October 31, 2010
Summary: From the moment he arrived to rescue her, Diane Albret saw more in the darkly handsome, charismatic gentleman than just a guardian. Over the years that had passed since she first saw Daniel St. John, he had become, quite simply, the most dangerously irresistible man she had ever imagined. Diane herself had changed from a bewildered schoolgirl, tragically orphaned, to a determined young woman of alluring charm and beauty. Now, leaving the cloistered life of her school, she has been brought to Daniel's home with dreams of her own amid rumors and hints of scandal. But the legendary seducer seems to have other plans for Diane—and a secret about her lost past that he will do everything to keep: a secret that will put both their lives in jeopardy, even as the passion they have denied for so long threatens to break out of all control.
Review: Frustration and more of the same is what I thought and felt throughout most of this book.
At the beginning I felt sucked into the story because of the strength of the plot; it's mysterious with who is who's, what happeneds, and oh boy what is going to happen. (fully aware that last sentence is a grammatical nightmare but I'm tired so you get what you get). I was rolling along getting excited for about four chapters thinking "here we go!" until the story slowed down and I felt like I was sloshing through mud.
Right off the bat I had a hard time connecting with the main hero Daniel. He was a shady character for far too much of the book. After I had finished the story and sat back thinking about him, I liked him a lot more. The value of hindsight and knowing why he did the things he did. However, during reading the author didn't reveal enough of his thoughts and feelings for me to connect with him. Taken as a whole with all the info Daniel is a pretty interesting guy, but I wish the author could have let me into his mind so I could have enjoyed his character more as I read.
Our heroine Diane was alright (try not to be blown away with that description I just gave of her). With her character, looks/mannerisms and such, I've been there and bought the t-shirt. I kept waiting for her to step up more and break out into a more intriguing character, didn't happen. In fact that pretty much sums up my feelings about the whole book. It had break out potential but failed whenever it came time to step up.
The mystery part of the storyline of why Daniel was doing the things he was doing and using Diane wasn't revealed until the very end. Little clues were given but seriously the whole picture wasn't made available until the very, very end. This type of story where the reader is playing catch up only works in fast pace books not slow ones like this.
There was a stilted coldness and mature feeling to this story that I can only attribute to the writers style and probably why I always felt like I was looking from the outside in instead of being immersed in the story. Around the middle end of the book I started to warm-up to the characters but never enough to get excited about.
There was a cute/hot moment of interaction between Diane and Daniel who are looking at a book that contains some interesting drawings and Diane is saying whether she finds them interesting or shocking. When Diane focuses on one particular drawing Daniel's reactions are quite humorous. This scene added some much needed levity and how I wish there were more moments like this to share with you all.
Like I said before the revelations don't come until the end of the book and by the time I got to the them I was just bored and more than ready to move on. Looking at just the storyline and how the author plotted out the past interactions between characters and how they meet up again in the present, I would give this book an A grade. So why did I give it a C-? Because I didn't care or feel connected to these wonderful plotted characters. I seriously was only into this story for about four chapters.
Complaint: This book had a serious misleading title. "Seducer"? My butt. There were a couple times the author tried to work it in, but you can't fool me sister!!!
Next to be read: "Catch A Mate" by Gena Showalter. I'm abandoning the "Seducer series" right away I know, but I need a faster pace book. Hopefully it's a goodie!
October 21, 2010
Summary: The three-year-old girl sitting on the steps of Brown's Club for Distinguished Gentlemen insists that one of its members is her papa. Aidan de Quincy feels obligated to help the wee thing, even though she certainly isn't his - or is she? To find answers, Aidan must first track down the lovely widow he swore to forget when their passionate affair came to a painful end. It doesn't help that Madeleine Chandler is as sensual and enticing as ever.
For three years, Madeleine had dreamed of seeing Aidan on her doorstep. The secret that once forced her to leave him now compels her to pretend that this sweet child is hers - a lie Aidan will surely never forgive. Yet the contented days and exquisite nights that follow are worth the heartbreak she knows must come. The truth will out - and when it does, there will be the devil to pay.
Review: This book intrigued me in the beginning because of the interesting way it starts off in the prologue. So kudos Ms. Bradley for having an interesting beginning and making me very curious as to where the story was going to go. Unfortunately, my curiosity and interest was lost along the way as I read on.
So right away I'm just going to say if you liked the movie "Three Men and a Baby" you'll probably like this book. I did not enjoy Three Men and a Baby, not even the 'stache could save it for me, therefore the 'funny' situations and hijinks that arose when inexperienced bachelors try to take care of a little girl were completely lost on me. I did find it somewhat endearing at times when Aidan (hero) was at a complete loss as to what to do and say to Melody (little girl). He was a complete tool at times I couldn't help but like the big fella.
Madeleine (heroine) on the other hand never endeared herself to me. I didn't like her and I didn't hate her, sadly just indifferent. Her whole murky past and reasons for doing things was violently sensational but never drew me in.
The storyline was decently strong so I think the problem I had with not connecting to the characters was the style this story was written. It was bouncy, bouncy, bouncy. By this I mean there was a lot of head hopping from character to character, especially in the beginning. The author probably wanted the reader to feel connected to all the characters but instead it backfired, at least for me, and I never became attached to anyone because I wasn't with anyone long enough. This writing style ended up making the story feel very disjointed and choppy. There wasn't much ever happening and not much story progression. Aidan wants to ask Madeleine to marry him finally does at end of book, Madeleine wants to leave but stays and tells Aidan about her past finally at end of book, and then Colin (friend of Aidan and future hero in next book in series) and Aidan want to find out who Melody's father is. The question of who Melody's father is, is not answered here and I'm assuming this will be a continuing thread through the next book. (Aidan was eliminated so it's between Colin and a yet to be met character Jack).
Anyway this could be called a decent book with small amounts of brief shinning moments. Skip it, there is better out there to entertain you all.
Next to be read: "The Seducer" #1 in Seducer series by Madeline Hunter. I'm bouncing from this series to start a new one.
October 12, 2010
October 11, 2010
Summary: FROM THE SAFE HAVEN OF A LONDON ORPHANAGE TO THE SAVAGE SEAS OF LOVE...
A safe, respectable orphanage was the only home Aurora Dayne had ever known. Teaching there would mean security. But when the mysterious letter arrived, offering her a position as lady's companion, Aurora seized the chance, embarking for Jamaica with her sole legacy--a little golden lizard bearing a strange rhyme. And so began the daring odyssey that would throw her into the clutches of a ruthless privateer.
Feared by men, desired by women, Vashon's eyes gleamed green as he vowed to possess the innocent beauty who held the key to his quest. Could anything ever equal his obsession to retrieve the legendary emerald--the Star of Aran? Held captive on a secret Caribbean isle--at Dragonard, his solitary lair--Aurora would struggle against her own passions, determined to tame the very dragon who had awakened her fire.
Review: Yawn. This is what I thought of most of the book, so forgive me if the review follows along that same line.
The secondary character Flossie, who is a fellow passenger on the ship to our star of the show Aurora, starts off quite entertaining. The old gal is a considerable drama queen, but this just makes her fun to read. The exchanges between her and Aurora are a delight to read.
For most of the beginning of the book our resident hunk Vashon is a mystery. It's hard to get a clear picture of who he is until he kidnaps Aurora (middle of book) and starts laying the law down. He's broody, dark, sinfully handsome bloke but imagine more substance than the usual. He has legitimate reasons for being dark and broody. If the author had focused more on Vashon and his complexity the grade would have fo' sure been different. Instead the focus of the story centers on Aurora (remember, our star of the show?).
Descriptive words for Aurora: annoying, whiny, naive in an obnoxious way, annoying, indecisive, immature, and annoying. Oh, and she has amazing aqua colored eyes. To hell with her annoyances!
In regards to the actual story of the villain and good guys searching for a big ass cursed emerald, meh, meh, meh. It took until around chapter 7 for me even to remotely get into this book. I would say this book had a slow beginning, boring middle, and long boring annoying ending. Some of the most important components that make up a story were seriously failing here. The secondary romance between Isaac (Vashon's ship captain) and Flossie (remember, spunky old gal?) was not really interesting. The main storyline of everyone searching for the Star of Aran (remember, big ass cursed emerald) that destroys your enemies was not really interesting. Our star couple's relationship, not really interesting. The back and forth between Vashon and Aurora wasn't spicy or intriguing, just boring and annoying. I happen to agree with Vashon when he says there is a stick up Aurora's butt. Way to much of the "don't touch me oh wait TOUCH me" syndrome from our heroine Aurora while our hero is a little too alpha, you know the "I'm having sex with you NO MATTER WHAT" type.
I would be remiss howevah if I didn't comment on this line: "...kissed her like a sinner seeking salvation…". Great line.
The writing quality was up to par just not the story and characters. Let's just say this book was published in 1991 and shows every bit of it's age in regards to the main characters.
Disclaimer: The above mentioned book was read right after a phenomenal book reviewed below this one. This book was also read during the MLB playoffs in which the MN Twins were swept by the New York Yankees thus ripping out the reviewer's heart and soul which might have affected the aforementioned reviewer's mood while reading. Lastly, the NHL season started during reading of book which possibly, possibly mind you, distracted reviewer and kept reviewer from fully engrossing themselves in book.
Next to read: "Devil in My Bed" #1 in Runaway Brides series by Celeste Bradley. You really didn't think I was going to stay away from regency era books again did you?
October 4, 2010
Summary: As his men are slaughtered around him, legendary Irish warrior Finian O'Melaghlin is held captive by the despised English Lord Rardove. Struggling to break free, Finian finds aid from an unlikely source: the beautiful Senna de Valery, who is also trying to escape Rardove's bloodthirsty grasp. Risking both their lives, Senna releases Finian from his shackles so they can both flee, but their plight has just begun...Seeking safe refuge, Finian and Senna have only each other to depend on for survival. Neither can deny their immediate attraction, but indulging their desires will put them both in grave danger. Finian vows to protect the woman who saved his life, but he soon learns she is a pawn in a much larger battle. For Senna has an unbreakable link to a priceless treasure many centuries old. It is the stuff from which dreams are made and for which men will kill - and not even Finian may be strong enough to save her.
Review: These were the first three things I typed about this book: Oh my god I love this book (had read 6 paragraphs), Finian is awesome, and the fight in Senna is glorious. These were pretty much my feelings throughout this whole story.
Right away the chemistry and word play between Finian and Senna scorches the pages and pulls the reader in. Because of the by play between these two characters I will now read any book Kris Kennedy writes.
This being a romance book there is of course the requisite "We can't be together!" but it is handled well here. Finian and Senna don't come up with dumb excuses for trying to stay away from each other, instead they accept their (holy hot) chemistry and just try to not inflame it (kind of fail here, but I'm not complaining yo!).
I loved how on Finian and Senna's journey to escape the baddie Lord Rardove and get to Finian's King, Senna is constantly feeling "reckless" and is always trying to push Finian to his breaking point. I love a strong man, but I love to see them fall even more. The scene where Finian and Senna are in a boat trying to avoid the English soldiers involves a little recklessness from Senna and let me tell you folks, it is quite toe curling. I almost felt bad for Finian 'cause you know this man is going down and going down hard ;)
The embarrassing truth is I honestly don't think I went more than 3 pages without smiling/giggling in a highly giddy manner for the first half of the book.
The pace and enjoyment did slow for me on the second half, this is why there is no + after the A grade. However, this only lasted for around 5 or 6 chapters and then whoa doggy the story picks up with thrilling speed until the end. Trust me people there are some revelations in the end that will have you gasping. Up until these revelations were uncovered I would have called this a completely character driven story. The storyline involving Irish dyes and how they could be important in the fight against England's King Edward (always seems to be public enemy #1 in the books I read) is highly original and like nothing I have read before. Make no mistake though, you'll love this book because of Finian and Senna but the revelations definitely add some serious meat to the story.
Finian and Senna also are balanced elements. There is no dominating character overshadowing the other and leaving them in the dust. They almost feed off of one another becoming better and stronger because of the other. It's a great thing to read; female and male character strong in their own right. Their chemistry positively fires up this story. The secondary characters are well written and note worthy, but in the background where they belong. The baddie Lord Rardove is close to being over top but toes the line well. William, Senna's brother, doesn't show up until the end but with the little bit of backstory he is given has me crying for his own book.
All in all, the story wraps up a tad too quickly, but that is a small complaint. The adventure, crazy revelations, and amazing hero/herione are completely worth the price of admission. Like I said before not quite perfect so I couldn't put a + after the A, but I can honestly say Finian and Senna are by far the best couple I have read all year. I loved it and if you like medievals and have been missing them (frankly who isn't?) you HAVE to read this book, you will not be disappointed. There really cannot be enough said about reading a good story.
*Personal note to the author Kris Kennedy: Please, please, please, please write William's story!!! Please!
Don't get high and mighty folks, after you read this book you'll be begging to for William's story.
**Oh and thank you to the publisher who actually had the cover model look like how Finian is described. It's the little things people.
Next to be read: "Till Dawn Tames the Night" by Meagan McKinney. I feel bad for this book. It has a serious hard act to follow.