Tag: Historical

Review: Rises the Night by Colleen Gleason

Posted June 26, 2007 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 3 Comments

Rises the Night
Isabel’s review of Rises the Night (Gardella Vampire Hunters: Victoria) by Colleen Gleason.

In Italy, a powerful vampire is amassing the power to control the souls of the dead. Lady Victoria Gardella de Lacy-a vampire slayer for just over a year-races across Europe to stop what could be the most deadly army the Gardellas have ever faced. She is accompanied by Sebastian Vioget, a man as tempting as he is untrustworthy.

But when Victoria discovers that she has been betrayed by one of her most trusted allies, the truth will challenge all her powers as a Venator-and as a woman.

Really quick, I’m at work and left my book at home. So there are misspellings regarding names in the book. Sorry!

The Plot:

Nedas, vampire son of Lillith, has obtained Akvan’s Obliesk. Once activated, Nedas can control the soul’s of the dead and be one very powerful vampire. Also, after having been missing for a year, Max turns up in in Rome as a member of the Tutela. The Tutela are humans who are basically vampire slaves. They protect the vampires and let them feel off their blood. Victoria is confused as to why Max has turned his back on her aunt and their mission. Also, we have serious sexual tension between Sebastian and Victoria.

What I Liked:

I liked the tension between Sebastian and Victoria. I could really feel it. The moment they are at the opera and Sebastian says, “She’s mine.” Oh baby. Or when she asks why he’s been gone for so long he says, “I was giving you time to grieve.” Wow. We learn a little more about Sebastian, not a whole lot though. I’m still left wondering what’s in it for him and whose side is he really on.

There was a couple of things that bugged me but as a whole, I enjoyed the story. Also, I love how she titles the chapters.

What I Didn’t Like:

Ok I’ll try and not give stuff away. Max. I understand he needed do things so Victoria could be safe. I still don’t like what he did and how kept her in the dark. Aunt Eustacia also. I mean… they could have discussed other options. Maybe it would’ve been the same result but at least Victoria would have been in the know. I don’t like that she was kept in the dark about what went down and how it went down. It’s one thing for Sebastian to trick and betray her. Cause he’s still kind of shady. But Max and Aunt Eustacia are her mentors. That’s how I feel anyways. But that was the one thing that bothered me.

Would I recommend It: Yes I would. I like the series so far. Very enjoyable.

Grade: 4 out of 5

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

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Review: And Then He Kissed Her by Laura Lee Guhrke

Posted June 25, 2007 by Holly in Reviews | 9 Comments

Review: And Then He Kissed Her by Laura Lee GuhrkeReviewer: Holly
And Then He Kissed Her by Laura Lee Guhrke
Series: Girl Bachelors #1
Also in this series: The Wicked Ways of a Duke, With Seduction in Mind
Published by Harper Collins
Publication Date: October 13th 2009
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Historical, Victorian, General
Pages: 384
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

Supremely sensible Emmaline Dove wishes to share her etiquette expertise with London’s readers, and as secretary to Viscount Marlowe, Emma knows she’s in the perfect position to make her dreams come true. Marlowe might be a rake with a preference for cancan dancers and an aversion to matrimony, but he is also the city’s leading publisher, and Emma is convinced he’s her best chance to see her work in print…until she discovers the lying scoundrel has been rejecting her manuscripts without ever reading a single page!

As a publisher, Harry finds reading etiquette books akin to slow, painful torture. Besides, he can’t believe his proper secretary has the passion to write anything worth reading. Then she has the nerve to call him a liar, and even resigns without notice, leaving his business in uproar and his honor in question. Harry decides it’s time to teach Miss Dove a few things that aren’t proper. But when he kisses her, he discovers that his former secretary has more passion and fire than he ever imagined, for one luscious taste of her lips only leaves him hungry for more…

 

I haven’t really been in the mood for a historical in ages, but Kris had a review of this book up and it sounded nice, so I decided to pick it up.

Emma is a girl-bachelor and secretary to Harry, Viscount Marlowe. She’s been writing etiquette novels with the hope of being published by him, but he keeps rejecting her manuscripts. When Harry let’s it slip that he hasn’t actually read any of Emma’s works, she gets extremely angry and resigns her position with him – without notice – and starts writing a column for one of Harry’s competitors. Harry, left in a lurch at the sudden departure of his invaluable secretary, hunts her down to offer her job back to her. Something he feels is quite gracious. Emma refuses.

Through a series of events, however, Emma ends up writing for Harry once again and they both battle their mutual attraction for one another.

Emma was a wonderful heroine. She was a bit stodgy, but she was also a woman who knew her own mind. I really liked that she didn’t fancy herself in love with Harry like so many other women and that she was very practical. She was aware of her strengths and weaknesses, and was willing to admit when she was wrong or had made a bad judgment call. She was a breath of fresh air for a romance heroine.

Harry was also very enjoyable. Though he was somewhat predictable, I truly enjoyed watching him come around and realize what a gem Emma was. He was forced to face some hard truths about himself, and he did it with aplomb. Although it wasn’t as easy for him as it was for Emma, he, too, admitted when he was wrong. It was totally refreshing.

I seem to be following a pattern here, but one of the things that worked best for me with this story was that the focus stayed on Emma and Harry. We met several secondary characters – Emma’s roommates and Harry’s sisters – but they didn’t detract from the main protagonists HEA.

Although the story was rather simple, a bit predictable and somewhat fluffy, it was truly enjoyable.

3.75 out of 5

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

four-stars

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Review: Shadowheart by Laura Kinsale

Posted May 14, 2007 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 10 Comments


Isabel’s review of Shadowheart (Medieval Hearts #2) by Laura Kinsale.

Allegreto, the charismatic young assassin from For My Lady’s Heart, takes center stage in this much-anticipated follow-up by New York Times-bestselling author Laura Kinsale. Known for her compelling, complicated characters, thrilling love stories, and rich historical background, Kinsale outdoes herself in Shadowheart. The dangerous and dashing Allegreto wants nothing more than to regain his rightful place in the rich Italian principality of Monteverde. Happily, the means to do so have just emerged — in the form of the young Lady Elena (also known as Elayne), newly discovered to be the long-lost Monteverde princess and sole heir to the kingdom. Though she is promised to his rival, Allegreto seizes her ship, takes Elena prisoner, and weds her, thus beginning their battle of wits and passion. While Elena is a naïve young woman when the book begins, by journey’s end she becomes Allegreto’s equal and, sometimes, master, reuniting the kingdom in the process.

I tried people. I really tried to finish Shadowheart but I can’t.

It started off really slow. I was on chapter 3 and I was ready to close to the book but I didn’t. It started to pick up once the hero of the book made his entrance but it wasn’t really enough to keep me interested in it. It was just really dry and slow going.

Elena finds out she’s a princess. Her guardian ships her back home to marry some guy. On the way, her ship is taken by pirates. Enter the hero. Turns out he smuggled her out of her homeland in the first place. She has faint memories of him and because she dreamed about him, she thought he was her guardian angel.

She tells Allegreto she does not want to marry the guy who is waiting for her, that she’ll do anything to not marry him. She wakes up with an awful headache and spots of blood on her sheets. A maid tells Elena she is now married and it was consummated. Elena is furious but tells everyone that yes, she wanted the marriage. It’s that or become soiled goods. Turns out the marriage wasn’t consummated. He made it seem like it was. Ok…

But the first time they do have sex, is not pretty. He doesn’t exactly force her but she fights him. She bites him and struggles. He doesn’t do anything to really soothe her or make it nice. It’s like it turned him on even more. And what I mean when I say he didn’t force her, he started off by kissing her and she realizes she likes it, that she is wanton. That’s when she struggles.

So I don’t know. I wanted to give this book another week to read but I’m just kind of tired of forcing myself to read it. Ames and someone else said the book is really good so I’ll try again later to read it. So for now, it’s upgradeable.

Grade: DNF

This book is available from Berkley Trade. You can purchase it here.

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Review: When Strangers Marry by Lisa Kleypas.

Posted May 6, 2007 by Rowena in Reviews | 5 Comments


Rowena’s review of When Strangers Marry (Vallerands #1) by Lisa Kleypas.

Lysette buried her face against Max’s throat. “But he’s going to take me away. Don’t let him, don’t — “

“You’re not going anywhere,” Max interrupted. “Calm yourself, Lysette. It’s not good for you to become excited.” His possessiveness made her strangely giddy. As far as he was concerned, she was his, and no one was going to take her away from him.

Max stared at Etienne. His voice was soft, but it contained a note that chilled Lysette’s blood. “If you so much as disarrange a hair on her head, I’ll tear you apart.”

Lysette couldn’t believe it, but she didn’t care about her ruined reputation. The only thing that mattered was that she wouldn’t have to marry Etienne.

I must admit, Lisa Kleypas knows how to tell a story like no other. Her stories are always refreshing, sweet and passionate. I enjoyed this book very much, so much so that I finished it in one sitting, which is a feat for me. I get really antsy in the middle of a book and no matter how good a story is, I’ll have to put the book down after a couple of hours and “rest my eyes” before returning to the story but this story just zipped right through for me and I enjoyed it very much.

Is it my favorite story? No. It was a great story and I enjoyed the characters but in this book, I enjoyed the secondary characters more than the main ones.

Max Vallerand was a good hero, I really enjoyed reading him and Lysette’s little journey to love, but for me it was all about his younger son, Justin Vallerand. No, not like that you crackheads out there with your minds in the gutter (yeah, that’s directed to you Holly, LOL) but I really enjoyed seeing the relationship between Lysette and Justin evolve. It was really great to see Justin’s character find out for himself that his father was innocent and I loved that as soon as he did, he threw himself into being a better man for everything that he’s gone through. I was more drawn to Justin than Phillippe, not because he was the better son but because he was the one that needed love more.

He was so lost and having to grow up the way he did, couldn’t have been easy for him and it was so easy to see how much he needed guidance and just a serious “sit down” with. I think Lysette had the right way of thinking when she told the family that he needed to quit being compared to Phillippe and I loved Phillippe’s constant defense of his brother.

The bond between Phillippe and Justin was what I enjoyed a great deal and then toward the end, the bond between Justin and Max was what I enjoyed the most. It was great that they got to that place at the end because all of the hurt that these guys went through in their lives, they deserved a bit of unconditional love and happiness.

I’m so glad that this is a romance and LK gave it to them! =)

As for the villain in this book, he was a dispicable punk ass that I could not friggin’ stand but I knew, I knew something was off about that one so it wasn’t a great big surprise when I found out that he was the big bad wolf in this book.

One thing that annoyed the hell out of me, which is of no fault to the author was that Max didn’t make Alexandre grow the hell up and be his own man, work and just have a backbone. Alexandre was okay with letting his big brother take care of everything and I don’t like that kind of spineless crap from my men…I don’t understand how Henriette was okay with Alex letting Max take care of everything from talking to her father to orchestrating their whole courtship thing. It annoyed me that Alexandre didn’t want to take more charge of his own destiny and make things happen for him the way Max did.

This book was a great story to read on the weekend, it made my weekend fly by and I really enjoyed it, just like I do all LK’s, I swear she’s fast becoming one of my top auto buy authors, I haven’t read an LK book that I didn’t like yet and I’m glad for it.

Great great stuff, the reason this book didn’t get a smashing A was because I wasn’t as engrossed in the main characters as I was in the secondary characaters and I felt like for me, the sons stole Max’s thunder…because this story has me hoping that there’s a story either out or in the makings for Justin Vallerand. =)

Grade: 4 out of 5

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

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Review: Something Sinful by Suzanne Enoch

Posted May 3, 2007 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 5 Comments


Isabel’s review of Something Sinful (Griffin Family #3) by Suzanne Enoch.

It was lust at first sight . . .

She was a vision, an exotic goddess who floated across the ballroom, conjuring images of warm nights and silk sheets, and Lord Charlemagne Griffin felt lightning shoot straight to his . . . well, he was definitely interested. So the lady isn’t exactly the sharpest knife on the rack, as Shay soon discovers, but the generous bosom just above her low neckline more than makes up for it. Before he knows it, Shay is bragging about an impending business deal to impress her . . .

Lady Sarala Carlisle may appear naÏve, but too late Shay realizes her unconventional beauty masks a razor-sharp intelligence and flawless instincts-and she’d just bested him! Well, two can play at this game, and one of Shay’s many skills is the fine art of seduction.

But in this contest, the only thing to lose is one’s heart.

This is the third book in the Griffin Series.

Charlemagne “Shay” Griffin is a business man. He can bargain with the best of them and he enjoys it. While at a ball he spots Lady Sarala. He’s smitten with her and dances with her. For some reason, he tells her about some silk bolts he’s going to purchase thinking she’s not really understanding what he’s talking about. Little does he know.

The next day, he’s with the seller and asks for the silk. Seller says sorry, someone beat you to the punch. Lady Sarala. Turns out she’s a pretty good business woman. Now Shay’s pride is hurt and he wants those bolts back. Sarala is asking for 6,000 pounds. Shay says no. Now he must try and figure out a way to get those bolts from her. One which includes wooing her.

Lady Sarala was born in India. Her parents moved there and never planned on returning to England. Now that they have returned, her mom is insisting Sarala be English and make a match. She shortens Sarala’s name to Sarah, tells her to wear certain colors and gowns. Sarala’s mom is basically one of those dreaded title hungry, match making mammas.

Sarala and Shay are forced into marriage because they were caught in a compromising position. She was about to sell the silk to him and was sealing the deal with a kiss. And wouldn’t you know someone walked in on them.

The rest of the story was ok. You have Shay learning the bolts of silk were stolen so now Chinese henchmen are after them. Turns out the silk was for the emperor of China. Shay has to get them back from Sarala so she isn’t hurt. When Shay tells her what’s going on, she doesn’t believe him. She thinks it’s another ploy for the silk so she ups her price. She slowly starts to believe him when he says fine. Then Sarala figures she should call off the wedding so Shay doesn’t put his life in danger for her. She of course doesn’t.

The biggest thing that bothered me was when Shay found out Sarala is not a virgin. Now why is it ok for men to have tons of lovers but a woman has one and he goes ape shit. Shay is annoyed and Sarala calls him on it. When Shay demands the name of the man Sarala responds, “Not unless you’re prepare to name every woman you slept with.” Which shuts him up.

So yeah, there you. I wasn’t really impressed with the book. I didn’t feel a connection between Sarala and Shay. Her mom got on my nerves. Ugh. But I will read the last book in the series though.

Grade: 3 out of 5

The books in this series:

Sin and Sensibility
And Invitation to Sin
Something Sinful
Sins of a Duke (out next month)

Ps. Pardon my crappy review. I’m extremely tired and the coffee and Pepsi are just not doing it for me today.

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

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