Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Review: A WEDDING WAGER by Jane Feather

A Wedding Wager
Blackwater Brides #2
Historical Romance (Georgian, 1762)
Pocket Books
 Available July 2011 

Three years ago Lady Serena Carmichael told Sebastian Sullivan that it was fun knowing him, but it was now time to move on, breaking his young heart. Now Serena is back in town, and Sebastian is determined to ignore her, not willing to fall under her spell once again. 

Yet no matter how they try to avoid each other, circumstances keep throwing them together. Is Serena really as heartless as she appears? Can Sebastian forgive the past?


Serena and Sebastian had an undeniably complex emotional relationship. They didn't want to care for each other, yet they couldn't help themselves, nor could they ignore the fervent desire between them. I found them to be well-written characters, yet their personalities put me off of them a bit. I found Sebastian's actions and emotions to be so young still. I felt like had he an naivety not usual for romance novel rakes, that's not necessarily a bad thing, but I felt that after the initial rejection, he would have been more cynical. Serena's concern for her step-father's prey was all fine and wonderful, but really, her stubbornness in her refusal to accept Sebastian's help was frustrating.

In A WEDDING WAGER, Jane Feather has written a passionate tale of young love, including all the problems that come with it, such as the belief that self-sacrifice is the only answer to a convoluted problem and the thought that if you don't talk about it, your feelings will go away. Of course Serena and Sebastian learn otherwise throughout the story, but they had some major growing up to do before they got there. 
 I am curious to see how Ms. Feather will develop Peregrine's story, and what kind of woman she will pair him with. He is very bookish, but I hope he has some more Alpha qualities that emerge as I'm not a huge fan of the Beta hero.
Rating: 3.5 

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Review: MIDNIGHT'S WILD PASSION by Anna Campbell

Historical Romance (Regency)
Avon, an imprint of Harper Collins
369 pages

Nicholas Challoner, Marquess of Ranelaw, is set on revenge. He will allow nothing to get in his way, not even the delectably tart chaperone, Antonia Smith. 

Lady Antonia Hilliard is still paying for her past, hiding herself as Antonia Smith, a drab and dower chaperone. She knows better than anyone how youthful passion can lead to nothing but trouble. Now to atone for her past indiscretion, she is determined to be the most sedulous chaperone. When her charge is pursued by one of London's most notorious rakes, she increases her guard. But can she resist the temptation of the rogue?


Anna Campbell's reads are always emotional roller coasters for me, MIDNIGHT'S WILD PASSION was no exception. Nicholas especially brought out all sorts of feelings in me. I could understand his want for revenge, and respect his diligence, but he crossed the line when, after discovering his feeling for Antonia, he still wished to pursue his goal. I would have held more sympathy if he had changed tactics. He could have found another means of the revenge he was so adamant about.
I did get a little tired of Antonia tormenting herself with her past fall from grace. I can understand that during this time period moral standards were a lot higher than they currently are, but she just kept beating herself up over it to a point that I wanted to stop reading the book. 
Now the one thing that I loved was the passion and chemistry which practically sizzled between Antonia and Nicholas. Wow, these two set the pages on fire. I also enjoyed watching their battle of wits, as they each tried to stay one step in front of the other. I liked that there really was no secrets between them, Antonia new exactly what Nicholas was up to.

Fortunately Antonia's niece, Cassandra, had a decent head on her shoulders. I really liked her, and I liked that she wasn't so easily pulled in by Nicholas's charm. 
I will read more of Ms. Campbell's work, because I do enjoy it. I only hope that she writes a different kind of heroine next time, as they seem to be getting a bit stale. And because I really don't like the self-torturing heroine, I would rather read about someone determined to overcome their past mistakes, not relive them in their memories over and over again.

Rating 4

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Review: JACE by Sarah McCarty

The Shadow Wranglers #3
Paranormal (Vampire/Werewolves)
Berkley Sensation
377 Pages

Their love was forbidden, vampires and werewolves just don't mix. But when Miri disappeared from Jace Johnson's life, nothing could keep him from finding her.
Rescuing her from a year of imprisonment in the hell of a Sanctuary stronghold, he discovers that the woman he loves has suffered unspeakable pain, not only the physical and mental pain of torture, but also the pain of having her child ripped from her arms, a child Jace didn't know he fathered. Nothing will stop them from finding their daughter.

Can they find their baby girl and start anew? Can Miri overcome her pain and learn to trust Jace again?

Okay, deep breath here, as I try to put my thoughts of this book into perspective. There was so much going on that I kept finding myself being distracted by the book itself. I know that probably doesn't make much sense, but with each new development in the story I would catch myself trying to put everything in order and attempt to bring it together. I think that was my biggest problem with this book, there was just too much going on, and by the end there were a few things that were left unresolved that had me completely dissatisfied. I could see it was leading to set up the next book, but that didn't make me feel any better.

I liked Jace, even though his over-protectiveness and major Alpha attitude was a bit overdone at times, but he wasn't a complete ass about it, I could feel his tenderness and caring coming through. Miri had me a bit more on a yo-yo string as she would waiver from feelings back and forth. Her refusal to listen to reason was very irritating. I can understand that she wanted to be part of the action in saving her daughter, but sometimes her actions were just plain stupid. I know that she lived through hell, and needed time to heal, but when she put herself and others in danger, I just got mad at her.

Something else that also irked me was that I felt there was too much time spent reintegrating Miri into life, first at the Johnson ranch and then into the pack, were the emphasis changed onto Jace being accepted as the pack leader, and not enough time was spent searching for Faith, or let me rephrase that, it SEEMED not enough time was spent searching for her, though apparently it was being done in the background. I wish that the story had been turned around, with the hot and heavy action of Jace, Miri, his brothers and friends striving to find Faith, and once that was accomplished to THEN focus the story on Miri and Jace's emotional reconnection and their family connections. I think that would have made the story work better for me. Though I can understand where Ms. McCarty was going when she wrote her book the way she did, there were some added characters and dimensions that kept the book going as it was, but I still feel that if the structure had been altered with Faith getting more attention it would have been a much greater reading experience (for me).

Rating: 3

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Review: STORM KISSED by Jessica Andersen

Nightkeepers: The Final Prophecy, Book 6
Paranormal (Mayan Mythology)
Signet Eclipse
480 Pages

As teenagers, Snake “Dez” Mendez and Reese Montana looked out for each other in the sinister gang world. Until Dez got a taste of dark power, causing him to push Reese away and eventually end up in prison. The Nightkeepers have run into Dez in the past, giving them little reason to trust him. But now things have changed, and Dez has a second chance, not only with Reese, but also with the Nightkeepers, as a Triad mage. 
Can he live up to their expectations? Will his role in the prophecy lead them closer to the coming apocalypse or can he and the Nightkeepers come closer in halting the end of the world?


Jessica Andersen has added another riveting installment to her Nightkeepers trilogy. In STORM KISSED we finally get to meet bounty hunter Reese Montana and see a new side to Snake “Dez” Mendez. I am a huge sucker for the villain turned hero theme, and trust me, Dez was most definitely a bad guy. I loved watching as he, Reese and the Nightkeepers came to grips with his personality turn around. Dez had his work cut out for him to get everyone, especially Reese, to learn to trust him, and even for him to learn to trust himself.

Wow you want to talk about issues, Dez and Reese had some major issues they needed to work through. While Dez royally screwed up in the past, Reese also had some growing up of her own to do by the end of the book, she seemed to want to put all the flaws on Dez, not looking at herself and that she needed to change also. I felt that Ms. Andersen did a fantastic job showcasing their issues and working them to resolution. They perfectly complimented each other physically, mentally and their chemistry was sizzling hot.

I love the whole Nightkeepers world, as I've grown attached to quite a few characters as this series expands. I enjoyed seeing everyone again, and watching them work and fight together, as they tried to keep Iago and the Xibalba at bay. Knowing that because there will be a few more books in this series, that they still have their work cut out for them. In a way I can't wait for the end of this series just to see how the final battle will go down, but I don't want to rush it because I want to savor Sven, Anna and Rabbit's upcoming stories. It sucks that we have to wait until March for Sven's book, the next of the series to come out...but at least I know what to put on the top of my birthday wish list. :)

Rating: 4.5 


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Review: HUNTER'S FALL by Shiloh Walker

Berkley Sensation
336 pages 

After 500 years of loneliness, Nessa is ready to let go. She has suffered enough waiting for her love to come back to her. Now it's time to move onto the next plane.

Dominic is convinced he's going mad. He cannot understand the strange dreams and urges he has developed. He goes to Excelsior, hoping to figure out what's going on. Upon his arrival, things turn more mysterious, as now another layer is added to the strangeness already surrounding him.

Past-lives seem to mingle with the now. Before lost loves can be resolved, an evil needs to be taken care of. 

Shiloh Walker twisted and turned characters and events into the spellbinding tale of HUNTER'S FALL. I was intrigued by Nessa and Dominic's relationship, wondering how Ms. Walker was going to pull everything together, especially since they spent a good portion of the book away from each other. Though their separation didn't stall the development of the characters and their relationship at all, in fact I felt that it deepened my understanding of them. 

I loved how Ms. Walker delved into Nessa's struggling emotions, I could feel her despair, and completely understand why she was ready to give up everything. I loved when she realized what and who Dominic was, it was great to see her opening up. I also really like seeing Nessa battle, I loved the show of power and strength that she conveyed. It was also good to see Dominic realize he wasn't crazy, that there was an explanation for what had been happening to him. 

As always, I eagerly await Shiloh Walker's next book, no matter what the genre, she is on the top of my auto-buy list.

Rating: 4.5 /5


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Review: NIGHTFALL by Ellen Connor

A Dark Age Dawning Novel  #1
Post-Apocalyptic / Paranormal (shifter)
Berkley Sensation
336 Pages

When Jenna is kidnapped and taken to a remote cabin, she is not surprised that her mysterious abductor is fulfilling a promise to her crackpot father. What does shock her is the indisputable proof that maybe her dad wasn't crazy with his preaching of the end of the world.

Mason will do whatever is necessary to save Jenna, his repayment to the man who saved his life. He has the perfect plan to keep them safe throughout the change and the coming winter. Their confinement forces them to realize a mutual attraction, one they are not yet ready to face. 
Until five strangers stumble into their shelter searching for safety from the chaos that was once their world. Unable to leave them to the ferocious demon dogs populating the world, they find themselves seeking a new haven.

As the mystical forces change them, can Jenna & Mason learn to trust their instincts in each other and themselves? Will they continue to ignore their flaring desires or will it help them keep their sanity throughout the bleak winter? But most importantly, can they survive the New Dark Age?


Ellen Connor, the fantastic collaboration of authors Ann Aguirre/Ava Gray and Carrie Lofty, debuts a novel that successfully sucked me into the vortex of a fascinating new series. NIGHTFALL was an extraordinary introduction to a new post-Apocalyptic mythical world.

Jenna and Mason's chemistry was explosive, not only sexually, but also their personalities as they learned the keys of working together. Mason's unexpected vulnerability, added an emotional complexity to his otherwise stoic personality, making him more realistic and likeable. I liked that while Jenna showed a few bouts of stubbornness, she was intelligent enough to get over herself, and listen to reason. She knew that Mason was truly thinking of what was best for everyone, not just himself...most times. They had so much to learn about each other and about their new world. While they did that I found that theirs was a love that I could believe in being everlasting.

I loved all of the characters introduced throughout this book. They were so completely fleshed out that I found it easy to picture them as they strived to work together toward survival. I liked the dark edge of this book, as not everyone would survive. The demon dogs were truly menacing, and I loved the explanation for their transformation and that of the other mystical creatures.

This was a book that I just could NOT put down, and once it was over, all I could think was that I cannot wait to re-enter the New Dark Ages! I can't wait until this fall when Books 2 and 3, MIDNIGHT and DAYBREAK come out and I can see what the future holds for Welsh, Tru & Penny!

Rating: 5 / 5