Tag: Romance

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.


Tagged: , , , , ,

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.


Tagged: , , , , , , ,

Review: When Strangers Marry by Lisa Kleypas.

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

Published by Avon, Harper Collins


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.


Tagged: , , , , , ,

Review: Something Sinful by Suzanne Enoch

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

Published by Avon, Harper Collins


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.


Tagged: , , , , , , ,

Weekly Reread: Honor’s Splendour by Julie Garwood.

Posted May 3, 2007 by Rowena in Reviews | 12 Comments

Weekly Reread: Honor’s Splendour by Julie Garwood.Reviewer: Rowena
Honor's Splendour by Julie Garwood

Publication Date: April 30, 1991
Genres: Romance
Pages: 384
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
five-stars

In the feuding English court, gentle Lady Madelyne suffered the cruel whims of her ruthless brother, Baron Louddon. Then, in vengeance for a bitter crime, Baron Duncan of Wexton—the Wolf—unleashed his warriors against Louddon's main. Exquisite Madelyne was the prize he catured...but when he gazed upon the proud beauty, he pledged to protect her with his life. In his rough-hewn castle, Duncan proved true to his honor. But when at last their noble passion conquered them both, she surrendered with all her soul. Now, for love, Madelyne would stand fast...as bravely as her Lord, the powerful Wolf who fought for...Honor's Splendour


Rowena’s review of Honor’s Splendour by Julie Garwood.

In the feuding English court, gentle Lady Madelyne suffered the cruel whims of her ruthless brother, Baron Louddon. Then, in vengeance for a bitter crime, Baron Duncan of Wexton—the Wolf—unleashed his warriors against Louddon’s main. Exquisite Madelyne was the prize he catured…but when he gazed upon the proud beauty, he pledged to protect her with his life. In his rough-hewn castle, Duncan proved true to his honor. But when at last their noble passion conquered them both, she surrendered with all her soul. Now, for love, Madelyne would stand fast…as bravely as her Lord, the powerful Wolf who fought for…Honor’s Splendour.

A goal of mine is to eventually write a review for all the books I’ve ever read and so each week I plan on doing a Weekly Reread post so that I can revisit all the books that I’ve read and loved from way back in the day.

This weekend’s reread was Honor’s Splendour by Julie Garwood. Holy hell it was just as great this time around as it was the first time I read it.

Duncan of Weston is one sexy beast.

So the story is about Duncan and Madelyne. Duncan wants to get under Madelyne’s evil brother Louddon’s skin, so him and his men breach Louddon’s castle and they burn it down and kill his men and steal his sister. The same sister that saves Duncan’s life by cutting him down from the post and warming his feet in the nearby Church. Duncan is amazed that she would dare save him from her evil brother and when she turns out to be totally different and unlike anything he ever imagined to find in Louddon’s sister, he can’t help but be taken by her beauty, her honesty and just everything about her.

Then he takes her home.

And things just heat the hell up from there. There’s the immediate reaction of Duncan’s family to Madelyne, the crush that Duncan’s brother Gilard has on Madelyne, the intense dislike that Edmond has toward her and then the whole ordeal with Duncan’s sister.

All that drama makes for one frickin’ heart warming and funny as all get out story.

Some of my favorite scenes are the scene with Duncan’s beard? sigh When she asks him if he’s gonna shave and he tells her, “After, love” Ooh, I get goose bumps everytime I read that scene and then the scene where Madelyne warms Duncan’s feet at the beginning, it was so unexpected and she was so scared of getting caught and getting in trouble but she did it anyway and it made me like her all the more because it was such a great way to begin the story.

I loved watching Madelyne’s interaction with Duncan’s family. When she got really sick and took to calling Duncan Odysseus and when she punched Edmond in the eye? Yeah, I was rollin’. I loved how Duncan wouldn’t leave Madelyn alone with anyone but him while she was sick, he didn’t want anyone but him offering her comfort or being the recipient of her passionate nature….HA! I loved how her relationship with Duncan’s sister, Adela blossomed. When Madelyne tells Adela about herself and then makes her wake up and face life again, I just absolutely loved it. It was great how as soon as the fight ran out of Adela, she was able to get herself together and marry Gerald.

I loved how throughout all of the crap that Madelyne went through, she leaned on Duncan throughout it all and Duncan shouldered her burdens for her and took such good care of her. I loved seeing the both of them falling in love with each other and I loved how Madelyne was such a paradox to Duncan. She was a fantastic heroine and she made the story a great reading experience for me.

This book totally rocks my socks, for real!

Grade: 5 out of 5

This book is available from Pocket Books. You can purchase it here.

five-stars


Tagged: , , , , , ,