Tag: eKensington

Review: The Seduction of Lady Phoebe by Ella Quinn

Posted November 20, 2013 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Phoebe Stanhope is not a typical Lady. As feisty as she is quick witted, no one can catch her, especially astride a horse. And unlike her peers, experience has guarded her against a growing list of would-be suitors. But when she encounters Marcus Finley, what she fears most burns deep within in his blue-eyed gaze…

For Lord Finley, the spark of recognition is but a moment in the love he has held these many years. Now that he’s returned to England, all the happiness he desires rests on Lady Phoebe never finding out that he was the one who turned her heart so cold and distant. He must work fast to gain the advantage—to convince her what she wants is exactly what she denies—but in order to seduce her into his arms, he must be willing to give up more than he can control…

When Phoebe was just 15 she was at a house party with her family when she is accosted by the hosts second son. Marcus believes himself in love with Phoebe and wants her to know – especially as he is being banished by his father to the West Indies in a matter of days. He is drunk and miserable but believes that if he tells her of his love that she will hie off to Gretna Green with him. Um, no, she won’t. She is more than disgusted with Marcus when he tries to block her path and grabs her – touching the side of her breast. She isn’t afraid to show him her fist (which gives him a well deserved bloody nose) and her sharp tongue.

Cut to life eight years later and we see Marcus who has been called home by his father because his brother Arthur is dying. Marcus took Phoebe’s words that one day to heart and became a changed man. He is still in love with her and wants nothing more than to court and marry her. Of course Phoebe is a political activist and a much sought after woman and she wants nothing to do with Marcus as his actions that day have haunted her and given her nightmares.

When in London Marcus see’s Phoebe again and they stand transfixed by each other. He is entranced by her and she him but she doesn’t recognize him. After yet another meeting and a few kisses she believes him to be her knight-errant – until she finds out who he is. Marcus tells Phoebe of his love and his desire to wed her and as she sees in him a somewhat changed man she agrees to let him court her. The courting finally comes to a culmination in marriage but there’s another man who wants Phoebe for himself and will stop at nothing to get her – no matter what the cost.

This was a pleasant read. I really liked reading about both Marcus’s and Phoebe’s family.

I found Phoebe to be a little wishy-washy. I know that she had been plagued by her nightmares of Marcus for years – fifteen year olds are definitely impressionable and I’m sure that the events 8 years prior were upsetting but to have nightmares about it for 8 years? Wow, seems a little overboard. She was fearful that he would revert back to his old self but she really dragged things out way too long for my liking. Once she committed though she was all in and I liked that she didn’t hold things against him. She was a pretty good character overall and I did enjoy her for the most part.

Marcus was a good hero but obviously a romantic at heart. He wasn’t a fop but he was really whipped by Phoebe – she kind of walked on him and he allowed it for the most part. Sure she was supposed to be an independent woman but still…IDK, it didn’t really sit well with me. He was devoted, that’s for sure, and he did want to keep his woman safe so that was a plus. He was attentive and committed and I loved that about him.

I’m not sure how I felt about the villain in this book. He was a right bastard and obviously written to be a cruel, heartless man but his part in the book, imho, was unnecessary. The book was drawn out, it seemed, to include his part when it really didn’t further the story along. It almost appeared to be thrown in to add some action. I thought there was enough going on with the romance, their families, the families machinations in getting Phoebe and Marcus together and Arthur’s illness to make a perfectly respectable novel. I’m hoping in subsequent novels we don’t have the villain issue.

Overall a nice read that was entertaining. I’ll be reading more in this series and I’ll let you know about those books as well.

Rating: 3.25 out of 5

Ella Quinn

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Review: Along Came A Spider by Kate SeRine

Posted August 15, 2013 by Tracy in Reviews | 2 Comments

When Trish Muffet is attacked at a grisly crime scene, the last person she expects to come to her rescue is Nicky “Little Boy” Blue. But since walking away from everything two years before, Nicky’s been doling out vigilante justice as “The Spider,” taking on the vicious predators of the night in hopes it’ll lead him to his ultimate target – Vlad Dracula. And he needs Trish’s help.

Although Nicky’s renegade style goes against everything Trish stands for, she’ll do what she must to bring Dracula down. With danger stalking her, Trish knows the only person she can count on is the one man who has the power to leave her breathless. There’s no way she’s letting this spider frighten her away… 

Trish Muffet works for the FMA – the Fairytale Management Authority – and is just leaving a crime scene when she’s attacked by vampires. She kind of gets her butt kicked but is saved from certain death by Nicky Blue. He is masked but something he says tips her off that it’s him. He ends up asking for her help to locate Dracula. He’s been acting as the vigilante called “The Spider” for a while on his own but now he seeks out Trish’s help trying to find Dracula – the man who killed his wife, Juliet (yes, Capulet). Trish agrees and while they’re on the case the connection that they felt upon meeting (over 100 years before) just gets stronger.

Trish has been in love with Nicky since she met him. She has a gift for seeing into people’s souls and when she looked into his she saw all of the love he was capable of giving. Nicky, it’s insinuated, fell in love with Trish at that moment as well and has lived his life thinking about her. Unfortunately there are forces out to separate the two but Trish isn’t letting Nicky go this time.

I have to say that there was a lot going on in this book but it didn’t feel overwhelming. Dracula was up to a lot of mischief with different people and a group called The Agency (kind of Men in Black types) was giving the FMA and all of the Tales grief. Add on top of that the relationship between Nicky and Trish and you’ve got a three layer cake. Lol 

I liked the relationship between Nicky and Trish for the most part. They started sleeping together pretty quickly but they’d known each other for many years. I thought Nicky was very sweet to Trish and loved seeing his softer side. There wasn’t a whole of romance per say but the relationship was built in nicely with the other parts of the story and it all seemed to fit with the characters personalities. 

I think the whole idea of fairytale characters, nursery rhyme characters and characters from literature all coming over from Make Believe into our world (which they call the Here and Now) is just a fun idea. The misconceptions of the characters based on their “tales” that were written are amusing to uncover and I think that SeRine does a nice job of it. I look forward to reading more in this series.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5

Kate SeRine

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Review: The Better to See You by Kate SeRine

Posted February 6, 2013 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Once upon a time, a spell went awry and Make Believe characters were cast into the ordinary world. And the results aren’t always happily ever after…

Everyone thinks fairy godmothers can do no wrong. But if not for a certain spell mis-cast by Lavender Seelie, Cinderella’s former fairy godmother, the Tales would not be stuck in the Here and Now. Fortunately for Lavender, she’s about to get a second chance at a happy ending…

The Refuge, a sanctuary for wayward Tales, seems like the perfect place for Lavender to start a new life—especially when she discovers an unexpected ally in Seth, the brooding werewolf who’s been typecast as a villain ever since his run in with Little Red Riding Hood. But when humans from nearby towns start turning up dead, their bodies mutilated with archaic Tale symbols, Lavender wonders if Seth’s deep sensuality has blinded her to the truth. And that distraction could put innocent lives in danger. Including her own…

Lavender is a fairy and has been having a hard time with the Charming’s for years. She was Cinderella’s fairy godmother but Cindy has turned into a snob and someone Lavender once thought of as a friend has betrayed her. Then there’s ye ole prince, James Charming, who’s smarmy and gross and she’s not real upset that she shrunk his love stick. James is pissed, however, when Lavender accidentally sets their house on fire. Tess, otherwise known as Red (as in Little Red Riding Hood) sends Lavender off to The Refuge to hide from James and try to start a life anew. The Refuge is a town of Tales (characters that used to live in Make Believe) and Lavender is looking forward to being an independent woman.

The person that Tess actually sends Lavender to is the Big Bad Wolf aka Seth Wolf, who is Tess’s ex-boyfriend. Seth isn’t thrilled with Lavender as she’s a magical being and he’s not a fan of magical beings. He does end up liking Lavender once he gets to know her a bit and they stick together when people start disappearing in The Refuge and Ordinaries (humans) start dying in a ritualistic way. Lavender recognizes the magic that is being used in the rituals and she’s determined to find out who’s behind it.

This book was a total surprise for me. Yes, the blurb caught my eye but when I started reading it I found I was completely taken with the whole premise of the book. Meeting the characters in the book that were actually people from Make Believe (fairy tale and nursery rhyme characters) was fun and interesting. We met Tom, Tom the Piper’s son, Little Bo Peep, Puck from A Midsummer’s Night Dream, Hansel and Gretel and many more. It was a very different approach but was very well done.

I really liked Lavender’s character in this book. I loved that she wasn’t afraid to speak her mind as well as show her vulnerability. She was a pretty tough cookie as she’d been though quite a bit but she didn’t let that get her completely down. She made me laugh on more than one occasion and that’s always a plus in my book.  Seth was a hunk a burnin’ love. lol He was kind, smart, fun, funny and a wonderful hunk of a wolf. He was kind and loving toward Lavender and I really liked the two of them together.

The story was pure fantasy but fast-paced and engrossing. Yes, there’s definitely a suspension of belief here but if you can manage that it’s well worth it. There was love, sex, intrigue, murder and much more. I’m very much looking forward to the next book in the series.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Kate SeRine

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Review: Tucker’s Crossing by Marina Adair

Posted August 22, 2012 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Holly‘s review of Tucker’s Crossing (Sweet Plains Texas, Book 1) by Marina Adair

Sweet Plains, Texas, wasn’t so sweet to Cody, Noah, and Beau Tucker. But now the Tucker boys are men, ready to take on the questions that have haunted them since they left home…

Cody Tucker shook the dust of his two-bit hometown off his boots ten years ago—right about the time his college sweetheart, Shelby Lynn Harris, married his so-called best friend. But when his dad dies, Cody finds himself home again and knee deep in the past. Except now his rowdy beer buddy is the sheriff, his housekeeper is a blue-ribbon chili chef, and the family ranch is in the red. The only thing that hasn’t changed is Shelby Lynn…

Shelby Lynn has gone through a lot of heartache thanks to Cody. But that’s all over now. She just wants a chance to live the life she’s made for herself in peace. The trouble is, the Sweet Plains chili cook off is heating up, the Ladies of Sweet are as riled as hornets, and as soon as Cody gets near, she’s forgets all about peace. Cody is pure temptation—and she knows just how good it feels to give in…

This review contains mild plot-point spoilers. Beware.

The premise of this story is one of my favorites. Reunited lovers. Yum. While in theory this should have worked, I’m afraid it didn’t come together well here.

Cody and Shelby were together for two years. Then Cody up and disappeared one day, leaving Shelby high and dry. She ended up marrying his best friend, which pretty much killed any chance of them reconciling. Except now Cody is back in town to serve out the terms of his father’s will so he and his brothers don’t lose the family ranch. And wouldn’t you know, Shelby is living at the ranch – with her son, who just happens to be Cody’s son. The one he didn’t know existed.

The secret-baby plot works for me here, because Shelby thought Cody knew about the baby. Just thought I’d put that out there.

It was easy to fall into the story. The first chapter really had  me hooked. Sadly, it started to fall apart shortly thereafter. The writing was choppy, which made for some confusing reading. Plus, the author did what I like to call “just effing tell me already!”, where she tried to string us along about Shelby and Cody’s past and the details surrounding their son. Some authors can pull this off and keep me interested. That wasn’t the case here. I was just impatient to find out what the hell was going on.

Not only that, but both Shelby and Cody blew hot and cold. One minute they hated each other, the next they’d never gotten over each other. Cody wanted Shelby, then he didn’t. Shelby wanted Cody to be part of her son’s life, then she didn’t. All the back and forthing made my head hurt.

I did enjoy a few parts here and there. The son was cute and I liked seeing him and Cody find their way together. Sadly, that wasn’t enough to save the story for me.

2.5 out of 5

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

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DFRAT Review: Jimmie Joe Johnson: Manwhore by Lindsey Brookes

Posted July 1, 2012 by Tracy in Reviews | 2 Comments

Fact is, just about every single female in Possum Hollow, Alabama—along with most of the attached ones—has enjoyed my services. And not just as an auto mechanic, if you know what I mean. With me, women know exactly what to expect. A sweet ride, and no promises.

But even a manwhore has rules. Like stayin’ away from Baylee Jean Brown. As teenagers, Baylee Jean and I were hot and heavy. Then her Aunt Callie Rae warned me off, sayin’ I’d never be good enough. Seeing as the women in Baylee Jean’s family all have witch blood, and I figured Callie Rae was fixin’ to do something unmentionable to my man parts, I agreed. But now suddenly, Baylee Jean—smart, sexy, wild—is all over me. She wants me bad—hell, who doesn’t? But, if there’s one woman who could bring a hound dog to heel, it might be her…
Baylee Jean had pined for Jimmie Joe since she was 16. Now that she’s 26 and just found out that threats from her aunt Callie Rae had driven Jimmie Joe away she’ ready to get her man back. But life doesn’t always go as planned and Baylee Jean has a bit more work ahead of her than she thought.
In order to get her man back Baylee Jean takes it upon herself to take advice from the book that Jimmie Joe had given her for her 16th birthday that had to do with training hound dogs. Well, Jimmie Joe was the biggest hound dog that she knew so she thought she could use the training tips on him. It actually seemed to work but Baylee Jean’s aunt just kept getting in the way of her progress.
Jimmie Joe for all his swagger and conceit really seemed to be a sweet guy. He had had a thing for Baylee Jean all those years ago and when she went from avoiding him at every turn to being nice and trying to cozy up to him he was confused. He really did want her but her aunt – who was a witch – had threatened his balls and frankly for a manwhore that just didn’t set well. He finally decides that he can’t resist Baylee Jean any longer and takes her home to do the dirty deed. He’s quite happy and satisfied until he finds out that the pet aunt Callie Rae had been keeping was actually his cousin Lyle turned into a possum and he hightails it out of there. He wants to be with Baylee Jean but not enough to be turned into something that could quite easily become road kill. But Baylee Jean for all Jimmie Joe’s pushing away doesn’t give up and soon Jimmie Joe realizes that he can’t avoid his fate and that fate lies with Baylee Jean.
This was a fun and funny book. When I read the title of the book I just laughed. When I read the blurb I had another good chuckle. I kind of thought that I would get tired of Jimmie Joe quite quickly because of the conceit but for all his talk about diddlin’ all those women, once Baylee Jean comes back on the scene he doesn’t do much diddlin’. Of course the curse that he put on his cock-a doodle-doo (as he calls it) doesn’t help either.
The story moves back and forth in the first person between Jimmie Joe and Baylee Jean. While it was a bit hard to get used to at first I quickly got into the swing of the story and really enjoyed it. It truly is, as the author’s website states, “hick lit”. These people are hicks down to the bone from their names (Hit Man, Bo, T-Bone, just to name a few), to their double wides, to their jacked up trucks, to their beer guzzlin habits. They talk and act like rednecks and they are damned proud of it. The author really presented it in a way that wasn’t in the least annoying and was quite funny without the people themselves being laughed at. There was family love, loyal friendship, fun bantering back and forth and it made me laugh more than a few times. I loved that Baylee Jean and Jimmie Joe were quite happy to stay in Possum Hollow because they loved it there. It was a nice change from couples trying to get out of their hick town.
This is more of a fun ‘getting back your man’ book because there wasn’t a huge romance. Baylee Jean and Jimmie Joe, even though they love each other, spend most of the time apart even if they are constantly thinking of the other. I did have to wonder what would have happened if Jimmie Joe hadn’t been threatened all those years ago by Callie Rae.  Would he have been a manwhore if he’d stuck with Baylee Jean?  Who’s to know? Despite the slight lack of romance it was quite an entertaining read and frankly I’m looking forward to the next book in the series.
Rating: 3.75 out of 5

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