Saturday, August 24, 2013

Beauty and the Blacksmith by Tessa Dare (Spindle Cove #3.5)

4 stars

This is the fifth installment in the series and it is a novella. We know both of the main characters quite well. This story is about the eldest Highwood sister, Diana and (obviously) the blacksmith, Mr. Aaron Dawes. They have both had their eye on the other since the night they worked together to save…I can’t remember his name, but in the first book there is a boy who requires his food amputated. Quite a strange time to fall in love but that is when it happens!

Since this is a novella, it is obviously short and to the point. Diana was never my favorite Highwood, but in getting to know her in this book we find she is more than kind and beautiful. She longs to be her own person and this story tells how this happens. Aaron is a big, brawny, soft-hearted blacksmith…enough said. Diana’s mother is her usual annoying self. At the end, the author tries to redeem her, but at this point it is too little too late and the damage is done. I do not care why she acts the way she does, I just don’t care for the mother.

The next book is Any Duchess Will Do. I am sure I will read this book, but I am not nearly as excited as I was for the others. We just met Pauline in this book when Fosbury tries to convince Aaron to go after her instead of Diana. I do not believe we have met the man yet.

Favorite Quote:

“They are a great many situations a woman might do well to drive away from. Very few where it’s advisable to shoot her way out.”

Wonderful by Jill Barnett

4 stars

This is actually the first book in a series. I read the third book in this series first (Wicked) by accident. It came up on a Kindle Daily Deal so I bought it. It obviously still made sense, but I think I would have enjoyed it more for knowing some of the characters better.


Clio is the ward of the king and promised to a knight and friend of the king. He is off crusading for six long years while Clio is left waiting for him after her father dies. Their first meeting is not love at first sight and it does not seem to be coming any time soon. Clio is head strong and Merrick is used to having his orders obeyed. Eventually they come to care for one another, but that of course is when trouble arrives.


One of my favorite scenes is right at the beginning when Clio and Merrick first meet. Clio is imagining all the nasty things she will say to him after he has left her to rot in a convent for 6 years. She is prancing around the room and talking about how big his head is, etc. Even before I knew Merrick was listening I thought it was funny.

“Aye, sir knight. I can see you fine thick muscles.”

Pausing, she widened her eyes in mock wonder.

“Would I like to touch them? Certainly, but you will have to kneel, since I cannot reach your fat head from here. I am but a small, weak woman, good for nothing but waiting for to wed.”

I love, love, love when the main characters banter back and forth. I don’t care for willful misunderstandings and non-communication that results in conflict, but good witty banter is quite entertaining, and this book is full of it.

I plan to read the next one in the series which is about Merrick’s friend Sir Roger.

Favorite quote: (This is Merrick warning Clio to be quiet)

“There are other things that should be worrying you.”

“Such as?”

“Your mouth for one.”

“It did not seem to bother you, my lord, when you had your tongue in it.”

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Shadowed Threads: A Rylee Adamson Novel (Book 4) by Shannon Mayer

5 stars

I read the first three books about a month ago so I lucked out that I didn’t have to wait long for book 4, however, now I am not so lucky. The story is far from over and now who knows how long I will have to wait. This is becoming one of my favorite urban fantasy series (behind Ilona Andrews of course). I am really glad that I picked up the first one a while ago.


Hmmm, where to begin…

Rylee is still in England. She is staying with Jack (the only other tracker she has ever met), but he is stalling and not teaching her a darn thing. Liam is out there somewhere as a wolf. She needs to find him and bring him back. However, everyone (Jack, Doran, Milly, Faris) say that Liam can’t be brought back. But Rylee still needs to find him. Alex, Eve and Pamela are still there. Will is present in the beginning for a hot minute but disappears rather early. Dr. Daniels brings about more trouble and Rylee has a guardian who is trying to kill her. And by that I mean that he has been bound by magical means and ordered to kill her and he has a one track mind. There is so much more than happens…there are dragons, a vampire nest, Milly continues to be a crazy demented witch, and Berget…Berget is back! Gah!


I loved everything about this book. I can’t think of anything that I want to change. Oh, wait, I can. I wish the books were longer and that the author could write faster (who needs sustenance and sleep?)

Favorite Quote:

“The devil will tell you nine truths, so that you’ll believe one lie.”

This was something that Giselle (her mentor) used to say to her and it is basically the theme of this book. Whom can Rylee trust?

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Rock Chick Revolution by Kristen Ashley (Rock Chick #8)

4 Stars

This is the last book in this series, but I doubt it is the last we will see of these characters.  That is something I love about this author.  We often get to visit with our old friends in the new books.  There are so very many people that you meet in this book that it is hard to say good-bye.  So while I enjoyed this book immensely, it isn’t my favorite Rock Chick story.  It would be hard for this book to be a favorite in this series for two reasons: 1.) there has been so much build-up and this series is so fantastic how do you create an ending that is better than anything that came before it and 2.) it’s the end of an era so it is inherently going to be bittersweet.


This is Ally Nightingale and Lorenzo Zano’s story.  This has been brewing since Ava’s story (book #5).  The reader gets a brief recap of the most important encounters over this time period.  The current time picks up right where Breathe (Colorado Mountain Man #4) ends.  Ren is mad at Ally for taking the risk she did in Breathe.  They have it out.  Darius and Brody have been working with Ally to give her guidance and backup as she takes on more private investigator type jobs.  She has found what she wants to do with her life, she just has to get the rest of her loved ones on board.  This is dangerous work and they want to keep her safe.  There are a lot of little dramas that happen throughout the book with different cases that come up for Ally, but not one big issue that is following throughout like a typical Rock Chick book. 


 A part that I liked about this book is that the start of Ally and Ren was a while ago.  We got glimpses of it in some of the other girls’ books so we knew it was coming.  This is more like real life so I like that.  A part I didn’t like about this book is that the start of Ally and Ren was a while ago.  I know…what is my problem?  How can I like it and dislike it at the same time.  My favorite parts of the Rock Chick books are the Rock Chicks and Hot Bunch going head to head.  I love the arguments!  I love the struggles of both the Rock Chick and Hot Bunch trying to come to grips with what is happening and their new feelings.

What I also didn’t like was that Ren hooked up with Ally first in Ava’s story, but then when Ava wants back, he is all about this, then when Ava chooses Luke (again) he apologizes to Ally for being a jerk.  I like that he can apologize, but this is not something I like to read about.  My Hot Bunch need to be sure about their Rock Chick once they have found her.  I like Ren, but when I think about this Ava business it makes me say, “Yuck Ren!” 

I also never got a good image in my head of what Ally and Ren look like.  I’m going to have to visit the “casting couch” again on Goodreads. 

I’ve read a few reviews where the people were quite upset that Kristen Ashley is used as Jane’s nom de plume.  They said it was self serving and self promoting.  This didn’t bother me in the slightest.  Nobody is reading Rock Chick #8 without knowing that they are reading a Kristen Ashley book.  In the book, Jane is the author but because of her personality she doesn’t want this known to anyone.  I thought it was kind of clever and it amused me.  Obviously, people differ on this.  I read one review where the reader stopped reading the book, it bothered her that much. 

Overall, Ally isn’t my favorite Rock Chick, I am not sure that Ren is even included in the Hot Bunch and the story line was only slightly better than Jet’s and Stella’s (obviously my least favorite J).  However, I can’t wait to read about Mace’s team in L.A.

(One of) My Favorite Quote(s):  Ren to Ally when she made a comment about his drink order:

“Know you’re tight with men who drink blood and eat nails, babe, but just to say, what a man drinks does not make that man.”

I chose that quote because most of my other favorites either contained too much potty language or too much smexy talk.   

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Dead Sexy Dragon By Lolita Lopez

(No picture for this book as my filters wouldn't let it through, apparently there must be a lot of scadalous stuff out there if you google "Dead Sexy Dragon" :)

3.5 stars

This is this first I have read something from this author. Therefore, admittedly I was not prepared for the amount of smexy stuff going on. When I read the “about the author” section at the end, it did not come as a surprise that her specialty was “naughty” reads. However, I was pleasantly surprised at the content of the story after ~60% of the way through. I did not expect the twists and turns.


Cora is the younger sister of one of Stig’s best friends. He has always tried to maintain an appropriate distance from Cora, but his growing attraction has made that difficult. He is a dragon and currently going through his mating phase when Cora shows up at his front door. He tries to turn her away, for her own good, but she is in trouble and Stig can’t say no. Eventually, Cora’s problems come looking for her and Stig must fight for his and Cora’s life and if that doesn’t work then just Cora’s life.


I found Cora to be unlikeable until 70% of the way through. She consistently made decisions that irked me. It wasn’t until the climactic ending that I found I could tolerate her again. Stig, on the other hand was very likeable. He made decisions based on what was best for Cora and was selfless and brave. It is obvious that this book sets the stage for the other dragons that we briefly meet to find their own lovies.

I’m not sure I will read more in this series, but its not out of the question. I was pleasantly surprised with the storyline, but there was a little bit too much smexy time for my comfort.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Fire Inside: A Chaos Novel by Kristen Ashley (Chaos #2)

3.5 Stars

This is the second book in the Chaos Series, but it is really the third book since you should read Motorcycle Man first then start the Chaos Series.

This book follows Hopper Kincaid and Lanie Heron. Lanie is the best friend to Tyra (the heroine from Motorcycle Man). To understand Lanie’s story you absolutely must read Motorcycle Man first! That is an order! Lanie is still recovering, years later from her ordeal in Motorcycle Man. The physical scars have healed, but she is an emotional wreck! She approaches Hop for a one night stand. He declines as she is Tyra’s best friend, but Lanie convinces him. Then Hopper decides he wants more. Then she calls it off, then he calls it off, then she calls it off, then he calls it off, then it ended.

I liked that it happened simultaneously with Own the Wind. However, I felt like it ended suddenly and that nothing further happened with Benito since what we read in Own the Wind. Because of this, I felt ripped off. I wanted more action and danger!

Favorite Quote:

When he was done, he pulled me straight, crouched in front of me, wrapped his arms around my thighs, lifted me up and roared, “This is my woman!”

Lady Bess by Claudy Conn

3.5 Stars

I have been in Tennessee visiting my grandparents. My grandfather ended up having surgery so my dad and I went for a visit. I have two reviews to impart because of my imposed absence from technology on the mountains in Tennessee where I have to walk to the end of my grandparents driveway just to get cell phone reception.

I think this is one of the newer releases for Claudy Conn. This particular one follows the characters Lady Bess and The Earl of Dunkirk. He is a confirmed bachelor who must marry and therefore wants a marriage of convenience so he can go on his merry way. She is waiting for the love of her life and finds the Earl to be that man. We get to be in the minds of both these characters as they begin to understand their feelings for one another. There is additional intrigue in that there is a little boy who is kidnapped and Lady Bess believes she knows where he is and goes after him. Once he is rescued they must make sure he stays rescued for the danger comes close to home for this boy. Another danger is that there is another lady who has her eye set on the Earl and plans to do whatever it takes to marry him.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Magic Rises by Ilona Andrews (Kate Daniels #6)

5  Stars

I read this book in three days! I was torn between wanting to read it as fast because I NEEDED to know what was going on and wanting to read it as slow as possible so that my fantasy besties could live in my mind longer. There is so much that goes on in this book. My husband asked me, “What’s happening now?” because I told him one evening after work, “No talking tonight, only reading!” He knew it was serious time! But what can you say to that? “What is happening now?”, he asks me. My response? “Everything! Everything is falling apart! Now hush!”

So in the beginning, the pack finds themselves in need of panacea. This is the stuff that can prevent and reverse the youngsters from going loup. They are presented with an opportunity to acquire the coveted and impossible to get panacea. The problem is that they know it is a trap, but the panacea is one thing they have to risk the trap to get to. They find themselves going to the Black Sea to guard a pregnant lady. There are so many surprises when they get there and while the trap is obvious, they find that there is a bigger game afoot and they are not at all sure what it is.


Kate is coming closer to meeting her father. I am so nervous for her. I think that Roland is more powerful than she can imagine. At times I think Kate is the best of the best and then at times she seems so weak I want her to run from her life and hide in a tiny hole so no one can find her. She is put through a lot of emotional stuff in this book with the pack and Curran. I wanted to punch him numerous times. While the reason for his behavior is probably the only reason I would accept as a possible explanation, I still think it was terrible and awful! Kate was humiliated repeatedly. She behaved so maturely and I loved that about her. Her heart was breaking, but she carried on. I am pretty sure if I was her that would have been some bloodshed.

The only thing I didn’t like about the book was that I felt that the situation with Lorelei was not resolved sufficiently. I loved the scene at the last dinner when Lorelei came over to the head table, but I needed more than that. She is a stupid girl who needed things spelled out for her about her situation.

There were so many quotes and scenes in this book that I loved. I think I highlighted more on my kindle for this book than I ever have before. I love how the authors put phrases from The Lion King and The Princess Bride in the conversations. Although I think the Lion King reference was from the Curran Panty Party POV I just read. Regardless, I love it! I will still attempt to put one of my favorite quotes on here:

For the first time in months I felt completely alone.

I know, it’s short and tells you nothing, but at the same time it sets the tone for this book. Kate is in a castle with her pack and three others and yet she feels alone. The kind of alone that she used to pursue with deadly intent to keep herself safe and secret, but she let go of this when Curran came along. But its back…

Thursday, August 1, 2013

What am I reading now?

How can you even ask me that question?  Two days ago, the husband/wife writing team of "Ilona Andrews" released the latest installment in the Kate Daniels series!  Why haven't you bought it already?  Make haste!  The only problem with reading a superb book like this is that when it is finished I always feel a bit bereft.  Like I was just hanging out with my besties, but then I wake up and realize my besties aren't real!  Then, of course, one must make their way through the drudgery of finding another book to read which can't possibly live up to the book you just finished.

Favorite quote so far:
" Jarek is like our Mahon. He's all about dynasties and alliances.  It's killing him that he doesn't have a son."

Mahon sighed, "Wait until you live as long as I have.  And I have a son.  I just wasn't is first father, that's all."

Curran grinned.