Tuesday, January 31, 2012

"Cowboy Casanova" By: Lorelei James Review

"Cowboy Casanova" By: Lorelei James
In Sundance, Wyoming, you can't throw a boot without hitting a McKay cowboy, so Ben McKay is used to fading into the background. Except on weekends, when he's Bennett, imposing Dom at The Rawhide Club, surrounded by a bevy of female subs eager for the attention of his long…whip. 

As for the curvy brunette eying him from across the room? He'll eat his Stetson if she's the experienced Domme she claims to be. Bennett offers her a deal—he'll let her call the shots for one night. But the next night he gets to prove to her how freeing it'll be when he takes the reins. 

Ainsley Hamilton is amazed by how well Bennett read her every secret yearning during that one explosive weekend—and she's stunned when they come face to face in their everyday lives as rancher and new bank president. Now Ben's urging her to explore her submissive side outside the club, and there's something in his commanding gaze that makes it too easy to let him take control—of her desires and her pleasure. 

Can Ben help Ainsley overcome her fear that a relationship built on dark sexual appetites won't survive the light of day?

My Thoughts:
     I am a sucker for Lorelei James. Beyond having an amazing series filled with interesting characters, Ms. James has created a universe that enables each book to be different. Ben (AKA Bennett) is very different than his family, and I think the author sets out to prove that throughout the novel.
     I waited for this book with baited breath because it was so different...and the novel just fell flat. Ben is very dominating while Ainsley is a submissive and meek. This isn't something I've ever read about before and it frankly didn't interest me at all. The book pretty much focused on this portion of their lives and very little on every day life and family; which I have come to enjoy from this series.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It's Monday! - What Are You Reading? is hosted weekly on Mondays 
by Sheila from "One Person's Journey"

Post the books you read last week, books currently reading, and books you plan on finishing this week.

What I Read This Week...

"Anya's Ghost" 
By: Vera Brosgol

Anya could really use a friend. But her new BFF isn’t kidding about the “Forever” part . . .
Of all the things Anya expected to find at the bottom of an old well, a new friend was not one of them. Especially not a new friend who’s been dead for a century.
Falling down a well is bad enough, but Anya’s normal life might actually be worse. She’s embarrassed by her family, self-conscious about her body, and she’s pretty much given up on fitting in at school. A new friend—even a ghost—is just what she needs.
Or so she thinks.


"Serpent's Kiss" 
By: Thea Harrison
Recently, Vampire Queen Carling's power has become erratic, forcing her followers to flee. Wyr sentinel Rune is drawn to the ailing Queen and decides to help find a cure for the serpent's kiss-the vampyric disease that's killing her. With their desire for each other escalating they will have to rely on each other if they have any hope of surviving the serpent's kiss...

"The Wilder Life" 
By: Wendy McClure

For anyone who has ever wanted to step into the world of a favorite book, here is a pioneer pilgrimage, a tribute to Laura Ingalls Wilder, and a hilarious account of butter-churning obsession. 

Wendy McClure is on a quest to find the world of beloved Little House on the Prairie author Laura Ingalls Wilder-a fantastic realm of fiction, history, and places she's never been to, yet somehow knows by heart. She retraces the pioneer journey of the Ingalls family- looking for the Big Woods among the medium trees in Wisconsin, wading in Plum Creek, and enduring a prairie hailstorm in South Dakota. She immerses herself in all things Little House, and explores the story from fact to fiction, and from the TV shows to the annual summer pageants in Laura's hometowns. Whether she's churning butter in her apartment or sitting in a replica log cabin, McClure is always in pursuit of "the Laura experience." Along the way she comes to understand how Wilder's life and work have shaped our ideas about girlhood and the American West.

The Wilder Life is a loving, irreverent, spirited tribute to a series of books that have inspired generations of American women. It is also an incredibly funny first-person account of obsessive reading, and a story about what happens when we reconnect with our childhood touchstones-and find that our old love has only deepened.

"Once Upon a Winter's Eve" By: Tessa Dare Review

"Once Upon a Winter's Eve"
By: Tessa Dare
Synopsis from Amazon:
Violet Winterbottom is a quiet girl. She speaks six languages, but seldom raises her voice. She endured bitter heartbreak in perfect silence. The gentlemen aren't beating down her door.
Until the night of the Spindle Cove Christmas ball, when a mysterious stranger crashes into the ballroom and collapses at Violet's feet. His coarse attire and near-criminal good looks would put any sensible young lady on her guard. He's wet, chilled, bleeding, and speaking in an unfamiliar tongue.
Only Violet understands him. And she knows he's not what he seems.
She has one night to draw forth the secrets of this dangerously handsome rogue. Is he a smuggler? A fugitive? An enemy spy? She needs answers by sunrise, but her captive would rather seduce than confess. To learn his secrets, Violet must reveal hers—and open herself to adventure, passion, and the unthinkable... Love.
My Thoughts:
       A short story by Tessa Dare, "Once Upon a Winter's Eve" tells the story of Violet Winterbottom, a wallflower spending some time in fictional Spindle Cove. This is the second story of Dare's Spindle Cover series. She has come to this tiny town in a bit of disgrace, trying to get past the "big disappointment," a failed romance with the boy next door. 
      The story begins as Violet is at a ball standing with her friends. Suddenly a man barges in, covered in blood, speaking french and falls at her feet. As they rush him to a room to help him, Violet thinks she may recognize this insensible scoundrel. As the story advances, this french speaking dirty madman turns out to be the big disappointment himself, the man who left her after a night of passion.
      This is a fast paced romance, and I will admit, I haven't read the first story in the series titled, "A Night to Surrender." There were parts in the story that seemed a little too fast, if you know what I mean. I may have enjoyed it more if I had read the first novel but it was a cute romance none the less. The hero and the heroine seemed to genuinely care for one another. The secondary characters also made the novella enjoyable. I am looking forward to reading the rest of the series. 

Book Details
Publisher: Samhain
Date of Publication: November 15, 2011
# of Pages: 233

Saturday, January 28, 2012

"True Colors" By: Thea Harrison Review

"True Colors" 
By: Thea Harrison 
Meeting your soulmate? Great. Preventing your possible murder? Even better.

Alice Clark, a Wyr and schoolteacher, has had two friends murdered in as many days, and she’s just found the body of a third. She arrives at the scene only minutes before Gideon Riehl, a wolf Wyr and current detective in the Wyr Division of Violent Crime—and, as Alice oh-so-inconveniently recognizes at first sight, her mate.

But the sudden connection Riehl and Alice feel is complicated when the murders are linked to a serial killer who last struck seven years ago, killing seven people in seven days. They have just one night before the killer strikes again. And every sign points to Alice as the next victim.

My Thoughts: 
     I have been a fan of this entire Wyr series by Thea Harrison. I originally picked up the first title because Goodreads had it added as one of the best romances of 2011. "True Colors" is a short story that exists within this series featuring new characters. A few of the older characters make appearances, but this was a fun look at new people within the same world.
     Alice is a schoolteacher and a special type of Wyr since she is a chameleon. Gideon is a wolf shapeshifter and works as a detective. When Gideon stumbles upon a crime scene, he finds Alice and instant attraction develop. Gideon must save Alice from a crazed killer and in the meantime, they become close. The romance is sweet, building slowly yet believably.
     The only negative thing I have to say about this is the length. It was only 100 pages and I feel it could have easily been made into a novel. Fun short story and I hope to see these characters in future books! If you have enjoyed the rest of the Wyr series, this will be a wonderful addition. I wouldn't recommend this book for people who haven't read the full length novels, it may be just a tad confusing.

Book Details
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Date of Publication: December 13, 2011
# of Pages: 103

Friday, January 27, 2012

Follow Friday



Question of the Week:
Which Book Genre do you avoid at all costs?

I HATE HATE HATE horror. I don't like to be scared, I'm not into blood, and I hate the idea of monsters. I have never even read a Stephen King book! So I guess if there was one genre I avoid, it would definitely be anything to do with horror. How about you?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

"Shadow's Stand" By: Sarah McCarty Review

"Shadow's Stand"
By: Sarah McCarty

Synopsis from Amazon:
      Shadow Ochoa is lying low in the western Kansas Territory, waiting for his fellow Texas Rangers—the Hell's Eight brotherhood—to clear his name. That is, until he's unjustly strung up for horse thieving…and pretty Fei Yen intervenes. Invoking a seldom-used law, the exotic lady prospector claims Shadow as her husband and rides off with the bridegroom shackled to her buckboard.
     Savvy, fearless Fei is single-mindedly devoted to her hidden claim and all it promises: wealth, security and freedom. A husband is just a necessary inconvenience and a name on paper to hold the claim she cannot.
     Shadow isn't a man to take orders from anyone, especially from lovely Fei—except that the daily friction between them ignites into nightly blazes of all-consuming passion. Soon Shadow is dreaming a little himself: of the life they could have if only Fei could see past the lure of independence. If only bounty hunters weren't closing in on him. If only he's left standing when the impending showdown has ended….

My Thoughts:

      Shadow is one of the more mysterious members of the Hell's Eight. He's been mentioned before, but we've never delved into his character too terribly much. I had been looking forward to his story since the beginning of the series and was glad he finally got his happily ever after.
      The story begins as Shadow is being strung up by a group of men for the alleged theft of a horse. As they are stringing him up for a hanging, a mysterious Chinese woman named Fei, appears and asks that she be able to claim him as her husband. Shadow goes along with the marriage idea, seeing a desperate woman and a way out of his predicament.
      Fei has lived her whole life on the edge. Her family life is in shambles, her father is mentally unstable, and she has had little to no stability while dealing with rampant racism in an almost all white community. When she sees Shadow, she immediately sees a way out of her current life and into the life she wanted. Thinking this desperate man will do anything she wants of him, she underestimates both Shadow and herself in the end.
      Both of the characters are out of the norm romantic characters. Fei is uncertain, comes from a different culture, yet is trying to find her way in the tough American west. Shadow feels that no one can ever know his true self and is uncontrollably drawn to Fei as the story advances. Through trials and tribulations, Shadow and Fei learn more about themselves and their love for one another trumps everything.
       "Shadow's Stand" is an enjoyable romance but not a favorite. While the characters are well drawn out, the story seems to go too fast in some places and then drags in others. A good addition to the Hell's Eight series, I wouldn't recommend this as a starting place for readers who haven't read McCarty's other stories. Great books that would be great companion pieces are "Caine's Reckoning," "Sam's Creed," "Tucker's Claim," and "Tracker's Sin."

Book Details
Publisher: Harlequin
Date of Publication:  January 31, 2012
Pages: 384

I received this book for review with no compensation from Net Galley

Young Adult Giveaway Hop

Welcome to the Brunette Librarian blog everyone. 
I am so excited to see all the new faces and visit with friends!

A Few Facts About Me
I am a small town teen librarian
I live in Missouri
I have a miniature 6 year old dachshund named Daisy Jane
I love to share my love of books with everyone. 
I pretty much read Adult Romance and Teen Fiction - both of which I love! 
I blog primarily about the books that I've read.
I am a member of 5 book groups - so you never quite know what I'm reading any week.

So let's get to the fun part...what's up for grabs??
"Chains" By: Laurie Halse Anderson
Model: Daisy Jane the reading weenie dog

"Purple Heart" By: Patricia McCormick
Model: Daisy Jane - the reading weenie dog
"Wolves, Boys, and Other Things that Might Kill Me" By: Kristen Chandler
Model: Daisy Jane
I will be giving away 3 different prizes! Lots of winners! 

  1. "Chains" By: Laurie Halse Anderson
  2. "Purple Heart" By: Patricia McCormick
  3. "Wolves, Boys, and Other Things that Might Kill Me" By: Kristen Chandler
The only restriction: This contest is open only to US residents. 
I'm sorry, but I can't afford international shipping rates. 

Huge Thanks to our Blog Hop Hosts: I Am A Reader, Not a Writer & Down A Rabbit Hole

Fill out the rafflecopter for a chance to win these awesome teen titles!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly book meme where we let everyone know what books we are eagerly anticipating the release of. 
Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine.

Lucky Penny
"Lucky Penny"
By: Catherine Anderson

To support her orphaned niece, impoverished Brianna O'Keefe accepts work with a Colorado rancher. To guard herself from unwanted attention, she resorts to a harmless little lie: that she's married to a Denver gold miner named David Paxton. But when her "husband" shows up, Brianna is stunned-not the least by her desire...

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

"Unlocked" By: Courtney Milan Review

book cover for unlocked

By: Courtney Milan
A perpetual wallflower destined for spinsterhood, Lady Elaine Warren is resigned to her position in society. So when Evan Carlton, the powerful, popular Earl of Westfeld, singles her out upon his return to England, she knows what it means. Her former tormenter is up to his old tricks, and she’s his intended victim. This time, though, the earl is going to discover that wallflowers can fight back.
Evan has come to regret his cruel, callow past. At first, he only wants to make up for past wrongs. But when Elaine throws his initial apology in his face, he finds himself wanting more. And this time, what torments him might be love…
My Thoughts:
       Courtney Milan is one of my favorite up and coming romance writers of today. She is clever, romantic, smart and fun...as are the characters in her stories. I haven't met a Courtney Milan book that I didn't like and this one was no exception.
       "Unlocked" is an e-novella that I thought might not live up to the hype of her other novels...but boy was I wrong! Elaine is a wonderful heroine - a little shy at first but definitely not meek or mild. Evan, the Earl of Westfeld, has just returned to England after a self-imposed sabatical. When Evan was younger, he had been incredibly mean to Elaine; thinking that was going to show her how much he liked her. By his actions, others started being mean to her too. When he realized what he had done, he leaves and only now has returned.
       Elaine is left wondering where Evan went and isn't very excited to see that he has returned. I love stories where the hero has to beg, don't ask me why. This one definitely had that fun element, Evan most definitely pays for his crimes. However, he's so thoughtful and kind now you have a hard time believing he ever was bad. I loved Evan and Elaine equally - Evan is a strong male lead that grovels wonderfully and Elaine is a smart, charismatic heroine who claims her power. A wonderful romance for anyone!

Monday, January 23, 2012

"A Lady Awakened" By: Cecelia Grant Review

"A Lady Awakened" 
By: Cecelia Grant

Synopsis from Amazon:
Newly widowed and desperate to protect her estate and beloved servants from her malevolent brother-in-law, Martha Russell conceives a daring plan. Or rather, a daring plan to conceive. After all, if she has an heir on the way, her future will be secured. Forsaking all she knows of propriety, Martha approaches her neighbor, a London exile with a wicked reputation, and offers a strictly business proposition: a month of illicit interludes . . . for a fee.

Theophilus Mirkwood ought to be insulted. Should be appalled. But how can he resist this siren in widow’s weeds, whose offer is simply too outrageously tempting to decline? Determined she’ll get her money’s worth, Theo endeavors to awaken this shamefully neglected beauty to the pleasures of the flesh—only to find her dead set against taking any enjoyment in the scandalous bargain. Surely she can’t resist him forever. But could a lady’s sweet surrender open their hearts to the most unexpected arrival of all . . . love?

My Thoughts:
      "A Lady Awakened" is Cecelia Grant's debut novel. I originally picked this book up because I was hearing so many varied reviews. Some people REALLY liked it, and some people didn’t see the appeal. It even had glowing recommendations on the cover from two of my favorite authors, Eloisa James and Mary Balogh. So, when I found this book at a local bookstore, I just had to try this one out.
      I’m not really sure what to say about this book besides, it may be the most boring book I’ve ever read. The writing reminds me a little of Mary Balogh’s early writings, but is completely without the characterization or even the interesting storylines. As a reader, you don’t care for the characters at all. I strongly disliked both the hero and the heroine. I kept reading, thinking it was going to get better…but it simply never did. 
       Theopolis, our hero, was supposed to be this silly city boy. Yet, we never see any evidence that he is either silly, nor more accustomed to the city. Martha, or Mrs. Russell as she is referred to through most of the novel, is a staid, calm, nervous, shy widow. I think perhaps throughout the novel she is supposed to grow, and again, I didn’t see any real evidence of it. Both characters seemed to be the same at the end as they were at the beginning. Neither character shows much passion and the love story between the two is pretty contrived.
      I doubt I will be reading anymore of Ms. Grant’s books. I hate to read a book and dislike it, especially after so many people really enjoyed it. Frankly put, everyone has different opinions. Some people really liked these characters and some people didn’t. I fall into the latter category but hope in the future I may enjoy her books. 

Book Details
Publisher: Bantam
Date of Publication: December 27, 2011
Page Number: 368

Sunday, January 22, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It's Monday! - What Are You Reading? is hosted weekly on Mondays 
by Sheila from "One Person's Journey"

Post the books you read last week, books currently reading, and books you plan on finishing this week.

What I read this week...
"The Captain of All Pleasures" 
By: Kresley Cole
Raised as a free spirit aboard her American sea captain father's majestic clipper ship, willful Nicole Lassiter has never encountered an obstacle she couldn't overcome -- until she meets Captain Derek Sutherland. His sizzling kisses leave her longing, but after they share a night of passion, his subsequent disdain makes her blood boil. Nicole vows to take her revenge -- by helping her father beat Sutherland in a high-stakes competition: the Great Circle Race from England to Australia.
Nicole's scheme is thrown overboard after her father is wrongly imprisoned, yet she remains undaunted -- taking to the high seas with her father's ship. But a storm wrecks her plans, and she finds herself a virtual prisoner aboard Sutherland's vessel. And while her mind tells her she should escape, her body urges her to surrender...


"Can't Wait to Get to Heaven" 
By: Fannie Flagg
Life is the strangest thing. One minute, Mrs. Elner Shimfissle is up in her tree, picking figs, and the next thing she knows, she is off on an adventure she never dreamed of, running into people she never in a million years expected to meet. Meanwhile, back home, Elner’s nervous, high-strung niece Norma faints and winds up in bed with a cold rag on her head; Elner’s neighbor Verbena rushes immediately to the Bible; her truck driver friend, Luther Griggs, runs his eighteen-wheeler into a ditch–and the entire town is thrown for a loop and left wondering, “What is life all about, anyway?” Except for Tot Whooten, who owns Tot’s Tell It Like It Is Beauty Shop. Her main concern is that the end of the world might come before she can collect her social security.

What I'm Reading Now...
By: Stephen Lovely
When 30-year-old archaeologist Alex Voormann’s bright, ambitious wife, Isabel, is killed in a bicycle accident, he is faced with a momentous decision. She had filled out a donor card, and the hospital staff are requesting his permission to take her heart for a woman who would die without a transplant. Even a full year after he signed off on the procedure, Alex is still conflicted about the decision, so when Janet Corcoran, the mother of two whose life Isabel saved, contacts him, he becomes angry. Her gratefulness reminds him all over again of his grievous loss, and he can’t help but feel resentful that her good fortune came at his expense; meanwhile, his mother-in-law has a totally different reaction, believing that her daughter’s generous spirit lives on in Janet.

"The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie" By: Jennifer Ashley Review

"The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie" 
By: Jennifer Ashley

Synopsis from Barnes and Noble:
      The year is 1881. Meet the Mackenzie family--rich, powerful, dangerous, eccentric. A lady couldn't be seen with them without ruin. Rumors surround them--of tragic violence, of their mistresses, of their dark appetites, of scandals that set England and Scotland abuzz. 
      The youngest brother, Ian, known as the Mad Mackenzie, spent most of his young life in an asylum, and everyone agrees he is decidedly odd. He's also hard and handsome and has a penchant for Ming pottery and beautiful women. 
      Beth Ackerley, widow, has recently come into a fortune. She has decided that she wants no more drama in her life. She was raised in drama--an alcoholic father who drove them into the workhouse, a frail mother she had to nurse until her death, a fussy old lady she became constant companion to. No, she wants to take her money and find peace, to travel, to learn art, to sit back and fondly remember her brief but happy marriage to her late husband. ...And then Ian Mackenzie decides he wants her. 
 My Thoughts:
      I have told of my love for Jennifer Ashley’s books, but I’ve never shared my first and favorite book…which I have just reread! There are very few romance novels out there featuring mentally challenged heroes. “The Madness of Lord Ian MacKenzie” tackles aspberger’s syndrome, showing the good and bad sides of people, all the while cranking up the romance!
      Ian MacKenzie is the brother of a Duke, has an incredible memory, is extremely intelligent, yet he doesn’t understand emotions, fixates on physical objects and doesn’t have close connections with people. He meets Beth Ackerly one evening at a local theater and his life is never the same. She connects with him differently than other people do and he is strangely drawn to her. Beth likes Ian, even thinks him a little peculiar, yet she is drawn to him on a level she’s never experienced before.
       One of the best things about this novel is the characterization. They are well drawn, have had lives with rich experiences, and connect in ways other romance novels can’t even touch. There are actual obstacles to overcome, its not just a simple he loves her, she loves him kind of story. Great secondary characters, who hopefully are getting their own stories, round out a wonderful, heartfelt romance. 

Book Details
Publisher: Leisure Books
Date of Publication: May 2009
# of Pages: 336
ISBN: 978-0843960434

"The Chosen One" By: Carol Lynch Williams Review

"The Chosen One"
By: Carol Lynch Williams

Synopsis from Amazon.com:
Thirteen-year-old Kyra has grown up in an isolated community without questioning the fact that her father has three wives and she has twenty brothers and sisters. That is, without questioning it much—if you don’t count her visits to the Ironton County Mobile Library on Wheels to read forbidden books, or her secret meetings with Joshua, the boy she hopes to choose for herself instead of having a man chosen for her. But when the Prophet decrees that Kyra must marry her sixty-year-old uncle—who already has six wives—she must make a desperate choice in the face of violence and her own fears of losing her family forever.

My Thoughts:
     When I read the synopsis - a polygamy book for teens - I was skeptical. Was this a subject this age of children should be reading? Would they understand the connotations? How would they react? Would the book be sensitive to the teens understanding of the subject matter or painfully unaware of its audience? I'm happy to say, this book was able to put all of my fears aside.
     From the beginning of the story, it is painfully obvious Kyra is not like other children in our society. Her father has three wives and she has many brothers and sisters. She refers to her three mothers as "Mother Sarah" or "Mother _____" but it is clear her favorite mother is her own. The three mothers are constantly pregnant and have suffered greatly having their children. Kyra is close to her Father, impressed with his intelligence and his perceived fairness with all of his children.
     The book takes its time introducing the characters and the environment until it gets to the meat of the story. One of the elders comes to Kyra's home and has seen visions that a man (actually her father's oldest half brother) over the age of 60 is to be her husband. Immediately you know that Kyra doesn't want to marry him, her family doesn't want her to marry him, nor do her friends. Yet, that's where the heart of the story forms. Should Kyra marry this man for God? Should she follow her religious beliefs? Is it right to follow blindly and not say anything or should she fight back and not accept her "expected" lot in life?
     The rest of the book focuses on Kyra's feelings about this marriage and what she and the others in her life do to keep her out of it. The story is a fascinating look at a teenager's views of polygamy while tackling some pretty heavy subject matter. No sexual content is discussed, but it is implied.
     "The Chosen One" is a Missouri Gateway Award Winner - a high honor indeed. A great story that is fast paced, interesting, and ends on a high note of hope. A great read for any teen or adult!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

"Storm's Heart" By: Thea Harrison Review

"Storm's Heart"
By: Thea Harrison

Synopsis from Amazon:
      He's a Wyr warrior, a god of storms. She's the heir to the Dark Fae throne. But desire will bring both to their knees in this all-new Novel of the Elder Races. 
     During the rule of her murderous Dark Fae uncle, Thistle "Tricks" Periwinkle found sanctuary among the Wyr in New York. Her ethereal beauty and sparkling personality won the hearts of the public, but after her uncle's death, there are those who don't want to see her ascend to the throne. 
      Able to wield thunder and lightning, Wyr sentinel Tiago Black Eagle has ruled the skies for centuries. His massive build and thunderous power make him one of the Wyr's best weapons. And he's sent to protect Tricks when she's almost assassinated in Chicago. 
       Soon, both Tiago and Tricks will fall prey to the stormy hunger that engulfs them—a passion that will shake the very foundation of all the worlds
My Thoughts:

       Tiago and Tricks (AKA Ninniane) were both characters heavily featured in the Elder Series first novel, "Dragon's Heart." Tiago is a sentinel in Dragos' army and Tricks is the Dragos' former Public Relations Manager who is now the Queen of the Dark Fae. Tricks leaves her Wyr family and tries to assimilate back with the Dark Fae, with fairly disastrous results. When a video pops up on the internet of an attempted assassination of Tricks shows up, it's Tiago who goes to her rescue. 
      When you start this book, it seems to take forever to get into it. You have met the characters before, yet I think the author was trying to set the book up to also be available as a stand alone title. I understand the sentiment, but after devouring "Dragon's Heart" I was ready to get this action story on the road. Once she reintroduces all of the characters, and boy are there a ton, the story finally starts in earnest about a third of the way through.
      Tiago and Tricks are both very independent characters. Tricks is a strong female heroine trying to reclaim her throne and denounce those who are trying to kill her and her chances of being queen. Tiago, a dark bad ass hero, is attracted to Tricks but doesn't know why. Suddenly though, they both know that the other is the one for them. Their story of coming together is full of danger and intrigue, but the love story is sweet and leaves you smiling.
       "Storm's Heart" is a great second book in the Elder Series by Thea Harrison. Its a rocky start, but once the story picks up its a page turner. A great companion book to this would be "Dragon's Heart," the first novel in the series and one of my favorite romances of 2011.

Book Details
Publisher: Penguin Group
Date of Publication: August, 2, 2011
Pages: 336

Friday, January 20, 2012

"Devil's Bride" By: Stephanie Laurens Review

"Devil's Bride"
By: Stephanie Laurens

Synopsis from Amazon:
     When Devil, the most infamous member of the Cynster family, is caught in a compromising position with plucky governess Honoria Wetherby, he astonishes the entire town by offering his hand in marriage. No one dreamed this scandalous rake would ever take a bride. And as society mamas swooned at the loss of England′s most eligible bachelor, Devil′s infamous Cynster cousins began to place wagers on the wedding date.
     But Honoria wasn′t about to bend society′s demands and marry a man "just" because they′d been found together virtually unchaperoned. No, she craved adventure, and while solving the murder of a young Cynster cousin fit the bill for a while, she decided that once the crime was solved she′d go off to see the world. But the scalding heat of her unsated desire for Devil soon had      Honoria craving a very different sort of excitement. Could her passion for Devil cause her to embrace the enchanting peril of a lifelong adventure of the heart?
My Thoughts:
            "Devil's Bride" is one of my most favorite romances. Originally published in 1998, "Devil's Bride" is the first book in the Cynster family series. Stephanie Laurens is still writing books in this series, so that alone can tell you there are a ton of these books out there. Yet, this one still holds a special place in my heart of being the first and perhaps the best of the series.

      "Devil's Bride" tells the story of Devil, the head of the Cynster family, and Honoria, a governess who has no interest in marriage let alone marrying a Duke! The story starts out with the murder of a Cynster cousin and Honoria is just unlucky to be coming up upon the dying man in the first pages. Honoria originally is interested in Devil because he sets out to find his cousin's murderer...but as the book progresses she finds his arrogance, intelligence, and keen mind of interest as well.
      I think this is best described as a character driven romance. The plot is ok, somtimes plodding along, yet the characters make the story. Honoria is strong minded and independent, which I love. She doesn't just acquiese, she states her opinions and sticks to them. Devil is also strong minded, yet he is quick witted and genuinely comes to care for Honoria. They are both really funny characters and its really quite entertaining to watch them have a battle of wills.
      I've honestly read this book probably 6 times and every time I take something different away from it. An excellent romance featuring great characters, witty dialogue, and a pretty wonderful romance. If you have never read it before, today is the day!
Book Details
Publisher: Avon
Date of Publication: March 1, 1998
# of Pages: 416

Thursday, January 19, 2012

"Dragon Bound" By: Thea Harrison Review

"Dragon Bound"
By: Thea Harrison

Synopsis from Thea Harrison.com
     Half-human and half-wyr, Pia Giovanni spent her life keeping a low profile among the wyrkind and avoiding the continuing conflict between them and their Dark Fae enemies. But after being blackmailed into stealing a coin from the hoard of a dragon, Pia finds herself targeted by one of the most powerful–and passionate—of the Elder Races.

     As the most feared and respected of the wyrkind, Dragos Cuelebre cannot believe someone had the audacity to steal from him, much less succeed. And when he catches the thief, Dragos spares her life, claiming her as his own to further explore the desire they’ve ignited in one another.

My Thoughts:

   I picked this book up at my library after seeing it on the "Goodreads" of 2011 in the Romance category. I had never even heard of Thea Harrison, which is extremely unusual for me, so I decided to check her out. My local library didn't have any of her books, so I popped down to a larger library south of here and borrowed their copy. Boy, was I glad I did!
     "Dragon Bound" tells the story of Pia, a half-blooded magical being, and Dragos, a centuries old dragon. When you start the book, there is a LOT of world building so beware. I don't mind building a world through a book if it makes sense and gets to the story quickly, which Thea does wonderfully. There are gryphons, fairies, elves, dragons, unicorns...you name it, it exists in this book. BUT it makes sense within the story, which accounts for a lot to me.
      Pia is a strong female character. You immediately see that she has gumption and is brave, while also being smart and fairly clever. She has stolen something from the great Drago, which begins the story. Drago is conniving, strong and wise. Everyone equally respects him while fearing him. I kind of like that in a hero to be honest, hottie and power? Yay! Instantly the two characters have chemistry, which I love, but their relationship evolves as the story develops.
    I cannot wait to read future books in this series. The secondary characters are ripe for future books and I look forward to reading about these characters again. A great title to start the series and a wonderful book to read by Ms. Thea Harrison.

Extra Information about "Dragon Bound"
Publisher: Berkley
Release: May 3, 2011
ISBN: 978-0425241505

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

"Storming the Castle" By: Eloisa James Review

Storming the Castle
"Storming the Castle"
By: Eloisa James
When Miss Philippa Damson runs away from home to Pomeroy Castle, she is far from a princess…she’s an extraordinary beauty with ordinary dreams — to live a quiet life as a nursemaid.
Jonas Berwick, rakish son of a grand duke, has vowed never to wed.
He offers Philippa everything—but his hand in marriage.
Philippa has stormed the castle, but now she faces an impossible Challenge: To win the love of a prince, she may have to risk everything that makes her a lady.

My Thoughts:
      I have said it before and I will say it again, Eloisa James is one of my favorite authors. I've been a fan of hers since the beginning. She can write a romance like no other - if you want a quirky romance, go to Eloisa James. They are funny and lighthearted while also leaving you smiling when you are finished.
     "Storming the Castle" is a short e-novella that I recently read on my new nook! I thought the quality might be down a little because it was only an e-novella, but boy was I wrong. She brought her A-Game with this one folks!
     The story starts out with Phillipa being unhappy with her life. When you are set to marry one person all your life, and everyone expects you to...but you don't want to, what are you to do? So, she sets off to the local castle when she hears they need a nurse. Enter our hero, Jonas! Jonas is a Prince's illegitimate brother and is currently working as the butler. Jonas doesn't want to give away his identity and neither does Phillipa...but of course, love and hijinks ensue!
      I really enjoy the worlds Eloisa James creates. The characters from this e-novella are also featured in the book, "Kiss at Midnight." The main characters, secondary and heck, even the animals are meticulously detailed and wonderfully produced. A wonderful short story about a plucky young woman and the man who comes to love her. Love wins every time, don't you know?

Waiting on Wednesday - "In Honor"

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly book meme where we let everyone know what books we are eagerly anticipating the release of. 
Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine.

Title:In Honor
Author:Jessie Kirby
Release Date:May 8, 2012

Honor receives her brother’s last letter from Iraq three days after learning that he died, and opens it the day his fellow Marines lay the flag over his casket. Its contents are a complete shock: concert tickets to see Kyra Kelly, her favorite pop star and Finn's celebrity crush. In his letter, he jokingly charged Honor with the task of telling Kyra Kelly that he was in love with her. 

Grief-stricken and determined to grant Finn's last request, she rushes to leave immediately. But she only gets as far as the driveway before running into Rusty, Finn's best friend since third grade and his polar opposite. She hasn't seen him in ages, thanks to a falling out between the two guys, but Rusty is much the same as Honor remembers him: arrogant, stubborn. . . and ruggedly good looking. Neither one is what the other would ever look for in a road trip partner, but the two of them set off together, on a voyage that makes sense only because it doesn’t.

Along the way, they find small and sometimes surprising ways to ease their shared loss and honor Finn—but when shocking truths are revealed at the end of the road, will either of them be able to cope with the consequences?