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Cynthia - Reviews

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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.
 24
Review Date: 11/21/2013
Helpful Score: 1


I love this story - plain and simple. Mischief, mayhem, explosions, sex!

I adore the cover. Who is this guy - he is gorgeous! And where can I get one?

deep breath That being said. I wasn't sure I was going to like this book: New author, a storyline I wasn't sure about, a hero that was more beta than alpha, and I don't really care for artsy/fartsy characters. Boy was I wrong - I was caught hook, line and sinker in no time.

I especially enjoy when an author uses common language from the era. It creates a more interesting and believable story, and it makes me learn new words. One of my favorite passages:

Zeno forced a grin. "Wha' me? Nah, just coppin' a taste. I'd get the nobbler if the abbess ever caught my wanker in this gorgeous tosser."



The book isn't written entirely this way, but I thought it gave a good example of the street language. Something else I also enjoyed is the manner in which Ms. Stone wrote her sex scenes. Not "in-your-face" explicit, but very sexual and heated.

I adored Zeno and Cassie. Cassie is a young widow. She wasn't married very long, actually still a newlywed when widowed, and she strikes out on her own. The chemistry between these two ignites the pages within the delightful tale of an Irish revolution. The secondary characters of Yard Men, Rafe and Finn, Cassie's parents and Zeno's housekeeper (just to name a few) add additional color to the story. Being set near the end of the 19th century, inventions make their proper appearance - What great beginnings for the Special Unit. My Bond Girl is purring.

The second book in the series, A Dangerous Liaison with Detective Lewis is already waiting for me on the coffee table.


Affliction (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, Bk 22)
Affliction (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, Bk 22)
Author: Laurell K. Hamilton
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 57
Review Date: 9/9/2013
Helpful Score: 1


Although I didn't read numbers 20, 20.5 and 21 of the series, I didn't miss a thing. This book is so repetitive, it could have been 150, or more, pages shorter and not a thing would have been lost. Actually, I read to page 506, Chapter 69, said, "the hell with it," and skimmed the rest of the book without skipping a beat. It's gotten to the point where this series needs to end - NOW: S.O.S., different book.

There are a few things about AFFLICTION that baffled me (spoilerish):

1. Why did Jean-Claude even bother to show up? He made what - ONE - appearance? Maybe it was the needed sex scene.
2. Why was the entire entourage from St. Louis needed? If the reader isn't familiar with the past series...Too many unfamiliar characters are a waste of space. They sure didn't pile on for any orgy!
3. The continual references to polyamory and open marriages will surely turn some readers in other directions.

The high point of this book - one word: Edward.

Stick a fork in me, I'm done with Anita and her long list of sidekicks.


Ambushed! (Sons of Chance, Bk 2) (Harlequin Blaze, No 550)
Ambushed! (Sons of Chance, Bk 2) (Harlequin Blaze, No 550)
Author: Vicki Lewis Thompson
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 50
Review Date: 11/6/2011


Sometimes you just run across a gem and AMBUSHED is one of those. This is a new author, and series, for me, but I thought, WTH, I'll give it a try. The Chance family is one you used to visit every week, back in the day. Reminiscent of Bonanza and The Big Valley, et al. I have the next two books in the series and you can betcha it won't be long before I'll be cracking the covers on those two.


Bared to You (Crossfire, Bk 1)
Bared to You (Crossfire, Bk 1)
Author: Sylvia Day
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 196
Review Date: 6/12/2012
Helpful Score: 1


Alright, I admit it - I caved. I usually don't follow the crowd and read what is popular. I don't know Bones from Barrons from Curran. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not totally in the dark - LOL! It's just that there is sooo much to read and only so many hours in a day. So, yes, I caved after reading all of the press about FSOG and decided to give BARED TO YOU a shot. Really? Seriously? What was all the fuss about.

Eva and Gideon belong to the very exclusive - filthy rich, beautiful people club. There is a catch though; both of them are psychotic having suffered traumatic abuse during their childhood. Eva has (and still is) getting professional help but Gideon, nope, he has a long way to go. Eva's abuse is spelled out, but it is never clear what Gideon is struggling with. Throw into the mix Eva's bisexual, self-destructive (and gorgeous no matter what he wears) roommate, Cary; her looney, but just as gorgeous Mother; and all the other beautiful people in their circle, and you have a prime-time Manhattan drama in the making.

Gideon has commitment problems; then he has issues with possessiveness and jealousy. Eva wants a relationship, but has she self-esteem issues. She'll get jealous or upset and instead of trying to talk it out with Gideon, she runs. And Gideon, well he doesn't talk about problems very well either, he uses sex. There was quite a bit of make-up sex - hot 'n heavy taking place in the shower, the limo, the home library, the office.

The turning point for me was when Eva laid this gem on Gideon:

He pressed a kiss to the crown of my head. "I can't stand the thought that you're waiting for this to end. That's what you're doing, isn't it? That's what you sound like."
"I'm sorry."
"We just have to make you feel secure." He ran his fingers through my hair. "How do we do that?"
I hesitated a moment, then went for it. "Would you go to couples therapy with me?"
The stroking of his fingers paused. He stood silently for a moment, breathing deeply.
"Just think about it," I suggested. "Maybe look into it, see what it's about."
"Am I doing this wrong? You and me? Am I f*cking it up that much?"
I pulled back to look at him. "No Gideon. You're perfect. Perfect for me, anyway. I'm crazy about you. I think you're-"


Excuse me - I think you're perfect but you need therapy!?! After two weeks (or less) of "dating", whose asks that? But it didn't change the caliber of the story for me. It was still misunderstandings, jealousies, SOS - different day, hot sex and a HFN to be continued in the next installment, DEEPER IN YOU.

One more thing, if you please. When I turned the last page of this book, I found a Readers Guide with Discussion Questions. Ah hell, I should have known better. Any book that ends with essay questions instead of an epilogue is not for me.


Blood Law (Blood Moon Rising, Bk 1)
Blood Law (Blood Moon Rising, Bk 1)
Author: Karin Tabke
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 46
Review Date: 6/27/2011
Helpful Score: 1


It doesnt matter what romance genre (or name) Ms. Tabke chooses to write: Erotic (Hot Cop Series), historical (Blood Sword Legacy Series), or paranormal (L.O.S.T Series). You can be assured of an intense story with expertly crafted characters that will have you captivated.

Falon always knew she was different from everyone else; something inside her just wasnt right. After running away from a foster home at a young age, she barely survives on her own. Her initial meeting with a Slayer Conan is also her first introduction to Rafael. Once Rafael takes care of the Slayer, he takes Falon with him. After all, the slayer wanted her for some reason; she must be important. And thus, the ride begins!

Lets get this straight.There was nothing NOTHING that I didnt love about this book. It starts out with a bit of background to get the story rolling. How the Lycans and Slayers came to be; their ongoing feud; necessary stuff like that. At times, this is a violent story. The violence plays an integral part of how the characters develop. This is one hot, steamy, sizzlin read. The only reason I didnt give BLOOD LAW the highest sexual rating is because of the almost ménage. (Hey, youre going to have to read it to find out!) Now, a few of my highlights.

Falon: the growth of this character is astounding! She begins as a weak, fearful girl and develops into a strong alpha; oh, so deserving of her alpha Lycan.


Complicated? she shrilled. You hold my life in your hands and all you can tell me is, its complicated? He stood quiet, unable to defend himself.

I dont want to die. I will not die because of your Blood Law. If that messes with your day, too damn bad.


Rafael, the alpha leader of the Vulkasin clan. He does whatever is necessary for the survival of his clan. Even if it means sacrificing his happiness and the destruction of his chosen one. Rafael is the light brother.

Lucien is the outcast; the dark brother, alpha of the Mondragon clan. Although he and Rafael are identical twins, it is easy to tell the difference between them: Light and dark, day and night. When Luciens chosen one is murdered, he claims Blood Law.

There are concurrent storylines running in BLOOD LAW. The war between the Lycans and the Slayers. The hostility between the brothers. The blooming of Falon and her relationship with Rafael. The survival of the Lycans. All of them are intertwined with one another and turns BLOOD LAW into a howling fantastic novel. Also, there is a bit of knowledge concerning Falons heritage that has yet to be discovered, along with what destiny has in store for the brothers.

BLOOD LAW does not have your typical HEA, but what it does have will blow you away!


The Club
The Club
Author: Sharon Page
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 99
Review Date: 5/2/2013
Helpful Score: 2


After a series of complete failures, I was hesitant to pick-up another new author, another new series, another historical romance. *groan* But I did - I plucked it off of the back of my towering TBR and gave it a shot - WTH. And what a gem it is!

The story and the characters kept me engaged from page one. Jane, Lady Sherringham, is a courageous young woman who dares to enters "The Club" to find her missing BFF. The Club being a gentlemen's club where all types of debauchery can and will be experienced. She encounters "Lord Wicked", Christian Wickham, at the club. He has returned home from India to rescue his sister.

Jane suffered under the hands of her late husband and must learn how to love and trust again. Christian believes he is tainted because of his heritage. Yet, watching these two begin to love and trust again is like watching a moth being drawn to a flame.

The Club is a delicious blend of erotic, mystery and the romance I look for in a well written story. Ms. Page is now an author I won't hesitate to pick-up and read.


A Courtesan's Guide to Getting Your Man
A Courtesan's Guide to Getting Your Man
Author: Susan Donovan, Celeste Bradley
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 71
Review Date: 6/27/2011
Helpful Score: 2


I didn't know how I would like this book. A tale of two women told concurrently: One set in the Regency and the other at the present time. And I usually dont like tales such as these and I can give or take a contemporary romance. So, I began reading with a bit of trepidation. I am so glad I was proven wrong, but I will admit I did enjoy The Blackbird and Sirs story the best and if it wasnt for that, this book would have been mediocre. The chapters skip back and forth between the time periods but that does not distract from the storytelling.

Piper works for a museum as a historical curator and when she stumbles upon a set of journals and starts reading them, the words literally turn her world upside down.

An arranged marriage, a transaction, has Ophelia determined to be her own woman.

This novel is a breathtaking discovery of freedom in its many forms by two women from different centuries. It will have your emotions in a tailspin.


A Deep Kiss of Winter: Untouchable / Tempt Me Eternally
A Deep Kiss of Winter: Untouchable / Tempt Me Eternally
Author: Gena Showalter, Kresley Cole
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 154
Review Date: 1/20/2010


Kresley Cole's "Untouchable": Murdoch Wroth and Ice Queen Daniela's story was a wonderful and well written tale. Also, it is good to see that the Wroth brothers are now all together with their Brides. As always Ms. Cole spins great dialog with intriguing characters. I liked the way she developed this story within the background of finding the other brothers.

Gena Showalter "Tempt Me Eternally": This one on the other hand seemed forced. Aleaha Love is colorful and feisty, but come on: What she did to Breean to get away from him? I'm sure that could have been written a different way.


Detroit: An American Autopsy
Detroit: An American Autopsy
Author: Charlie LeDuff
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 12
Review Date: 6/4/2013


A gallant attempt to dissect the downfall of Detroit is made by Mr. LeDuff. The political greed and corruption slowly destroys a once great American city.

I feel Mr. LeDuff left out quite a bit that led to the demise of Detroit because he focuses mainly on the political corruption of the city. It is also highly autobiographical; as if he was searching for something while he was writing it.


Edge of Sight (Guardian Angelinos, Bk 1)
Edge of Sight (Guardian Angelinos, Bk 1)
Author: Roxanne St. Claire
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 88
Review Date: 10/5/2011


A first-rate whodunit debut for Ms. St. Claires new series, The Guardian Angelinos. It is heavier on the suspense than the romance, but you will not be disappointed. The story is well defined and engaging, making this a page turner that moves quickly. Although many family members are introduced, they are easy to differentiate from each other due to Ms. St. Claires excellent writing. Each character comes alive on the page.

The ground work for the family business is being laid in this first novel and you get to know the dynamics of those relationships. A peek at just a few of the family members Vivi is Zachs twin sister: She is the one who has the brainstorm of The Guardian Angelinos. Uncle Nino is the patriarch and stabilizing force of the family. Marc and Gabe (brothers) are cousins of Vivi and Zach: Marc, former FBI; Gabe, spook. Gabes brief appearance here will have readers clamoring for his own story . and soon. I AM!

Three years ago Sammi Fairchild was left broken and sobbing. No words were exchanged then and none since. Now, she has to depend on him to keep her safe from a murderer.

I wont lie and tell you I knew I loved you when I got on that plane to Kuwait.
Her eyes, even lit by the candles, showed hed made a direct hit.
But I think I did by the time I landed.


Zach Angelino returned from war a scarred man; less than a man. Because of past mistakes, they continually doubt themselves, but together they learn to overcome these obstacles.

Now, one problem I did have was right after a harrowing incident for Sam and Zach. SPOILER ALERT! They are soaking wet, clothes clinging to them, they are cold, and Sam has lost her shoes and socks. They are taking refuge in a dilapidated barn. Sams feet are torn and bloody. Miraculously, Zachs wallet, with condom still intact, survived the submersion. A romantic interlude ensues. I guess gratuitous sex was needed just then.


Face of Danger (Guardian Angelinos, Bk 3)
Face of Danger (Guardian Angelinos, Bk 3)
Author: Roxanne St. Claire
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 63
Review Date: 10/6/2011


By far the best of The Guardian Angelinos series. After SHIVER OF FEAR, I was a bit leery of picking up and continuing with the series, but I did want to read Vivi and Lang's story. WOW - What a ride! Ms. St. Claire did not disappoint.

These two, Vivi and Lang, would be voted the least likely to succeed: Opposites attract. Vivi has kept a dark secret from her family for many years and it has affected her relationships with men. Slim to none would be the case. Lang's previous partner was KIA and has had a lasting effect on him. Although, from the first opening sex scene you wouldn't think so. The way Vivi seduces Lang just so he won't say her name. Well, now, it goes way past a lap dance!

Add in to this emotional quagmire a serial killer, a body double, and a man on the FBI's most wanted list and you have a story that will keep you riveted till the last page turns.

Ms. St. Claire touches upon a topic in FACE OF DANGER that is rarely approached in the romance genre. Granted, she does not delve deeply into the subject (that is for another forum), but I give her kudos for bringing it to the forefront of her audience; even if briefly.

The characters are vividly drawn and the reappearance of a few of the Angelino and Rossi family members only add to the enjoyment of FACE OF DANGER. Ah yes, Gabe Rossi makes a GRAND entrance. I'm hoping Ms. St. Claire is furiously penning his story next.


Fragile (Rafferty Brothers, Bk 1)
Fragile (Rafferty Brothers, Bk 1)
Author: Shiloh Walker
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 110
Review Date: 5/26/2011
Helpful Score: 2


An excellent read. It kept me guessing until the very end; with a twist which I didn't see coming at all. The depth of the two main characters was well done.


The Goblin King (Shadowlands, Bk 1)
The Goblin King (Shadowlands, Bk 1)
Author: Shona Husk
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 20
Review Date: 6/12/2012


It was okay. Going in I didn't know what to expect about goblin mythology.

THE GOBLIN KING is basically a retelling of beauty and the beast. Where Beauty, Eliza, needs to see past the Beast, The Goblin King, Roan, and his solid heart of gold. The Beast must forget his own selfish desires before he can become a man once again. There is a twist added of an unscrupulous fiance, Steve, added into the mix.

I will admit, I found reading about the goblins interesting because I usually avoid most druid stories. However, since this type of creature was new to me, I learned quite a bit about goblins. But not enough to continue on with the series. It just doesn't have the spark that I need to keep me hooked.


Hershey's chocolate cookbook
Hershey's chocolate cookbook
Book Type: Unknown Binding
  • Currently 4.4/5 Stars.
 8
Review Date: 1/11/2014


It goes without saying: All of the chocolate used in the recipes listed in this book are a type made by the Hershey Company. Of course, you can substitute whatever brand you may have in your kitchen cabinet.

Even though the recipes seem dated, they are clear and concise. The cookbook is full of pictures; which makes this book even more appealing. Any true chocolate lover should be able to find more than a handful of recipes here that are sure to delight!


High Stakes Seduction (Uniformly Hot!) (Harlequin Blaze, No 610)
High Stakes Seduction (Uniformly Hot!) (Harlequin Blaze, No 610)
Author: Lori Wilde
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 20
Review Date: 6/15/2011


Whenever I want a light, quick read or know I won't have the time to delve into a heavily involved read, I can always count on Harlequin to deliver a thoroughly enjoyable romance.

When two complete opposites attract, the story sizzles. Yes, Adam and Eva is a bit silly, but it works. And Eva is so spunky, she'll have you grinning in spite of yourself. In addition to wondering if you have a fiery sacral chakra.


His Enemy's Daughter (Knights of Brittany, Bk 4) (Harlequin Historicals, No 1034)
His Enemy's Daughter (Knights of Brittany, Bk 4) (Harlequin Historicals, No 1034)
Author: Terri Brisbin
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 23
Review Date: 6/10/2012


The "Beautiful Bastard", Soren, now feared because of the scars he carries from wounds he suffered in battle and the vengeance which spurned him to live.

Sybilla, blinded by the brutal force of Soren's invading forces, she must somehow try to protect her people - even though blinded - and married to the man who came to destroy her.

Soren is absolutely wonderful *sigh*. Scarred, tortured soul that he is. Soren realizes Sybilla will experience the same things he did with his recovery and he helps her through them. The beginning of the softening of the Alpha. A steamy/hot story but not explicit.

What a wonderful tale with a bit of history blended in. This is the last of Ms. Brisbin's The Knights of Brittany Series, but it can be read as a standalone. Be sure to read the Author's Note at the end, as that will explain a bit about the battles and the people of the time.


Italian Stallions: In His Bed / Will That Be All?
Italian Stallions: In His Bed / Will That Be All?
Author: Karin Tabke, Jami Alden
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 63
Review Date: 1/29/2012


This is exactly the type of read that I need every now and again. Both of the stories in the book had a down-to-earth story line with strong characters and a few secondary characters to pull it all together. It doesn't hurt that the heroes were hot Italian alphas and the sex was smokin'!

I have never been disappointed with the work of Ms. Tabke and she will continue to be one of my auto-buy authors. ITALIAN STALLIONS completes my library of her work.

Ms. Alden is a NTMA but WHOA! Not for long. I will be looking forward to reading more by this lady!


Jabril (Vampires in America, Bk 2)
Jabril (Vampires in America, Bk 2)
Author: D. B. Reynolds
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.3/5 Stars.
 34
Review Date: 6/27/2011


JABRIL doesnt skip a beat and picks up right where RAPHAEL ended. Cyn, suffering from a broken heart and wanting to put distance between herself and Raphael, heads to Houston, Texas, when she is offered a job from the powerful Vampire Lord, Jabril Karim. Unfortunately, when she meets Jabril, she is disturbed at what she finds.

Lord Jabril hires Cyn to find his runaway ward, Elizabeth. He is also aware of Cyns connection with Raphael. Jabril is a sleaze. He is cruel and uses his minions and blood slaves for his nefarious, selfish purposes. Cyn accepts the assignment to find Liz and secretly decides to get Lizs sister, Mirabelle away from Jabril.

Liz and Mirabelle have been under Jabrils care since the death of their parents many years ago. Mirabelle was turned into a vampire by Jabril, but Liz was not. He needs both sisters for one thing: their inheritance aka money. These sisters are as different as night and day. Liz has a strong backbone, learns to take care of herself, and has managed to stay away from Jabril for the most part. Whereas, Mirabelle has become sacred and cowed, submissive to a point of slavery.

Cyn is ever the badass heroine with a heart of gold. She does get Mirabelle away from Jabril and back to LA at the peril of her own safety and heart. She has to call on Raphael for his protection for Mirabelle, and Mirabelle must formally ask Raphaels permission to live in his territory. The reconnection of Cyn and Raphael begins (read hot and bothered). As Raphael opens up to Cyn and reveals a bit of his past, he makes a confession. It is a tender and moving moment when Cyn realizes just how vulnerable love has made Raphael.


So, having at last met a foe I could not defeat, I fled, he said in disgust. Rather than face you in my weakness, I thought to leave you behind, to forget about you, which I thought was surely possible. After all, how could one human overwhelm me with feelings in such a short period of time?


JABRIL is captivating with the evolution of Mirabelle and the development of Cyn and Raphael. But the shit hits the fan when Jabril decides to intercede and make his play. That is when the action really starts and our girl Cyn comes to life. Beware: bloody, gory vamp violence with a bit of good ole human know-how mixed in to even the odds. I expect nothing less from Ms. Reynolds! JABRIL ends with a superb twist I sure didnt see coming!


Just Surrender... (Harlequin Blaze)
Just Surrender... (Harlequin Blaze)
Author: Kathleen O'Reilly
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.1/5 Stars.
 8
Review Date: 7/13/2011


I couldn't help it: This book put a silly grin on my face.

Edie and Tyler are as different as night and day. She's a city slicker from NYC; he's a southern boy from Texas. He's uptight, starchy, closed-fisted; she's a fly by-by-the-seat of your pants gal. But the one thing they have in common is that both of them are emotional wrecks. Tyler keeps his emotions locked tight as a drum inside. While Edie covers hers up by trying to help everyone else with their problems.


This time he shoved a hand through his own hair and began to pace. "I'm not talking about sex, Edie. You said you would teach me all the crappy emotional stuff. Don't get me wrong, I love the sex. I adore the sex. I want the sex, but my last girlfriend cheated on me, and all you want to do is jump me, and now I'm worried that you were right and I'm a brick. I'm tired of being an emotional brick. Bricks are not good."


When it comes to matters of the heart, Edie and Tyler take a journey neither one intended.


King of Darkness (Chronicles of Yavn, Bk 1)
King of Darkness (Chronicles of Yavn, Bk 1)
Author: Elisabeth Staab
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.3/5 Stars.
 15
Review Date: 4/24/2012


WOW - For a debut novel, I am impressed! Ms. Staab manages to lay the groundwork of her world without it getting shoved down your throat or put in your face. She weaves it into her story in such a way that before you know it - SHAZAM!! - everything just falls into place.

I couldn't help but chuckle over the chosen name of Thad Morgan for the hero/king of the story. That sounds more like a college prep boy than a Vampire King. But Ms. Staab makes it work. Thad turns out to be the rare alpha/beta hero that is so hard to find these days.

As with any new series, we're introduced to a handful of main characters that play central roles in the continuing story line; along with a plethora of minor ones who become just as important. Oh my, my, my. . . Siddoh and Lee *sigh* Even the maybe (?) evil wizard Anton holds secrets.

There are a few loose ends in KING OF DARKNESS, which I am assuming Ms. Staab will address in Book #2. Question is - WHEN? How long do we wait until we find out about Lee, Tyra, Alexia, and Anton?


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