Tag: Re-Read Challenge Review

Re-Read Challenge Review: Welcome to Temptation by Jennifer Crusie

Posted December 31, 2009 by Tracy in Reviews | 7 Comments

Turn Left at Small Town Secrets

Sophie Dempsey is content living a quiet life filming wedding videos until an assignment brings her to Temptation, Ohio. From the moment she drives into town, she gets a bad feeling; Sophie is from the wrong side of the tracks and everything in Temptation is a little too right. And when she has a run-in with the town’s unnervingly sexy mayor, Phineas Tucker, making a little movie turns out to be more than a little dangerous.

Yield to Oncoming Desire

All Sophie wants to do is film the video and head home. All Phin wants to do is play pool with the police chief and keep things peaceful. They both get more than they bargained for when Sophie’s video causes an uproar and the proper citizens of Temptation set out to shut them down.

Welcome to Temptation

As events spiral out of control, Sophie and Phin find themselves caught in a web of gossip, blackmail, adultery, murder, and really excellent sex. All hell breaks loose in Temptation as Sophie and Phin fall deeper and deeper in trouble …and in love.

Sigh…I love this book. I loved it the first time I read it (and this was my very first Crusie book) and I loved it this time around. I loved getting to know all the citizens of Temptation all over again and of course revisiting Phin and Sophie’s love affair.

I think what I like most about the book, besides it’s wonderfully witty banter is the fact that we got to see the story from all angles. We were in Sophie’s head, we were in Phin’s head, we were in Amy’s head for a bit and Davy’s too (Sophie and Amy’s brother). The story wasn’t one sided so even if the person was saying one thing out loud we were allowed a glimpse into their head to see what they were really thinking and personally I appreciated that. Although I’ve become fond of 1st person pov, which I loathed just a mere year ago, 3rd person pov is still my favorite way to read a story.

Sohpie and Phin’s relationship was great from the word go, imho. Even though they resisted each other for only a day it was enough for the reader to want for them to be together. And they had such great senses of humor that it made the sex fun even when it was intense. The two also kept their sense of humor, or mostly, when it seemed the town was turning against them.

The townspeople were also quite engaging. There’s a lot going on with Sophie and her family and the non-porno porno film they’re making and it sets the whole town on its ass. Crusie just has a way of bringing the entire cast of characters together in such a cohesive way that you don’t feel overwhelmed.

Overall a wonderful re-read!

Rating in 2007 (when I read it originally): 5 out of 5

Rating now: 5 out of 5

All my thanks to Nath for holding this great re-read challenge! I’ve re-read some books this year that I probably never would have unless I had to…and since I joined the challenge – I had to! lol It was fun Nath, thanks again!

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Re-Read Challenge Review: Death of a Pirate King by Josh Lanyon

Posted December 1, 2009 by Tracy in Reviews | 13 Comments

Gay bookseller and reluctant amateur sleuth Adrien English’s writing career is suddenly taking off. His first novel, Murder Will Out, has been optioned by notorious Hollywood actor Paul Kane.But when murder makes an appearance at a dinner party, who should be called in but Adrien’s former lover, handsome closeted detective Jake Riordan, now a Lieutenant with LAPD. And that may just drive Adrien’s current boyfriend, sexy UCLA professor Guy Snowden, to commit a murder of his own!

Adrien English is thrilled that his novel, Murder Will Out, has been optioned in Hollywood! Frankly he doesn’t really care about whether the movie will be true to the book he just wants the cash to pay for the addition to his bookstore. He’s not all the impressed with the Hollywood set of stars to say the least. But when he’s at a luncheon at actor Paul Kane’s house and financier, Porter Jones, falls over dead he gets a pretty big jolt go through him. That jolt is when Jake Riordan, a man he had had an affair with – and what Adrien had thought of as a relationship – for a year, shows up to question the guests of the party.

When it’s discovered that Porter Jones was murdered Paul Kane contacts Adrien, who has done some amateur sleuthing in the past, to ask some questions of the guests who were at the luncheon. Paul thinks that Adrien will get more information out of them than the police will. Adrien agrees but this puts him in constant contact with Jake. Jake seems like he’s changed in different ways over the years but so has Adrien.

What starts off with Adrien asking some innocent questions turn into Adrien being suspected of murder, as well as attempted murder on someone else. It seems that someone is setting Adrien up to take the fall…but why? Then there are the things that Adrien is finding out about Jake and his past that he’s not all the fond of. He’s wondering if he ever realy knew the man that he thought himself in love with.

I decided to read DoaPK because The Dark Tide, book 5 in the AE series, will be coming out on Dec. 22nd. I’m pretty damned excited about it. I remember reading DoaPK on my ereader while on a plane and getting so annoyed when the captain kept telling us to turn off our electronic devices. Lol Didn’t he know I was reading about Adrien and Jake for God’s sake?

Let me tell you – I loved this book just as much this time around, if not more (is that even possible? :)). I totally adore Adrien. He’s just so down to earth with his illnesses and his family issues and trying to run his business – and I LOVE his dry sarcastic wit…right up my alley. But he still has a great romantic soul that, even though he’s a little bitter in this book, still shines through. Sitting down with this book was like sitting down with an old friend and getting to know him all over again. I love that feeling when I read a book.

Then there’s Guy – Adrien’s love interest for the past two years. I have to say, I never liked Guy. Not from the first time he was mentioned. Something about him kind of rubbed me the wrong way and even though I’m sure he was/is a nice guy I never saw him with Adrien at all. Might have something to do with Jake though – I think I might be prejudiced.

And Jake – he kind of made my heart ache in this book. He just seemed so damned sad – with a shitload of regrets for the things he’d done in the past and it made me like him even more. (Kris is gonna shit bricks over that last sentence)

Needless to say between the mystery which is so good and the characters, which in Lanyon books are always wonderful, I love this book. I can’t wait for The Dark Tide!

Rating on first read: 5 out of 5

Rating on re-read: 5 out of 5

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Re-Read Challenge Review: The Dark Highlander by Karen Marie Moning

Posted October 31, 2009 by Tracy in Reviews | 14 Comments

I am Dageus MacKeltar, a man with one good conscience and thirteen bad ones, driven to sate my darkest desires…

From his penthouse lair high above Manhattan, Dageus looks out over a glittering city that calls to the darkness within him. A sixteenth century Scot trapped between worlds, he is fighting a losing battle with the thirteen Druids who possess his soul, dooming him to an eternity of sexual pursuit. When Chloe Zanders, student of antiquities, is drawn into his world, she finds the insatiable Alpha male an irresistible lure.

Before long, she is caught up in an ancient prophecy that will sweep her back in time to medieval Scotland. Plunged into a world of timeless magic and dark seduction, she will soon face the challenge of a lifetime: fighting thirteen evil spirits for the heart of one irresistible man…

The Keltar clan was chosen long ago to be the keeper of a Compact made by the Tuatha De Danaan (the Fae). In it they are given the ability to leap through time but they are not to do it for personal or political gain. It is said that if one does use it for personal gain then they will turn dark. After so many years of hearing this information Dageus MacKeltar has forced himself to believe that it’s just not true. In an attempt to save his twin brother Drustan, Dageus goes back in time and the souls of 13 dark and evil beings now reside in his body.

Dageus is now living in the 21st Century in downtown Manhattan. He is attempting to find a way to rid himself of the dark souls by looking through ancient tomes. Whatever he can’t barter for with his ancient artifacts he steals. Now he’s bartered for another tome and it’s Chloe Zanders’ job to take it to him.

Chloe Zanders, reluctantly taking an ancient tome to some wealthy man who can’t be bothered to go see it in the museum, finds much more than she bargained for when she walks into Dageus’ penthouse. Her innocent delivery begins a series of events that end up with Chloe not only heading to Scotland with Dageus to try to help him translate more tomes, but also through time to the sixteenth century. During their search for the solution to Dageus problem they fall in love and find in the other the one person that was meant for them.

This is a great book. I read the Highlander series back in 2007 some time and I just loved it – epecially starting from book 3. It captured my whole attention at the time and I just read one book right after the other. After reading Kiss of the Highlander last month for my re-read challenge I just couldn’t stop myself from reading the next book in line. It was interesting to read this one again as I’d forgotten a couple of things that had happened.

I have to say that I loved Dageus as much this time around, if not more. I think it was harder for me to like him with the first read because I was so enamored of Drustan, his twin, from the previous book. Since I read KofH last month I had some time in between and could really give Dageus his due. Let me just say…he’s one hell of a man. Yum. He’s all about the big and bad Alpha – but he’s like that even without the evil souls in him and it looks damned good on him. But besides all that the man has honor. Bucket loads of it. Strength of character is just one thing that attracts me to a man and Dageus had it.

Chloe seems like the last person on earth for Dageus. She loves ancient artifacts and Scotland, but she’s never really gotten out into the world and taken control of things. She’s kind of a down home girl, raised in Kansas by her Scottish grandfather and she very wholesome. Except when she sees Dageus all of the many sexual positions a man and woman can attain start reeling through her head. lol I have to laugh because of course they did! This is a romance after all. 🙂 But Chloe brought me around to her side. She turned out to be all those things but so much more. She was a determined, strong woman in her own way and nothing was gonna get between her and her man. Good for her.

It was so nice to sit back with this book and once again live the journey through the characters eyes. This is definitely a book that I will read again and again over the years.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5
(when I read it the first time I wasn’t rating books but I’m pretty sure I would have given it the same back in 2007.)

FYI – Last October The Book Binge did a great post called What Brother Rocks YOUR Socks? between Drustan and Dageus. I personally pick Drustan but damn, what a decision to have to make!!

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Re-Read Challenge Review: Kiss of the Highlander by Karen Marie Moning

Posted September 30, 2009 by Tracy in Reviews | 12 Comments

A laird trapped between centuries…

Enchanted by a powerful spell, Highland laird Drustan MacKeltar slumbered for nearly five centuries hidden deep in a cave, until an unlikely savior awakened him. The enticing lass who dressed and spoke like no woman he’d ever known was from his distant future, where crumbled ruins were all that remained of his vanished world. Drustan knew he had to return to his own century if he was to save his people from a terrible fate. And he needed the bewitching woman by his side….

A woman changed forever in his arms…

Gwen Cassidy had come to Scotland to shake up her humdrum life and, just maybe, meet a man. How could she have known that a tumble down a Highland ravine would send her plunging into an underground cavern — to land atop the most devastatingly seductive man she’d ever seen? Or that once he’d kissed her, he wouldn’t let her go?

Bound to Drustan by a passion stronger than time, Gwen is swept back to sixteenth-century Scotland, where a treacherous enemy plots against them … and where a warrior with the power to change history will defy time itself for the woman he loves….

As the blurb says: While on vacation in Scotland Gwen finds Drustan who’s been enchanted and asleep for 500 years. He takes her to where his castle should be – but it’s not. He must make it home because if there’s no castle then the Druid lore that the MacKeltar family is in charge of keeping is in serious trouble.

During the two days that Drustan and Gwen are together they find that not only are they attracted to each other but they are drawn to each other on a deeper level. Drustan attempts to get himself and Gwen back to 16th century Scotland but things go wrong with his calculations and only Gwen makes it back. Then she must make the Drustan of the past believe that they belong together, there’s a villain lurking somewhere and she’s not the bad guy in the whole scenario – oh, and she’s not crazy either. Easier said than done.

I read this book for the first time about a year ago and just loved it. I fell half in love with Drustan almost immediately. Yes, he was an arrogant highlander but he just appealed to me for some reason.

At first when I read the book I thought that the relationship with Gwen was going a tad too fast. Not horribly fast but enough to give me pause so when she gets to the past and things are slowed down I really enjoyed seeing their antics together. This reading was no different. I think enough time had passed from my first reading and I had forgotten just enough to make it enjoyable once again. Not totally like reading it for the first time but still damned good.

Let’s face it (and this is for the people reading this review who’ve actually read the book) the scene with Drustan and Gwen when he’s in the garderobe? OMG just to die for. I love that scene every stinking time I read it. sigh Good stuff Maynard.

I have no idea what my rating would have been when I read it the first time…I hadn’t started rating books yet but it would have been pretty high up there.
Current rating: 4.5 out of 5

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Re-Read Challenge Review: Alpha and Omega and Cry Wolf by Patricia Briggs

Posted August 31, 2009 by Tracy in Reviews | 13 Comments

Ack! I know I said I’d post this on Tuesday but I kept thinking that Tuesday was the 31st! I’m so off on my dates! So here it is in all its glory. lol

For this month’s challenge I decided to re-read both Alpha and Omega and Cry Wolf by Patricia Briggs. I guess it was kind of in honor of the release of the newest story in the Alpha and Omega series, Hunting Ground.

Alpha and Omega (in the On the Prowl anthology)
Anna has been a werewolf for 3 years. She was changed against her will and has been thoroughly mentally, verbally and sexually abused by her pack Alpha as well as the other members of her pack. She considers herself a monster.

One day as she reading the local paper she sees the picture of a missing man. Knowing that the missing man was changed into a werewolf by her pack she contacts the Marrok, the head werewolf of all werewolves.

Bran, the Marrok, sends his son Charles, his executioner, to investigate. When Charles meets Anna his wolf instantly recognizes her as his mate and wants to take care of her. What Charles also recognizes is that Anna is not a submissive wolf, as her pack would have her believe, but an Omega. Omega’s are neither a submissive nor an alpha werewolf but kind of outside of the pack, while still being a part of it. Charles is infuriated with what has happened to Anna and is determined to find out what is going on in her pack.

This is such a short yet wonderful novella. With Anna and Charles meeting and Charles taking care of the pack situation it’s a very satisfying story even though Charles and Anna don’t get an HEA. It’s just the beginning of the relationship and that’s totally ok. You just don’t feel that there is anything left undone. This was my first read from Patricia Briggs and when I was done I immediately started reading Cry Wolf. I have to say I loved the story just as much with this read as I did the first.

Original rating: 4 out of 5
Current rating: 4 out of 5

Cry Wolf

Our story begins with Anna moving to Montana with Charles. She’s hoping that life will be better in the new state. She’s accepted that her wolf wants Charles as her mate as well and Anna is trying to deal with her life being in upheaval. She’s moving to a new state, she knows no one, she’s scared out of her mind of Charles even though she wants to be near him, and she’s going to be that much closer to the Marrok, which scares her shitless. What she doesn’t realize is that the people in Charles’ pack are still werewolves. It’s a hard lesson to learn that these people are still “monsters”, just in a different location.

Charles is trying to recover from bullets wounds and trying to make Anna comfortable. It’s taking all of his strength to try to be calm, but his wolf wants him to complete the mating bond with Anna. Charles knows she’s not ready. When the Marrok assigns Charles to go into the Cabinet mountains to hunt down a rogue werewolf Charles knows that he has to take Anna with him. As an Omega Anna might be able to calm the rogue and then Charles won’t have to kill once again. But the rogue is not what they thought. They end up facing down a witch and it’s not like anything either one of them had dealt with before.

I love this story. I loved it the first time and I loved it this time. Patricia Briggs has such a way of pulling us into her characters that I feel like I’m with them on their journeys. I actually got teary-eyed this time around where I didn’t before. It’s just good stuff.

Anna shows such amazing growth in this story. She goes from a scared, almost submissive woman to a strong Omega. By the end of the story she knows who she is, what her place in the pack is and what she needs to get done. I just admired her strength so much!

Charles *sigh* (lol) he’s just an incredible man and a pretty smart werewolf. He was born a werewolf to an Indian medicine woman and has not only his werewolf magic but a little more besides. He’s the kind of man I’d want around in a tough spot. Not because he’s an executioner, but because of his inner strength and intelligence. I love his playfulness mixed with his steadfastness – just a great combo.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a good werewolf story, loves Patricia Briggs or just wants to read a well written novel. Does that cover everything?

Original Rating: 4.5 out of 5 original review here
Current Rating: 4.5 out of 5

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