Tag: 4.0 Reviews

Ice Storm by Anne Stuart

Posted November 7, 2007 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

***Warning: May contain spoilers.

Book description:

Behind her mask is a deadly secret…

The powerful head of the covert mercenary organization The Committee, Isobel Lambert is a sleek, sophisticated professional who comes into contact with some of the most dangerous people in the world. But beneath Isobel’s cool exterior a ghost exists, haunting her with memories of another life…a life that ended long ago. But Isobel’s past and present are about to collide when Serafin, mercenary, assassin and the most dangerous man in the world, makes a deal with The Committee.

Seventeen years ago Isobel shot him and left him for dead. Now it looks as if he’s tracked her down for revenge. But Isobel knows all too well that looks can be deceiving…and that’s what she’s counting on to keep her cover in this international masquerade of murder.

Who writes these blurbs for the back? It can’t be the author b/c the back cover is a crock of crap. Tracked her down for revenge? Yeah, not so much. More like he kept track of her for 20 years, even though they parted in the worst possible way.

Seventeen years ago, Isobel Lambert shot her lover, the man she thought she was in love with. Convinced that he was dead by her hand, Isobel shed her innocence that day. Rising from the ashes (how melodramatic is that?), Isobel has numbed her emotions and is known to most as the Ice Queen.

As head of The Committee, Isobel is responsible for bringing in a known terrorist, Josef Serafin. Though he has truly done some atrocious things, he has also saved countless lives. Before she leaves, she reviews everything they have on Serafin the Butcher and learns that he is none other than her long-dead lover, Killian.

The only thing that makes her feel better with coming face-to-face with the man that would have killed her was knowing that he would never know who she was. After shooting him so many years before, Isobel was attacked while she fled. Viciously, brutally attacked. Requiring numerous plastic surgeries, Isobel looks nothing like the girl she used to be.

After meeting up with Killian, who she thinks doesn’t know her, she receives another shock. Not only does he know exactly who she is, but he’s been keeping tabs on her for the last seventeen years.

So revenge? Not so much.

As Isobel tries to get Killian to safety, she has no idea that he has an agenda of his own (again): bring down the Committee. When they almost lose their lives at least three times, Killian forces Isobel to think that the attempts might be on her life rather than his. She’s incredulous to say the least. She’s wrong though. It is her that someone is trying to get rid of.

I really enjoy Anne Stuart’s books. Her heroes are so effed up, they seem irredeemable. As I’m reading one of her books, I’m always thinking that there is no way that she’s going to make me like this hero. How could she? I mean all her heroes will kill the heroine if it’s necessary to their mission, even AFTER they’ve gotten intimate. Yet by the last page, I just love the hero and how much he has sacrificed for the heroine. I don’t think Killian is her “darkest” hero, which is what I’ve read. I still think Peter Masden takes the cake on that one.

In this book, Killian isn’t what he seems. That isn’t much of a surprise. After all, could you imagine a hero that really is a terrorist? Yeah, not so much. This book was different insofar as Killian was the one that had to overcome Isobel’s defenses b/c she refused to take another chance on him. You kind of can’t blame the woman. Finding out your lover drugged you and didn’t argue when his “co-workers” told him they were going to finish her off changes a girl.

I think this is my favorite in the Ice Series thus far. I’m highly anticipating Reno’s book, which should come out in April 2008.

4 out of 5.

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All Through the Night by Suzanne Brockmann

Posted November 6, 2007 by Casee in Reviews | 4 Comments

Book description:

It’s Christmastime in Boston, and this year the silver bells will be wedding bells as FBI agent Jules Cassidy ties the knot with the man of his dreams, Hollywood heartthrob Robin Chadwick.

The pair plan a quiet, intimate ceremony, to be witnessed by family and close friends from the FBI, SEAL Team Sixteen, and Troubleshooters, Incorporated, including Sam Starrett and Alyssa Locke. But the holiday season brings more to the happy couple than they expect.

A waterfall coming through their kitchen ceiling, a bat colony in the attic, old family tensions . . . even an international incident can’t dampen their spirits. But add to that a parade of unexpected guests, including a reporter looking for a scoop, an ex-lover hell-bent on causing trouble, and a dangerous stalker, and suddenly the wedding is poised to unravel in chaos.

But nothing will stop Jules and Robin from getting their happy ending, because along with a guest list featuring the most elite counterterrorism force in the world, they have their own secret weapon–true love.

Before I begin my review, I’m going to answer the question that everyone wants to know. Did Jules cry? The answer to that is a big.fat.YES. Dude. What is with Suz and these crying heroes? Men do not have to show their softer side by crying. Geez.

I have been a long time fan of Jules Cassidy. How can you not love Jules? I want a BFF like Jules. That said, I really wasn’t feeling him in this book. I felt like it was more Suz’s voice coming through the character of Jules. I know that Suz is a huge gay rights activist which I think it’s really admirable. Still, this book came across as preachy to me. Jules came across as a whiny crybaby. Not the Jules that I know and love.

So Robin and Jules are in lurve. They’re going to get married. I don’t know how I feel about that b/c I still don’t know how I feel about Robin. When I read Force of Nature, I was kind of hoping that Robin would die. Blasphemy? Maybe. But I was still withholding judgement just like Sam. Come on. The guy was so far in the closet that he didn’t even know he was in the closet. He was a raging alcoholic. He could only have sex when he was so drunk that he wouldn’t have to admit that he liked men more than women. Especially unforgivable is him hooking up with Jules’ ex, Adam. That’s just really, really, really effed up.

It’s not that I didn’t enjoy the book b/c I did. Revisiting Sam and Alyssa is always fun. I love reading about how their relationship has progressed over the last several books. Alyssa is pregnant, which is a huge deal considering how her sister died. Jones and Molly make an appearance, which I loved b/c I love those two. I enjoyed reading the secondary romance between Jules and Robin’s assistant, Dolphina Patel and Will Schroeder. I liked seeing that though Jules is almost perfect, he hasn’t quite made it to perfect. The guy has a major jealousy problem. He hated that about himself which was what made it “aww” instead of “ugh”.

Bottom line, there was too much shoved into one book. It was over the course of a month, but still…

There’s Will Schroeder who crashes a surprise engagement party and pretends to be an invited guest. While talking to Robin, he’s recording the conversation. A few days later, the story hits the National Voice (like the National Enquirer?) which takes everything Robin said out of context. The day after that, the recording shows up on TMZ.com. How did that happen? Will’s computer got hacked. Yup. Hacked. I don’t buy it. The guy is a reported. Pul-lease. Tell me he didn’t have firewalls or whatever crap you have to make sure your shit doesn’t get hacked. Oh and at the party, he falls in love at first sight with Dolphina who obviously wants nothing to do with him after the story hits the media.

Jules is sent to Afghanistan and almost dies w/ Max. All the Team Sixteen wives arrive, along with Gina who is as terrified for Max as Robin is for Jules. Gina tells Robin that Jules made her promise that everyone would be there to support Robin if anything like this ever happened. We also find out that Gina is pregnant. Max tells Jules when it becomes apparent that they won’t make it out alive. Alas, they do make it out. How? Will has a friend who is the only person in Afghanistan that has internet access and sends Jules and Max’s location to Will who alerts Yashi (an Agent on Jules’ team) who then send in the Marines. Huh.

Though Jules and Robin sent an invitation to their wedding to the President and First Lady, they fully expected to receive their regrets. After all, they don’t want their wedding to become a political statement. Of course they RSVP will their thanks and that they will attend. That means that the Secret Service has to run all the guests, one of whom comes back red flagged. Yup, the man red flagged is none other than Jones. Will, being the report that he is, snoops through Dolphina’s files and sees that this Jones person has been flagged. He then does research and deuces that Jones is really Grady Morant, presumed dead. He doesn’t want to out him, however. He only wants his corroboration to right a book about it. In between all that, we find out Molly is also pregnant.

Is there something in the water?

While all this is going on, both Robin and Jules are receiving almost daily calls from Adam. They both don’t tell the other b/c they don’t to upset each other, but they soon both find out he’s been calling both of them. Jules goes all alpha on Adam and tells him that Robin is marrying him and he needs to stay out of their lives. Adam tells him that he’s being stalked and needs help. See, there’s this guy who thinks he’s a robot or alien or something. When the stalker leaves Adam a welcome home gift inside his house, Adam takes the next flight to Boston, leading the killer right to Robin and Jules’ door. At first I thought this was a person that was against gay marriage and wanted to kill Jules and Robin for even presuming to think they can actually marry. But no, he thought Adam was a robot. Jules and Sam, along with Cosmo and the rest of Team Sixteen come and save the day.

Jules and Robin do eventually get married after all this. That’s after Robin leaves the church b/c he forgot a gift he wanted to give Jules. He gets locked in the bathroom (old house, door knobs come off) and seriously digs a hole in the wall to get out. Meanwhile at the church, Jules is trying to stay calm but when he hears everyone is searching local bars, he loses it a little. Eventually he finds Robin and all is well.

As a whole, I did enjoy this story. Suz put in an Author’s Note at the end of the book saying that Robin demanded his HEA before she was ready to give it to him, which is how she ended up writing All Through The Night. I just thank God she did b/c I did not want to see Jules and Robin dragged out over 10 more books.

4 out of 5.

Side note: Suz has donated all of her earnings (advance, royalties and subrights) from this book to MassEquality’s Educational Fund. MassEquality is a group dedicated to preserving equal marriage rights in Massachusetts.

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Highlander Untamed by Monica McCarty

Posted October 30, 2007 by Casee in Reviews | 4 Comments

Book description:

Rory MacLeod is a bold and powerful Highland Chief with only one allegiance–to his clan. He vows revenge against the rival MacDonald clan, though duty demands a handfast marriage to Isabel MacDonald–a bride he does not want and has no intention of keeping. But Rory couldn’t have anticipated the captivating woman who challenges his steely control, and unleashes the untamed passion simmering beneath his fierce exterior.

Blessed with incomparable beauty, Isabel MacDonald is prepared to use every means possible–including seduction–to uncover her husband’s most guarded secrets. Instead Rory awakens Isabel’s deepest desires and her sweetest fantasies. Now Isabel has found the happiness she’s always dreamed of with the very man she must betray, and discovers that passion can be far more dangerous than revenge.

I’ve had this book for ages, but was just not in the mood for a medieval. I’m glad I finally picked it up b/c it was really very good. I read it about two weeks ago, so this is really a brief review.

Isabel MacDonald has always wanted approval from her family. After her mother died when she was just three years old, Isabel has strove to get attention from her father and three brothers. Always falling short of the mark, Isabel finally has a chance to prove her worth by handsfasting w/ Rory MacLeod. Given the duty of finding Rory’s secrets, Isabel arrives with vague intentions of seducing his secrets out of him and then leaving after the required year.

Rory MacLeod has his own agenda when it comes to his handsfast bride. Agreeing only to placate the King, Rory has no intention of forgoing his revenge on Isabel’s uncle, MacDonald of Sleat. After a slight to his sister that he can’t ignore, Rory has every intention of not only avenging her, but defeating Sleat once and for all.

Though Isabel commits to Rory with every intention of betraying him, she soon finds herself caring for her husband. Though she doesn’t want to let her family down, she also wants to fight for the marriage that never thought she wanted. Though she wants to confide in Rory, she hesitates b/c she is not sure he would forgive even the thought of betrayal.

I thought this was a very good debut for McCarty. Isabel was a very like able heroine while Rory was exactly what I’ve come to expect in a Highland Laird. Always putting the duty to the clan first, Rory is arrogant and stubborn enough to figure out a way to have his revenge while keeping the bride that he should not want. Though he is at first blinded by her beauty, Rory learns that there is much more to his wife than first meets the eye.

The resolution of the conflict between the characters was believable. That’s always important to me. I don’t like finishing a book and thinking “WTF just happened?”.

I recommend this series to readers who are looking for a good medieval romance.

4 out of 5 stars.

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Two Reviews: The Wedding and Nothing But Velvet

Posted October 29, 2007 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 8 Comments

Journeying from England to Scotland to wed a highlander, Lady Brenna has resigned herself to the arranged match. But when a band of fierce, painted warriors capture her en route, she fearlessly met their demand to marry their leader — the quick-tempered laird Connor MacAlister. She couldn’t know that her capture was merely the first act of vengeance against her betrothed, Connor’s sworn enemy. Brenna harbored no illusions that her husband was in love with her; after a hasty forest wedding, MacAlister assured her she could return home once she had borne him a son. But she could not deny that she had once proposed to MacAlister — ten years ago, when she was just a child, the visitor to her father’s castle charmed her with his dazzling, unexpected smile. Now, as she sets out to win the brave chieftain whom she has come to adore, a legacy of revenge ensnares Brenna in a furious clan war — and only her faith in her gallant hero can save her…

I love this book. It was my first romance book. It holds a special place in my heart. I love Connor. He’s my favorite Julie Garwood hero. I love Brenna. I loved how clever she was and how forgetful she was and don’t even get me started on how much I love me some Quinlan and Crispin. They are my favorite secondary characters. I’m hoping Quinlan will get his own book and soon!!!

I love how arrogant Connor was. Like when Brenna moans, “Oh God” … Conner responds with, “Nay lass, Conner.” Talk about arrogant, but with Conner, you weren’t turned off by it. His fierce protective nature toward his loved ones made me love Connor all the more and even though Conner was this tough highlander, he still fell hard in love with Brenna. What’s not to love about that? Seriously?

And then Quinlan and Crispin? I loved how devoted they were to their mistress. From Quinlan trying to protect Brenna from getting hurt while learning to ride bareback to Crispin taking care of Brenna when she was beaten and almost raped. Quinlan and Crispin with defiantly make worthy swoon worthy heroes when they have their own books. I also enjoyed their dynamic with one another.

So yeah, this book is one of my favorite books. I love it.

Grade: 5/5.

From the depths of an English forest to glittering ballrooms to the scaffold’s dark shadow, ride the path of temptation with Kat Martin…

Lovely Velvet Moran has renounced all thoughts of love. To save her family from ruin, she will wed the hard-faced Duke of Carlyle. But instead of becoming a nobleman’s bride, Velvet finds herself a notorious highwayman’s prize-her resolve to escape his forest lair warring with the wicked heat sparked by his caresses.

Falsely branded a murderer, Jason Sinclair has secretly returned to clear his name and stop the wedding that would deny him his stolen dukedom. In an outlaw masquerade, he’ll kidnap this sensuous minx and detain her as long as is necessary. But can he bridle the surge of passion that has captured his soul…and could imperil them both?

There were some parts that were slow, but for the most part I did enjoy it. It was a little refreshing. You see, Jason is framed by his younger brother of murdering his father and sent to prison. Avery has been wanting the dukedom for sometime and with Jason and their father out of the way, it’s now all his.

But Avery spends all the money and needs to marry an heiress so he has more money. Velvet needs to marry well so she can pay off her estates debts. Jason who has been waiting for revenge kidnaps Velvet. He holds onto her until past the wedding date for the foreclosure on the house. Jason tells Velvet that Avery has no money.

When Velvet is returned to Avery’s estate she informs him she has no money . Since they are both marrying each other for money, she tells him the marriage must be called off. She devises a plan so she is still marriageable. She says they’ll keep the “engagement on for one month and then she’ll cry off. Which Avery agrees too. This give him time to find another heiress.

While wandering the estate she spots a family portrait. Lo and behold, she recognizes the man who kidnapped her as Jason. One of the servants tell her the story about what happened with Jason. For a quick second, Velvet is shocked but then realizes Jason would never murder his father. She decides she’s going to help clear his name. That’s the part I found refreshing. Velvet didn’t second guess Jason’s innocence not once. For that, I loved Velvet.

I did enjoy this story but found myself skimming some parts so it couldn’t be the best book since The Wedding, but not very many books are for me. 😉

Grade: 4/5-3.5/5

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Perfecting Amanda by Bonnie Dee

Posted October 24, 2007 by Casee in Reviews | 9 Comments


Book description:

One woman, two men—the choice of a lifetime and the chance for a perfect future.

When Amanda McCormick heads west as to create a home of her own and begin a “perfect” marriage with a man she’s never met, gambler Spencer Teague intercepts her. Pretending to be her fiancé, he tricks her into surrendering her virginity.

Amanda hides the misguided affair and forges a relationship with her young husband, Travis. But her secret haunts her when she learns she’s pregnant. Meanwhile, Spencer is haunted by visions of a little girl who demands he find and help Amanda.

Their lives entwine as the three come together in an unexpected relationship that touches—and tortures—them all. Amanda questions whether perfection is attainable and if it’s possible to love two very different kinds of men

.

Sometimes I love my job. Why? Because at times, I’m able to read an e-book at work while it’s open as a PDF and still look like I’m working. Heh.

I hate love triangles. I really do. Veronica belonged with Logan, not Duncan. Rory belonged with Jess, not Dean. Stephanie Plum belongs with, well, I don’t know b/c I don’t read the Plum novels. The main reason I don’t read them (aside from being allergic to 1st person) is I’m not interested in reading a love triangle that is dragged out for a gajillion books. That’s when it hit me…it’s not the love triangle that I’m against. It’s the dragging out of said love triangle. So Perfecting Amanda was perfect for me b/c it’s a book in which the triangle is resolved by the last page.

So do you want to know who she ends up with? Even being the spoiler whore that I am, I can’t spoil this b/c then you won’t even go and read the book. So my lips are zipped. Now how should I go about reviewing? Huh.

Spencer Teague is a real asshat. When he overhears Amanda McCormick telling the story of how she is meeting her fiancé for the first time, he decides to step in and be her fiancé. He figures that he’s due for a little fun. They get down and dirty all night long. The next day Amanda finds out that Spencer really isn’t her fiancé and she is mortified. She meets her real fiancé and they get married.

Amanda ends up with Spencer or Travis. The end.

Seriously. Okay, I’m giving it my best shot here w/ no spoilers. I think Bonnie Dee did a fantabulous job of writing this triangle. As the reader, I couldn’t decide who I wanted Amanda to end up with. Spencer really was an ass for what he did to her, but he eventually realized how fucked up it was and decided to make amends. Of course he was making those amends for all the wrong reasons, but amends are amends. He’d never felt for anyone what he feels for Amanda (do they ever?). On one hand Spencer wished he’d never laid eyes on Amanda. On the other hand, he thinks she’s the best thing that has ever happened to him. He just can’t make up his mind.

Travis was a man that deserved to be happy. Working hard on his farm, living alone, he was ready to marry and have a family. While he really enjoyed getting to know Amanda through their letters and was thrilled when she agreed to marry him, he never expected to fall in love with her. She was everything that he ever wanted in a woman. Though he regretted offering her time to get to know him before consummating their marriage, it was worth the wait. Before long, Amanda is pregnant and Travis is happier than he’d ever been in his life.

There’s only one problem…Amanda isn’t sure whose baby it is that she’s carrying.

In the meantime, Spencer is doing everything he can to forget Amanda. He soon realizes that it is impossible to forget her b/c there is a ghostly apparition of a young girl urging him to return to Amanda. It soon becomes too difficult to ignore her and he heads back west to find the woman he wronged in such a horrific way.

Spencer ends up showing up on the farm. Amanda is torn between both men. The husband she loves and the lover she can’t forget.

I’m really glad that I waited to review this book. I was so freaking mad when I got done with it. Then I realized that it takes a spectacular author to make you not able to forget a book once it’s done. Thinking it over, I really liked the book from beginning to end. I’m definitely going to check out more from this author.

You can buy this book here. I would tell you to email me and I’ll forward you the e-book, but I heard that’s illegal.

4 out of 5.

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