Saturday, August 30, 2008

August Reads

...not to shabby, a little short for me, but what I did read mostly pretty great quality!
(*) ARC copy for review

1.*PROMISES REVEAL (Promises #4)- Sarah McCarty ~Western/Historical -Rating A+
~ I absolutely LOVE Sarah McCarty's westerns, and with the much anticipated PROMISES REVEAL she has truly outdone herself, creating characters that really get into your heart, making you anxious to solve their conflicts and find the love they so richly deserve. And her smoking hot love scenes are so emotionally charged that you may just find your own body heating up, imaging just what the Rev can do for you. She hooks you into the story, drawing you into the lives of all the characters, eager to see how the Rev and Evie make their marriage work, excited to catch-up with past friends, and curious enough about other characters, that you are now fervently awaiting their books to come out!
Having “met” Brad, a/k/a the Rev in the previous Promise books, I couldn't wait to find out about his past, to see what created the man, and to learn what kind of woman would be right for him, I was not disappointed. Evie is the perfect woman for him, just what he needs, someone who he can enjoy a certain wildness with. I was annoyed with Evie's spoiled attitude, and her habit of jumping to conclusions early on in the book, but soon learned that it was a part of her that she was going to grow out of in her discovery of her love and trust in Brad. It was a great trip watching Brad and Evie find themselves, especially seeing Brad overcome his vulnerable side and learning that he really is worthy of love.
Though this is part of a series, it can easily be read as a stand-alone book. Having read the complete series, I was surprised how Sarah drew me into previous characters that I had no liking to prior to this, drawing new dimensions to their personalities that made it possible to hope for their own stories in the future. Nidia was someone I absolutely loathed, but now I can't wait to see what is in store for her, to see if maybe she and Elijah can heal each other. And Jackson, I'm glad his book is next, he is a very compelling man, I look forward to meeting the woman who will have him tied in knots!

2. GAME FOR ANYTHING – Bella Andre ~Contemporary -Rating A
~ Bella Andre successfully weaves an engrossing tale of passion, humor and drama. I feel that the past conflict between Ty and Julie blends into their mindset of the present smoothly, allowing me, as the reader, to empathize with them and more understand their attitudes toward one another. Both have their own predigests against the other to overcome, which allows them to grow and learn each other, making their relationship all the more heartwarming. And it doesn't hurt that the combustible passion and sexual tension between these two is enough to set the pages on fire, causing me to pause and fan myself. I also enjoy the sense of humor thrown into the story, keeping this from being to dramatic and over-the-top and giving the characters more dimension, making them realistic and extremely likable.

3. BLUE-EYED DEVIL – Lisa Kleypas ~Contemporary -Rating A
~ Hardy Cates, oh what a man, he is so dang yummy! We first met him in SUGAR DADDY, where Liberty Jones (now Travis), had a huge crush on him growing up. He was always such a gentleman, who even then knew what he wanted. We had a rather upsetting taste of the man he grew to become, but fortunately it was a shallow taste that didn't delve deeply into the reasons for his actions. Now we learn how he redeems himself. He's a man that knows what he wants and isn't afraid to go after it. He is very confident, yet he faces his own fears, and strives to overcome the man his father was, to be the man that he is.
This story follows Haven Travis throughout her life, not just catching bits and peaces in flashbacks or conversations. I love following her through her struggles, knowing that what she will find is a new beginning, even if she takes the long way to get there.
Haven and Hardy's story is very emotional. It touches more than just two ordinary people meeting and falling in love, but two people who've faced unbelievable conflicts, and have battled their way to the top and to each other.
I love Lisa Kleypas' historical and contemporary works, and greatly look forward to visiting the Travis family again in the future.

4. KNOCK THREE TIMES – Amarinda Jones ~Contemporary-erotica -Rating C
~ While the passion between Montie and Tyne burned red hot, I felt that the depth of their emotion for each other, after they'd had sex a couple of times, without really speaking to each other, annoying. I liked Montie and Tyne, I just wish that Ms. Jones had not rushed to the discovery of “I love him/her” moment, because, for me, I need the characters to actually have some basic conversations or interactions outside of intimate relations before I'm ready to experience such significant feelings. I like to watch the relationship grow more between characters. I liked the code between them where Tyne would knock three times before entering, giving Montie a nice little thrill every time she heard it. I thought that the punishment given to the villain was well deserved, though I felt he should have suffered a bit longer for what he wanted to do to Montie.

5.*HIS LADY CAPTIVE – Anne Gracie ~Regency -Rating C
~ This was a really slow start for me, I had a hard time getting into the story, and Ms. Grace almost lost me completely at one point, but she was able to pull me back in, as I hoped for the best outcome for Harry and Nell. I was really rooting for them, they are both determined characters that have faced many hardships. I liked that they had both survived their struggles, as it strengthened their personalities and made them more likable. Also, I felt that they deserved to find a lifetime of happiness. I wasn't surprised by the turn of events and, unfortunately, was not completely satisfied with the villain's punishment, honestly, I felt that he should have suffered a life-time living with his disfigurements. For his crimes, I was all for a cruel justice, over a quick one on.

6.*THE MISSING – Shiloh Walker ~Romantic Suspense/Paranormal (visions) -Rating A+
~ This is a phenomenal tale, with a captivating plot, full of intense emotions and fascinating characters that absolutely blew my mind! Shiloh Walker immediately drew me into the riveting story of Taige and Cullen. I was so enthralled into their lives that by Chapter Three I was bawling my eyes out, it was not a sniffle-sniffle, little tear-up scene, I was absolutely sobbing. I can't remember the last book I read that made me cry so hard. Taige and Cullen were just so compelling that I was completely immersed in their lives and actions, their pain was so acute that I could feel it. Now don't get me wrong, this book wasn't a sobfest or anything like that, but it was very emotional read. There were moments of joy and happiness, anger, and crushing defeat, a mix feelings that were so well written and defined, that I could forget I was reading about fictional characters. I finished this book feeling extremely satisfied. I eagerly anticipate reading more of Shiloh Walkers books, as she has yet to disappoint me.