Sunday, November 16, 2008

Hostage to Pleasure by Nalini Singh

This book was fantastic. I thought that this series would get less interesting as it continued, but it seems to get even more intriguing. I loved the hero Dorian. He is full of contrasts: ice cold, but hot, violent but controlled, and deeply sensual. He is unable to change into a leopard, which he has mostly made peace with. Instead he has honed his skills as such a formidable warrior, that being unable to shapeshift is not a liability. However, being unable to shifts makes him no less in touch with his animal nature. As a lover of shapeshifter romance, I love how Singh depicts the feelings and thoughts of the leopard that dwells inside the man. Dorian is a totally hot hero, although he is an ice cold sniper for the Snow Dancer Leopard pack. He sets his sights on Ashaya Aleine, a member of the hated Psy race, but his leopard recognizes his mate. I love fated to mated books, so it totally worked for me that Dorian decides early on that he has to have Ashaya. And once he recognizes her as his, he will move heaven and earth to protect her and his child.

Ashaya is a Psy who never accepted Silence, the nonemotional protocol of the Psy race. Instead she has continued a charade. She is a scientist with a woman's heart who saves children being subject to horrible scientific experiments. When she delivers them to the Snow Dancer pack for protection, she asks that they extract her son who is being kept hostage to keep her working on a high priority project for the Psy Council. This is how she encounters Dorian. Dorian hates the Psy since his beloved sister was savagely killed by an insane Psy Councilmember. His heart is full of vengeance against the Psy for what was done to his sister. Dorian almost shoots her, but his leopard recognizes his mate, although at first he is unable to accept this. Although in theory she is his enemy, the conflict doesn't get drawn out too long because the mating bond is much stronger between Dorian and Ashaya.

The attraction between Dorian and Ashaya is red hot and drives this book. You want to keep reading to see the fire between them. I loved the banter and interactions between Dorian and Ashaya. However, the plot is very readable as well. Ashaya has a twin who is a best a sociopath, at worst extremely dangerous. I felt for Ashaya's burden of trying to keep her twin under control, and how this has affected her life in many ways. Ashaya is rational and scientific, but is equally loving and loyal to those who matter to her.

Hostage to Pleasure was definitely a joy to read. I had trouble putting the book down, and was impatient to finish it. Nalini Singh has definitely earned my loyalty as an author by writing this fantastic series that mixes science and fiction that is an delicious package. Science fiction can be dry at times to me, but not the way that Singh writes it. She understands that the love story and the sexual chemistry, along with strong depiction of interpersonal relationships, has to be the glue in a paranormal book with science fiction elements, and succeeds without question. I also love how racially and ethnically diverse her characters are. Ashaya seems to be of European and African ancestry, while Dorian has predominantly Nordic features. As long as she continues to write these books with sexy, alpha heroes, and the women they love, I'll continue to eagerly read them.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Red Skies at Night by Shara Azod

This is a short novella e-book that I downloaded from Red Rose Publishing. It was so good. This book was hot but also had an emotional love story as well.

Teane finds herself in a difficult position: she has the hots for her supervisor. To make matters worst, she is in the Navy. The good news is that her crush is not one-sided. Brett has the hots for her too.

The way that she finds this out is when he catches her in a "private moment" shall we say. And he helps her along in her "private moment." If you haven't noticed, I'm demure, so you can probably guess what I mean by "private moment."

I didn't mention that this is an interracial romance, so it's really cool that although both characters are sure that the opposite wouldn't want to date outside of their race, they are entirely wrong.

Brett has had the hots for his subordinate employee Teane for a while. If he hadn't heard her calling out his name in her "private moment," he probably wouldn't have pursued his younger, Black Petty Officer. But since he knows she has feelings for him, his pursuit is ardent. He is totally hot, and boy am I glad that I didn't have to work for a guy who was so irresistible since I don't feel comfortable dating a person I work with.

Having said that, this story really worked for me. I laughed so hard, and felt acutely embarrassed for poor Teane. Just imagine getting caught in the moment like that. Too horrible to conceive. But this turns out to be a very fortuitous moment for both Teane and Brett.

Ms. Azod doesn't shy away from the serious repercussions of fraternization in the military. But it shows that the feelings between Teane and Brett are real that they try to protect each other when word gets out about their affair.

This story was so endearing, despite being so short. This story is one that reaffirms my love of the interracial genre. It shows that the color of someone's skin does not have to be an obstacle. For love is in the heart and soul. It's not skin deep.

If you want to read a great story that is steamy but also emotional, then I would definitely point you in the direction of "Red Skies at Night." And while you're at it, pick up "Chain of Command" and "Cory's Salvation" by Shara as well.

Dark Desires After Dusk by Kresley Cole

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. As a matter of fact, it went by too fast. I had been captivated with Cade since Wicked Deeds on a Winter's Night, and I was holding my breath for his book. But the wait was richly rewarded. Holly is a perfect heroine for him. She brings out the protective side in Cade, but also the playful side. And if anyone needs to live a little, it's Holly. I loved the whole plotline and found it wildly romantic. This book was also a good action book with scenes that show that Holly is a powerful woman in her own right. I just adore Cade, even more then I did before. He is sexy beyond belief, and very funny also. I loved his devotion to Holly, and how he challenged her but cared for her at the same time. It was great to see Holly come into the woman she was meant to be. She learns that it is a good thing to trust one's instincts as well as one's intellect. She also learns to acknowledge her sensual nature, and what better teacher than Cade. Cade and Holly had some serious chemistry, but there was also a deep emotional connection. This book just further increased my love of this series. With each book, I more eagerly await more books in the Immortals After Dark series. Kresley Cole's imagination is incredible, teamed with some excellent research. So I end by saying, take this ride wild, but you might want a cold drink and a fan while you read it.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Surrender by Pamela Clare

I had heard really good things about this author and this book. I must say that all praise was well-deserved. If you like Scottish heroes, you have to read this book. Iain has made an impression on me that will make it very hard for future Scottish heroes to live up to. He is fearless, honorable, capable, manly, beautiful and loving. He risks his life many times for his brothers and men, and for Annie, the woman he had no obligation to save, but did, even though it brought misfortune on him and his men. The adventure in this book is incredible. I am as much a fan of adventure as I am romance. If a book can wrap both up in an appetizing package, I am won over. I don't typically seek out books set in colonial America, but this book has gotten me interested in this period. I loved that although Iain and his brothers faithfully maintain their Scottish identities, they are also seasoned frontiersmen and adopted into the local Indian tribe that we would more easily recognize as the Mohicans. Anna is a compelling heroine who shows strength and honor. She has suffered greatly, but her heart is still huge and capable of love. After reading this book I would definitely call myself a fan of Pamela Clare's books, and find myself very happy that I have accumulated all of her historicals. I may also have to branch out to her contemporaries. Surrender is a must read.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Sale or Return Bride by Sarah Morgan

I really enjoyed this book. It has some familiar conventions for the Harlequin Presents line, but the old saying "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" is very apt. I loved the fact that the heroine had had so much misfortune, and what turned out to be the worst thing, turns out to be the best thing. This is marrying her hero. This book is a feel good book in my opinion. It definitely shows that a good person has to have faith and good will come to them for their actions. You need to read books like this sometimes.

Ice Storm by Anne Stuart

Anne Stuart does not disappoint. This book has all the things I love about Anne's books. And it has more. The characters are heroes on the edge, both the hero and the heroine. They live in the black heart of night, but fight for good the best way they know how. As much as I love Anne's heroes, Killian really sunk into me. His battle to do what must be done, and the fact that he never really got over Isobel in eighteen years. Isobel is convincing as a cool, competent leader for a covert organization. She suffers when she sends men out to their death, but she does it because it's the right thing to do. You want these two people to find peace. You want them to be together. In the hands of a master like Anne Stuart, you get what you want and more.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

October Reads

October Reads
The Mammoth Book of Haunted House Stories. Various Authors. A (Short stories, ghosts ). Favorite story was "The Whistling Room" by Henry Hope Hodgson. 10/5/08.
The Dark: New Ghost Stories. Various. A (Short stories, ghosts). 10/10/08.
Angel of Fire. Tanya Anne Crobsy. B. (Medieval, girl in pants/disguise, enemies to lover, Norman conquest) 10/10/08.
Hotly Bedded, Conveniently Wedded. Kate Hardy. A. (Friends to Lovers, Marriage of Convenience, Problems having a baby, Unrequited, Harlequin Presents). Alex, Isobel. 10/10/08.
The Italian Billionaire's Pregnant Bride. Lynne Graham. A (Wrongly accused, pregnant, rags meets riches, Harlequin Presents) Kathy, Sergio. 10/11/08.
The Defiant Sheikh's Bride. Sandra Marton. A. (Artificial insemination mixup, heir to the throne, Sheikh, Kidnapped to marriage, Pregnant, Misunderstood, Runaway Bride, Mistrust, Captive, Harlequin Presents). 10/11/08. Whitney, Tariq.
Secretary Mistress, Convenient Wife. Maggie Cox. A (Wounded hearts, abusive relationship, scarred heroine, MOC, Harlequin Presents). Fabian, Laura. 10/12/08
Mustang Wild. Stacey Kayne. A+ (Accidental Marriage, Girl in pants, Trial Journey, Horse Trainers, Reluctant partners, Former Bounty hunter, Twin, Harlequin Historicals) Tucker, Skylar. 10/11/08.
Secretary Mistress, Convenient Wife. Maggie Cox. A (Wounded hearts, abusive relationship, scarred heroine, marriage of convenience, Harlequin Presents. )Fabian , Laura. 10/12/08.
Pregnancy of Revenge. Jacqueline Baird. A (Revenge, affair, marriage, fear of love, Harlequin Presents). Jake, Charlotte. 10/12/08.
Keir O' Connell's Mistress. Sandra Marton. A+ (Wrong tracks, O'Connell Series, Boss, Showgirl/Former Stripper, Love-Wary, Harlequin Presents). Keir, Cassie. A+. 10/12/08.
Bought for Her Baby. Melanie Milburne. B (Wrongly accused, jerk hero, secret baby, lovers reunited, addiction, archaeology, Harlequin Presents). Charlotte, Damon. 10/12/08.
The Desert Sheikh's Captive Bride. Lynne Graham. A (Lovers reunited, misunderstood, blackmail, sheikh, Harlequin Presents). Rasha, Tilda. 10/12/08.
Betrayed. Arnette Lamb. A (Warrior woman/bodyguard, assassin, inventor, scientist hero, Widower w/ children, Scotland, Georgian, Quest). Hugh, Julia. 10/19/08.
Maverick Wild. Stacey Kayne. A+ (Rape, Tormented heroine, Evil Parent, stepsibling, Unrequited, Runaway, BBW, Twin, Harlequin Historicals) Cora Mae, Chance. 10/25/08.
The Djinn. Marie Morin. A (Djinn Humor, Widower, E-book). 10/26/08. Raheem, Elise.
Unshapely Things. Mark Del Franco. (Urban Fantasy, Fae, Druid, Racism/Bigotry, Serial Killer). 10/25/08. Connor Grey.
Angelo's Captive Virgin. India Grey. A. (Cold hero, adopted, businessman, orphanage, real estate, Harlequin Presents). 10/27/08. Anna, Angelo.
Murder by Magic: Twenty Tales of Crime and the Supernatural. A (Various, Occult mystery). 10/31/08.