Mr. May: Ian Thornton, Marquess of Kensington.

Posted May 2, 2007 by Rowena in Features | 10 Comments

Every once in a long while there comes along a hero that makes you forget all the other heroe’s you’ve read about before.

You know the hero that comes to mind when the author is mentioned. Like, if someone were to say Karen Marie Moning, Dageus MacKeltar instantly comes to my mind, not to mention certain scenes from his book that include plane rides to Scotland, you know what I mean? hehe…Julie Garwood? Yep, I’m thinking of Connor MacAllister and his sexy scottish brogue and stubborn as a mule attitude. It’s just the way things are sometimes.

Well, if you say, Judith McNaught, two names instantly come to my mind. One, I’ve already featured as a Hero of the Month on Sanctuary’s Finest, but the other hero that I can’t get enough of is Mr. Ian Thornton turned Lord Ian Thornton, Marquess of Kensington, heir to the Dukedom of Stanhope from Judith McNaught’s Almost Heaven.

If you’ve read the book then you’re already knowing why I love this man so much. You’re already knowing what an intensely sexy and swoonworthy hero Ian Thornton is, but for those of you, like cough cough Ames who hasn’t taken the time to read this book, I can’t tell you enough how much you’re missing out by not reading all about sexy studmuffin, Ian Thornton.

I shall try, very earnestly to tempt you to give his book a go, by listing all of the reasons why I, and so many other women love Mr. Thornton.

When we first meet Mr. Thornton, we see him in a garden, smoking a lil somethin’ somethin’ .

…he was startingly tall, more than six feet with powerful shoulders and long, muscular legs. His thick hair was not blond, but a rich brown-black that looked as if it had a tendency to curl. Instead of wearing the customary bright satin coat and white breeches that the other men wore he was clad in raven black from head to foot, with the exception of his snowy shirt and neckcloth, which were so white they seemed to gleam agains tthe stark black of his jacket and waistcoat. Elizabeth had the uneasy thought that Ian Thornton was like a large, predatory hawk in the midst of a gathering of tame, colorful peacocks. ..White cuffs peeped from beneath his black jacket, and in the bright orange glow of the flame she saw that his hands and face were deeply tanned.

Yum.

Seriously, YUM!

Grace and I had a great conversation last week where we discussed exactly why we loved Ian Thornton and the reasons were plenty. We loved his passion for life and the woman he loved. We loved his devotion to Elizabeth while they were married. We loved the lengths to which he went to save and marry Elizabeth from ruin. We loved his amber eyes and the way he looked at Elizabeth with those very eyes when she had company over and made her blush because she knew what he was thinking about and what they were going to do just as soon as he could get her alone.

Hehe, I’m telling you, Ian Thornton is a fox!

In this scene, Ian is just finding out that the woman Jordan has to go and support at this ball is in fact, Elizabeth.

“Care to join us?”

Ian shook his head and accepted his drink from the footman. “It sounds boring as hell.”

“I don’t think it’ll be boring, precisely. My wise has taken it upon herself to defy the entire ton and sponsor the girl back into the ranks. Based on some of the things Alexandra said i nher note, that will be no mean feat.”

“Why is that?” Ian inquired with more courtesy than interest.

Jordan sighed and leaned his head back, weary from the hours he’d been working for the last several weeks and unexcitd at the prospect of dancing attendance on a damsel in distress–one he’d never set eyes on. “the girl fell into the cluthches of some man two years ago, and an ugly scandal ensued.”

Thinking of Elizabeth and himself, Ian said casually, “That’s not an uncommon occurrence, evidently.”

“From what Alex wrote me, it seems this case is rather extreme.”

“In what way?”

“For one thing, there’s every chance the young woman will get the cut direct tonight from half the ton–and that’s the half that will be willing to acknowledge her. Alex has retaliated by calling in the heavy guns–my grandmother, to be exact, and Tony and myself, to a lesser degree. The object is to try to brave it out, but I don’t envy the girl. Unless I miss my guess, she’s going to be flayed alive by the wagging tongues tonight. Whatever the bastard did, “Jordan finished, downing his drink and starting to straighten in his chair, “it was damaging as hell. The girl–has been a social outcast for nearly two years.”

Ian stiffened, his glass arrested partway to his mouth, his sharpened gaze on Jordan, who was already starting to rise. “Who’s the girl?” he demanded tautly.

“Elizabeth Cameron.”

“Oh, CHRIST!” Ian exploded, surging out of his chair and snatching up his evening jacket. “Where are they?”

“At the Willingtons’. Why?”

“Because,” Ian bit out, impatiently shrugging into his jacket and tugging the frilled cuffs of his shirt into place, “I’m the bastard who did it.”

An indescribable expression flashed across the Duke of Hawthorne’s face as he too, pulled on his evening jacket, “You are the man Alexandra described in her note as an unspeakable cad, vile libertine, and ‘despoiler of innocents?”

“I’m all that and more,” Ian replied grimly…

Goodness, the urgency Ian showed when trying to make things right with Elizabeth was just about the sweetest thing since sliced bread. I loved the way he barged right into that ball and spinned stories to confuse everyone so that he could win Elizabeth’s hand in marriage with her reputation in tact.

So effing sweet, I tell you. Just like this scene…

Behind her, where Tony had been standing, shadows moved, then a hand gently grasped Elizabeth’s elbow, and a deep, husky voice said near her ear, “Dance with me, Elizabeth.”

Shock stiffened her body, slamming against the barricade of numbness that Elizabeth was trying to keep intact. STill gazing straight ahead, she said very calmly and politely, “Would you do me a great service?”

“Anything,” he agreed.

“Go away. And stay away.”

“Anything,” He amended with a solemn smile in his voice, “but that.”

She felt him move closer behind her, and the nerves quaking she’d conquered hours before jarred through her again, awakening senses from their blissfuul anesthesia. His fingers lightly caressed her arm, and he bent his head closer to her. “Dance with me.”

I’m telling you, if you don’t like Ian by now, you’ll love him by the end of my little teasing glimpses into Ian’s book. This next scene is a scene that warmed my heart, it’s at the same ball where he’s trying to make things up to Elizabeth….read on dear readers…

“Come inside with me,” he urged, increasing the pressure on her elbow, “and I’ll begin making it up to you.”

sigh

You can see just how determined Ian was to put Elizabeth’s reputation back to rights with how hard he worked to spread tales throughout the ball at how wrong everyone had it back then and this is definitely a man you want loving you because what woman doesn’t love when their man gets all pissed and dangerous when someone dares to smear your name around a party you’re attending?

And what woman doesn’t love a man who can turn your words back on you and make you cry buckets at just how awesomely romantic he is? Like in this scene?

“If you would take one step forward, darling, you could cry in my arms. And while you do, I’ll tell you how sorry I am for everything I’ve done–” Unable to wait, Ian caught her, pulling her tightly against him. “And when I’m finished,” he whispered hoarsely as she wrapped her arms around him and wept brokenly, “you can help me find a way to forgive myself.”

double sigh

This book is fantastic and Ian Thornton, the man of the book is even better…I could count the ways that I love this man, but you have to see for yourself and all these reasons are why Ian Thornton is Book Binge’s Mr. May.

Presenting Mr. Ian Thornton.


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Best Reads of April!

Posted May 1, 2007 by Rowena in Features | 25 Comments

Rowena here and it’s been a good month of reading for me, I didn’t read anything that I absolutely hated and there were just a few DNF, but I’m not going to give up on my DNF’s, I’m just going to get back to them at a later date.

In the month of April, I read:

I’m reading, Rock Star by Roslyn Hardy Combs which is the book that I won over at Devon’s blog and I’m really digging it, I’ve read two great reviews from both Devon and Bam so I was really excited to read it and I’m totally agreeing with what they both said in their reviews, it really is fresh and witty and just everything good.

My favorite read of the month has to be Magic Study by Maria V. Snyder because I just loved being all wrapped up in Yelena’s world, seeing the world that she should have grown up in, the adventures she gets herself into with trying to do what’s right for her. It was a great second novel by Mrs. Snyder and I am anxiously awaiting the release of Fire Study, bring on more of sexy hunky Valek please!!!

Isabel

In April I read:

The Rest Falls Away
Ps I Love You
Lord of Scoundrels

These were all good books but my favorite read was Lord of Scoundrels. I heard nothing but good reviews on this book so when I finally read it, I was not disappointed. I loved Dain and Jessica and their love story. Right now I’m reading “Something Sinful” by Suzanne Enoch.

So there’s what WE read last month, what did you guys read?

and…

What was YOUR favorite read in the month of April?


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Bring on the Sexy Lairds Please…

Posted April 27, 2007 by Rowena in Discussions, Reviews | 18 Comments


It’s been a long while since I’ve been swept away into a world where handsome Scottish Lairds wed and protect their damsel in distress heroines from the harsh winters of the Highlands and the danger that awaits them around every corner, because you just know that in these novels, the heroine or the hero have to fight to protect each other from their enemy clans to the south who want to kill the Laird so that they can have his land and rule over all of the clans in the Highlands.

It’s funny how some of my favorite books are set in the Highlands and last night as I was browsing through my bookshelves, I came across a lot of books that I have read and loved over the years. Most of them are about macho lairds who’s wives are starting wars with all of the nearby clans, while others are running off with men that they’ve foolishly asked to marry them when they were too young to know any better which sets off other wars with the jilted fiance’s clan. So many of these books were funny, filled with great characters, a great sense of family and loyalty and I really miss reading those kinds of books, I want to read another one of these kinds of books…these kinds of storylines seem to be missing from my life right now and I want those storylines back dammit!

I’m almost done with my TBR Challenge with Ames over at Thrifty Reader and I’m in the mood to read about some horse hung, kilt clad hunks from the cold Scottish Highlands with their overbearing attitudes and thick scottish brogues.

Bring on the Scotsman, ladies (and gents if you’re out there and know of any good ones! =P) …I’m looking for some great romance novels that take place in the Highlands, way before my great, great great grand daddy was even thought of.

I enjoy the likes of Karen Marie Moning, Julie Garwood and I’m sure there are others but my silly mind is drawing a blank here, so please…step up and pimp some great highland romances!!!

And while we’re talking about this, I’d like to pose a question to you lovely readers. Who in your opinion writes the best Highlander stories? Are you a straight up KMM fan who loves the virginal and too smart for their own good heroines and the horse hung, dead sexy heroes that are over the top yummalicious? Or are you more of a Julie Garwood type, the alpha males that are sexy and funny and everything ooey gooey delicioso?

How is Janet Chapman’s Highland series? I’ve heard conflicting reviews on this series, some love it to pieces while others don’t care for it at all? What do you think? There’s also the Hannah Howell books, would anyone recommend those and if you do, please leave the titles in order to be read when you comment so that I can put it on my list of books to search for.

Are there any authors that I’m missing that you’d like to pimp to me? Please, help a sister out! I’m imaging sexy Gerard Butler in a kilt and well, it’s what triggered all of this must find new highlander books to read mindset.


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Review: Demon Moon by Meljean Brook

Posted April 27, 2007 by Holly in Reviews | 8 Comments

Review: Demon Moon by Meljean BrookReviewer: Holly
Demon Moon by Meljean Brook
Series: The Guardians #2
Also in this series: Demon Night, Demon Bound, Demon Forged, Guardian Demon, Demon Angel
Published by Penguin
Publication Date: June 5th 2007
Genres: Fiction, Romance, General
Pages: 480
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-half-stars

No one would call vampire Colin Ames-Beaumont kind, but they would call him unnaturally beautiful. For two centuries his tainted blood has kept him isolated from other vampires, sustained only by his beauty and vanity—bitter comforts, since a curse has erased his mirror reflection, replacing it with a terrifying glimpse of Chaos.

Savi Murray's insatiable curiosity had gotten her into trouble before, but she'd always escaped unscathed. Then came Colin. In the midst of Heaven, he gave her a taste of ecstasy—and of Chaos. Deadly creatures from that realm herald the return of an imprisoned nosferatu horde, and Colin and Savi’s bond is their only protection—and their only passion…

 

Side Note: There’s no way I can review this book without including spoilers from the first one, Demon Angel. If you haven’t read DA yet, you may want to skip this review. I’ll try to keep the spoilers for this one to a minimum. :End Side Note

As I’ve mentioned several times now, I won an ARC of this on Sybil‘s blog. I was really excited to read it, especially after Demon Angel (and who doesn’t love free ARC’s?).

Although I enjoyed DA, my biggest issue with it was the pacing. It seemed bogged down with info dumps and was often so slow going I felt like banging my head against the wall. Although it took me ages to read this, it wasn’t because of the pacing. It was just my own busy life intruding on my reading time. The pacing issues were totally cleared up. Way to go, Meljean.

When I heard Colin the Vampire was set to be the hero of this book, I wasn’t sure how I felt about it. Though I truly enjoyed his character in Demon Angel, I thought he seemed shallow and vain and…almost immature? But MB did an amazing job of showing us the different sides of him. Yes, he was shallow and vain about some things, but the truth is, he was just as tortured as Hugh. Watching him struggle to battle his personal demons and his attraction to Savi was just..amazing.

As for Savi, well, I loved her. Plain and simple. Like, I totally have a girl-crush on her. Where Lilith was in-your-face strong, Savi’s strength was more internal, but no less amazing. I think she was a more personable heroine. The kind you’d like to be friends with. I loved her wit and humor and her general approach to life.

We saw the same characters. Michael and Selah, the Guardians. Lilith and Hugh. Auntie. Sir Pup. And we were introduced to several new characters. Mostly vampires. But they stayed in the background and the main focus was on Colin and Savi. We learned more about their time together in Caelum, Colin’s past and his link to Chaos, Savi’s family and just who they were period. In DA I often felt like, just when the exchanges between Hugh and Lilith were getting intense, the focus would shift to something else. It didn’t feel that way at all in this novel.

Although there are other things going on around them. A rogue demon, a cult of vampires and pressure for Colin to lead the vampire community. I love the world she’s created. This isn’t your typical vampire story. There’s still the battle for good vs. evil and the different realms. Plus, Chaos. That was creepy. And different.

The conflict between Savi and Colin, and the major thing that threatens their HEA was perfectly done. I don’t want to spoil it, but it was very believable. A lot of times authors don’t create a credible reason for why the H/H may not end up together. I was on the edge of my seat with this one. And the end? Awesome. I even cried a little.

I think the only issue I had with the book was…the sexual tension. Normally I lurve me some sexual tension, but this went on WAY too long. I mean, come one. Every single time they were about to get it on, something would happen. I was about to pull my hair out. Luckily once they finally get to doing the dirty it makes up for all the previous tension. But I have to tell you, I was hurting there for awhile. g

One last thing. On her blog, Meljean mentioned someone else reading this book and saying it could standalone. I completely disagree. I think had I not read Demon Angel first, I’d have been completely lost. As it was, there were several times I had to go back to DA to reference something. IMO, they should be read together.

I’m anxious to read the Wild Thing anthology, which contains Selah’s story. If you’re interested, Gwen from over at Sybil’s blog reviewed it. It sounds great.

Overall this book was amazing. Savi and Colin were wonderful characters and I can’t wait for the next installment.

4.5 out of 5

This book is out June 5, so be sure to bump it up to the top of your wish list. In the meantime? Go visit Meljean’s site. I really like it. And BONUS! She has excerpts up. 😉

four-half-stars


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Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase

Posted April 27, 2007 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 11 Comments

Tough minded Jessica Trent’s sole intention is to free her nitwit brother from the destructive influence of Sebastian ballister, the notorious Marquess of Diain. She never expects to desire the arrogant, amoral cad. And When Daines reciprical passion places them in a scandously compromising, and public, position, Jessica is left with no choice but to seek satisfaction…

Dawn the minx for tempting him, kissing him…and then for forcing him to salvage reputation! Lord Dain can’t wait to put the infuriating bluestocking in her place — and in some amorous position. And if this means marriage, so be it — though sebastian is less than certain he can continue to remian aloof…and stell his heart to the sensuous, head strong lady’s considerable charms.

I really loved this book. It was soooo good.

First of all, Dain isn’t your normal hero. In the book he’s described as looking like Beelzebub. He’s called “big beak” and referred to as not very handsome and that’s how Dain thinks of himself. Which I found was different. Usually you get these handsome Brad Pitt looking guys. It’s not that Dain is ugly. He’s not. He’s just not like your normal hero.

Dain’s mother, the only person who loved him, ran off when he was young. His father was pretty much disgusted with him. Well, maybe not disgusted, just disappointed. His father had 3 handsome sons who died. So to have a not so handsome son, Dain, left daddy bitter. So Daddy dearest sends Dain away to school. Because he’s picked on, Dain learns to disguise his feelings by laughing things off and making witty remarks. He sounds as if he could care less. And he does. He has a front of being cool and collected. Until Jessica arrives.

You see, she wants her brother to stop hanging around Dain. Her family knows Bertie is an idiot. Dain knows he’s an idiot, so Jessica thinks he’s taking advantage of him. Which… I can’t remember why Dain befriended him in the first place.

Jessica and Dain have a love/hate relationship. However, they both realize they are attracted to each other. Which is nice. Most of the time the heroines deny the feelings they have for the guy. Not Jessica. After meeting Dain, she complains to her grandmother how handsome he is and how she feels something for him. Jessica is smart, feisty, and knows how to stand her ground with Dain. She doesn’t let him push her around. I love how Jessica spar back and forth with Dain. There is one incident where Jessica says she won’t argue with Dain. Which of course he doesn’t believe. After a month, Dain is desperate to have his Jessica back. He hates having a wife who listens and agrees with everything he says and does.

After getting caught in a compromising position at the ball, they are forced to marry. We get a glimpse of Dain caring for Jessica. He gives her a betrothal ring. He spent hours in a shop trying to find a ring for her. The jeweler gave Dain suggestions that made him want to vomit. A birthstone ring. A stone to match her eyes etc. Dain then finds the perfect ring and he knows the reasoning of picking it out is just as sappy as the jeweler’s. It’s a ruby for the girl who shed his blood (she shot him. You have to read it to understand) and diamonds representing the lightning that flashed when she kissed him.

As he waits for her reaction to the ring, he tries to tell himself he doesn’t care what she think. But he does. He really wants her to love the ring. We see even though Dain is the tough guy, all he really wants is to be loved. He is a sensitive person but not whiney sensitive. When Jessica gives Dain a birthday present, he’s shocked. He also treasures it and when asked to give his present up he refuses.

All in all I loved this book. The is much more to the story but you have to read it to find out. These are two quotes I love. There are many more, but these are what I have here at work.

Jessica to Dain

“I love these pet names,” she said, gazing soulfully up into his eyes, “Nitwit. Sap skull. Termagant. How they make my heart flutter!”

Dain’s reaction receiving the invitation to a ball is too funny.

“A part of his mind recommended he burn it.
Another part suggested he urinate on it.
Another advised him to shove it down Her ladyship’s throat.”

Go read this book!

Grade: 5/5


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