Tag: Cerise Deland

Guest Review: Whenever We Meet by Cerise DeLand

Posted November 17, 2010 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 0 Comments

Young widow Angela Reynolds doesn’t need a gorgeous older man pursuing her while she asserts her independence professionally and personally. But hotel magnate Stephen Montoya won’t permit this sweet, vibrant beauty to escape him. When he demands she kiss him each time she enters and leaves a room, the two of them discover that some passions cannot be denied–or tamed.

When Stephen asks Angela to marry him, she knows she wants his tantalizing body inside hers for heart-pounding intimacies she’s only imagined. But she’s unsure if she can surrender completely to this dominating man, or give up her newfound freedom.

Marriage, for some people, is like making it to the Promised Land. For others, it is a legalized form of servanthood and especially for women it can be the making of a slow death. There are few men who can understand how freeing it can be to be able to establish one’s own identity, order one’s own life, follow one’s own goals, and express one’s own personality in their job or through their artistic talent. Such a person was Angela Reynolds who was a designer for hotels and other commercial buildings, and who has now come to Mexico to be the head designer for Stephen Montoya who is building the “flagship” of his hotel chain. While Angela’s new life came as a result of her husband’s death in the Middle East conflict, nevertheless their marriage was not happy and was very restrictive. Now she has an opportunity to spread her wings and to show what she can do as an individual. She wants Stephen–she has not had affairs or long-term relationships since her husband’s death–and he wants to share her life. She is not sure if that would once again mean the end of her creative freedom, even her personal freedom to order her own life.

The good news in this short novel is that Stephen has an epiphany–an awakening to the fact that his future with Angela–a future he desperately wants–depends on him curbing his penchant for domination. Only as he finds a way to be “with” her and not “lord it over her” can he hope to win her heart. The bad news is that he had a “plan” and no matter what, his plan would triumph. Perhaps he doesn’t understand as much about Angela as he thinks.

It seems to me that the core truth in this novel is that giving someone your heart doesn’t necessarily mean giving up all control over your life or your talent. For many couples, that is the reality. For others, hubby speaks and the world stops to listen. Angela and Stephen were going to have to find a way to negotiate the realities of their relationship. Unfortunately, a lot of couples don’t take the time to do that. Stephen and Angela were going to have to learn to trust one another even if it meant acting and reacting differently, depending on one another instead of allowing one of them to determine the course of the relationship, allowing control in the progress of the relationship to shift back and forth between them.

I didn’t think this was the strongest novel of Ms DeLand’s that I have read. The kissing when going in and out of a room seemed just a bit contrived, but that may say more about me than about the novel. Certainly Stephen had opportunity to prove that he was not going to take advantage of Angela by means of kisses. I do think the story was well told and the plot was different than some of her other work. The reader has a very good grasp of the characters, what they are thinking and what is important to them. The story is certainly readable and entertaining, qualities that are a part of all DeLand’s work.

So I think that there is much to like here–a smooth-talking, gorgeous Hispanic hunk who is willing to give whatever needed to have this woman in his life, along with an American business woman who isn’t quite sure what she wants out of this relationship but is willing to be open to possibilities. Good foundation for a really nice love story. I think many romance fans will enjoy this short novel.

I give it a rating of 3.75 out of 5.

You can read more from Judith at Dr. J’s Book Place.

This book is available from Ellora’s Cave. You can buy it here in e-format.

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What I Read Last Week

Posted September 13, 2010 by Tracy in Features | 14 Comments

Hello my fellow book lovers!

How the heck are ya?  I’m doing well.  There’s not anything to report here so I’ll get right to the books.

Actually I started the week reading a bunch of yaoi manga:
Reversible by various artists 2 out of 5 
Love Mode by Yuki Shimizu 3 out of 5 
Ka*Shin*Fu by Makoto Tateno 2 out of 5 
Golden Prince and Argent King by Kouko Agawa 3 out of 5 
Little Butterfly – Omnibus – by Hinako Takanaga 4 out of 5 

First up was Wicked Surrender by Jade Lee.  This was the story of the daughter of an actress who now ran a theatre.  She wants nothing more than to be found respectable so when the 4th son of an Earl proposes she accepts.  The problem is that she’s not accepted by his set at all and things aren’t exactly the way she expected them to be.  There’s also the problem of her having feelings for her fiance’s cousin and him constantly asking her to be his mistress.  I had some issues with the heroine of this book…and the hero at times as well but liked it for the most part.  I found out an interesting twist when I read the blurb for the next book in the series so I’ll definitely be reading that one to find out what happens. This one I read for The Book Binge3.5 out of 5
Next was All I Ever Wanted by Kristan Higgins.  Ok, Higgins makes me laugh.  I really love her sense of humor.  The story was about a woman who had been in love with a guy for years.  He was now her boss and at one point had had a 5 week relationship that she thought was going somewhere.  Turned out it wasn’t quite great “timing” for her boss though.  Yeah, right.  Anyway, so she’s decided to branch out in the dating scene and starts – eventually, in a round about kind of way, to date the new town vet. That’s not before she goes on a couple of dates with men that’s she’s met on an online dating service (those were damned funny). It’s a crazy time in her life and very emotional at times but it works.  This book was funny, heart-breaking, sad and fun all rolled into one.  There were points in the book when I found it too descriptive, or the heroine would go off on a tangent in her mind and those were a bit frustrating but overall I really liked it. 4 out of 5
I read Her Laird, Her Lover by Sable Grey for The Book Binge.  This short story was about a woman who had been sent back into medieval times 3 years prior.  Her and her “mother”, the woman who had taken her in, ran cons to make money.  One such con was run on a local Laird only her secret is discovered and eventually love blooms.  I really liked this story.  Grey managed to pack a lot of good stuff into 40 some pages. 4 out of 5
After that was Holiday Outing by Astrid Amara.  I’m not sure why I’m reading Hanakkuh stories in September but whatever. lol  It was good!  Jonah is going home to visit his parents for Hanakkuh and he’s not thrilled about it.  He’s gay and a gay fiction writer but his parents know neither of these facts.  They think that he lives in Seattle and isn’t very successful.  Ethan, Jonah’s old neighbor – the guy Jonah had the hots for while growing up – and the guy who outed him and got him beat up and shoved in lockers in high school, picks Jonah up from the airport and starts flirting with him.  Huh?  The story is of Ethan and Jonah’s relationship as well as the search for a family heirloom that disappears during a blizzard and subsequent blackout.  This was a wonderful story!  I loved the mystery involved with all of Jonah’s relatives as well as the budding relationship with Ethan and Jonah.  I definitely recommend this one.  4.5 out of 5
My Tracy’s TBR challenge read for the week was Warsworn by Elizabeth Vaughan.  I read Warprize a while back and loved it.  Why it took me so long to read book 2 is beyond me.  This book followed Lara and Keir in their journey to the Plains.  The story was mostly about the Plague and how it hits their camp but also about Lara and Keir finding a better understanding and deeper love with each other.  I laughed in this one, I cried (a lot, which I never do) and I loved it.  Great book 4.5 out of 5
I had to immediately read Warlord by Elizabeth Vaughan after finishing Warsworn.  I didn’t want to wait so I picked it up and devoured it.  It was just as good as books 1 and 2 and I loved it as well.  This had Lara and Keir in the Plains and the many obstacles they had to face in order to be together.  They had to face many dissenters and it certainly wasn’t easy.  I really like Vaughan’s writing and yes, found myself crying at the end of this one as well.  How does she do that? lol  4.5 out of 5
Next up was The Promise by Brenda Joyce.  This is book 13 in the de Warrene dynasty series and it comes out on the 28th.  I don’t want to say anything about my thoughts since I’ll be reviewing it this week.  This was Elysse O’Neill and Alexi de Warrene’s story.
I read Whenever We Meet by Cerise DeLand for The Book Binge (yes, I’m trying to catch up!).  The story of a woman who is recovering from the death or her husband – even though they didn’t have a great marriage.  She goes to Mexico to design a hotel and falls in love with her client.  He wants her but is willing to wait until she’s comfortable with him.  He does have one requirement though – she has to kiss him hello whenever she enters a room that he’s in and kiss him goodbye when she leaves. Interesting concept – I liked the first part of the book since I love kissing scenes but the end didn’t really do it for me. (EC covers are not leaving much to the imagination these days are they?!) 3 out of 5
Next was another book for The Book Binge called Trouble in a Stetson by Regina Carlysle.  Lola and 2 of her friends leave Vegas for a grand adventure.  Lola was a showgirl (*sings* her name was Lola, she was a showgirl…nevermind) and got canned because she was too old – she’s 30!  Right after that her fiance breaks it off with her and Lola and her friends have had enough of Vegas.  Lola and her friends make it to Mesa Blanco, Texas when their car breaks down.  They have no money and end up staying to get the car fixed and get some money to get on their way.  Lola meets the town sheriff though and they start a relationship.  Lola was done with men but Sam just calls to her and Sam was hurt by a previous relationship/marriage and doesn’t want to get involved other than sex.  Yeah, that doesn’t work out for either one of them.  lol  This was a very cute book.  I’ve liked what I’ve read of Carlysle’s in the past and this one didn’t disappoint.  4 out of 5
My Book Binge reviews that posted this past week:
Happy Reading!

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Guest Review: Carried Away by Cerise DeLand

Posted June 28, 2010 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 2 Comments

Judith’s review of Carried Away by Cerise DeLand

Grant Warwick has never scoured luscious, funny Coco Dalton from his brain. She was heaven to hold, hot as hell in Bed, and for four scintillating months, totally his. So why she left him one morning without the courtesy of a call is one big mystery he’s never solved.

When Coco reappears one day in Venice, he’s stunned she wants to apologize. Heartbroken she had to desert him years ago, Coco asks his help to find a terrorist who’s tracking her. Resisting her isn’t possible, and Grant sweeps her up into his arms and savors her sweet body with kisses so torrid and lovemaking so mind-bending, she’ll never again want to leave him. But Grant must also find time to track down the terrorist, before Coco is taken from him forever.

This novella is the latest in a series that Cerise Deland has written in the past few years. Grant Warwick made token appearances in other Deland novellas as a security expert and it is in that role that he is featured in this story. He is a passionate, careful, thorough man who was literally swept off his feet by Coco Dalton three years ago. Their passionate affair lasted four months, and then, one morning, she just disappears. They were to meet at the airport and fly away to a vacation together. Grant waited 10 hours at the airport, simply not able to accept the fact that she wasn’t coming.

Now it is three years later, and Coco pops up in Venice where Grant is to meet with diplomats from Dubai with whom he is signing a lucrative security contract. These same diplomats have been friends of Coco’s family for many years as her father was a part of the diplomatic service before his death. But all is not as it appears, and before the night is over, Grant learns that Coco is CIA and is being targeted by terrorists she has identified years ago. Now their romance, though rekindled—in fact, they take up right where they left off—is set against the suspense of a Middle East plot with stops in Naples and Jerusalem.

DeLand has very successfully brought suspense and terror in many of her latest stories and she carries this off well. The plot is not an unusual one, but together with steamy romance and a very good working knowledge of the various locales in the story, she keeps the reader in suspense until the very end. There are times when one cannot really separate the good guys from the bad guys. That’s a very good story and a very well-written one. I think there are also glimpses into the deeper realms of Grant & Coco as well—two people who really love each other but whose relationship now rests on a very shaky foundation. Grant is now wary of giving his heart once again; Coco is wracked with guilt and a deep need for forgiveness and understanding. It is the classic romantic snafu and DeLand does it well.

This is not a really large book—it can be read in just a couple of hours by most people. Yet it packs a romantic and literary whollop and has the ability to leave the reader feeling like this is a story well worth the time and effort. There are some surprises here, and those unexpected twists are a part of making this a successful literary effort. I think Grant is a really great guy, and I think Coco is a woman whose need to fulfill her goals has overwhelmed her personal life and her love for Grant. Such is the case in many real relationships. I like this author’s work, and I think she has added another work to her portfolio that is worthy of our consideration.

I give this book a rating of 4.25 out of 5.

This book is available from Ellora’s Cave. You can buy it here in e-format.

You can read more from Judith at Dr J’s Book Place

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Guest Review: Laid Bare by Cerise Deland

Posted April 3, 2010 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 5 Comments

Judith’s review of Laid Bare by Cerise Deland

Tate Ryder, a former NFL football star, has spent his life savoring plenty of women until luscious anna Stevens comes aglong, who doesn’t seem to know he is alive. Then, inexplicably, Anna is attacked outside Tate’s condo. He keeps her safe by whicking her to his yacht, where he vows to enchant her sleek body with pleasures she’d only imagined.

Anna answers his intimate kisses with scorching caresses and wild revelations. She’s been on the run from the Russian Mafia for years. She’s not who she claims. But one thing is real: her deep craving for Tate. Enthralled, Tate lays bare her body and is equally determined to lay bare her nameless enemy.

I really, really love mysteries! They engage my imagination, make my mind work, pique my curiosity, and keep my interest level consistent throughout the novel. This book has mystery to spare and is, for that reason alone, a good read. However, add in the elements of romance and the journey of discovery that Tate makes as he hears Anna’s story and you have a book that can be riveting, to say the least. For those who don’t want to deal with the suspense, this will not be their “cup of tea.” However, for mystery fans who are also romance fans, this book has both and lots of it.

Deland has written a story that has interesting characters, twists and turns that are the mark of good suspense, betrayal of trust, foiled plots, secrets that have been held for years and which must come out, and the growing bond between two people who come together because of sexual attraction and stay together because they have found someone who can answer their deepest heart call. Tate is a man who has come far from the playboy football star, who now recognizes his own need to be a man of mature values and who wants only the best for those about whom he cares. Anna is so very tired of running, of becoming a new person whenever her life is invaded by the old fears and the old enemy. Tate challenges her to trust, something she has chosen not to do for many years and which she knows she can do with him for the first time in decades. His need to protect and to finally give this woman a chance to live a fear-free life is his own personal challenge, and he makes a commitment to her and to her need for normalcy at a level he has not experienced before.

Romance fans will find this a good story and all you who love a good ending will be pleased with this one as well.

I give this book a 4.25 out of 5 rating

This book is available from Ellora’s Cave. You can buy it here in e-format.

You can read more from Judith at Dr J’s Book Place.

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