Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!!

I'd like to wish everyone a happy, healthy and prosperous new year!

Did anyone make any New Year's resolutions? I'm going to do my darndest this year to eat healthier, lose weight, try to be happier at work.....and do better working on reviews! Here's a start:

Provocative in Pearls (Rarest Blooms, Book 2) by Madeline Hunter

After two years, Grayson Bridlington, The Earl of Hawkeswell, has located his missing bride Verity Thompson. Coerced into marrying Hawkeswell by her duplicitous cousin, Verity fled London for the countryside. Now, the couple must make the most of an arranged marriage--even if it means surrendering to their shared desire.

(Information courtesy of

So far this has been a fun series. Nothing new or groundbreaking here, just a good story and very likable characters. Hawkeswell's discovery of his missing bride was well written, as was Verity's despair of being found out. There wasn't love at first sight when meeting again, which gave the building of the relationship a dose of reality. The next book in the series is "Sinful In Satin"...must dig it out of the TBR pile!

My Rating: ****

Stolen Kisses by Suzanne Enoch

Fire and Ice . . .

Jack Faraday, the Marquis of Dansbury, is rich, titled, and handsome as sin. A scandalous rake who's charmed a long string of ladies, he finally meets his match in Miss Lilith Benton, known as the Ice Queen.

Intent on restoring her family's good name, Lilith wants only to make a respectable marriage. So when the tempting but notorious Jack begins to woo her, she is determined to ignore him. Then their accidental involvement in a duke's mysterious death forces Jack and Lilith to become conspirators to clear their names—and suddenly cold disdain gives way to hot desire. Now Lilith may find his passionate stolen kisses too tempting to resist . . .

(Information courtesy of

I really enjoyed this one! Jack was a great, hot hero. I enjoyed Lilith once we got to know her a little better...though I wanted to slap her; why on earth would she want to stay away from Jack?! (Yeah, I know - to further the story - but still....) When Jack and Lilith are involved in a duke's death (he deserved it!), the story really gets rolling. I will definitely be searching on more books from Enoch.

My Rating: ****

Darker Than Night (Shadow Guard, Book 3) by Kim Lenox

Countess Selene is the Shadow Guard's only female member. She sacrificed herself to save the people of London and is now under a sleeping spell in the Tower of London, guarded by Raven warriors. When she awakens on a dark street with a blade in her hand and a dead prostitute at her feet, everything changes. Now she must face an ancient enemy, with only a reclusive, secretive warrior to trust...

(Information courtesy of

Is this a beautiful book cover, or what? I found myself staring at it quite frequently! LOL. I must admit, I think this series is just phenomenal. Lenox has done a remarkable job with the mythology of the Shadow Guard. Selene was not a favorite character of mine in the previous books (though I loved her relationship with her beloved snake), but she really grew on me with this story. And Roarke? Incredibly hot and favorite type of hero! There was no cliffhanger at the end of the book; yet I hope that this series will continue. Whatever Lenox comes up with next will definitely be on my automatic to-buy list.

My rating: *****

Tempt Me At Twilight (The Hathaways, Book 3) by Lisa Kleypas

Poppy Hathaway loves her unconventional family, though she longs for normalcy. Then fate leads to a meeting with Harry Rutledge, an enigmatic hotel owner and inventor with wealth, power, and a dangerous hidden life. When their flirtation compromises her own reputation, Poppy shocks everyone by accepting his proposal—only to find that her new husband offers his passion, but not his trust.

Harry was willing to do anything to win Poppy—except to open his heart. All his life, he has held the world at arm’s length…but the sharp, beguiling Poppy demands to be his wife in every way that matters. Still, as desire grows between them, an enemy lurks in the shadows. Now if Harry wants to keep Poppy by his side, he must forge a true union of body and soul, once and for all...

(Information courtesy of

I am so thankful for the day I first picked up a novel by Kleypas. She quickly has become one of my favorite authors ever. This has also got to be one of the best historical series EVER. All of the Hathaways are a delight so far. Though they've all dealt with hardship, the love and humor among them provides the backbone for the series. I really enjoyed the budding relationship between Harry and Poppy. Harry's dark childhood background added so much to the story, and made the romance much more special.

My Rating: *****

Married by Morning (The Hathaways, Book 4) by Lisa Kleypas

For two years, Catherine Marks has been a paid companion to the Hathaway sisters—a pleasant position, with one caveat. Her charges’ older brother, Leo Hathaway, is thoroughly exasperating. Cat can hardly believe that their constant arguing could mask a mutual attraction. But when one quarrel ends in a sudden kiss, Cat is shocked at her powerful response—and even more so when Leo proposes a dangerous liaison.

Leo must marry and produce an heir within a year to save his family home. Catherine’s respectable demeanor hides a secret that would utterly destroy her. But to Leo, Cat is intriguing and infernally tempting, even to a man resolved never to love again. The danger Cat tried to outrun is about to separate them forever—unless two wary lovers can find a way to banish the shadows and give in to their desires…

(Information courtesy of

I couldn't wait to read Leo's story! He was such a hot mess in the first book of the series; but he was a sympathetic character, so I wanted to know more. Since the first story, he has been slowly putting his life back together. His relationship with "Marks" until now was like oil and water. Here it was absolutely combustible! I loved the snarking between them. It was touching for them to get over their sad pasts and find love with unlikely partners. The secret relationship between Harry (from "Tempt Me at Twilight") really added to the book. I just adore Leo!

My Rating: *****

Love in the Afternoon (The Hathaways, Book 5) by Lisa Kleypas

As a lover of animals and nature, Beatrix Hathaway has always been more comfortable outdoors than in the ballroom. Even though she participated in the London season in the past, the classic beauty and free-spirited Beatrix has never been swept away or seriously courted…and she has resigned herself to the fate of never finding love. Has the time come for the most unconventional of the Hathaway sisters to settle for an ordinary man—just to avoid spinsterhood?

Captain Christopher Phelan is a handsome, daring soldier who plans to marry Beatrix’s friend, the vivacious flirt Prudence Mercer, when he returns from fighting abroad. But, as he explains in his letters to Pru, life on the battlefield has darkened his soul—and it’s becoming clear that Christopher won’t come back as the same man. When Beatrix learns of Pru’s disappointment, she decides to help by concocting Pru’s letters to Christopher for her. Soon the correspondence between Beatrix and Christopher develops into something fulfilling and deep…and when Christopher comes home, he’s determined to claim the woman he loves. What began as Beatrix’s innocent deception has resulted in the agony of unfulfilled love—and a passion that can’t be denied…

(Information courtesy of

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! This series can't be over - it just can't be!!! I loved it so much! The description of this book didn't sound that great to me - yep, this story has been done before - but it was simply marvelous. Beatrix has been so entertaining in all the previous books. Her love of animals was so endearing, especially her hedgehog. The letters between Christopher and Beatrix were so beautiful, seeing them falling for each other. But then Christopher returns home, suffering from PTSD, and things become difficult. This couple was one of my favorite in this series. I enjoyed all of it - have to love a series that makes you both blubber like a baby and laugh out loud. If you are a fan of historical romances, don't let this one pass you by.

My Rating: *****

Living Nightmare (Sentinel Wars, Book 4) by Shannon K. Butcher

For nine years, the Sentinel Nika has had one goal-to save her younger sister from the Synestryn who hold her captive. Now, the psychic bond Nika forged with her sibling on that terrible night is fading, and time is running out. But the one man who can unlock the power inside her may be the greatest danger to her.

(Information courtesy of

First of all, this series of books has beautiful covers. (Yes, you know by now that covers are very important to me!) I enjoyed this foray into the world of the Sentinels as much as I did the others. There is plenty of action here to go along with the romance. I've always liked the idea that their life tree leaves show how much soul the Sentinel has left, and how some try to hide this from their brethren. Nika and Madoc have great chemistry, even though Madoc tries to distance himself. I believe there's plenty of more life in this series - there are plenty more Sentinels whose stories need telling. Also, I'm very intrigued by the Sanguinars.

My Rating: ****

Scandal of the Season by Christie Kelley

A Daring Charade...

For ten years, Anthony Westfield, Viscount Somerton, hasn't been able to forget the woman with whom he spent one scandalous night. When their paths cross again, he's shocked to discover Victoria Seaton is an accomplished pickpocket. But Somerton leads a double life of his own. Working on an undercover assignment, he makes Victoria a proposition: pretend to be his mistress or risk ruin. Yet soon he's tempted to turn their charade into reality—and surrender to an explosive passion...

A Holiday To Remember...

Victoria can't believe the man who almost destroyed her life a decade ago is now threatening to unravel her secrets. But posing as his mistress at a holiday country party is a game she can play well. For just one look into Somerton's eyes still weakens her with lust. And with Christmas fast approaching, every kiss they share under the mistletoe only makes Victoria fall more deeply in love...

(Information courtesy of

Our boy Anthony sure does have quite the smirk on this book cover, no? I wanted Victoria to wipe it right off of him! Since Christmas was coming up, I was in the mood for some books with a seasonal theme. It's been a while since I read this, and I must admit I really don't recall all that much about it. So while an entertaining way to spend the day, it wasn't very memorable. I do remember liking the idea that Victoria was a pickpocket - it's usually the hero with a sordid past. I liked this book enough to try others by Ms. Kelley.

My Rating: ***

Enemy Within (Enemy, Book 1) by Marcella Burnard

An intergalactic cold war-and some heated passion- from an inventive new voice in futuristic romance.

After a stint in an alien prison, Captain Ari Rose wonders why she even bothered to survive. Stripped of her command and banished to her father's scientific expedition to finish a Ph.D. she doesn't want, Ari never planned to languish quietly behind a desk. She wasn't built for it, either. But when pirates commandeer her father's ship, Ari once again becomes a prisoner.

As far as pirate leader Cullin is concerned, Ari's past imprisonment puts her dead center in Cullin's sights. If she hasn't been brainwashed and returned as a spy, then he's convinced she must be part of a traitorous alliance endangering billions of lives. Cullin can't afford the desire she fires within him and he'll stop at nothing, including destroying her, to uncover the truth.

(Information courtesy of

I was a bit hesitant to get this one, because I'm not a huge fan of what I consider science fiction. But there were some great reviews of this book on Amazon, so I decided to give this futuristic romance a shot. And I'm so glad I did! I think this was a sensational debut novel by Burnard, and I can't wait until the next in the series comes out. Ari was one kick-ass heroine! It's not that she wasn't afraid of anything, but that she was able to push through her fear. She'd been through so much before Cullin took over her ship. And Cullin? ~sigh~ I did love me some Cullin. At first the "techie" terms were a little confusing, but that passed quickly as I became engrossed in the story. Fantastic book.

My Rating: *****

A Season of Seduction (Tristan Family, Book 3) by Jennifer Haymore

Although the widowed Lady Rebecca has sworn off marriage, men are another matter. London's cold winter nights have her dreaming of warmer pursuits-like finding a lover to satisfy her hungry heart. Someone handsome, discreet, and most importantly as uninterested in marriage as she is. Someone like Jack Fulton.

A known adventurer and playboy, Jack seems like the perfect choice. There's just one problem: Jack isn't interested in an affair. He needs the beautiful, mysterious Lady Rebecca to be his wife. And he doesn't have much time to persuade her. A secret from Jack's past is about to surface, and by Christmas Day he'll be either married to Rebecca or dead.

(Information courtesy of

I loved Haymore's first two books, and I couldn't wait to get my hands on this one. I wanted to rip right into it, but waited closer to Christmas since it had a bit of a Christmas theme. It was every bit as good as I had hoped. We were introduced to Rebecca in the previous books, and saw her development from a naive young girl to a disillusioned widow who just wanted a lover. And Jack is the man she picked. Jack has dark secrets, and needs to marry Rebecca. I loved the scene when Rebecca decides to sleep with Jack for the first time. The romance between the two was erotic. Though Jack needed the marriage and was deceptive, you couldn't help but fall in love with him, just as Rebecca did. I believe this is the last of this series, but I'm excited to learn that she has a new one coming out this year. Woohoooo!

My Rating: *****

Kiss of Fate (Dragonfire, Book 3) by Deborah Cooke

For millennia, the shape-shifting dragon warriors known as the Pyr have commanded the four elements and guarded the earth's treasures. But now the final reckoning between the Pyr, who count humans among the earth's treasures, and the Slayers, who would eradicate both humans and the Pyr who protect them, is about to begin.

Haunted by dreams of a lover who takes the form of a dragon, Eileen Grosvenor searches for the truth. She never expects to find a real dragon shape shifter, let alone one who awakens her passion and ignites memories of a forgotten past.

Erik Sorensson is focused on leading the Pyr against the Slayers when a powerful ancient relic reveals itself. Erik tries to retrieve it from Eileen's possession—and is shocked by a fury of passion. Her presence touches him in unexpected ways, reminding him of mistakes he's determined not to make again, and Erik is forced to make a choice—duty or love.

(Information courtesy of

This series simply gets better and better. I think this is the best of the 3 that I've read so far. (And dammit, I wish I could find the next book! I have it, but it's buried in one of my piles.) Erik's been one of the more intriguing Pyr that we've met to date. Though I think the romance between Erik and Eileen was great, the relationship I enjoyed reading about the most was the one between Erik and his son, who was a Slayer. Lots of action and plenty of romance, this one's a winner.

My Rating: **** 1/2

Midnight Awakening (Midnight Breed, Book 3) by Lara Adrian

With a dagger in her hand and vengeance on her mind, Darkhaven beauty Elise Chase prowls Boston’s streets in search of retribution against the Rogue vampires who took from her everything she cherished. Using an extraordinary psychic gift, she tracks her prey, well aware that the power she possesses is destroying her. She must learn to harness this gift, and for that she can turn to only one man—the deadliest of the Breed warriors, Tegan.

No stranger to loss, Tegan knows Elise’s pain. He knows fury, but when he slays his enemies it is with ice in his veins. He is perfect in his self-control, until Elise seeks his aid in her personal war. An unholy alliance is forged—a bond that will link them by blood and vow—and plunge them into a tempest of danger, desire, and the darkest passions of the heart. . . .

(Information courtesy of

This is definitely a don't miss series. I must point out, do not read them out of order. I think the progression of the storyline is very important and some things won't make sense out of order. Anyhooooo...I loved the pairing of Tegan and Elise. We met Eileen in a previous book, and she is such a sympathetic character. She's been through hell, but has the strength to pursue revenge. And when she's forced to rely on Tegan for help, things start to sizzle. If you like your heroes to be alpha males, well, then Tegan is for you. Fantastic world-building, which only gets better as the series progresses.

My Rating: **** 1/2

Vow of Seduction (Knights of the Crusade, Book 1) by Angela Johnson

Sworn to support King Edward, Sir Alex de Beaumont had to leave his new bride on their wedding night to fight in the Crusades. Captured and left to languish in a lonely prison, the warrior knight is kept alive by the memory of love - and of Lady Katherine's innocent passion as she cried out his name in ecstasy and made him her own. Upon his escape and return to England, he is shocked to find his beloved is about to marry another man...Kat refuses to forgive him. But Alex will not be gainsaid. He vows to seduce her all over again and his searching kisses reawaken the sensual fire they once knew - until an enemy determined to destroy them both closes in. Now Alex must risk everything for the one woman whose love he wants forever...

(Information courtesy of

I really enjoyed this one! Alex was rather naive emotionally when he married Katherine; however, he certainly changed when he was captured during the Crusades and went through untold horrors. Alex reappears when Katherine is in the midst of marrying another man (Alex was believed to be dead). Things get explosive rather quickly. I thought it was great when Alex realized he wanted to always be with Katherine, and did his damndest to change her mind about him. Great characters, engaging story, with heat and action. Looking forward to the next one.

My Rating: **** 1/2

Pleasures of a Notorious Gentleman (London's Greatest Lovers, Book 2) by Lorraine Heath

As the black sheep second son of an Earl, Stephen Lyons has gained a reputation in the art of seduction, but when his wicked ways result in scandal, he joins the army to redeem himself. On the battlefield, he proves courageous ...until he is seriously wounded. Returning home to recover, he discovers he can't remember the angelic beauty who arrives at his doorstep, his babe nestled in her arms.

Mercy Dawson will risk everything to protect the son of the dashing soldier she once knew and admired. When Stephen offers to do the honorable thing, she is determined that London's most notorious gentleman will desire her and no other. But Mercy fears that what began as an innocent deception could destroy her dreams and their blossoming love if Stephen ever learns the scandalous truth ...

They are masters of seduction, London's greatest lovers. Living for pleasure, they will give their hearts to no one ...until love takes them by surprise.

(Information courtesy of

The first book I read by Lorraine Heath was "Passions of a Wicked Earl", the first of this series. Glad I decided to start reading her work! We were introduced to Stephen in the previous book, and he was quite a scoundrel. He joined the army to redeem himself, where he was gravely injured, resulting in a loss of memory. Mercy appears, thinking that Stephen has died...well, surprise! Things heat up between the two as Stephen struggles to recover and Mercy struggles to keep a monumental secret. The blossoming romance was quite touching, and I admit parts of this book had me bawling. I just adored Stephen - I can see why Mercy did!

My Rating: *****

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