Genre: Romance

Review: Firestorm by Brenda Joyce.

Posted April 5, 2008 by Rowena in Reviews | 3 Comments

Review: Firestorm by Brenda Joyce.Reviewer: Rowena
Firestorm by Brenda Joyce
Series: The Bragg Saga #2
Also in this series: The Fires of Paradise, Violet Fire
Published by Harper Collins
Publication Date: October 6th 2009
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Historical, General, Erotica
Pages: 352
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three-stars

From the sensuous voice of novelist Brenda Joyce comes Firestorm, the extraordinary second book in the Bragg family saga that has captured the hearts of readers everywhere. Here is the beginning of the Bragg empire-opulent and glamorous-vast, dangerous, and as untamed as the sweeping plains of Texas...

Storm Bragg could outshoot and outride any man, but her family decided it was time she traded in her buckskins for a ballgown and made her debut in San Francisco society.Quickly pursued by every eligible gentleman in town, the young hellcat from Texas had eyes for only one, and he was no gentleman.Brett D'Archand was a self-made success -- arrogant, impossibly attractive, blatantly sensual -- and looking for a wife who would give him respectability.

Storm was completely bewitched by him, but she made him lose his head as well as his heart. And, threatened by scandal and ruin, they are forced to wed -- a tempestuous union of free spirits, shackled only by the irrepressible bonds of love.

Alright, I have officially given up on this author. I’ve tried three books by this author in this series and though I’ve enjoyed them for the most part…I didn’t enjoy them enough to continue on with this series.

This story is Lucy’s aunt and Rafe’s sister, Storm Bragg’s book. Storm could out shoot and out ride anyone, man or woman and she’s the biggest tom boy known to man. She loves the outdoors but her family thought it was best for to hang up her chaps and put on a damn dress, much to Storm’s chagrin. She’s packed up and shipped off from her Texas ranch home to San Francisco in hopes to snare a husband (not so different from the British ton) but because Storm is such a hot damn boy, there isn’t many offers coming her way.

It doesn’t help with the way she acts around Brett D’Archand and when a scandal blazes around these two and they’re forced to wed…Brett is NOT happy.

The rest of the story is spent with these two finding their way toward their happy ending.

And man is it a frickin’ trial trying to get there…a trial in my patience, a trial in my sanity and a trial in my effort not to strangle the snot out of Storm AND Brett.

rolls eyes

I was loving Brett when I first started the book, I thought, oh okay, this guy is a hottie but it went straight to hell in a hand basket, atleast my love for Brett did when it came to their wedding night.

After that night, I found it very hard to forgive him and to like him and though I ended up liking him well enough (because I’m a sucker for a sexy stud and Brett is definitely sexy, even if he’s a big asshole!) at the end, I couldn’t bring myself to get over their wedding night.

sigh

Think Jordan and Alex’s wedding night in Judith McNaught’s Something Wonderful.

sigh again

Storm, on the other hand…I think she got on my nerves more than Lucy did and Lucy got on my hot damn nerves a lot. It must be a writing for the times kind of thing because I know these are rereleases and man, I had a hard time getting through this book because I was always irritated by how bratty Storm was and just how spoiled she was and then Brett’s dominant personality. There were times in the book when he threatened Storm and I just couldn’t like it.

I mean, the book wasn’t a boring read, not at all…but it was just like the other books in this series. It engaged those same damn emotions that had me wanting to smack a bitch (in this case, Storm) and call the cops on a asshole (in this case, Brett)…so should you read it? If you like those forced seduction stories with the heroes that threaten the heroine a lot and the heroine being a snotty nosed brat, then yeah check it out but if you don’t check this book, I don’t think you’ll be sorry.

For me, this is my last Brenda Joyce because seriously, enough is enough with the dumb ass heroines who think they know everything and heroes that are just too hot damn mad about how they feel for the heroine…it makes me want to read something sweet and fluffy, just so that I can get over my madness with this series.

three-stars

Review: Midnight Rising by Lara Adrian

Posted April 3, 2008 by Casee in Reviews | 5 Comments

Review: Midnight Rising by Lara AdrianReviewer: Casee
Midnight Rising by Lara Adrian
Series: Midnight Breed #4
Published by Random House Publishing Group
Publication Date: 2010-09
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Paranormal
Pages: 356
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four-half-stars

In a world of shadows and dark, cosuming hungers, desire is the deadliest weapon...
For journalist Dylan Alexander, it began with the discovery of a hidden tomb, thrusting her into the center of a gathering storm of violence and secrets. But nothing is as dangerous as the scarred, lethally seductive man who rises from the shadows to draw her into his world of dark desire and endless night.
Fueled by pain and rage over a shattering betrayal, the warrior Rio has pledged his life to the war against the Rogues. He will let nothing stand in his way—least of all a mortal woman with the power to expose the entire vampire race. For an ancient evil has been awakened, and a stunning darkness is on the rise. Suddenly Dylan is powerless to resist Rio’s touch, even as she uncovers a shocking link to her own past. And now she must choose: Leave Rio’s midnight realm, or risk it all for the man who has shown her true passion and the infinite pleasures of the heart. . . .

Wow. This series gets better with each book. I’m really excited to see where Lara Adrian is taking this series.

The reader first meets Rio in Kiss of Midnight when he is brutally betrayed by his Breedmate, Eva. After almost being killed in an explosion, the ugly truth of her betrayal comes out. Shortly after, Eva kills herself while at Rio’s bedside. For months Rio can barely control his rage. It’s only with the help of Dante’s Breedmate, Tess, that Rio is able to see past the anger that is changing his life.

When the Order finds out that an Ancient, the first known vampires of their race, was entombed they race to the mountains near Prague hoping to destroy the tomb before it’s discovered. What they find is shocking and horrifying. The crypt is empty, the Ancient gone. Barely able to comprehend what it means, Rio offers to stay behind to seal the cave by blowing up the entrance. Only Rio knows what he really intends…to seal himself inside as well.

Five months later, Dylan Alexander comes upon the cave after being led there by a ghost. Able to see ghosts since she was a small child, Dylan had hoped that her affliction had ended since it had been years since she had last seen one. She can hear them, though they can’t hear her. What Dylan finds in the cave is enough to give her hope that her journalism career is not completely in the toilet. Little does she know how the course of her life changed the second she stepped foot in the cave.

After Dylan takes pictures of the cave and of him, Rio knows that he has to seal the cave, then go after Dylan to remove her memories of the cave and him. That’s much harder than he first thinks b/c of all the people Dylan has been in contact with. It doesn’t exactly help the situation that he has been virtually starving himself for the last five months, nor that he’s physically attracted to Dylan. After what happened with Eva, it’s the latter that surprises Rio the most.

Considering that only a year had past between Eva’s betrayal and Rio meeting Dylan, I was wondering how Adrian was going to pull this off. She pulled it off quite nicely. Though Rio cared about Eva, they weren’t blood bonded. Rio loved her in his own way, while Eva was obsessed with Rio. Dylan is the first woman that he ever confides his past to. Not only that, but she doesn’t judge him for what he has done.

The places that this series can go with the evil that now exists in this series is virtually endless. While Marek (Lucan’s brother) was definitely evil, it would have got boring after awhile. What we learn has been going on in the last 50 or so years makes me even more excited for the next book. Lara Adrian definitely continues to keep it fresh.

4.5 out of 5.

Series order:

Kiss of Midnight
Kiss of Crimson
Midnight Awakening
Midnight Rising

four-half-stars

Review: Dying to Please by Linda Howard

Posted April 3, 2008 by Rowena in Reviews | 19 Comments

Review: Dying to Please by Linda HowardReviewer: Rowena
Dying to Please by Linda Howard
Published by Random House Publishing Group
Publication Date: April 29th 2002
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Suspense
Pages: 320
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four-half-stars

Loyal. Beautiful. Professional. Impeccably organized. Potentially lethal.

Sarah Stevens is a woman with many distinct qualities. First and foremost a butler par excellence, skilled at running large households smoothly and efficiently, she is also a trained bodyguard and expert marksman–indispensable to her elderly employer, a courtly gentleman whom Sarah has come to respect and love as a father.

Then one night she thwarts a burglary in progress, a courageous act that rewards Sarah her requisite “fifteen minutes of fame” with the local press. But the exposure is enough to catch the attention of a tortured soul who, unbeknownst to Sarah, will stop at nothing to have her for himself.

Sarah’s perfectly ordered life is shattered when tragedy strikes: her beloved employer is brutally murdered. The detective investigating the case, assures Sarah that she is not a suspect. Until lightning strikes twice. There’s a second killing–and this time, despite a lack of evidence connecting her to the crime, Sarah cannot escape the shadow of guilt.
The only option left for Sarah is to carry on with her life. But she doesn’t realize that a deranged stalker is luring her into an elaborate trap . . . one in which she, once ensnared, might never escape. For Sarah soon finds herself at the mercy of a man who will tend to her every whim, smother her with affection, and crush her in his all-consuming embrace.

In a nonstop roller-coaster ride of unrelenting suspense, Linda Howard has written her most chilling novel yet. Dying to Please is a breathless thriller of desire and obsession.
From the Hardcover edition.

 

My very first Linda Howard was Mr. Perfect. You can imagine how much I loved that book, I loved it so much that I had to go out and read every single Linda Howard book I could get my hands on. One of the books that I picked up was this one.

I was on such a Linda Howard high that I jumped right into this story and enjoyed the fact that the heroine wasn’t this simpering girly girl who was more damsel in distress than strong heroine. I enjoyed that Sarah Stevens could probably kick The Rock’s ass and I enjoyed the fact that she was so good at her job. She was the perfect butler for an ex Federal Judge and when she comes home on her day off to find her employer murdered, I was like, alright Sarah …what are you going to do now? Go find the murderer and kick their ass!

It’s what Sarah does.

Sarah gets a new job and tries to put her life back together again only to have those employers die on her too and the sexy detective Thompson Cahill thinks at first that maybe Sarah is a serial killer but then he later changes his mind and while he fights his attraction to Sarah to try to find the real killer, the sparks fly between them two and the chemistry between them is enough to scorch the pages.

This book is a good one. It’s not one of my most favorites of LH but how can you not like the book with a sexy hero like Cahill and that wrestling scene with the both of them? Talk about S E X Y!

Seriously, you guys should read this book if only to read that scene…it’s HOT and so good. I enjoyed Sarah’s no nonsense attitude and her character as a whole. She was a great heroine, one that I liked a great deal because she was so sure of herself and so confident. It was a great thing to read about a strong heroine, who really was strong. There’s a scene in the book where Sarah takes some robbers down without breaking a sweat and I thought, damn I wish I had skills like that.

Then there was Cahill. Tall, sexy Cahill who was all things women want in a man. Strong, manly and so effing hot he’d scorch my pants! I loved how honest he was, he wasn’t the type of man to mince words or lead women on to get them to fall into his bed. He was upfront and refreshingly honest and I loved that about him, well I loved a lot of other things about him as well…especially his technique in the sack, man he’s yummy!

Now, one could say that this book was totally predictable in the sense that we’ve read this storyline before, the villain could be spotted with your eyes closed and your hands tied behind your back but that didn’t take away from the story for me. I enjoyed the heck out of it and I like that LH can take an old storyline and make it fresh and fun. It’s one of those books that you want to keep on reading until you know everything, until all of your questions are answered and you’re done with the whole book. It’s that good.

It’s a fun ride and I’m sure you’ll enjoy it if you’re looking for something that’s not too deep, just fun and fast…that’s this one.

So go on ahead and get this one, it’ll entertain you for sure! =)

4.5 out of 5

four-half-stars

Review: Hard to Handle by Lori Foster

Posted April 2, 2008 by Casee in Reviews | 4 Comments

Review: Hard to Handle by Lori FosterReviewer: Casee
Hard To Handle by Lori Foster
Series: SBC Fighters #3
Published by Penguin
Publication Date: February 5th 2008
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary, General
Pages: 352
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three-stars

Sometimes Fate delivers a left hook.
After Fate deals Supreme Battle Challenge (SBC) fighter Harley Handleman a sucker punch, his uncle secretly hires a pretty lifecoach to get Harley back in the ring of life. Anastasia Kelley has actually known Harley for years, but never as well as she's going to now. Hot for his fighter's form, she has trouble keeping it professional, especially since Harley doesn't know she was hired. And when Anastasia turns the tables on him, it's as if he's been hit below the belt. But that's also where is uncontrollable lust for her burns.

 

Harley Handleman is determined to win the title belt for the SBC (see UFC). Every time he has a chance at the belt, something seems to go wrong prior to the fight. Very protective of his privacy, Harley is very careful who he allows in his life. When Fate puts him in the path of Anastasia Kelley, he’s not sure whether to stay and fight or run like hell. What he does know is that his landlord affects him like no other woman has.

Stasia has always been attracted to Harley, but has never let it show. She’ll never let herself be the type of woman that throws herself at Harley. When she finds herself run off the road late one night, it’s Harley that comes to her rescue. Harley that protects her from an enemy that she can’t see. Even after he comes to her aid, Stasia still refuses to ask Harley for anything. When they part ways, Stasia knows she won’t contact Harley again. As for Harley, he’s mystified that Stasia is so willing to cut all ties, especially since he knows she wants him.

That all changes when a meddling old man gets involved. Harley’s uncle is hellbent on helping his nephew get the SBC title. Even if it takes hiring a life coach behind his back.

This is typical Lori Foster fare. I’ve noticed that with each book she releases, I like it less than the last one. Hard to Handle is no exception. While I enjoyed the romance between Harley and Stasia, they really didn’t do it for me. I liked the secondary romance between Barber and Jasmine, but it happened too quickly to be believable. I mean, really. Then there was the mystery part of it. Give me a freaking break. It was so laughable that I can’t quite do it justice. I think without the secondary characters that Foster has brought into this series, I wouldn’t even read it anymore. What can I say? I’ve been reading her for years. I can’t just give up. So file this under train wreck.

3 out of 5.

Other books in the series:

Causing Havoc
Simon Says

three-stars

Review: Too Pretty To Die by Susan McBride.

Posted April 2, 2008 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Too Pretty To Die by Susan McBride.Reviewer: Rowena
Too Pretty to Die by Susan McBride
Series: Debutante Dropout #5
Published by Harper Collins
Publication Date: January 21st 2014
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Suspense, Mystery & Detective, General
Pages: 336
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three-stars

The fifth sassy and irresistible entry in the Debutante Dropout series finds Andy Kendricks uncovering more than just the beauty secrets of Dallas high society …

They call them "pretty parties," and they're the latest rage among Dallas debutantes—get-togethers with light refreshments, heavy gossip, and Dr. Sonja and her magic Botox needles. Former socialite Andy Kendricks normally wouldn't be caught dead at such an event, but she's attending as a favor to her friend Janet, a society reporter in search of a juicy story. And, boy, does she find one when aging beauty queen Miranda DuBois bursts into the room—drunk, disorderly, and packing a pistol.

Miranda's wrinkles have seen better days, and she blames it all on Dr. Sonja. Luckily, Andy calms her down and gets her home … where she's found dead the next morning. The police suspect suicide, but Andy knows that no former pageant girl would give up that easily. She's determined to find Miranda's killer herself, but she'll have to be careful. After all, Botox can make you look younger, but it can't bring you back from the grave.

It’s surprising to me that I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I thought I would, since the life of the rich and famous fascinates me so. I’m one of those women who is subscribed to US Weekly and I pore over celebrity blogs to find out the latest and greatest scoop on the glamorous celebrities in show business.

Paris Hilton? I read all the articles on her so I know that she married Nicole Richie’s man’s brother in Vegas and I know all about how she bit it in Europe. I know more than I want to know about Britney Spears and no matter how many articles they write about her, like a moth to a flame, I read them…even though I hate myself a little more after I read them because I always swear that I don’t care about Britney Spears but deep down, I know I do care…and I know that I still hate that part of me that cares enough about Brit to keep reading those damn articles.

The celebrities in Hollywood, New York, wherever…are all brand wearing, name dropping people who probably act a lot like the characters in this book and while in real life I can deal with it, I could not for the life of me deal with all of that crap in this book.

It bothered me that Miranda thought she was so superior to everyone because she was beautiful and she had the perfect breasts and the perfect blonde hair and she wore the right clothes. I bothered me that when all of those things disappeared, her looks and gasp God forbid, she get a wrinkle or get older as all humans are supposed to do, it was like her world ended. She couldn’t see past that damn botched Botox job and she wanted to exact revenge on the person who did this to her, so she shows up at one of those Pretty Parties that are all the rage in Dallas these where you can get Botox in the comfort of your home while your friends nibbled on caviar in the living room with the rest of the guests.

Oh goodness, how glad I am that I am not apart of this world.

Then there’s Andy, Andy who was born into this world but never really took her place in it because it just isn’t her cup of tea. She’s just not that into this stuff. She skipped out on her own cotillion and she hasn’t turned back since. She’s a rock girl all the way and she can care less what brand she’s wearing, as long as she’s wearing clothes. She gets sucked into going to one of those Pretty Parties because her reporter friend wants to stop by a work function and Andy is kinda peeved about it. So while they’re there and they’re trying to get out of the party, Miranda DuBois comes in and tries to exact her revenge on the Dr. who ruined her pretty face.

She comes in drunk and waving her gun around and takes a shot at the doctor only to miss (by a mile) and chip the frame in back of her. Andy takes her home (because she feels sorry for her) and makes sure all is well before she goes home to her boyfriend.

In the morning, Miranda shows up dead.

The rest of the book is spent by Andy’s Mom and her reporter friend trying to get Andy to solve Miranda’s death and Andy doing her best to avoid doing it. I just didn’t care that it took everyone and HER Mom to twist her arm until she did something. I know that Andy and Miranda weren’t close at all but goodness, it was part of the storyline and I just, I don’t know, wasn’t satisfied with anything that I read.

This wasn’t exactly a romance, though I wish it was one. I wanted more Brian Malone scenes and then there was the ex Navy SEAL guy, Fletch that I wouldn’t have minded more of either, I guess that was a triangle and blah, it was just okay.

I liked Andy well enough, I liked the storyline well enough but I don’t think I’d be rereading this one. It just didn’t have enough to make me come back for more. It was a fast, enjoyable read but it was one of those books that had me already thinking about my next read to get too excited about this one.

Should you read it? Hmmmm, I guess if you’re looking for something light…but don’t expect fireworks because there are none in this book.

But Happy Reading anyway, haha.

3 out of 5

three-stars