Review: Lord of Wicked Intentions by Lorraine Heath

Lord Rafe Easton may be of noble blood, but survival taught him to rely only on himself and to love no one. Yet when he sets his eyes on Miss Evelyn Chambers, and earl's illegitimate daughter, he is determined to have her, if only as his mistress.

After her father's death, Evelyn Chambers never imagined she would be sold to the highest bidder, yet circumstances give her little choice except to accept the lord's indecent proposal. Rafe is wealthy, as well as ruthless. Yet his coldness belies deep passion and deeper secrets. If she must be his, Evelyn intends to lay bare everything the Lord of Pembrook is hiding. But dark discoveries threaten to destroy them both until unexpected love guides the last lost lord home.


As the last brother we read about in the Lost Lords of Pembrook series Rafe is an enigma. We didn’t really get to know him at all in the previous books and that’s the way he wanted it. He felt like he wasn’t a nice person for all that he had to do to get where he was and he didn’t want his brothers finding out what those things he did were.

The current Earl of Wortham owes Rafe a great deal of money. The Earl invites Rafe to his home to prove to him that he will be able to pay his debts. Rafe’s not really interested but some of the other men that have been invited own Rafe money as well and he always likes to know what’s going on. What he finds is that the earl plans on selling his half-sister, Evelyn, to the highest bidder to become their mistress. When Rafe first sees Evelyn he’s stunned by her beauty and when he sees a bit of fire in her personality he can’t stop himself for taking her for his own. It seems like a bad things to do but when you consider what her brother was considering letting the other men do to her it was actually a godsend.

Evelyn is still in mourning from the loss of her father. Her brother, the new Earl has kept her locked in her room since his death and she’s not sure what’s going on. When Geoffrey says she’s to entertain men she believes that her brother is trying to find her a suitable husband. This won’t be easily done as she’s the bastard daughter of the late earl and her mother had been her mistress.

When Evelyn is unceremoniously dropped at Rafe’s house the next day and eventually discovers what she is to become she’s mortified. She has dreams and desires – a husband, a home, children. If she becomes Rafe’s mistress she knows she’ll have none of that. Granted he does offer her a choice as to say yay or nay but she has nowhere else to go and no friends so she agrees to stay.

Rafe gives her more than enough time to get used to him before he beds her but he can’t keep himself away from her and though he constantly denies it you see him depending on Evelyn for more and more of his every day happiness. He is still incredibly haunted by his past and even goes as far and thinking he’s a madman. He can’t even let Evelyn touch him because of things that happened when he was young. But Rafe’s stone heart isn’t impenetrable and he soon learns that there’s more to life that he needs to experience and keeping himself separate from everyone isn’t going to cut it.

This was a really good end to the Pembrook series. I have to admit that I wasn’t sure what we were going to get with Rafe as he had been so closed off during the series. He did that for several different reason that come to light during the book. I felt so horrible for the things that he had experienced but was so glad that in the end he could conquer his demons.

Evelyn was really naïve when the book first started. She had a very good heart but had been incredibly sheltered throughout her life. She hadn’t ever just gone shopping – the seamstress had always attended her at the earl’s home. She hadn’t ever gone riding in the park at the popular times – her father would always take her in the early mornings when there was hardly anyone there. She was 22 years old and had no friends at all. She realized throughout the book that while she knew her father loved her and fawned over her that maybe he wasn’t as proud of her as he let on – which was a bit sad since he was her whole world before he died. Getting thrown into Rafe’s world was a shock but I felt she adapted well and though her naïveté didn’t go away completely I thought it was a good mix to Rafe’s hardness. Her innocence about life was what brought him out in the end.

The story was a bit slower in the middle than I expected but the range of emotions that were conveyed throughout the story never ended and I really liked that. I very much enjoy Heath’s writing style and this book was no different. She wrote a great tortured hero that I loved reading about. I can’t see what she offers us next.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Lorraine Heath 

What I Read Last Week

Hey there,

Again, it was a pretty quiet week last week – yay! 


It was incredibly hot the last part of last week and this past weekend so it was off to shop for bathing suits (for the kids, not me) and wow – what a pain in the ass. lol I didn’t think it would take half as long as it did but I was SO wrong. The youngest tried on 3 and picked one of the 3. I think my oldest must have tried on every suit in 2 different stores. I was ready for a margarita afterwards! :)

Yesterday my oldest went swimming with some friends and the youngest and I went off and got pedicures – so fun. I should have taken a picture of her little piggies with their hot pink polish with white polka dots. So. Cute.

Alright on to what I read this past week: 


I started off the week with a book that released 2 years ago and has been on my shelf for a year. I honestly never thought I’d pick up another Ward BDB book but I did. It wasn’t horrible. lol So I read Lover Unleashed by JR Ward. This story was supposedly Payne and Manny’s love story – and it was – but the majority of the story, imho, was about Vishous. He was dealing with his past and coming to terms with who he was and I liked that part. I realized how much I dislike the way that the brothers talk most of the time. Some of the things that come out of their mouths just made me roll my eyes but there you have it. I gave this one a 3 out of 5

So I finished the above book on Tuesday and then tried to read about 4 or 5 other books (both m/f & m/m) and put every one of them down. I was getting a bit worried because I’m normally pretty open to just about anything but all of them were either boring me to tears or the dialogue was written too dramatically and I just kept laughing at how ridiculous it was. Ug. 

I picked up Lucky Like Us by Jennifer Ryan (book 2 in The Hunted series) thinking that I would put it down like the previous 5 books but no, this one stuck. Woohoo! The story is about FBI agent Sam Turner and bakery owner Elizabeth Hamilton who meet and fall in love after an incident with a killer. I’ll post my review of this one this week. 

After that it was book 3 in The Hunted series, The Right Bride by Jennifer Ryan. This one was good but not as good as book 2. Actually I found it pretty frustrating at times and seriously wanted to smack the hero a time or two…or 8. :) I’ll post my review for this one this week as well. 

Last for the week was The Secret Life of Lady Julia by Lecia Cornwall. This was the story of a woman who lets her passions free – at her betrothal ball. Oh, and she didn’t let them free with her betrothed. Oops. She gets pregnant and ends up as a companion and ends up in Vienna for a peace conference after Napoleon is exiled to Elba. The book had more political intrigue than it did romance, imho, as the h/h spent most of the book apart, but it was still good. I’ll post my review for this one next week. 3.25 out of 5

 

My Book Binge reviews that posted last week:
Medium Well by Meg Benjamin

Happy Reading!


Review: Josh of the Damned Triple Feature #2: The Final Checkout by Andrea Speed

Josh Caplan thought he’d solved his home office problem and stopped the Quik-Mart Corporation from expanding into hell, but it turns out a guardian’s work is never done. Medusa has plans for him, and she’s not the only one.

What's a poor night clerk to do when he’s besieged on all sides by deluded vampire slayers, angry zombies, crazy gods, and the most terrifying enemy of all: a dickish CEO?

To survive this, Josh will have to do more than just rely on his necromancer boss, his hot vampire boyfriend, and his yeti stalker. This time, he’ll have to find his own inner hero to save the day.


Josh is visited by his undead boyfriend, Colin, and gifted with a bracelet/wrist band thingy from Medusa. Basically it’s a protection for him against those who will do him harm, but he doesn’t know that at first. When Josh is at work with his boss, who is a really weak necromancer, and they are attacked by first a vampire slayer and then a hoard of zombies Josh thinks it’s the end for him. He finds out that the bracelet that Medusa gave him can work some pretty great magic.

After that Colin ends up taking Josh down to Dev, or hell if you will, to look in on the company that’s making all of the crazy monsters that keep attacking him (see Josh of the Damned Triple Feature #1 for more details). It turns out that the crazy people making the crazy monsters are Medusa’s sisters who are pretty powerful but apparently whack in the head. They attack both Josh and Colin but Josh manages to work his bracelet/Medusa magic and temporarily thwart the bad guys – or in this case girls.

When Josh and Colin think they’ll be spending a quiet weekend at Josh’s place Josh wakes up after the first night to find his roommate home. When Josh gets a call from work that the big Quik-Mart boss is there and wants to see him Josh heads on over. Mr Quik-Mart is a nutjob and Josh manages to take charge of the situation. In return Medusa gifts him with a new apartment in a location where Josh thought he would never live.

All three stories in this triple feature were good. I liked seeing Josh being his kind of hot oafish self and bringing his own crazy thoughts and to the page. I enjoyed seeing Colin again but there was no hot m/m lovin in this one and that was a bit disappointing.

I can’t quite figure out exactly what Medusa’s game is in this one. It shows us that Josh is basically Medusa’s puppet but what exactly she had planned for him I just don’t know. I actually like that I don’t know as it adds a bit more mystery to it all. I know this one’s titled The Final Checkout but I hope that’s not all we get from Josh of the Damned in the future.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Andrea Speed

Saturday Song

Here's one from Australian band Silverchair - Tomorrow was a hit back in 1994.  I heard it this week on some random radio station and remembered how much I loved it. :)  Enjoy!

 

Review: The Devil's Heart by Cathy Maxwell

They call her the Unattainable. Lady Margaret Chattan spurned every suitor for her hand, vowing never to marry. The only way to break the curse plaguing her family for two centuries is this ultimate sacrifice. But now her brothers' lives are in danger. Determined to save them, she risks her very soul by traveling into the heart of the highlands to battle a force that has transcended time.

Heath Macnachtan is not superstitious. Laird of the most independent, nonconforming, madly infuriating clan ever to grace Scotland, he believes he has his hands full. And then, a woman lauded as one of the most beautiful in England, arrives on his doorstep with wild accusations and a mystical quest . . . one that just might help him discover who murdered his own brother.

But the real danger for Heath and Margaret is not a supernatural foe, but a very real love that could destroy them both.


Margaret Chattan is on her way to Scotland to deal with her family’s curse. You see long ago the Chattan family was curse by a member of the Macnachtan family to die whenever they fall in love. Margaret is the first female born into the Chattan family since that curse was voiced and both her and her brother are convinced that she’s the one who can stop the curse.

When Margaret is almost to her destination her carriage is knocked off the road during a storm and almost everyone in her party is killed. Laird Macnachtan happens to find her and takes her back to his home. From the moment that Margaret wakes up Heath Macnachtan wants Margaret to himself. He thinks she’s a bit barmy to think that there actually is a curse but he hasn’t experienced the deaths like she has and her two brothers are failing fast.

Margaret does everything she can think of to find out the details of the curse and exactly how she can break it and Heath is right there with her every step of the way.

In the meantime Heath is dealing with his own issues as his brother died a year before, left him Laird and also left him with a pile of debts. Nothing due to crazy spending, but debts due to regular every day living. Heath worries about the lack of money and also about who killed his brother in the first place.

There’s a lot going on in the story but the romance runs through it pretty clearly. Heath is attached to Margaret from the get go and though he thinks she’s a bit off that doesn’t stop him from wanting her around.

The paranormal part of this story includes a cat that only a couple people have seen that seems to lead Margaret where she needs to go, crazy storms that come out of nowhere and apparitions. While I liked the idea of the curse the actual manifestation of it coming to life wasn’t particularly to my liking.(FYI - I didn't read the first 2 books in this series so this was my first experience with the Chattan curse.) I thought it went a bit too far and I would have liked it better had it been toned down a bit, but that’s just me, of course.

Overall it was a nice love story and a decent read. I like what I’ve read from Maxwell so far but I think I’ll stick to her non-paranormal historical books in the future.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Cathy Maxwell

Review: Cutest Couple by Kate Davies

Ten years ago, Marc and Bree were voted Cutest Couple—until a graduation-night argument destroyed their relationship. Unable to contact him, Bree had no choice but to forget Marc—and raise the son she never got to tell him about.

Marc got Bree's message loud and clear when he never heard from her again. Now stationed near his hometown, he sees their high school reunion as a chance to make peace with the past. But after one glimpse of Bree, he knows he never really got over her. And after one glimpse of her son, Marc knows he's the boy's father…

Despite the secrets and lies that kept them apart, Marc and Bree can't resist picking up where they left off. But when the weekend is over, it may be too late to build the future they once dreamed of.


While Marc and Bree were voted Cutest Couple in High School they weren’t so cute after graduation night. Marc had a couple of surprises for her but he what he thought would cause an argument that they were get over, him joining the military, was something that caused a rift so large they couldn’t get past it. Now both of them are at their 10 year reunion and while Marc is anxious to see Bree, she’s not all that anxious to see Marc.

Bree had become pregnant before Marc left for boot camp and Bree sent him a letter to inform him. When she never heard anything from him she assumed, quite mistakenly, that Marc didn’t care at all about the baby on the way. Marc would have been with Bree every step of the way but for the fact that A) after their argument that night she told him she never wanted to speak to him again and B) he never got the letter informing him of the baby.

Marc’s rightfully pissed at Bree and the circumstances but he sees that they will be in each others lives for the remainder of them. Bree seems to think that Marc will waltz off into the sunset and leave her to her life. Silly girl. They both need to come to an understanding before they once again ruin something that could be wonderful.

I have to say that as much as I liked this story, and I thought the author did a great job of putting it together, I had some issues with it.

I like Davies whole premise of bringing people together via a high school reunion – that’s something that I very much enjoy as you seem to view people in a different light than you once did when you see them after so long. Then again there are those who refuse to see others as changed at all and I think that was one of Bree’s problems. While Bree had had a baby and had been an independent woman and single-mother she hadn’t grown up and matured very much and unfortunately she believed the same would happen with Marc. When it hadn’t happened she was in for a bit of a surprise.

Marc had been in the military for 10 years and he loved it. He’d seen his share of action and the front line but now he was living at a nearby base and was looking forward to doing non-combat duty. He really seemed to have his shit together and was livid when he found out he had a son that he knew nothing about. I was so happy when Marc took Bree to task over the fact that she’d sent a letter and then never tried to contact him any other way to notify him of Ben’s existence. She really deserved the tongue lashing she got. (They argued for most of the book) He was also plenty pissed when he found out that Bree had told him never to contact her again as a test of his devotion to her. OMG that’s SO high school! I would have thought she would have outgrown that petty stuff but apparently when he took her up on her request she didn’t take that too well. Despite that Marc still had feelings for Bree and I thought the way that Davies brought them together was done well, if not a little too quickly.

Overall it decent read and I’ll, of course, be reading the last book in this series to see what happens with the elusive Tess that has shown up in the first two books of the trilogy.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Kate Davies

Review: Beauty and the Blacksmith by Tessa Dare

Beautiful and elegant, Miss Diana Highwood is destined to marry a wealthy, well-placed nobleman. At least, that's what her mother has loudly declared to everyone in Spindle Cove.

But Diana's not excited by dukes and lords. The only man who makes her heart pound is the village blacksmith, Aaron Dawes. By birth and fortune, they couldn't be more wrong for each other...but during stolen, steamy moments in his forge, his strong hands feel so right.

Is their love forged strong enough to last, or are they just playing with fire?


Diana Highwood and her family moved to Spindle Cove originally because of Diana’s asthma. Now it’s been two years and she’s pretty sure she’s cured. She wants to move on with her life now that she knows she can have one without worrying about that little thing called breathing. She’s got it bad for a man but she’s not sure what to do about it. You see Diana’s mother has high hopes for Diana marrying a title and she’s constantly pushing her in front of Lords, etc. Diana, however, has her eye on the local blacksmith, Aaron Dawes. She’s fascinated by his strength and she loves his kindness among other things. She finally gets her chance to speak up to him about how she feels and lo and behold - she goes for it!

Aaron has been pining for Diana just as much as she has for him. When Diana comes clean about her feelings Aaron is shocked that this beautiful, gentle woman could even think about loving him but he’s not going to let her go. They will have to get by her mother but he knows if they can live through that they’ll be able to accomplish most anything.

This was a wonderful novella – as are all of the novella’s I’ve read from this author. I’ve been wanting to read Diana’s story for a while and I LOVE that she was paired up with Aaron as they make such a great couple.

The story shows us Aaron’s insecurities about himself as well as Diana’s about herself. They really worked these out together though and I thought that was the way it should be. Yes there were moments of doubt but really they threw themselves all in and reaped the rewards.

I also very much enjoyed Diana’s sister, Charlotte’s, character in this story. It showed us the spunk that she has and her easy acceptance of Aaron put her up another notch in my book.

In the end the love, devotion and understanding between Aaron and Diana was what swept me off my feet. I ended the book with a smile on my face and great big sigh of satisfaction. Good stuff and definitely not to be missed.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Tessa Dare 


What I Read Last Week

Howdo!

Sorry this was delayed by youngest was sick YET AGAIN and I just didn’t get around to it yesterday. I need to do something to boost that girls immune system cuz she catches every damn germ that goes around her school!

Anyway, I did manage to get away on Friday night and went to the beach with some friends. I couldn’t stay the whole weekend but we had a great time visiting, playing games and eating. :) Here’s the view from the balcony off the back of my friends condo in Oxnard 




On to what I read – (sorry these descriptions/my thoughts will be abbreviated today): 


I started off the week with a short read by AR Moler called Not an Elf which is the story of a man who is near death from a brain tumor who decides to spend his last days at his friends remote cabin. He is debating killing himself when he meets a man who is actually Fae and the two fall in love. This was very sweet and I enjoyed how much was said in so short a book. 3 out of 5 

Next up was True by Erin McCarthy. This story is in the New Adult genre and though I don’t read that genre very often I really liked this one. Yes the college girl eventually got involved with the bad boy but it was more he looked worse than he actually was and I liked that about him. 4 out of 5 (read for Book Binge)

Never Love a Highlander by Maya Banks was the final book in the McCabe Trilogy. The story is about Caelan who steps up to the plate and marries a neighbors daughter when his brother falls in love with someone else (book 2). Rionna has been raised as a boy but Caelan wants to change that. The story is about the couple dealing with their lust, dealing with Caelan’s desires to change Rionna and how she deals with that and Rionna’s clan coming to terms with an non-MacDonald being Laird. Not my favorite of the three but still a very good story and written well. 4 out of 5

Built 4 It by Daisy Harris was the story of a guy working in a lab where they do experiments on reanimated corpses and the lab worker falling for one of said corpses. It was interesting. :) You can read my thoughts here. 3 out of 5

The Law of the Jungle by HL Hoston & Eleanor Bruce is about a college kid from Nebraska who gets picked up by a millionaire in a club in NY where the kid is going to school. This was an ok story about their night together but kind of just a “night in the life” type read. 2 out of 5 (free short from ARe)


The Break In by Sloan Parker is the story of a guy who breaks in to his ex-lovers apartment to feel closer to him. It seems like it would be pretty skeevy but it was very sweet and I really enjoyed it. 4 out of 5 (free short from ARe)


Trying to Score by Toni Aleo was next up. This is book 2 in the Assassins hockey series. The story was about a couple who had once been together and now 7 years later the man wants to get back together. She’s not all over that like he thinks she should be. Could be his child she’s trying to hide from him. You can read my thought in my review here. 3.5 out of 5 

Wicked Cravings by Suzanne Wright is book 2 in the Phoenix Pack series. A shapeshifter novel that deals with a woman who’s inner wolf was once frightened and now wants to hurt whoever she’s near when her human shifts. Because of this the woman, Jaime, hasn’t shifted for 4 years. Dante is Beta of the pack and rather than see her banished because of her itchy trigger wolf he becomes her guard and so much more. This was a great second story in the series. I really like the world that Wright has created and am looking forward to reading more. 4 out of 5 

Surrender to the Earl by Gayle Callen deals with Audrey who is blind who seeks help from Robert who was in the army with her now deceased husband. They create a false engagement to get her out from under her fathers thumb but it soon becomes real – after Audrey deals with her independence, etc. This was good but I had some issues with both Robert and Audrey, unfortunately. 3.5 out of 5 (releases 5/28/13) 

Last read for the week was Bad Company by KA Mitchell. I really like Mitchell’s writing but this one just wasn’t as good as the others I’ve read in the past that she’s written. Kellan is trying to give his dad the big “fuck you” because his dad has thrown him out and cut him off. As Kellan hasn’t ever had a job he’s not sure what to do. He thinks that maybe convincing his dad he’s gay would send him over the edge so he looks up his old best friend, Nate. Nate’s not thrilled about helping but does. As Kellan lives with him they soon find themselves falling in love. It was a good story but I just found it so improbable that it couldn’t ring true for me. 3 out of 5

My Book Binge Reviews that posted last week:
Seeing is Believing by Erin McCarthy
Stranded with a Billionaire by Jessica Clare
Saved by the Rancher by Jennifer Ryan
Wild Invitation by Nalini Singh 

The Baby Bargain by Jennifer Apodaca

Happy Reading!

Review: Trying to Score by Toni Aleo

Fallon Parker’s dream has always been to turn her family’s wine company into a runaway success and eventually start a cellar of her own. Since graduating from college, she has worked relentlessly to make that dream a reality, especially after taking a chance on love—and losing. By the time Fallon becomes an official sponsor of the Nashville Assassins, she feels like all her hard work is finally paying off. And then the man who broke her heart skates back into her life.

On the ice, Lucas Brooks is the NHL’s leading scorer—at least when he’s not in the box. Off the ice, he’s a mess, with all his anger and misery bottled up inside. He threw away the most important person in his life and has regretted it ever since. But when Lucas returns to Nashville in a trade, he’s determined to convince Fallon that he’s a changed man. The attraction is still there. The tension is electrifying. But the odds are stacked against them—especially after Lucas finds out that Fallon has been keeping a devastating secret.


Fallon met Lucas one night at a bar. They went home together and that began a two year relationship. When Fallon found Lucas in a compromising position with another woman she breaks up with him and bolts. She neglected to tell him that she was pregnant however and continues to keep that secret from him for the next seven years.

Lucas gets traded from his California hockey team to the Nashville Assassins. He’s excited to be on the new team and to be in the same city as Fallon. Though he knows he screwed up he’s never stopped loving Fallon and he wants her back. He sets out on a campaign to win her back but Fallon has serious trust issues and isn’t an easy sell. He doesn’t give up on being with Fallon and as he loves his son, Aiden, and looks forward to them being a family.

I love the premise of this book. The couple who were once together getting back together and the father finding out about the secret baby just hit the right spots. Unfortunately the heroine in this book really came up lacking and that put somewhat of a damper of my enjoyment of the book.

Let me start with Lucas. Lucas is kind and loving; a great dad and son; a great hockey player – all of those wrapped up into one. He knows his strengths and his weaknesses but lives life working with what he has. He was once an alcoholic and a drug addict but he found sobriety and by the time he moves to Nashville had been sober for four years. I admired so much about this man. I absolutely adored how wonderful he was with his son Aiden and loved reading the scenes when they were together.

Fallon is a great mom and business woman but her personal life is crap. Yes, she’s got her son and her sister, Audrey, that she lives with but there’s no spark, no excitement there. When Lucas comes back in to her life she is scared that he’ll find out about Aiden. I didn’t care for the fact that she kept Aiden a secret because of how he had hurt Fallon. I get that she was upset and scared but come on! I swear this chick was so passive aggressive it was almost painful to read at times. She was kind and loving one minute and the screaming bloody murder the next. Her temper was hot and she wasn’t afraid to let it loose. I didn’t like the way she treated Lucas at all. She thought several times that she didn’t deserve him and quite frankly I thought she was right. She spent a huge part of the book crying and that rubbed me the wrong way.

Now for all the parts of this book that I didn’t like there were many that I did. As I said the scenes with Aiden in them – especially those with Lucas – were really great. He was written as a sweet, confident child and he was a great character. When Fallon and Lucas were not at each others throats they were great together. Shea and Ellie from book 1 were in this book quite a bit and I loved reading more about them.

Despite my issues with this book I enjoyed Aleo’s writing. She definitely keeps me interested (even when the heroine is actually like a bitch) and that’s a definite plus in my book. I will continue with this series as I’m curious to see what happens next with the Assassins.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Toni Aleo

Saturday Song

I love this one by Bruno Mars.  I'm not a huge fan of his in general but yet this one just speaks to me.  So sad!  Here's When I Was Your Man.  Enjoy!

 

Review: Falke's Renegade by Madison Layle & Anna Leigh Keaton

Veterinarian Heidi Falke can tell that something isn't as it seems when she rescues an injured jaguar. Black jaguars aren't native to the area, and as a Falke, Heidi knows that some men can walk in the shape of a beast...literally. She won't let this seductive shapeshifter leave without getting some answers.

Javier Montero is on a mission: find the shapeshifter who killed his family and get the justice he deserves. This unexpected detour won't put him off for long, and what he has with Heidi can't be anything more than sex--even if it does feel different from anything he's ever known.

With Javier, Heidi discovers passion she never thought possible. She wants their connection to lead to a future together. Javier made a vow never to mate again after his loss...but if he wants to keep Heidi in his life, he'll have to decide how far he'll go for vengeance.


Javier Montero wants Lev Durchenko dead. The criminal killed his mate and twin brother 2 years prior and he’s been after him ever since- it’s his life. During a chase through the forest in his black jaguar form, Javier is mistaken for a bear and shot. Luckily the shooter realizes his mistake and calls the local veterinarian, Heidi Falke.

Heidi is on the job and takes care of the jaguar but soon finds out that he is a shapeshifter, just like her family. She is one of 7 children and the only female. She’s also the only female that has been born to a shifter family in years though she can't actually shift. She’s pretty excited to meet another shifter but when he shifts into human form she’s even more excited because the man is hot.

Heidi manages to talk her family into letting him stay at their house to recover from his wounds but soon both Heidi and Javier can’t deny their attraction to each other any longer and move to a hotel. There they spend hours in bed but also spend time just being together and enjoying each others company. Heidi knows that this man is the one for her but Javier is determined to continue his search for his family’s killer and though he wants Heidi like no other, he can’t stop until vengeance is his.

The third book in the Puma Nights series and it was a really good one. This book hit me in a way that the other two didn’t, even though I really liked those as well. I think with this one, because it was just Javier and Heidi, and not twin heroes plus a heroine (as in the previous books), it felt like it was a more concentrated romance if that makes sense. We weren’t shifting between 3 pov’s – just 2 and that made the book feel more intense to me. It was both heart wrenching and fun and I love that in a book.

Heidi had believed that she would never find a mate and never have children. Being the only female shifter she would need to mate with another shifter in order to even have the possibility of children and even that's not a guarantee. When the only shifters you know are your brothers that puts a big kibosh on your hopes and dreams. It seemed at first that Heidi was only thinking of the jaguar shifter in terms of what he could provide for her – children – but as soon as she got to know Javier those priorities, while still present, moved to the back burner. The relationship between the two was incredibly hot but also very sweet and I loved seeing the two just have a fun time being together.

Javier was an emotionally scarred hero but he didn’t let that stop him from opening himself up to Heidi. He still had issues but he realized that he could accomplish his goal and maybe in the future have the woman that he was coming to love. His kindness and strength was a wonderful asset to this story.

Overall I thought Falke’s Renegade was a very good story . This is a great series and I only wish I didn’t have to wait so long in between books! :)

Rating: 4.25 out of 5

Madison Layle & Anna Leigh Keaton

Review: Mindlink by Kat Cantrell

Determined to revitalize her imploding career, blacklisted movie star Ashley V takes on her biggest role yet: posing as one of ten scientists invited by aliens to a universal summit. But when the aliens seize, strip and implant the entire delegation to extract their knowledge, she is quickly found out and sent to a cell to await recycling.

The alien research director designated ZXQ-One devised a plan to let the humans volunteer their best and brightest in a gamble to solve his people’s energy crisis. But he fails to find anything useful and winds up imprisoned alongside the fiery human woman who refuses to give up, and who insists on calling him Sam.

After an accidental link between their implants lets them share their thoughts, they find themselves drawn to each other. Sam will have to trust in her human compassion and forgiveness for his role in her capture, and Ashley will have to trust him with her deepest secrets if they are to have any chance at survival…


The last thing that actress Ashley V expected when she headed off into space was to be captured and sentenced to death within hours of landing. She had paid big money to bribe the real doctor that was supposed to be going to Alhedis to talk with the aliens and had sunk herself into the role. She was pretty confident she could pull off the scam and then would be thought an incredible actress by directors and producers worldwide. She honestly believed that this would be the key to getting her blacklisted career back on track. She knew almost immediately upon landing that something was off but she never expected to be stripped and then implanted with a thing she thought was like an octopus – taking over all corners of her brain. The aliens soon learned that she knew nothing that could help them solve their energy crisis and was sent to be recycled – along with several other of her Earth mates.

When one of the aliens themselves got thrown in jail and was awaiting recycling she knew that he was their chance to escape. ZXQ-One believed that he had honestly screwed up in finding the resolution to the city’s energy issues but when he failed to get results the King sent him off to his death. He’s strangely fascinated by the woman in the cell near his and admires her strength. She soon has him believing that he doesn’t deserve death and they manage to escape their cells. In the process of escaping Ashley and ZXQ-One (who Ashley has now named Sam) end up linking. Sam and his people have been taught from birth that linking is a bad thing and they always keep their heads bowed for fear of it happening. When Sam links with Ashley, however, he starts to feel things and see things in a different way then he ever had before.

Sam and Ashley end up getting their motley crew of prisoners out of the city but then their at a loss as to where to go and how to get back to earth. When one of the prisoners, a boy, tells Sam that they should find the lost city Sam is stunned as he believed the city to be a myth. They find the city and while there they find themselves. Each of the prisoners, but especially Ashley and Sam, discover things about themselves they never knew. They look at life and the way they’ve lived it, the mistakes they’ve made and how they can be changed – and they fall in love. It’s a doomed romance however as Ashley will be going home to Earth and Sam knows he has to stay and inform his people of the lie that they all are living.

I don’t normally read sci-fi romance but when I read the blurb to this one it definitely caught my eye. The story started off a little bland but soon became the type of book that I couldn’t put down.

Ashley, at first, seems like such a selfish woman – even though she’s definitely kinder than the other scientists that are on the flight to the alien planet. She soon had me believing that she was not as selfish as I thought and much stronger than I would have imagined. If not for Ashley and her determination to get out of jail she and the others would have been dead. She was the instigator of everything and I loved how she motivated the others to work with her.

Sam had been taught so many things his whole life and one of those was to be emotionless. When he links with Ashley however he sees that these emotions that were supposedly destructive were more wonderful than he could have thought. I loved reading about his discovery of colors that he sees through Ashley’s eyes (his people are color blind) as well as the discovery of depth of feeling and of course the wonders of sex. ;) He was a great hero and his character really added so much to the story.

The book, once the Earthlings get on to the alien planet, goes almost nonstop until the end. The story is engaging and interesting and was a delightful surprise. Even if you’re not a sci-fi romance fan I would recommend this one as it’s just a great story and shouldn’t be missed.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Kat Cantrell

What I Read Last Week

Howdo!

What have you all been up to this past week? Anyone do anything fun? It was a pretty quiet week in Tracyland which was really nice. This past weekend I didn’t have to go too many places so I got to be a homebody and just hang with the kids. That was really nice. :)

So since I have nothing to report about life I’ll get right on to what I read last week: 


I started off the week with Stranded with a Billionaire by Jessica Clare. This was a great book about Bonte who is a waitress from Kansas City that wins a trip to the Bahamas and ends up stuck on the island during a hurricane. She’s not alone though, she’s with Logan who she thinks is the resort manager but he’s actually the owner and is a billionaire. They spend great time together but when she finds out who he really is she’s pissed at the lie and heads home. He finds her again and the book is the story of them trying to work through their relationship issues – mainly him having money and her not having it and how they deal with that. It was really good and I definitely recommend it. 4 out of 5 (read for Book Binge) 

Mindlink by Kat Cantrell was a sci fi book that was my next read. I’m not usually a fan of sci-fi romance but this was pretty darned good. I’ll be posting my review of this one in a couple of days. 

Warrior’s Cross by Madeleine Urban and Abigail Roux told the story of Cameron who is a waiter who has a crush on a guy who comes into his restaurant every Tuesday. They finally talk after months of silence (besides order taking/giving) and end up going home together. Julian and Cameron start a relationship but Cam really doesn’t know all that much about Julian and Julian doesn’t share. This was a good book but I didn’t like that we were never specifically told – and neither was Cameron – what Julian did. It’s inferred that he’s a hit man (all evidence points that way in my mind) but for some reason the fact that it wasn’t specifically stated bothered me. IDK, maybe it was just me. It was a hard relationship and it didn’t look like it was going to get any easier so it was hard for me to completely enjoy the HEA. 4 out of 5 

Falke’s Renegade by Madison Layle and Anna Leigh Keaton is book 3 in the Puma Nights series. This book was a bit different from the others as it starred only 1 woman and 1 man (previous 2 book it was m/f/m). The story was about the Falke sister, Heidi, who is a vet and nurses a black jaguar back to health after being shot. The jaguar is a shapeshifter and he’s not exactly welcomed into the Falke family. I’ll post my full review later this week. 
Next I tried to read Cowboys Down by Barbara Elsborg but I just couldn’t get into it. It’s an m/m book about an uptight stock broker from England who goes to a working ranch in Wyoming to learn to relax and get dirty. The guys were ok together but the homophobia being thrown around was just too much for me and it had me setting down the book. I normally like Elsborg’s books but this one didn’t work and I ended up putting it down half way through. DNF 

Roses in Moonlight by Lynn Kurland was a great book about an innocent American woman who is thought to be a thief. The man who is hired to get the stolen object back thinks she’s involved but when he finally realizes she’s not their more than attached. I really liked this one. It didn’t have a whole lot of time travel but enough to satisfy. Derrick and Samantha were wonderful together and I loved reading about them. 4.25 out of 5 (read for Book Binge) 

A Passion for Pleasure by Nina Rowan is probably not a book I would have normally picked up but it was sent to me (randomly) by the publisher and ended up sounding good so I picked it up. The book has several different parts to the story that all intermingle. Sebastian was a well known pianist but suddenly quit playing and returned home. Clara is a baron’s daughter who is looking for assistance in getting her son back from her father and requests Sebastian’s help. I’ll post more info in my review later this month but it was really good. 4.25 out of 5 

My next read was In Plain Sight by Marie Harte. This is a story set in the Cougar Falls series and involves Cullen who is a large man but quiet and shy. He’s got a thing for local waitress Sarah but Sarah’s on the outs with a lot of the townspeople because of vicious rumors that have been spread. Cullen saves Sarah when she’s attacked by other shapeshifters and takes her home to help her heal. Cullen wants her for keeps as he’s been in love with her for forever but he knows that he needs to go slow so he doesn’t scare Sarah away. This was a good novella. I loved Cullen and his shyness. He almost did himself in with Sarah when he just couldn’t get himself to talk to her. This one was short but good. 3.5 out of 5 

Last for the week was Gay as Mardi Gras by Lily Velden. Jesse’s grandma is convinced he’s gay even though he just spent 6 years in a relationship with a woman. She sends him on a month-long gay cruise in the hopes that he’ll find a partner. Though he and his roommate spend all their time together it’s not until a couple of weeks in that Jesse starts realizing that the has feelings for Daniel. The story was very sweet and though the sex scenes were more sex-lite (compared to some) they were still very hot. Short but good. :) 4 out of 5

My Book Binge reviews that posted last week:
*crickets*

Happy Reading!

Saturday Song

I dug out my ELO CD Face the Music (1975) this past week.  Sometimes you just gotta listen to the oldies, right?  Nightrider was one of my favs from way back when and it's still a great song.  Enjoy!

Review: Taking Shots by Toni Aleo

I love this cover!
No matter how hard she tries, Eleanor Fisher never thinks she’s good enough, from her job to her weight to her love life. After enduring years of abuse at the hands of an ex-boyfriend, Elli has been drifting through life in a daze. Until, that is, she meets Shea Adler on a promotional shoot for the NHL’s Nashville Assassins. Before Elli knows what’s happening, the gorgeous Shea breaks the ice and shatters her world.

A brilliant athlete inside the rink, Shea Adler is tired of the life he’s living outside of it: the women, the money, the drinking. But everything changes when he meets Elli. After laying eyes on this feisty, witty, beautiful woman, he feels like he’s just taken the hardest hit of his life. No matter how skeptical she is, Shea knows they are meant to be together—if only he can convince Elli to put her insecurities aside before she misses out on a shot at love.


Eleanor Fisher is a well known photographer in the Nashville area. She’s taking team pictures for the Nashville Assassins when Shea Adler sees her for the first time. He’s almost smitten from the first and can’t stop thinking about the woman. He goes so far as to have his sister, who is a party planner and planning a party for the team, call her up and book her as a photographer for his party. From there he asks her out constantly and can’t get enough of being with her.

Elli is a huge fan of the Assassins and of number 6 – Shea Adler – in particular. She just about dies when he asks her out and even though they start dating on a regular basis she still can’t believe that he’s interested in her. She has serious insecurity issues that were brought on by her evil family and ex-fiance and those are so stuck in her head she can’t seem to like herself much less believe that anyone else might.

The pair continue seeing each other but when something happens that makes Elli believe that Shea isn’t true to her she flips and breaks off their relationship making both parties miserable.

I found this book in a kind of roundabout way. I was sent info on book 4 in the series and that intrigued me enough to look back at the series thinking that I wanted to start with book 1. This was a good book but I definitely had a few issues with it.

The story in general is a good one. I really liked the whole premise with the hockey team, the romance and even the big mis. Although I have my own insecurities (as I think we all do) I thought that Elli’s were drawn out a little too much. She basically had had the world at her feet at one time. She was a size 2, an up and coming Broadway star but then she started gaining weight because of hypothyroidism. She lost her job, her fiancé was more than verbally cruel and her mother and sister were horrible to her about her weight. She had at one point gotten pretty big but had lost weight and from what I could tell she was now a size 10 or 12 so not that big at all – she was just incredibly self-conscious. She loved being a photographer now but besides being proud of her pictures she wasn’t proud of anything else she was and that got a little old for me.

Shea loved her exactly how she was and when she showed him pictures of her at size 2 he didn’t like them because she was too skin and bones. Shea was wonderful! He was thoughtful and kind; loving and loyal and went out of his way to constantly tell her how beautiful she was – at first not even knowing about her issues. Their romance was sweet, however, and I really loved getting to know them as a couple.

The book itself, imho, needed to be shorter. At times I thought we were almost getting too much information as every little detail was shared and we got to see them on every date, etc. There were a couple of times when time jumped forward but a bit of it was repetitive and I think those parts could have been pared down because it made the book a slower read. It didn’t drag exactly but pretty close at times. That being said it was a fun story overall though it does have its share of angst. I’m looking forward to the next book to see what it has to offer.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5

Toni Aleo

Review: Dangerous Refuge by Elizabeth Lowell

On the surface beautiful, quiet Shaye has little in common with dark, dangerous Tanner. He's a suspicious big city cop come home to the historic Davis family ranch to settle his uncle's estate. She's working for an environmental conservancy that acquires and protects old ranches-and she wants to preserve the Davis homestead.

When the suspicious death of Tanner's uncle at his ranch throws the two opposites together, tempers flare and sparks fly. While they have trouble seeing eye to eye, Shaye and Tanner agree on one thing: they need to uncover the truth.

Combining their unique skills-Shaye's low-key approach and local connections and Tanner's experience as a homicide detective-the unlikely pair share long nights in the pursuit of justice. Before they know it, the friction they generate turns to heat, igniting a burning love neither ever expected to find.

They believe passion this intense cannot last. But when Shaye becomes a killer's target, Tanner realizes he'd give up anything to protect her-including his life.


Tanner’s upset and extremely tired when he first pulls into his late uncle Lorne’s ranch. He looks around the house and though things are in their place he knows that there’s something not quite right. He’s extra observant after being a homicide detective for years. When Shaye shows up on his doorstep he’s rude and basically kicks her off the ranch. Not quite a great start to any relationship.

The next night Tanner attends an event held by the Conservancy that was trying to acquire his uncle’s land, he sees Shaye in a whole new light. They are like moths to a flame when they see each other and practically glued at the hip the entire night. Despite the sparks that are flying they each are holding themselves a bit in reserve. Tanner because he doesn’t want Shaye to realize how much he wants her and Shaye because she knows that she will probably get her heart broken when Tanner heads back to Los Angeles after the estate is settled. On top of that they both agree that Lorne’s death is suspicious enough to investigate but the local Sheriff isn’t helpful at all and is already writing it off as natural causes.

Tanner discovers that some rare gold coins that have been in the Davis family for years are missing. He and Shaye start to investigate thinking that the robbery might be connected to Lorne’s death. What they find is circumstantial but it’s enough to make the bad guys nervous and they decide that it’s time to take Shaye and Tanner out.

This was my first experience with an Elizabeth Lowell book and I have to say it was a good one. The writing was clear and concise and very enjoyable. The characters were written very well and I liked almost all of them.

Tanner Davis was the epitome of the hardened cop. He’d seen so very much in his career and while it had made him cool about some things they affected him more than he let on. He started off with a churlish personality but when he was with Shaye he was definitely more likable. I don’t want to say he was soft because he wasn’t but maybe soft-er. lol

Shaye was wonderful as well. She was raised to be a society girl but she loved the casual ranch life to the glitter of the party circuit. Yes, she knew how to charm but she only turned it on when she had to. She was really perfect for Tanner as she didn’t take any of his shit and never backed down when he tried to boss her around. I loved that.

The story was a good one – maybe a bit predictable in the events that happened toward the end but I truly hadn’t figured out “whodunit” until I was told. An entertaining read and one I’d recommend.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5

Elizabeth Lowell

What I Read Last Week

I’m so behind this week! So sorry!

Last week I was feeling a little bad and hoped I wouldn’t get sick. Yeah, no one listened to me and my hopes and I got the cold and headache from hell. Just an all around bad week but I’m recovered now so that’s a good thing! 


I also have some news about my sister who lives in Kansas.  She was diagnosed with breast cancer at the beginning of the year after multiple tests.  She is the first one in either side of the family to have it and it's been a bit of a crazy time mentally - for everyone.  (I want to say mind fuck because it fits it so well.  For my sister more than anyone.) On the first of April she had a double mastectomy - luckily they caught it very early - and she's home and doing really well so far.  Obviously there's pain but she's been a trooper from what I understand.  My mom has been with her since the day before Easter and I'm so happy she's able to do that and be there for her.  My mom put some info up on her blog about what Allison went through just to be diagnosed (the cancerous lump was NOT found via regular mammogram - fuckin scary!) so if you want to read more you can go here.  Anyway, any prayers you might want to send up for her would be more than welcome. :)

Not much happened last week except sickness and lots of reading so I’ll get on to what I read last week (I'm not putting in author links this week - sorry!):


I started off the week with Dangerous Refuge by Elizabeth Lowell. This is the story about Tanner an LA cop who is in the Sierra Nevada’s due to the death of his uncle. He knows almost from minute one that there’s something off about his uncle’s death and starts to quietly investigate. He does this with the help of Shaye from the conservancy that the uncle was going to sign the land over to at one point. They work together to find the killer as well as fall in love. Good book. You can read my full review tomorrow her on the blog. 3.75 out of 5

Next up was Big Boy by Ruthie Knox. This was a great book about a couple who only see each other once a month and role play. Unfortunately that isn’t enough for either but they’re not sure they can make it work otherwise. You can read my full review for this great book here. 4.5 out of 5

Before the Moon Rises by Catherine Bybee. The story is about Janet, a nurse whose last patient of the night goes from unconscious to totally ok – freaking her out just a bit. The patient, Max, is a werewolf and for some reason just didn’t come to as quickly as normal and was found in the streets of LA. Max is taken with Janet and asks her out. He ends up not only taking her out but falling hard for her. Unfortunately his arch enemy also has fallen for Janet and would like nothing more than to cause Max pain and takes Janet. This was a decent story yet a bit strange. Max seemed a bit odd at first even though I knew going in that he was a werewolf. In the end it was good but short. 3 out of 5

Next up was Lord of Wicked Intentions by Lorraine Heath. It’s FINALLY Rafe’s book in the Lost Lords of Pembrook series. Rafe is intrigued by Evelyn who is being sold as a mistress to the highest bidder – by her half brother. He hates her because she’s the daughter of their father’s mistress and wants her gone NOW. Rafe intends to make her his mistress but alas love gets in the way. It was a really good book and I’ll be posting my review for it later this month. 4 out of 5

Unbroken by Melody Grace was the story of Juliet who goes back to a town that she hasn’t been in for 4 years to pack up the family’s summer house as it’s to be sold. Four years prior she had had a scorching summer with Emerson and was devastated when he broke it off as they had made plans for their future. The book is about the couple seeing each other again and the feelings that that brings out in them. I basically thought the story was mess. I liked the writing in the story as it completely kept me engaged but the characters in the story acted immature and their love was more obsession than love, imho. I read this one for The Book Binge so I’ll let you know when my review posts. 2.5 out of 5 (as I said in my review – it would have gotten a 1 if not for the writing.) 

Taking Shots by Toni Aleo is the first book in the Assassins series. The Assassins are a pro hockey team in Nashville and their captain, Shea Adler, sees photographer Ellie Fisher and wants to get to know her better. The story covers their relationships, their troubles, Ellie’s insecurities and more. You can read my review for this one here on the blog on Friday. 3.75 out of 5

Finding Forgiveness by Dana Marie Bell is an m/m story about wolf shifter mates who haven’t mated. One mate, Ben, believes that the headaches that he feels his mate Dave have are due to alcoholism when in fact they are debilitating migraines. When Ben finds out what he’s done – he hopes that Dave will find it in his heart to forgive him. The story was cute – pretty hot and I really liked the sense of humor. 3 out of 5

Next was Ten Reasons to Stay by Sabrina Jeffries. An Earl who is only half English and has been living in his mother’s country of India sets foot on English soil after many years only to catch a horse thief in his stable. The thief ends up to be Eliza who is trying to run away from her uncle who plans on marrying her off to a man she’s never met. She’s trying to get back to her school to seek help from the headmistress. The Earl, Colin, ends up locking up Eliza in his house until he can get to the bottom of things as he doesn’t believe her story. During the course of the story the two fall in love but it’s rather quick. Good story though. I’ll review this later this month. 3.5/3.75 out of 5

Beauty and the Blacksmith by Tessa Dare was wonderful. This novella is set in Spindle Cove and is Diana Highwood’s story. If you’ve been reading the series you know that Diana’s mom is set on getting her married to a title while all Diana wants is the local blacksmith. I’ll be posting my review of this one in the next couple of weeks but know that it was good. 4.5 out of 5 

Last for the week was Reaper’s Property by Joanna Wylde. This is a much harder and harsher type of romance than I normally read but it was oh so good. The story is set, for the most part, in the inner workings of a motorcycle club. If any of you watch it just think Sons of Anarchy and you’ll get the gist. The story is about Marie whose brother gets involved with the Reaper’s Motorcycle Club. Some of the members start coming over to talk to him and Marie, who has just left her abusive husband, meets Horse. Horse wants Marie from minute one but Marie has serious problems with what they call their women in the MC – like sweet butt, property and old lady. She eventually has to make a decision about being with Horse to save her brother but it’s a great way of getting her to be with him which is all he wants. Like I said it’s definitely a harsher romance but it was really good and I can’t wait to read the next book in the series. 4 out of 5

My Book Binge Reviews that posted last week:
Let it Be Me by Kate Noble
Only Lycans Need Apply by Michele Bardsley
Love is Blind by Elizabeth Cole
Bite Me, Your Grace by Brooklyn Ann

Happy Reading!

Saturday Song

This week I have a couple of clips from the movie Pitch Perfect. This movie cracks me up - especially the character of Fat Amy. Whoever wrote her was a genius. lol Anyway...the movie features the group the Bellas but one of their rivals is the group The Treblemakers. Here are The Treblemakers doing Right Round. I've also included a clip of some of Fat Amy's funny moments. Enjoy!

 



Review: Big Boy by Ruthie Knox

Meet me at the train museum after dark. Dress for 1957.

When Mandy joins an online dating service, she keeps her expectations low. All she wants is a distraction from the drudgery of single parenthood and full-time work. But the invitation she receives from a handsome man who won’t share his real name promises an adventure—and a chance to pretend she’s someone else for a few hours.

She doesn’t want romance to complicate her life, but Mandy’s monthly role-playing dates with her stranger on a train—each to a different time period—become the erotic escape she desperately needs. And a soul connection she never expected.

Yet when she tries to draw her lover out of the shadows, Mandy has a fight on her hands…to convince him there’s a place for their fantasy love in the light of day.


When our story begins Mandy has been seeing a man for a date once a month for about 9 months. She enjoys the dates she has at the train museum in town and she gets to dress for a different time period for each date. She can be whoever she chooses on those dates – except herself.

The man she’s dating is someone she met online and she liked his sense of humor and quirkiness (something her best friend just called “weird”). She has no idea who the man is, what his real name is or even what his real story is. The longer she dates him the more she wants to know.

After all these months Mandy decides that she definitely wants to know this man on a deeper level. She’s falling in love with him but how can that be when she doesn’t really know him? A chance encounter tells Mandy his real name and from there she finds out more about him but way of the internet. Mandy decides to go for it and ask the man out on a real date but she’s certainly not prepared for what follows.

I have to say that I’m becoming a true Knox fan. I’ve really liked what I’ve read and every time I pick up a different book by her I get sucked in – which is a good thing!

This story was so not what I expected when I purchased it – it ended up being so much more than that. While all of Knox’s books have angst in them this one felt a bit angsty-er. (I don’t want to say dark, because it wasn’t really.) At times my heart broke for the main characters and that meant I had completely engaged with them – which made me happy. I guess it was a paradox as I was happy I was so into them but my heart was sad because of what they were going through.

Anyway, this is one that I think just about everyone would enjoy. It’s romantic and sexy and I definitely recommend it.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Ruthie Knox 

 

Review: The Quizzing-Glass Bride by Hayley Ann Solomon

Warning: This review contains spoilers!

When Lady Fern Reynolds confided in a sympathetic houseguest that she was considering running away to London to escape betrothal to an unknown suitor, she did not expect him to offer her shelter. And she certainly did not imagine tumbling for him, the Viscount Sandford. But that was the least of her surprises, as she discovered the wedding was to go on as planned--and her groom was strangely familiar. . .

Lady Fern isn’t exactly happy when her parents tell her that she is to marry the Marquis of Warwick. She met the man years ago and had a crush on him (that she thought was love) but she’s a bit peeved that the man would talk to her parent and arrange everything without even talking to her or courting her.

Now her parents have invited the man to dinner and Fern’s mother has trussed Fern up to look ridiculous. Not only that but she won’t allow Fern to wear her spectacles and frankly Fern can’t see a thing.

While the Marquis of Warwick tries to be charming he knows that there’s something off about the way that Lady Fern is acting. She is rude to him but he actually likes her chutzpah. She makes a fool of herself and can’t even see what the man looks like compared to what he looked like the first time she met him.

The next day Fern is convinced that the Marquis is going to cancel the marriage contracts but is saved from her despair by a lovely gentleman who comes to call on her father. The Viscount Sandford is a wonderful man and Fern eventually tells him her woes and fears. She states she wants to run away from the Marquis and the viscount agrees to help her.

The viscount takes Fern to his London home and hires her on as his page (although that is horribly outdated as Fern tells him). Before the night is over, however, Fern sees the mistake she’s made but she decides it’s a good mistake in the end.

This was a cute story. I thought it was horrible of Fern’s mother to make her leave her spectacles off when she knew her daughter was completely blind without them. I realize that they were thought to be quite horrid back then and really not accepted in the ballroom but this was the man that had already offered for her daughter – didn’t he deserve to see the real Fern? I guess her mother didn’t see it that way.

The dinner with the Marquis was quite funny, actually. Fern was trying her best but couldn’t see a thing. She tripped and played the harp horribly and just made all sorts of mistakes. I loved the Marquis for thinking that they were actually cute mistakes rather than thing Fern was a bumbling idiot.

If you didn’t figure it out from the blurb that Viscount Sandford WAS the Marquis of Warwick let me just tell you it is was. Rick (which was short for Ricardo but he told her that it was short for Eric) was a kind man but I couldn’t help thinking that he was taking her reputation very lightly. Ok, yes, he was already going to marry her but if word of her antics had gotten out her rep would have been in the trash.

I felt the characters were made to be overly dramatic for the situation but as Fern was so young (I don’t think we’re ever told how young but she was pretty immature) I guess that kind of went hand in hand – drama and age. Overall a cute book just a bit too over the top for me.

Rating: 3 out of 5


Hayley Ann Solomon

What I Read Last Week

Hello!

The fact that I’m typing this is proof that I survived last week. It was close but I did it. I did wake up with a sore throat and slight cold yesterday so my body is trying to fight back for running it ragged. Oh well, at least I’m still up and kicking which is always a good thing in my book. :)

My youngest daughter loved all of your kind words about her black belt. She has decided, after a bit of thought, that she will be continuing on. We’re gonna play it by ear to see if she’ll actually stay until she gets her second dan (2nd degree black belt). Right now she’s going for another year and we'll go from there. I’m actually happy she’s continuing because I think it does her good both mentally and physically and teaches her a lot about discipline that she then applies to her every day life. 


Here are a couple of pictures of my girls in their Easter dresses that my sister sent them:


I do have to apologize for ignoring the blog last week and I haven’t been blog hopping in so damn long either I’m not sure I remember how! lol I’ll try to do better this week and in the future.

On to what I read last week:


First on my list for the week was Ride With Me by Ruthie Knox. This was a great story about a man and a woman biking across America and eventually falling in love. You can read more about the story and my review here. 4 out of 5 

Next was a novella called The Quizzing Glass Bride by Hayley Ann Solomon. This was the story of a woman who is pledged to marry a man she’s only met a couple of times. It contains a serious case of mistaken identity and…well, you’ll just have to read my review later this week. :)

Cutest Couple by Kate Davies was my next read. This novella is about Marc and Bree who haven’t seen each other in 10 years but were once voted Cutest Couple. That was long ago and now they have a lot to talk about after not speaking for so long, including talking about the son that Marc didn’t know he had. I’ll post my review later this month. 3.5 out of 5 

Josh of the Damned Triple Feature #2: The Final Checkout by Andrea Speed continues the story of Josh Caplan and his crazy life working at the Quik-Mart. In this novella he gets to fight all sorts of interesting beings that all hate him for one reason or another. I’ll post my review for this one later this month as well. 3.5 out of 5

Last for the week was The Devil’s Heart by Cathy Maxwell that wraps up The Chattan Curse series. I didn’t actually read the first few books in the series but this one was a decent stand alone. It told the story of Lady Margaret Chattan who is determined to stop the curse that is killing her brothers by heading to Scotland and dealing with the Macnachtan family herself. She doesn’t plan on falling for the Macnachtan Laird, however, and that puts a whole new twist on the curse. It was a decent book that was a bit heavy on the paranormal for my liking (I’m not a HUGE fan of historical paranormal stories) but it was a good book. 3.5 out of 5

My Book Binge reviews that posted last week:
Fool’s Gold by Cassandra Dean

Happy Reading!