Tag: Guest Reviews

Guest Review: Midsummer Moon by Laura Kinsale

Posted June 2, 2008 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 4 Comments

Book CoverKris‘ review of Midsummer Moon by Laura Kinsale, a standalone historical. Sourcebooks Casablanca is reprinting 3 titles by Laura Kinsale in October, though a little birdie told me they’re already showing up in some bookstores.

Merlin Lambourne is a famous inventor-and her life is in danger from Napoleon’s advancing forces. Lord Ransom Falconer, in service of his government, comes to rescue her, bringing her back to his estate where he promises she can work on her inventions and stay safe. But her dream is to build a flying machine, and Ransom is terrified of heights …

This was a cute book. I enjoyed it for the most part. The heroine bugged me a little. She is sooooo naive and innocent it is hard to believe. She was funny in her naiveté but there was no connecting with her because she was so clueless. It is hard to swallow just how sheltered she had been.

She has never left her isolated house in the country. She and her uncle just worked on their experiments and that was their life. She has never seen a child or baby, she has never seen a young man or been courted by one. She knows nothing about titles or that there is a hierarchy in the country besides the king/queen. She knows absolutely nothing about sex or lust or even kissing (never even heard of it). But this book appeals to my love of nerds. I love nerdy characters whether hero or heroine. She is very much the absent minded professor.

Ransom, the hero, was a protector and very arrogant. Which is funny with a heroine like Merlin. He was a lot more alive to me than Merlin because I could relate to his fear and understand his POV. He is petrified of heights and equates heights with falling and dying. So the thought of Merlin finishing her flying machine and trying it out equals her death, which he is trying to prevent. Especially at this point in history when flying was not a thing that people could do. I don’t think that what he did to it was very nice, but I can understand the reaction.

I thought there would be a little more suspense or action and there was not but that was okay, this was not a romantic suspense. So for me it dragged in a couple places. It was a cute fluffy book, and good if you can get past the heroine. I just had a hard time with it. So I would give this one a:

3.75 out of 5

This book is available from Sourcebooks Casablanca October, 2008. But you can buy it here.

Read more from Kris at The Reading Spot.

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Guest Review @ TGTBTU: To Pleasure a Lady by Nicole Jordan

Posted May 23, 2008 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review @ TGTBTU: To Pleasure a Lady by Nicole JordanReviewer: Holly
To Pleasure a Lady by Nicole Jordan
Series: Courtship Wars #1
Published by Random House Publishing Group
Publication Date: January 29th 2008
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Historical, General
Pages: 400
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-half-stars

Nicole Jordan spins a delectable tale of wit and exquisite sensuality in this mesmerizing Regency romance, the captivating first in a dazzling new trilogy, The Courtship Wars.
Marcus Pierce, a strikingly handsome aristocrat with a wicked reputation, inherits guardianship of Arabella Loring and her two younger sisters–and immediately declares his intention to marry them off. But gorgeously defiant Arabella sparks frustration–and something deeply erotic–in Marcus. After matching both wits and swords with her, Marcus concludes that this beautiful and formidable foe must be his.
Having sworn off marriage and men, Arabella wishes to be left alone to run her finishing school for young ladies. To that end, she boldly accepts Marcus’s intimate challenge: If he can woo and win her within two weeks, she’ll take her place in his bed as his wife. However, if she can resist his considerable charms, the Loring sisters will be granted their independence. Thus an extraordinary game of seduction begins. . . .
From the Paperback edition.

I have a guest review up at The Good, The Bad and The Unread today for Nicole Jordan‘s To Pleasure A Lady (Courtship Wars, Book 1).

Sometimes you need a book just because it’s mind candy. Kind of sweet and fluffy, but not deep or emotionally investing. That’s what this book was for me. Mind candy.

I enjoyed the basic premise behind this story: Woman wants independent freedom and to remain single for the remainder of her days. Man wants woman safe and cared for and out of his hair. Then man becomes attracted to woman and decides to keep her for himself, only woman isn’t having it.

 

Read the rest here.

This book is available from Ballantine Books. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

three-half-stars

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Review: A Perfect Match by Shelley Bradley

Posted May 22, 2008 by Tracy in Reviews | 3 Comments

Review: A Perfect Match by Shelley BradleyReviewer: Tracy
A Perfect Match by Shelley Bradley
Published by Samhain Publishing
Publication Date: March 1, 2008
Genres: Contemporary
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-half-stars

Compatible? Never. But the numbers don't lie.

Sports reporter Mitch MacKinnon is stuck writing an expos about a local dating service, and no amount of foot-dragging or complaining will get him out of it. When he gets a look at the sexy blonde owner, things start looking up. He'd love the chance to date Juliette Lowell a time or two. But he's here to dish the dirt that'll be his ticket to a big-time newspaper; a relationship is the furthest thing from his mind.

Juliette's got Mitch pegged from the word go-he's an overgrown jock who wouldn't know a true emotion if it was wrapped in pigskin. Delicious dimples and killer brown eyes aside, the man is incredibly infuriating. All she needs is one chance to prove she can find a perfect match for anyone. Even him. Then her "foolproof" database spits out the results. Mitch's perfect match? Juliette. If she's right, Mitch will have to eat his words-and the story that'll take him to the top.

Warning: This title contains hot, sweaty couch dancing; long, slow, hot, wet kisses that last three days, and toe-curling romance.

So I really enjoy books by Shelley Bradley. They have great stories and some of them are pretty damn steamy. So when A Perfect Match came out this past week I bought it immediately. I didn’t get a chance to read it right then since DIK had taken over my life and but frankly, who doesn’t like DIK?

Anyway, A Perfect Match is about a man, Mitch, who works for a newspaper in a relatively small city (which happens to be the city I currently live in)as a sports writer. The “Community Happenings” woman goes out on maternity leave and he is asked to cover for her by doing a story on a local matchmaking business.
Enter Juliette Lowell, owner of A Perfect Match. Mitch is very skeptical about her methods of matchmaking and writes a not so wonderful review of her business. Juliette challenges Mitch to let her set him up with her system and she if she can’t make a believer out of him. He eventually says yes, but only if she enters herself into the system to be set up as well. Juliette’s not so sure how this will go since she has a boyfriend and he’s asked her to marry him. She’s not said yes, but doesn’t really feel right about going out on a date while dating someone else. But her boyfriend is very understanding, says he trusts her, and she should most definitely do it since it will prove the reporter wrong in the end.

When all is said and done and all the matchmaking info is put into the system it turns out that Mitch and Juliette are a 93% match. Although they’ve been very attracted to each other Juliette is NOT overjoyed at the prospect of going out with Mitch. But they do, with each person planning half of the date and end up having a really good time…especially that incredibly steamy kiss at the end of the night. Wow.

Mitch is so wanting more of Juliette, but again, she’s almost engaged so how is that to happen? Juliette’s feeling some strong attraction but unfortunately it’s not toward the man she’s “almost” engaged to. The problem is that Juliette moved a ton of times while growing up with a pretty much never there father so she wants security in her life. Mitch is a fly by the seat of your pants kinda guy and is willing to move wherever, whenever in order to move up in the newspaper business and further his career.

As much as I’d love to go on and tell you the rest of the book I’ll suffice it to say that the way Mitch and Juliette work out their differences and end up coming together is just heart-warming. The romance between the two is wonderful in its simplicity and I loved that about this book. Although its not an easy road for the two of them Ms. Bradley made to story realistic and believable. I thoroughly enjoy reading this and will continue to recommend it.

Rating: B+
four-half-stars

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Guest Review: The Top of Her Game by Emma Holly

Posted May 18, 2008 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 1 Comment

Book Cover

Kris‘ guest review of Top of her Game by Emma Holly, a standalone contemporary.

‘Rule yourself, and you rule the world,’ Julia Mueller’s mother told her. That was some years before her daughter grew up to become a businesswoman so independent and successful that men found her too intimidating to love. Now Julia – formidably tall and flawlessly groomed – is looking for a man who won’t be tamed too easily. When she encounters Zach, an unreconstructed hunk who runs a dude ranch in Montana, she thinks she might have found him. The closest Julia’s ever been to a horse is looking at mounted police in Central Park but now, on a brainstorming business get-together with her colleagues, she’s happy to swap the boardroom for the stables.

He may be a hick and a ham-handed lover, but Zach’s full of surprises – and that goes a long way in Julia’s world. Where she thinks he’s tough, he’s gentle, and when she’s confident she’s got this particular cowboy broken in, he turns the tables on her. In an environment of snow-capped mountains and hearty breakfasts, has the steely Ms Mueller locked horns with an animal too wild even for her?

This was very Emma Holly. Erotic with a little romance. Lots of D/s, bondage and some spanking in this book. (Holly: That cover is seriously hot..just saying)

Julia is an executive assistant who is having an affair with her boss. He loves to be Dominated by her. But for her the relationship has come to an end, she sees it going no where. So as a last gesture before she quits her job she agrees to help him find a leak among their top people.

So she goes with three other people from their company to basically spy on them during a brainstorming retreat at a ranch. The ranch is owned and operated by a hunky cowboy (Zach), of course. While there everyone pretty much sleeps with everyone else (no m/m though and there is a very little f/f). The other girl with the group, Christine, who is a needy little thing and not complete without a man discovers, with the help of Julia, that she is a sub and learns to embrace that.

Julia and Zach are HOT together but Julia is not ready to do the only one man thing. She enjoys being a Dom and is not ready for anything else, she is scared of the fact that she unconsciously let Zach top her. By the end they get together into a relationship but it is a long road.

Like I said is very Emma Holly, if you enjoy her books then I think you will like this one. If you like a lot of romance in your books then this one is probably not for you. Also if you do not like the hero or heroine sleeping with someone else after they get together then you will have issues with this one.

I liked this one but not as much as some of her others. Menage, Cooking Up a Storm and Fairyville are my favorites by her.

I give this one a:

3 out of 5

This book is available from Virgin Black Lace. Buy it here or here in eBook format.

Read more from Kris at The Reading Spot.

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Guest Review: Mistress by Amanda Quick

Posted May 15, 2008 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 2 Comments

Book CoverBrie’s guest review of Mistress by Amanda Quick.

After a year of grand adventures touring the classical ruins of Italy and Greece, Iphiginia Bright returned to England to discover that the real excitement was at home. It seems that her Aunt Zoe has fallen victim to a sinister blackmailer and only Iphiginia can hope to stop the culprit before he can do more harm. Her plan is inspired: Imitating history’s most legendary beauties–Cleopatra, Helen of Troy, Aphrodite–the former schoolmistress will remake herself, and descend upon London Society as the dazzling mistress of Marcus Valerius Cloud, the infamous Earl of Masters. Rumors hint that the Earl has disappeared at the blackmailer’s hands, and by posing as his unknown mistress, Iphiginia is convinced she can ferret out the villain. Overnight, Iphiginia is transformed into a vision with a host of eager admirers, including one she does not expect — the Earl of Masters himself, who strides into a shimmering ballroom one evening to cooly reclaim his “mistress”. He is everything they say he is… arrogant, attractive, devastatingly seductive, and Iphiginia can’t help but be enthralled. But when Marcus agrees to play along with her charade, she doesn’t know that the determined earl has plans of his own: to tease and tempt her, until the beautiful deceiver becomes more than his mistress in name only.

Inphignia Bright’s aunt, Zoe is being blackmailed. Letters have been sent to her demanding money and telling her if she doesn’t pay up she’ll end up dead like the elusive Earl of Masters. Wanting to get to the source of the blackmailing, Inphignia decides to pose as the dead earls mistress in order to insert herself into the social circles of the ton, where she believes the blackmailer roams.

Inphignia does not expect that the earl she has spent weeks studying up on, and essentially falling for, to be alive. So when he walks into a party she is attending, alive and well, she thinks her plans of finding the blackmailer to be ruined along with her reputation. What Inphignia does not count on is the earl agreeing to keep up the facade, or the passion that he incites in her that is sure to make her his mistress in more than just name.

I’m currently trying to work my way through authors that I’ve heard good things about but haven’t yet read. Amanda Quick was one of those authors. I have noticed that her books normally garner good reviews, and was curious about her writing. That said, I’m not sure if Mistress is the best book to judge Quick by. Mistress was very up and down for me. There were moments when I was completely enthralled with the story, but mostly those moments would come to an abrupt end, and I’d be jarred out of the story by a string of thought or dialogue that seemed to drag on forever.

Often Inphignia and Marcus would have conversations that I found to be very tedious and I’d end up skimming pages of their overwrought conversation to get to a more productive area of the story. Something that I found very irritating about their dialogue was the passages where one would try to make a point but was continually cut off by the other before that point could be made. I think I screamed “Out with it, already” more than a few times.

And while I’m critiquing, I have to point out that the mystery surrounding the blackmailer is rather boring and considering that most of Inphignia and Marcus’s conversations consisted of talks about the blackmailer, it’s no wonder I was skimming pages on end. I also found the discovery of the identity of the blackmailer to be anticlimactic. After reading the whole book about the blackmailer, I was disappointed that the final “unavailing” was so underwhelming.

Marcus and Inphignia’s initial meeting and interactions were sexy and fun, I just wish that the steam between the two had lasted. Where the chemistry at the beginning of the story started out hot, with the progression of the story it became lukewarm and the characters became less interesting. I was left feeling a little deflated with the romance aspect of the book, and removed from the characters.

I did find Quick’s writing to be engaging for the most part. There was a point in the book where the mystery about the blackmailer was pushed to the background and her characters were able to shine. I enjoyed that while it lasted.

Overall, I wasn’t very impressed with Mistress. It had its good moments, but unfortunately they were overshadowed by the less interesting ones. Grade 3.5.

This book is available from Bantam. You can buy it here or here in eBook format.

Read more from Brie at Cupid’s Chokehold.

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