Saturday, July 31, 2010

Dragging my ass, once again...

Every time I have to do a whole stinking slew of reviews at once, I swear that next time I'll do them after each book. Yeah, right. Here's 15! I really do need to keep up on stuff - and just not regarding books!

In Her Bed (Dragons of Challon, Book 2) by Deborah MacGillivray


Damian St. Giles has woken up before with a sore head from imbibing too much mead, but finding himself naked and shackled to a bed is an entirely new experience. As if in a dream, a flame-haired enchantress appears and offers him a brew to ease his pain...and enflame his desire. He soon realizes this Highland beauty has given him a potent aphrodisiac and she is fully prepared to take all his body has to offer...


Lady Aithinne Ogilvie knows she must treat this man as nothing more than a stud, for that is what he is to her...a means to get her with child and thus produce an heir who will save her inheritance from ruthless Scottish warriors and greedy King Edward. Yet she cannot deny the instant bond she feels for this handsome stranger--and the feeling that it will be the prisoner in her bed who will end up laying claim to her heart.

This book is the sequel to A Restless Knight. The second book in the Dragons of Challon series.

(Information courtesy of

Though not as good as the first in the series, this was a very entertaining Scottish romance. And it was a different twist on the usual "heroine as captive" device - this time it was the hero. (And no, it did NOT seem like rape - it was just fun FICTION.) Some great humor. Good series.

My rating: ****

Pray for Dawn (Dark Days, Book 4) by Jocelynn Drake

Murder has pulled Mira out of the shadows and back into the living world... Pray for salvation . . . Pray for daylight . . .

As the fire-wielding enforcer of the nightwalker coven wrestles with the mind-destroying ghosts of her dark past, the slaying of a senator's daughter in Savannah threatens to expose her kind to the brilliant light of day. The dawn of chaos has come. The naturi have broken free of their eternal prison to feed on the defenseless and unbelieving of an unprepared Earth.

Mira and Danaus—vampire and vampire slayer—must unite to prevent the annihilation of their separate races. But for Danaus the challenge is intensified, for he must also fight the bori who covets his soul. And Mira, the nightwalker he must protect—whose power is the Earth's last hope—is rapidly going insane.

(Information courtesy of

Though I've enjoyed every book in the series, I did find it getting a bit stale in the 3rd novel (Dawnbreaker). Also, the story can get confusing, keeping up with all the different groups. However, I think this 4th offering put a spin on things and enlivened the series and made it fresher. The first 3 were told from Mira's point of view; however, Danaus (I LOVE Danaus!) is the narrator this time around. It seems Mira is acting like she's a few bricks shy of a load, so Danaus' view brings the confusion to life. The chemistry between Mira and Danaus has always been intense, so it was quite entertaining to see Mira attempting to seduce Danaus. This is definitely NOT a stand alone book; you'll be lost if you haven't read the first three. And this book ends with a doozy of a cliffhanger. Thank goodness the 5th book has just come out!

My rating: *****

One Snowy Knight (Dragons of Challon, Book 3) by Deborah MacGillivray

Lady Skena Maclain has seen much hardship this year, and she fears worse is to come. For a bloody battle in Dunbar has left her a young widow, and her Scottish fortress without protectors. She wishes she could be as hopeful as her babes, who believe the Cailleach, the Lady of Winter, will send them a miracle in time for Christmas. But life has taught her that things can never be so easy...Until a mysterious warrior is found amid a blinding snowstorm, sick with fever. As Skena nurses the handsome knight back to health, even she begins to believe he might bring salvation to her little keep - and passion to her life, as his body awakens a long sleeping desire within her...a desire her touch stirs in him as well. But his wounds speak of danger, and Skena will soon learn, his past carries a secret that could shake her home - and her heart - to their very core.

(Information courtesy of

I was very glad to discover that the series didn't end with this book - I would have hated for there not to be any more! I've enjoyed this immensely so far. Such a romantic, entertaining series. And this one is just perfect for the holiday season. Highly recommended.

My rating: **** 1/2

Unchained (The Dark Forgotten, Book 3) by Sharon Ashwood

Faced with a custody battle for her daughter, monster-killer Ashe Carver has hung up her stakes and taken a job at the public library. But then after ...more Faced with a custody battle for her daughter, monster-killer Ashe Carver has hung up her stakes and taken a job at the public library. But then after centuries guarding a supernatural prison, the dashing Captain Reynard strides into her world. He has only weeks to live unless Ashe finds the thief who took his soul-and he's too drop-dead gorgeous to die...

(Information courtesy of

Ashwood gives us another solid story in her Dark Forgotten series. I wouldn't read this as a stand-alone; characters and locations from the first 2 books constitute a great deal of the story. Captain Reynard is one of my favorite Dark Forgotten heroes. He has been working in the supernatural prison for hundreds of years; his attempt to fit into modern times out in the world was a lot of fun. He is definitely a man of centuries past. The chemistry between the leads was great. There was a good amount of humor in this story along with action and great romance. (Reynard has been a LONG time without a woman!) Definitely a series to stick with.

My rating: ****

One Dance With a Duke (Stud Club Trilogy, Book 1) by Tessa Dare

A handsome and reclusive horse breeder, Spencer Dumarque, the fourth Duke of Morland, is a member of the exclusive Stud Club, an organization so select it has only ten members — yet membership is attainable to anyone with luck. And Spencer has plenty of it, along with an obsession with a prize horse, a dark secret, and, now, a reputation as the dashing “Duke of Midnight.” Each evening he selects one lady for a breathtaking midnight waltz. But none of the women catch his interest, and nobody ever bests the duke — until Lady Amelia d’Orsay tries her luck.

In a moment of desperation, the unconventional beauty claims the duke’s dance and unwittingly steals his heart. When Amelia demands that Spencer forgive her scapegrace brother’s debts, she never imagines that her game of wits and words will lead to breathless passion and a steamy proposal. Still, Spencer is a man of mystery, perhaps connected to the shocking murder of the Stud Club’s founder. Will Amelia lose her heart in this reckless wager or win everlasting love?

(Information courtesy of

I've been reading a lot of historical romance lately (I seem to go in cycles!), but this one in particular really got to me. First of all, Spencer was NOT a particularly likeable man; of course, you do come to love him! He did have a very personal secret (don't worry, I won't spoil it), which gives much insight to his standoffish personality. And Amelia is so not a typical romance heroine. She wasn't a beautiful stick, but a normal smart woman. The slow build-up of their relationship was refreshing. And it definitely was hot! Family problems, dark secrets, a murder and a beautiful romance......great start to a new trilogy! (I've also read the second book - Twice Tempted by a Rogue. Not as compelling as the first, but still a fantastic story and characters.)

My rating: *****

Rapture Untamed (Feral Warriors, Book 4) by Pamela Palmer

The most combative - and tormented - of all the Ferals, Jag is a predator who hunts alone - until daemons terrorize the human population. To stop them...more The most combative - and tormented - of all the Ferals, Jag is a predator who hunts alone - until daemons terrorize the human population. To stop them, he partners with Olivia, a flame-haired Therian temptress as strong as she is beautiful. But Olivia is no ordinary immortal. The survivor of a vicious supernatural attack, she possesses a deadly and forbidden skill - one that must remain hidden, especially from the powerful Feral Warriors.

As Jag and Olivia's sensual dance of dominance and seduction gets wilder and hotter, a dark force sets its sights on Olivia, threatening to destroy everything she has vowed to protect. And the only one who can save her soul is the arrogant jaguar shifter she lusts for but dares not love.

(Information courtesy of

First let us address the book cover. Dude hot hot HOT. This is the first cover of the series that I've actually liked - the others were so freaking cheesy to me.

Now for the important stuff - the story. (But seriously, have you SEEN how hot the guy is?!) Jag is one of the least likeable heroes ever in the beginning. There's a fine line of being tortured and just being an ass. Seriously, he's so bad that you feel Olivia is a total airheard for finding this man attractive. Yet as the story moves along, Jag does redeem himself, and Olivia turns out to be one of the best heroines in the series to date. It does take a while, though....If you like your romance and sex sweet and loving, you're looking in the wrong place. But this is a solid chapter in the Feral Warriors series.

My rating: ****

Written on Your Skin by Meredith Duran

Beauty, charm, wealthy admirers: Mina Masters enjoys every luxury but freedom. To save herself from an unwanted marriage, she turns her wiles on a darkly handsome stranger. But Mina's wouldbe hero is playing his own deceptive game. A British spy, Phin Granville has no interest in emotional entanglements...until the night Mina saves his life by gambling her own.

Four years later, Phin inherits a title that frees him from the bloody game of espionage. But memories of the woman who saved him won't let Phin go. When he learns that Mina needs his aid, honor forces him back into the world of his nightmares.

Deception has ruled Mina's life just as it has Phin's. But as the beauty and the spy match wits in a dangerous dance, their practiced masks begin to slip, revealing a perilous attraction. And the greatest threat they face may not be traitors or murderous conspiracies, but their own dark desires....

(Information courtesy of

I have very quickly become a huge fan of Meredith Duran! The hero and heroine in this story were first introduced by Duran in her previous book, Bound by Your Touch. And previous characters are mentioned in here, though either book could stand alone. Duran builds a great story and memorable characters. Never thought I'd like a hero who seems addicted to opium, but you can really sympathize with his plight. Great chemistry and a fantastic story.

My rating: *****

Highland Scandal by Julia London

Jack Haines, The Earl of Lambourne, has been accused of adultery with the Princess of Wales and has fled to his native Scotland until the scandal subsides. But Jack gets word from his sister that the Prince of Wales has sent men after Jack, with instructions to bring him back to London to face charges. The message includes the warning that if he is found guilty of adultery with the princess, he could hang. His sister urges him to flee deeper into the Highlands. In a remote corner of the Highlands Jack is apprehended by two Scots bounty hunters who offer him a deal: They won't turn him over to the prince's men if Jack helps them with a family problem. They need him to get engaged to their sister to ward off a suitor from a powerful rival clan who is intent on controlling their land. Facing a choice between being hanged in London and pretending to woo a lass, Jack agrees to the bounty hunters' demand. But the task becomes more challenging when Jack meets the men's beautiful, fiery-spirited sister.

(Information courtesy of

There was nothing particularly special about this book, except the whole thing was just darn entertaining! I loved the character of Jack. There was a lot of humor in this book, and some sweet romance. Much fun.

My rating: ****

Chased by Moonlight (Moonlight Trilogy, Book 2) by Nancy Gideon



Mixing business with pleasure gets more complicated for Detective Charlotte Caissie when her sexy preternatural lover, Max Savoie, is accused of a high-profile murder. To prove him innocent she must distance herself, but her tangled emotions don’t make it easy for her to stay away from him. And neither does Max.


Left in charge of a criminal empire and protector of a clan of shadowy shape-shifters, Max walks a precarious line. Can he believe the cunning stranger who claims he can teach Max the things he needs to know to stay alive? A con man who would betray anyone to make a profit, who may be a ruthless killer?


The harder Cee Cee fights to clear Max’s name, the more he pushes her away. He’s protecting a dark truth that could blow the top off her investigation. And that means hiding his motives and lying to a woman who values truth above all. The woman who can save him . . . if he’ll let her.

(Information courtesy of

I think the covers of this series are just gorgeous. (I seem to have a fixation on book covers, don't I? Just part of my whole love for books!) And as great as the covers are, they don't hold a candle to the compelling stories! The first book in this trilogy was not a fluke; the second installment is just as wonderful as the first. Max is truly one of my favorite heroes ever in paranormal romance. He is tough and merciless, but at the same time very fragile. Cee Cee is also a wonderful heroine, who must fight with herself about her loyalty to law enforcement and her love for Max. We learn about their families, which is both frightening and heartbreaking. And speaking of heartbreaking....When fearsome Max begs Cee Cee not to leave him, you can feel your heart being shredded. This is definitely a series to follow.

My rating: *****

Like No Other Lover (Pennyroyal Green, Book 2) by Julie Anne Long

Now or Never. . .

It's the last chance for Cynthia Brightly, the ton's most bewitching belle. Driven out of London by a secret scandal, she must find a grand husband at the Redmonds' house party before word of her downfall spreads all over England. Unfortunately, someone at Pennyroyal Green is already privy to the whispers of broken engagements and dueling lovers: Miles Redmond, renowned explorer and—thanks to his brother's disappearance—heir to the family's enormous fortune.

Miles set his sights on Cynthia once, at a time when the ambitious beauty thought herself too good for a second son. But now he's heir apparent, relishing his control. He strikes a bargain with her: he'll keep Cynthia's steamy secrets and help her find a husband among the guests—in exchange for a single kiss.

What could be the harm in a simple kiss? Cynthia is about to discover that it's enough to unleash fierce passion—and that Miles Redmond is most certainly like no other lover in the world.

(Information courtesy of

I TOTALLY fell in love with this book and these characters! Miles was different from most heroes in that he was a scientist (entomologist (sp?) - studied bugs). However, not a nerdy scientist - definitely ALL man. And I thought Cynthia would not be the least bit sympathetic in hunting for a rich husband; but once her background was introduced, you couldn't help but feel for her. The romance was hot, but the best thing about this book was the humor. You will most definitely laugh out loud (as I actually did) when Cynthia almost kills someone with a stone penis. Seriously. It's worth reading the book just for that! The word that came to mind most often reading this book was "clever".

My rating: *****

Twice Tempted by a Rogue (Stud Club Trilogy, Book 2) by Tessa Dare

How long could she resist him?

Luck is a double-edged sword for brooding war hero Rhys St. Maur. His death wish went unanswered on the battlefield, while fate allowed the murder of his friend in the elite gentlemen’s society known as the Stud Club. Out of options, Rhys returns to his ancestral home on the moors of Devonshire, expecting anything but a chance at redemption in the arms of a beautiful innkeeper, who dares him to take on the demons of his past — and the sweet temptation of a woman’s love.

Meredith Maddox believes in hard work, not fate, and romance isn’t part of her plan. But when Rhys returns, battle-scarred, world-weary, and more dangerously attractive than ever, the lovely widow is torn between determination and desire. As a deep mystery and dangerous smugglers threaten much more than their passionate reckoning, Meredith discovers that she must trust everything to a wager her heart placed long ago.

(Information courtesy of

Tessa Dare is one hell of a storyteller. I enjoyed the first 2 books in this series, and can't wait to start on the 3rd, which very recently was released. She brings to life very captivating characters. I particularly liked Rhys, a man who apparently could not be killed, though it seems he would have welcomed it. Meredith has him once again wanting to live and enjoy life. Very touching and a great story.

My rating: **** 1/2

My Wicked Marquess by Gaelen Foley

To restore family honor the Marquess of Rotherstone faces his most dangerous mission—finding the perfect bride . . .

To London's aristocracy, the Inferno Club is a scandalous society of men no proper young lady would acknowledge. But though they are publicly notorious for pursuing all manner of debauchery, in private they are warriors who would do anything to protect king and country.

The Marquess of Rotherstone has decided it's time to restore the family's good name. But as a member of the Inferno Club, he knows there is only one way to redeem himself in Society's eyes: marry a lady of impeccable beauty and breeding, whose reputation is, above all, spotless.

Someone quite unlike Daphne Starling. True, she's temptingly lovely, but a jilted suitor has nearly ruined her reputation. Still, Max cannot resist her allure—or the challenge of proving London's gossips wrong. He would do anything to win her hand . . . and show that even a wicked marquess can make a perfect husband.

(Information courtesy of

The book description makes this sound like a simple romance, but it is much more than that. Much of the story deals with 2 ancient secret societies; one trying to dominate the world, and the other pledged to keep it safe. It could get a bit confusing sometimes. But Max is a good strong hero, Daphne is quite likeable, and the story was definitely entertaining. Looking forward to the next one by Foley.

My rating: ****

Since the Surrender (Pennyroyal Green, Book 3) by Julie Ann Long

A Man of Action. . .

Fearless. Loyal. Brilliant. Ruthless. Bold words are always used to describe English war hero Captain Chase Eversea, but another word unfortunately plays a role in every Eversea's destiny: trouble. And trouble for Chase arrives in the form of a mysterious message summoning him to a London rendezvous . . . where he encounters the memory of his most wicked indiscretion in the flesh: Rosalind March—the only woman he could never forget.

A Woman of Passion. . .

Five years ago, the reckless, charming beauty craved the formidable Captain's attention. But now Rosalind is a coolly self-possessed woman, and desire is the last thing on her mind: her sister has mysteriously disappeared and she needs Chase's help to find her. But as their search through London's darkest corners re-ignites long-smoldering passion and memories of old battles, Chase and Rosalind are challenged to surrender: to the depths of a wicked desire, and to the possibility of love.

(Information courtesy of

I adore this series by Long, and I hope she continues for many more novels. I just adored Chase, as gruff as he was. Chase and Rosalind has a previous relationship, and they come together years later to attempt to solve a puzzling mystery. The mystery portion of the story keeps you guessing. As for the romance....well, the scene in the library is one of the sexiest I have EVER read!

My rating: ****

I Kissed An Earl (Pennyroyal Green, Book 4) by Julie Anne Long

Violet Redmond's family and fortune might be formidable and her beauty and wit matchless—but her infamous flare for mischief keeps all but the most lionhearted suitors at bay. Only Violet knows what will assuage her restlessness: a man who doesn't bore her to tears, and a clue to the fate of her missing brother. She never dreamed she'd find both with a man whose own pedigree is far from impeccable."Savage" is what the women of the ton whisper about the newly styled Earl of Ardmay—albeit with shivers of pleasure. Born an English bastard, raised on the high seas, he's on a mission to capture a notorious pirate for vengeance. But while Violet's belief in her brother's innocence maddens him, her courage awes him . . . and her sensuality finally undoes him. Now the man who once lost everything and the girl who has everything to lose are bound by a passion that could either end in betrayal . . . or become everything they ever dreamed.

(Information courtesy of

Another solid, very entertaining installment of the Pennyroyal Green series. Also, I think the covers of all the books in this series are just beautiful. (Yes, that IS important! LOL. The guy's face on this one just totally mesmerized me!) Once again, the leads are likeable, with a great story involving Violet's missing brother. I adored the Earl of Ardmay - quite the manly man! More, please!

My rating: **** 1/2

The Prince of Midnight by Laura Kinsale

They called him the Prince of Midnight - a legendary highwayman, once dashing and a tarnished, forgotten hero, exiled and alone.

She sought his fabled skills in the ruins of a French castle - a proud and desperate English beauty, drawn to the myth...but bewildered by the man.

Across perilous mountains and tempestuous seas, together they pursued their separate dreams - of vengeance, of passion, a glory reborn...kindling the all-consuming fires of a bold and unexpected love that would set the midnight skies magnificently ablaze.

(Information courtesy of

I've seen this book referred to as a "classic" romance, so I decided to give it a whirl since it was reissued. And I can see why it would be called a classic! What a fascinating, touching story with flashes of humor! And the "Prince" has got to be one of the most interesting, fascinating heroes in romance fiction ever. Seriously, how many leads suffer from vertigo and deafness in one ear?! Though our heroine can be immensely hard to like at times, she is sympathetic; guess you'd be cranky too if your entire family was destroyed and you wanted vengeance! Definitely read this one.

My rating: *****

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