Sunday, May 31, 2009

Dangerous Bet: Troy's Revenge by Marie Rochelle

Tycoon Series:Dangerous Bet: Troy-s Revenge Tycoon Series:Dangerous Bet: Troy-s Revenge by Marie Rochelle

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
This was a fun, exciting book. Troy was crazy about Headley, but didn't know how to just open his mouth and say the words. He was seriously going through all these changes and manipulating when he could have just told her. He was a big silly. (hot, though!) It was cute and I really enjoyed it. Hot love scenes, but the fact that Troy loved Headley so much was the winner for this book. Troy was pretty cavemanish, but Headley knew how to handle him. I like the possessive heroes so it didn't bother me, because Headley wasn't a doormat. I liked the interactions with Troy's friends, and Headley's friend Fancy. Some of the words that came out their mouths, wow! This book was a great read. Hours of entertainment after a long day of work. Can't wait to read Fancy and Maxwell's story. Intrigued about who Cole ends up with. Marie Rochelle is an autobuy for me.

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Saturday, May 30, 2009

Behind Blue Eyes by Pat Cromwell

Behind Blue Eyes Behind Blue Eyes by Pat Cromwell

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
Wow! That was one heck of a read. Talking about drama, this book is full on drama. Once the ride starts, it does not stop. To be honest, I could not handle being around any of the people in this book. Talking about stress....

Let me say, I loved Michael. He is in some ways diabolical, and crazy as a fox. He is a needy, heartbroken boy. He is a powerful, dangerous man. Gosh, he was one of a kind. I think he might up there with my favorite heroes of all time (okay I like the dark, scary heroes ala Anne Stuart, Kresley Cole, JR Ward, and Christine Feehan). Even at his most evil, he did not annoy me for some reason. I was just sitting there with my mouth open, asking for more. He's the kind of hero I really love reading about. The ones that you cannot forget because he's no cookie-cutter, samey-samey, run of the mill Ken (as in Barbie and Ken) type. I also gravitated to him because he was so in love with Seine. He needed her so much and couldn't imagine his life without her. He had the world, but he really just wanted her, and was willing to walk away from everything more than once for her. He needed to be loved like life needs water. How could I resist him?

Now Seine. She was a little more complicated to like at times. She teased this tiger's tail. She pressed the red button. And she got the runaway train that was Michael O'Neal. He even warned her more than a few times. She told him that she would never leave him or stop loving him or give up on him, but her actions didn't back that up in a very crucial moment. We all break promises in life, but you cannot break that kind of promise to an all or nothing man like Michael O'Neal. I knew that in my heart. I felt, this is wrong. I wanted to yell at her when she threw his love back in her face. "Are you crazy?" I wanted to yell at her: "Okay I know he's kind of evil and unstable, but the man loves you liked crazy. Choose him like you said you would." She really disappointed me in that scene because she didn't make the right decision in my opinion. So I kind of felt that Seine was a bit of a spoiled brat. She had the silver spoon and was the Little Girl Lost in some ways (with her father not being there for her). She wanted her Prince Charming not realizing he was the Dark Prince.

Now that is the interesting thing about this book. None of these characters are perfect, sweet, kind, and adorable. Probably the most likable (other than my absolute love for the diabolical Michael O'Neal) is Lynda, Seine's lifelong friend. She was the voice of reason for these two crazy people who were crazy in love with each other but didn't know how to love each other. I really liked the part where she gave the knowledge to Michael, and the numerous times she gave counsel to the headstrong and not very forward thinking Seine.

To be honest, the bedroom scenes verged on being a little too erotic for me. It would probably pass by a seasoned erotic romance novel fan without even eliciting a blink. Let's just say there are certain things I don't like associated with sex and there's a wee bit of that in this book. But it was not enough to make me throw the book away. I would say that you should read this book even if you aren't into the erotic stuff. Because it's too good to resist. How could you pass up reading about a guy like Michael? Have I said I love this guy?

Let me reiterate, this book is intense. There are a lot of yelling scenes. Again, DRAMA. How exhausting. I found the dialog and the narrative very memorable, showing that Pat does have a command of language and a realism to her writing; it has a life and a precision that is memorable. The language is raw and earthy in a way that is kind of new for what I've read so far. However, it wasn't jarring because it fits the emotional climate of this book. The people therein are passionate and very in-your face. If they didn't talk like that, I suppose it would have been peculiar. I'd probably avoid them like the plague (maybe stare at Michael a little first before slinking away in fear).

I definitely would read this book when you are in the mood for a very fiery, passionate, not always comfortable read. I doubt you'll be disappointed if you read it prepared to have the earth shake under your feet with all the violent emotions in this book. It was a great love story that really challenged me in some ways, and very unique from what I've read in a long time. Bravo, Ms. Cromwell.

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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Diamond in the Rough by Diana Palmer

Diamond In The Rough (Harlequin Romance) Diamond In The Rough by Diana Palmer

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
This was a fun, sweet read by one of my favorite authors. John is probably one of the nicest heroes that Diana Palmer has ever written. Yes he did pretend to be a modest cowboy, but you can't hold that against him, considering his past. From the beginning, he reaches out and helps Sassy with no underlying motives. He sees the good and the beauty in a small-town, simple girl who has sacrificed everything for her sick mother and adopted sister.

Although I love her writing, and don't have any issues with it, some readers find Palmer's stories to be formulaic. If that is the case, they would probably enjoy this story because of its freshness. Also for the fact that John is not like her typical heroes, fighting falling in love with Sassy. He has a moment or two of apprehension as he realizes he is getting in deep, but surrenders fairly quickly to the knowledge that he is in love with Sassy and wants to spend the rest of their life together.

The ending of this book reads like a fairy tale comes true, the downtrodden princess gets her happy ever after with the handsome rich prince, and all ends well. But isn't that why we read romance novels? At any rate, I couldn't help smiling as the last pages of this book went by my eyes.

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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Badlands Heart by Ruth Langan

Badlands Heart Badlands Heart by Ruth Langan

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
I love heroines who are tough and don't adhere to the typical role that women are assigned to. Kitty is such a heroine. She is a mustang catcher and tamer, rough and ready. She was raised with two older brothers and a kindly older man who took in the orphaned children. She saves the hero's life at the beginning of the book, and I knew instantly I'd really like her.

I also really liked the hero, Bo. He's a gentle and kind guy, but he's not a pushover at the same time. He has no problem cooking or cleaning, or fixing the falling apart shack that Kitty and Aaron live in. Yet you don't feel that is not manly or masculine. I thought he was a delightful hero (probably because I have a soft spot for men who cook, do household chores, and can make repairs). Although he comes from money and is very well-educated, he doesn't look down his nose at those who are not educated. And he loves and admires Kitty for the woman that she is.

When there is such a deep, loving connnection between the couple at the beginning I find myself waiting for the other shoe to drop. Thankfully all is well in this book, although there was a suspenseful climax.

I liked that Kitty was a maverick and did her own thing, going so far as to get married in her typical buckskin clothing (not something I would do, but it certainly fit her personality.)

I haven't read as many westerns in a while, but this was a good book to get me back into western-reading mode.

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To Marry a Sheikh by Day Leclaire

To Marry A Sheikh (Harlequin Romance No. 3623) To Marry A Sheikh by Day Leclaire

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
This was a short but emotional read. I liked the infusion of customs from the heritage of the hero, and how initially Zara gives him gifts, and he then turns around and reciprocates. There was a deep bond between them that started when they first met and continued to intensify with each interaction. The relationship between the two was quite intense and passionate for a Harlequin Romance, another thing I liked about the book. Also the subject matter was fairly risque, a cousin gifting another cousin with a woman. I was never 100% sure if he meant for the woman to be a concubine or a dancer or something. It was never explained. But since it brought Zara and Haidar together, I can't complain. Nice quick read.

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Sunday, May 24, 2009

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy, #1) Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
This was an interesting read with a different take on vampires that borrowed from familiar nuances but took things in a different directions. Rose is a likeable protagonist, despite being a touch reckless. But then she's a teen who has a tough road ahead of her. Dimitri is some kind of yummy. A formidable warrior and guardian, he is disciplined, observant, dedicated, and hopeless in love with Rose, although she is forbidden to him. He accepts and understands her as no one does, even Lissa, who has a unique bond with Rose. I do hope that they get together at some point, and I look forward to more interactions between Rose and Dimitri.

I don't feel like I got to know Lissa nearly as well, but I hope that over the course of this series, I will come to know her. I do love that she cares just as much for Rose, and made enormous sacrifices for her, despite the fact that Rose is expected to literally lay down her life for Lissa.

Christian is an intriguing character who has the elements that I really like in a character: misunderstood, enigmatic, a little bit dark and tortured. I definitely want to know more about him.

The infusing of Slavic/Russian culture into this book was a welcome surprise. Fascinated as I am with Russian culture, I enjoyed those elements. It also added to the mysterious and in some ways sinister mood of the story.

Things I didn't care for as much: There is a good bit of the high school pettiness (I hated high school with a fiery, burning passion) in this book: reckless partying, cliques, casual sex (not the main characters), gossiping, etc. I'm not a big fan of all that, but since this is a teen/young adult book, it's expected. Despite that, I think a older person who likes a good vampire story would definitely enjoy this story and find something fresh and interesting in it.

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Turner's Woman by Jenna Kernan

Turner's Woman (Harlequin Historical Series) Turner's Woman by Jenna Kernan

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
What a great read. I found Emma to be a wonderful heroine. She saved the hero numerous times, survived harrowing situations, and fought to be strong when she was bred and raised to be weak by a bully of a father. I liked Jake, but this book stands out because of Emma. Jake was a little too preoccupied about being trapped into marriage for my tastes. I was like, "get over it." Otherwise he was a great hero, who knew how to live off the land, and could get himself and Emma out of a tight fix.

I like the way Emma stood toe to toe with him and had just as valid a reason not to want marriage. She kept him guessing and make him have to reevaluate his perceptions about womankind, and didn't demand his love. In fact, he fell in love with her because of the incredible woman she was. I loved how she moved on to find a life for herself and he found his way to her, because he couldn't live without her.

This story is vivid with scenes of surviving the elements as Emma and Jake crossed the frontier. There are moments that make you hold your breath and whether they will persevere in the situations they end up with. It's why I enjoy westerns and frontier reads. Each time I felt more admiration for Emma's strength. If you like romances full of adventure and facing the elements, living in the wild, with character who persevere together and to find a great love in the process, you'll love this book.

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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Burning Wild by Christine Feehan

Burning Wild (Leopard Series, #3) Burning Wild by Christine Feehan

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
Okay, Jake's parents did everything they could to make him into a serial killer. Thank God he was too strong for that. Jake was an intense guy who had a facade of not caring about anything and being out for himself. But truly that wasn't who he was. He was a dangerous and ruthless man, but he had the capacity for devotion and love. Thankfully he met Emma and she brought that out in him.

This was a really intense book. I truly enjoyed it and had trouble putting it down. I was reading it every chance I could. Like all of the Feehan books I've read, this one packs a wallop. The love scenes were fiery. I was holding my breath out of fear that they would be more than I could handle, but they were not. Some sensitive readers might have a few moments of breath holding, but as a reader who does not like erotica in her romances, I was fine.

Jake and Emma really are a great match. At first glance, it might seem that Emma is too gentle for a hard-edged man like Jake, but she really complements him. And she has inner steel behind the sweet, homemaking facade. Jake is one of my favorite kinds of heroes, ones on the edge that find their salvation in being loved and in loving. He was very dominant but he didn't go over the top with it, like some characters can do. I think it's because despite his dominance and his rough-edges, he knew how to protect and care for those that were in his care and who mattered to him. I loved how he tended to collect stray people who had been hurt and damaged by life. Aww! How could I not love him?

The violence is inherent in this storyline about a man/leopard who was raised by evil, cruel parents, and lives in a world where betrayal is always lurking. But it was tasteful and not over the top. The climax is electrifying and keeps you on the edge of the seat. You feel like you are right there in the midst of the action.

As usual, Feehan introduces you to secondary characters that you want to read more about, such as Drake, Conner, Joshua, Evan, and Susan. I hope that we get to see them find their happy ending.

As a lover of shapeshifter books, I am glad I have another really good one to add to my keeper list. Unusual and intriguing, and thoroughly enjoyable, I found this book irresistible and worth the time and energy I spent reading it.

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Dark Challenge by Christine Feehan

Dark Challenge (Carpathians, #5) Dark Challenge by Christine Feehan

My review

rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
These Carpathian books are really addictive. Julian was totally yummy. He was living large and in control. I thought Desari was a great match for him. She was an ancient too, and wasn't about to fall for the 'little girl' stuff. She actually gave him a reality check and he listened and appreciated her. They had a relationship of give and take, supporting each other.

I really loved the musical aspects in this story, how Desari could use her voice as a tool for helping the animals and others, and also to fight the vampires. I liked that each of the characters has a special gift. Syndil's gift was really cool. Feehan really has a great imagination!

At first Desari is a bit reluctant, but feels the pull. How could she resist Julian? This book really turns the page where you can see the progression in Feehan's writing. It's smooth and shows her skill. She uses words to tell a story with the detail of a beautiful painting. There are dark moments and you can feel the menace and smell the evil. There are also moments of cameraderi and affection between Desari and her family and Julian.

This book has two alpha males (well more if you count Barack and Dayan), but there aren't too many. I liked the interactions between Julian and Darius. There was mutual respect and acknowledgement of the power of the other in there interactions. I really liked the side story with Syndil and Barack. I hope that there is a story that gives them a HEA.

This book is really almost a five star. It's so hard for me because I love the Ghostwalkers so much that I can't help but elevate them to the Carpathians so far. But good writing is good writing. Long live the Carpathians!

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Dark Magic by Christine Feehan

Dark Magic (Carpathians, #4) Dark Magic by Christine Feehan

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
Imagine waiting long centuries for your mate, on the very edge of madness. That is the fate of Gregori. I really loved his character. I loved that he was an incredible hero but also a destroyer of their enemy, the Carpathians that lose their soul and become evil, soulless killers. Gregori might be too much for some romance fans. He is an intense guy and he is obsessed with Savannah in a way that might be scary in a real live guy. But it worked for this book. If you don't like uber-possessive, aka stalkerific heroes, you won't like Gregori. I do so I was cool with him. The Carpathians live in a different reality where the rules of real life man and women interactions don't apply. You have to leave those expectations at the door when you read this book. Provided you have done that, I think you could handle Gregori.

Again, Feehan's storytelling seduced me. She does tend to use the same phrases a lot. Another Goodreads friend aptly coined them 'Feehanisms.' She is so right. Despite that, I can't get enough of her writing. The Carpathians take the vampire story in a different direction that utterly compelling and unforgettable. I was so glad to read Gregori's story after meeting him in Dark Desire. The good news is I get introduced to even more yummy, intense men in these books.

I liked Savannah. She was independent, intelligent, but also loving. She fought the lifemate bond initially, but then she came to realize that she was just as compelled to love Gregori, and she helped him get over his guilt about 'manipulating their connection' while she was in the womb. I really liked the communication Gregori had with Savannah when he saved her and her mother Raven's life. It made me want to read their book.

Okay I know Gregori is ages older than Savannah, but it really wasn't creepy. It felt right. I am a sucker for the idea of a love that is destined, so it really appealed to me that Gregori had waited so long for Savannah.

Again, the action is fierce and the violence is not shied away from. But if you like a good supernatural adventure book, you will love this book. Also it's paired with a fantastic love story. I'd really like to give this book.

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Dark Desire by Christine Feehan

Dark Desire (Carpathians, #2) Dark Desire by Christine Feehan

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
There is something about the way that Christine Feehan writes. I think she really pours her heart into her stories. There is so much intensity there. This was a really interesting, enjoyable read. I can't say it's my favorite Feehan because I am so in love with the Ghostwalkers. But I must say that Feehan's take on vampires really captivated me and sucked me in. I find that I am becoming a big fan of vampire romance, and this book probably helped to push me over the edge.

Jacques is one tortured character. Gosh, what he suffered. Shea is probably just slightly less tortured, and she really gives herself and sacrifices herself for Jacques. This book has some dark, violent moments, and you probably shouldn't read this if you are squeamish about violence. But it absolutely fits and is in no way gratuituous. The Carpathians lead very dark hopeless lives until their lifemates come to save them. Definitely a book for the fan of fated to be mated pairs (which I am).

Let me just say that I am hooked on these Carpathian books, even though I can't say this was my favorite book. Again, something about the way Feehan spins a yarn. Do read this book if you like tortured heroes and determined, fiercely intelligent, good-hearted heroines.

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Fire and Ice by Anne Stuart

Fire And Ice (Ice, #5) Fire And Ice by Anne Stuart

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
I loved this book. I know a huge part of it was the Japanese hero. What can I say? I absoutely adore Asian men, and Reno is such a interesting guy. He's not a nice guy, but boy is he sexy and in the heart he is a decent human being. He is one reluctant to fall in love hero, but deep down I think he fell for Jilly at first sight. He makes her pay for loving her though.

This book is action-packed and you don't get much down time. But it added to the almost Bonnie and Clyde appeal (without the overt criminal elements).

Boy the sex scenes are probably the steamiest I've read in an Anne Stuart. You really get the tension and the fire between Reno and Jilly. Jilly has no ability to resist Reno, and she knows it. Heck, I'm not sure I'd do better resisting him. I'm still trying to figure out Jilly's failed sexual experience. I'm scratching my head over that one.

For some reason I wasn't digging Reno's red hair. That bothered me a lot. I could deal with the tattoos, which has shown how I've changed in the years. But the red hair just didn't sound attractive to me. Probably because I love the glossy black hair of Asian men. Yum!

I have a secret fascination with the Japanese Yakuza, which was delightfully indulged somewhat with this book. I loved the tidbits about Japan that Stuart throws in. Not like a person who researched Japan, but truly loves the city and its inhabitants. This book made me want to jump on a plane and go to the country.

I was a bit worried about Jilly being so young, but it really didn't ruin the book for me. I think the way Stuart dealt with her young age was appropriate. She wasn't always certain and didn't always react the right way to situations, but who does at the age of 20. Reno also shows that he is a twentysomething and somewhat rebellious type, and so his actions were fitting.

I love the Ice series, although they definitely go there for romances. This book is no different. I think this one is my favorite because Reno is not as machine-like and completely apathetic about morality as the other heroes were (Don't get me wrong, I still love Bastian, Peter, Taka, and Killian for all their ruthless killerness). In fact, Reno has to work hard not to feel anything, particularly for Jilly. It's clear early on that Jilly is his Achilles' heel, although he makes her believe he can't stand her. If you're looking for a nice little romance with normal people who always do the right thing, and no body count, don't read this book. If you want an adrenaline ride with two characters who passionately love each other, even though they know it's folly, I think you will love this book. I adore Anne Stuart, so I was along for the ride. I thought the frenetic, intense, crazy adventurous theme of the book juxtaposed with glimpses into Japanese culture were thoroughly enjoyable. The book even ends with a wild climax that makes you wonder what these two will be up to in the future, but you don't doubt for a second that they will stay together because they are soulmates.

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Monday, May 11, 2009

A Kiss of Ashen Twilight by Rae Lori

A Kiss of Ashen Twilight (Ashen Twilight Series #1)

A Kiss of Ashen Twilight is a story that effectively combines three genres of paranormal romance: faery, vampire, and shapeshifters, and in a way that kept me as a reader on the edge of my seat. It is also an interracial romance, but in a very creative manner. The hero is a vampire, called a Nightwalker of White Scottish-Gaelic descent, and the heroine is an Black African Aziza fairy. I loved the fact that I didn’t ever quite know what to expect. This is refreshing for an avid reader like myself. Ms. Lori is a writer that doesn’t mind breaking the rules when it comes to expectations in a romantic story, and the results are incredibly satisfactory.

Jace Archane is a vampire who has and continues to take lives when he feeds from a victim. This is a major risk to take for author in crafting the hero of a story. It threw me at first, but I wanted to keep reading to see where the story would take a character who could have come off as being unsympathetic for his actions. Jace is the kind of character that brings to mind the suave, urbane movie vampire, but you care a lot more for him because of his very human heart, his loneliness, and his regrets about his past. I believe the key to caring about him is the fact that Ms. Lori made him very vulnerable in this manner. He’s a bit of a playboy, but does have a sense of loyalty to his uncle and the Ashen Twlight Nightwalker House. He has pretty much given up on love and instead has taken the hedonistic path in life, when Ariya comes into his life.

Ariya is the daughter of the King and Queen of the Aziza fairies, who watch over the hunt in the Dahomey region of Africa. She is regal, brave, intelligent, and kind. Ariya has lead a charmed existence until her family was systematically murdered by a supernatural entity. The only way she can escape their fate is to travel to the mortal realm. She encounters Jace when he saves her from Rens, who are creatures of supernatural origin who do not belong to either the house of Nightwalkers, Lycans, or Shifter Elves, but are seeking a way to seize power away from the three houses. Jace saves her life and the connection between them is evident immediately. Ariya sees the good in Jace, although he seems unable to see it in himself, and this helps him to have peace with himself and want to care about something after many years of merely existing. The fact that although she sees him hunt and kill, it doesn’t turn her off him or make her reject him was refreshing. She understands that it is a part of him, that he is not comfortable with, but must accept if he wants to survive.

A Kiss of Ashen Twilight was a well-written, intricate story. Ms. Lori’s descriptions are vivid and beautiful, evoking images in my mind that were like watching a movie as I read it. The action scenes were breathtaking, and really put me in the moment, causing me to feel that I was right there as I read them. This book had a strong foundation as an urban fantasy tale with excellent world-building, but the romantic development was equally important. The sensuality was tasteful, and extended outside of the love scenes, showing the sexuality in how the Nightwalkers attracted and fed from their victims, but also showing the strong love bond between Jace and Ariya. Fans of television shows and movies like Kindred: The Embrace, and the Blade and Underworld movies should enjoy this story, although it is in no way derivative. I especially appreciated that Ms. Lori did not gloss over the predatorial nature of the vampire in this story, which tends to be diluted in romantic fiction. Intense and lyrical, I enjoyed this story tremendously. A Kiss of Ashen Twilight stands alone very well, although it is part of a trilogy. Ms. Lori definitely makes me want to read more of the enthralling, sophisticated, yet dark world she has created.

Lover Avenged by JR Ward

Lover Avenged (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #7)

I don't even know where to begin with this review. Like so many of Ward's other books, this book consumed my thoughts. Even when I wasn't reading it, I was pondering the interactions between the characters, hoping for the best, and dreading the worst that I felt was coming.

I don't know how the WARDen does it, but my love for this series and her writing grows even more all-consuming with each book. I do know that she understands the power of evoking emotions in the reader. I can't read any of her books without getting my emotions involved in the process.

I loved Rhev before I read this book. I love him even more after reading this book. Rhev is a great example of why antiheroes are so compelling to me. He is a mass of contradictions and not predictable in the least. He is so sexy, so powerful, yet so vulnerable at the same time. He's no boy scout, but his does have honor and duty. He sacrificed himself again and again for those that he loved, even allowing some of them to think the worst of him. Inside he bore his loneliness like a burden he felt he deserved. I was glad that he had two families, his mother and sister, and Xhex, Trez, and

I didn't like the drugs, the violence, and the prostitution, but I could understand why Rhev and Xhex inhabited that dark world. They felt that this was the only place they belonged. Fortunately Rhev also has the tether of his family, although he has to live a lie for many, many years. Xhex doesn't even have that. The sympaths were as fascinating I thought they would be. Even though this book delved into that world, I'd be perfectly happy to read more about them. They manage to exude a menace that jumps off the page as I read about them.

Like most outstanding books, the scenes were vivid like a movie in my mind. I love the realism mixed with magic and the supernatural. I am in awe of the WARDen's imagination. She has taken an hip/upscale/urban motif, mixed with the culture and world of an ancient race, and created several love and relationship stories and put them all together into a delicious confection that is this book. But it's the three-dimensional characters that really seduce me. Even the casual characters manage to grab my notice and my interest.

I am so glad that Rhev found Ehlena. It was great seeing such a tough, isolated guy fall so hard and fast and give his heart away. The interactions between Rhev and Ehlena was sweet and romantic, but erotic at the same time. He really knows how to treat a woman with tenderness, to cherish her as though she is the only woman in the world. At times, I was worried that Ehlena didn't deserve his love and devotion, but she proved true and worthy of it. Ehlena is one tough, steadfast woman. Just what Rhev needs. And Rhev is what she needs as well. My heart can rest in peace that Rhev does have the love and acceptance he always secretly yearned for. I am happy that he has a deep, loving relationship with Bella, and is like a brother to the Brotherhood.

It was also nice to see more of Wrath and Beth interacting. As they were the first couple, some of my memories have faded. So reading about their relationship and how it has remained deep and true was really great. What the WARDen has done with Wrath was so well-executed and felt right although some might feel that it was a dark way to go.

John Matthew is at a really dark point in this book, and I vacillated between despair and rage at what he is doing to himself. But I am so excited to read his book when it comes out. I wish it was coming out sooner. I can't wait to see him come into his own and claim his shellan in Xhex.

Xhex is my girl. I love the woman. She is all over it. I enjoyed getting perspective on her emotions and her thoughts. Her loyalty to Rhev is unquestionable, and I know there is more to learn about that, as well as her past. I felt her sorrow as she tried to push JM away although she clearly loves and is as drawn to him as he is to her. The next book in the series is going to be awesome as we see what transpires with Xhex and JM and follow along from how things ended in this book.

The whole Lash situation promises to grow even more enthralling. At first I dismissed him as an immature bully. But he is proving to be a formidable antagonist. The way things will go down with him is going to be something else. He's evil as all get out, but he's a fascinating character. I think he will definitely prove to be the supervillain in this series. And boy did he go there at the end of this book. Let's just say it's going to be 'on' in the next book.

It was nice seeing the other brothers, but like the greedy BDB fan that I am, I wanted more of them. Short stories about other brothers and their shellans, please??? I miss Marissa and Cormia. Haven't seen much of them lately. More Butch, V, and Jane too. How about Rhage and Mary updates.

Ah, I never get enough of these books... Let this be a warning to you. Do not read these books if you want a life outside of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. Not that I'm complaining, mind you.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

Twilight (Twilight, Book 1)
This book touched me in profound ways. Twilight was a book that I got deeply involved with. It was not a casual read that was easy to put down and move onto everyday life. It was a book that I carried around with me and tried to read every chance I could.

The characters are moving and intense, their relationships with each other intimate and touching. I felt Edward's anguish that he can't let go of Bella, although he know he endangers her. I walked in Bella's shoes, feeling her fascination and intense love for Edward. Every touch, word, look between them was deep with emotion and that emotion went straight to my heart.

I can honestly say that this is one of the best romances I've ever read. Everything is there that a romance needs. The intensity, the emotion, the joy, the edge of despair of knowing that one is in too deep. And the fulfillment of knowing that your intense love is very much returned. It's what I read romance for. This book is proof that a romance doesn't have to have sex in it to be romantic and intense, or even erotic.

Romance aside, the other elements also make this book involving. I was fascinated with Bella and what made her tick. Her interactions with her parents and her friends. Her outlook on life. Her courage at facing a horrible situation out of love for another person. Even everyday things in her life were interesting to me. I would love to know why she's so clumsy. I identified with her in that sense, because I'm pretty clumsy myself. The Cullens are intriguing and I can't wait to learn more about them. I am also looking forward to learning more about their mortal (or should I say immortal enemies) the werewolves. Jacob was cute and sweet and I'd like to see more of him, although I am definitely on Team Edward.

Like Bella, I fell deeply in love with Edward. He is one of the most magnetic characters ever written, in my humble opinion. I know now that my reading life will consist of Before Edward Cullen and After Edward Cullen. Yes I am a grown woman obsessed with a young adult book, but I like it that way. Those people who despise Twilight because it's a sensation, I challenge you to read the book. If you truly don't like it, then to each their own. But you definitely should give this book a chance. It's worth the time and energy, and the tug on your emotions.