Tag: Contemporary

Review: Rock Star by Roslyn Hardy Holcomb.

Posted May 11, 2007 by Rowena in Reviews | 3 Comments


Rowena’s review of Rock Star by Roslyn Hardy Holcomb.

How does a hedonistic, hellbound L.A. sophisticate like bad boy rock star Bryan Spencer woo young, gifted and black sweet home Alabama belle Callie Lawson? What type of magical voodoo draws him to her magnolia-scented bosom. Bryan, a guitar god extraordinaire, is compelled to a small town when he is devastated by the loss of his best friend and band mate. The peaceful tranquility, not to mention unaccustomed celibacy, is slowly driving him mad until he meets Callie Lawson.

Far from the cloying adulation he is accustomed to, Callie is totally focused on her own career goals and is reluctant to have anything to do with a ‘long-haired rocker from California. Bryan overcomes her misgivings with an old-fashioned courtship that belies his L.A. rocker origins. He introduces this Sunday School girl to some truly high-powered sex and decadence. The question is which one wins: Southern Sunday School or L.A. sin? Just when they’re certain everlasting love is firmly in their grasp; they are rent asunder by treachery and betrayal of the most staggering kind. In the end, they must defy stereotypes and false perceptions to embrace their own sweet Alabama love.

I won this book over at Is That a Stake In Your Pocket? and would like to thank Devon for being so kind as to send it to me, THANKS DEVON!!! =)

Now on to my review…

I really wanted to like this book, I read all sorts of great reviews on this book and had such high hopes but I don’t know what went wrong because I just couldn’t get excited about the story, the characters and the storyline. The plot was just too sugary for me.

It started out really slow for me. I mean, I liked Callie right from the very beginning but I wasn’t as wowed with Bryan as I usually am with heroes of any book. I kept hoping that the book would get better and though it did get better, I still wasn’t wowed over it.

I couldn’t get passed the one dimensional characters, neither Callie or Bryan spoke to me, I couldn’t really relate to them. I didn’t feel that connection with their characters that I do when I’m reading a book that I really love.

There wasn’t really anything wrong with the book though, it was a pleasant enough book but it just didn’t grab me the way other books do. I can’t really bad mouth the book or say that it really sucked because it didn’t. It just wasn’t my thing I guess.

Although, there were a lot of times where I wanted to punch Callie in her nose for just all the crap she put Bryan through. Yeah, I get that she was embarrassed after what happened and I even get that she needed a bit of space to evaluate just how important her relationship to Bryan was but after she was over all of that, after she knew that the people around her supported her and didn’t think any of what happened was true, when she saw Bryan’s declaration of love for her and everything he did to try to fix things with her, she knew she still loved him and still she played dumb with him…the whole she’s black and he’s white thing got on my nerves a bit but that’s not the author’s fault because that gets on my nerves in real life too, it’s real and it happens so it’s right.

But by the end of the book, after Bryan is back and is trying to make things right with her and she’s still holding him at arms length, even though she loves him with all that she is, it just sort of rode my nerves and I ended up liking Bryan a whole lot more than I liked Callie and overall I thought the book was just, good. It was a good story but it just wasn’t my thing.

Sorry Devon, I really wanted to like this book but it fell short of that for me. I’m not giving up on Roslyn Hardy Combs though, you readers should try the book out, you might like it. Lots of other people did.

Grade: 3 out of 5

This book is available from Genesis Press. You can purchase it here.

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Weekly Reread: Seaswept by Nora Roberts.

Posted May 10, 2007 by Rowena in Reviews | 9 Comments


Rowena’s review of Sea Swept (Chesapeake Bay Saga #1) by Nora Roberts.

From Publishers Weekly:Roberts’s Dream trilogy involved three women living in a palatial Big Sur mansion. This, the first volume of the Quinn Brothers trilogy, revolves around a trio of strapping, lusty guys in a comfortable home on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Cameron Quinn, the eldest of three abused boys adopted by Ray and Stella Quinn is an adventurer who likes fast boats, fast cars and undemanding women. After Ray is injured in a car accident, Cam flies to his father’s deathbed where he promises to look after 10-year-old Seth, for whom Ray has just started adoption proceedings. Anna Spinelli, Seth’s social worker, is taken with both Cam’s incomparable body and his big heart. Anna brings her own history of abuse to steamy encounters and the reader knows that Cam’s pedal-to-the-metal days are numbered. Roberts is one of the great propagandists for family values, home, hearth and children, making them goals that are rewarding and desirable.

Hands down, this book is my favorite Nora Roberts book.

I saw this book sitting on my dresser and thought, wow it’s been a long time since I read this book. I remember taking it out because I was supposed to read it a couple of months ago for a discussion on a board that I post at but I never got around to reading it again.

Well I fixed that this past weekend (long after the book discussion is done, mind you, LOL). Being wrapped up in the Quinn’s world again was such a great walk down memory lane. Throughout this series, I love how Nora Roberts was able to capture each story and tell it in the personality of the main characters in it. Like Cam Quinn is an action loving man who lives his life in the fast lane, a man who races through life with all the speed and agility that racers tend to have. His story was told in that fast paced, action packed way that had me engrossed right from the very beginning.

Not only are the characters rich and charming in this series but the sense of family is strong and that is one thing that I’m such a sucker for.

I love stories, series that revolve around families and this series is most definitely one of my favorites from any author.

The way that the Quinn brothers came together and were formed into the family that we read about in this series warmed my heart and made me giddy to read each and every one of their stories.

In this book, we’re gifted with the eldest Quinn brother, Cam’s story. He was the first boy to be adopted by Ray and Stella Quinn and together, Ray and Stella changed Cam’s life for the better. They gave him a life and a future to look forward to. They gave him a sense of worth and a sense of purpose and Cam grew to be a man who appreciated them and their love.

So when disaster strikes and the man that Cam has known as Dad dies, he rushes home to the family that is left.

His brothers.

Plus one.

Rumors are flying all over the place about his Father’s faithfulness to his Mother and together, as a family, the Quinn brothers need to sift through what happened to their Father and find out just who this little boy that Ray Quinn left behind is and they have to deal with keeping their promise to their Dad about sticking together and keeping the boy with them, no matter what they’ve got going on in their personal lives and no matter what misgivings they have.

The stories that unfold from this book are so great that this is a book that I revist at least once a year just because I love the stories and these characters.

Cam Quinn is my favorite Quinn. He’s tall, dark and handsome, he’s brash and flashy and just everything a celebrity would be and it’s great to see him come to grips with his father’s death and the rumors surrounding his death and it’s absolutely wonderful to see him try to keep his family together, no matter what he has to do. He’s the funniest housewife EVER and one of the bestest brothers ever too. I loved the way he fell for Anna Spinelli and I loved his confidence and arrogance and really, I just loved him. He made this book so much more fun and memorable.

A great hero.

Anna Spinelli was fantastic herself. She was fun, sexy and smart. She had a way with people that made me smile and she was witty and vibrant, everything that Cam needed. She complimented him well and she fit right in with the other Quinns. I loved how she took to Seth and cuddled him close and did everything in her power to keep him where he belonged.

The journey and the adventures these guys go through to find themselves, to find love and to stay together was a great treat for me and continues to be, long after I’ve finished reading this book for the first time.

If y’all haven’t read this series, I totally recommend that you fix that pronto because you won’t be disappointed, these guys are great!

Grade: 5 out of 5

This book is available from Jove. You can purchase it here.

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Review: Key of Light by Nora Roberts

Posted May 8, 2007 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments


Rowena’s review of Key of Light (Key Trilogy #1) by Nora Roberts.

From Library Journal:

Malory Price’s perfectly planned life has just gone to heck in a handbasket. Her art gallery job, which defined her, is in immediate jeopardy. Then, at an invitation-only reception, Malory and two other women are offered the quest of a lifetime: find the three keys that unlock the souls of three demigods within three months and receive $3 million; fail and lose a year of their lives. They accept the challenge. Malory draws the first quest, and her life turns inside out. Susan Ericksen has a way with accents, from the Welsh and Irish to a Southern drawl; she imbues each of the three women and their corresponding men with very individual personalities, making the story easy to follow, though it has a slow start owing to character introduction. With Roberts’s usual flair for romance and suspense, part one of the trilogy is a worthy adventure.

Over the weekend, I forgot my Rock Star book at work and was too lazy to go all the way back to the office (once I got home and noticed my book wasn’t in my bag anymore) to get it so over the weekend I started and finished two books and this was the second book that I finished.

Book One of the Key Trilogy was a good opening for this series. It sparked my interest with the adventure that is presented to these three totally different and totally normal women. It showed a great deal of promise in the overall story and also with the secondary romances that followed.

I loved that all three of the women who were chosen were all so normal, not prissy perfect like regular heroines, they weren’t virginal, they weren’t mega rich and all that, they were your everyday average American women. They lived paycheck to paycheck, they were sometimes overdrawn in the bank, they were….normal.

Another thing I loved about this book is the same thing I loved in The Circle Trilogy, there’s a bigger story being told besides the romance story in these books and in this story, the start of all the other romances in the rest of the series. I love how Nora Roberts can make all of these thing fit perfectly in with everything else that is going on. She never loses me with all of the information pouring through the pages and I always lose myself in her books and in her characters’ lives and just in the story period.

I loved Flynn. I loved Malory and I loved their story. I loved how Malory took things into her own hands and went after the things she wanted, she was open and honest, even when she wasn’t ready, I loved how she threw everything at Flynn and told him to just deal with it.

And he did. I love that Flynn dealt with everything that Malory threw at him and just handled it. I loved that he didn’t shy away from her, even when he was so unsure of them as a couple, of himself as her partner and just handled everything thrown at him, (you know because on top of this new romance with Malory, he had this key thing to deal with as well). He was a strong man and he was a good man, one that loved his sister and loved his life, even though he didn’t think he did. He also loved the woman of his dreams with all that he had and what romantic at heart wouldn’t appreciate that?

Malory was a great heroine. She was smart, beautiful and funny. She was very organized and she had a lot going for her, even after she was canned at her dream job, she reacted like any normal woman would, she cried, she was a jerk to everyone around her and then she let her friends take care of her until she was ready to get back on her feet again and when she did get back on her feet, she was unstoppable.

She was all things I admire in a heroine and I really enjoyed this book and am looking forward to reading the rest of the series.

I enjoyed the cast of characters that we met in this story, from Dana’s sparkling personality and Zoe’s creative spirit to Jordan’s funny self and his deep blue eyes and Brad’s richy rich handsome and rugged blonde self who had the ability to handle anything given him whether it was a board meeting in a stunning suit or wearing jeans and a shirt and climbing on top of walls to watch the house that he was so obsessed with as a child with his friends. The entire cast was a delight to read and oh dang, how could I forget to mention Rowena and Pitte? Dude, I love that Rowena was so beautiful and in love and just graceful and all things other women envied….hehe, you go girl! =)

Dana’s turn is next (I cheated and looked) and I am very much looking forward to getting to know Jordan Hawke a lot more….this is a great story to read when you’re in the mood for mystery and a little bit of romance thrown in. Good times, I promise, good times.

Grade: 4.5 out of 5

This book is available from Jove. You can purchase it here.

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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, Paranormal, 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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