...a very unimpressive month of reading, I had a hard time finding anything I really liked.
*1) THE BRIDE PRICE by Anne Mallory ~Historical England~ Rating – C
~Unfortunately I was unable to connect positively with the characters of this book. I found both Sebastien and Caroline's personalities annoying, and really felt no sympathy for either of them. Neither had taken charge of their own futures, they both put on good fronts for trying, but I wasn't convinced that they really wanted to be independent, they both enabled others to have control of their lives. I found Caroline's constant sabotaging of the games rather predictable and uninspired. The lack of chemistry between them made it hard for me to focus on any romance, mainly because I just couldn't believe in it between them. Sebastien thought that power would make him happy, and fortunately he discovered by the end of the story that he needed more than money and power to be complete.
*2) HER SECRET LOVER by Sara Bennett ~Historical England~ Rating – A-
~Sara Bennett did a wonderful job creating a story with appealing characters, whose sexual tension was well played out. While sometimes I find misunderstandings tedious and annoying, I didn't feet that at all here. I liked the mystery around Antoinette and Gabriel, and felt that it furthered along their attraction to each other, keeping them each off-balance. The chemistry between them totally clicked with me as a reader, I really liked each of them, they both have been wronged by the same man, and seek to rectify their situations, neither of them was going to just sit back and take what was handed to them. They also know that others will suffer if they can't resolve their issues.
3) ALWAYS LOOK TWICE by Geralyn Dawson ~Romantic Suspense~ Rating – C-
~There were too many plot devices used to keep me seriously into this story. I found Mark to be immature and selfish. The fact that he was hung up on grieving for a loss he had suffered 18 years earlier and wasn't willing to move on really irked me. Mark's grieving, making him too scared to commit was my biggest annoyance, and I really didn't care for how it was resolved. Why didn't Mark look further into the death of his wife and daughter? As deep as his grief was, I felt he would have visited a grave site to place flowers on or just visit in remembrance or sorrow, at least once, but apparently the author didn't feel that he would care enough to do such a thing, which I think left a huge gap in his emotional development. I felt that Ms. Dawson should have had him coming to grips with his loss earlier into the story, in order to move Mark and Annabelle into the next step of their relationship, instead, I found that when he did resolve his pain, it was done in a way that I felt was extremely rushed, and, in fact took away from the importance of the event.
Annabelle was a character that I just didn't click with. There was just something about her that left me not really caring what happened to her. On one hand she is strong and independent, yet on the other hand, she is very insecure and weak willed. I felt that it would have done Mark some good, if she could have resisted him more and not practically fell right into his arms.
Also, I found the plots of the two different people out to kill their team poorly constructed। I found it implausible and didn't feel that their storyline was well planned. We never really got to know any of the team to care enough about them other than a passing, hmm, sorry to see someone died, but there was no emotion in that. I wasn't surprised by who the second antagonist was, but I especially wasn't satisfied with how the person was convicted, it was way to hurried for my tastes.
4) THE PIRATE LORD by Sabrina Jeffries ~Regency~ Grade – A (Just what I needed, a sexy pirate story! ;oP )
~This was a very delightful read, I can't remember the last time I picked up a book that left me with such a warm-fuzzy feeling when I finished. The characters were well drawn out and balanced, captivating my attention, allowing me to visualize them in action. Also, I really enjoyed the premises of this book, pirates ready to settle down and begin families. Their big plan to seize a ship full of woman and make them marry, didn't go quite as smoothly as they had planned. Sara's arguments with Gideon forced him to allow the women to choose their mates. Gideon was also made to see that he really hadn't thought his plan of a the perfect island home completely through, such as he had not planned for medical emergencies or the fact that perhaps not everyone would be able to find a compatible spouse.
Gideon was absolutely delicious and Sara was very appealing as a woman who knows what she wants in her life, and is not afraid to go out and get it. I found them both very likable, sure they each had moments of boneheaded stubbornness, but it didn't inhibit their storyline, in fact, it was an opportunity for them to confront a conflict, making them rethink their actions and try for more positive consequences. I felt that each of them grew and matured with the story.
*5) WICKED BURN by Beth Kery ~Contemporary~ Rating – B
~WICKED BURN is a sultry story successfully mixing a hot erotic tale with an complex storyline. Both Niall and Vic have issues they need to work through in order to find love and happiness again and they find it's not an easy path to follow. I thought Beth Kery did and excellent job captivating my interest into the characters, and the circumstances that led them to where they currently stood in life, making me want to see how they would resolve issues, and be able to find their happily ever after. I found myself please with the conclusion of this story, and ready to find more of Ms. Kery's books.
6) RED HOT REUNION by Bella Andre ~Contemporary~ Rating – A
7) SEVEN NIGHTS OF SIN by Lacey Alexander ~Erotica~ Rating – B