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Review Date: 8/14/2012
Helpful Score: 1
After reading "Hush," I was curious how the Lodestone Series would develop. And SPOILER ALERT, this 2nd installment follows the original formula (pardon the pun) to a 't'. Some of Cherry Adair's lines were lol funny (she must have been watching SATC when she wrote the scenes including a scrunchie and a family pack of condoms [talk about irony]). The actions scenes were intense and the love scenes were marginally believable. The villian and the "drug demos" were disturbing, so if you are squeamish or would rather NOT read about this kind of stuff, then skip "Afterglow." True this story is farfetched, but SURPRISE, it's fiction.
A solid 3.5 stars.
Review Date: 10/3/2011
Even though I'm in the minority here, I really enjoyed reading "Cloudy with a Chance of Marriage." Having never read the author or the Impossible Bachelors series, this story reminded me of a cross between Celeste Bradley and Jane Feather (though not as heavy in content).
Yes the pace of the book is somewhat quiet and slow, and the ending *does* resolve itself rather neatly. But the story - despite Jilly's big "secret" and the underlying sinister tone - was sweet, lighthearted, and left me with a happy, positive feeling when I finished the book. Stephen and Jilly were a very strong hero and heroine, and the cast of secondary characters enriched the story that much more (yes, even icky Hector).
If you're on the fence about this story, give it a try. If you already read it and did NOT like it, maybe you might try a second read down the road...?
Review Date: 2/18/2011
Helpful Score: 4
Dreams of a Dark Warrior is the 9th book in Cole's Immortals After Dark series (11th, if counting the anthology stories, which one SHOULD count). This story concentrates on the Valkyrie Regin the Radiant and her reincarnated berserker mate Aidan/Declan.
Cole's writing is seamless (sorry for the pun in bad taste!). While the writing was riveting and highly descriptive (the lab scenes were honestly tough to get through), the chemistry between the main characters didn't seem nearly as strong to me as others in Cole's stories. For as much history as Declan and Regin had together, their fated love just didn't seem to leap off the pages. To me, they just weren't as intense and raw as Carrow and Malcolm, Rydstrom and Sabine, etc. As was alluded to in the previous installment (Demon from the Dark), Declan is the quintessential anti-hero, but is written here with much more pathos. And in my opinion, Regin is portrayed as a more believable immortal female and not as some drunken sorority sister. As I got closer and closer to finishing the book, I kept wondering HOW Cole would bring these two characters together, how could she possibly come up with a paranormal happily ever after in less than 50 pages... The ending itself was okay - not knock-your-socks-off great, but not horribly bad either.
This story parallels the same timeline as Demon from the Dark, and I love how Cole easily flips her magical literary mirror (lame, I know, sorry!) and depicts several scenes from the previous book through the eyes of others (events that occurred at the Order's facility, the exams, La Dorada, the battle to escape the island, etc. I absolutely loved how much depth Cole gave secondary characters like Natalya, Thad (such a cutie!), and Lothaire.
After so many installments, this series certainly has its share of ups and downs, but it is obvious that Cole (unlike other authors, you know who they are!) is definitely trying to keep her stories and characters fresh, her readers on their toes and the edges of their seats. I look forward to reading more about these characters from the Lore, catching up with old friends and seeing how younger beings like Thad and Ruby are faring, and what the heck is going to happen in the imminent Assession!
Review Date: 9/7/2011
Yes, as other reviews state, this story is indeed 'out there' and there are aspects that are rushed, like the last chapter/epilogue.
However just with the fact that Zak basically becomes a human GPS and timid Acadia can hold her own while lost in the jungle just out of sheer tenacity and from working at a sporting goods store, all sense of "reality" really should be check at the door. I've read other authors who try to write a new angle on the millionaire-adventurer theme, but I found "Hush" to be interesting, riveting, and a fast-paced page turner. I *never* would have guessed the ending, as Cherry Adair did a fantastic job of leading the reader in the wrong direction. Even at the end, when his deceased wife reveals she faked her death, I actually yelled out "I can't belive she did that!", because I was completely shocked - in a good way.
Really good read, and definitely has me looking forward to more of the Lodestone Series.
Review Date: 8/30/2011
Helpful Score: 1
*** Review contains SPOILERS. Please do NOT read further if you don't want details of this story!! ***
Please understand, I was very much looking forward to reading Leah and the Bounty Hunter. I love a good old-fashioned Western Romance, and thought the first two books in the Men of Defiance series were very enjoyable. While the main characters, Jace and Leah, were written very strongly and with amazingly intense romantic (and physical... wow!) chemistry, the story itself was really lackluster and a major let-down.
There were no surprises in the story, as every new revelation was obvious. The chapters had no real organization (one chapter would be 3 pages long, the next 30 pages, etc). And there were various typos and inaccuracies (since when did folks in the "Wild West" use the term 'mom' instead of 'mama'? And what self-respecting gunman wears an acid-washed denim coat [re: the cover!!]). Also, the story itself was beyond unbelievable - Leah suffers attempted rape not once, but twice and then magically is no longer afraid of men (as Jace suddenly accepts love and is no longer weary of women). And then there was the question of Leah's father. Sheriff Kemp reveals he's her father, but then Leah learns that his brother, Joseph, protected her and taught her throughout her formidable years because Joseph loved her mother. So it would make sense that Joseph would have been Leah's father, and NOT the Sheriff. Very confusing, with no real resolution (other than all the bad guys getting shot at the end and the epilogue being a happy ending, of course).
To be fair, this wasn't a BAD book, just not great. All in all, a page turning read and fairly enjoyable... if you can ignore all of the issues within the story.
Review Date: 8/30/2011
Helpful Score: 1
This story was so much fun! Marissa was a very entertaining character, mostly because of her behavior (being a brat, following her instincts, etc). Jude was a very dapper hero - the absolute perfect hero for this story. This story didn't feel like a "beauty and the beast" story; simply two mismatched people who are in essence perfect for one another. The blackmail and resolution at the end seemed really over the top, but it was unexpected and definitely a unique twist in the story.
A few suggestions on similarly enjoyable stories: Loretta Chase's "Don't Tempt Me," featuring a very passionate heroine along the lines of Marissa. And Sylvia Day's "Bad Boys Ahoy" ("Lucien's Gamble") features a hero similar to Jude (son of a Duke, eccentric mother, etc). Enjoy!
Review Date: 9/7/2011
Helpful Score: 2
** SPOILERS AHEAD **
I'm disappointed that I didn't enjoy this book as much as I thought I would, having consulted reviews before starting the novel. While "The Many Sins of Lord Cameron" had many avenues for potential and was *extremely* sensual at times, I would judge it as just 'slightly entertaining', NOT a full-fledged great read.
The "intrigue" hinted at on the back cover was merely just artistocratic female jealousy and revenge. And while the author setting up her male leads as being flawed and overcoming emotional and physically painful childhoods, did she **HAVE** to make Cam a widower haunted by memories of his nymphomaniac/sadist dead wife? Really, it was just too unbelievable to enjoy (for the record, the book I read before this had a storyline that included a deceased wife who came back from the dead!). Combined with the typos throughout the book and inconsistancies (the author wrote that Cam laughed at Ainsley's and Daniel's antics on one page, and then in a different scene three pages later states that 'it had been years since Cam laughed'), this sadly just wasn't a keeper for me.
This was definitely a quick, escapist read; it just sadly lacked substance.
Review Date: 2/13/2012
Overall, Banks doesn't disappoint in this final edition of the McCabe Trilogy. Lots of action, interesting descriptions and plot twists/turns, and a few extremely creative love scenes (the scene in front of the fire? WOW!).
The bridge between contemporary erotica and historical/Highland romance is definitely a difficult one to merge. With a few hiccups (lines like "Aye, she was cute" just could have been written better, plain and simple), Banks delivers a sweeping story about these three Highland brothers and their ultimate destinies.
I really enjoyed Rionna's character much more than in the previous entries. I only wish she had been written more consistantly (physically strong and determined one minute, then a "helpless female" the next). I understand that this characterization was necessary for the storyline, but I just couldn't really buy into it. And the single chapter climax at the end just left me feeling 'blah.' Talk about anticlimactic (no pun intended). Plus I had a few unanswered questions at the end (what were Keeley's feelings when she nursed Rionna, what happened to the MacDonalds that deserted their clan, did the brothers claim Cameron's keep, etc).
All in all, a VERY entertaining (if not perfectly written) one-sitting read.
Review Date: 2/9/2013
If you can forgive the author multiple typos, random characters, creepy analogies (I will never feel the same about cleaning a toilet again), various sexual scenes (NOT for the feint of heart), and a did-I-miss-something "HEA", then you will probably enjoy this short story. Personally, I would have enjoyed this story MUCH more if it had been concise and better written (not to mention better edited). Briana had lots of potential, but was lost in the shuffle of being dumped, her experiences during her Fantasy Island Sexcapade, and then having her "surprising" (that's sarcasm there) HEA.
The male characters also had lots of potential, most especially Malakai (who the author didn't bother to properly explain) and James (why didn't he get his own story?!?!). But with superficial characters like Jonathan and Merrick, and the author neglecting to explain exactly HOW the guests and specific guides were chosen for the island (a bad habit of Devlin's, as many of her storylines happen magically), the story went from fantasy/erotic to shoddy porn. Some of the story was very adult and thought provoking, but most of it seemed immature and forced. While there are many adult fiction books revolving around the "revenge island getaway" theme, the best I have read is "Just Sex" by Susan Kay Law (great story, just not blatently erotic).
By now I should really know better than to have high expectations about anything written by Delilah Devlin. I have purchased many duds published by Ellora's Cave and more than have have had... this exact same ending!!! WTF?!?! Please understand this review is JUST a personal opinion. I purchased this novella at a bargain price to quality for free shipping on Amazon. Because of the bargain mark on the bottom of the book and the marker bleeding into a few pages, I can't post this book. If you would like it anyway, PLEASE feel free to request this from me (send a message!).
Review Date: 8/22/2012
"Scandal Wears Satin" is right up there with other Loretta Chase classics.
I wasn't sold on this new Dressmakers series, but I'm very glad I gave this second installment a chance. It's everything that readers love about Chase: tempting romance, humor, a hilarious kid. To be fair, the dress descriptions were a bit over the top (as in, way too many) and the situations Sophy finds herself in are questionable (what happens to her before the main love scene, what happens to her on purpose while she is in disguise at the end).
However, the story overall is fun and enjoyable and is definitely one for the keeper shelf!!
Review Date: 2/9/2013
I've found Ashley's Mackenzie series to be hit or miss. Sadly, 'Elliot McBride' missed on multiple levels and it was just too similar to Cameron's storyline (with the cheating wife). Too many side characters, a bit too much gritty detail about Elliot's imprisonment, and the 'twist' at the end was just baffling.
If you are a die-hard fan of Ashley's, then this book won't disappoint. Otherwise, read with grain of salt.
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