Saturday, February 28, 2009
This book is utterly fascinating. What an interesting universe. I wish I had this author's imagination. For anyone who's read Lovecraft, I think this book is Lovecraft mythos meets romance novel. I can say that reading this book was a unique experience. Ms. Ione did a fantastic job developing this world within/around/under the regular world, where demons are the good guys. Sort of. Not all demons are good, but not all are bad. I can't say too much about that without spoiling a person who wants to read this book. Let's just say that it really turns around things for a person raised in the Christian tradition. I don't feel like a person who believes in Christianity shouldn't read this book, though.
This book is sexed up. However it makes sense if you consider the characters and their demonic type. I felt that the sex did fit in with the story very well.
The characters are well-developed and interesting. Their motivations are clear and their struggles play well into the storyline. I feel that Ione captures the tortured characters that I like very well. Although she follows a similar formula for the paranormal series, she claims this niche and makes it her own. Tayla is a likable heroine although she is not the unblemished, cleancut type of heroine. She's had a very rough life and seen and done things that would keep some people up at night. I admired her fortitude and her strength. She had to go through some pretty painful things in her life, and within the timeline of this story. Eidolon was also likeable and conflicted. He's born to be on the dark side, but has done his best to have morals and has dedicated his life to medicine. He is about to face a change in his body and mind that could drive him over the edge, and it does make this story compelling. It's hard to say too much because it would spoil a person, so I am eluding to these things. I would say that reading this book is like peeling away onion layers to find higher levels of understanding. It's an enjoyable process. As a fan of mythology and folklore, I think she made the demonic taxonomy, if you will, very credible for her universe. I wouldn't mind reading one of the demonic natural history books that Eidolon owned, in fact. She made up quite a few species and gave them characteristics that were interesting and creative, causing laughter at some moments, and dread at others.
One of the things I liked about this book was how she played with the reader's perception of right and wrong. You go from feeling bad for the humans, then to feeling bad for the demons, and then you come to realize that in this universe, neither group is always right or always wrong. They both commit atrocities that will make you wince, and it adds to the moral ambivalence of her universe. For that reason, you should approach this story with an open mind and with the understanding that it is a fictional world which does not have to have bearing on our consciousness of the real world.
The secondary characters are very intriguing, particularly Eidolon's brothers. You definitely want to read about their stories, and also Gem, who plays a very pivotal role in this story. I want to see how things play out with the human male Kynan, who she is in love with.
At times eye-raising, and always intriguing, I did enjoy this book. I felt that the ending was a bit rushed, but overall, the pacing was very good and the story flew by.
Thursday, February 26, 2009
I must admit that I loved the Ghostwalkers books much more than this one. I think it was because I am not enamored with fictional subjects about celebrity. The elements pertaining to Joley's world-wide stardom as a rock singer seemed to overshadow the narrative in this book. I wonder if Ms. Feehan has a favorite female singer who inspired her to write this story and to model Joley after. I wouldn't be surprised if the answer is yes.
It was a very good story. If I hadn't read and fell for the Ghostwalkers books first, I would probably have loved it more. But since they were my first exposure to Feehan's writing, I can't help but like this one less. I know it's wrong to judge this book based on another set of books, but the bar has been set very high.
Things I loved about this book:
1)Ilya. Ilya. Ilya. I am so in love with Russian heroes and he's a yummy one, the poster child for Hot Russian Hero. He is dangerous with a capital D. Very enigmatic and mysterious, and devastatingly gorgeous. I loved the fact that he saw Joley and had to have her. I thought it was so cool that he heard her singing at a really dark moment in his life, and bonded with her. He bought all her records, but then he had to see her in real life. It was over for him at this point. I know he kills without remorse, but he kills really bad people. Morally speaking, murder is wrong, but I think that there are circumstances where killing is justifiable. And the people he killed were the scum of the earth. I got glimpses into his past, but I wanted to know more about his training as a child. I hope that this is revealed in the next book. Anyway, I loved the hero so much in this book.
2)The close bond that Joley has with her sisters. I have a sister that I would die for. She is my best friend and we are very close. So I identified very closely with this.
3)Joley's warm, generous heart. She is a very kind, caring person. She went out of her way to help and to be there for others.
4)Joley's love of music and all of the musical motifs and themes in this book. I love music very much. I sing out loud and hear music in my head. I have very limited musical ability although I learned how to play the clarinet and the guitar. But all the same, I feel that music is in my soul. I really identified with that about Joley. It was so cool that people had different songs to Joley depending on their emotional state. Ilya was her soulmate in the sense that he also saw this in people.
5)The interaction between the characters. I feel that this is a strength of Ms. Feehan as a writer. In the seven books I have read by her, she is dead on in the portrayal interpersonal relationships. She has the intimacy that is present between good friends and loved ones. That is one of the things I loved about the Ghostwalker books and it is present in this one. I loved the connection between Ilya and Joley and the mark he put on her and how it was used.
6)I loved the seventh son/seventh daughter destiny thread. It was pretty cool and funny whne Joley found out the implications of it. Let me say I wouldn't mind being Joley if I could have Ilya. Although I have no desire to be a world-renowed singer. I like my privacy way too much.
7)Brian's situation. It was pretty neat to have that storyline. I enjoyed it a lot. I am sorry that things didn't go better, but in a way the tragedy of it was beautifully done.
8)The fact that the Drake sisters' abilities weren't played as a heavily pagan sort of thing. I don't know what religion they are, but it was more portrayed in this book as their legacy and not based on pagan beliefs. I don't have anyting against pagan beliefs, but I don't really enjoy when it is shoved down the readers' throats. In my opinion, this is just as preachy as Christianity being shoved down the throat of a reader who is non-religious.
What I didn't like: As I said earlier, I found the celebrity stuff tedious. I have been known to watch E Network and scan the tabloids, but I just don't care for it in a romance novel. It was an integral part of the plot, and it had to be since Joley is famous. But I'd rather see a more personal story or a story with the couples on the run and spending lots more private time together. Joley did have private time with Ilya, but not as much as I wanted. I also didn't like the depictions of the dark side of fame: the drugs, the illicit and improper sexual situations, the stalkers. Practically each band member had to deal with issues along these lines or suffered the consequences of it. I still didn't get what Logan's deal was. He didn't have to do what he did to his wife Tish. Something good came out of it, but I don't know if I am good enough like Tish was to forgive him. I'd love the baby though. I'd kick Logan to the curb and just keep Lissa. Good thing I'm not Tish.
All and all, this was an enjoyable book. I would like to read the other books, and I am looking foward to Elle's book in particular. This Jackson guy sounds way up my alley.
Monday, February 23, 2009
This was my favorite in the Valorian Chronicles series, probably because I thought that Lyra and Theron had a close connection that drove the book. I have found that these Nocturnes are just too short. There is not enough room to get anything accomplished, so the storyline can be a bit rushed. I didn't find it quite as noticable in this book, but I do feel like it could have delved deeper if the book could have been about 75-100 pages longer. But for a shorter book, it was very good. I like antiheroes, so Theron appealed to me. He had a dark side, a history of casting black magic spells that backfired on him. To be honest, it could have been worse, but for Lyra, who was a white witch, that could have kept them apart. Fortunately, Lyra went with her heart and believed in Theron despite the obvious fact that he was hiding part of himself from her. Lyra is an appealing protagonist. She's nice, intelligent, but is certainly no plaster saint. I liked her dialogue with her deceased grandmother who hovers over her as a spirit, and gives Lyra guidance whether Lyra wants it or not. It was also nice to revisit the CSU team, and catch up with Caine and Eve and Jace and Tala, from the first two books. Again, this was a good book and I enjoyed it. I just wish that it was longer and more in depth.
Saturday, February 21, 2009
I really liked this book. I knew that I would just because of the storyline, as I love heroes in pursuit, and I love characters who are flawed and somewhat antiheroes. The heroine, Jamie, falls in that category. She had infected Damian with a disease in the first book, and was in cahoots with the badguys, the degenerate Morphs, in the first book. But in this book, you realize what her motivations are and can view her sympathetically. I enjoyed Damian's tenderness towards Jamie, and his realization that he mucked up things between them the first time around. I admired his determination to protect her and his refusal on giving up having her as his mate. The characters in this book are well-drawn and real. They have painful pasts and are deeply drawn to each other. That's always appealing to me. Jamie's trust issues are understandable considering the horrors she endured from her family in the past. I was glad she found Damian and became a part of his large, loving family. I liked Damian's adoptive family, Cajun werewolves, who happen to be bikers also. I guess because of my family issues, I am always drawn to stories where characters find a sense of belonging and family, even if they didn't always have this. I enjoyed the first book, although I was a bit uncertain about the mythology and worldbuilding. But I must say I really felt that Ms. Vanak found her stride in this world she created, and made me long to read more books set in the world of the Draicon, and read more books with the characters introduced in Enemy Lover, Damian's adoptive brothers.
I started out being a bit annoyed at the hero, James. He was very dismissive about Kate's looks and not loving her. He had decided to marry her because he needed a bride to keep his estates and his fortune. Unfortunately, Kate overhears his discussion with her brother, and she already has issues about being tall, red-headed and freckled. She's been in love with James, her brother's best friend, for over eleven years, but realizes he will never love her. She determines that she will help him find a bride he could love when he asks her to marry him.
So begins the bride hunt. And James manages to find something wrong with every suitable candidate as he realizes that Kate is perfect for him. As I said, I was leaning towards not liking James at all. But seeing the evolution in his thoughts about Kate, and seeing the secret pain he has about his experiences in the Napoleonic Wars, it was hard to dislike him. By the end of the book, I was thoroughly hoping that would be able to get Kate to marry him.
This was a quick read, and a good one, a book that you don't want to put down. Actually I went out to do some pruning and cleaning up in the garden, and when I came back, had to search very hard to find it. Thankfully I did, because it was very enjoyable. I felt for Kate as she so clearly loved James, and enough to make sure he had a bride he could love. I was glad that James did realize what a treasure she was, and that he did a great job at showing his love and devotion for her. It's nice to read a regency book that is so well-written and has a romance that develops and resolves so nicely.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Another great Ghostwalkers book. This one had a more semi-normal tone. Boy and girl getting to know each other. Sort of, if you consider that girl is on the run from a secret agency who trained her to kill with her touch since she was a child, and boy is a super-soldier. It was sweet but at the same time, both Saber and Jess are two dangerous people you do not want to have as enemies. I thought that the direction that things went with Saber's ability was really cool. It reminded me of Rogue from the X-Men a little bit. She was such a likable heroine, and also really dangerous. I liked that she protected Jess and put her life at risk for him, even at times when she wasn't sure she could trust him. I liked how Jess fell in love with Saber early on and wanted to make a home for her and for her to feel comfortable enough to stay with him. He took things slow so that he didn't rush her. In that way, it was a sweet book. But when things start to escalate, this book is just as intense as the other Ghostwalkers book. It was great to see that things worked out for Jess, after reading about how he lost the use of his legs and how awful that was. It's funny how he played all sweet and harmless but you realize that he is far from that, even though he has to use a wheelchair. Again, not a guy I would want as an enemy. He is a powerful Ghostwalker with abilities that remind one of Charles Xavier and Jean Grey from the X-Men, which I thought was really cool. He's also a computer genius type as well. And he's hot. Did I mention he was a Navy SEAL? THUD! Where can I get one of him? It was nice to see Ken and Mari again, and to see that they are going well. And to see Lily give birth to the first of the second generation of Ghostwalkers. I am just as addicted as ever to this series, but since I only have one left, I am going to try to hold off on reading that one and read something else because I cannot imagine the void in my life with no Ghostwalker books to look forward to.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
This book rocked my world. which is why I made myself put it down after four am to go to bed. When I woke up this morning, I immediately reached for it to pick up where I left off. Jack is a hero after my heart. I love the dangerous, gamma heroes, and I liked that he did worry that he was too dangerous and too intense to be with a woman. But when it came to Briony and his unborn babies, he's a marshmallow but will kill or die for them. The relationship between Jack and his twin Ken was really cool. I was glad that Briony and Ken got along so well. I liked Briony's brothers and how they protected her when danger came at her.
The plotline was pretty unique. I love pregnancy storylines anyway, but the pregnancy theme was used in such an unforgettable and creative way. Imagine a plot to pair you up with a warrior so you can breed second generation warrior offspring. Pretty interesting. Both Briony and Jack worried that the intense connection between them was just engineered. Maybe it started that way but they were definitely fated to be mated.
The action was incredible and there is no question that Jack and Ken are badasses, and so is Briony. She has tremendous inner strength to survive as an empath in a family that is full of loud people and as a performer in a circus. You can't help but admire her and you know that she was meant for Jack.
I can't help but fall more in love with Christine Feehan as an author. She knows how to write men that will keep your interest and keep you drooling. And the women are so perfect for them and admirable in their own right. This is one book that I didn't want to end. But at least I get to read Ken's book next. Yay!
Sunday, February 15, 2009
The old-school HPs are a lot of fun because they heavily feature the lying evil wench who does everything to discredit the heroine to keep her and the hero apart. They don't rely on hot sex to fill in any plot holes, and can be a lot more creative. This one was no different. Again, maybe not for everyone with the rather questionable "is he really trying to seduce a sixteen year old moments." But I thought it was an enjoyable Saturday morning read.
I stayed up until 3:30am reading this book on Friday. It was just that good. Certainly not a book that is light and fluffy, but so excellent that you feel as though you have eating a ten course meal instead of a sweet, tasty cupcake. Erith is not what I would call a nice guy. He's selfish and blunt and doesn't work too hard to observe social niceties. He lives for his own desires, and goes where he wants to go, always drifting, and leaving nothing behind that he regrets despite the many mistresses that he's cast aside. He's abandoned his children, out of grief when his wife died, but abandoned all the same for sixteen plus years. He's had more mistresses than he could count, and he doesn't have honorable intentions towards our heroine, Olivia. The interesting thing is that his behavior is consider more socially acceptable than Olivia. It's one of the hypocritical aspects of society that never fails to irritate me. A woman is no good when she is forced to take lovers to support herself. Yet a man can have as many lovers as he wants and no one blinks an eye, as long as he's semi-discreet and doesn't marry a woman who has a past.
I must admit it took me a long time to warm up to Erith. I felt he was a selfish man who didn't really understand what loving was, or he forgot when he lost his wife at a young age. He thought that his desire to give Olivia pleasure and trinkets was a act of generosity to be thanked for. He doesn't understand that his actions could make things even worse for Olivia when he decides he's had his fill of her. On the other hand, I loved Olivia from the beginning. I find it heartbreaking that a woman would have to sell her body for a living. The thought of it just sticks in my craw. But I would never hold that against a woman. Olivia was a strong, capable, likable person. She hated men, and she had a lot of reason to hate men. Yet you never get the impression that she's deliberately cruel or even thoughtless. What was done to her was pretty lousy, and it was done by a person who should have taken care of her and cherished her. And even Erith, who declared his love, had to almost lose her to do the right thing by her. That's why I just about washed my hands of him. But the truth is, we don't really get to choose who we love. We are ordained by fate to love people, more than we want to. That's what happens to Olivia and Erith. He didn't want to fall in love again after his wife died. He just wanted to exhaust his obsession and lust for Olivia, who he hears is the greatest courtesan of all time and who he must have because of her reputation, but he does end up falling for her. And that's not the end of his journey, for this man has to learn that love is about giving up one's self and putting another person's needs first. That's what true love is. It's not just giving when it's easy or when it costs little. Love is giving up things that a person considers most important for the person who is loved.
Dark and compelling, this is a book that isn't a fun read. But it's a wonderful story that will stay on the mind, challenge the reader to explore different kinds of characters whose motivations aren't pure or demure, and don't exist in the pretty ballrooms and sitting rooms of a Jane Austen novel. These characters live on the fringe of that same society, where the light is dimmer, and their choices are drearier. Perhaps Olivia could have been Emma, or Elinore, or Jane, or Lizzy, yet she doesn't get to live in protected circumstances or genteel poverty. Instead she's a woman who received a very poor hand of cards to play, and did the best she could under the circumstances. And Erith is no Darcy or Captain Brandon. But still, I am glad that Ms. Campbell told us their story.
It was refreshing to see a hero in a Harlequin Presents who was not Italian, Greek, or Latin for once. And since I am on a Russian kick, it was a double whammy for me. Nothing new was established with this one, but it was entertaining. Nikolai was a womanizer, which I am heartily sick of. I just wish there could be an alpha HP hero who was celibate before the heroine for once. If you know of one, please let me know. I liked that Abbey was pretty tough and didn't immediately fall into Nikolai's bed, well sort of. I liked this book because I find HP books entertaining, although I wouldn't say it rocked my world or anything. I look forward to reading the two other books in the series about Nikolai's sisters (Ophelia and Molly).
The Desert Lord's Baby is the first book in the Throne of Judar series, although it's the second book I read. This book is one that sucks you right in. The writing is so vivid and poignant. The characters are never lukewarm in their emotions. In fact the book seethes with violently intense emotions. Carmen and Farooq are a couple that never should have been parted from each other, but misunderstandings and fears crop up and come between them. I feel that if they had just made a commitment to each other early on instead of having what they called a three month affair, then their wouldn't have been that insecurity there, but what do I know. After the rejection she faced with her parents and her first husband, Carmen doesn't have much reason to believe that she could be loved for her self. Yes, paradoxically, she gives herself unselfishly and completely. This is clear from page one. Farooq is used to having his way and cannot believe that a woman would choose to leave him, not to mention a woman he was so deeply attracted to an in love with. He doesn't think to read between the lines when Carmen ends their affair with what has to be a pretty blatant lie if a person really thought about the person who uttered it. But something causes him to track her down, and he finds out she's had his child. He falls instantly in love with their baby, and the scenes of the little cutie make it easy to accept this. Mennah is described as a miracle baby and she is in more ways than one. She brings this couple back together and gives them both peace that they were needing desperately. Again I was captivated by the incredible emotional intensity of the storytelling, teamed with an exotic setting that I am a sucker for. Ms. Gates seems to have a definite appreciation for Arabic culture, and with her writing skills, the reader cannot help but be equally attracted to it. The love scenes are very steamy for a category romance but they belong in a story with such a fiery, intense relationship between two people. This one is a another recommended read for sheikh romance lovers.
This was my favorite of the Throne of Judar series because we see a hard, immovable man brought to his knees with the realization that he did wrong the woman he loved and who loved him. Not that I like to see a person suffer, but this hero does grovel and does make amends for the horrible way he treated the heroine when he should. He also makes a decision that a power-craving man would only make if he really loves a woman, although he is in no way manipulated or guilted into to doing so by Aliyah. He was told some things about Aliyah that were definitely lies, and his own misgivings and fears based on an event in his past made him push her away. Aliyah had some personal issues that affected her health and personality, and made it easier for Kamal to believe the lies he was told, and made his rejection even more devastating. I also loved that Aliyah was strong in her own right, and was an incredible queen and this was realized fully by Kamal and those around her. The first scene between Aliyah and Kamal was great. She didn't turn into a ball of mush because of his awesome masculinity. She told him off and didn't back down from his imperious manner. Bravo, I was thinking. At the same time, she made a choice to marry a man she thought she hated for the good of her country and his. That took some bravery and emotional strength. As characteristic of Ms. Gates' novels, the writing is deeply involving and emotional as you see and experience the love and anguish that her characters feel. There are also vivid descriptions of Judar and its customs and the beautiful surroundings that its characters inhabit. The wedding ceremony is one of the best I've ever read. It practically played like a scene from an exotic movie. The love scenes are scorching and passionate as well. If you are a fan of sheikh romances and want to read a romance with three-dimensional, characters who take an emotional journey from desolation and loneliness to a deep, abiding love, you should read this book.
Monday, February 09, 2009
Sunday, February 08, 2009
This was a touching book. There are multiple scenes that made me tear up, and I don't typically do that while I'm reading. I just loved Sebastian. He was this big, brawny guy who was as soft as a marshmallow inside. His heart is so full of love, but he felt that he was condemned to loneliness because of the tragedy in his past. Hope was absolutely the right woman for him. She is full of light and joy, yet at the same time, she knew about the darker side of life, from the horrible abuse she endured from her evil, cruel grandfather. Although she is wary of large, powerful men, she instantly feels a connection to Sebastian and is unable to be afraid of him. Sebastian sees Hope and feels like he has seen his heart's desire. But he knows that he had to seek a wife who can be a good mother to his sister, and he thinks he's found her in older, plain, and practical Lady Elinore.
There is a social consciousness aspect of this book that I enjoyed. Sebastian in a mill-owner, but a conscientious one, since he had to work in the mills as a child to support his family. The book touches on child labor and abuse in the Regency England times, as well as the plight of orphaned children. But it is not done on a heavy-handed manner. Instead it is an integral part of the storyline, as Sebastian seeks a peaceful home for his sisters, and thus a wife, and we learn of their pasts as orphans. The woman he is courting, Lady Elinore, is a child crusader, so it plays heavily into the plot of the book.
It was nice to revisit the Merridew sisters and to see how life has progressed since Prudence's story The Perfect Rake. We also get to meet Sebastian's troubled younger sisters Cassie and Dorie, who have vivid and unique personalities of their own. My heart goes out to Sebastian and his sisters at the situation they faced, and Sebastian's anguish at his perceived inability to reach and to help his sisters. It's great that Hope is able to help them to grow closer together and to heal from their pasts. I really enjoyed the unlikely secondary romance between Lady Elinore, and Sebastian's outgoing, carefree friend Giles. I was rooting for them to end up together.
Once again, Anne Gracie has captivated me and touched me with another of her emotional, deeply-layered romances.
Saturday, February 07, 2009
Friday, February 06, 2009
Let's face it. I think that there's a little bit of envy there. After all, this person has gotten a book published. At least a moderate amount of the disgruntled readers probably hasn't. That's neither here nor there, but my point is, I think that fundamentally, a writer should be respected, if just for this one thing: That person set down and put words on a page, and was brave enough to submit it for publication. That person was brave enough to submit their writing for the future ridicule of others. So as a reader, I do have to afford a modicum of respect to that author.
I say this as a person who truly loves the written word. I have been a reader since I was four years old. My relationship with books and reading has been the longest relationship I've had in my life (other than blood familial relationships). Reading has gotten me through some of the deepest, darkest moments of my life when I thought was going to lose my sanity, and possibly my life. I've been sick as a dog, but still mustered enough energy to open a book and read it. For that reason, I respect books, and thus I have to respect authors.
As such, I make a commitment not to say cruel things about an author's writing or lack of writing skills. Instead I will say why I don't like a book, or why it doesn't work for me, or that an author is not a favorite of mine and clearly elucidate why. We are all entitled to our opinions. That does not give us license to descend into levels of cruelty where we demean another person by putting down something they poured their effort into. Again, I am not trying to be a hypocrite. This is a commitment I will make to myself to think twice before I say something mean about an author or her/his book.
Thursday, February 05, 2009
Tuesday, February 03, 2009
Sunday, February 01, 2009
Desert Rake was the first story that I've read by Louise Allen. I really enjoyed it. She is a good writer with authentic historical detail and an exciting story. Her characters are vividly written and three-dimensional. I love stories set in exotic locations, with lots of adventure, and this one has that. It's set in 1817 and features a widow who decides to follow through on the plans made with her deceased husband to travel to Turkey. She had a happy marriage and misses the intimacy of making love. Although she thinks about taking a lover, she wouldn't have done it, had she not met Drew Fenton. The chemistry between the pair is immediate and culminates in a blazing encounter that ends with disappointment when Drew refuses to take Caroline on a journey into the interior. He doesn't let her down in a nice way, but gives her the impression that he doesn't think much of women other than being good sexual companions. Caroline has fallen in love and gotten her heart broken, but decides she will continue her travels without Drew's accompaniment. The good thing is that she does take lessons to make sure she is ready to travel to a dangerous area. When they reunite, it doesn't take very long before they are declaring their love and facing a future together. It was a short and sweet story. Louise Allen is a good writer, and I am glad that I have several of her novels in my to be read pile.
The Kim Lawrence story, Blackmailed by a Sheikh was more up my alley. It was my favorite in this collection. Prudence wasn't a doormat. She met Karim head on and although he did seduce her, he was going to act honoroably towards her. I liked that Prudence told his father the King that she had seduced him because she couldn't resist him. This was after she saved the King's life by taking a knife wound for him. That's my kind of heroine. I liked that Prudence was more self-sufficient and had healthy self-esteem, although she did consider herself spinsterish. She had made sacrifices for her bother so he could get to college. And Karim called her brother Ian who is a math nerd and on the self-absorbed side, on his selfishness and lack of care for his sister. This was early on when they had a more adversarial relationship, mind you. This story was enjoyable and had humor, even though there was serious issues in the background since Karim's father had heart surgery and he had lost his mother to breast cancer so was protective about his younger sister. I liked that Karim was more willing to be honest about his feelings, and to claim his woman in a manner that showed he admired her and found her worthy (despite the bedouin seduction). What can I say? I'm an old fogie in some ways. Kim Lawrence is a dependable Harlequin Presents author. I am surprised at how much she accomplishes in this short story. She really doesn't disappoint.
All in all this was a really good collection. I would have given it five stars but I didn't really like the unnecessary angst in the Lucy Monroe story.
1. Blue Moon Rising. Simon R. Green. A++ (Fantasy, Reluctant Hero, Virgin Hero, Quest). Rupert, Julia (futures heroes of Hawk and Fisher series). 1/1/09.
2. Omnibus. Sheri L. McGathy. A. (Fantasy, Short Story Collection, Faery, Origin Stories, Elves, Beauty and the Beast, Dragons). 1/2/09.
3. The Wedding Journey. A++. (Beta Hero, Scottish hero, Military, Doctor, Unrequited Love, Marriage of Convenience, Napoleonic Wars, Journey, Knight in Shining Armor, Traditional Regency.) Jesse, Elinore "Nell." 1/5/09.
4. Never Romance a Rake. Liz Carlyle. A+ (Rake, Embittered, Tortured hero, Tortured heroine, Wager, Marriage of Convenience, Regency, French heroine, Part of a Series.) Kieran, Camille. 1/10/09.
5. No Friend of Mine. Lilian Peake. A. (Vintage Harlequin Presents, Adversarial Relationship, Friends to Lovers, Wallflower, Plain Jane.) Elise, Lester. 1/10/09.
6. Lover Enshrined. JR Ward. A+++ (Addiction, Tortured hero, Survival Guilt, Arranged Marriage, Black Dagger Brotherhood Series Book #6, Paranormal Romance). Phury, Cormia. 1/14/09.
7. In Lands That Never Were: Tales of Sword and Sorcery. A+ (Short Story Collection, Fantasy, Sword and Sorcery). 1/18/09.
8. To Have and to Hold. Patricia Gaffney. A++. (Redemption. Victorian, Book 2 of Wyckerley Series, Rake, Falsely Accused/Imprisoned, Mistress, Employer/Employee Romance, Seduction). Rachel, Sebastian. 1/21/09.
9. Shadow Game. Christine Feehan. A+. (Book 1 of Ghost Walkers Series, Fated to be Mated, Psychic/Superpowers, Nerd/Scientist Heroine, Warrior/Military Hero, Paranormal Romance). Lily, Ryland. 1/24/09.
10. Dangerous Touch from One Night With a Rogue. Anne Stuart A++. (Reread, Gunslinger, Widow, Abused, Dangerous Hero, Antihero). Billy, Sara. 1/25/09.
11. Kiss of a Demon King. Kresley Cole. A+++. (Deposed King, Other World/Lands, Demon, Sorceress, Bad Girl Heroine, Knight in Shining Armor Hero, Captive/Kidnapped, Quest/Journey, Paranormal, Fated to be Mated, Hero in Pursuit/Stalkerific hero, Book #7 in Immortals After Dark Series.) Rydstrom, Sabine. 1/29/09.
12. Last Wolf Hunting. Rhyannon Byrd. B-. (Reunited Lovers, Starcrossed Lovers, Werewolf, Witch/Healer, Love Wary. Book #2 in Blood Runners Series, Silhouette Nocturne, Paranormal Romance.) Jeremy, Jillian. 1/29/09.