Tag: Series Reading

Bookish Thoughts: Full Book Lists Wanted, The Ripped Bodice is Accepting Patrons, Passionflix, Series Reading and #ShallowReaderBingo

Posted August 17, 2017 by Holly in Discussions | 10 Comments

Wanted: Full book lists on author websites

Authors, please include a full list of your works, including short stories, on your website. I’m the type of person who likes to read a series (especially long ones) in order, including novellas. If I can’t find the information on your website, I’m going to be pretty annoyed. As an example, I’m going to use Ilona Andrews. On the Kate Daniels page, it lists only the full length novels. However, there is a link to the full list, including anthologies.

Clicking the Small Magics anthology link takes me to a full page list of the stories set in the world, including all short stories and where they fall in the line-up.

Authors, seriously. I need this in my life. Please, if you haven’t already, go update your book lists. Keri Arthur, I’m looking at you. The title of your novella and what anthology it’s available in would also be much appreciated!

The Ripped Bodice (the only exclusively romance bookstore in the Northern Hemisphere) is now accepting Patrons

From their latest newsletter:

Today we’re taking a new step that we hope will help us to continue to grow and thrive for years to come. Many members of the romance community have expressed a desire to support The Ripped Bodice from afar.

We’re excited to announce that we’ve launched a Patreon, and you can become an official Patron of the Ripped Bodice.

I’m not sure how I feel about this. On the one hand, I think it’s great for those who want to support them but don’t live close enough to do so in person (I live in SoCal, but the 2.5 hour drive makes it hard to get down there on the reg). On the other hand, why offer a crowd funding service instead of pushing their online bookstore? Unless this is a way to help offset the cost of author and reader events at the store? That would make sense. Anyway, here’s the info:

Why become a Patron?

Our page has detailed information about giving levels and some of the fun and exciting things you’ll receive every month. While we will never stop communicating and sharing the goings on at the store with the internet at large, some of our behind the scenes tomfoolery will be moved over to the Patreon and be available just for our patrons.

For the first month of our Patreon, all our new Patrons will get 10% off our fly new gear!
Discount code only available till 9/5/17 (code comes in your thank you email)
You can check it out here!

You can donate $3, $5 or $20 (or more!) per month for various offers and discounts from The Ripped Bodice. Check out the Patreon site for details. There’s a Sherry Thomas short story being offered for new members, thanks to Berkley and the author!

Passionflix – Turning your favorite romance novels into movies and series… On Demand

Have you guys seen this? I can’t tell you how excited I am! Passionflix is a subscription streaming service that turns our romance novels into movies on demand. I’m not going to lie, I’m a little nervous about the quality of the movies being produced. We’ve all seen the traveshamockery at Hallmark and Lifetime (remember Rose Hill, the made-for-t.v. movie of For the Roses by Julie Garwood? shudder). Still, I’m hoping for the best.

Here’s what you get for your money:

Becoming a found member ($100 flat fee):

A 2 year Subscription (a 30% savings!)
Invites for a walk on role, Passionflix parties or set visits.
Voting privileges on our exclusive reality shows like Cast Your Book Boyfriend.
Help us find the next romantic leading man.
Discounts on Passionflix Merchandise.
Be the First to Know what’s going on Behind the Scenes.

Be an Early Bird Subscriber ($3.99 monthly fee):
Register your interest now and you’ll be invited to join when we launch for a discounted price of $3.99/month.

I signed up as a Founding Member. Despite my concerns over the (possible) quality of the movies, I’m excited about this.

Here are the movies already in production:

Hollywood Dirt

Alessandra Torre

While making a movie in a small Georgian town, Hollywood’s hearthrob Cole Masten casts spirited local girl Summer Jenkins as his leading lady, on screen and off.

Coming Sept 2017

 
 

Afterburn/Aftershock

Sylvia Day

Businesswoman Gia Rossi is determined to be successful in her new job, but when her ex lover Jax Rutledge waltzes back into her life, their passionate connection ignites not only in the boardroom, but the bedroom.

Coming Nov 2017

 
 

The Trouble with Mistletoe

Jill Shalvis

Real estate developer Keane Winters may have stood up pet shop owner Willa Davis in high school, but now he wants her under the mistletoe and in his life.

Coming Dec 2017

 
 

A Brother’s Honor

Brenda Jackson

While working to prove their father’s innocence and save the family company each of the three brothers come to terms with the past, find their own future happiness and unexpected love.

Coming 2018

 
 

Shallow Reader Bingo

Thanks to Willa on Twitter, I recently discovered Shallow Reader Bingo. You guys, this is amazing! It looks like it hasn’t been updated in a couple months, but I love the idea.

Series Reading – When is it Time To Say Goodbye?

While putting together a list of books I’m looking forward to in September, I started thinking about long-running series. Specifically J.D. Robb’s In Death series (currently at 45 books) and Hannah Howell’s Murray Family series (21 books). I had to stop reading the Murray Family series because I felt like each book was the same, so I’m not quite sure how it ended (or if it did). I’m behind about 10 books in the In Death series, but I wonder if it’s becoming stale (for the record, I’m not suggesting it is, as I’m so far behind, just wondering how long she can sustain it).

At what point should a series end? When the author is tired of it? When it stops selling well? Obviously, there’s no right answer to that question since each series and author is different, but how do you feel about open-ended series?


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Bookish Thoughts: Series Obsession, Kristen Ashley and Print Reading

Posted January 12, 2017 by Holly in Discussions, Features | 13 Comments


I binge-read Ilona Andrews’ backlist in November. I took a break from F/UF/Sci-Fi for a couple years, so I’m pretty behind when it comes to some popular authors. My latest obsession is the Innkeeper Chronicles. I’m totally in love with Dina, Gertrude Hunt, Sean Evans and the entire world. Now that One Fell Sweep is out, I have no idea what to do with my life.

ComplicatedKristen Ashley is releasing a new BDSM erotic romance series with St. Martin’s. The Honey Series revolves around The Honey Club, a BDSM club and features her typical alpha-males. Book one, The Deep End, releases in March. Although I’m a huge Ashley fan and her books really work for me, I’m on the fence about this new series. Part of it is my aversion to BDSM novels, but a larger part is, I think, the idea of Ashley doing erotic BDSM. I’m jonseing for a new release from her, which is why this is on my mind. Do you plan to read it? She also has an audiobook exclusive releasing in May. Complicated will be available only in audio. I’m not a fan of audiobooks, but I’m kind of tempted by it.

Fire TouchedFire Touched is out in MMP this month. Both the Mercy Thompson and Alpha and Omega series are fabulous, but I don’t own them in print, because as with Ilona Andrews, I came late to the Briggs party. Even though I’ve been downsizing my print collection, I feel a compulsive desire to purchase Fire Touched – and the rest of the series – in print for my personal library. Since my J.D. Robb collection is gone, I have shelf space. But I already own them in digital and I doubt I’ll ever read them in print. I just want them because they look pretty.

 

 

In November I gave a book from Linda Howard’s backlist away in our Monthly Reads giveaway. The winner said she couldn’t choose and asked us to pick one for her. How are we supposed to do that? Do we go for a classic goodie like Duncan’s Bride, or a thriller like Heart of Fire? That’s like asking us to choose our favorite kid. Which book would you choose?

 


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Series Review: The Drake Sisters by Christine Feehan

Posted December 20, 2010 by Holly in Reviews | 2 Comments

Series Review: The Drake Sisters by Christine FeehanReviewer: Holly
Magic in the Wind by Christine Feehan
Series: Drake Sisters #1, Sea Haven
Also in this series: Turbulent Sea, Hidden Currents, Water Bound, Spirit Bound, Air Bound, Fire Bound, Bound Together (Sea Haven/Sisters of the Heart, #6)
Published by Penguin
Publication Date: September 27th 2005
Pages: 112
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

First in the Drake Sisters series from the "reigning queen of the paranormal romance"--#1 New York Times bestselling author of the Carpathian and Sea Haven novels.
The story of Sarah, the eldest of the extraordinary—and magical—Drake sisters, now rewritten and expanded, in this very special collector’s edition…

“Sarah Drake has come home.” Ever since Damon Wilder sought refuge in Sea Haven, he’s heard the same breathless rumor pass the lips of nearly every local in the sleepy coastal town. Even the wind seems to whisper her name—a reverie so powerfully suggestive that it carries the curious Damon to Sarah’s clifftop home, and seeks to shelter him there.
But Damon has not arrived alone. A killer has tracked him to Sea Haven, and into the shadows of Drake House. But Sarah has her own secrets, and danger—as well as a desire more urgent than either has ever known—is just a whisper away…
Magic in the Wind previously appeared in Lover Beware.
Christine Feehan is the author of Dark Wolf, Dark Lycan, Air Bound, Leopard's Prey, Samurai Game, and numerous other bestselling novels.
From the Paperback edition.

Holly‘s review of The Drake Sisters series by Christine Feehan (books 1-7)

I recently re-read the Drake Sisters series by Christine Feehan. I have a love/hate relationship with this series. The sisters are amazing to read about. I adore their relationship with each other and the paranormal elements (they’re all psychic in one way or another). But there are things I hate, namely the heroes. I hate how controlling and quasi-abusive they are. Only..I don’t hate them. At heart, they really only want what’s best for their woman. Which is kind of hot. But the way they talk to them sometimes is just..wrong. I can’t explain it, except to say I hate how much I love them.

Magic in the Wind (Book 1)

New York Times bestselling author Christine Feehan presents the story of Sarah, the eldest of the extraordinary-and magical-Drake sisters, now rewritten and expanded, in this very special collector’s edition.

“Sarah Drake has come home.” Ever since Damon Wilder sought refuge in Sea Haven, he’s heard the same breathless rumor pass the lips of nearly every local in the sleepy coastal town. Even the wind seems to whisper her name-a reverie so powerfully suggestive that it carries the curious Damon to Sarah’s cliff-top home, and seeks to shelter him there. But Damon has not arrived alone. A killer has tracked him to Sea Haven, and into the shadows of Drake House. But Sarah has her own secrets, and danger-as well as a desire more urgent than either has ever known-is just a whisper away…

It’s been many years since I re-read this novella. I remember liking it, but not really loving it, the first time around. I have to say that’s still the way I feel. Though I enjoyed quite a bit of it, I didn’t absolutely adore it.

One of my biggest problems was the inconsistent way Sarah acted. she was supposedly a bodyguard, one of the best in security, but she often deferred to Damon, the man she was supposed to be protecting. Similarly, Damon knew he needed protection but refused to accept it from Sarah, because she was a woman.

Otherwise I did enjoy their relationship. They worked well together outside of their professions. I liked that both Damon and Sarah really cared about the other, wanting them to be happy and needing to be near one another.

The suspense plot was just ok. Considering the page count, I suppose I can’t complain too much, but I would have liked to see things explored a bit more on that end.

3.5 out of 5

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

Twilight Before Christmas (Book 2)

Bestselling novelist Kate Drake is one of seven sisters gifted with amazing powers of witchcraft. Returning home in time for her northern California town’s annual Christmas pageant, Kate catches the spirit of the season and decides to open a bookstore in a charming but run-down historic mill. Decorated former U.S. Army Ranger Matt Granite, now a local contractor, doesn’t mind working in the undeniably eerie house — not if it means getting closer to Kate. There’s something about the quiet, sensual woman that powerfully attracts him.

 

When an earthquake cracks the mill’s foundation and reveals a burial crypt, Kate senses that a centuries-old evil has been unleashed?and that it’s coming after her. Though Matt vows to guard her from dusk till dawn, Kate knows she will have to summon all of her and her sisters’ powers to battle the darkness threatening to destroy both Christmas and the gift of soul-searing passion her hometown hero wants her to keep forever….

I only re-read the Drake story in this collection this time around. I do plan to re-read the other novella soon, though. I can’t remember my feelings about this book the first time around, but I really enjoyed it the second time.

I love that Sarah and Matt have both been lusting after each other from afar for years, without the other realizing it. I also loved that each of them felt clumsy and silly around the other. It was cute watching Matt turn red and Kate stumble along.

The storyline was one I enjoyed as well. I like watching the sisters come together to fight evil, especially when it’s really difficult for them. Yes, yes, I’m a sadist. I know.

4 out of 5

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

Oceans of Fire (Book 3)

The third daughter of seven in a magical bloodline, Abigail Drake was born with an affinity for water and a strong bond with dolphins. After she witnesses a murder, she flees right into the arms of Alexsandr Volstov. On the trail of stolen Russian antiquities, he’s a relentless Interpol agent–and the man who once broke Abby’s heart. But he isn’t going to let the only woman he’s ever loved slip away again.

This is my least favorite book in the series. I always start off hating the hero, Aleksandr, for what he did to the heroine, Abbey, in the past. Then I start hating Abbey for pushing him away and making up lame excuses for why they can’t be together.

I understand her being scared of his ruthless streak, but why continue to sleep with him, lean on him and lead him on? It isn’t until later in the book that we realize why Aleksandr did what he did to protect Abbey, so most of the book they both annoyed me.

There are some good parts. I love the dolphins and the interactions between the sisters. I also love the glimpses of Jackson and Ilya.

The main relationship frustrates me. In the end, I’m not sure I fully believed in their HEA.

3.75 out of 5

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

Dangerous Tides (Drake Sisters, Book 4)Dangerous Tides (Book 4)

Dr. Libby Drake is sensible and practical. To her more adventurous sisters, she’s always been the “good girl”. Certainly not the kind to attract the attention of a genius like Ty Derrick—until a tragic accident leaves the handsome biochemist at her mercy.

 

Acting on her uncanny ability to heal, she stirs in the reawakened Ty his own long-suppressed desires for the woman who saved his life. But he’s not the only man with designs on Libby Drake. Her miraculous and selfless power has also captured the attention of a dangerously influential admirer. He’s pursuing the elementally gifted beauty for his own wicked purpose. And he’s willing to go to deadly lengths to make it happen.

This book drives me absolutely insane. Ty annoyed the every lovin’ crap out of me. I have no idea why Libby liked him so much. He was cynical and overbearing in the worst possible way. He’s a skeptic – a man of science – and doesn’t believe Libby and her sisters really have magical “powers”. That’s fine – I’m somewhat of a skeptic myself. But he constantly belittled Libby, putting her down and making her feel bad about herself. And yet she stayed with him – which makes her just as much of a tool as him.

Plus, this is the book I call The Great Editing Fail Book. There are so many little inconsistencies and mistakes I wanted to pull my hair out. Libby is wearing a skirt walking down the stairs, but jeans walking up it. Jonas isn’t driving a Jeep, but two minutes later it’s a cruiser. Things like that drive me nuts and this book was riddled with them.

I do love the interaction between the sisters, though.

2 out of 5

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

Safe Harbor (Drake Sisters, Book 5)Safe Harbor (Book 5)

One of seven daughters in a line of extraordinary women, Hannah Drake has been the elusive object of affection for Jonas Harrington for as long as the young man can remember. If only the stunning super-model was driven by a passion other than her career. But Jonas isn’t the only one with desires for Hannah.

From the shadows has emerged a vengeful figure who stalks the beauty with one terrifying purpose: to strip her of all she is and destroy her. Only one man was destined as her protection. Now, out of a storm of danger, Jonas must guide the woman he loves from a sinister darkness that threatens not only Hannah, but the entire Drake family.

I’m starting to think re-reading this series back-to-back isn’t a very good idea. The things I loved about it the first time around are being overshadowed by inconsistencies in the storytelling, poor editing and the caveman tactics of the heroes.

Those issues aside, this is a hard book to read at times. Hannah has always been the most beautiful of the Drake sisters. She makes her living as a supermodel. Getting stabbed 20-something times and almost dying was a very traumatic experience for her, especially since it ruined her beauty. I don’t mean to imply that she’s shallow, but it was a hard thing for her to deal with.

I liked the way Jonas supported her through her recovery. It was good that they understood each other so well, and were able to offer each other comfort and support. But prior to that he really skirted the line of verbal abuse. He constantly put her down and made fun of her. His reasons for doing so were mostly alturistic – he understand that Hannah was only a model because she wanted to please her sisters, not because she truly enjoyed it. He wanted her to see that she was more than just a pretty face. Plus, he was concerned about her having an eating disorder.

But good intentions pave the road to hell, and Jonas’ good intentions didn’t make up for the fact that he was a jerk to Hannah. What was supposed to feel like sexual tension and verbal foreplay between the two was ruined by how terrible he made Hannah feel about herself. She truly thought Jonas looked at her as nothing more than a Playboy centerfold. Her already low self-esteem feel even farther after her attack. This is where Jonas redeemed himself.

I did think parts of her recovery weren’t dealt with. More of the inconsistencies from above. She was physically in pain, yet able to make-out with Jonas – with him lying on top of her. She could barely walk, yet could stand for long periods on her balcony. Things like that.

The major issue I had with her recovery was her eating-disorder. It’s mentioned several times in previous books that she has an eating disorder, and it’s mentioned in this one that she doesn’t eat. But that isn’t ever addressed. Other than a few throw-away thoughts or comments from Jonas and Hannah about it, it was completely brushed aside. Eating disorders are a very serious thing. The recovery is long and hard, yet Hannah was just magically cured?

I think Feehan could have explored that aspect more and backed off on the suspense plot a bit, which I found rather boring.

Aside from my issues, I enjoy the emotional aspects of the book. The way the sisters come together to support one another is fabulous. Though Hannah and Jonas both frustrated me at times, I was emotionally invested in both.

4 out of 5

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

Turbulent Sea (Drake Sisters, Book 6) Turbulent Sea (Book 6)

The star: Joley Drake was born with a legacy of unexpected magical gifts, but it was the gift of singing that made her an overnight sensation—a rock and roll goddess trapped by fame, fortune, and ambition. Heated by the flush of success, Joley could have any man she wanted. But there’s only man who can give her what she really needs.

 

The bodyguard: Ilya Prakenskii, cool, inscrutable, dangerously sexy, and working in the shadow of his infamous reputation—that of a secret Russian hit man on the payroll of a notorious mobster. He’s the last man Joley should get close to, yet when her life is threatened on tour she has nowhere left to turn. But in the seductive safe keep of Ilya’s embrace, is Joley really as secure as she imagines?

This was the book that I started my re-read with. There was a scene I wanted to read and I only meant to skim through it – then found myself full immersed. This book has always been my favorite of them. Until this last re-read.

I still liked this book, but the small inconsistencies bothered me a lot more this time around. The way Joley kept getting distracted in the beginning bothered me. It seemed liked her safety was important some of the time, but mostly a non-issue. Considering there’s someone trying to kill her and Ilya is her bodyguard, that didn’t jive for me. I was also frustrated by how easily she “forgot” about the young girl who went missing in the first chapter. She gets agitated about it and vows to question the band members and the crew, but weeks – and several cities (she’s on tour) – later, nothing has been done.

I still enjoyed their relationship. Ilya and Joley were great together. Joley’s resisting frustrated me some, but I understand her reasons. I loved Ilya the first time around and that didn’t change with the re-read. He’s fully invested in Joley right from the beginning. He knows she’s the one for him and he doesn’t waver from that. He only wants what’s best for her – mentally, physically and emotionally. I love how he supports her and stands behind her.

While I enjoyed this, I would have to say Hidden Currents was better.

4.25 out of 5

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

Hidden Currents (Drake Sisters, Book 7)Hidden Currents (Book 7)

From afar, Sheriff Jackson Deveau has always loved Elle Drake, the youngest telepath of seven sisters. After a long time away she’s finally returning home to the small coastal village of Sea Haven. But someone has been following Elle, someone who doesn’t want her to make it back. And when Elle fails to arrive, her disappearance strikes fear in the hearts of everyone who loves her. Now it’s left to Jackson to uncover the mystery of Elle’s vanishing, and rescue her from an unseen danger. But Sea Haven is no longer safe for anyone, and it’ll take the powers of all the Drake sisters and their men to survive the coming storm.

This is Elle’s book, the 7th and final sister. It’s hard to read in the beginning, because Elle has been kidnapped. Feehan is very graphic about her abuse at the hands of her kidnapper for the first 100 pages or so. After that it settles down into the meat of the romance. I adore those parts. There are many things that bother me, though. Like Elle’s physical recovery. Within days she’s completely healed? Really? She spends a month being raped and tortured, but doesn’t even need to see a doctor or go to a hospital? Really? I could pull my hair out just thinking about it.

In previous books, I was unsure about Jackson. He seemed closed off and..almost cold. I knew there was something in his past that had scarred him, but I had no idea what. Finding out really just added another layer of depth to his relationship with Elle. I expected him to be domineering and cold, but instead he was tender and sensitive, staying strong for Elle and yet giving her space.

Elle was a very strong woman. Though she suffered at the hands of a monster for months, she did her best to work through her pain and trauma. She didn’t just lie down and die. Her need for Jackson scared her at first, because she was afraid to rely on him completely, but after awhile she came to value him and appreciated that he was constantly with her.

The connection between Elle and Jackson was strong right from the beginning. Watching them heal together and learn to trust one another was the more powerful part of the story, I think. In the face of their relationship, the drama of Elle’s capture and subsequent torture took a back seat. Therefore I don’t think Stavros seemed as much of a threat as was intended. I was so focused on Elle and Jackson that Stavros seemed more an annoyance than anything.

Definitely the best of the series. I was really surprised at the direction she took the story. Although tough to read at times (because of the content) overall it was very well done. Kudos to Feehan for closing out the series in such a great way.

4.5 out of 5

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

Overall I’m pretty satisfied with the series as a whole. There are many things that bother me, but there are just as many things that I love. If you enjoy this type of paranormal romance (psychic powers), I recommend this series.

four-stars


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Series Review: The Mackenzies by Linda Howard

Posted November 16, 2010 by Holly in Reviews | 4 Comments

Holly‘s review of The Mackenzie series, Mackenzie’s Mountain, Mackenzie’s Mission, Mackenzie’s Pleasure, Mackenzie’s Magic and A Game of Chance by Linda Howard.

Linda Howard is, by far, one of my favorite authors. I’ve read and re-read her books so many times they’re starting to fall apart. With the exception of her two earliest releases and a few of her later ones, I adore everything she’s written. Her earlier category romances are some of her best work. Especially the Mackenzies.

I recently re-read the series. Rather than doing a full review for each book, I thought I’d just review the entire series in one post.

Mackenzie's MountainMackenzie’s Mountain (book 1)
A small Wyoming town is about to learn a few lessons — from a new schoolteacher with the courage to win the heart of a man who swore he had nothing to give….

Mary Elizabeth Potter is a self-appointed spinster with no illusions about love. But she is a good teacher — and she wants Wolf Mackenzie s son back in school. And after one heated confrontation with the boy s father, she knows father and son have changed her life forever.

Still paying for a crime he didn’t commit, Wolf Mackenzie has a chip on his shoulder the size of Wyoming. But prim-and-proper Mary Elizabeth Potter doesn’t see Wolf as the dangerous half-breed the town has branded him. Somehow she sees him as a good, decent, honest man. A man who could love…

Wolf s not sure he — or the town of Ruth, Wyoming — is ready for the taming of Wolf Mackenzie.

At its heart, this novel deals with prejudice, acceptance and letting go. Having grown up in the upper mid-west and dealing first hand with Native Americans, I think Howard pretty well nailed the general mindset of the average white American during this time period. It was easy to believe that people would automatically assume the worst about Wolf simply because of his heritage. I’d like to say we’ve learned our lesson since then, but I don’t know that we have. But that’s a post for another day.

It’s been ages since I read this book. I’d forgotten how much I enjoyed Wolf and Mary. Esp the way Mary stood up for herself and those she cared about.Wolf’s past and the opinions the town had of him did nothing to stop Mary from caring for him. She believed in doing what’s right, and she knows nothing is more right than loving Wolf and his son Joe. 

Wolf and Joe were both over-the-top characters. I liked that Wolf was determined to protect Mary from his reputation – and from herself – but couldn’t stay away from him. It was interesting to watch him fall. 

Of all the books in the series, I think this is my favorite. And, as GrowlyCub recently said on Twitter, the best of them all. 

4.75 out of 5 

Mackenzie's Mission Mackenzie’s Mission (book 2)
HIS MISSION…

Night Wing–the revolutionary test plane with a top secret weapons system–was Colonel Joe “Breed” Mackenzie’s number-one priority. And weapons expert Caroline Evans was his number-one distraction. True, the stubborn blonde was giving him the cold shoulder, but Joe hadn’t become the best of the best by giving up. Then he discovered someone on the inside was sabotaging Night Wing, and with her late hours and specialized expertise, Caroline seemed the obvious choice. Now Joe had to choose between allegiance to his country and love for his prime suspect…

 I remember really enjoying this novel the first few times I read it, but I had a harder time letting some things go this time around. Maybe because I read it directly after I finished Mackenzie’s Mountain, but Joe seemed like a different character. He wasn’t the same boy I’d come to love in the first book, and it wasn’t just because he’d grown up. There was something fundamentally different about him. I can’t put my finger on just what.

Caroline was a good match for Joe. She’s strong willed enough to not let him get away with anything, but caring enough to get him to open up. My heart broke for her when she realizes Joe doesn’t trust her or believe her.

Joe was determined to keep Caroline at a distance, the same way he does everyone. He doesn’t want her to get close because he knows he’ll have to give all of himself to her, even the darkest parts he’s kept hidden from even his family. When all evidence points toward Caroline as the one who’s sabotaging the project, it sends him into a tailspin. He was beginning to open himself to her and he feels like she betrayed him, not just her country.

Even though I wanted to beat Joe over the head a time or two, I still loved this book.Howard is really a master at capturing the reader and pulling an emotional response from them. 


4.25 out of 5

Mackenzie's Heroes: Mackenzie's Pleasure\Mackenzie's Magic (Hqn Romance)Mackenzie’s Pleasure (book 3)
Navy SEAL Zane Mackenzie was a pro. No mission had ever gotten the better of him—until now. Saving the ambassador’s gorgeous daughter, Barrie Lovejoy, had been textbook—except for their desperate night of passion. And though his job as a soldier had ended with her freedom, his duties as a husband had only just begun. For he would sooner die than let the enemy harm the mother of his child.

 I’d forgotten that Linda Howard was anti-birth control in the early days. Of course, society as a whole wasn’t as concerned with it as we are now, so I can’t say too much.

This book begins with a prologue from Wolf’s point of view, detailing the happenings of the Mackenzie clan since the end of Mackenzie’s Mission. Approximately 20 years have passed since then and there were a lot of things that happened for the Mackenzie’s. I think it’s important to read this book and the prologue before continuing on, because it explains a lot about the family as a whole, as well as each individual sibling.

I’m not sure I ever read this book before now. I thought I’d read it, but the details were very hazy. I enjoyed both Zane and Barrie, though I do wish there had been a bit more to their story. The long separation between them didn’t allow for enough in the way of the romance. 

4 out of 5

Mackenzie's Heroes: Mackenzie's Pleasure\Mackenzie's Magic (Hqn Romance) Mackenzie’s Magic (book 4)
Meet Maris Mackenzie and the sexy stranger she woke up to find in her bed! Unfortunately, she had no memory of Alex MacNeil, the previous day…or the prize Thoroughbred she’d apparently stolen…

This is the least satisfying of all the Mackenzie books. Because of the length, both Maris and Mac were shortchanged. Though Howard did a credible job with the limited word count she had, the story would have been much improved if it were 50pages longer.

All-in-all not a bad novella, it was just too short to have the same emotional impact as the other books in the series. 

3.5 out of 5

A Game Of Chance (Bestselling Author Collection)A Game of Chance (book 5)
A Mackenzie story from New York Times bestselling author Linda Howard.
One the trail of a vicious criminal, agent Chance Mackenzie had just found the perfect bait for his trap. The solitary agent discovered that the elusive evildoer had a daughter no one knew about. And so Chance made himself the only man vibrant courier Sunny Miller could trust — and then arranged for her long-missing father to find out about them.

What Chance hadn’t foreseen was that Sunny had reasons of her own to be hiding from her father — and now Chance’s deception had brought them both one step closer to the end of everything they held dear . . .
My heart breaks for Sunny every time I reread this book. Although Chance tried to justify his actions, it’s hard for me to accept that he did what he did. I didn’t dislike him, but I had a hard time letting it go. I think Sunny forgave him too quickly.

I liked her enjoyment in life and the way she made the best of every situation. I liked Chance’s intensity and the way his emotional ties baffled him.

He needed to grovel more.  Simple as that. 

3.75 out of 5 

As a whole, this series is just as endearing as I remember. Though I found more flaws with it this time around, I still thoroughly enjoyed them.  If you haven’t already, you really need to read them.

Total series grade: 4 out of 5

The series:
Mackenzie's MountainMackenzie's MissionMackenzie's Heroes: Mackenzie's Pleasure\Mackenzie's Magic (Hqn Romance)A Game Of Chance (Bestselling Author Collection)

This series is available from Mira. You can buy it in bundles here or here in e-format.


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Author Spotlight: The Beginning of the Series

Posted February 16, 2010 by Holly in Features | 8 Comments

We’ve kind of been slacking with the Author Spotlight posts this month. Sorry about that. I guess we’ve just been wrapped up in our hatred of Casee who’s in Hawaii right now with other stuff.

I promise to work on some reviews/posts. In the meantime, here’s a quick question:

Do you think Fantasy Lover should be included as part of the Dark Hunter series? I’ve never thought so, but someone told me the other day that it has to be read first. Which doesn’t make sense. Sure, it’s kind of a teaser, but there isn’t any real DH info imparted.

I guess it does kind of lead into the rest of the series, but still…I’ve always thought Night Pleasures should be the book you start with.

What do you think? Does Fantasy Lover need to be read as the beginning of the series?


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