Tag: Karen Robards

Guest Review: Darkness by Karen Robards

Posted October 31, 2016 by Jen in Reviews | 2 Comments

Guest Review: Darkness by Karen RobardsReviewer: Jen
Darkness by Karen Robards
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publication Date: March 29th 2016
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 384
Add It: Goodreads
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New York Times bestselling author Karen Robards continues her penchant for “fantastic storytelling” (RT Book Reviews) with this next heart-pumping romantic suspense novel, the tale of a brilliant ornithologist trapped on the remote Attu Island in Alaska, fighting for her life—and that of a handsome stranger—before they’re swallowed up in darkness forever.

BOOM. That’s the sound that changes everything for Dr. Gina Sullivan, a renowned ornithologist on a group research grant trip on the remote island of Attu, Alaska. When an everyday outing turns sinister at the onset of one of Attu’s infamous storms, Gina expects thunder and lightning—but what she doesn’t see coming is the small jet plane that drops out of the sky and into the water mere feet from her boat. Even more unprecedented: there’s a sole survivor from the crash, and he needs Gina’s help. But it turns out that rescuing the stranger and getting them both out of the oncoming storm is just the beginning. Because the more Gina learns about James “Cal” Callahan, he of brooding eyes and muscled frame, the more she fears—for herself, and for him.

Cal has made a career of trading on government secrets and emerging unscathed—until a routine pickup goes horribly wrong and lands him in ice-cold water. Literally. He knows the plane crash was no accident and that there could very well be an enemy force currently combing the Alaskan island ensuring there were no survivors. Now if only the arrestingly beautiful bird-watcher with the clear-blue gaze would stop watching him, well, like a hawk. Cal convinces Gina to return to base camp and help him covertly get off the island. But when Gina makes it safely back to camp and finds her entire team murdered, all bets are off, and as darkness envelops the island, she must decide: trust a man she barely knows, or go it alone and risk running straight into the arms of a killer?

Gina is an ornithologist who’s come to a remote Alaskan island to study the local wildlife. While out alone on a boat, a small plane crashes nearly on top of her, and she manages to save one very intense and handsome man. Cal’s in some deep shit. He was on a secret mission that went horribly wrong. He’s been shot, fell out of sky in a plane crash, and was submerged in freezing water for a ridiculously long time, so Gina’s help is the only thing that stops him from dying right there in the water. Still, he doesn’t trust her and she doesn’t trust him, but because of an intense storm moving in they are stuck with each other overnight. When Gina eventually makes her way back to her research station and finds all her colleagues murdered and bad guys searching for her, she and Cal have to go on the run. With no way to communicate with the outside world, they have to survive on the cold, unforgiving island until they can figure out a way to escape.

The details in this book get pretty ridiculous. First and foremost, Cal is freaking superhuman. He’s on the brink of death, which is understandable SINCE HE WAS IN A PLANE CRASH. He has no winter gear or shoes, and nothing but the most basic first aid supplies. Yet after just one night of sleep, he’s able to make a strenuous 5 hour hike through unfamiliar terrain, then fight off a bad guy, run away, and hike up a mountain. (And of course he still has plenty of strength for sexxxing.) Riiiiight. Gina also gets the hots for him too early. I liked that she was wary, but then she ruins that by getting all hot and bothered as he’s patting her down against her will to check for weapons, or admiring his abs as she’s wondering why he got shot before his plane crashed. Lots of convenient stuff happens, like Gina and Cal finding a ridiculously well-equipped and comfortable cave and a 70 year old parachute in working condition. The bad guys and their plans are kind of fuzzy and glossed over. Overall, there’s not a lot of attention given to the larger story, just to Gina and Cal’s fight for survival. 

But you know what? I loved this book anyway. I am always a sucker for wilderness survival stories, so this was right up my alley. I also liked Gina and Cal as characters. Gina has had some serious trauma in her life, and while she has learned to cope she probably hasn’t faced it as directly as she needs to. I appreciated that Cal recognized her pain and genuinely wanted to be there for her. I liked Cal’s suspicious and gruff nature, too. While he’s a good person, he’s not cuddly, and he doesn’t make many connections with others. He’s in a tough and dangerous business, and it makes sense that he’d be the way he is. But when he realizes he is starting to care about someone else, he doesn’t push it away, give some BS excuse like his lifestyle wouldn’t allow him to be with anyone, or decide he’s too manly for The Feels. He is a little spooked but he goes with it, and he isn’t afraid to tell Gina that he wants something more. I liked seeing his sensitive side, and I liked the two of them together.

While it might have issues (hence the less-than-perfect grade), this book was thrilling for me, and I ended it completely satisfied.

Grade: 3.75 out of 5


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Review and Giveaway: Shameless by Karen Robards

Posted April 5, 2010 by Casee in Giveaways | 39 Comments

Casee‘s review of Shameless (Banning Sisters Trilogy, Book 3) by Karen Robards.

In Regency England, a beautiful young woman finds her life thrown into turmoil by the arrival of a handsome scoundrel. Lady Elizabeth, the youngest and most headstrong of the three Banning sisters, has been engaged three times, and has most scandalously broken off all three engagements. Her fear of becoming any man’s property has kept her from marriage and earned her a reputation in the ton as a heartbreaking flirt.

Neil Severin is a wicked rogue, black of heart and black of reputation. A man of no morals, devoid of compassion, he is a government sanctioned assassin. And his newest target is a man Beth holds dear. When the flame-haired beauty thwarts his plan, Neil exacts his own brand of spicy revenge.

Beth despises him. Neil doesn’t care. But circumstances most unexpectedly throw them together, and with Beth’s life in danger, Neil finds himself in the unexpected role of hero, racing to save her before it’s too late.

What he never expects is the twist fate hands him: instead of his saving her, Beth winds up saving him. When the ruthless organization he works for turns its agents loose on him, only Beth stands between him and a death he thought he didn’t fear.

Shameless has been eight years in the making. I only remember this series is the vaguest sense. I remember that there were three sisters. The third and youngest sister didn’t seem mature enough to have her own book when the series came out. In that way, the eight years may have been a good thing.

Beth Banning has always been an interesting character. That’s just about all I remember about her. As I continued to read the book, I had vague recollections of her sisters and her aunt, but other than that it was just like any historical. The book starts off with Beth telling her fifth (or fourth or third) fiancé that she has decided that they won’t suit. The man doesn’t take the news well and decides that he’ll make her marry him by ruining her. Read: Raping her. Now Beth is in a conundrum. If she screams for help (he is very determined in his “task”) then it will bring everyone that is attending her sister’s ball running into what is essentially her ruin. It’s not really herself she cares about, but her sisters. Her family has had about all the controversy it can take and Beth knows that the Banning’s can’t weather another scandalous storm.

That was probably my biggest issue with Beth. Seriously, you’re going to let yourself be viciously (and it would have been vicious) raped to save your family the scandal? What about the heartache they would feel knowing that you kept quiet for them? Honestly. Beth’s reaction to the situation went beyond brave straight into stupid.

Beth successfully extracts herself from the situation and finds a stranger standing behind a curtain (that covers a window he obviously came through) that was watching the whole time. Beth turns this to her advantage, asking him for help in exchange for not telling her brother-in-law that he has a housebreaker. Little does she know that the housebreaker is a trained assassin and that he’s come to kill her brother-in-law.

Neil Severin planned to get in and out. Beth was a distraction that he could ill afford. Neil isn’t used to feeling any sort of amusement or, well, really anything, but Beth brings something out in him. While contemplating how he can quickly break her neck, Beth is instructing him how to remove the body of her would-be rapist.

Eventually they part ways with Beth none the wiser. Neil didn’t get what he came for, but now that he knows who Beth is his plan is to kidnap her and tell Richmond (the brother-in-law) his demands. Something along the lines of call off your dogs and I’ll give you your sister back. His plan is thwarted when someone kidnaps Beth before he gets the chance to act.

Neil eventually catches up to Beth in Scotland where she is going to be auctioned off to the highest bidder. When he goes into save her, he finds that she’s already saved herself along with a handful of women that were with her. Neil wants to take Beth and complete his plan, but Beth refuses to leave the women stranded. Thus begins a journey that Neil never thought he would take.

I loved Neil. He seemed like a child that was just discovering life. I loved how Beth brought color and feeling back into his life. Neil is the only one that seems to know Beth for who she truly is. He figures out rather quickly why she has thrown over so many men. Part of him wants to turn her away from him, but the selfish part of him insists that she is his.

Beth is so scared of being a man’s chattal and Neil is the perfect contrast to that. Beth finally realizes that Neil would never want her to be anyone but the person she is.

4 out of 5.

This book is available from Pocket. You can buy it here.

The series:

Book CoverBook CoverBook Cover

Leave a comment to win a copy of Shameless!

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How long is too long?

Posted March 26, 2010 by Casee in Miscellaneous | 12 Comments

Lisa Valdez’s long awaited Patience is being released on April 6th, almost five years after the release of Passion.

Karen Robards’ third book the Banning Sisters Trilogy, Shameless, is being released eight years after the release of Irresistible.

When you think about the staggering amount of time between releases, it could make you wonder. Why now? Does anyone care after all this time?

The first historical book I ever read was a Karen Robards. She branched out into romantic suspense and was very successful at it. It was after Claire Banning’s book came out that Karen Robards told her readers that she didn’t know when and even if Beth’s book would ever come out. Why? Because she was writing romantic suspense. She wanted to write Beth’s book for her readers, but business is business. If you’re doing well in one thing, why would you abandon it? Obviously Karen Robards didn’t abandon her readers. She never promised Beth’s book, but now here it is.

Which leads me to Lisa Valdez. I read Passion back when it came out. I was looking forward to Patience. Then I started losing respect for Valdez b/c of the continual excuses. One excuse I read was that the readers that reacted badly to Passion hurt Valdez so badly that it messed up her writing mojo. She had to do Patience justice and wasn’t able to do that. Then it was going to come out about two years ago. Again it was delayed. I want to know when she had the book completed. Was it completed four years ago and she was just too cowardly to put it out after the backlash of Passion? I read what people wrote about Passion. I read about how offended people were by what they deemed was the vulgarity of a regency historical. Then there were readers like me who thought it was a breath of fresh air.

Lisa Valdez had a real chance to become a big name in historical romance. I really think she blew it with Patience. Now I’m questioning if I even want to read it.

What book have you waited for? How long is too long?

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What I’ve Been Reading This Week

Posted November 2, 2009 by Tracy in Features | 18 Comments

Happy Sunday!

I hope you all had a good week this past week. What did you all do for Halloween, if anything? Did you have fun? My girls dressed up and went to trick or treat. This year my hubby got to walk with them and I stayed home and read while waiting for kiddies to come to the door. We live on a hill so we don’t normally get that many kids but this year was the slowest year since we’ve lived here (6.5 years). I think we have about 15 kids. Yikes! lol We don’t normally buy a lot of candy but I couldn’t even get rid of what little we had! lol

Here are the kids in their costumes. It was a really pleasant night so they didn’t have to worry about jackets this year which was nice. I had a lovely indian squaw and a 70’s chick. 🙂 The picture of my youngest is blurry but it was the best view of her costume, so, sorry.

So there’s a couple of cool things going one this month – actually I’m sure that there’s more than a couple but these are the 2 at the top of my list:

1) The very cool offer from Blind Eye Books when you buy Josh Lanyon’s new spec fiction book Strange Fortune between Nov. 5 and 20. You can read the offer here on DIK.
2) All Romance ebooks is celebrating it’s birthday all during the month of November. For every day that you buy a book you’ll go in a drawing. If you are chosen then they will purchase all of the books for you that are on your ARe wishlist (up to $100.00). Sounds like a great deal to me and I have a lot of books on my wishlist.

Well I finished the October reading month with a bang. It was a fun week. I read quite a few yaoi manga’s that I got from Kris’s yaoi swap and a couple that I bought for myself and added to the sway. So it may seem like I read a lot this week but those manga’s go super fast and I can gobble em up in no time.

First for the week was Atlantis Unleashed by Alyssa Day. This is book 5 in the Warriors of Poseidon series and the book that made me start the whole friggin series. lol So…when my review posts for The Book Binge I’ll let you know.

Next was Totally Captivated volume 1 by Hajin Yoo. I read Sarah’s interview with Rowan McBride and he mentioned that this was his favorite yaoi manga (actually manhwa which is the Korean counterpart). I looked it up, it sounded interesting, so I bought it. It’s the story of a guy who is kind of harassed/blackmailed into working for a crime boss who is of course gorgeous and totally young. There’s definitely some sexual tension going on between the two but we didn’t get past more than a couple of kisses in this volume. It was good, but not great – some confusing parts where I wasn’t sure who was talking to whom and why. I hate when the characters get shrunk down in some of the frames in manga. The really good looking guys all of a sudden look like their 10 and it’s kinda creepy, I must say. Anyway, I think there are 9 volumes to the story so far – dammit! So yes, I’ll probably have to get those too, eventually, cuz I need to see what happens! 3 out of 5

After that was anoth yaoi manga called Maid in Heaven by Hisami Shimada. This one is about a boy who takes his grandmother’s place as a maid when his grandmother falls ill and the “master” and the maid fall for each other. Kinda funny that they kept trying to have sex and kept getting interrupted. Again, the shrinking of the characters – especially during sex? Just. Not. Right. The overall story was cute though. 3 out of 5

Next I read U Don’t Know Me by Rakun (yaoi manga). This one I bought at the same time as Totally Captivated and I really liked this one a lot. Fab graphics, pretty, pretty men and a decent story line. There were a couple of times at the end when I was wondering whey they even included certain aspects of the story but can only assume that future volumes will complete the tale. The sad thing is? Currently there are no further volumes so I just have to wait. 4 out of 5

The Dark Highlander by Karen Marie Moning was my book for my monthly Re-read Challenge. You can read my review here.

More manga with Barefoot Waltz by Romuco Miike. There were a couple of cute stories in this one that I liked. I can’t tell you about all of the stories because it would take forever. The graphics were ok – not great. 3 out of 5

I think I got a little yaoi’d out of this one. lol Last manga of the week was I Want To Be Naughty by Mei Sakuraga. This was pretty cute as well. Stories of a trouble maker and a student council president finding each other. 3 out of 5

My Tracy’s TBR Challenge read for the week was Suzanne Brockmann’s Kiss and Tell. This is book 1 in the Sunrise Key trilogy. It was cute. A very quick and easy read. A woman who was raised on the island of Sunrise Key goes back for a vacation and falls for her brother’s best friend. They had always been fighting previously so it was kind of a revelation to her that she found him attractive. There were some issues I had with the heroine’s personality that made this just an ok read for me but I may read the next books in the series. 3 out of 5

Next up was Blood Bound by Patricia Briggs. The second book in the Mercy Thompson series and I loved it. It was so damned good and I can’t wait to read more. At first I was afraid that I wasn’t going to like it. You know…I think I’ll have write a review cuz I can’t fit it all in a little blurb. lol So look for that. 🙂

Home for the Holiday by Wendy Stone was a book I bought this past week. I was looking for Halloween and Holiday stories and bought it on a whim. It was a contemporary story about best friends falling in love when they head to the heroine’s parents’ house for Christmas. I almost felt like this was 2 different stories about the same characters put together in one 120 page book. The first story should have ended after about page 50. Overall it was kind of convoluted – sisters taking boyfriends away, cheating, horrid future mother-in-laws, date rape drugs and pregnancy – and that doesn’t name everything. lol 2.5 out of 5

Last up was One Summer by Karen Robards. KristieJ posted on DIK on Thursday and she was talking about bad boys. She mentioned Johnny Harris from One Summer and the blurb caught my eye. My local library had the book in stock so I picked it up. Johnny is definitely a bad, bad boy. But he’s also extremely intelligent and I loved that about him. He was accused of murder and sent to prison for 11 years and he’s gotten out with the help of straight-laced Rachel Grant, his ex-English teacher and a woman he’s had the hots for since high school. This was a good riomantic suspense read. I didn’t figure out whodunit til the middle of the book and then really couldn’t figure out why the culprit was doing it til the end. Rachel got on my nerves a bit because she loved Johnny no matter what but seemed like she was always trying to change him. I did like her though most of the time because she was a strong character and truly believed in Johnny’s innocence. Gotta love that. 4 out of 5

So have a great week. I’ve posted the entire month’s reading here if you want to see it in all of its glory.
Happy Reading!

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