Tag: Retro-Review

Retro-Review: Murder Game by Christine Feehan

Posted September 20, 2017 by Casee in Reviews | 6 Comments

Retro-Review: Murder Game by Christine FeehanReviewer: Casee
Murder Game (GhostWalkers, #7) by Christine Feehan
Series: GhostWalkers #7
Published by Berkley
Publication Date: December 30, 2008
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 446
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

Return to the world of the GhostWalkers with “the queen of paranormal romance” (USA Today) as she raises the stakes in the ultimate game of love and death…

Games should be fun, but for two expert teams across the country, they’re murder – because the winning team is the one that gets the most kills. The participants in this violent challenge rumored to be GhostWalkers. And Kadan Montague isn’t happy about it.

Kadan is a GhostWalker and he’s determined to clear the GhostWalker name of the rumors. To do it, he’s going to need the help of psychic Tansy Meadows. But as soon as he sees her, he knows his mission will be more complicated than he imagined – and the “murder game” may not be at all what it seems.

*****As part of our 10 year anniversary celebration, we’ll be re-posting old reviews and posts that make us cringe, laugh or sigh all over again.

Holly: Casee forced me to read introduced me to Christine Feehan forever and a day ago. She actually sent me the first 12 or so Dark novels and told me I had to read them. I remember thinking she was crazy after the first book, but by the 3rd I was hooked. I never really got into this series, but I know she still reads them.

This review was originally published on February 11, 2009

I’m a major Christine Feehan fangirl. The first paranormal I ever read was Dark Prince. I think I mention that every time I review a Christine Feehan book. I just can’t help it. I lurrrve her. Still I’m not sure how I feel about the couples in this series. They’re bona fide Lifemates, but without the blood and the chant/speech thing. There’s also no color-less world stuff. In actuality, the GhostWalkers are mortal. Still, each GhostWalker has been genetically linked to his/her “mate” by Dr. Peter Whitney. He reminds me of Walter Bishop from Fringe, but without the goodness. He only has the crazy.

Kadan goes to retrieve Tansy without any knowledge that she’s his genetic mate. I really don’t know what to call it other than that b/c it’s never really been specified. Anyhow, Kadan needs Tansy’s help in tracking down a group of GhostWalker killers. She’ll do anything to extract her, even if it means taking her by force. Of course that’s before he actually meets her and realizes who she is. After he realizes who she is, he’s determined not to use her, especially when he sees how using her gift affects her. Tansy won’t let Kadan shut her out, especially when he gives her a glimpse into the case.

Kadan has been around since the first GhostWalker book. I went back and re-read it. He was a bad mother-f-er back then and even more so now. Seeing his friends and colleagues die has made him harder (metaphorically of course) than ever. Suddenly he has this woman that for all intents and purposes, been made for him. Protecting her now comes before everything else, including finding out who is murdering GhostWalkers.

I liked Tansy. I really don’t like many CF heroines, but I liked her. When she ran head-first into danger, it was with the knowledge that what she was doing could kill her. And she wasn’t doing it b/c she was TSTL. She was doing it b/c she could save lives. The romance between Kadan and Tansy was hot, as CF’s romances usually are. I did get a little weary of reading 20 page sex scenes every 100 pages. Other than that, I have very few complaints.

This series is really good. I hope that she doesn’t continue it until it burns out.

4 out of 5.

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

Other books in the series:

Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover

four-stars


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Retro-Review: Acheron by Sherrilyn Kenyon.

Posted September 13, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 15 Comments

Retro-Review: Acheron by Sherrilyn Kenyon.Reviewer: Rowena
Acheron (Dark-Hunter, #12) by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Series: Dark Hunter #12
Published by St. Martin's Paperbacks
Publication Date: March 31st 2009
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 806
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
five-stars


Eleven thousand years ago, a god was born. Cursed into the body of a human, Acheron spent a lifetime of shame. But the strongest steel is forged from the fires of hell…

Acheron's human death unleashed an unspeakable horror that almost destroyed the earth. Then, brought back against his will, he became the sole defender of mankind. Only it was never that simple. For centuries, Acheron has fought for our survival and hidden a past he'll do anything to keep concealed. Until a lone woman who refuses to be intimidated by him threatens his very existence. Now his survival—and ours—hinges on hers, and old enemies reawaken and unite to kill them both. War has never been more deadly...or more fun.

*****As part of our 10 year anniversary celebration, we’ll be re-posting old reviews that make us cringe, laugh or sigh all over again.

Holly: Rowena and I were both obsessed with the Dark Hunter series by Sherrilyn Kenyon, once upon a time. Even so, by the time this book was released I’d given up on the series. In fact, despite my love for the earlier books, I couldn’t even bring myself to read it. I was tempted after this review, but I just couldn’t do it.

This review was originally posted on August 11, 2008

Hero: Acheron Parthenopeaus
Heroine: You’ll have to read it to find out
Grade: 5 out of 5

…MAJOR SPOILERS WILL BE IN THIS REVIEW SO IF YOU DON’T WANT TO BE SPOILED, DO NOT, I REPEAT, DO NOT READ THIS REVIEW UNTIL YOU ARE READY TO. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED THAT THERE WILL BE SPOILERS APLENTY IN THIS REVIEW AND YOU CAN’T BE MAD BECAUSE THIS BOLD ASS WARNING IS FOR YOU…

Wow.

There’s so much to cover in this review that I’m almost afraid to begin. Sherrilyn Kenyon does a remarkable job of pulling those emotional heartstrings inside you to drain every bit of emotion out of you. During the first part of the book, even though I was at work reading this (naughty wench that I am) tears streamed down my face as I read what turned Ash into the man that I know and love now. My heart seriously broke each and every time something new would come up and I just felt so hot damn bad for him.

Then there was Ryssa. Naive but courageous Ryssa, who only wanted to take care of him. The sister who loved Ash more than anyone ever dared to show and gosh, it got to a point while I was reading where it was almost too much for me to read. It was hard to push through that first part of the book because there was so much bad in it. So much that Ash suffered, so much crap that Ryssa unknowingly flinched his way just by caring about him. When it happened with Val and Zarek, I understood but in his book, I was mad at Zarek for being so hot damn mad at Val for trying to help him but in this book, I got so mad at Ryssa because as nice as she was to Ash….she only made things just THAT much worst for him. For every bit of kindness she showed him, he paid for it tenfold and I just wanted her to leave him in peace, the way that Ash wanted her to. I would get so mad each and every time that Ryssa would come around because I knew that something bad was going to happen to Ash and I couldn’t understand why she couldn’t see that loving Ash the way she did (even if she couldn’t help loving him) was hurting it far more than it was helping him.

I know that she wanted him to know that someone loved him, unconditionally, no matter what and I could appreciate that but I hated that she made things worst for Ash because ooh I wanted to kill her father and her other stupid ass brother, Styxx so frickin’ bad. I wanted their blood on my hands (bloodthirsty wench that I am) and don’t even get me started on their Uncle Estes.

sigh

I could get myself worked up over this book so easily which just goes to show how involved in this story I am, which also goes to show how good a job Sherrilyn Kenyon did with the first part of this book. There were times earlier in the book when I wished that Ryssa would just stay the hell away from Ash, she brought him more pain than anything and I just wanted him to have some kind of peace but she was always getting him into trouble and it was through Ryssa that I had an inkling for why Zarek hated Valerian because though Val meant well, he brought more bad than good and it had to have hurt badly and they just kept being nice and nice which made things so much worst for Ash and Zarek.

And OMGOSH Ash’s powers? Holy shit shit shit…damn damn damn, holy crap in the pants, are you frickin’ serious right now?

Wow.

…and dude, I LOVE APOLLYMI! The fierceness of her love for her son is to be admired, I mean I don’t agree with the way she took care of some of those problems she had but man, I couldn’t fault her reasoning.

And goodness, I loved seeing the beginning of Ash and Simi. It was seeing him with Simi that softened my heart toward him and made me love him more and more until I was near bursting with my love of his character. Goodness, Ash is seriously the best hero EVER written.

When we got to the present, I was glad for it because the past prepared me for what was to come and it explained so many of my questions (if not, all of them) from before. Questions that I have waited YEARS to get answers to and I’m so glad that I better understand Ash from before and Ash from now.

Soteria was a great heroine, I remember her from The Dream Hunter and I’m not mad about the pairing of her and Ash together because she completed Ash. She saw the Ash that we all know and love and she loved him like nobody else from this series ever could. I’m so glad that Ash’s heroine wasn’t Satara, like I thought before because I seriously hate that biznitch and am not mad at Nick, one bit.

There are so many things that I could say about this book but I don’t have enough time. There were so many great things about this book, seeing Ash finally realize that he’s not alone in anything anymore. He’s got the family that he’s always wanted in the Dark Hunters and their wives…and in Soteria. I can’t seem to call her Tory like she likes to be called because I don’t see where the hell they got Tory from Soteria? Tera? I can see that…but Tory? Nope, not seeing it at all but maybe that’s because I’m not Greek, who knows.

A lot of options were opened for the other characters in this book and I can’t wait to read the rest of the books to find out more about Savitar, Jaden and Nick because I’m thinking Nick is going to be Artemis’ next pet. I think he’s going to be the one to replace Ash and oh wow, that’s going to make for some interesting reading, for sure.

This book was really good, at first I thought that maybe it didn’t hold up to my expectations but then I changed my mind because I loved this book, a whole lot more than I was expecting to (because no mortal could have met my expectations of this book) and whether it held up to my expectations was moot since I loved everything about this book, I loved the old Ash, the new Ash, the story, the characters and I was over the moon to see everyone come together to get Ash’s back, even Savitar and Jaden did their little bests to help Ash out because he finally needed it. For so long, Ash stood alone and it was just good to see that he didn’t have to this time around.

LOVED IT! LOVE LOVE LOVED IT! And now I want more…haha. I’ve got to ask though, how many of you readers out there who have read Ash’s book, played Savin’ Me by Nickelback over and over after you read the book?

I DID! How many of you guys are listening to Saving Me right now?

I AM!

LOL.

5 out of 5

This book is available from St. Martin’s Press. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

five-stars


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Retro-Review/Rant: Away from the Spotlight by Tamara Carlisle

Posted September 6, 2017 by Holly in Features | 17 Comments

Retro-Review/Rant: Away from the Spotlight by Tamara CarlisleReviewer: Holly
Away from the Spotlight by Tamara Carlisle
Published by Self-Published
Publication Date: June 3, 2012
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 481
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
one-star

In the closing weeks of law school, Shannon Sutherland meets handsome and charming Englishman Will MacKenzie. Initially swept off her feet, Shannon finds that Will has a secret that, once discovered and the consequences realized, could destroy their fledgling relationship. Will and Shannon take great pains to have a normal relationship but, ultimately, find it impossible to do so. Will the pressures of their careers and the temptations of others drive Will and Shannon apart? Can Will and Shannon live a happy life away from the spotlight?

Tamara Carlisle takes you on a romantic ride that explores the consequences of fame and a love that endures all.

As part of our 10 year anniversary celebration, we’ll be re-posting old reviews that make us cringe, laugh or sigh all over again.

Holly: I recently came across this review while doing some site maintenance. I’d forgotten all about this book. I think I must have blocked it out, because wow. What a bunch of WTFery.

This review was originally posted on August 29, 2013.
Away from the Spotlight by Tamara Carlisle

Warning: This is more a rant than a review and it is FILLED WITH SPOILERS and DIRTY WORDS!

I planned to stop this at around 150 pages. Then I read some spoilers for the end. I decided I needed to read it myself to see if it was as bad as the reviews claimed. This book is 56 chapters. That’s a lot of chapters. And trust me, I felt every.single.one.

Let me sum up the first 5 chapters for you: Law School Student meets sexy boy in bar. He seems way into her but skirts around what he does for a living, even when she asks directly. Turns out boy is a Movie Star. He wanted her to love him for him, so he kept it a secret. For 3 weeks. Until she saw his picture in a tabloid with his current leading lady. She confronts him. He swears he was going to tell her! Probably. Maybe. Someday..

After no groveling on his part, she takes him back. Then he tells her he loves her. 3 weeks in. There’s a guy at work she was sort of crushing on but he had a girlfriend. Movie Star is jealous of work dude even though she tells him not to be.

From there it’s 45 chapters of:
Heroine: I’m not good enough for you! You’re a movie star and you’re surrounded by beautiful women!
Hero: I’m not good enough for you! You’re all smart and educated and stuff. I didn’t even go to university. Besides, you’re gorgeous.
Heroine: No I’m not.
Hero: Yes you are.
Heroine: No I’m not. You are.
Hero: No I’m not. You are!
Heroine: No, you.
Hero: No you. I love you!
Heroine: I love you more!

Lather.Rinse.Repeat.

Then the paparazzi find out they’re dating and start stalking her. They call her work and harass her and almost run her off the road. He breaks up with her because he’s ruining her life. Never mind that she says she loves him and is willing to deal because it’s his life.  He did this BY PHONE then REFUSED TO SEE HER FOR MONTHS. She sees him in a bar with TWO GIRLS on his lap. TWO. The next day he shows up at her place. He says “I thought I could live without you but I can’t. Lets go get married. Right now.”  and she says “ok!”

$&#?#/%+# OMFGWTF.

So they go get married. Like, the day after they get back together. Which made their total time together – including breakup – like, three month. Or something.

Also? There are no sex scenes in this book. None. 56 chapters in 400+ pages and not even a slap and tickle to distract me from the WTF. I’m not saying I need sex scenes in every book I read. But at least give me a little tickle if I’m going to get the slap. Yannow?

So anyway…

..they all lived Happily Ever After….

….except they didn’t live Happily Ever After for very long, because 6 years after they get married the Movie Star dies in a car accident. No shit. That actually happened. I spent HOURS of my life slogging through 52 CHAPTERS of CRAPPY EMO ANGST for him to DIE IN A CAR ACCIDENT.

But wait. There’s more.

Throughout the book there was the guy at her work who crushed on her. Much relationship angst was had because of him. Guess what? He shows up two years after the funeral and…dun dun dun.. he’s getting a divorce! And…dun dun dun..he’s still in love with her! And! It just so happens he has a son just the same age as hers. This is, like, kismet!

She’s been dreaming of dead guy for years. Vivid sexy-times dreams. 1st time she sleeps with new guy, she dreams of dead guy again. Yes. You read that right. She has dream-sex every night with one guy while going to bed with another. Alrighty then.

She feels guilty for betraying dead guy by being with alive guy. Dead guy says not to. They can still be together in dreams.

“From then on I would fall asleep in John’s arms and wake up in Will’s.”

Did I take the blue pill? Because I feel like I took the blue pill.

But wait, we’re not done yet!

The new husband? He dies, too! Which, you know, makes sense.. in the alternate universe this author lives in. That night when she falls asleep the first dead husband is there. She asks if she gets to see second dead husband in her dreams, too? First dead guy says “just this once”.

 

Second dead husband says,

“I want you to be with Will because I know he’s your soul mate.”

What the fuck is even happening? I THOUGHT WILL WAS DEAD?!?! How can she be with him if HE’S DEAD?!?!

They (her and 2nd dead guy) make love. Then 2nd dead guy gets dressed and leaves to find his soul mate. 1st dead guy shows up and snuggles her. Because they’re soul mates and meant to be together. Forever. So, it’s like totally ok that she’s still full of semen from the other guy, right? Right.

She continues to dream of Will, the first dead husband, for like the next 50 years.

Then she dies (when she’s 80-something) and yep, he’s waiting for her. He tells her they’re now going to be together forever and they walk off into the sunset..or ether..or whatever.

“Are you ready for forever now?”

“With you?”

“Of course.”

“Then, yes. Let’s go.”

He took my hand. “I’ll love you forever.”

The end.

People. Seriously. That’s what happened. I could not make this shit up.

Honestly? I’m at a loss for words. I don’t even know how to process what happened there at the end. I admit I felt a little like Alice must have after she fell down the rabbit hole. I kept wondering if someone had slipped something into my tea. The WTF factor with this book is huge.

I wish I could say I laughed it off in the end, but honestly I feel a little traumatized. Like I witnessed a trainwreck and the images won’t leave my head. I might need vodka. Or a hug-yourself jacket. Or both.

The next time I read a spoiler and feel like I need to investigate for myself, remind me of this book, will you? Obviously I  need someone to save me from myself.

1 out of 5

This book is self-published. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

*I read this book back in April and wrote the review then. I just forgot to post it. I live-tweeted as I was reading and saved the tweets here. You’re welcome to share my pain read them if you want to be tortured like.

one-star


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Retro-Review: Tangle of Need by Nalini Singh

Posted August 30, 2017 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Retro-Review: Tangle of Need by Nalini SinghReviewer: Casee
Tangle of Need by Nalini Singh
Series: Psy/Changeling #11
Also in this series: Caressed By Ice, Mine to Possess, Hostage to Pleasure, The Magical Christmas Cat, Kiss of Snow, Tangle of Need, Slave to Sensation, Heart of Obsidian, Shield of Winter, Shield of Winter, Visions of Heat, Mine to Possess, Caressed By Ice, Branded by Fire, Blaze of Memory, Mine to Possess, Hostage to Pleasure, Hostage to Pleasure, Shards of Hope, Shards of Hope, Heart of Obsidian, Caressed By Ice, Branded by Fire, Blaze of Memory, Play of Passion, Allegiance of Honor, Kiss of Snow, Tangle of Need, Shield of Winter, Shards of Hope, Allegiance of Honor, Allegiance of Honor, Wild Embrace, Wild Embrace, Wild Embrace, Silver Silence, Silver Silence
Published by Penguin
Publication Date: May 29th 2012
Pages: 448
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

Discover the exhilarating risks of passion in the breathtaking new Psy-Changeling novel by Nalini Singh, the New York Times bestselling “alpha author of paranormal romance” (Booklist)…

Adria, wolf changeling and resilient soldier, has made a break with the past—one as unpredictable in love as it was in war. Now comes a new territory, and a devastating new complication: Riaz, a SnowDancer lieutenant already sworn to a desperate woman who belongs to another.

For Riaz, the primal attraction he feels for Adria is a staggering betrayal. For Adria, his dangerous lone-wolf appeal is beyond sexual. It consumes her. It terrifies her. It threatens to undermine everything she has built of her new life. But fighting their wild compulsion toward one another proves a losing battle.

Their coming together is an inferno…and a melding of two wounded souls who promise each other no commitment, no ties, no bonds. Only pleasure. Too late, they realize that they have more to lose than they ever imagined. Drawn into a cataclysmic Psy war that may alter the fate of the world itself, they must make a decision that might just break them both.

*****As part of our 10 year anniversary celebration, we’ll be re-posting old reviews that make us cringe, laugh or sigh all over again.

Rowena: It’s always good to revisit the older Psy/Changelings books. Check out Casee’s review of Tangle of Need.

This review was originally posted on August 17, 2012

After I read Tangle of Need, I had to re-read the whole series. Then I had to re-read Tangle of Need to make sure I reviewed the correct book. I think that Tangle of Need gave an in-depth look into SnowDancer that even Kiss of Snow didn’t show.

Some of Adria’s back story was told in a previous book. Adria is a dominant wolf who mated with a non-dominant wolf. Over time, her mate broke her spirit and made her question everything about herself as a dominant female. Adria finally had the strength to leave Martin. Leaving a mate is rare, but the relationship was slowly killing Adria.

Adria returns to SnowDancer where she hopes to heal among her family and the closeness of Pack. The last thing she expects is to be attracted to Riaz, a fellow soldier and dominant. Adria also doesn’t want to be attracted to anyone. When she finds out that Riaz has met his mate, she is sickened with Riaz and herself. She’s also sad for him because there is only one mate for each wolf and his mate is happily married.

Their attraction to each other becomes impossible to ignore and Adria and Riaz are soon deep into an affair. Adria feels safe because she knows that Riaz can’t commit to her. As time goes on, Riaz and Adria begin feeling more toward each other than just pleasure and affection. Riaz knows he will never be with his mate. He’s accepted that and he is happy with Adria. He just has to convince her to let go of her fear to commit. That is easier said than done when it comes to someone as dominant and strong-willed as Adria.

What was the most interesting about Adria and Riaz’s relationship was that in the end, they were able to commit to each other as mates would. Obviously, it was a long road for them to get there (especially for Adria), but their relationship was just as strong as if they were mated. It was remarkably wonderful to read about their relationship, the obstacles, and how their love was strong enough to overcome the mate issue.

As I mentioned above, I loved the deeper look into SnowDancer and the hierarchy of the pack. They are much different than DarkRiver insofar as there are much stricter rules due to the past and how the pack was almost decimated. I especially loved Hawke and Sienna. Their relationship isn’t easy, even after they mated. Sienna also has to find her place in the pack as the alpha’s mate.

Tangle of Need was brilliant from start to finish. Each book continues the story arc and it’s done with a freshness that makes each book better than the one before. Nalini Singh continues to amaze with this series.

4.25 out of 5.

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

four-stars


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Retro Review: The Truth About Lord Stoneville by Sabrina Jeffries

Posted August 16, 2017 by Holly in Reviews | 7 Comments

Retro Review: The Truth About Lord Stoneville by Sabrina JeffriesReviewer: Holly
The Truth About Lord Stoneville by Sabrina Jeffries
Series: Hellions of Halstead Hall #1
Published by Simon & Schuster, Pocket Books
Publication Date: January 19th, 2010
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 392
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

Hellions of Halstead Hall

They're the scandalous Sharpes, five hell-raising siblings tainted by a shocking family legacy. Now each faces a daunting ultimatum: marry by year's end—or kiss their inheritance good-bye.

In the two decades since a tragic "accident" took the lives of his parents, Oliver Sharpe, the Marquess of Stoneville, has survived the scandal surrounding that fateful night by living as an unrepentant rakehell. And with his grandmother vowing to disinherit him if he doesn't settle down and wed, he plans to fulfill the bargain in true Sharpe style—by bringing home a fake fiancée from a brothel! But his scheme is derailed when he rescues an American beauty in a dire predicament instead.

Maria Butterfield came to London to track down her groom-to-be, who's gone missing, but her engagement won't stop Oliver from getting what he wants: her, in his bed. His rebellious masquerade may call his grandmother's bluff, but it's soon made all too real—by a love that tempts him to be a hellion no more.

As part of our 10 year anniversary celebration, we’ll be re-posting old reviews that make us cringe, laugh or sigh all over again.

Rowena: I love reading old reviews by Holly. She never fails to get her point across a lot more eloquently than I do. I remember putting this book on my TBR a long ass time ago and are you surprised that I never got around to reading it? Ha!

This review was originally posted on February 16, 2010.

Sabrina Jeffries can be hit or miss for me, but I really adored this book.

Oliver Sharpe, the Marquess of Stoneville, is being forced to marry. Though he’s titled, he’s broke and has 4 siblings to care for. Each of them acts scandalously, earning them the nickname the Hellions of Halstead. Their grandmother, determined to have great-grandchildren before her death, has issued an ultimatum: Either they all marry, or they’re all disinherited.

Oliver has no intention of marrying. He figures he can call his grandmother’s bluff by finding the most unsuitable bride ever. She comes in the form of one Maria Butterfield, an American heiress who has come to England to find her missing fiance. Not only is she American, but she’s from common origins and basically alone in the world.

Maria is only in England to find her missing fiance. Now that her father has passed away she needs her fiance to settle the terms of her father’s will. Unfortunately all of her money is tied up in her father’s shipping business, so she’s basically operating on a shoe-string budget. When her cousin is caught out and she’s forced to accept Stoneville’s wild scheme in order to protect them both, it seems like a nightmare; until he agrees to help her find her fiance while she puts on the charade for his grandmother. It seems easy enough…

..but neither are prepared for the attraction and genuine liking they share for one another. Not that anything can come of it, what with Maria having a fiance and Stoneville determined to never marry and become like his parents.

This was such a fun story. I was determined to dislike both Maria and Stoneville in the beginning; her because she’s such a stick-in-the-mud and him because he was so much the rake. They both grew on me, however, and it wasn’t long before I was wrapped up in both of them.

Maria wasn’t really as uptight as she seemed. Once she loosened up and relaxed I really felt like I connected with her. She didn’t let Oliver get away with anything, which I thought was great. I did think she forgave him a bit too easily on occasion, but I was able to move past it.

I really liked Oliver and the way he was with is family. Though he was determined to ruin his own life, when it came to his siblings he really stepped up and did the right thing. The way he was so confused over his feelings for Maria was hilarious.

His guilt over the death of his parents and his subsequent actions didn’t make a lot of sense to me. His mother caught him in a compromising position and lashed out, saying some nasty things to him. Later that evening his parents are discovered in a hunting lodge dead – it looks like she shot him and then herself. Oliver is convinced he’s the reason his mother finally lost it and killed his father. But from then on he went out of his way to act just like his father…which made no sense. If he hated everything his father was and how upset his mother always became, why did he act the same way?

Similarly, the way his grandmother acted about the incident with her daughter frustrated me to no end. Toward the end she talks about it a bit, but for most of the book I was just annoyed with her over it.

Despite that one issue, I really enjoyed all the secondary characters. Especially Oliver’s siblings and Maria’s cousin. They really added just the right amount of silliness to the story. I’m definitely looking forward to finding out more about them as the series continues.

This was a sweet love story with charming characters. I recommend it if you’re in the mood for a can’t-put-down historical romp.

4 out of 5

four-stars


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