Monthly Archives: June 2013

Review-Grand Passion (1994) by Jayne ann Krentz

Title:  Grand Passion

Grand Passion

Genre:  Contemporary Romance

Author: Jayne Ann Krentz

Publisher: Simon and Schuster, Pocket Books, 1994

Source:  Loan from a friend

Rating: 2.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from amazon.com:

Rich, arrogant, emotionally-starved Max Fortune takes one look at Cleopatra Robbins and feels a fierce desire for her. She, too, is devastatingly attracted to him. But Max is searching for five priceless paintings and believes Cleo is hiding them. Together, they play a dangerous game of deceit.

**

If there was a “grand passion” between our two protagonists, then I had trouble finding it.  This book read like a sexed-up lifetime movie.  I had trouble believing that the characters were real people.  Cleo, a 28 year old virgin, falls willy-nilly into bed with Max.  Max an international bonvivant tosses it all in for a group of misfits (albeit a nice bunch) because at 35 he needs a family.  The book left me wondering right to the end if he wanted “family” or Cleo.  The stalker mystery was not developed enough to be satisfying.  From the beginning I knew where the mysterious, missing paintings were to be found.  Ms. Krentz has a wide following who undoubtedly loved this book from the number of 5 star reviews on Amazon.com.  Perhaps back in 1994, I too, might have looked on this book with more favor.  However I don’t think it translates well into the twenty-teens.

I can only recommend this book to die-hard Jayne Ann Krentz fans.

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New Release Review- The Taming Of Ryder Cavanaugh by Stephanie Laurens

Title:  The Taming of Ryder Cavanaugh( A Cynster novel)

The Taming of Ryder Cavanaugh

Genre:  Historical Romance

Author:  Stephanie Laurens

Publisher: Avon (Harper Collins), June 2013

Source: free for review from the Amazon Vine Program

Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from amazon.com:

The Honorable Miss Mary Cynster always gets what she wants. As the last unwed Cynster of her generation, she is determined to remain in charge of her life and of the man she will marry. At the very bottom of her list of potential husbands is Ryder Cavanaugh, the daring and devastating Marquess of Raventhorne, an overwhelming and utterly unmanageable lion of the ton. But destiny has a different plan.

Ryder needs Mary as his wife, not just because she is delightful, fiery, and tempting, but because he values all she could be. When fate and circumstance hand him the chance, he claims Mary as his marchioness . . . only to discover what he truly desires is not just to take her hand in marriage, but to capture her heart.

**

I am no different from the many who have followed Stephanie Laurens’ chronicles of the Cynster family in Regency England.  I have swooned at the swoon-worthy, become worried at the evil that is often encountered, and most of all have loved being swept up in wonderful storytelling.  This latest offering is certainly a favorite in the series.

This is a long book, over 400 pages, but it is a can’t-put-down read.  In the first half of the book we see Ryder’s attempts to woo a totally Not-having-any Mary.  But bit by bit Ryder makes in roads until Mary is swept up in the inevitable understanding that just perhaps she has found the hero she is looking for.  Many books would stop right here but there is evil a foot and Ryder and Mary are the targets.  This becomes a very exciting, action filled novel along with the very hot and very sexy romance.  The Epilogue gives us a look at the many other Cynsters we have come to love.

The writing is top notch, the characterizations are spot on. You’re gonna like this one.

 

 

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Sexy Man Tuesday-Ya Know Ya Miss It

Lara Adrian sand man

Anyone for helping him rinse off?

(From Lara Adrian on Facebook)

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Deet’s Confessions of An Addicted Personality

My Kindle died.  This may not mean much to all of you but to me it is like I lost a pet.  I have already replaced my pet with a new pet, a Kindle Paperwhite.  It won’t be here for a week because I was too cheap to pay $17 for quicker delivery. So I will actually be opening a real honest to goodness book with paper pages during the next week.  Thank goodness there are alternatives!

note: people with addictions cannot go cold turkey for long without severe withdrawal symptoms.  If they get past the DT’s then they will most likely develop another addiction to compensate.  How do I know this?  I was a smoker of cigarettes , it took me three tries to finally get off of them.  I worked the night shift as an RN and was addicted to coffee.  That took some time to get rid of the headaches when I decaffeinated.  Each time I got off the “bad” addiction I found a substitute “good” addiction.  At first it was painting and then it was reading, the blog and reviewing.

Now my addiction is Kindle.  Amazon likes this about me.  My family doesn’t mind too much.  They always know where to find me, in my reading chair and they always know I will love an Amazon gift card for my birthday.  Sometimes the neighbors think I’ve gone on vacation since I’m holed up with my Kindle.

So Deet, what you gonna read til that Kindle gets here?  Well….Thanks for asking.  Here is what I have handy in paper:

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins,  I read The Hunger Games and loved it, and saw the movie, isn’t that Jennifer Lawrence terrific? I was so impressed at how the movie followed the book.  I want to read this next book in the series before the movie comes out in November.Catching Fire

The Arrangement by Mary Balogh, an advance reader copy (ARC) of Mary’s book to be released in August.

The Arrangement

To Make A Match by Liana Lefey, another ARC of an August release.

To Make A Match

Yes, I will eventually review all of these here on the blog.  These should hold me over until that fancy Paperwhite Kindle arrives.  I hope I don’t get the shakes beforehand.

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Advance Review- Beckman by Grace Burrowes

BeckmanTitle:  Beckman (The Lonely Lords, Book #4)

Genre:  Historical Romance

Author: Grace Burrowes

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca, July 2,2013

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from amazon.com:

Beckman Haddonfield is ready to live again…

Beckman finally emerges from the shadow of his wife’s death by agreeing to restore a family estate…and embarking on a dalliance with the quiet, mysterious housekeeper who resides there. But she is not who she seems…

Riveting and refreshing, Beckman is an unforgettable story about love’s power to overcome grief and guilt.

**

Beckman’s story.  He has been through tumultuous times and has been felled by drugs and depression but has conquered his demons when he is requested by his Grandmother and dying father to revitalize Three Springs his Grandmother’s country estate.  Beckman is a hands on kind of guy so his aristocratic pedigree doesn’t get in the way of his working with his land steward, Gabriel North or the other farm hands.  He is mesmerized by red-haired housekeeper, Sara, she is reluctant to form an attachment to Beckman because she and her sister have secrets that they fear becoming known.

The romance here is lovely.  Beckman is a true hero and Sara is in need of saving.  The side characters are developed to the point of us wanting to know more and Ms. Burrowes will oblige with their own books.  The prose is often lush if on occasion it may sound too modern for the times I am still swept up in the mood that is created.  There is a mystery that will keep you turning pages to discover whodunit and a red herring that made me smile when revealed.

I look forward to more from this series.

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Advance Review- An English Bride In Scotland by Lynsay Sands

Title:  An English Bride In Scotland

An English Bride in scotland

Genre:  Historical Romance

Author: Lynsay Sands

Publisher: Avon (Harper Collins), June 25 2013

Source: Free for review from The Amazon Vine Program

Rating: 3

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from amazon.com:

Annabel had planned to become a nun. But when her mother arrives at the Abbey to bring her home to marry a Scottish laird—her runaway sister’s intended husband—her life takes a decidedly different turn.

And though Annabel isn’t the wife he’d planned for, strong, sexy Ross McKay is taken with his shy, sweet bride.

Annabel knows nothing about being a wife, running a castle—or the marriage bed. But her handsome new husband makes her want to learn. When Annabel’s life is threatened, Ross vows to move the highlands itself to save her and preserve the passion that’s only beginning to bloom.

**

This book is a light, fuss-free, easy evening read.  No it isn’t a short book; it is just one that reads fast.  Lynsay Sands writes light and light-hearted romances both historical and paranormal.  She is accomplished at putting a story onto the page and this book had a good story.  I liked Annabel in the first part of the book, she was naïve, innocent intelligent and a bit head strong; a character you could really get behind.  But later on she became this person who continually made stupid, dangerous decisions and she became a total disappointment.  Annabel’s sister, Kate, was so over the top as to be unbelievable.  Ross, the Laird, is written well and we can believe and understand all his actions. I recommend this book for fans of Lynsay Sands, and those who like their romances in a light and somewhat silly vein.

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Review- Jane Bites Back by Michael Thomas Ford

Title:  JANE BITES BACK

Jane bites BackGenre:  Paranormal Romance

Author:  Michael Thomas Ford

Publisher: Ballantine, 2009

Source: Purchase

Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 3

Description from amazon.com:

Two hundred years after her death, Jane Austen is still surrounded by the literature she loves—but now it’s because she’s the owner of Flyleaf Books in a sleepy college town in Upstate New York. Every day she watches her novels fly off the shelves—along with dozens of unauthorized sequels, spin-offs, and adaptations. Jane may be undead, but her books have taken on a life of their own.

To make matters worse, the manuscript she finished just before being turned into a vampire has been rejected by publishers—116 times. Jane longs to let the world know who she is, but when a sudden twist of fate thrusts her back into the spotlight, she must hide her real identity—and fend off a dark man from her past while juggling two modern suitors. Will the inimitable Jane Austen be able to keep her cool in this comedy of manners, or will she show everyone what a woman with a sharp wit and an even sharper set of fangs can do?

**

What would happen if Jane Austen was turned into a vampire? Michael Thomas Ford wondered and came up with JANE BITES BACK, a contemporary story about a vampire Jane (Austen) Fairfax who owns a bookstore in a sleepy upstate New York town. In the beginning of the story, no one knows that Jane is a vampire. She is content with her bookstore, her store assistant and feeding off of people who never guess what has happened. Her books as Jane Austen are so popular that her biggest complaints are that she doesn’t get royalties and her new novel CONSTANCE can’t find a publisher. All that changes when she does find a publisher, her sire  finds her and wants her back, and she becomes infatuated with a local hunk.

This is not a book in the style of Jane Austen, it is a book about Jane Austen as a current day vampire. AND it is done superbly. We are treated to the proper Jane who tries to fit into modern society and then to vampire Jane who defends againist those who would do her wrong. The cast of other literary characters who are also vampiric is icing on the cake. Michael Thomas Ford is an accomplished storyteller. I read this book cover to cover in one sitting. The vampires don’t “sparkle” but there is a sense that they would make delightful company.

Jane Austen Vampire series:

  1. Jane Bites Back
  2. Jane Goes batty
  3. Jane Vows Vengence

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Review- A Hunger Like No Other by Kresley Cole

Title:  A Hunger Like No Other (Immortals After Dark, Book #1)

A Hunger Like No Other

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Author: Kresley Cole

Publisher: Pocket Star, Mar 2006

Source:  Kindle purchase

Rating: 3

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from amazon.com:

A mythic warrior who’ll stop at nothing to possess her . . .

After enduring years of torture from the vampire horde, Lachlain MacRieve, leader of the Lykae Clan, is enraged to find the predestined mate he’s waited millennia for is a vampire. Or partly one. This Emmaline is a small, ethereal half Valkyrie/half vampire, who somehow begins to soothe the fury burning within him.

A vampire captured by her wildest fantasy . . .

Sheltered Emmaline Troy finally sets out to uncover the truth about her deceased parents — until a powerful Lykae claims her as his mate and forces her back to his ancestral Scottish castle. There, her fear of the Lykae — and their notorious dark desires — ebbs as he begins a slow, wicked seduction to sate her own dark cravings.

An all-consuming desire . . .

Yet when an ancient evil from her past resurfaces, will their desire deepen into a love that can bring a proud warrior to his knees and turn a gentle beauty into the fighter she was born to be?

**

This was a re-read for me.  I first read this book and several more in the series back in the day when I was just getting off the Twilight series and looking for more paranormal romance books. I vaguely remembered that I liked this one and not so much the rest of the series.  Frankly I can’t remember why.  However, times change and so do my tastes apparently.

Although this book is well written by accomplished author Kresley Cole, the characters are so cartoonish as to be beyond even paranormal reality.  The world she creates is intriquing and very scary but it is very difficult to like any of the characters that populate that world. The group of Valkyrie women that Emmaline grew up with is violent and a bit crazy.  The Vampires are divided into two factions, The Horde and The Forebearers, the former violent and murderous, the latter not so.  The Lykae are werewolves who are obviously very sexually aggressive and search for their one true mate. There are more paranormal and supernatural beings in this book who play minor roles. There is an appendix in the back of the book to define each of these beings.

The hero, Lachlain, is not so heroic since Emmaline is actually the one who dispatches the bad guy.  The love story is not so much about love as possession.  The protagonists call it love but it never actually looks like anything other than obsession and compulsion.

The author has a recent release, LOTHAIRE, about a character that is mentioned in this book.  I’ve a mind to read that book to see if Ms Cole has adopted any more politically correct stances in this series since its start seven years ago.

I do recommend this book for the amazing action scenes.  This is the kind of book that induces heated discussions. For that it probably should rate a 4-star rating from me.

 

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Review- Sleeping Beauty by Elle Lothlorien

Title:  Sleeping Beauty

Sleeping Beauty

Genre:  Contemporary Romantic Suspense

Author: Elle Lothlorien

Publisher: Self published Amazon Digital

Source: purchase

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5 (not explicit)

Description from amazon.com:

Sure, Claire Beau thought about sleeping with her doctor. With his moss green eyes and sexy petulance, neurologist Brendan Charmant is definitely worth fantasizing about. But she didn’t actually do it…did she?

In this tale of “While You Were Sleeping” meets “50 First Dates,” Claire knows she should be able to answer this simple question, but she has no idea. What she’s sure of: She met Dr. Charmant for an appointment one day and woke up at home six weeks later to find that they are in the middle of a whirlwind love affair, a claim bolstered by her brother, their friends, and the weeks of steamy emails and text messages they’ve exchanged. But to Claire he’s just the arrogant doctor with only a passing interest in finding a diagnosis for her debilitating symptoms.

Claire Beau is afflicted with “Sleeping Beauty Syndrome,” a mysterious disorder that causes her to sleep for days at a time, and black out for entire weeks. Dr. Brendan Charmant might have given her the best night (or two, or three) of her life, but she has no memory of ever seeing him out of his white coat. Still, she can’t help finding herself more than willing to fall for him (again). After all, doesn’t every girl deserve a Prince Charming? And waking up comes with other perks, including a plum starring movie role that appears poised to catapult her to fame.

Sure, she knows that her best friend, the hot, blond surfer, Davin Wibbens, thinks she deserves better. Still she’s crushed when he abandons their friendship over her decision to continue dating Brendan. But when Brendan’s arrested for a crime against her that she can’t recall, and Davin disappears and is feared dead–all in a matter of days–Claire realizes that sometimes the best way to make your dreams come true might be to just stay asleep. So why is she risking everything to save them all from this waking nightmare?

**

I read this book in one long sitting.  I started after I got my car hooked up to the battery charger and made a cup of coffee.  Then I could not put this book down.  I do like books that are well researched and Ms Lothlorian has given me plenty of background in the sleeping sickness that affected our heroine.  She also gives terrific information about the “Surfer Dude” culture of Southern California.  The story is told for the most part in dialog with a hang on to your seat courtroom scene.  Personally I would like more in the sexy scenes.  They always felt a bit unsatisfying. The suspense was well done.   This was a good story and a very good read.

I’m not crazy about the cover of this book.  It gives the impression that this is a humorous, chick-lit book and it is not.

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Review-Recent Release- Take It Like A Vamp by Candace Havens

Title: Take It Like A VampTake It Like A Vamp

Genre:  Paranormal Romance

Author: Candace Havens

Publisher: Entangled-Covet, May 2013

Source: Free for review from the publisher, available as an e-book $2.99

Rating: 3

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from NetGalley:

Vampire Nick Christos might’ve been born in the Middle Ages, but the good old days seem tame compared to the last eight years he’s spent ruling the Supernatural Council. His only respite is with his cute neighbor Casey Meyers, a woman he wants more than any undead man should. Sure, he’s forced to take a cold shower after every encounter, but there’s no way he’ll test his own strength by getting too close to a human, and he’s not willing to risk her life–not with bloodthirsty family on the prowl out to ruin Nick’s life.

When said Nick’s kin shows up, the innocent Casey is caught in the middle of a centuries old fight, and Nick’s biggest fear is realized. Now, instead of keeping his hands off his neighbor, he’ll risk everything to save the human he’s come to love.

**

Oh yes! A handsome, hunky vampire.  Oh no! He’s attracted to the human heroine.  Well so much for my fantasy, but I can still hope for their happy ever after.  This is a light vampire story.  Although there is evil and danger it is a true romantic story to while away our beach reading.  Havens gives us a hero (to die for) that is everything a single miss could want in a boyfriend.  He’s kind, wealthy, generous and looks like he stepped out of a Maxim ad.  So why should he be nervous about the fact that he drinks blood and is uber powerful in the sack? But he is worried that Casey will say good bye if he fesses up. So he lives in the “friend” position of total frustration. Our heroine, Casey, fell in love with him practically at first sight, didn’t think he found her attractive because she felt she was too chubby, and has been living in frustration with her “friend” feelings for him.  Side characters were well drawn and added to the story in a very good way.  There was another hunky vampire, Linc, who sometimes outshined our hero.  The addition of a transgender Aunt was fun too.

Candace Havens gives us, perhaps not a new look at vampires but a fun story.  Who knew they lived in Dallas? You will enjoy this book if you like sexy vampires, suspense, true love, witty dialog and some laugh filled moments.

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