Karen H. (warbler43) - - Reviews

1 to 20 of 83 - Page:
An Affair with Mr. Kennedy (Gentlemen of Scotland Yard, Bk 1)
An Affair with Mr. Kennedy (Gentlemen of Scotland Yard, Bk 1)
Author: Jillian Stone
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 22
Review Date: 9/16/2012


This is the first book by Ms. Stone that I read and while I enjoyed the story, I felt the romance was lacking a bit. Certainly, there was sex...lots of it as a matter of fact. Maybe a bit too much. I found myself skipping over some of those scenes.

The heroine was a thoroughly modern woman with an attitude towards sex and relationships that were somewhat ahead of her times. The hero, on the other hand, seemed more in tune with the morals of his time. It's my opinion that he may have been a bit taken back by Cassie's forwardness. Of course, like any man, he won't refuse at what's being offered.

I liked Rob Erskine, Cassie's brother, and the part he played with his rockets and motor car. I see potential for his character. I wonder if the author is considering letting him grow up a bit more and find his own lady love.

Overall, I enjoyed the story and the characters and gave it a rating of 4 stars (actually 3.5...but I can't split hairs on this rating system). I'm looking forward to the other books in this series and I do recommend this author and her works to others who enjoy reading stories set in Victorian England.


After the Abduction (Swanlea Spinsters, No 3)
After the Abduction (Swanlea Spinsters, No 3)
Author: Sabrina Jeffries
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 161
Review Date: 10/15/2007
Helpful Score: 1


The story, 3rd of the Swanlea Spinsters series, didn't start to pick up pace and heat up until around page 200. It is my humble opinion that about 75 of those pages could have been cut without causing damage to the overall story.

In this book we catch up with Juliet Laverick who is traveling with her sister Rosalind and brother-in-law Griff Knighton, to the country home of Sebastian Blakely, Lord Templemore. Their purpose is to discover the source of the gossip that has recently surfaced about Juliet's so-called elopement that took place 2 years earlier. It is Juliet's assumption that Morgan, with whom she eloped but was actually kidnapped, is the source of the gossip and is a ward of Lord Templemore and by meeting again with Morgan, hopes to put a stop to the gossip. Upon meeting Lord Templemore, Juliet believes that he is really Morgan and is lying to cover his identity. In reality, Sebastian and Morgan are twins, separated at birth and only recently reunited.

The main idea of the story was a good one. There was good chemistry between the hero and heroine and both were likeable characters. The source of the gossip turned out to be the villain of the story and everything was neatly wrapped up with a good ending. But I personally felt there was too much chit-chat (for lack of a better phrase) included only to increase word count and page number.


All About Love (Cynster, Bk 6)
All About Love (Cynster, Bk 6)
Author: Stephanie Laurens
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 311
Review Date: 5/1/2007


Lucifer's story. Excellent series, great book - a real page turner.


All About Passion (Cynster, Bk 7)
All About Passion (Cynster, Bk 7)
Author: Stephanie Laurens
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 323
Review Date: 5/1/2007


Fate has made Gyles Rawlings, Earl of Chillingworth, a man determined to control his destiny. He has decided to wed a well-bred lady who will dutifully bear him sons, yet turn a blind eye while he takes his pleasure elsewhere. By all good accounts, Francesca will fit his bill. As for the "elsewhere," he's recently encountered a beautiful, brazen siren who will make a fine mistress, one with a fiery nature to match his own.

But at the altar, Gyles discovers his bride is the bold enchantress who has inspired his deepest fantasies. Finding passion and love in the same woman has long been a secret fear. But as his world is rocked on its axis, Gyles becomes obsessed with possessing the one thing he'd thought he would never want... his wife's heart.

Gyles may not be a Cynster, but he sure acts like one. Excellent story...a real keeper.


An April To Remember
An April To Remember
Author: Lauri Robinson
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 2.5/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 2/4/2010


I have sort of a love-hate relationship this book. I liked the basic plot in the book; it takes place on the Mississippi River in April 1865 at the end of the Civil War. The author says the explosion of the riverboat mentioned in the book is based on true events of the time.

Some of the things I didn't like about the book:
1) I thought the writing was amateurish, not polished;
2) I couldn't understand the actions of the hero in regards to the riverboat boiler. What was his real interest here and why did he do some of the stuff he did? There was no apparent reason because he wasn't the owner or captain of the boat..things just didn't fit right here.
3) Some of the language was too 20th century and not in keeping with the time period. In the hundreds of historical books I've read, I've never read some of the slang used as was written in this story.
4) Without posting spoilers, I thought some of the interaction between the hero and heroine were implausible;
5) What happened to the villain in the end just didn't fit---too far-fetched and just wouldn't happen. Deals with law enforcement might be made, but not the golden parachute deal this guy got...not in 1865. More than likely, he would have been taken out back and shot!

On my personal rating scale of 1-4 stars, I gave this one 2 stars. Normally, this is the type of book I would not finish but I did...I'm not sure why...I guess I just wanted to find out what happened. I don't think I'll read anything else by this author.


Beauty and the Bounty Hunter (Once Upon a Time in West, Bk 1)
Beauty and the Bounty Hunter (Once Upon a Time in West, Bk 1)
Author: Lori Austin
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.2/5 Stars.
 11
Review Date: 12/30/2012


I loved it!

This is the first book Ive read by Lori Austin/Lori Handeland and I must say it wont be the last. I placed the next book in this series (An Outlaw in Wonderland) on my books-to-buy list.

The action starts out on the first page with a bang and doesnt let up. We meet Cathleen Chase/Cat OBanyon in one of her many disguises on her quest to find the man who murdered her husband, Billy Chase. She learns her mastery of disguises from Alexi Romanov (also an aliasbut who knows his real nameand do we really care?). As the story progresses, the reader discovers more about each character, their painful pasts and the events that brought them together.

Its a gritty story with the characters reliving some rather unpleasant events that might be offensive to some readers. I say, get past itthe story is worth it. There are a few surprises along the way and near the end but it all ends well for our hero and heroine and they end up living their HEA! My only problem with the book is the title. Im getting mightily fed up with everyone jumping on the fairy tale bandwagon with word plays on titles and story lines similar to fairy tales. That said, whatever the title, this story cant be construed as a fairy tale!

If you like historical westerns, this one is for you. Even if you havent read one for a long time (like me), read this one. You wont be sorry. I use a 4-star rating system for the books I read so I gave this one 3.5 stars out of 4.


Beauty Like the Night (Rutledge Family, Bk 1)
Beauty Like the Night (Rutledge Family, Bk 1)
Author: Liz Carlyle
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 125
Review Date: 5/1/2007


Very good story


The Belly Dancer
The Belly Dancer
Author: DeAnna Cameron
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 3
Review Date: 6/17/2010
Helpful Score: 2


This is the first work by Deanna Cameron that I have ever read and I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It didn't have a lot of spice to the story, but the author's skill in developing the main character more than made up for the lack of heat.

The story is set in Chicago in 1893 with the Columbian Exposition World's Fair as a backdrop with emphasis on the Egyptian City and the exotic dancers in the Egyptian Theater. Dora was born and raised in New Orleans. She grew up not knowing her father and her mother refused to answer any of Dora's questions. You just know there is a story there...but wait, this question and many others will be answered to those who wait and finish the book. Dora's life in Chicago with her new husband Charles Chambers is strained and not very happy. Dora is doing everything she can possibly do to try and remedy the situation, but she just doesn't know what to do. Her loneliness and natural curiosity eventually lead her to befriend one of the dancers in the Egyptian Theater. The story grows from there. Due to outside influences and circumstances beyond her control, she is forced, but not unwillingly, onto another path and from there she reaches her HEA.

This story is well-written and worth the reader's time. I recommend this to readers interested in a good historical romance. I gave it 4 stars.


Blue Asylum
Blue Asylum
Author: Kathy Hepinstall
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 18
Review Date: 8/16/2013


I received my copy of Blue Asylum by Kathy Hepinstall as a contest prize. It is not a story I would normally have chosen but, I must say, it was worth reading.

It is a historical fiction novel set during the American Civil War. Set in Sanibel Asylum for Lunatics on a remote Florida island, the story unfolds somewhat in flashbacks as the back story of each of the main characters is told. The heroine is Iris Dunleavy, the wife of a Virginia plantation owner. Anxious to get away from her home in a small northern Virginia town, she is pleased with the arrangement her father makes for Iris to marry Robert Dunleavy. Iris thought she was marrying a decent man who was kind to his slaves but soon discovered his dark nature and total abusive nature towards his slaves and his wife. Due to her misbehavior/disobedience and her attempt to flee with some of the plantation slaves, she was put on trial and convicted of madness. The hero is Ambrose Weller, a war-haunted Confederate soldier, traumatized by his memories of the horrors of the war. The asylum psychiatrist is an Englishman named Dr. Henry Cowell, an egotistical man with a very high opinion of himself and his so-called skills at curing the insane and restoring them to health. His techniques, including the water treatment are considered very advanced and humane for the time. Although, that water treatment is the forerunner of water boarding as we know it today. The last main character is Wendell Cowell, the doctors 10 year old son. He plays a pivotal role in the story. Other characters abound in the story, each with their own special role to play in this drama.

While there is a romance between the hero and heroine, this book is not a romance and is actually rather sador rather poignant. It does not have the expected HEA. But things do end on a satisfying note for Iris as she eventually gets back to her family and discovers a happy secret. No spoilers hereI dont feel I want to give more details because it is a story that must be read to be appreciated.

Its a book that deals with the dark side of the human mind and the horrors of the civil war. Some may have difficulty reading it but I say, give it a chance. On my rating scale of 1-4 stars, I give this book 3.5 stars.


Brazen Angel (Brazen, Bk 1)
Brazen Angel (Brazen, Bk 1)
Author: Elizabeth Boyle
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 22
Review Date: 5/1/2007


Excellent story


The Brazen Bride (Black Cobra Quartet, Bk 3)
The Brazen Bride (Black Cobra Quartet, Bk 3)
Author: Stephanie Laurens
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 168
Review Date: 12/20/2010
Helpful Score: 1


I'm going against the flow here by saying this book had no redeeming value whatsoever! I normally love everything Stephanie Laurens writes but IMHO, this was not one of her better works. Other than the fact that she wanted to use all 8 of the Bastion Club guys to act as guards for the couriers, I see no reason why she even wrote this book. It added absolutely nothing to the overall Black Cobra story. In fact, it could have been left unwritten entirely and no one would have missed it.

I didn't care for the heroine at all. I thought she had a very high opinion of herself...calling herself Liege Lord of her home and the people it contains and later likening herself as a virgin queen similar to Queen Elizabeth I. Only in her dreams! The hero was alright and maybe I would have liked him better in a different story altogether.

There were a few things that I thought were just too much...

S
P
O
I
L
E
R

A
L
E
R
T

....the hero was fighting 2 cultists on a ship during a storm. He was severely slashed by the sword of one cultist, then all three were swept overboard....then he found a piece of wreckage to hang onto...then he was hit in the head by the ship's spar as the ship capsized and knocked unconscious....then he washed up on a rocky shoreline along with the 2 dead cultists...then he was found by the heroine's young wards....well you get the picture. To top all that off, the heroine stitched up the gash in his side and bandaged his head. He obviously had a concussion because he remained unconscious throughout this whole process. The heroine, concerned because he was still so very cold, decides to crawl into bed with him...to warm him up! Well, she falls asleep and is awoken in the night by the hero having sex with her while he is still unconscious! Yeah, right! I'm sorry...it was just too much!

I rate my books 1-4 stars....I gave this one 2 stars and that was a stretch!


Brazen Heiress (Brazen, Bk 2)
Brazen Heiress (Brazen, Bk 2)
Author: Elizabeth Boyle
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 21
Review Date: 5/1/2007


Excellent story


Brazen Temptress (Brazen, Bk 3)
Brazen Temptress (Brazen, Bk 3)
Author: Elizabeth Boyle
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 17
Review Date: 5/1/2007


Excellent story


Claiming the Courtesan
Claiming the Courtesan
Author: Anna Campbell
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 145
Review Date: 9/7/2007
Helpful Score: 4


Good but slow moving story, barely held my interest. A very dark story but finally picked up the pace in the last 5 chapters to reach the HEA. My grade 2 stars.


A Dangerous Love (Swanlea Spinsters, No 1)
A Dangerous Love (Swanlea Spinsters, No 1)
Author: Sabrina Jeffries
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 157
Review Date: 9/11/2007
Helpful Score: 1


Another excellent story by Sabrina Jeffries. I gave it a 4-star rating...tops in my book! A must read for any Jeffries fan.


A Deal With the Devil (Lorimer Family and Clan Cameron, Bk 4)
A Deal With the Devil (Lorimer Family and Clan Cameron, Bk 4)
Author: Liz Carlyle
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 149
Review Date: 5/1/2007


Excellent story


Death on Telegraph Hill (Sarah Woolson, Bk 5)
Death on Telegraph Hill (Sarah Woolson, Bk 5)
Author: Shirley Tallman
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 8/28/2013


I love this series and hope it isnt over!

Miss Sarah Woolson is a female attorney in San Francisco in the 1880s and she is quite maligned by most men she meets. This, of course, works in her favor because she can pretty much pull a rabbit out of her hat and win her case while her male counterparts are resting on their petards! The books give a small, inside look at what crime fighting was like during that time period and what politics was like in the SF area in the 1880s. Certainly, neither was looking out for the poor man or woman, as the case may be.

Sarahs family says shes like a dog with a boneshe wont give up until she solves the case and her client is found innocent. In this episode, she is taking on SF City Hall in aid of the SPCA who wants to block the building of a bull ring in the Mission District by a wealthy Mexican, who claims to own the property. In addition, Sarah ends up defending a newspaper publisher arrested for murder. We follow Sarah, her brother Samuel and Robert Campbell, her friend and attorney in another firm. And a very interesting path they travel to solve the case! Of course, I didnt figure out who was responsible until Ms. Tallman told me. It was another of those I didnt see that come momentswhich is good!

This is the fifth book in the series and the same characters have appeared throughout the entire series. In the first book, the reader is sort of rooting for Robert and Sarah to get togetherbut nope, not yet. It isnt until this book that the author opens the door for Robert to step through and extent his hand to Sarah. We will need to read a sixth book to find out if Sarah actually takes his hand and follows the path of his suggestiona law firm called Campbell and Campbell, and more!! Oh, I hope so. I gave this book 4 stars and recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good historical story mixed with mystery and suspense.


The Devil to Pay (MacLachlan, Bk 1)
The Devil to Pay (MacLachlan, Bk 1)
Author: Liz Carlyle
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 195
Review Date: 5/1/2007


Excellent story


Double Abduction
Double Abduction
Author: Chris Beakey
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 7
Review Date: 12/31/2007
Helpful Score: 1


I just finished reading this book and all I can say is 'WOW'! Yes, it is a step away from my usual read because it is a suspense novel and if I didn't get a free copy, I probably would not have bought it. After reading an excerpt on the author's website, I decided to give it a go. Well, it was fast, intense reading....I couldn't put it down.

Here is what the flyleaf has to say about this book:

A child in danger.
A pre-school teacher with a past.
48 hours for a rescue with a killer shadowing every move

For Michael Bennett, spending time with his beloved five-year-old nephew Justin goes hand in hand with his ongoing recovery from terrors of the past. But now Justin has vanished while under Michael's care.

As the prime suspect in the boy's disappearance, Michael is forced into an uneasy alliance with enigmatic Washington, D.C. policewoman Gloria Towson, who believes Justin's fate is connected to a serial killer who targets gay men. In a desperate effort to rescue Justin and save Michael from becoming the killer's next victim, Gloria is tracking the abductor online, a task made more difficult by her supervisor, Louis D'Amecourt, who may be conspiring with FBI officials to keep her from learning the truth.

Yet Michael may not be as innocent as he claims. He and D'Amecourt share a devastating secret, and five years ago Michael's first nephew disappeared in a remarkably similar crime.

Double Abduction is creepy and unnerving, difficult to put down until the last page is turned. There are so many twists, turns, characters and seemingly sub-plots, that at first, I thought I would need an outline to help me keep it all straight. Involved in reading, I could easily let my mind work ahead and try to figure out who the villains where (and there were several) and not everyone is as they appear to be.

I noticed several editing errors and for a while, they threw me off the story, but that is something that needs to be overlooked. I also thought the author, in some instances, overused character's full names when first or last names or pronouns would have sufficed, but that's just me and I tried not to let it interfere with my enjoyment of the book. In all, I gave this book a 3.5 star rating. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys suspenseful thrillers.

1-27-14
UPDATE: I have been corresponding with Chris Beakey to find out what his next book would be and when it would be published. Shortly after the New Year, I received an email from him telling me he finally finished the 2nd book called 'Doublebind'. He was getting it ready to send to his editor and wanted to know if I would like a copy to read. Of course, I said YES. I'm reading it right now, and it is even better than his first book. He said he expected this new book to publish late 2014 so be on the lookout for it. You won't be disappointed!


Dreaming of You (Gamblers, Bk 2)
Dreaming of You (Gamblers, Bk 2)
Author: Lisa Kleypas
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 373
Review Date: 4/28/2008


Another excellent story by Lisa Kleypas. This second book in the Gambler's series is the story of Derek Craven and a 'must read' for her fans. I gave this book 3.5 stars out of 4 on my personal rating system!


1 to 20 of 83 - Page: