Tuesday, August 30, 2011

New Review: JUST LIKE HEAVEN by Julia Quinn

Historical Romance (Regency - 1824)
Avon, an imprint of Harper Collins

Honoria Smythe-Smith and Marcus Holroyd, the Earl of Chatteris have known each other since childhood. Marcus was her older brother's best friend, and she followed them around constantly. Now Honoria has decided it's time to settle down and find a husband, problem being, she keeps running into Marcus. 


I 'm thrilled that Julia Quinn has finally decided to tell a story from the Smythe-Smith side of the dreaded Smythe-Smith musicals. Having been introduced to them with her Bridgerton series, I've been reading about this form of “entertainment” with great enjoyment for a while now. It's good to learn that the audience isn't the only ones suffering, though I loved the reasoning behind the continuation of the event. Of course this years event was extra-special.
JUST LIKE HEAVEN is a sweet friends to lovers romance bringing together a couple that has known and tormented each other since childhood, this is a trope that I am very fond of. Marcus and Honoria already have an established relationship, but now it's time to shake things up, as they slowly realize that their feelings go deeper than they ever expected. Of course they don't just discover this over night, they slowly realize their feelings, and neither is sure if their love is reciprocated. It was a delightfully fun journey to their HEA (happily ever after).
I enjoyed how Honoria's attempts to attract a suitor, drew her and Marcus closer together...even though it brought bodily harm to Marcus.  Which of course led to Honoria needing to take care of him, opening up more opportunities for them to discover their feelings. While Ms. Quinn kept up her trademark humor that makes her books such a fun escape, she also put enough of a dramatic twist on events that kept the book from being fluffy
I look forward to the next addition to the Smythe-Smith series, as I do all of Julia Quinn's books.

Rating: 4

Sunday, August 21, 2011

New series **ALERT** The Vampire Wardens by Lisa Renee Jones

I've really enjoyed Lisa Renee Jones' other books and look forward to checking out her latest series, especially after checking out the cover for the first book, YUM-MMMMY:

It's only .99 at Amazon and Barnes & Noble!!!!

The Vampire Wardens
In blood they will find destiny and the eternal bond of passion…
The Wardens series begins with a trilogy of three brothers—Evan, Aiden and Taylor Brooks are brothers (in order by human age: 34, 32, 28), who were early settlers of the town of New Braunfels, Texas, in the 1500s. When the town was haunted by a series of brutal animal attacks that left a half-dozen townsmen murdered, the Brooks brothers took things into their own hands. Armed and ready for action, they set out into the wilderness, determined to find this animal and kill it. What they found was a female vampire who decided the brothers were scrumptious morsels, worth keeping around for a lifetime. She attacked the brothers and turned them to vampires.
No sooner did she turn them, though, than another vampire appeared and killed her. This vampire declared himself a “Warden” of the Vampire Council. Wardens uphold the rules of the Vampire race, and report to the Council. Killing humans is punishable by death, and their ‘Maker’ had broken that rule. The brothers were then taken to the Council, where they were taught how to survive without killing, how to mingle with humans as if one of them, when to move on from a location so that they would not be suspected as vampires, and most importantly, who their enemies were and how to defeat them.
In the end the brothers were granted a financial dowry that had belonged to their Maker and given the choice of freedom, under Council rule, or an alternative—to become Wardens.
Now, the brothers travel together as Wardens, tracking outlaw vampires, killing them, and protecting innocent humans. It is their eternal duty.

Book 1 

The werewolf population is entrenched in a century long civil war, and now they are plagued by a virus that is turning wolves into killers. The Brooks brothers pursue one such rogue werewolf to Temple, Texas. It is in Temple that Evan encounters a beautiful nurse named Marissa who instantly melts the hundred years of ice running through his veins. When she is brutally attacked by the wolf, he breaks the rules of the Vampire Council and uses his blood to save her. Now, if he doesn’t kill the wolf by the next full moon, Marissa will become a killer wolf, and he will be sentenced to death.

Barnes & Noble


Monday, August 15, 2011

Review: KISSING COMFORT by Jo Goodman

Jo Goodman
Historical Romance (Western – San Francisco 1870)
Berkley Sensation

When Bram DeLong suprises Comfort Kennedy-and everyone around them- with the announcement of their engagement, Comfort agrees to go along with the ruse, after all he is one of her dearest friends.

Bode DeLong is sure that his charming brother is up to no good. He sets out to convince Comfort that she chose the wrong brother, and his are the arms she belongs in.
Comfort Kennedy knows that Bram DeLong is using her, she just isn't sure what his angle is. She has held a tender for him for years, but she is realistic enough to know that his feelings aren't the same, though of course she has a smattering of hope that he could change. When Bram's brother Bode steps in to the picture Comfort soon finds that maybe there is a more interesting DeLong. 

I thought that Bode and Comfort's developing relationship was very enchanting. Comfort was a very forward thinking woman, not one to wait around for dreams and fairy tales. She worked with her two uncles Newt and Tuck, in their bank and had a rather unconventional upbringing. 

Bode wasn't sure how he would woo Comfort. He's watched her from afar for years, but now has decided to step up to the plate, and try to win her heart. Bode has always been the serious and responsible brother, while Bram was the charmer. He has the confidence that he can spin things in his direction, but he's going to have to work for it.

I loved the emotion and suspense thrown into the book with the mystery of Comfort's past and the terrifying ordeal she was almost forced to face. There was a scene that could have compromised the book greatly for me, but fortunately was moved into a direction that kept the book moving forward.

Jo Goodman is one of my favorite authors and is one the few historical romance writers that still sets her books in America, which is one of my favorite historical settings no matter what era. I absolutely adored her latest book, KISSING COMFORT, where she has spun a gripping tale that absorbed me too the very end.

Rating: 4.5

Monday, August 1, 2011

Review: LORD LANGLEY IS BACK IN TOWN by Elizabeth Boyle

Standon Widows #3
Historical Romance Regency (1815)
Avon, an imprint of Harper Collins

Minerva, the last of the Widows' Standon figures she now has it made. Now that Lucy and Elinor have remarried, she can have the house all to herself. She talked the duke into doing some renovations, so she knows that if she is frugal, life will be good. That is until a houseful of the duchess's former “nannies” invade her home, and a handsome rake falls into her bed, literally. Turning her life into chaos.

The Baron Langley is one of Britain's top spies, but it seems as if someone now wishes him dead. He's chosen the perfect hiding spot, that is until the house overflows with women. Running out of options, he decides to come out of hiding, but to do that he will need a cover, one he thinks Minerva will fulfill quite nicely.

When Langley suggests the engagement, Minerva is quick to lay down some rules. She will not be pulled into scandal and he must not kiss her. But how can he resist such a challenge, especially when she doesn't seem to be to adverse to the feel of his lips.


LORD LANGLEY IS BACK IN TOWN was a fun ending to Elizabeth Boyle's Standon Widows' trilogy. Langley and Minerva balanced each other out perfectly. Minerva was definitely the more mature of the two, even if Langley was 10 years older than her. He had a tendency to be a bit of a rapscallion to her more straitlaced and proper lifestyle. I really enjoyed how Langley baited Minerva and provoked her to stray from her strict principles. the sexual tension that practically vibrated between them as they tempted each other, and tried so hard not to succumb.

I loved the Regency “James Bond” theme that Langley portrayed. Ms. Boyle kept a fresh and amusing spin on a well used trope. But I found all of the “nannies” to be distracting, and while I understand their importance to the storyline, I felt that there could have been less of them. I think they made the story lag, especially towards the beginning. One thing I was very thankful for was that Felicity only had a fleeting part. I liked her in her own story, but in everything since she has been overbearing and pushy, yes, I realize that is her character, but it's annoying.

I am looking forward to Ms. Boyle's new series out next year, as I always love her fresh spin on things.

Rating: 4