Saturday, March 30, 2013

Oh, Cherry Ripe by Claudy Conn

3.5 Stars (slightly better than good)

This novella (it is listed at 182 pages on Amazon) is about a young girl (Cheryl “Cherry” Elton) and a man (Lord Skylar Westbrooke) who are to be engaged sight unseen.  Cherry finds this unacceptable and endeavors to run away.  Lord Westbrooke is doing it for convenience. He needs someone to look after his young siblings who are a bit of trouble.  As luck would have it, Cherry runs straight into Lord Westbrooke and becomes his governess, something for which is both over and under qualified for.  Neither knows who the other is.  Cherry has given a false name to Sky and never knew her betrothed’s name.  I loved the language in this book, it made me smile.  Things like, “you are the best of all great brothers,” and, “welcome Lord Brother.”

I liked the premise of this book as explained above, but there was no other source of intrigue or danger.  That is why it doesn’t get more stars.   But the writing kept me coming back for more.  I wanted to read about how Cherry would figure out who her employer/secret betrothed is and how Sky would figure out who Cherry was.  Of all the ways for it to come out, I felt it was slightly anti-climactic.  I wished that Lord Sky had somehow been able to sleuth out the mystery and lead Cherry on a mad chase to get her to confess.  Anyway, I look forward to reading more from this author.  

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Dream Island by Josie Litton (Akora #1)

4 Stars
This is the first book in another trilogy by Josie Litton that seems to go by two names.  Either “Akora Trilogy” or “Medieval Trilogy”, the last of which is odd because it isn’t medieval, except for maybe they are referring to their time on Akora?  If you haven’t first read this author’s Viking & Saxon series, then I would recommend that.  They make some mention to the Hawkforte’s, but nothing you would need to have read the books to understand.  The main reason that you should read them first is because they were A-W-E-S-O-M-E!
Lady Joanna Hawkforte is looking for he brother, Royce, who left nine months ago to go to Akora.  Akora is a warrior island nation that kills any and all visitors.  Royce should have been back six months ago and Lady Joanna is understandably distressed.  Royce is the only family that Joanna has left.  Joanna leaves Hawkforte for London and tries every avenue she can find to get information about Royce.  Her last option is to pursue information through Lord Darcourt who is a decedent of the only known survivor to land on Akora.  Lord Darcourt snubs Joanna in front of the ton and leaves Joanna no choice but to stow away on his ship as he leaves to go back to Akora.  That is all I will say because the rest is all the intrigue of discovery of Akora and the treachery of both Akorans and the English. 
I didn’t enjoy this book as much as the Viking & Saxon series, but perhaps some of that was that I was only able to snag small pieces of time here and there to read this.  Perhaps I wasn’t able to immerse myself as much as I wanted.  I enjoyed all the Akora stuff, but I felt like the time between Darcourt and Joanna was a little flat.  I am however looking forward to the third book which is the Vanax and Brianna. 

Friday, March 22, 2013

A Week To Be Wicked by Tessa Dare (Spindle Cove #2)

4 Stars
This is the second novel in this series.  We have seen Susanna Finch and Bram, the new Earl of Rycliff married, and Violet Winterbottom with her Christian and now we watch as Minera Highwood teams up with Viscount Colin Sandhurt.  These two are highly unlikely.  I would say my least favorite part of this book was how Minerva’s mother spoke to her.  I think her mother must love her, but she treated her like poo!  This book was not as humorous as the first one, but I still enjoyed it. 
Minera is a geologist and can usually be found around the cave or off reading somewhere.  Colin can’t remember her name and calls her every “M” name under the sun.  That was my favorite part of it.  Colin clearly did it on purpose just to bother Minerva, but I especially loved it when he called her “Min.”  Minerva wants to attend the Royal Geological Society Symposium in Scotland, but needs to find a way there.  She somehow finagles Colin to agree to take her even knowing she will be ruined when she returns.  She leaves a note saying they are eloping and off they go.  Colin is charming and manages to charm their way across England from ride to ride.  They take on many guises and Minerva comes out of her shell along the way.  Colin also faces his demons that we are introduced to in the first novel.  He can’t sleep alone, he has nightmares since his parents died before his eyes as a child.  Minerva will try to soothe these demons as part of the agreement is she must sleep with him on the journey.  I do mean sleep and not “sleep”.  Of course that proves difficult for them to keep their patties to themselves.  Perhaps Minerva will be actually ruined and not just in appearances. 
Favorite Quote:
“Surprise.”  He kissed the tip of her nose.  “You’re marrying me.”

Once Upon a Winter's Eve by Tessa Dare (Spindle Cover #1.5)

4 Stars
This little novella (or is it a novelette?) takes place between A Night to Surrender and A Week to be Wicked.  The main characters are Violet Winterbottom (whom we meet briefly in A Night to Surrender) and a mysterious man.  Everyone on Spindle Cove is celebrating Christmas Eve at Summerfield when a mysterious, wet, wounded and handsome man barges in and collapses at Violet’s feet.  He apparently only speaks Breton and Violet is the only one who can somewhat communicate with him.  Bram isn’t convinced he is an innocent and sends out him men to start scouting for an invasion or other goings on.  Susanna stitches his head wound and Violet is left with the mystery man, and Fosbury and Finn (who is still mentally recovered from having his foot amputated).  Violet thinks this man may be The Disappointment from her past, so she attempts to draw him out by telling of her scandalous past.  He doesn’t take the bait and she is confused. 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

A Night To Surrender by Tessa Dare (Spindle Cove #1)

5 Stars

I had this book for a while, but for the life of me I can’t imagine what caused me to put it off for so long.  I adored everything about it.  The hero was big and strong, appropriately manly, and firmly against marriage…and of course handsome.  The heroine was smart and beautiful and not even a bit annoying.  Many authors can’t quite get the hang of giving the heroine’s issues to make them real and human, but not making them annoying!  Tessa Dare does it perfect.  Both Susanna and Bram have their own hang ups that prevent them from fully enjoying each other.  I loved the banter between the two of them.  This author has no trouble eliciting a chuckle from me while I read her works.

Bram is coming to Spindle Cove to plead his case to Sir Finch to attempt to get back into the infantry after taking a bullet to the knee some months ago.  He does not realize that Spindle Cove is actually a haven for society’s cast off ladies.  Here they are free to be their “best and truest selves.”  Susanna Finch (yes, the same Finch), is the leader of this group of misfits and proud of it.  She will defend their haven even while Bram attempts to build his local militia, drawing men from town and beyond. 

I have already started the next installment in the Spindle Cove series and can’t wait to read about Colin and Thorne’s own stories.  I would also like to read Aaron Dawson’s story.  And the scene with Minerva and Colin bodes well for their story.  Prior to that scene, neither Colin nor Minerva were even likeable.

(One of my) favorite quotes:  Susanna is asking for a moment with Bram after they have agreed to stay far away from each other…

 “It’s but a momentary interruption.  Just this once.”

“Just this once?”  He made a dismissive noise, rifling through papers.  “What about just now in the church?”

“Very well, twice.”

“Try again.”  He stacked his papers and looked up, devouring her with his intent green gaze.  “You invaded my dreams at least a half-dozen times last night.  When I’m awake, you keep traipsing through my thoughts.  Sometimes you’re barely clothed.  What excuse can you make for that?”

Monday, March 18, 2013

What am I reading?

So I was trolling one of my favorite author's blog's, Tammy Blackwell, and she was listing some of her favorite reads of 2012 and I came across Tessa Dare.  I had never read anything by this author before and tried it out.  I AM HOOKED!  She is so funny.  I am reading, A Night to Surrender (this is a link to amazon for the e-book which costs only $2.99!), book 1 in the Spindle Cove series.

Here is one passage that made me chuckle.  Susanna came over a hill after hearing an explosion.  Bram tackles Susanna to keep her out of the path of the explosion.  Oh, I forgot to mention, the men were using blanks in order to scare a bunch of sheep that were in their way (men!) so Susanna has just asked him what he was doing:

"Isn't it obvious?" His tone was grave.  "We're bombing the sheep."

So Susanna has decided he must be addled from the war and responds:

"Don't be frightened," she said in a calm, even tone.  "All is well.  You're going to be just fine."  She cupped his cheek and met his gaze directly.  "The sheep can't hurt you here."

Taffeta and Hotspur by Claudy Conn

4 Stars

Lady Taffeta is one of the members of Rogue’s Three with the other two being her old brother and her not much older uncle.  They are playing at a bit of Robin Hood and end up holding up the wrong carriage.  Their aim is the tyrannical mill owners, but end up holding up the infamous rakehell Hotspur who is the nephew of one of their neighbors.  Lady Taffy must strike a deal with Hotspur (aka Lord Thurston Tarrant) to keep his silence about the Rogue’s Three. 

Lady Taffy ends up in the capable hands of her aunt who is determined to provide a successful season for Lady Taffy.  Hotspur is the hottest catch of every season as he has not one interest in debutantes.  There is something about Taffy that intrigues him and so he unwittingly draws the haute ton’s attention to her by dancing the waltz with her at her first dance.  But of course although he is intrigued he still does not like her and he is definitely not the kind of man that Taffy is hoping to attract. 

There were a lot of similarities between this book and Runaway Heart by the same author, but I loved both of them.  Again the heroine is strong and capable of saving herself.  The love isn’t instant for anyone.  I loved it.  It was a super quick read and delightful. 

Favorite quote: (at the beginning, this is Hotspur to Taffeta after discussing that she would not pursue him as a husband and he would not attempt to seduce her)

“Then I think not,” he said brightly.  “War it is, my lady, and to the victor go the spoils.”

Runaway Heart by Claudy Conn

4 Stars

Only about 65% of this e-book is Runaway Heart with the rest being excerpts of other Claudy Conn books.  Prior to this book I had only read her first book in the Legend Series.  That book wasn’t bad, but with so many e-books out there, a reader doesn’t need to settle for “not bad”.  So while I didn’t hate that series I didn’t really have a desire to read any other Claudy Conn books.  I do however enjoy historical romance books and was looking for a quick read and decided to give Runaway Heart a try.  The verdict: I shall be reading more of Claudy Conn’s books in the future.  This book was free, but after reading it, it is worth spending money on.


Chelsea’s parents have both died and she is sent to live with her uncle who also dies.  Her Aunt Augusta is quite horrible and sends Chelsea away to school and leaves her to rot well after her time to leave school.  Chelsea’s plan is to find the trustee to her estate and appeal to his good grace’s to not send her to Aunt Augusta. Chelsea ends up with her godmother, Aunt Daisy (not a real aunt) who prevails upon her nephew, Lord Brett Wainwright to cart Chelsea around on her first season.  Brett doesn’t want to, but can’t say no to his aunt and soon finds himself attached to “the brat”. 


I absolutely adored the interactions between Chelsea and Brett.  The author did a superb job of creating a heroine who is young and beautiful, but also smart and compassionate.  The climax did not result in Lord Wainwright rescuing Chelsea.  She was quite smart and capable of rescuing herself!  It was not love at first sight, in fact, the characters did not like one another one little bit. 

There are a lot of similarities between this book and the one I immediately read afterwards by Claudy Conn (Taffeta & Hotspur), but I still adored both of them.    

Favorite Quote: (Lord Brett Wainwright to Aunt Daisy, referring to Chelsea)

“Daisy, I give you my brat.  Hold her till I return.”       

Saturday, March 16, 2013

On Dublin Street by Samantha Young

4.5 Stars
I have read many Samantha Young books and I think this hero might be my favorite!  The heroine, Joss, annoyed me a little at the beginning, but it was a result of all her baggage that made her annoying and she was getting that worked on professionally, so the further into the book the reader moves, the more you like the heroine.  Another thing that the author did A-M-A-Z-I-N-G-L-Y well was when troubles came up with the couple, one of them would do something stupid, but then, the other one would react in a very believable and equally stupid manner so that it didn’t seem like either Joss or Braden was constantly being an idiot. 
On to the plot…
This takes place in Scotland (and whilst I have never been there, it is number one on my places I wish to visit) with the main character being a very damaged girl named Joss Butler.  She moved to Edinburgh after graduating high school in Virginia.  Her past is something she never talks about and she doesn’t get close to anyone.  Even the girl who she calls her best friend has no idea what she’s hiding from.  Joss ends up moving into an apartment on Dublin Street (hence the name) and there meets Ellie and her brother, Braden Carmichael.  And from there you can guess the rest.
My favorite parts were as follows:
·         The first meeting in the car
·         The second meeting in the apartment
·         Most of their fighting
·         I loved Ellie and her frustrations with Adam
·         Most of the secondary characters, except Rhian
·         Braden’s bossiness
Favorite quote:
“I stuck my stupid head out of my stupid hidey-hole.  That’s when Braden swooped in like a big-ass eagle.” 

Stopping by woods on a snowy Evening by Robert Frost

This little snippet is hounding me this day...

"...The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep."

--Robert Frost

What Am I Reading?

On Dublin Street by Samantha Young.  I have read most of the author's other works which are YA and have some aspect of paranormal to them.  I enjoyed all of them so I decided to give this a try.  The hero (Braden Carmichael...great name) actually reminds me a lot of a Kristen Ashley hero (and I am sure you can tell since she gets her own page on my blog) that I do like a good Kristen Ashley hero.  At times I am finding the heroine (Joss Butler) a little annoying with her neuroses, but she is working on them, so it makes it less annoying that the typical heroine who tries to protect herself with BS.  More later...

Friday, March 15, 2013

Wicked by Jill Barnett

4 Stars
It gets 4 stars instead of 5 because I need my romances to have some other element to them.  I need some adventure or mystery or danger!  It didn’t get 3 stars either because the romance was so well done over time that I thoroughly enjoyed it regardless of the lack of a secondary story line. 
The main characters are Sofia Howard and Sir Tobin de Clare.  They meet when she is twelve and he is fifteen and they are at a wedding celebration of some noble.  Three years later they meet again that ends in disaster.  I could feel the humiliation then! Then it is another two years before their next encounter (I think).  This is where the battle of the wills begins.  They can both be terrible, but some of the things that Sir Tobin does or says to Sofia because of her pride are hurtful and I can completely understand why she makes the decisions that she does. 
I thought I would be bored with Sofia’s time at the convent but I actually really loved that part and getting to meet Judith, the warrior nun! 
I will definitely read more Jill Barnett books in the future.  This one is the third in a series, but I didn’t feel lost at all for not having read the first two.  I do wish to know the story with Merrick and Sir Roger and their ladies fair. 
Favorite Quote: This is Sir Tobin
“He wondered what she would think if she knew the truth – if she knew that he had been forced by the King to earn her hand.  Knowing Sofia, she would not think about what he’d had to do for her hand, but instead she would be incensed that she was but a prize to be given to anyone who did the King’s bidding.”

Monday, March 11, 2013

Ransom by Julie Garwood (The Highland Laird's #2)

5 Stars

This book was delightful.  It has been a few months since I read the first book in the series (The Secret).  The first book follows Iain Maitland and the troubles that pursue Judith.  This book follows two Lairds, Ramsey Sinclair and Brodick Buchanan, whom we met in the first book. 

Gillian is English and in big trouble.  The man who killed her father says that he will also kill her uncle if she doesn’t find her long lost sister and the king’s treasure that she is hiding.  On top of that, Baron Alford (evil murderous English bad guy) now has a small child in his possession that she knows he will kill when he discovers the truth about him.  She must make her escape with the boy and find her sister and the treasure before the fall festival or her uncle dies.  She ends up in the hands of the brutal Laird Buchanan who also happens to be the guardian for the small boy.  He wants revenge for the insult, but Gillian can’t allow him to interfere until her uncle is safe. 

Bridgid is a member of Ramsey Sinclair’s clan and becomes fast friends with Gillian.  The two end up in trouble repeatedly and drive both Ramsey and Brodick crazy. 

My favorite part about this book was the dialogue between Brodick and Gillian and Bridgid and Ramsey.  There was quite a few sections that I would re-read because it was either funny or sweet. 

I can’t wait to get my hands on my next Julie Garwood. 

Favorite quote:

This is when Brodick and Gillian first meet:

He smiled.  “Nay, lass, they came to steal you, and that, you see, is an insult I cannot allow.”

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Frost Burned by Patricia Briggs (Mercy Thompson #7)

5 Ginormous Stars

I do love a good Patricia Briggs book and this one does not disappoint.  Some have said that one should be caught up on the Alpha & Omega series before reading this book.  I think that one could get by without being caught up in that series, but it would provide a better understanding for some of the situations.

Mercy is out with Jesse (Adam’s daughter) shopping and therefore escapes the impetus that sets this book in motion.  Adam and the rest of the pack have been taken.  How, you ask, can an entire werewolf pack be taken by a group of humans?  Well you must read to find out, but most basically, they were very, very organized.  They had people with the right information and money and motives to get this set up.  Mercy must work to keep the rest of the pack that wasn’t taken safe, keep Jesse from getting into trouble and find a way to rescue the rest of the pack.  Before she makes must progress, things start to heat up.  She is being targeted by fae assassins, being thrown from buildings, and handcuffed and questioned. 

The reader thinks they have a handle on what is happening and why, but you can tell from the number of pages that are left that the story can’t be over.  The pack must know who the money man is and find out why the vampires want to be so cooperative. 

I enjoyed this book so much more than River Marked.  Although I can see that River Marked was a necessary evil in that it gave the reader good insight into Mercy and what she really is as a walker.  The reader also got to have some time with Adam’s POV which I enjoyed.  I would like to say that I can’t wait until the next book, but I fear how long it will be. 

I got this book in hard cover (for my collection) so I couldn’t highlight my favorite lines, but there were many.  I enjoyed Mercy and Adam’s interactions.  I enjoyed Asil’s contributions.  I enjoyed the storyline. 

Thursday, March 7, 2013

What am I reading?


I am sooo excited that the next Mercy Thompson book is out.  I had my local bookstore (Better World Books) order it for me on Monday, March 4th, and as I am sure all of you know, that Frost Burned was released on March 5th.  Do you know when it came in?  March 5th!  Awesome, right?  I am 150 pages in and Mercy is working her tush off trying to find her mate and keep the rest of the people alive.  It's great.  And guess who has just made an appearance?  Asil!  I've always loved him from the Alpha & Omega Series. 

Friday, March 1, 2013

Drip Drop Teardrop by Samantha Young

4 Stars
This story follows Avery who is a young girl who lost her parents when she was ten and now lives with her aunt who is dying from cancer.  She goes out once a month dancing with her friends and this is where she meets Breenus.  Breenus has what is described in the book as a “hideous” scare on half his face.  Avery starts to see Breenus at her favorite club (she loves to dance, but hates attention).  Eventually Breenus asks for a dance and Avery feels drawn to him, but doesn’t want to.  She is worried what her friends would think of her and is worried that people will start at her if she is with a guy with a huge scare on his face. 
The back story for Breenus was awesome and well fleshed out.  I wish there was more to Breenus and Avery’s interactions.  Avery was pretty annoying and her stories from her childhood made her even less likeable.  That coupled with her fear of what others are thinking of her made her a jerk at times.  However, I feel like this was what the author was going for.  Why else would she describe three specific situations where Avery was a big fat brat as a child if not to hammer home how selfish she is.  I think we were supposed to see how much Avery grew through her time with Breenus.    
It was a super quick read and I found myself thinking about it when I wasn’t reading.  I wanted to know Breenus better and wanted Avery to turn out to be a better person. 

Raid by Kristen Ashley (Unfinished Heroes #3)

4 Stars
I read the first 3-4 chapters from the author’s website (P.S. she does this with all her books so if you want to try it before you buy it, just visit her website) and became obsessed.  I needed to know more about Raid.  I was a little bit surprised to find that he was from the “Unfinished Heroes” series.  This series is a little grittier (with more in your face smexy stuff) than her other series.  It also seemed shorter than some of her other books, but make no mistake it is still listed at 292 pages (this author writes super long winded books). 
Hanna has been in love with Raiden Ulysses Miller since she was six.  He does not know she is alive and looks right through her.  He is back in town and Hanna has realized that she needs to start living her life and have some fun.  She buys a new car, buys new clothes, gets a new hair style and a ridiculous bicycle.  Wonder of wonders, Raid notices our girl and decides she is his reward for what he has gone through in his life.  We never quite find out what that is, but it involves most of his buddies in the marines dying in some specific situation.  He has nightmares and DOES NOT like to talk about it.  I wanted to punch him the first time that Hanna brought it up.  I wasn’t sure how the author was going to get Raid back on my good side after that, but have no fear…she did and he is. 
Raid has a scary job.  It isn’t exactly legal and Hanna has to decide whether she is ok with his.  This is going to sound weird but some pretty awful stuff happen to Hanna because of this connection to Raid’s job, but I loved, loved, loved how Raid handled it.  It isn’t exactly spelled out how he handles it, but we KNOW that he handles it and permanently. 
Overall, Raid and Hanna aren’t my favorite KA heroes and heroines, but they aren’t my least favorite either.  I think my favorite part was the first few chapters at the beginning that I got to read free, but of course I had to know what came next and that next part was awesome too.  Then it got real…fast.