Sunday, July 31, 2011

Review: "Georgia Meets Her Groom" by Elizabeth Bevarly

Georgia Meets Her Groom (The Family Mccormick, #3) (Silhouette Desire, #1083)Georgia Meets Her Groom (The Family Mccormick, #3) by Elizabeth Bevarly

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a very nice and feel-good read, with a couple of mature H/h - he was 40 and she was 37 - who actually talked to each other... Well, most of the time... Jack didn't tell Georgia the real reason behind his return and we all know what happens when the hero hides something from the heroine, right? Thankfully, that "misunderstanding" was not dragged on and on because, as I mentioned before, Jack and Georgia were mature adults who talked to each other, instead of pouting and stomping their feet when things got complicated.

The ending could have been a bit less "happy" - it would have been more realistic - but I'm not one to complain about a HEA tied with a pink bow. :)

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Review: "Body Check" by Elle Kennedy

Body Check (Harlequin Blaze, #458)Body Check by Elle Kennedy

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was interesting enough to keep me entertained on this lazy Sunday - and the eye candy at the cover didn't hurt... :) I didn't like the fact that Hayden's relationship with her "former boyfriend"(?) wasn't really over before she got envolved with Brody but, at least, she was honest about it with both men. That wasn't cheating, was it? Hmmm...

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Saturday, July 30, 2011

Review: "Spell of the Highlander" by Karen Marie Moning

Spell of the Highlander (Highlander, #7)Spell of the Highlander by Karen Marie Moning

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I love KMM's Highlander series - I haven't read the 1st 2 books yet but the other ones were all 5-star reads to me - so I was really anxious to see if this latest installment would live up to my high expectations. Well, I'm glad to say it was another winner. :)

On a Friday night, close to midnight, Jessica St. James, an overworked and exhausted Archeology graduate student at the University of Chicago, is asked by her advisor, who's just suffered a car accident, to go to his office and receive a package for him. She wonders what kind of package gets delivered at such unusual hour, but it's not like she has a life and she can't really refuse her advisor's request. The strange delivery turns out to be the Dark Glass, an ancient mirror with a 9th-century hot Highlander Druid locked inside, and Jessi's life takes a turn for the worse... or for the better?

Cian MacKeltar, the Highlander hottie from the past, is the most powerful Keltar Druid ever born, but he was betrayed by Lucan Trevayne, a "fellow" Dark Sorcerer, 1,133 years ago and has been imprisoned in the Dark Glass since then. The powerful artifact is the source of Lucan's immortality, so he's more than annoyed when it's stolen from him - by a mere thief! - and he'll stop at nothing to get it back. Too bad Jessi is in the middle of the battle between Cian and Lucan now...

Cian needs Jessi's help in order to break the spell that keeps him imprisoned inside the Dark Glass and, after the initial shock - it isn't everyday that you find a hunk in a mirror and, worse, an assassin after you -, she realizes she needs him to keep Lucan's assassins from killing her. The trick is, Cian can be summoned out of the Dark Glass for short periods of time only, so he has to make the best use of his free time if he wants to play his revenge against Lucan and seduce Jessi at the same time. The outcome of his battle against the Dark Sorcerer is uncertain, but there's no doubt in Cian's mind that Jessi is his woman and, soon enough, there's no doubt in her mind either. But what will happen after the spell is broken? Will Cian be able to survive outside the Dark Glass?

Okay, I'm going to say it: I liked Cian, but I didn't love him. Don't get me wrong, he was hot and yummy, but I thought he was like a "mix" of the previous heroes in the series and, as a result, he paled in comparison with them. Having Dageus and Drustan playing strong secondary roles in this book didn't help Cian's "allure", as I found myself more interested in getting myself reunited with the MacKeltar twins than reading about Cian pacing inside the Dark Glass.

As for Jessi, I loved her. She was intelligent, brave and bold. The stunt she pulled at the Edinburgh Airport was a bit farfetched, but the whole ancient-Druid-imprisoned-in-a-mirror thing wasn't exactly ordinary so I went along with it happily. There was a scene near the end when I thought she was going to have a TSTL moment but, thankfully, she retreated before putting herself - and Cian, as a consequence - in danger. Gotta love a smart heroine!

The plot was interesting, the action was fast paced, and the love scenes were hot. The solution for Cian's "conumdrum" was kind of obvious, but I wasn't disappointed by it because it made sense and it was consistent with what had happened before in the series. The ending was a bit "strange", though. Instead of writing an epilogue, KMM chose to write a "Dear Reader" letter telling us that what happened to Cian and Jessi after their final confrontation with Lucan. It wasn't how I wanted to see the story end, but it wasn't "bad" enough to ruin the book.

All in all, this was another great installment in the beloved Highlander series. I wish KMM was still writing new books in this series but, alas, it looks like she's dropped it in favor of her Fever series - at least, for now. Oh well, it was good while it lasted.

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Sunday, July 24, 2011

Review: "The Immortal Highlander" by Karen Marie Moning

The Immortal Highlander (Highlander, #6)The Immortal Highlander by Karen Marie Moning

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Damn, it's good to be Adam Black - sorry, I couldn't resist, LOL - but I bet it's better to be Adam Black's lover!

Adam is one of those heroes you just love to hate - or hate to love, either way works for me. He was selfish, arrogant, manipulative and didn't have any qualms about using anyone and anything to his own advantage. He was also as handome and sexy as one can be, which only helped him to get what he wanted. BUT there was something beneath all that, something that shouldn't be there considering he was basically a soulless and unfeeling Fae. Had it always been there? I really didn't see it in the previous book in the series, and I think KMM has done a great job making me believe in Adam's "change of heart" - figuratively speaking, since Faes don't have hearts.

Gabby was funny and likeable, but not really remarkable. I think the "problem" was, Adam stole the show and she didn't have enough "spark" to stand on her own. Bottom line, she wasn't as interesting as Lisa, Gwen and Chloe, the heroines in the previous books. BTW, Gwen, Chloe and their respective MacKeltar husbands - sighs! - make more than an simple appearance and play important roles in The Immortal Highlander. I have to say, their reactions when they see Adam "in the flesh" for the first time was priceless, LOL. I had expected to see Circenn too - after all, he was Adam's son - but he was a no-show. Oh well, we can't always have it all, right?

Once again, KMM told a story that kept me captivated and entertained. The love scenes were hot - not hard to imagine, since Adam oozed sex appeal - and there was always something happening to keep me turning the pages anxiously. Aoibheal's revelation after she restored Adam's immortality was unexpected and I had a hard time buying it. I really didn't see how he could have been fooled like that. Anyway, that wasn't enough to ruin the story for me.

This book was nicely tied to the previous ones in the series - I particularly liked how Adam made everything "right" for Circenn and Lisa, the H/h in The Highlander's Touch -, so this is one series that definitely must be read in order.

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Saturday, July 23, 2011

Review: "The Dark Highlander" by Karen Marie Moning

The Dark Highlander (Highlander, #5)The Dark Highlander by Karen Marie Moning

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Another great book by KMM! :) It wasn't as funny as the previous books in the series, but that was expected - the title 'The Dark Highlander' was a dead giveaway.

As many readers before me - and many others after, I'm sure -, I'm in love with Dageus! How could I not fall for a hero whose fault is "to love too much"? I confess I was a bit turned off by his firt appearance, because I don't like seeing "my" heroes having sex with anyone else but the heroine, but KMM made me forget that pretty fast. As the story progressed, Dageus proved to be one of the best heroes I've met, always placing the ones he loved above himself, and I could really feel how much he loved Chloe.

I loved Chloe too, in a different way. Her curiosity and love for ancient artifacts proved to be a good thing, since that got her in Dageus's arms, or better, bed. :) She tried to be very nononsense about everything she got to see and experience around him (like when she first woke up in the 16th century) but, at the same time, she could act rather impulsively (like when she decided to go to Scotland with Dageus - not that he would've had it any other way, but she didn't know that). She was responsible for one of the funniest and sweetest scenes I've ever read, when she decided to practice her ILY in front of a "mirror". I loved it! :)

As for the story, Dageus's quest for a way to get rid of the 13 "black" Druids who possess his soul kept me trying to guess his next move all the time. When Drustan and Gwen's proposed "solution" turned out to be ineffective, the only way out I could see was his dying - and that wouldn't be acceptable! Obviously, KMM came up with a valid way to save Dageus in the end, but the events that led to it had some "not so smart" moves by Dageus and Chloe. I won't say they ran into "TSTL territory", but it was a close call. I mean, one should never try to run alone to face an unknown enemy, right? When Dageus decided to ditch the careful plans he and Drustan had made, I actually paused and sighed... Then, I gave it some thought and realized it was OK for him to act like that. That behavior was actually consistent with his character: he just loved his brother "too much" to risk his life. Now, Chloe following Dageus alone wasn't so easy to excuse, but I guess I could blame it on the fact that she had just woken up in the middle of the night and wasn't thinking clearly.

Another thing that bothered me was Silvan saying that Dageus was his favorite son. And Nellie loved him better too, even though she was "polite" enough not to say it out loud. What was the point of that?!? It only made me want to scream "I love Drustan!", LOL.

All things considered, I really loved this book and will keep reading the series.

Note: I had a hard time pondering how to rate this book. As soon as I finished it, I decided I was going to give it a 5-star rating, but was it worth a DIK status? It all came to the question whether I'd be able to overcome Chloe's "reckless" behavior and Silvan's remark, and I just can't.

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Sunday, July 17, 2011

Review: "Kiss of the Highlander" by Karen Marie Moning

Kiss of the Highlander (Highlander, #4)Kiss of the Highlander by Karen Marie Moning

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved everything about this book, starting with the yummy cover! Oh boy, I could stare at Nathan Kamp's lips for a lifetime!... ;)

Now, focusing on the story itself... Once again, KMM gave us a more-than-wonderful hero (Drustan MacKeltar) but, this time, she gave us an amazing heroine (Gwen Cassidy) who, I admit, I loved better than the hero. And that's something, because I adored Drustan! Gwen was intelligent, funny, feisty and determined; Drustan didn't really stand a chance with her. When she locked him in the garderobe to force him into "seeing reason", I did a little happy dance - only in my mind, of course...

While I was reading the book, I kept wondering how KMM would solve the "changing the past" issue. I mean, once Gwen suceeded in preventing Drustan's enchantment in the 16th century, he wouldn't be in the cave for her to find in the 21st century, they wouldn't fall in love, and so on... Aaargh, my mind went a little crazy over this, until I reached KMM's "resolution". Good and logical but, like Gwen said when Drustan explained what had happened, "this hurts my head." (LOL)

I was planning on taking a break from the series after this book, but I just can't - not after having read Silvan's letter at the end! Thankfully, I'm late to the Highlander party and Dageus's book has already been released, so I don't have to wait. :)

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Saturday, July 16, 2011

Review: "The Highlander's Touch" by Karen Marie Moning

The Highlander's Touch (Highlander, #3)The Highlander's Touch by Karen Marie Moning

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Now I understand why "everyone" loves this series! :)

Circenn Brodie is one of the most "delicious" heroes I've ever met. Truly tall, dark & handsome! The scene where Lisa finds him sleeping at her bedroom door had me melting into a puddle of love. It reminded me of a similar scene from Kinley MacGregor's Born in Sin and, come to think of it, Circenn's nickname was practically identical to MacGregor's hero's name in the same book, but I didn't mind it at all. I'm in love with Circenn and that's all that matters, LOL.

I liked Lisa too, but to a lesser extent - after all, who could top Circenn? :) Lisa was strong and brave, the perfect match for Circenn, and it was easy to relate to her indecision when she had to choose between staying with Circenn or going back to her mother. Seeing that her curiosity was the cause of her time-traveling in the first place, it was funny to see this trait of her pulling her into other "problematic" situations throughout the book.

I was never a big fan of time-travel stories, because you can really get "crazy" if you try to analyze all the possibilities behind this concept, but KMM made it work for me. When Circenn "explained" what could and what could not be changed when messing around with time-traveling, I was sold. "If one looks down the timeline, one can discern which things are irrevocable and should not be manipulated, and which things will make little difference." That said, I must admit to being slighlty annoyed with Circenn changing five years of Lisa's life in order to make everything - and I mean, everything - right and perfect for her. "Resurrecting" her father was a bit too much, IMHO. Anyway, if that was to prove how much Circenn loved Lisa, it was fine by me. :)

Despite all its "flaws", I loved this book and will definitely read the rest of the series!

Random thought: I'm a bit curious about Duncan Douglas, one of the secondary characters. There was a hint of something "good" about to happen to him, but no closure. I wonder if "his" story will be told later in the series.

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Review: "Going... Going... Wed!" by Amy J. Fetzer

Going ... Going ... Wed! (The Bridal Bid / Wife, Inc.) (Silhouette Desire)Going ... Going ... Wed! (The Bridal Bid / Wife, Inc.) by Amy J. Fetzer

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

From the book blurb:


When Alex Donahue won Madison Holt's domestic services at a charity auction, he didn't know he'd need her help to secure the deal of his lifetime. Madison had no illusions about their pretend marriage, but her innocent kisses had this marriage-shy millionaire dreaming about a very different merger...

Alex had never known a female who seemed to care more for who and not what he was. And while his instincts warned him away from a woman meant for marrying, he was drawn to his virginal bride like a moth to flame. Could he convince his wife-for-hire to take on the role for a lifetime?


This was another sweet and lovely book by Amy Fetzer. I like the way she shows how her heroes and heroines fall in love with each other - not only in this book, but in all the other books by her that I've read so far. There's always the required initial sexual attraction between them, of course, but they actually talk and get to know each other before jumping into bed. How "refreshing" is that? :)

I adored Alex, but Madison was a little too good to be true. And why did she have to get pregnant? Okay, it was very close to the end of the book, but I really don't see the need for it and the fact that she didn't intend to tell Alex about it bothered me. Anyway, aside from that minor "complaint", I had a very good time reading this book and I'm still a fan of Ms. Fetzer's writing style.

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Sunday, July 10, 2011

Review: "Awakening Beauty" by Amy J. Fetzer

Awakening Beauty (Silhouette Desire, #1548)Awakening Beauty by Amy J. Fetzer

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

From the book blurb:


It certainly couldn't buy Lane Douglas a way out of the scandalous rumors that followed her everywhere, leaving her no choice but to take on a new identity in a new town. But she never imagined this endeavor to disguise her heiress status would awaken her dormant desire.

Suddenly she was embroiled in a wild tango of temperaments with high-powered playboy Tyler McKay, who was determined to have her in his bed. Lane was tempted beyond reason to take Tyler up on his offer and share the sheets in a blazing affair with this man who aroused her passion like no other. But would succumbing to Tyler's seduction bare their relationship to the tabloids and reveal her most closely guarded secret — or bring her everlasting pleasure?


This was my 3rd book by Amy Fetzer and, by now, I think it´s safe to say that she´s become one of my favorite Harlequin/Silhouette authors. I don´t know why I kept her books on my TBR for so long...

The book blurb was a little misleading - surprise, surprise! ;) - because Tyler was not a playboy and was interested in more than some "action in the sac" with Lane. Okay, he was marriage-shy due to a bad experience in the past but, after meeting and getting to know her, he wanted more than a "blazing affair" with her.

I loved Tyler, Lane and their continuing witty banter. Apart from a "sad" moment near the end of the book - you´ve got to have that "climatic" moment where the hero and the heroine have an argument before realizing they belong together, right? :) -, I think I had a smile on my face the whole time I was reading the book.

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Saturday, July 9, 2011

Review: "Tempted by His Kiss" by Tracy Anne Warren

Tempted by His Kiss (The Byrons of Braebourne, #1)Tempted by His Kiss by Tracy Anne Warren

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Once again, I have no time to write a full review, so I'll just make some random comments about it...

The storyline was kind of predictable, but Ms. Warren's writing made it engaging enough to keep me reading the book. Plus, Cade and Meg were likable characters, so it was fun to follow the ups and downs in their relationship. They did have a very TSTL moment followed by a Big Misunderstanding near the end of the story, and I wanted to grab them and shake some sense into them, but I still cared for them and rooted for their HEA. As it happened in Seduced By His Touch, which is the 2nd book in the series and, gasp, I read before reading this 1st installment, Tempted by His Kiss was a bit uneven: the beginning, when Cade and Meg meet, get to know each other and fall in love (even though they don't acknowledge it at the time), was very good, but when they moved to London, the "connection" between them changed and didn't work so well. Anyway, this was a good read despite its "flaws" and I'm interested enough to keep reading this series.

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Thursday, July 7, 2011

Review: "Lawless" by Emma Wildes

LawlessLawless by Emma Wildes

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was my first read by Ms. Wildes and I have to say it was a nice surprise. I really liked this sweet and romantic story about an outlaw who finds love and a new purpose in life in the arms of his unintended captive. Cal and Laurel fall in love with each other almost at first sight and that could have made me skeptic about their HEA, but Ms. Wildes made it work for me. That was quite a feat, considering this is a short story.

Here's "my" Cal:


It wasn't easy to find a blond cowboy, but I think I've made a good job. :)

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Review: "Home For a Soldier" by Tatiana March

Home For A SoldierHome For A Soldier by Tatiana March

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Just a quick "review"...

Grace was sweet and one of those women you just want to be happy, Rory wasn't very likable but came to his senses before I started to think he was an a-hole, the setup worked and Ms. March's writing was enjoyable. I liked it! :)

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Sunday, July 3, 2011

Review: "Summersville Heat" by N.J. Walters

Summersville Heat (Summersville Secrets #1-2)Summersville Heat by N.J. Walters

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This anthology contains two hot novellas loosely interconnected - the two couples live in the same town, Summersville, and are sort of friends - and there's no need to read one to understand the other.

Annabelle Lee (3 stars)

Mike was one yummy hero but I wanted to smack Annabelle in the head for being so insecure. He always treated her with respect and it was obvious he wanted more than a pure sexual relationship with her, so her failure to recognize and accept that only made her look stupid. She came to her senses in the end - she had to or there would have been no HEA - but I couldn't help feeling that Mike deserved someone better.

Heat Wave (3 stars)

Once again, I loved the hero (Tucker) and couldn't stand the heroine (Emma). And to make things worse, the reason was the same stated above. I felt like I was reading a rehashed version of the 1st story, only Emma's insecurity was more unbelievable than Annabelle's.

Since this is an erotica/romantica anthology, these two stories are filled with hot sex scenes. Those "encounters" were OK but didn't raise my temperature. Have I become too jaded? I don't think so. Anyway, this book was good enough to keep me entertained for a couple of hours but there was nothing, good or bad, memorable about it.

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Saturday, July 2, 2011

Review: "The Secret" by Julie Garwood

The Secret (Highlands' Lairds, #1)The Secret by Julie Garwood

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book grabbed from the Prologue, filled with both endearing and funny moments. In a few pages, Ms. Garwood had me loving Judith, the heroine, and her friend Frances Catherine. By the end of Chapter 2, I was also in love with Iain, the hero, and smiling like a silly girl. What a nice way to start a book!

Judith and Frances Catherine met as children and formed an unlikely friendship. Judith was English and Frances Catherine was Scottish, and everyone knew that English and Scottish hated each other... Well, everyone but Judith and Frances Catherine! Their friendship lasted through all the years, and now Frances Catherine was pregnant and wanted Judith by her side as promised years before, to help her with the birth of her child. Iain was the laird of the Maitland clan and Frances Catherine's brother-in-law, and the idea of having an Englishwoman as a guest in his lands didn't particularly sit well with him but he agreed to fulfill his sister-in-law's request - after all, he was an honorable man and he always put his family first, no matter what. So he set to England to fetch Judith and escort her to her friend's side, even though he expected her to dishonor her childhood promise and not go to Frances Catherine's. She was English, hence her word didn't mean anything, right? Well, Iain was more than surprised to find out his preconceived notions about Judith were wrong, not to mention a bit disturbed to see how she managed to enchant not only him but all of his men in no time. But she had a secret - yeah, the one the titles refers to - that could complicate a relationship between them, so she was determined to fight her attraction to him. Not that would make any difference, once Iain had his mind set on keeping her... ;)

Iain was just wonderful! Honorable, protective, caring and, oh yes, arrogant. He didn't ask, he demanded. His marriage proposal to Judith made me gasp, then laugh. It was so delicious and outrageous. "Judith, I'm keeping you." How could she argue with that? (LOL) And yet, he couldn't find a way to get her to understand the "chain of command" to be followed in his clan. But he was no fool when it came to Judith and didn't waste time trying to keep her at arm's lenght.

Judith was as great as Iain. Honorable, kind-hearted and smart. Stubborn too, because that was the only way she could meet Iain's arrogance. She wasn't afraid to stand her ground but she never acted like those stupid heroines who pick a fight with the hero just to show how "feisty" they are. She was above that. Seeing her argue her cases in her particular ilogical way of thinking was too funny. No wonder everyone always ended up agreeing with her.

Iain and Judith's love story was funny and sigh-worthy at the same time. I lost count of the times I laughed out loud - thankfully, there was no one else around or they would think I was crazy - or simply smiled in contentment. There were also a few angsty moments near the end of the book, but I never doubted that Iain would make everything right.

Now, I need to comment on the feeling of déjà vu that bugged me a little while I was reading it. In one particular sequence of events, I was reminded of A Kingdom of Dreams by Judith McNaught: when the little boy threw some stones at Judith, she protected him, settled the matter by herself and, in the process, gained the boy's mother's allegiance and respect. That had enough similarity with some events in McNaught's book to make me raise an eyebrow. Going further, Judith and the heroine in A Kingdom of Dreams also had some similar characteristics: both were somewhat mistreated by their own families, their fathers were their heroes' enemy and they only found their "place in the world" in their heroes' clans. Of course, there were several differences that kept the books apart, and The Secret was a very enjoyable read by its own merit. I already see myself rereading it over and over again in the future.

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