

Likes: The side-character, Dair Maxwell, added some much needed entertainment to the tale.

Dislikes: I wanted more of a well-rounded ending for Ellie and for her to personally get revenge on Ray back in present-time Texas, but how it was written out was just not what I liked. I could have imagined many other/betters endings.


Thursday, May 5, 2011

A little busy . . . Sorry

Besides my busy day-job and Easter holiday - my weekends have now been crazy full with work at Jazz Fest. Happy Festival Season everyone!!!

P.S. I have three books to review very soon and some much needed updates for the site!!!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Honor's Splendour by Julie Garwood

Honor's Splendour
by Julie Garwood

Genre : Historical Romance

In the feuding English court, gentle Lady Madelyne suffered the cruel whims of her ruthless brother, Baron Louddon. Then, in vengeance for a bitter crime, Baron Duncan of Wexton—the Wolf—unleashed his warriors against Louddon's main. Exquisite Madelyne was the prize he captured...but when he gazed upon the proud beauty, he pledged to protect her with his life. In his rough-hewn castle, Duncan proved true to his honor. But when at last their noble passion conquered them both, she surrendered with all her soul. Now, for love, Madelyne would stand bravely as her Lord, the powerful Wolf who fought for...Honor's Splendour.

Late one night, Madelyne risks her own safety to rescue from a cruel trap the man bent on having his revenge against her brother. Except the tables quickly turn and Madelyne finds herself held captive instead. She knows where she comes from isn't a home to embrace, but this new world of brothers loving sisters and true devotion startles her in more ways than she would imagine. Soon she finds her tables have turned and that she is falling hard for the wolf of a man who defied the king and world around them to claim her a wife.

I listened to this story on audio-book during my drive to Texas for Easter. It was an exciting historical tale that sadly was pretty predictable and overall didn't have as much drama as I would have preferred. Madelyne was too easy going/stubborn and I prefer my female leads to be a little bit more saucy (and not s0 clumsy!), while Duncan was stuck in his way but much more enjoyable as a character compared to Madelyne. There affection for each other was easy to believe and the side-characters added much needed entertainment.

The story flowed somewhat nicely with a few dull dragging parts here or there. The ending was spread out a little too thinly and should have finished much more quicker that it did. All in all, the plot was lacking something that would have added some spark to the tale while the characters (excluding Madelyne who came off to me a flat within certain chapters) salvaged much of Honor's Spendour. I had higher hopes for this story and was sadly let down.

Likes: It was nice to see Madelyne blend in with Duncan's family/home quite easily.

Dislikes: I adore historical reads that focus solely on the main characters, but this book was majorly missing something ( ie. much needed finesse ) to finish of the tale.