Saturday, July 10, 2010

I've been busy! Well, busy reading, but still...

The Price of Pleasure by Connie Mason

The Black Widow
That was what she was called by the desperate prisoners incarcerated in Devil's Chateau. Young and beautiful, she was rumored to buy men for purposes both scandalous and secret. Whatever she did with them one thing was certain: Her unfortunate victims were never seen again. But when she whisked Reed Harwood out of the cell where he'd been left to die for spying against the French, he discovered the lady was not all she seemed.

Fleur Fontaine was the most exquisitely sensual woman he'd ever met, yet there was an innocence about her that belied her sordid reputation. Though he'd been tortured and starved by his jailors, his body reacted eagerly to her nearness. Only a dead man would fail to respond to the sight of those ebony curls, the touch of those luscious lips.

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This book had a great premise; unfortunately, it wasn't as good as it could have been. I don't think the characters were very three dimensional. I just didn't find the hero that interesting or likeable. But still, it wasn't a total waste of time.

Rating: ***

Red Demon (Gods of Midnight, Book 3) by Deidre Knight

After assuming the power of life and death for the immortal Spartan brotherhood, Aristos Petrakos still hasn’t mastered his unpredictable, newfound abilities. And now a medium brings him a message from the other side—a romantic message Ari doesn’t want to hear…

A century ago, the love of Ari’s immortal life, Julianna Tiades, drowned herself in the Savannah River—after she learned about Ari’s shapeshifting abilities. Desperate to reveal the truth about her death, Julianna makes a bargain with a Djinn demon, who offers to give her physical form. But as Julianna and Ari are reunited in passion, the debt must be paid—in souls and spirits…

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I'm a big fan of Deidre Knight, and this is one of my favorite series. However, I was a wee bit disappointed in this book, although I still enjoyed it a lot. For me, I don't think the two main characters were fleshed out enough. Actually, the most compelling romance in this book was between Nikos and Mason, one of the Spartans and a former Marine. I also enjoyed the story of King Leonidas and Daphne (sister of Ares). Hope they get their own book soon. Still, the story was quite entertaining. And frankly, the guy on the cover was nice to stare at, too!

Rating: ****

His at Night by Sherry Thomas

He is England's most foolish lordling. She is a very desperate young woman—and still not desperate enough to want him for a husband. But Fate has a way of upsetting the best-laid plans and Elissande finds herself married to a man whose vast idiocy makes her teeth hurt—from clenching them so hard!

But is Lord Vere really a hopeless cretin, or has Elissande accidentally married the one man who keeps his secrets as well as she does hers? And once Lord Vere gets over his shock of being shackled to a young lady who seems to be everything he doesn't want—if only he could stop desiring her madly—will he discover that she is the one who holds the key to his long-locked heart?

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When I first stared reading, I really thought I was going to be wasting my time. Lord Vere acted like such an idiot (with good reason, though) it was almost ridiculous. However, once the story really got going, I began to get into it. I absolutely loved the scene where Ellissande attempted to seduce Lord Vere (though HE wasn't her intended target!). It wasn't a particularly "deep" story, but I enjoyed the humor; also, I liked that the two leads didn't look at each other and immediately fall in love. There was a build-up to the relationship. Light, fluffy fun.

Rating: ****

The Darkest Lie (Lords of the Underworld) by Gena Showalter

In this riveting new installment of New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter’s Lords of the Underworld series, Gideon, keeper of the Demon of Lies, fights to uncover the truth….

Forced to his knees in agony whenever he speaks the truth, Gideon can recognize any lie—until he captures Scarlet, a demon-possessed immortal who claims to be his long-lost wife. He doesn’t remember the beautiful female, much less wedding — or bedding — her. But he wants to . . . almost as much as he wants her.

But Scarlet is keeper of Nightmares, too dangerous to roam free, and a future with her could mean ultimate ruin. Especially as Gideon’s enemies draw closer . . . and the truth threatens to destroy all he’s come to love ...

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This is one of my favorite series of all time! Showalter has some of the most fascinating, tortured heroes of any paranormal romance series. Gideon is the Keeper of Lies; if he tells the truth, he suffers unbearable agony. I thought the story would be confusing and annoying, having to translate "Gideon speak". Fortunately, that wasn't the case at all. Gideon has always been one of my favorite Lords, so I was thrilled to read his story. I think Scarlet, the Keeper of Nightmares", has turned out to be the best heroine in the series so far. In the last LOTU book, she seemed evil and hateful. Apparently we just needed to get to know her! This book (and the entire series) is definitely a keeper. Now.....when am I going to get to read about Torin and Paris?!

Rating: *****

The Duke's Captive by Adele Ashworth

As the last male heir, Ian has inherited a dukedom after the death of a distant cousin, a legitimate title he can now claim proudly. With his new title, and the enormous wealth that comes with it, he feels it's finally time to marry and breed some respectable heirs, to at last let go of the vague memories of being held captive and drugged five years before. Widowed at twenty-three, Viola has become a self-sufficient young woman living in London and raising her son. She wants no part of her former life, especially now that she has a titled son who must be protected. More than anything, Viola's goal now is to raise her son respectably while forgetting her past - that is until she meets Ian again and her comfortable world is shattered.When Ian receives a note informing him that Viola is out of mourning, he seeks revenge on the woman whose family changed his life five years ago - when her sisters kidnapped, drugged him, and left him chained to a wall in a dungeon for several weeks. But Ian is also falling for Viola and will go to any lengths to make her his mistress, even threatening to expose her to all society and imprison her. And although Viola's startled to learn Ian knows many of her secrets, she has some shocking secrets of her own.

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I liked this book much better than the reviewers on Amazon did. They either loved it or hated it. I thought it was quite good! I think sometimes people forget what "fiction" means. It's a romantic escape from reality - take it as such. Anyhooooo.........I found both Ian and Viola to be fascinating leads; both had harsh, interwoven backgrounds, and they both had their dark secrets. Entries from Viola's journal introduced each chapter, which really added to the story. Overcoming adversity and falling in love. ~sigh~

Rating: ****

Enemy Lover by Karin Harlow

When you have no alternative, then you call in L.O.S.T. Because with the Last Option Special Team, it’s do or die. . . .

It’s Jax Cassidy’s first mission for L.O.S.T.—one that will give the former cop who went rogue a chance to prove herself. Her assignment: gain the trust of assassin Marcus Cross . . . eliminate him . . . then take down Marcus’s mentor, Joseph Lazarus, a man with a bold eye on the White House. But the woman who’s known by her team for being a femme fatale succumbs to passion, only to discover Cross’s deadly secret. He’s a vampire, and Joseph Lazarus is his creator.

Left for dead by his platoon in the violent hills of Afghanistan, Special Ops sniper Marcus Cross was given a second chance at life. His newly heightened skills make him the perfect killing machine, and as Lazarus’s right-hand man, he’s quickly rising to the top of his dark empire, purging enemies with speed and precision. Only when dangerous beauty Jax Cassidy is sent to bring him in does he begin to question Lazarus’s motives and his own actions. But when Jax’s life is threatened by the one thing that can destroy them both, Marcus must make a bitter choice—her death or his.

(Information courtesy of

Oh, my! This sucker grabs you by the throat from the very start and does NOT let you go!

I picked this book up a few times, glanced and it and put it back on the shelf. Government and military? Not interested. But then....I finally saw vampire on the back cover. Ok, I can deal with government, military AND vampires! And I saw inside that it was copywrited by Karin Tabke. I have 3 of her historical novels (haven't read them yet), so I thought I'd try it.

The story starts off with explosive action, and doesn't let up throughout the entire book. Jax and Marcus are both tortured souls, given a second chance at life. On opposite sides of a conflict, they should kill each other; lucky for us they don't! The story is riveting, the sex hot, the heroes' backgrounds heartbreaking, and everything moves at breakneck speed. Here's hoping we'll see more of L.O.S.T.!

Rating: *****

The Perils of Pleasure (Pennyroyal Green, Book 1) by Julie Anne Long

A rescued rogue . . .

Scandal has rocked the city of London. Colin Eversea, a handsome, reckless unapologetic rogue is sentenced to hang for murder and, inconveniently for him, the only witness to the crime disappears. Then again, throughout history, the Everseas have always managed to cheat fate in style: Colin is snatched from the gallows by a beautiful, clever mercenary.

A captivating captor. . .

Cool-headed, daring Madeleine Greenway is immune to Colin's vaunted charm. Her mission is not to rescue Colin but to kidnap him, and to be paid handsomely for it. But when it becomes clear that whoever wants Colin alive wants Madeline dead, the two become uneasy allies in a deadly race for truth. Together, they'll face great danger—and a passion neither can resist.

(Information courtesy of

What a fun start to a series! The word that came to mind most often reading this book was "clever". The story, the dialogue (especially the dialogue!), the characters - all clever. Though the subject matter was serious (the hero escaped a hanging at the beginning), there was a vein of humor throughout the entire book. Both leads were quite engaging (especially Colin). I will definitely read the next 3 books in this series.

Rating: **** 1/2

For Your Arms Only by Caroline Linden

He'd never been shot by a woman . . .

He was once a distinguished army officer, a man of honor and heroism. But that was before Alexander Hayes was wrongly accused of treason. Forced to abandon everything he held dear, Alec became a spy for England in an attempt to clear his name. His latest commission sounds simple: locate a retired soldier gone missing. But it also sends him back home, to a family who'd thought him dead for five years—and a woman who'd like to shoot him.

Everything Cressida Turner's ever heard about Alec tells her that he's a traitor of the worst kind, and yet this enigmatic, infuriating, and utterly captivating man may be the only person she can trust—and the only one who can find her missing father. With nowhere else to turn, she reluctantly joins forces with Alec, unprepared for both the dangerous secrets that threaten them and the relentless passion that drives them into each other's arms.

(Information courtesy of

This was my first book by Caroline Linden; it won't be my last. This was an interesting story, with two captivating, sympathetic and strong characters. There was quite a bit of mystery, and more actual romance than sex. Parts even made me cry. I thoroughly enjoyed this one.

Rating: ****

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