Overall, I thought this was a promising start to a new series. Sullivan and Isabel aren't the prototypical perfect hero and heroine, but (thank goodness) they exhibit *actual character development* throughout the story. Isabel is obnoxious and a little hard to stomach for the first few chapters, but she improves upon further acquaintance. Sullivan is a pretty bitter person to begin with, but he's started to put the worst of his issues behind him by the end of the book. And I'm kind of hoping Isabel's younger brother gets his own book at some point - he was fairly enjoyable.
Overall, I enjoyed this book. You've got two headstrong protaginists, but unlike the heroines in Feather's Duncan Sistsers books, Meg Barratt is not so prickly as to be almost unlikeable. Cosimo (we never do find out his last name, come to think of it) is a dashing, competent sailor-slash-spy-slash-assasin. He knows what he's doing, except when it comes to Meg. There are the usual blissful love scenes, pages of witty dialogue, feelings of bitter betrayal, passionate make-up scenes, etc. I found myself interested in the descriptions both of life on an 19th century ship and life with Napolean. The story itself was fairly absorbing - I think I would have read it even if it hadn't been a romance!
The second book in the "Notorious Gentlemen" series, features Lt. Col. Phin Bromley. Phin returns to his ancestral home as the prodigal brother, but is not exactly welcomed with open arms by his older sibling or most of the neighbors. He becomes reaquainted with Alyse, his childhood friend, and the expected happens. The progression of their love story is fairly believable, although a side plot about Phin's second identity is a little silly.
The characters are appropriately either appealing or villainous, if not truly memorable, and you're more told about than shown their personal development. The plot itself isn't too bad, and the main point of conflict is resolved nicely. Although the one thing I haven't quite figured out is why this book is titled "Before the Scandal" when the entire storyline deals with the *aftermath* of Phin's and Elyse's years-old scandals. I thought this was an okay book - not really one of Enoch's stand-outs, but still decent.
This was my first book by this author, and I must admit that it was much more than I thought it was going to be. Fairly complex and well-developed primary and secondary characters with a good bit of medeaval court intrigue and history thrown in. The author apparently really knows her period. Really enjoyed it, and would definitely recommend it.
I found myself skimming through this book rather than really reading it. I don't seem to be a huge fan of this author's writing style. She's got some really good dialogue mixed in with a sort of rushed-feeling narrative that makes the story feel uneven. Also, the characters seem inordinately fond of speaking in italics.
Phoebe and Will are two fairly likeable characters dealing with unexpected life circumstances. She is gently-bred and suddenly finds herself inhabiting the role of an upper level servant. He's had an acute case of wanderlust, and suddenly finds himself back home in the country, dealing with some extremely recalcitrant siblings and a heartbreakingly disabled father. Will wants Phoebe as his mistress while he courts a local heiress. Phoebe suddenly finds herself wanting to marry, but she's hemmed herself into a corner with her charade as a 'modiste' (*not* a seamstress!). They spar with each other, fall in love, deal with messy situations and a herd of feral horses, break each other's hearts, and of course, make up in the end. I did rather like the secondary storyline concerned with Will's younger sister, Alice - I thought it felt fairly realistic, compared to similar storylines I've seen in other romance novels.
I picked this book up before realizing that it's the last in a trilogy - still trying to decide if I want to bother with the first two "Desperate Debutantes."
Let's just put it this way - I couldn't bring myself to read the entire book. And I love Eloisa James. This was just not her best effort to date. Too many characters, many of them difficult to like, and some of the story lines were just uncomfortable. I doubt that I will read the rest of the series, so I hope that James gets them published quickly so that we can all move on to things better and more enjoyable.
'Hard to Handle' is not really any better or any worse than the others in the SBC Fighters series, just not really riveting. The main plot revolves around Harley Handleman and Stasia, his "life coach" and his issues and various attempts on her life. There's also a secondary romantic plot for Barber, Dakota's musician friend from the previous book, and his new lead singer. All of them end up in Harmony, and there's plenty of interaction with characters from the other titles in the series.
I don't want to say that Lori Foster's most recent books are getting worse and worse, but they're definitely not keeping my interest. She used to have really fun and distinctive characters/plots, but lately all the heroes and heroines are running together (partly because they all keep showing up in books together) and the writing style and dialogue seems almost amateurish. I've been skimming more than really reading them.
This book was just fun. The third in the Talisman Ring series, the story follows Chase St. John as he flees London for good (or so he thinks). He's spent several months convinced that he killed a woman in a drunk driving incident, and an acquaintance of the unsavory sort is determined to continue to benefit from this situation.
On his way out of the country, he falls into the lives of the very unique Ward Family. They need to produce a 'real' fake finace for oldest daughter Harriet in order to hold off the bank, and since they think that Chase has lost his memory, Mother Ward decides that he fits the bill. Much hijinks and sheep shearing and falling in love ensues. The whole plot is wrapped up rather quickly at the end, but I guess it had to happen somehow. And of course there are appearances by big brothers Anthony and Marcus as they come to save the day, and younger brother Devon discovers that he is the next St. John fated to fall victim to the Talisman Ring.
Love, love, love this series. Hot romance, great humor, suspenseful plots - it's pretty much exactly what any woman needs on her shelf for rainy days. 'The Imposter' is the second book in The Liar's Club series, featuring a group of men working as undercover agents for the Crown (and the Royal Four, but that's a whole other series). The main cast of characters interact with each other throughout the whole series, so it does help to read them more or less in order.
Clara Simpson (mentioned in passing in 'The Pretender') is leading a secret life as satirical political cartoonist Sir Thorogood. Unfortunately, one of her cartoons has caught the notice of the government, and Dalton Montmorency, Lord Etheridge, has been assigned to impersonate Sir Thorogood in order to bring the real artist out into the open. Unfortunately for Dalton, another organization is out to eliminate Sir Thorogood, which makes him the public target. Clara is angry that Dalton is taking credit for her own work and sets out to make him an object of ridicule. They can't stand each other.
Meanwhile, the two of them meet and fall in love under separate circumstances while sneaking around investigating Clara's neighbor. They like each other quite a lot. Lots of subterfuge, confusion, violence, and falling in love result. As usual, Bradley does an excellent job balancing humor and action between a set of very enjoyable characters.
Book Four in the Knight Miscellany series, this is Jacinda's story. Fleeing marriage to a "stuffy" Lord Griffith (poor man finds love several books later, thank goodness), Jacinda finds herself at the mercy of Billy Blade, a flashy young man she first encountered in 'Lord of Ice'. When Jacinda finds herself in an extremely vulnerable, and smelly, position, Billy rescues her from some bloodthirsty gang members, sets her to rights, kisses her into oblivion, and then, when he discovers who she really is, takes her home.
Several weeks later, Billy is the one in a vulnerable position, as he must re-enter the Ton as part of a bargain with his estranged father. He has decided that he must marry Jacinda, she has other ideas. She does decide to make Billy her project, though, steering him through their society. Along the way they become close friends, and eventually lovers.
If you like loveable bad boys, Billy is your man. He's rough, tough, tatooed, and possessed of - as we are reminded at least once each chapter - an impressive set of compact muscles. Jacinda is gorgeous, and in the words of (forgive me for this) Britney Spears, "not quite a girl, not yet a woman." They both have some growing up to do, but they've managed to do it by the end of the book. There's plenty of interaction with the characters from the previous books, and Lizzie's and Alec's stories are set up, as well. The story straddles Billy's life in the criminal underworld and Jacinda's life in the upper strata, with plenty of varied characters from each. I love this author for successfully mixing descriptive narrative with interesting dialogue in all her books, and this one is no exception. If you order, you may just end up deciding to hang on to your copy.
As much as I love all of the characters in Foley's 'Knight Miscellaney' books, I must admit that the twins, Lucien and Damien, are my favorites. This is Damien's story, taking place shortly after Lucien's marriage. A national military hero, he is severely troubled by memories of the war, to the point where anything that remotely resembles the sounds of battle cause him to lose control. Being an extremely self-controlled individual, this scares him half to death, and he responds by shutting himself off so that he won't accidentally hurt anyone that he loves. He's macho and tough, and all you want to do is give him a hug.
Damien meets his match in Miranda, his newly acquired ward. Miranda is something of a free spirit, although not to the point where you want to shake her into showing some common sense. She spends the first third of the book determined to become an acclaimed actress. Damien falls for her the moment he sees her, of course, but tries to convince himself (and her) that he's no good for her. Miranda then devotes herself to convincing him otherwise. She's also having to dodge a series mysterious attempts on her life, right up to a deadly showdown.
These are two very likeable characters, whom Foley has drawn in several dimensions, as she does so well. Their personal growth is evident without being hit-you-over-the-head obvious. The descriptions of the battles that Damien lived through were grim and well-done, and you can easily understand why someone would be so haunted. The rest of Damien's family is also pulled into the story, so that you are filled in on their lives and given hints as to the fates of the heroes and heroines of the subsequent novels. A very absorbing book, and an excellent waste of several hours!
Victoria has absolutely no desire to be a heroine (even action movies have too much adventure for her), but her twin brother Alex has gone missing while on a counter-terrorist mission. She turns to Marc, Alex's best friend, to try to get him home. Marc drags her along with him to a fictional Mediterranean island, where they deal with bad guys, fall in love and try to re-establish Tory's psychic link with her nearly-dead brother.
This is a re-released, "refurbished" issue of the first book in Adair's T-FLAC series. Since it's a Harlequin, it's not the most substantial of novels, and lacks some of the intensity of Adair's more recent books, but it's an enjoyable fast read.
Book 3 in the Royal Four series, this is the story of Julia Barrowby, who is determined to hold on to her position as the Fox, and Marcus, Lord Dryden, who is determined to take that position away from her.
Since the other members of the Royal Four, plus Marcus and Liverpool, are convinced that having a woman in their cadre would bring them (and Englad) to absolute ruin, Marcus heads to Derbyshire to woo/seduce Julia into giving up all her secrets.
Julia, meanwhile, is dealing with assaults on her hand (from numerous suitors), her heart (from Marcus), and her person and household (from the elusive Chimera). Secondary characters include members of a former traveling circus and, of course, the Liars.
Nobody is exactly who they seem - to the reader and/or the other characters - and there are some pretty good twists and turns within the plot. Definitely worth picking up!
Love, love, love this series. Hot romance, great humor, suspenseful plots - it's pretty much exactly what any woman needs on her shelf for rainy days. 'The Pretender' is the first book in The Liar's Club series, featuring a group of men working as undercover agents for the Crown (and the Royal Four, but that's a whole other series). The main cast of characters interact with each other throughout the whole series, so it does help to read them more or less in order.
In 'The Pretender', Agatha Cunnington has come to London to search for her missing brother, James. Simon Rain, head of The Liar's Club, is also looking for James. James is a fellow spy (something Agatha is unaware of) and Simon believes that he has turned traitor with some tragic results.
In order to make her life in London easier, Agatha has acquired a fake husband, and when she needs to produce a flesh and blood man, she ends up with Simon. Simon, meanwhile, is convinced that Agatha is actually James' mistress. He moves in to her house, and she undertakes his 'civilization'. This major misunderstanding is taken care of about two thirds of the way through the story, but there are more twists and turns to come.
The book is lots of fun and an easy, well-written read. It helps if you have a large block of time to devote to it, because it was not easy to put down once I got started!
This book tells Rian Becket's story, picking up several months after we last saw him near the end of 'A Reckless Beauty'. By the time the story starts, he's already begun his romance with Lisette, a young woman who has more going on below her beautiful surface than he suspects. The plot is obviously divided into three parts, the first one a little slow-moving, but once Rian and Lisette begin their journey back to Romney Marsh, it became apsorbing enough that I stayed up much later than I had intended, to finish the book.
I didn't like this book as much as a couple of the others in the series, but it is by no means a bad one. Lisette was a lot of fun, and Rian became much more enjoyable as he came out of his opium haze (which happened awfully quickly, and with no real consequences from the withdrawl - perhaps it was a side effect of his very strong character?). The book did seem like its real purpose was to serve as the bridge between the events of 'A Reckless Beauty' and 'Becket's Last Stand', but it's still worth the few hours that it takes to read it.
Ethan Damont is a professional gambler, and two different organizations would like him to be a spy in Regency England. He's got a kitten, an omnicient butler he refers to as Jeeves, and a deep love for Lady Jane Pennington. Jane has an evil uncle, a lot of courage, and a deep love for Ethan Damont. He believes that she's too good for him, and sets out to make the world a better place for her regardless. She's decided that he's what she wants, and has got a few surprises up her own sleeve.
Loved this book, which I picked up from the library on a whim. Lots of fun with some twists and turns and suspense and enjoyable characters. Will definitely be checking out more books from this author.
I will be honest, I am not a paranormal romance fan, and usually avoid the genre completely. However, this is Christina Dodd.
The story is interesting and kinda fun, with some great characterizations, an intriguing backstory and some seriously hawt romance. The second book in the series, 'Touch of Darkness', is just as good, and I am impatiently waiting for the final two in the quartet.
A quick, fun read that feels like the book equivalent of TNT's The Librarian movies.
The men are members of Solomon's, an organization that tracks down objects of legend. Fielding Grey comes off of discovering the lost library of Alexandria and finds himself suddenly on the trail of Pandora's Box. Esme Worthington holds the key (literally) to said box, and has an unfortunate habit of being kidnapped by the bad guy. She thinks she's been cursed with Lust (one of the curses contained in the box), Fielding is convinced that it would be a bad idea to fall in love with her, and romantic hi-jinks ensue. The plot could stand to have been a little more developed (DeHart kind of breezes over some details that could've easily been enhanced), but maybe the rest of the books in the series will improve upon that.
This is the sequel to "The Abduction of Julia" and a prequel of sorts to the Talisman Ring series featuring the St. John brothers.
After an early, tragically (and somewhat comically) ended marriage, Sara (St. John) Lawrence finds herself banished to Bath with a middle-aged chaperone when her older brothers decide that she needs to settle down and re-marry. She determines that her best course of action is to find a husband of convenience who will let her do her own thing. Unfortunately, things don't go exactly according to plan.
Enter Nicholas Montrose. Sara doesn't particularly want to marry him, and he definitely doesn't want to marry her. But since they are desperately in lust, it somehow happens anyway, with a lot of help (read: threats) from Sara's brothers. Nick suffers from severe migraines and painful childhood memories of an opium-addicted mother, and is determined to send Sara away before he ruins her life - and very nearly succeeds on both counts.
This book has a fairly lightweight plot, and is a fun, easy read. Sara and Nick are enjoyable characters, and you're also introduced to Anna and Anthony, whose love story follows in "An Affair to Remember." Karen Hawkins obviously has a great sense of humor, and that comes through in all of her books, including this one.
Love, love, love this series. Hot romance, great humor, suspenseful plots - it's pretty much exactly what any woman needs on her shelf for rainy days. 'The Spy' is the third book in The Liar's Club series, featuring a group of men working as undercover agents for the Crown (and the Royal Four, but that's a whole other series). The main cast of characters interact with each other throughout the whole series, so it does help to read them more or less in order.
It is finally Liar James Cunnington's turn to fall in love. What he doesn't realize is that Phillipa Atwater, the woman he is destined for, is currently masquerading as a young man - the tutor he has hired for an adopted street kid. James has been charged with tracking down a missing codebreaker who is suspected of turning traitor and joining Napoleon's forces. The codebreaker happens to be Phillipa's father, and Phillipa also suspects James of nefarious deeds.
While in her guise as a young man, Phillipa falls in love with James and finally figures out a way to show him her love by using another disguise. When James finds out what and who she is, all hell breaks loose.
This is actually my least favorite book in the Liar's Club series, but that really isn't saying much. Plenty of action and romance and humor, and the suspense story that began in book one is continued which good character development along the way. Very enjoyable read.