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Currently Browsing: romance
May
16

Review: Heart of Brass by Kate Cross

Review: Heart of Brass by Kate Cross Heart of Brass Author: Kate Cross  Release Date: May 1, 2012 Publisher: Signet Clockwork Agents #1 ISBN: #978-0451236593 Genre: Steampunk Romance Format(s): Paperback (398 pgs), e-book Book Source: Publisher About the book: Arden is an undercover agent for one of the most powerful organizations of this steam-powered world—the Wardens of the Realm, a group with extraordinary abilities, dedicated to protecting England against evil. Arden Grey enjoys a life most women in 1898 London can’t even dream of: she has the social status, wealth, and independence of a countess. She also has the ability to witness the final moments of a murder victim’s life. But ever since the disappearance of her husband, Lucas, none of this means anything to her. Until one night, when Arden spies a man watching her—a man she recognizes as her missing husband. He’s been ordered to assassinate Arden as retribution for her part in the killing of a Company agent. Luke remembers nothing of his life before The Company, a corrupt agency that has erased his memory. Even so, something prevents him from completing his assignment. There is something familiar about his lovely target, something that attracts him and fills him with dread. For he knows that if he doesn’t kill her, someone else will—and kill him as well. What Una is talking about: Steampunk is a relative new genre to me.  Meljean Brook was the author responsible for introducing me to this genre.  Now, with Ms. Cross’s new series, the Clockwork Agents, I am finding steampunk to be right up my alley – a beautiful symbiosis of historical romance and paranormal/science fiction (depending on the author’s mythos).   Heart of Brass begins with Arden on the job, so to speak.  As a Clockwork Agent for the Queen, she assists Scotland Yard with investigations.  However, some feel that it is not the right place for a lady of her stature.  This particular investigation is a gruesome murder of a young aristocratic woman – and it seems that our killer is a member of the upper crust.  Later that evening, as she slumbers, she is awakened by an intruder who tries to kill her.  The only problem is that her murderer is also her lost, presumed dead, husband Luke.  However, Luke, upon seeing Arden, finds he is unable to complete his mission – and for the first time in the past seven years he can remember. This novel unravels slowly and deliciously.  I enjoyed the pace...
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Mar
14

Review: Eventide

Review: Eventide Eventide Author: Elle Jasper    Release Date: March 6, 2012 Publisher: Signet The Dark Ink Chronicles Book #3 ISBN: 978-0451236258 Genre: Urban Fantasy, Romance Format(s): Paperback (336 pgs), e-book Book Source: Publisher About the book:       Newly-bitten tattoo artist Riley Poe feels herself changing in unimaginable ways. She can no longer hide behind her normal life at the Inksomnia tattoo parlor after a recent rash of vampire attacks in Savannah has her questioning her sanity – and fearing she may have had something to do with them.       Eli Dupre, her vampire lover, has seen the change in her.  He tells her they must meet the patriarch of the vampire cult that attacked her if they want to prevent a total vampiric conversion.        In the vampire cult’s fortress in Romania, Riley will face her worst fears – and the dark powers threatening to destroy her. And she’ll have to do the one thing she’s been determined not to do-put her trust in Eli. What VampBard’s talking about:       Twimom hit-the-nail-on-the-head by selecting this book for me to read for March reviews!  As an ink aficionado, I completely understand all the tattoo stuff presented in Eventide. Heck, if I had the time, I’d apprentice as a tat artist and open my own shop!  I think I’m going to have to pick up the first two titles in The Dark Ink Chronicles series, Afterlight and Everdark.  Ms. Jasper is concise and presents back-story so the reader doesn’t feel lost jumping in without the other two titles on the ‘read’ shelf, but I think I’d enjoy them.  What better reason to buy a book?       The plot of Eventide just kept moving!  Had I been able to carve out several hours to simply read, I’m positive I could have read this title in one sitting.  There was the perfect balance of action-adventure, romance and paranormal elements.  Ms. Jasper was creative in her use of traditional lore surrounding paranormal entities, and judicious with the violence.  One of the best pieces of writing in the novel is a preface of sorts to a chapter.  This one is brought to you by our hero, Eli:       “I think Riley’s tendencies have surpassed my own abilities.  Doesn’t bother me.  I like how strong she is.  The control she’s learned in the short time we’ve been back from Romania blows my mind.  It takes...
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Feb
10

Review: Supernaturally Kissed

Review: Supernaturally Kissed Supernaturally Kissed Author: Stacey Kennedy Release Date: Dec. 29, 2011 Publisher: Ellora’s Cave Frostbite Series #1 Genre: Urban Fantasy Format(s): e-book Book Source: Author About the book: Ghosts harass and annoy Tess Jennings to save their souls. Sometimes she helps them. Other times she ignores them. But one ghost will give her no choice. Kipp McGowen, a cop with the Memphis Police Department, will stop at nothing to gain her help, including using his ghostly charms to seduce her. Tess must help solve the five year old cold case of Hannah Reid, because solving the case will save Kipp. But a bigger problem presents itself. Tess is falling in love with a ghost. Now she must decide. Keep Kipp forever or find the killer… What I’m talking about: Tess is a little different from the rest of us – she sees and communicates with ghosts. She usually ignores their plight, or if she stops to listen, she tries to send them on their way to the “other side” quickly. That process has always worked for her until she meets Kipp – he is different from any ghost she’s met before. He remembers his life and acts like a “normal person.” Kipp implores Tess to help him catch the man who killed him while he was tracking down the killer of a young girl. Right from the start, Kipp reminded me of Patrick Swayze’s character in the movie Ghost – bothering Tess until she acknowledged him and did his bidding. It didn’t hinder the story, but rather made me chuckle. I will tell you right up front that I spent a lot of time during the first half of so of this book trying to figure out how Kipp and Tess could have a happy ending. First, I thought maybe he wasn’t really dead like Reese Witherspoon’s character in the movie Just like Heaven. Then I wondered if she would die too. Or *gulp* would there not be a happy ending? I just couldn’t see how it could possibly end well…. with him a ghost and her, well, not. Let me reassure you that this concern is addressed AND once the story got rolling, I was so engrossed that I didn’t really care. I loved how my emotions were tugged around in this book. For example, several times my heart raced with Tess’s frustration when she tried to explain the truth to Kipp’s partners. I was waiting for one of...
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Oct
27

Review: Heart of Steel

Review: Heart of Steel Heart of Steel Author: Meljean Brook  Release Date: Nov. 1, 2011 Publisher: Berkley Trade The Iron Seas #2 ISBN: #978-0425243305 Genre: Steampunk Romance Format(s): Paperback (320 pgs), e-book Book Source: Publisher About the book:      As the mercenary captain of the Lady Corsair, Yasmeen has learned to keep her heart as cold as steel, her only loyalty bound to her ship and her crew. So when a man who once tried to seize her airship returns from the dead, Yasmeen will be damned if she gives him another opportunity to take control.       Treasure-hunter Archimedes Fox isn’t interested in the Lady Corsair — he wants her coldhearted captain and the valuable da Vinci sketch she stole from him. To reclaim it, Archimedes is determined to seduce the stubborn woman who once tossed him to a ravenous pack of zombies, but she’s no easy conquest.      When da Vinci’s sketch attracts a dangerous amount of attention, Yasmeen and Archimedes journey to Horde-occupied Morocco — and straight into their enemy’s hands. But as they fight to save themselves and a city on the brink of rebellion, the greatest peril Yasmeen faces is from the man who seeks to melt her icy heart… What I’m talking about:      Book #1 of The Iron Seas series, The Iron Duke (review HERE) was hands down the best book I read last year, so it was with great anticipation that I opened the cover of Heart of Steel. I can tell you right now, I was NOT disappointed!      Although it takes place in the same intricately-crafted, alternate world as Duke, Heart has its own feel and rhythm, primarily due to the differences in the main characters (who were introduced in the first book). Yasmeen and Archimedes are not Mina and Rhys, and this story is a reflection of their uniqueness.  One could easily read Heart of Steel as a stand alone – but this series is SO incredible, I don’t suggest you skip the first book.      The story opens shortly after the conclusion of The Iron Duke, with Yasmeen seeking out the sister of the famed adventurer, Archimedes Fox, to inform her of her brother’s death.  However, when Yasmeen arrives, she discovers that someone has beaten her to the home and plans to rob Yasmeen of the expensive da Vinci sketch she stole from Fox.  Soon after that, she is taken captive by the not-so-dead Fox himself...
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May
24

Review: Agnes & The Hitman

Review: Agnes & The Hitman Agnes and the Hitman Author: Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer Release Date: August 21, 2007 Publisher: St. Martin’s Press ISBN: #978-0312363055 Genre: Contemporary Romance Format(s): Hardcover (368 pages), paperback (432 pages), e-book, audiobook We (Gikany) purchased a copy (in numerous formats) of this book for the purposes of our own enjoyment. From the author’s website: If you can’t stand the heat… Agnes Crandall’s problems are roiling to a boil. First, a dog-napper invades her kitchen, seriously hampering her attempts to put on a wedding that’s she’s staked her entire net worth on. Then a man climbs through her bedroom window to save her. “Shane” (no last name) may be Agnes’s hero, but he’s also a professional hitman–so he’s no stranger to trouble himself… Get out of the kitchen. Between a rival who wants to take him out and an uncle who may have lost five million bucks in Agnes’s basement, Shane’s plate is plenty full. Soon Agnes and Shane are tangled up with the lowlifes after the money, a gang of Southern mob wedding guests, a dog named Rhett, and–most dangerous of all–each other. What Gikany & Una are talking about: One of the most noticeable and delightful elements of this book, is the hardcover looks like a cookbook (once you remove the dust jacket). Maybe we are easily amused but we find that a really nice touch for this book. It is not the first book that Ms. Crusie and Mr. Mayer teamed up on, but is by far their BEST collaboration, bar none. Agnes and the Hitman is witty, sexy, fun, adventurous, engaging, did we mention fun? We can’t tell you how many times we have read this book and yet every time we picked it up, we laugh, we giggle and enjoy it all over again. The book begins with Agnes on the phone, baking of course, with Rhett, her faithful hound patiently waiting for scraps, when some kid comes into her kitchen with a gun. The kid attempts to dog-nap Rhett, which Agnes will have none of. She successfully thwarts the dog-napper, only to find herself deeper in trouble. Her “Uncle” Joey, looking out for her best interests, sends his nephew Shane to protect his “little Agnes.” We could go on, but the unraveling of the story is all part of the fun. Agnes tries to dig herself out of trouble while not falling for the mysterious Shane, hosting a wedding (if she gets the...
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May
18

Review: A Lifetime to Find Love

Review: A Lifetime to Find Love A Lifetime to Find Love Author: Ava Riley Release Date: April 6, 2011 Publisher: LazyDay Publishing ISBN: # 978-1612580234 Genre: contemporary romance Format(s): e-book I received a copy of this book from the author for the purposes of an honest review. From the author’s website: Tessa has no desire to spend another Friday night alone. Inviting her brother’s best friend, Cade, to hang out with her at a local club was nothing more than a night out with a friend. At least that’s what she thought. When unexpected advances are made, they are both forced to evaluate their life-long friendship and newly revealed feelings for each other. Can Tessa accept that someone as sexy and successful as Cade could want her for more than sex? Will their friendship continue on as it was or will these two find a love that lasts a lifetime? What I’m talking about: Tessa and Cade have known each other her whole life. Cade is best friend is best friends with Tess’ older brother, Rowan, and he has watched Tessa grow up – teasing her along the way as any big brother’s best friend would do. One night when Rowan was busy he suggests Tessa and Cade hang out – go to the bar together. Little do any of them know that night will change their lives. When Cade takes an inebriated Tessa home, she hikes up her skirt and straddles his lap, confessing her desire for him. Nothing happens that night, but when Rowan finds Cade’s wallet and an unused condom on Tessa’s living room floor the next day, the “what ifs” start to play in both Cade and Tessa’s minds. This kicks off a courtship dance that leads Cade and Tessa to reconsider their views on relationships and love. A Lifetime to Find Love is a sweet love story. It’s a quick and easy read, with little conflict and lots of hot romance. Cade is a considerate, consummate bachelor – never finding a woman that he wants to spend the night with after an evening of hot sex. Likewise, Tessa has never dated a man that makes her heart race with desire for a long-term relationship. Neither had ever looked at each other in a sexual way until Tessa makes her move. I have to admit, I kept waiting for something to go “wrong” with Cade. First, as you all know, I never read contemporary romance and I didn’t realize that this...
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Dec
2

Review: Beneath the Thirteen Moons

Review: Beneath the Thirteen Moons Beneath the Thirteen Moons Author: Kathryne Kennedy  Release Date: Hardcover December 2003     re-release December 1, 2010 Publisher: Sourcebooks ISBN: #978-1402236518 Genre: Fantasy, Romance Format(s): paperback (384 pgs), e-book I received an ARC copy of this book from the PUBLISHER for the purposes of an honest review. From the author’s website: He’s a ruler in a divided world… In a magical watery world of the Sea Forest, the divide between the rulers and the people is an uncrossable chasm. Handsome, arrogant prince Korl Com’nder has lived a life of luxury that is nothing more than a fantasy to the people he rules. Until the day he is accidentally kidnapped by a beautiful outlaw smuggler and is forced to open his eyes to the world outside his palace walls.  She’s an outcast, but at least she has her independence… Mahri Zin would stop at nothing to save her village, and when they needed a healer she didn’t think twice about kidnapping one. But when she realizes that the healer she so impulsively stole is none other than the crown prince of Sea Forest, Mahri knows that she has a chance to change the fate of her people… What I’m talking about: The Sea Forest world is magical land that is completely covered in water, where massive trees grow up from the ocean floor to support an entire eco-system within their branches. There is no ground: only roots, branches, and channels.  Dwellings are carved into these magnificent trees. In this world there are two classes of humans: the Royals and the Water-rats.  The Royals control everything, including the sacred zabbaroot, which gives those with tolerance to its poison, special mental abilities.  Mahri is a Wilding, a non-Royal with an extremely high-tolerance of the zabbaroot, which gives her amazing Sight and abilities to control the movement of water and in some situations, human muscles.  Wildings are hunted by the Royals because they are viewed as a threat to their control over the planet. When Mahri’s village is threatened by a horrible disease, she kidnaps the first Healer she can locate, only to find out later that he is Korl, the crown prince of the Sea Forest.  Each feel a strong and undeniable connection from the start.  As the two make the long trip back to Mahri’s village, they learn more about each other and the culture in which they are trapped. Ms. Kennedy has created an amazing and original mythology. The...
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