Amanda B. (chefbeyerlein) - , - Reviews

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After Dark  (Harmony, Bk 1)
After Dark (Harmony, Bk 1)
Author: Jayne Castle
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 290
Review Date: 1/5/2010


Set in Harmony, a planet settled sometime in the future by settlers cut off from Earth completely, this book follows Lydia Smith, a Para-archaeologist recovering from a bad psychic injury and Emmett London, the man who hires her to recover an artifact stolen and pawned by his nephew. As she looks into the artifact, London's secrets begin to clash with her own, and they are both drawn into a dangerous investigation that will lead to either death - or love.

A good paranormal romance series - I've read these COMPLETELY out of order, but it doesn't really make any difference to each story.


After Glow (Harmony, Bk 2)
After Glow (Harmony, Bk 2)
Author: Jayne Castle
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 273
Review Date: 1/12/2010


Finishing the storyline begun in "After Dark", Lydia Smith and Emmett London have to face both her prejudices against Guild men and her "Lost Weekend". Lydia receives a strange phone call from a retired professor and arrives at his location to find him deceased. At the same time, Emmett has to step in as temporary Guild boss when Wyatt, his biological father, is shot and left for dead. The resulting chaos creates even more tension for the couple than in the previous book...

I enjoyed this story just as much as the other Harmony books - just enough suspense and tension, and enough unexpected twists to be entertaining.


Born to Bite (Argeneau Vampires, Bk 13)
Born to Bite (Argeneau Vampires, Bk 13)
Author: Lynsay Sands
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 263
Review Date: 2/22/2011


Another fun Argeneau/Rogue Hunter story - this one picks up the cliffhanger left at the end of Nicholas' story in the previous book. Namely, this book focuses on Nicholas' father, Armand, and the hunter sent to find out why three wives and one daughter-in-law have all died in "accidents". I enjoyed the story and liked the slight twist to the mystery - I was sure I knew whodunnit and was pleasantly surprised to discover that I was close but not quite correct.


Bound to Please (Harlequin Blaze Historical, No 407)
Bound to Please (Harlequin Blaze Historical, No 407)
Author: Hope Tarr
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 36
Review Date: 1/29/2010
Helpful Score: 1


A fair-day promise between 14 year-old Brianna and 12 year-old Ewan stands between them when as adults, their families feud. In 15th-century Scotland, a female laird is unheard of, but Brianna's father has left her in charge of her clan, and now she is widowed and childless. She decides the best course of action is to kidnap her enemy, Ewan Fraser, and force him to have a child with her. Then she will be revenged on his twin, the laird of the Fraser clan, and have an heir that can heal the feud between the two clans. And the fact that she still yearns for him means nothing, right? This unlikely setup leads to a suspenseful romance as the threads that lead to the true villain are revealed.


Catching Fire (Hunger Games, Bk 2)
Catching Fire (Hunger Games, Bk 2)
Author: Suzanne Collins
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.5/5 Stars.
 1639
Review Date: 2/9/2010
Helpful Score: 1


In the sequel to the Hunger Games, Katniss discovers that the pretending and running that she thought had ended at the end of the Games is about to ramped up several notches. The morning she and Peeta are supposed to start out on their Victory Tour (half-way between each Hunger Games), she comes home to an unexpected visitor - the Panem President. He quickly lets her know that everyone she loves is still in danger, unless she finds a way to use the tour to calm down the angry masses in many of the other districts. With that threat, her life once again spins out of control and she finds herself needing to define her feelings for Peeta, Gale, and the politics of her country - for she may need to choose sides and soon.

Without giving anything away, I would say that this is every bit as good as the first book and just as impossible to put down. Katniss is caught up in unintended consequences and while she tries to make the right decisions, she does not always have all the information. The ending twist surprised me...


Causing Havoc (SBC Fighters, Bk 1)
Causing Havoc (SBC Fighters, Bk 1)
Author: Lori Foster
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 553
Review Date: 1/30/2010
Helpful Score: 1


When a letter from his long-lost sister reaches extreme fighter Dean "Havoc" Conor, he decides to take a vacation to see the sisters he was torn away from at nine years old. He quickly discovers more than he bargained for: a family that quickly causes him to play the "big brother" role he says he despises, a woman he cannot walk away from, and a mystery that may cost him either his life or his love.

A great, funny, suspenseful romantic story from one of my favorite romance authors!


Chicks 'N Chained Males
Chicks 'N Chained Males
Author: Esther Friesner
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 30
Review Date: 2/1/2010
Helpful Score: 2


This creative, funny collection of short stories spoofs the famous plotline of damsels in distress by having women warriors of various types rescuing the males in danger that cross their paths. The settings range from ancient Greece to Africa to the core of the earth and all types of situations are created by the authors included in this third "Chicks" anthology. This humorous collection is certainly worth a read.


The Conqueror (de Warenne Dynasty, Bk 1)
The Conqueror (de Warenne Dynasty, Bk 1)
Author: Brenda Joyce
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 71
Review Date: 4/28/2010


In this historical romance set in the late 1060's, a Norman invader and close friend to King William takes over Aelfgar, the home of two famous Saxon traitors (Edwin and Morcar) and agrees to marry their half-sister in order to cement his hold on that portion of England. However, on the way to his new home he burns a town for hiding Saxon rebels and meets a beautiful Saxon woman, Ceidre, he mistakes for his intended. By the time he realizes her true identity, he is enthralled. Most of the book follows their love-hate relationship, as he marries Lady Alice and married Ceidre off to his second in command while still wanting her. Their relationship is highly entangled in the Norman/Saxon fighting and politics because Ceidre is the illegitimate half-sister of Edwin, Morcar, and Alice and is torn between spying for her beloved brothers against the invaders and falling for one of the hated Normans. I found this romance both highly entertaining and interesting for its glimpse into a portion of history about which I have never read much. I also appreciated the Author's Note where she clearly explained how much was real (King William, Edwin, Morcar, Alice) and what she imagined.


Dare Me: Playing for Keeps / Nothing to Lose / Dare to Desire
Review Date: 1/28/2010


These three novellas combine suspense and life-or-death threats with passion. In Cherry Adair's "Playing for Keeps" a soon-to-be ex-husband steps in to keep his wife from unknowingly being the tool for a political assassination. In Jill Shalvis's "Nothing to Lose", revenge may have to take second place to love as the tool to Will Malone's revenge against the con artist who killed his sister becomes the woman he would protect at all costs. In Julie Elizabeth Leto's "Dare to Desire", two secret agents are after the same formula. Unfortunately, their past may keep them from cooperation - unless they allow their hearts to become involved.

All three stories were a fun read.


Destined For An Early Grave (Night Huntress, Bk 4)
Destined For An Early Grave (Night Huntress, Bk 4)
Author: Jeaniene Frost
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 4.3/5 Stars.
 380
Review Date: 1/29/2010


The fourth Night Huntress novel continues to develop Jeaniene Frost's character of Cat, the half-vampire, by pulling her into a situation where the danger haunts her dreams. The first place she is aware of it is as she and her husband, Bones, are recuperating from the previous book, and she has a nightmare Bones cannot wake her from. As they travel to Paris, the nightmares become worse, and finally admitting the problem, they discover a chapter from Cat's teenage years that neither were aware of. Someone from her past is determined to take Cat from Bones, and is using every power to do so. Without spoiling anything, I found the cameo of Marie Leveau, the famous VooDoo queen to be a nice touch.

This installment of the series has just as much action as the previous ones, but the relationship aspects are even more intense and heart-breaking. I'm looking forward to the future of Cat and her friends.


Divided in Death (In Death, Bk 18)
Divided in Death (In Death, Bk 18)
Author: J. D. Robb
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.3/5 Stars.
 234
Review Date: 2/9/2010
Helpful Score: 2


Reva Ewing, a security expert and former secret service agent, finds out her husband is cheating on her with her best friend. When she breaks into the friend's home to confront them, she finds them already dead. Or so she says when Roarke and Eve arrive after receiving a call from her mother, Roarke's admin assistant. Reva is also an employee of Roarke's, so from the very beginning, Lt. Eve Dallas has to deal with concerns for the personal connections as she tries to solve these murders. As the investigation digs into the past of the victims, new details of Eve's own past surface and Roarke and Eve face the toughest challenge of their marriage so far - can their love survive the difference in their views of right and wrong?

I found this book to be particularly gut-wrenching to read in several places - the intensity of the disagreement between Roarke and Eve, the scene where she confronts Mira with a lie about Mira's past, and the scenes between Feeney and Roarke all added layers to some of my very favorite characters ever.


The Dragon Heir (The Heir, Bk 3)
The Dragon Heir (The Heir, Bk 3)
Author: Cinda Williams Chima
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.4/5 Stars.
 25
Review Date: 2/3/2010


A wonderful ending to the trilogy began in The Warrior Heir, this young adult fantasy novel includes to showcase teenagers with power forced to take responsibility for themselves and others around them. Jack and Ellen find themselves preparing to defend the sanctuary, Madison is torn between being with Seph and taking care of her own family, Seph needs to save the world and wants to keep Madison near him, and Jason wants to be useful. As Jason's headstrong ways lead him into crazy situations, Leesha reappears and the final confrontation between the guilds draws near.

Without spoiling any of the story, I want to say that I was thoroughly satisfied with the way this trilogy finished. There was a twist I didn't expect, and the wrap up was not overly neat, but well done.


Evermore (Darkyn, Bk 5)
Evermore (Darkyn, Bk 5)
Author: Lynn Viehl
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 221
Review Date: 2/18/2010
Helpful Score: 1


In this installment of the Darkyn series, Byrne, a medieval berserker turned Darkyn and Jayr, his seneschal (the only female to ever hold the position) are faced with intrigue that may pull them apart forever. As they face rumors and hitmen, they also have to decide whether honesty will pull them together or secrets keep them apart forever.

This paranormal romance mixes medieval attitudes with modern settings and often humorous situations.


Fragile Eternity (Wicked Lovely, Bk 3)
Fragile Eternity (Wicked Lovely, Bk 3)
Author: Melissa Marr
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 95
Review Date: 2/6/2010


The third book in the Faerie series begun in Wicked Lovely finds Aislinn struggling to find some sort of balance in her life as Summer Queen. As summer draws nearer, she finds herself being pulled more towards Keenan, the Summer King, but her heart is still with Seth, her mortal boyfriend. As Keenan tries to pull her to him, Seth struggles with being a mortal, and therefore weaker, than all those around him, even though he has ties to three Faerie courts. As Seth seeks his own solution, will anyone's heart survive.

I enjoyed this young adult fantasy book, but the romances are still so tenuous and unresolved, so I assume there must be another to come. Each book draws the reader deeper into the politics and checks and balances in this world or faeries and mortals, and the complications become more obvious.


Highland Wedding (Highland Brides, Bk 2)
Highland Wedding (Highland Brides, Bk 2)
Author: Hannah Howell
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 124
Review Date: 1/29/2010


After being sent to court for her father to find her a husband, Islaen sets her heart and mind on Iain - a man whose first wife's death in childbirth still haunts him. When the king orders Iain to marry Islaen, she knows it will take more than just time to win his heart and convince him that he should give their marriage a chance. Unfortunately, along with Iain's past memories, they also have enemies out to ruin their marriage - or kill them.

The many aspects of the story combine to keep the hero and heroine struggling and the reader guessing what the outcome will be.


A Highlander of Her Own (Daughters of the Glen, Bk 4)
A Highlander of Her Own (Daughters of the Glen, Bk 4)
Author: Melissa Mayhue
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 120
Review Date: 1/29/2010


The fourth story in the magical world of fae and highlanders finds Ellie Denton suddenly understanding animals in a way no one would believe. The request Mairi made of Pol in the previous book is having unintended consequences, with women everywhere being granted the powers that had been blocked. When Ellie innocently wished for true love and a Highlander of her own, she finds herself sent back to 14th century Scotland, where she must overcome her fears and her disbelief, as well as intrigue and a doubting man in order to fulfill her magical destiny.

This series just keeps getting better - I like the cameos of past characters and the hints of things to come, as well as the way the magic has changed.


Hunting Midnight (Midnight, Bk 3)
Hunting Midnight (Midnight, Bk 3)
Author: Emma Holly
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 162
Review Date: 1/29/2010


After betrayal by his long-time love, Ulric had left his pack of upyr (vampire shapeshifters) and run to the city to forget. There he meets Julianna, a woman running from an arranged marriage to a man she despises and looking for freedom. As they travel, Ulric discovers an unusual draw to Julianna, a woman he cannot force to forget him and who does not fear his nature. But evil stalks them, and both must decide if they are willing to compromise enough to give love a chance and to save the pack.

I enjoyed seeing Ulric find love and healing after losing Gillian in Catching Midnight.


Imitation in Death (In Death, Bk 17)
Imitation in Death (In Death, Bk 17)
Author: J. D. Robb
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 4.3/5 Stars.
 590
Review Date: 2/6/2010


In this police procedural, Lt. Eve Dallas is faced with a serial killer that likes to copycat the famous serial killers of the past - and leaves notes at the scene addressed to her. As her team delves into the mind of this maniac, Eve is faced with nightmares of her own as memories of her mother surface for the first time.

The only thing that disappointed me was realizing that the cover art gave away the killer, but since I didn't pay attention to it, I didn't realize it ahead of time.

I enjoyed the scenes with Peabody as she prepared for her detective's exam and especially her final scene. The scene between Eve and Baxter about Trueheart is great as well, and I continue to love the way all the relationships between the other characters evolve especially those with Eve. (And it was VERY fun to see something Roarke was NOT good at, for once!)


Jude's Law
Jude's Law
Author: Lori Foster
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 535
Review Date: 1/28/2010


Frustrated with trying to get the girl he wants, retired actor and extreme fighter Jude Jamison tries being more direct. Once again, May laughs him off, but when her brother shows up on her doorstep beaten, it's Jude's safety she fears for and his house she runs to. As the situation becomes more convoluted and dangerous, both May and Jude fight to live and decide which direction their relationship should go. A very fun suspenseful romance


Last Scene Alive (Aurora Teagarden, Bk 7)
Last Scene Alive (Aurora Teagarden, Bk 7)
Author: Charlaine Harris
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 164
Review Date: 8/18/2010


In another enjoyable cozy mystery from Charlaine Harris, Aurora "Roe" Teagarden begins to recover from her husband's early death (in the previous book in the series) just as the movie crew arrives in town to film the true crime events she was involved in years earlier. As a murder is committed on-set, Roe finds herself once again at the scene of a crime and being targeted by a stalker and a murderer, as well as drawn back into the arms of a former flame. Once again, Ms. Harris writes a delightful mystery with a character who knows her own flaws and deals with them, while keeping you guessing about the eventual solution to the mystery.


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